I had the honour to be invited to speak at University of Mary Washington’s 2012 Faculty Academy in Virginia. Andy Rush did an excellent job of recording the session.
The thought of talking straight for an hour terrified me that I’d have a room full of sleeping people, so I tried to incorporate some of Cathy Davidson’s advice about encouraging large groups to think, pair, share. I took her idea one step in the doodle direction and asked them to draw. I scheduled regular doodle breaks to punctuate the segments between my agenda of history, brainstorming, planning, teaching, learning. Finally I tried to mash that up with Stephen Brookfield‘s critical incidents questionnaire so I could get feedback about the most engaging/least engaging moments in the session.
The big take away is that DS106 and ds106radio communities have given me the tools and inspiration to unleash my creativity in ways that best suit my learning. I hope I convinced a few folks to take DS106 a spin this summer at Camp MacGuffin
and a few more to pick up a pencil and sketch to brainstorm, plan, teach and learn.
For those of you, who are like me and prefer to skim content, here’s the slide deck you can quickly click through.
I wanted to end with a bang, so I paid homage to Jim Groom’s excellent TEDxNYED talk where he was able to deliver the first 3 minutes of a talk based on animated gifs without the projector working. He improvised and BECAME the animated gif. It was legendary.Below is the animated GIF renactment of McCaule Culkin in Home Alone represented the disastrous act, No Child Left Behind.
Of course presenting was a thrill but in truth, this event was a huge professional development opportunity for me. I learned a ton from so many amazing folks.
This was my second time in Virginia on the lovely UMW campus. This time I got to meet so many more incredible UMW staff and faculty, in addition to the awesome CUNY and Oberlin crews who I have only known online.
The first day was Grant’s really great presentation on Tinkering, Learning & The Adjacent Possible.
I wanted to riff off this concept, so I included my visual note as a first slide in my own presentation the next day:
What a treat to meet Michael Bransons Smith & Luke Waltzer (& see Mikhail again, of course). I loved their presentation on Dreaming about 100 Gadzillion BAzillion posts (we’re not gonna get hung up on the math).
I was pleased to see Shannon Hauser present her blog journey. I cannot express how much I appreciate student voices at these events. Her dashboard was inspiring. It told a story on its own but it was great to have her give a bit of insight into the inner workings.
It was cool to sit in the discussions about The Domain of One’s Own, which thanks to coolest CIO, Justin Webb (who happens to have the coolest CIO name, EVAR) is being made available to 400 students this coming fall.
Another highligh was getting to see the MakerBots in action, thanks to the tinkering of Tim Owens.
Especially after seeing David Darts reach for his source code.
David Darts is the artist provocateur / inventor of the Pirate Box, which inspired @Noiseprofessor to build one for Alan. Eventually that adorable little box came to hold thousands of files, affectionately known as StoryBox. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, it’s always awesome to spend any amount of time with Alan too, of course.
Just as I was finishing this post up, GNA encouraged me to think about things I learned from doing this presentation. Good question. I really like the idea of having people graph their attention but I think I could have spent more time explaining or (here’s a radical concept) include a drawing of how I expected the axis to look. One piece of feedback I received from the index cards was that “forced doodling was awkward” and I should have given space for participants to gracefully opt out of drawing if it was out of their comfort zone.
UPDATE: Additional Resources & References
The Art of Changing the Brain, James Zull
Being a Critically Reflective Teacher, Stephen Brookfield
Now You See It, Cathy Davidson
Back of the Napkin, Dan Roam
Gamestorming, Sunni Brown
Visual Teams, David Sibbet
The Shape of Thoughts, Nick Sousanis
Cost of Knowledge. Elsevier Boycott
My Visual Practice Resource Page