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Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 25: OpenTeachingOU News Update

Okay, it is always a colossal effort to get a new class up and running every semester. I keep making changes to the course materials (the students keep giving me so many good ideas to try!), and then there's the real effort: connecting with and getting to know all the new students, helping them to get online and start blogging, etc. I'm amazed and happy at what we have accomplished in the past two weeks, and I think the students are also very pleased — as usual, for almost all the students, it is the first time they have had a blog, and that really can be exciting... I still get excited when I make a new blog after all those years!

All that work, though, really wrecks the rest of my online life: reading, writing, keeping track of things. Luckily, though, I put a new content development plan in place that has kept me more-or-less on track, so I am REALLY happy about that. Even in the midst of all this work, I've made huge progress on the Indian Epics UnTextbook, and I've kept on publishing stories at Ocean of Stories (I finally got started on the jataka part of that project just yesterday), and I've managed to carry on with the Bestiaria Latina faithfully. At Twitter, I'm being really diligent about keeping up with following OU people (but I have not really kept up with anything else), and I've done a good job with the class Twitter stream too. In the blogosphere, I am hopelessly behind, and I have barely been keeping up even with what people are sharing at Google+. Luckily, though, both Twitter and Google+ are very forgiving and starting this week I should be able to get back into the swing of things!

What may save me, though, is this use of the #OpenTeachingOU hashtag. I'm not able to write up a news round-up today (I'm too far behind!), but I can do an #OpenTeachingOU round-up... which is better than nothing ha ha. Meanwhile, you can watch the #OpenTeachingOU feed over here on its own page, thanks to the power of the Inoreader omnifeed: Laura Gibbs - #OpenTeachingOU.

So, in order to write this OpenTeachingOU round-up, all I have to do is scroll through that HTML clippings feed, grab the best items, and add a little context. Even in the midst of chaos, that is something I can manage to do, and I think I've had #OpenTeachingOU stuff every day. I really didn't intend the use of this hashtag for my own housekeeping, but it has sure proved very useful for that. And, thanks to Cody Taylor this weekend, I am hoping that maybe ... maybe ... other OU folks will start using it as well!

Meanwhile, the notes below go back to my very first use of the hashtag. Maybe I'll be able to do bigger/better news round-ups as the semester settles down, but if I can manage to do this in the midst of chaos thanks to the hashtag, that's good enough for now. :-)

OU News:

Thank you, Cody! I was so excited that Cody Taylor used the #OpenTeachingOU hashtag for a post, and very appropriately since it was re: the very generous way in which Katherine Pandora and the DH crew are putting course materials online! (see next item)

Katherine Pandora Digital Humanities Intro. At Twitter, I learned about Katherine Pandora's DH class. Very exciting: course materials, group blogs, student blogs... such a fantastic use of create.ou.edu!

PR Pubs Goes Online! Another other great create.ou.edu experiment I learned about via Twitter is Adam Croom's PR Pubs course. You can read details here in his blog.

David Vishanoff. And via Twitter I learned about David Vishanoff blogging and teaching in the open: yes!!!

OUTechExpo. This is a link to the Twitter stream for OUTechExpo... not much Twitter, but something is better than nothing. Will the Jim Groom magic last? Will it have pulled some people into the world of open? It was Jim's visit to campus that prompted me to start using #OpenTeachingOU...!

Beyond OU:

Dealing with the Blog Flow. Fantastic post from Alan Levine about blog flow management. So fascinating to hear how other people work with this! A note about my blog workflow here and here.

How Interactive is Your Online Course? Self-Assess with this Rubric. Very helpful post from Debbie Morrison.

A shift in education: Teachers who create content, not consume. I learned about this great blog post (interview with Stephen O'Connor) via Twitter.

New Feature at Wikimedia. Helping to raise people's awareness of image sources, licenses, and citations.

21st Century Skills and Attributes
. A nifty self-assessment from Jackie Gerstein.

9 Barriers to Personalized Learning And How We May Work Around Them. Very powerful and useful post from Pernille Ripp.

Modern Learning Routines. Great graphic from Silvia Tolisano via Twitter:



Teaching and Scholarship. I loved this quote from Jesse Stommel at Twitter: The scholarship OF teaching should not be limited to scholarship ABOUT teaching. Teaching is itself scholarly and a product of research.


Teach While You're At It. And on that subject, Stephen Landry has a very nice piece about teaching and research in the Chronicle.


My Blog Posts:

Indian Epics UnTextbook: Table of Contents Emerging. I am going to try to do a better job of documenting the UnTextbook this time around, esp. since I learned a lot from my mistakes with Myth-Folklore UnTextbook last time! :-)


Hashtags for curation: Saved by #OpenTeachingOU. More about this hashtag thing is working for me.

Martin Luther King Day Edition. I spent most of the day on Sunday learning more about Martin Luther King in honor of Martin Luther King Day on Monday... and making quote posters — and I ended up with about 50 of them! My favorite quote: We must always maintain a kind of divine discontent. — Martin Luther King, Jr.


Ten Reasons for Week Zero (a.k.a. Soft Start). Wow, Week Zero seems like forever ago! But here is a blog post about how important it is.



My Google+ Quasi-Blog:

Siren Song of the Deadline. Thoughts on student autonomy, and lack thereof. The ringing of the bell: Pavlov warned us about that, didn't he???!

Indian Epics Overview. I am super-happy with the changes I made to this Overview activity in Indian Epics; results so much better than last semester!

Writing Assessment: Spring 2015. The ritual update from yours truly about how the proofreading assessment went this semester. Very consistent with past semesters and, as always, I am glad to have engaged with the students re: this dimension of the class already in Week 1.


Peer Comments. I'm trying out a new series of assignments to help students develop better commenting skills. So far, so good with the first assignment!

Reading Diaries: Happy Update. I'm really pleased with tweaks to reading diary instructions. Overall, diaries definitely better this time already starting in the first week of reading: more reflection, less plot summary.

UnTextbook Reporting. And the Google Form with student feedback on the UnTextbook is filling up... with the new extra reading option, I should get feedback on a lot more units this semester!

Why I Love My Job. Just one of many great moments thanks to student blog posts... and also here and here.

Helping Students with Blog Post Images. Yes, it is worth getting into the nitty-gritty of details like this students, esp. when they run into problems with broken images as a result of remote linking.

Inoreader Update. I am SO PLEASED with the way Inoreader now updates items. That is a huge help with my students, esp. as they are revising blogs early in the semester in process of learning ins-and-outs of blogging.

Pinterest Experiment. Update on Pinterest experiment: going great!

Reading a Powerpoint Aloud. Extended and very lively discussion erupted at G+ from Stacy Zemke's share of this meme!



Notes from the Twitterverse:

Tweets about Pinterest experimenthereherehere, etc.

Tweets about D2L Twitter widget integration: here, here, here, etc.




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(I have limited this to Google accounts only, but no word verification; meanwhile, if you want to contact me directly, you can do that too! laura-gibbs@ou.edu.)