Lider Disciplina

Applying for a national level position

flickr photo by stanlupo (Thanks for 1,000,000 Views) shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license
flickr photo by stanlupo (Thanks for 1,000,000 Views) shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

The Tecnológico de Monterrey put out a call for applications for national level coordinators for five distinct areas of study. This is my application letter for one of those positions. The deadline for applying is today (May 25, 2015) and the published date for notification is June 15, 2015.

I really believe this is an excellent opportunity for the Tecnológico de Monterrey to engage their faculty across all of our campuses to enable the #unSoloTec ideal.

Continue reading Lider Disciplina

Inspirational Professor 2014

A Year of Inspiration

Update: I did not win the prize but I win by having the support of great colleagues and students with whom I work everyday.

Thank you for all of the support from my colleagues.
Thank you for all of the support from my colleagues.

A note about this post

This is a slightly modified version of the letter I wrote to apply for an award for “Inspirational Professor”.  I’ve done some reformatting for the blog format but the content is the same as what I sent to the awards committee.

How I created more impact on students by paying more attention to teachers.

flickr photo by TomJByrne shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license
flickr photo by TomJByrne shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

I wish to leave the main petition for my application as an inspirational professor in the words (and hands) of my colleagues that I worked with over the past years and in particular for the purposes of this award in 2014. You will find letters of recommendation from my colleagues in the folder labeled professors. Some of these are professors from Campus Guadalajara, others are professors from other campuses or staff working in support of educational innovation at the Tecnológico de Monterrey.  A colleague from outside of our system also sent a short note which I choose to include since it shows the impact my writing and sharing has on educators and students globally.  I implore you to read those letters since there is no better way to show support for my inspiring of teachers than from the hand of those teachers themselves.

Note that these letters referenced above are not linked here since I didn’t request permission to publish those. If I do get permission, I will include those here too.

Nevertheless, I should leave a list here of my accomplishments during the calendar year 2014. Much of this can be gleaned from my curriculum vitae (long and short versions included in my submission) but those documents tend to be cold without leaving intent or a story with it. More of the story can be found in my twenty six blog posts in 2014.  Much of my preparation of this letter was aided by a review of those posts. Most are academic in nature and related to my work in education but a few of those posts may be related to general life. Feel free to skip the ones that do not interest you.

Continue reading Inspirational Professor 2014

Why Blog?

Note: this is an excerpt (my portion with slight edits) of a post originally at

Blogging with WordPress

creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by Kristina B:
creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by Kristina B:

Yesterday I presented about WordPress as well as why and how our faculty and staff could use it.

If anyone would like to create a blog on campus, contact Ken who is administering our local installation of WordPress. You can contact Ken for the technical as well as creative/content sides of blogging via email at requesting your blog (if you are the self-learning type) or make an appointment to spend 30 minutes with Ken so he can sit down with you in person and help you get started. You can make an appointment using Ken’s appointment system.

Continue reading Why Blog?

My Planning Process

Constant Iteration

My method of planning is very much based off a constant iteration process. I’ve been teaching delivering classes for 20 years now in mostly the same location so I have the luxury of those experiences (and contact with colleagues) to pull from.

So I iterate each semester. I use what worked the past semester and throw out (or re-tool) what did not. Each end of semester whether summer or Christmas is a reflecting time for me.

Pick One (or two) Changes

This picture has nothing to do with planning, I just love the bunny. Original @ Flickr
This picture has nothing to do with planning, I just love the bunny. Original @ Flickr

I often make a large change each year and sometimes even each semester. Last January I switched to full-on flipped master (see post here),  and this year I made a massive switch to fully open content in the style of a #connectedCourse (see blog post here).

Learn from Others

I am the teacher #facilitatorOfLearningExperiences that I am from working and talking with so many colleagues in my institution as well as the large internet (thank you Twitter). The time I spend on networking with other teachers is more important than time spent looking for yet-another-assignment.

Find people that interest you or that will at least listen and answer your questions on teaching. Don’t be shy, get out there and blog/tweet/network.

How do you Plan?

Your turn, what is your planning process?

Using Twitter with my Students

Communication is Key

I am a big believer in the Flipped Classroom and the focus on “the best use of classroom time” as Jon Bergmann (and many others) describes it.

For my classes and in particular my style of working with my students I find that the time outside of the classroom is equally important. The issue becomes how to keep connected with each other outside.

I’ve used many tools for this over the past 20 years or so:

On to Twitter

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak:
creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak:

I want the ability for my students to express their ideas and calls for help to the entire class (and course since I usually teach multiple groups) as well as the world at large.

We use a hashtag (#TC1014 and #TC1017 for the courses this semester) to communicate about the class. Students often send me direct messages (DMs) as well but I am trying to encourage them to be more open.

Is it Working?

I tried this in previous semesters and it did not “stick”. I think the reason is that I offered other options like the course LMS and a Facebook group for each course. Now this is the main option and (some) students are using it.

Here is one example, note the communication using images (screenshots) as well as the time stamps here. I can’t be sure but some other students might have learned from this conversation and I used this example of communication in class time to stress the importance of:

  • Asking for help is okay.
  • Asking in public increases the chances that others will answer.
  • Showing details (screenshots or links to code) is important.

Permission before Posting

By-the-way, I asked Samir if I could post this conversation.

How are you using Twitter?

Your turn now. Is Twitter useful for you with your students or in your professional practice as an educator? Let us know in the comments.


feature image is creative commons licensed (BY-2.0) flickr photo by marek.sotak

FlipCon15 – Engaging Busy Educators

feature image is creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog


Engaging Busy Educators With Flipped PD


I have recently been leading educators in professional development at my private university. Our campus is one campus in a university system composed of 32 campuses with approximately 8000 faculty and over 100,000 students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate level. Much of our faculty training is top-down and difficult to navigate.

Ken's name badge at our retreat.
I customized my badge with keywords and the title I want on my business cards.

Over the past two years I have been planting my own style of courses to my colleagues. At first I offered local courses based on requests of my colleagues and have expanded my offer to purely online courses in an asynchronous format while keeping the social element high to foster engagement.

In this session, I plan to share my experiences as well as show feedback from my colleagues on my PD style.


Please watch the videos and include in the survey (see below) form your comments or questions about the experiences of teachers in my 2014 versions of a 5 week course giving an introduction to Flipped Classroom.  Some videos may be in Spanish, feel free to skip through and watch whichever videos you like.

Current 2015 Course

Please review the current course (implemented in a Connected Courses format) and include in the survey (see below) form your comments or questions about this approach to PD

Link to current course here (Flipped Learning Open Course).

creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog:
creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog:

Much of this work is my following the great work of Alan Levine, Brian Lamb, Jim Groom and many others in the Connected Courses community.
This image was during recording of one of their videos for Brian and Alan’s “The You Show” course.


Please fill out the survey if you plan to attend (or even if you don’t) my session at FlipCon15.

FlipCon15 – Sharing, Caring and Mastery

Creating a Culture of Sharing, Caring and Mastery


My goal as a facilitator of educational experiences is focused on creating a sharing culture where students not only take responsibility for their own educational pace but also contribute to the learning of their peers. The first half of this session is sharing the technology and techniques I use to foster this environment inside and outside of my classroom.P1170047

I view my main task as getting my students excited about learning computing science to increase their chances of a successful student and professional life. I still need to create formative and summative assessments to ensure they are prepared for the courses that follow. I use common tools as well as my own custom testing platform for in my courses. In the second half of this session, I will share those tools and experiences with the audience. The tools I use could be easily adapted to all levels and topics.


Please watch the videos and include in the survey (see below) form your comments or questions about my students’ experiences with a Flipped Mastery classroom.


Please fill out the survey if you plan to attend (or even if you don’t) my session at FlipCon15.


More tools in the Toolbox

feature image is creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by chuckoutrearseats:

My Classroom

I am a transplanted Canadian that has been living and teaching in Zapopan, Jalisco, México for most of the past twenty years at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara.

I have always focused on giving my students broad learning around the content of the course in question as well as pushing them to be active and visible in their academic and social pursuits.

Flipped Learning

Three years ago I was introduce to Flipped Classroom and jumped on that bandwagon not so much to change my classroom but because I felt that this “way of teaching” validated how I already ran my  classrooms. The most important part of Flipped Learning for me is the community of educators that I follow and how we can help each other become better at our craft of guiding our students on their learning journeys.

creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by chuckoutrearseats:
creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by chuckoutrearseats:

Lately I’ve been leading colleagues in their discovery of Flipped Learning as one of many tools in their educator toolbox.

I’m currently offering a course on Flipped Learning in a connected courses format. In the past (and future) I gave courses on blogging with WordPress, tools for formative assessment, tools for writing research (LaTeX, bibliography management), software development and collaboration.

Connected Courses

Click on image for source.
Click on image for source.

This leads me to my finding of the connected courses community.  As usual I latched onto the ideas of others since I have no problem standing on the shoulders of giants. So my courses have been moved to a connected course  system.  I happen to be a practicing systems administrator (LAMP in general) so I let to get “under the hood” and control the environment my way.

Why I am Here?

I love expanding my circle of friends and colleagues and especially with those working in domains that I don’t encounter everyday. I hope to share my ideas as well as gain from the ideas of others.  Currently I am looking to push my research forward in the area of education (I am a Computer Scientist formally) and am struggling at how to get that area of research kicked off.


Visit my Flipped Classroom

Digital Learning Day 2015

Flexible EnvironmentOn Friday March 13th, 2015 many teachers will open their classrooms to show the public what their flipped classroom looks like. You can find more information at the Flipped Learning Network website. I plan to open my class at 2:30pm – 3:45pm as well as offer a information session following that class at 4pm. The direct form to sign up to see my class is here.

This is at the Guadalajara Campus of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. Please arrange to visit ahead of time so we ensure you can enter the campus and have information at the security gate of why you will enter the campus. The session locations are as follows:

  • 2:30pm-3:45pm Open Class in room 1402 (building 1, 4th/top floor, room 2)
  • 4pm-5:15pm “Aula Invertida”(slides here) in room 1405, right down the hall from the other session.

Feel free to attend both, only one or contact me for future information about sessions, courses and talks about Flipped Learning

Video about the Sessions

Come see how this works


My entire course as well as the submissions of my students are online for you to view at this website: Courses by Ken. This course (syllabus here) is an introductory course in computer programming at the undergraduate level for non-computing engineering majors. The website linked is used for both courses.  The course TC1017 (Solutions to Problems with Programming with C++) is the one that I will be showing on Friday the 13th; the other course is TC1014 (Fundamentals of Programming with Python) is the equivalent course for computing program majors.

What will you see

This class meets twice per week over the 16 week semester. At the beginning of each week I record a video for the classes (usually the same video is for both variations of the course since the content is very similar). You can see the collection of videos for this course on my YouTube list for them

To be honest, every day in my classroom varies depending on the needs of the students at that time. The students are in between our exam periods so should be in the “normal pace” of activities which include:

  1. working on a sequence of activities that I loosely format based on what Crystal Kirch‘s WSQ assignments.  There is an average of one of these per week during our 16 week semester.
  2. choosing with mastery topics they are able to meet as well as to which level (on an OSU – Outstanding/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory scale) they will show mastery. There are 30 mastery topics they need to meet for mastery of the course content.
  3. taking formative assessment activities which can be in class quizzes using a platform such as Socrative or Kahoot! or a quiz they can do on their own time (and multiple times).
  4. perhaps working on the project (in pairs) that is due at the end of the semester.

Since my style of a mastery based classroom puts the deadlines on the activities #1,#2,#4 above are all  on the last day of class May 6th, many students are at different levels. This is intentional. I have a varied range of prior experience in computing with my groups since some have 10+ years of programming experience before arriving and many others have close to no prior experience.

I start the class with a pep talk about what to be working on as well as addressing any common questions and then spend most of the time in the classroom working with individual students or small groups.

Are you Curious?

creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog:
creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog:

Please come visit this course or contact me to arrange to talk about my implementation of Flipped Learning, I am always eager to discuss my work with others. You can also see what we are doing in my Open Course on Flipped Learning which is currently running and I plan to offer it again starting in May 2015.