The Time I Emailed Steve Jobs and Wound Up Visiting a Fruit Company

This was over 20 years ago, and there’s no trace of any of this left so I figured I should write something before I forget it, too. This was before photos of everything. Before infinite digital archives. Another era. Back in 1999, I was part of a team at an elearning company called Discoverware, building a multimedia platform to train people how to use various software applications. One of the few traces of the company that remain in 2021, is a brief mention on Wikipedia’s History of virtual learning environments in the 1990s: Read More

Associate Directing

So this is kind of big news. I’m starting a new role at the Taylor Institute, as Associate Director, Learning Technologies & Design. D’Arcy Norman will be taking on a new role as Associate Director, Learning Technologies and Design, providing strategic and administrative leadership for and helping to advance learning technologies and design within and beyond the TI. I’ll be leading the Learning Technologies and Design Team, with both Learning Technologies Group (where I was manager prior to this) and Learning and Instructional Design Group, as well as our team of grad student Learning Technologies Coaches. Read More

Not as Advertised

Our team is conducting 2 separate pilot projects this semester, to evaluate software that is used in a few faculties for potential use across the university. I’m not going to mention the products or the vendors. In both cases, the urgent requests for doing a campus pilot project were forms of “we need this in order to do [interesting pedagogy], and we need it to be integrated with our LMS so we don’t have to spend a bunch of time doing admin-y things to use it. Read More

On Social Game Environments for Teaching and Learning

There’s a bit of a common pattern for designing new and innovative online learning environments1, to make it game-like. Or, most often, to look game-like. Which often means “make it look kind of retro-y and vintage-y so I can pretend it’s something kind of sort of like a game and hey presto we’re innovating already!” Most recently, Google hosted their annual I/O conference in a video game environment. Or, more accurately, in an online conference platform that kinda-sorta looks like a video game, despite not actually being a game in any meaningful sense of the word, aside from instilling a fun sense of “hey everyone we’re totally inside a video game together isn’t this awesome and isn’t I/O innovative and aren’t we just so danged cool for being inside a video game together? Read More

I'm Hiring - Learning Technologies Specialist

We have an open position in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, as part of my team. I think it’s a pretty great place to work, with an amazing group of people, doing important work that has the potential to transform the university and improve the teaching and learning experience for the entire campus community. This is a Learning Technologies Specialist position, with a strong focus on “program innovation” - working with instructors on the development and implementation of new academic programs, providing consultation and expertise on the design and integration of learning technologies to support the pedagogical goals of each program. Read More

In Media: WSJ Experience Report: Online Proctoring

I was interviewed recently (via email) by Katie Deighton, from the Wall Street Journal’s Experience Report. She was writing an article on online exam proctoring, and wanted to follow up with me about the categories of proctoring software and to get a university learning technologies perspective. The article was published yesterday. I’m officially a critic. She wasn’t able to use the entire response, so I’m putting the rest of it here: Read More

Fixing the Black Box When Sharing Content in Zoom

Fixing the Black Box When Sharing Content in Zoom
When I use my MacBook Pro1 to share content in a Zoom meeting, it occasionally seems to get stuck. Sharing the screen works fine, for a bit, then it freezes, and then it gets replaced by a black box. I don’t find out until a minute later, when people politely cough and say “so… we can’t see what you’re doing anymore…” The first time, I figured something just got crosswired somewhere, with Zoom and YuJa and Sidecar all trying to do things with my display. Read More

2020 media log

Trying to track major media consumption throughout the year. I’ve done this for a few years now, but it’s kind of a chore.

Anyway. Here’s most of the media I consumed in 2020.1

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movies  tv  books  media 

A Letter From Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse, as Read by Benedict Cumberbatch

This amazing letter written by Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse, read by Benedict Cumberbatch. Hesse was frustrated by a creative block and self-doubt1. LeWitt would have none of it. I’ve had it on playing on loop. Get out of your head. Just DOOOOOOO. you are not responsible for the world. you’re only responsible for your work, so just. do. it. (via BoingBoing) which is me, in a nutshell, with my dissertation. Read More

What's the ROI on a SLAPP Lawsuit Against Your Users?

Awhile back, Ian Linkletter shared links to videos that Proctorio published to their corporate YouTube account. Proctorio apparently wasn’t aware of how the internet works, nor about what YouTube is for, nor how to manage confidential resources (which may be an interesting tell regarding internet security awareness and infosec practices in the company?). It’s a platform for sharing videos. If you have confidential videos, don’t publish them to YouTube. Anyway. Proctorio could have said “oops. Read More