2024 Week 6

We’re continuing to hear from instructors and students that the Brightspace Discussions tool sucks. It’s sucked since 2013 when we adopted Brightspace (but, at the time, it was better than Blackboard 8’s discussion board), and it hasn’t been improved since. We had a Learning Technology Forum community session this week, with a focus on discussing community platforms used in courses. A dozen people were at the session, and they listed 14 different platforms that they use in addition to Brightspace because the built-in discussion tool sucks. This is not sustainable (despite the fact that it’s been sustained for over 10 years now). We need to provide a better default community/discussion platform. This is something I’ll be pushing at LTAC and D2L Steering. I debated breaking this out into a separate post, but I need to noodle on this so it’s not just a full-on rant…

⚙️ Work

  • Tyson coined “Norman’s Hype Cycle” - “Everything gets hyped, and eventually becomes an LMS.” (After Norman’s Law of eLearning Tool Convergence and the Gartner Hype Cycle)
  • Finished reviewing the grants for my committee of the 2024 UCalgary Teaching & Learning Grants review process. Some amazing projects in there. Looking forward to the adjudication discussions next week. In the last 10 years, the grants program has provided $6M in funding for 272 projects. Amazing. Proud to be a part of that process.
  • Started the EDUCAUSE Learning Lab “Developing a Digital Learning Strategy”. The first 2 sessions were this week.
  • Planning the next LTAC meeting, and ways to reboot it in 2024.

📚 Reading

From the EDUCAUSE Learning Lab on developing a digital strategy:

🍿 Watching

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’ve been following along with the slow replay of frames via Mastodon, but thought it was worth a rewatch on the big screen. Ironically, the big screen at home meant that the backdrops of the Origin of Man scenes were visible, with wrinkles in the sky etc. Still, worth it. 1968 Kubrick was such a trip. I keep waiting for a gritty reboot of 2001, and have been glad nobody’s tried it.
  • Rebel Moon Part One: A Child of Fire. I was going to avoid this, but put it on while I did a longer ride on the indoor bike, to distract from the urge to ride faster to get it over with. Completely derivative movie built from Zack Snyder’s notes of every cool-looking scene from any movie he’s ever watched. With an opening act that felt like Inglorious Basterds ordered from Wish. And some Gladiator and viking stuff thrown in. And John Carter of Pandora, for some reason. And so obviously something that started as a Star Wars Story, with a search-and-replace for key names to switch it up. Not worth the time if you’re wanting to actually watch a movie. It served its purpose while I was riding, though.

🧺 Other

  • I’ve been working on recovering some cardio and strength after losing it all last year with the back stuff. According to my obsessive data tracking in Strava, I’m back to about where I was in May - just after the back stuff kicked me off the bike for 5 months straight. I’m about where I was back in Jan. 2022, and am hoping I can continue building back up through this year. I did a decent mostly-zone-2-and-3 virtual ride from Penticton to Osoyoos, and resisted the urge to ride faster to get it over with (see Rebel Moon, above). Stayed in zone 2 longer than I usually do, and was OK with the power meter remaining well under 200W for the ride.
  • My credit card was somehow included in a compromised database or something. Somebody tried to put over $6,500 worth of charges using online stores. The credit card company’s fraud detection group caught it, but now my card has been canceled and they’ll mail me a new one. Credit card security feels like it’s still stuck in the 20th century. What a pain. Now I get to wait until the new card eventually shows up before I can reset all of the things that have recurring charges, and I’m sure I’ll miss something important.

🗓️ Focus for next week

  • Grants adjudication committee meeting
  • Continuing the EDUCAUSE learning lab on digital learning strategy
  • LTAC meeting - first one co-chairing with Wendy (interim VPTL)
  • TI Program Approval Committee - presenting the survey we developed to gather feedback on our programming
  • Third meeting with Rob for the leadership coaching work.
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