Bag of Gold

I wrote about my experience seeing Gardner Campbell’s talk, “No more digital facelifts” at OpenEd in Vancouver right after the event. It was really a true stand out to me at the time and continues to resonate. Clearly the truly interesting work happening in and around Jim Groom’s ds106 course at Mary Washington reinforces the importance of the talk … especially in light of how the open course and #ds106radio is playing out across the Internet. I tweeted not too long ago that the only disappointing thing about my new job is not having the cycles to participate in what is an amazing demonstration in the notion of the aggregate learning experience of the future — and then I see the video above and a little part of me dies as I am faced with a troubling thought …

Am I now the one not understanding the true value of exploring what the bag of gold has to offer and dismissing the opportunity?

I sure hope that isn’t a sign of my new life and I seriously doubt it is. My life is about exploring and in the last couple of months I have had far less time for that. I am not trying to be overly reactive in this reflection so I will just leave it well enough alone. I do, however, want to find time to continue to explore and learn about how to take advantage of and support the explosive nature that teaching and learning with technology affords. I am in total agreement with Gardner, “it is what makes me do what I do.”

BTW, one of the magical things happening in the ds106 course is the intense amount of talent working in a single direction in a very distributed network of intelligence and creativity. Tom Woodward’s remix of Gardner’s talk is a perfect example of that.



Discovered via Jim Groom as I follow his exceptionally ambitious ds106 open/resident course at the University of Mary Washington. I knew as soon as I saw it I wanted to participate, but I also knew there was no way I could give it the attention it will demand. Next time.

The thing that really prompted this post has been watching the Bava’s animated gif interest grow. It blows my mind that the animated gif is making such a huge comeback. Honestly I love the complexity and simplicity of the animated gif. Once the purveyor of website construction status is now becoming one of the more powerful ways to express feeling online — simply.

I remember actually learning how to do this as a Masters degree student back in 1995. Of course our animated gifs were really, really lame. But in hindsight they were actually really exceptional given the times. Makes me realize just how young the web really is … that makes me smile.


Blogs at Penn State 2011 Update

I am preparing my closing plenary for the upcoming Educause Mid-Atlantic conference to be held in Baltimore, MD and thought I’d share something I’ve been diving into related to the Blogs at Penn State. My colleague, Brad Kozlek oversees much of what happens with that service and one of the things I ask him to do is to maintain data on the use of the service. He updated our shared google spreadsheet for me today so I could share some of it all at the event later this week.

There are a couple of things I am noticing and am very proud of … one is that the service is really being used and it is being used in so many novel and interesting ways. I’ll try to share some of those during my talk. The other thing we are discovering is that over time it appears that people are becoming more active users … that means they don’t just make a blog and bail. That has important implications — more on that in a future post and at a talk Bart Pursel and I will give at ELI — and those implications include rising GPAs for those who are sticking with writing. Amazing stuff. For now I just thought I’d share the numbers …

My favorite Twitter conversation in days was a result of sharing this …