The first week of the W2017 semester went off without any major crises. MUCH smoother than the F2016 semester start (which is fair, since that was the first full-scale semester we’ve hosted in the TI). I’m constantly amazed at the diversity of courses (and instructors and students) who are working in the TI – every course is different, from almost every faculty on campus. Every class session is different – with instructors and students moving furniture into different layouts regularly, and using the tech in new ways.
This first week of the semester was still pretty hectic, but is starting to calm down already.
Jennifer Payne gave a pre-defence talk about tangible artifacts for visualizing data – exploring how making or interacting with physical representations may be different than just barfing out a pivot chart in Excel. Interesting stuff.
I had my first class for the human-robot-interaction course. Looks like I’ll be working on some insanely interesting and challenging stuff this semester. Love it!
- Newsblur starred feed items1
- Kin Lane: When The Companies Who Have All Your Digital Bits Promise Not To Recreate You
- David Hedley: A global approach to research
- Jim and Beth Harger: PA028: It’s Time to Make a Change – Exposing Feedback Assumptions
- mcruz: Did Media Literacy Backfire?
- Rob Beschizza: Animated robots trapped in a Vicious Cycle
- Caroline Siede: The story of a tiny Yorkie who served in World War II
- Andrea James: Woman turned her prenatal ultrasounds into a VR experience
- Cyrus Farivar: LA Community College paid $28,000 to free itself from ransomware
- Anonymous: How to Build a Production Studio for Online Courses
- Sarah Derouin: How to Crochet a Coral Reef–and Why
- Saved links on links.darcynorman.net
- Early in Trump era, U of C sees dramatic increase in U.S. applicants – Calgary – CBC News – “obvious in hindsight. this will have lasting effects for decades.”
- Immersive telepresence using a NAO robot – YouTube – “this is cool. what if a remote participant could physically be in a face-to-face session through this?”
- RealSense – Project Avatar: A Gesture-Controlled Fully Immersive Telepresence Robotics System with NAO* | Intel® Software – “The human operator should actually be able to see the world through the eyes of the Nao robot including the field of view in 3D. This is realizable by using RGB stereo cameras. Using tactile sensors the robot is able to send touch events over the feedback communication channel to the human controller. So the controller can actually feel sensor based events occurring in the environment at the robot’s site comparable to some kind of force-feedback”
- shmcgrath/newsBlurSavedStories: This python script will save all saved/favorite/starred stories from the users NewsBlur account into a markdown document. – “This python script will save all saved/favorite/starred stories from the users NewsBlur account into a markdown document. Based on my horrible hackish code as a starting point.”
- Online Tools – Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything – “Here are some links to various online tools to help both teaching and learning. The online tools all work with laptops and Chromebooks unless stated otherwise”
- REEM-C – PAL-ROBOTICS – “REEM-C is a full-size biped humanoid robotics research platform. It’s flexible, reliable, open, standard and upgradable. An advanced robot to boost research areas like navigation, HRI, vision or AI.”
- Discover Nao, the little humanoid robot from Aldebaran | Aldebaran
- iCarMode – “iCarMode is like your in-car dashboard, providing quick access to the things you need most when you’re on the road.”
- Medium recommended stories via RSS
- Noah Levin: 3 Tools for Design Managers to welcome new designers and help them grow
- Daniel Jeffries: Learning AI if You Suck at Math
- Thomas Oppong: This Simple Life-Changing Technique Can Help You Achieve 10x Results
- Ben Werdmuller: Affordable healthcare made my career possible
- Gil Fewster: Hi D’Arcy.
- danah boyd: Reality check: I blame the media.
- danah boyd: Did Media Literacy Backfire?
- Ev Williams: Renewing Medium’s focus
- Alan Levine: Hey You! Don’t **** With My Unaffordable Healthcare
- Tristan Harris: How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist
We had an absolutely perfect day at Nakiska – great snow, nice and cold, sunny. I worked on a few things, and felt much stronger and fluid as a result. Still not fast (at. all.) but moving better.
Sunshine Village upgraded one of their webcams to a new HD camera, and the feed is amazing. I decided to try making a timelapse. It plays perfectly on my computer, but YouTube appears to have done something funky to it. This was the fourth time trying to upload it, and each time something different went janky. Anyways. I’ve lived next to the Rockies my entire life, and have never stopped being in utter awe of them.
- note: the author names are taken directly from the RSS feeds. In a few cases, I hand-repair them because “Anonymous” and “admin” are not useful author names. Fix your feeds, people. [↩]
The first week back after Christmas break – simultaneously slow and quiet, and intensely busy and productive.
TI Learning Spaces
We’re working on improving the tech in the active learning studios in the TI – the biggest visible change is the addition of power bars (3 AC plugs and 3 USB plugs) on each station, so students don’t have to engage in creative engineering to access the plugs in the floor boxes.
We streamlined the application form for instructors who want to teach university courses in the Taylor Institute, which should help with the next round of applications for Spring and Summer 2017. The process opens on Monday, and runs until Feb. 17, with announcements made about 2 weeks after that.
Team members have met with all of the instructors who will be teaching in the TI this semester, and have consulted with how to adapt the spaces and technologies as appropriate. Lots of interesting courses taking place in the building this semester, from an incredibly diverse range of faculties and departments!
And with that, I think we’re ready for the start of the W2017 semester on Monday. Go team!
The Taylor Institute’s 2017 Conference on Post-secondary Learning and Teaching is shaping up nicely. The call for proposals is open now. You should come.
I was… encouraged… to create a Twitter account again, because I was missed online. I never stopped being online. If anything, I was more active and productive online. But, twitter is still a thing, and there’s no sign of things changing soon despite actively trying to explore and shift things away from multi-billion-dollar corporate silos.
I also got tired of tilting at windmills. So. I created another account. My previous 2 accounts were parked by Twitter – the first (@dnorman) was snagged by someone else, the second (@dlnorman) flagged as “suspended” – so I had to create a new one. I’m now @realdlnorman. I’m not sure what I’ll be tweeting about. Likely, the usual nonsense.1
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about 2 things lately – dimensionality and intermittent reinforcement.
I finally got my copy of Nick Sousanis’ Unflattening back, and dove in. It’s an amazing dissertation on dimensionality in communication – a PhD dissertation in comic form, exploring the nature of visual vs. textual communication, the nature of self and identity, and of knowledge and learning.
Nick draws on E.A. Abbott’s Flatland, a mental exercise from the perspectives of beings living in 1, 2, and 3 dimensions. If text and audio are one-dimensional (there is forward/backward, before/after), images are 2 dimensional (with the possible addition of a time dimension) with concepts laid out in spatial relations with each other. It’s striking that almost all of academic discourse is one-dimensional – completely textual, with supplementary images, but essentially serially presented. Nick’s dissertation-in-comic-form shows the difference between text (which is natively one-dimensional, but can be presented as interpreted in 2 dimensions) and graphic communication (which is natively two-dimensional). What other forms of natively-two-dimensional publishing would be effective? What would natively-three-dimensional academic discourse look like?
2 quotes, ironically recast as 1-dimensional serialized text rather than 2-dimensional comic form…
“This requires a perceptual shift – a way of thinking – in which a rigid enclosed mind-set is reconceived as an interconnected, inclusive network. Distinct viewpoints still remain, now no longer isolated – viewed as integral to the whole – each informing the other in iterative fashion. In this new integrated landscape lies the potential for a more comprehensive understanding.” P. 31.
“Perception is not dispensable. It’s not mere decoration or afterthought, but integral to thought, a fundamental partner in making meaning. In reuniting thinking and seeing, we expand our thinking and concept of what thinking is.” P. 81.
I saw this article by magician/tech ethicist Tristan Harris via Stephen Downes, and it nicely pulls together several aspects of online culture that make it so 1) addictive 2) superficial 3) ossified. Fear of Missing Out. Reload syndrome. Twitter, email, feeds. It’s the techno-magicians who design these online casinos who then want to “fix education” by turning their billion-dollar-gazes at universities and schools. Xenu help us all when they finally get their chance.
- Newsblur starred feed items
- Sean Gallagher: Intelligence report: Russia used hacks, propaganda, and RT to help elect Trump
- via Stephen Downes: Did Media Literacy Backfire?
- Andrea Kingwell: Can Calgary become a more walkable city? Experts say it can
- Kin Lane: Medium And The Importance Of Maintaining Your Own Domain
- Michael Feldstein: Chan/Zuckerberg: The “Tech” is not the Hard Part in “Ed Tech”
- via Stephen Downes: How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist
- Rebecca Brent: Refresh Your Course: Step-by-Step
- Laura Gogia: Connecting Learning to Leadership
- via Stephen Downes: The Real Name Fallacy
- Saved links on links.darcynorman.net
- Athletic Stance Skiing: How to stand on skis – “Athletic vs. defensive stance. This explains everything. Lean forward!”
- PHP 5.6 on CentOS/RHEL 7.2 and 6.8 via Yum – Webtatic.com – “PHP 5.6.29 has been released on PHP.net on 8th December 2016, and is also available for CentOS/RHEL 6.8 and 7.2 at Webtatic via Yum.”
- I’ve left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators | Lindy West | Opinion | The Guardian – “And I realised: eh, I’m done. I could be swimming right now. Or flossing. Or digging a big, pointless pit. Anything else”
- TI Learning Spaces – University Courses – Spring/Summer 2017 | Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning – “streamlined application form”
- Fred’s ImageMagick Scripts: SPLITCROP – “Crops an image into two or four sections according to the given x,y coordinates”
- Medium recommended stories
Too cold to ski. But the sun is up when I get home from work now, so that’s nice.
- Also likely, not campus IT stuff, even if it directly overlaps with my day job and PhD work. Open communication with a muzzle is fun. [↩]