Still figuring things out

writing about higher education, learning technologies, design, HCI, SoTL, and other things…

2024 Week 16

⚙️ Work Meetings. Finance. GFC TLC. Learning Technologies & Design Team meeting - the focus was a “listening tour” by Natasha and Sue to visit with the team to learn about what we’re working on, what’s working, what could be improved, etc. It was a really good discussion, and I’m honoured to be part of such a passionate, engaged, and creative team. The April Learning Technology Advisory Committee went pretty well....

April 20, 2024 · 9 min

2024 Week 15

I (finally) got outside on an actual bike ride, just straight out to Cochrane and back on 1A. That felt great, but sssssslllllooooowwwww. And an hour in zone 5 is probably not ideal. My VO2Max is still “below average” so I’m aspiring to make it up to average this year. ⚙️ Work Tyson led a great discussion in the Learning Technology Forum, gathering questions from instructors and staff about their use of edtech....

April 13, 2024 · 8 min

2024 Week 14

⚙️ Work A vendor came to campus to offer sessions for instructors and staff on how to use their product. The product has changed pretty significantly from when we adopted it several years ago, and we’ll need to figure out if those changes are things that we as a community care about. Otherwise, they’ll become the de facto platform for that other stuff, short-circuiting a lot of strategic planning that’s already in progress....

April 6, 2024 · 5 min

Publishing an OPML Blogroll With Hugo

Hugo is the static site generating content management system that I use to publish this website. It works really well, and has some deep functionality that I’m not even touching. For instance, it can parse data files while generating the site - including JSON and XML - and can use the content of those files to display information on web pages. I was going to follow some recipes that I found online, but they involved converting the OPML file into JSON to be read by Hugo....

April 1, 2024 · 4 min

2024 Week 13

My theme song this week: ⚙️ Work Completed annual performance review discussions with all Learning Technologies Group staff. What an absolutely incredible team - and what an honour to have the opportunity to work with them all. Planning a potential on-site visit with our D2L representatives. Preparing a conference presentation about the architecture course from F2023. 📚 Reading Kurt Vonnegut: Harrison Bergeron (newly typset by John Gruber). “The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal....

March 30, 2024 · 4 min

2024 Week 12

⚙️ Work In the D2L Steering Committee, we planned a transition of authentication systems from the deprecated CAS to the new standard Entra ID for this summer. It should work better and more reliably, but we’ll lose the ability to allow prospective students (who login using eIDs, which are not supported in Entra ID) into D2L courses. I decided to stop tracking license renewals for campus platforms. I’m not responsible for them, don’t own the contracts, don’t have signing authority, and haven’t been successful in helping to nudge people to get renewals done before it becomes a last-minute panic....

March 23, 2024 · 5 min

2024 Week 11

⚙️ Work From the “do stuff until someone says no” school, I took a shot at rewriting big chunks of the draft genAI operating standard document, including renaming it. I think it’s better, and will be more useful to our community. I wonder how many of my edits will survive to the final version of the document… I mean… If I get edit privileges on a document, I should contribute as fully as possible1....

March 16, 2024 · 11 min

Big Auto Is Watching

Kashmir Hill published an article in the New York Times this week: Automakers Are Sharing Consumers’ Driving Behavior With Insurance Companies(free share link). This prompted some follow-ups by Bruce Schneier, Nick Heer, et al. In recent years, insurance companies have offered incentives to people who install dongles in their cars or download smartphone apps that monitor their driving, including how much they drive, how fast they take corners, how hard they hit the brakes and whether they speed....

March 14, 2024 · 5 min

2024 Week 10

⚙️ Work I renewed my SCUP membership for another year. I don’t think I’ll make it to the annual conference (unless my session proposal makes it off the contingency list). Although, Philadelphia in July could be interesting. Next year’s in Honolulu??? That might be a stretch… Our Vice Provost Teaching & Learning just launched their new website, including this page on Generative AI in Teaching and Learning. We’re working on an institutional “Natural Language Generators Operating Standard” policy document, covering academic, research, and operational uses of generative AI....

March 9, 2024 · 5 min

2024 Week 9

⚙️ Work The Celebration of Teaching awards ceremony for the 2023 University of Calgary Teaching Awards winners was on Wednesday evening. Amazing. This is the highlight of the year, and it’s inspiring to hear the stories from award recipients. Elders Reg and Rose Crowshoe did the ceremonial opening/closing blessings, and Elder Rod Hunter performed the UCalgary Honour Song. Reg’s comments about how the university has changed since his days as a student long ago, and how much our progress toward reconciliation means....

March 2, 2024 · 8 min