Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith flickr photo by eatbitter shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Teamwork

This is part of my work in a team working on our TC1014 Fundamentals of Programming course at the Tecnológico de Monterrey and submitted as the stage 2 document.

Principle Characteristics

Implementing CBP moves the focus from learning of concepts to developing skills through practice. Ideally each competency is small enough to give opportunity to display mastery of each separately before moving on to the next competency. Individualized learning through order of completion as well as method of demonstrating mastery are key components for our implementation.

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Looking Back, Objects in the Rear View Mirror

"Looking back" flickr photo by Infomastern https://flickr.com/photos/infomastern/10759800423 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Looking Back

I truly believe that reflection or looking back is an important part of our learning process. Taking time for reflection allows me to connect what I’ve learned in the past with my plans going forward.  I’m reminded again of why I changed the title of my blog to “Connecting is Learning” and will once again give credit to that change to my good friend Laura Goglia who has been a key influencer on my this past year. Follow through her tweet to her post and you can even read my comment on that blog post or you can just go straight to her post “Lessons Learned 2016”.

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Connected and Going Native?

flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Connected Learning

I’m been running a form of connected courses since the January-May 2015 semester here at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. I have this tendency to throw a new power tool into my teaching toolbox every January which has been happening for about five years now.  The list of courses I have setup is growing so much that I’m struggling to keep them maintained (see Alan’s tweet about needing an updater) and really should list all of them somewhere on the landing page for kenscourses.com. You can just find the current semester courses there now, go ahead and tweak the URLs to find the past semester.

I think the tool side has matured and is leaving room for more focus on making actual connections. I want to listen more than I want to be heard and that aligns with so much I’ve been reading, discussing and hearing about lately.

August Focus

So what am I focusing on this semester?

More love.

More love for and in teaching and learning.  Amy Collier spoke so well about this in our Virtually Connecting hallway conversation (joined that day by Stephen Downes). Just last week I had a (in-the-flesh) lunch conversation with my colleague Pille here on campus and we found a connection there that institutions (through fear) want to remove so much personal communication between students and teachers when we know that students (and teachers) need personal connections that allow us to feel the confidence and have the strength to struggle at this thing we call learning which can be so messy.

More Listening.

I’m known locally and in my network as the “flipping guy”. That label is descriptive in some ways but limiting in others (like most labels). For me the key to my flipped classroom is the flipping of responsibility for the learning. I talk less and listen more while guiding my students.  I think I’ve done a good job so far but need to push myself to be sure I am listening to the students that don’t have such a strong voice. This came up in another Virtual Connecting (see a pattern?) hangout which involved our first student participant: Andrew Rikard.

More Openness

I recently discovered the HybridPod podcast and gave all eleven episodes a listen while leaving the feed on my phone for further updates. The latest episode was about the concept of Openness in the context of sexual orientation and I applaud Chris Friend and his guests for being open about how important (and scary) that can be in a classroom environment.

Their discussion led me to consider how my sharing and interaction with my students online and in person needs to come from a context of me showing my own vulnerabilities when confronted with something new, uncomfortable or scary.

Lately I have found myself hanging out online with a group of educators that frankly intimidates me (see Bonnie‘s reply below). This is a new group and I’m the new kid on the block. I don’t know the language (all of my education is in computing science, not education) but I can be aware of my own deficiencies while also being aware of my strengths.

Going Native?

When the pendulum swings from teacher focus to student focus I wonder if my diving to deep into active participation will lead to a danger of going native? We’ll find out as I try to spend more time in the habitats of the Tec student.

flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Thanks for People

Thanks Laura for pushing me to get a post out. You do amazing work (and intimidate the heck out of me) and I appreciate that. I love all the people that go out of their way to spend little moments of their day to help others.

Join the Discussion

Feel free to dive into the comments, reach me on Twitter or write up your own blog post and then share that with us.

 

 

 

 

Teaching Evaluation Comments: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

flickr photo by Cayusa https://flickr.com/photos/cayusa/4969367529 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

All the Things are New

One aspect that I particularly love about my institution where I work is our ability to move quickly and make changes. We had been using the same online system for teaching evaluations for quite a long time (perhaps a decade?) and made a change in format, questions, scale and focus this past year. The instrument actually changed again in January in reaction to the previous semester I assume. I did not play a role in the design of the instrument but did give my feedback on early versions before it was released. As always, the comments are the most important section of teaching evaluations.

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Stimulating Innovation from Below. Engage Your Faculty.

Conference Keynote Presentation

Title Slide from Presentation

I am presenting my keynote by the title of “Stimulating Innovation from Below. Engage Your Faculty.” today at this conference (I won’t translate it):

Primer Congreso Internacional, “La Universidad Pública del Siglo XXI, formando ciudadanos del mundo”.

Thank you to the organizers for the invitation, it was a splendid three days networking and learning from other educators.

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Lider Disciplina

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Applying for a national level position

flickr photo by stanlupo (Thanks for 1,000,000 Views) http://flickr.com/photos/45340210@N05/11611067634 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license
flickr photo by stanlupo (Thanks for 1,000,000 Views) http://flickr.com/photos/45340210@N05/11611067634 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.

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Inspirational Professor 2014

flickr photo by TomJByrne http://flickr.com/photos/tomasjbyrne/3547213930 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

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 http://flickr.com/photos/tomasjbyrne/3547213930 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license
flickr photo by TomJByrne http://flickr.com/photos/tomasjbyrne/3547213930 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.

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A New Semester, A New Year

Click on image for source.

A New Hope Start

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

Tomorrow we start another semester and a new year. I am looking forward to another year full of challenges and meeting new students.

Connect All The Things

I moved my course out of my Learning Management System and onto a a site of its own site influenced by the Connected Course setup. I am so glad to have found the work of Jim Groom (@jimgroom) and the rest of the folks in this area. Check out the great example of a connected course at the DS106 site.

Thanks

Another big shoutout to Brian Bennett (@bennettscience) for pointing me in the right direction, to Brian Lamb (@brlamb) for answering my questions on Twitter and an extra big internet hug to Alan Levine (@cogdog) for his helpful blog post series on the plumbing of a connected course. I probably could have done this without them but they all made this so much easier and fun because we are all #betterTogether on the internet.

Remembering Kristen Nygaard

Dahl and Nygaard

Remembering Pioneers

I find myself in Vancouver at SIGGRAPH 2014. This was the same location of my first conference back at OOPSLA 1992. I was still an undergraduate student in Computer Science at the University of Victoria, Bjorn Freeman-Benson was my professor of a topic course in Object-Oriented Programming and had invited us to be volunteers at some conference in Vancouver.  Little did I know that this would lead to me volunteering with OOPSLA, SIGPLAN and the ACM from 1994 through 2007 as a member of the conference organizing committee.

Strange how one small event leads to so much in life. I could write volumes about how OOPSLA has impacted mine.

Simula 67

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