flickr photo by TomJByrne 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 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.

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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.


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.

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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Professional Development

Flipped Professional Development

This week I started a course on Flipped Learning for about 70 teachers in the RZO (Rectoria Zona Occidente) as part of their professional development program. This course is given online in a format that is an experiment for myself and the teachers in the course.

I’ve never done a course like this and this is the first time that I am teaching to people that I can’t reach out and physically touch in the classroom. There are in fact two colleagues from Campus Guadalajara in the course so I have some direct feedback which I think will help me.

My Fears

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Flipped Mastery Classes

I’m finishing up my 4th semester of applying a flipped classroom and with some encouragement from my peers I decided to “take it to the next level” this semester. Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams call this the Flipped Mastery Method.

This semester my classes have a list of topics that each student needs to demonstrate their mastery in. The format for showing their mastery is completely open and graded on an OSU (Outstanding, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory) scale.

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