2021 Week 14

⚙️ Work

We’ve got a bunch of learning technologies workshops scheduled for April. (Destiny1 apparently doesn’t like direct linking to months…)

april workshops

And the next round of workshops in the Blended and Online Workshop Series is coming up. Register early, register often.

I was interviewed (via email) by Katie Deighton for The Experience Report at the WSJ, for an article on online exam proctoring. Wherein your humble protagonist tries to a) say the important things that need to be said out loud about online exam proctoring software and b) not get fired in the process. The article should come out in the next couple of weeks.

🤔 PhD

hah. I’m thinking through some ideas, but haven’t typed anything up for the dissertation for weeks now. yikes.

📚 Reading

Eva Dobler, Jennie Ferris, & Carolyn Samuel, in Teaching for Learning @ McGill University: A Year Since Lockdown: From Pedagogical Solitude to Community Conversations – Teaching for Learning @ McGill University.

Derek Newton, in Forbes: The Worst Of Times For Online Education.

People aren’t loving online learning - but the risk is that online learning is being conflated with remote teaching. We’re still, a year into the pandemic, largely conducting remote teaching - salvaging conventionally on-campus courses by moving lectures to Zoom and quizzes to the LMS. But that’s really really different from a course that’s designed from the ground up to be facilitated online.)

Stephanie Hogan, in CBC News Health: This is your brain on pandemic: What chronic stress is doing to us | CBC News.

Audrey Watters: An Update. Unplugging, offlining, meditating, and trying to focus on self-care. Sounds like a great plan to me.

🧺 Other

I’ve been making a real effort both to be more active and to get into better shape. I’m using Strava as my personal fitness hub, and that’s basically the only social media I use now. According to Strava’s magical algorithm, I’m in the best shape in 5 years? Actually, that’s probably right. I’m still recovering from cancer and chemo, so anything’s an improvement.

strava fitness chart

And I got out for a decent ride out to Cochrane and back through Bearspaw.

bearspaw ride

The Province of Alberta released info about their new K12 curriculum. It is bad. It intentionally undoes significant progress made in several areas, including erasing our history of residential schools and further marginalizing indigenous communities. It sets the province back decades. But at least it teaches Grandpa Kenney’s legacy of the Big Band era, for some goddamned reason.

The UCP is, again, actively harming our province to push their goddamned stupid regressive ideology. They burn $billions chasing failed pipelines and trying to reject climate science. They tear up contracts with doctors during a pandemic and then negotiate in bad faith and wonder why doctors reject their proposal. And their response to everything is various versions of “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BAD! OIL GOOD! TAXES BAD!” It’s exhausting.

Speaking of which, it looks like the provincial salary freeze for managers in post-secondary education will be extended through 2022-2023. While $30M per year is used to fund their literal Ministry of Propaganda. Thankfully, there hasn’t been any inflation since 2015. Not complaining. I still have a job.

Speaking of which, MRU is apparently starting an LMS renewal process. I think they might be the only post-secondary in the city that’s not currently using Brightspace… And Rundle College is looking for a Director of Education Technology.

Anyway. I think I need a couple weeks off.

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