2017 week 8 in review

Work

We figured out a good solution to provide students with a “terms and conditions” reminder at the beginning of the semester. I wish this kind of thing wasn’t necessary, but the only policy documents available are long, dense and unread. We need to provide a clear, useful, brief overview of what students and instructors have agreed to when activating their accounts. Better to do that with an education campaign than with a hammer.

I gave a presentation to the Graduate Students Association’s Symposium, on “advanced learning technologies”. I decided to not talk about shiny bits per se, but to take a step back and look at how the learning environment (space + design + technologies) shapes the learning experience for students. We had some good McLuhan-inspired discussion about how an environment (physical, blended, or online) tells people what is expected of them. And, how that can be shifted through thoughtful design. Then I showed some of the shiny stuff people are using to do interesting things on campus.

PhD

It was Reading Week, but I was able to spend some time thinking and talking about my research plan. I’m letting go of some of the ideas that I had because they are distractions from the core, and have started laying out a series of projects to explore various aspects of the thing. Man, is it hard letting go of stuff that I want to work on. But, focus is important.

More on the plan later, when I’ve been able to think it through some more. But, it feels pretty good knowing that I’ll be working on some really interesting projects that will hopefully lead to novel contributions to a couple of fields.

Also, I rode one of the new Segway self-balancing scooter things. A little embarrassing, but it’s kind of fun. Until campus security swarmed us because of rules etc. The thing can also be put into autonomous mode, or driven using an app. Stick a box on it, and it can make deliveries…

dork on a segway

Read

Other

Still recovering from wrecking my back at the beginning of February. Walking mostly upright now, but still have some more healing to do. I did manage a couple of hours of easy runs at Canada Olympic Park, while The Boy™ was taking snowboarding lessons. And I’m walking like an old man again. Oops.

COP Afternoon