Zen & the art of unsubscribing

I’ve made a concerted effort over the past 2 months to actively unsubscribe from email notifications. It’s taken a surprising amount of effort, but I think I’m getting there.

Guess what? I don’t feel like I’m missing out on any last minute deals that I don’t care about, or breaking news about product updates for tools I don’t actually use, or instant notifications when someone I don’t know likes a post I commented on over a year ago.

The unsubscribed way of life may not be for everyone, but if you find you’re complaining about how busy you are and posting updates about how many unread emails you have in your inbox after a vacation, give unsubscribing a try. You might be surprised with the results.

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This boy has a new (‘nother) blog

Howdy.

To kick-off my journey back into academe as a student, I’ve created a new site. I’ll use it to document and share research and activities related to my Masters of Arts program. It’s partially a blog, partially a journal, partially whatever you want it to be.

kyle's masters

So far, so good. Have a visit, if you’re interested. Follow along, if you’d like.

kylemackiemasters.wordpress.com

This site will still continue to see some action.

Yes, the iPad *will* transform education

…but not in the way you think it might.

There’s been a bunch of chatter about how Apple’s iPad might “transform” education. Here’s a couple posts to that effect:

THEY’RE ALL MISSING THE POINT.

An article in THE Journal, Measuring the iPad’s Potential for Education discusses iPad’s potential as a new publishing and development platform. The fact that it has it’s own software development kit will help to make it impactful in education, creating a new platform for educational apps to come to the market.

iPad on Tanmay's jeans

cc: flickr.com/photos/neuralchaos

BUT, the *real* change, in my opinion, is that (to use Steve Job’s words), the iPad is a “post-PC device”. By design, it extracts/elevates itself from the world of personal computing into *something different*. It changes the game in terms of how users (students) interact with it, how they access content and communicate with each other. You do not need to know how to use a computer in order to use an iPad, and that’s the point. Love it or hate it, it’s revolutionary. It’s changing the way that people use computers. It’s changing the way people learn.

This can be quite liberating. If an instructor or student doesn’t have to worry about how their device works (provided that it does work), maybe we can get on with what’s really important – teaching and learning.

A picture paints a thousands words, and all that

These images from visualizing.org:

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One of the nice things about data is that you can make graphs out of it. A good visualization can help tell your story. It can also help you cover-up some lies, but we won’t get into that right now. Add some graphics, colours, lots of lines and a quirky element or two and you’ve got it made. Your visualizations will go viral before you know it.

Envisioning 2020

TEDxGuelphU

This year’s TEDxGuelphU conference, envision 2020, will convene leading thinkers and doers of the community:

This is the second TEDxGuelphU, a student run initiative at the University. Props to this year’s organizing team for putting together an awesome event. Tickets for the live audience are sold out. The event will be livestreamed on on the TEDxGuelphU homepage.

MOOC?! WTF?!

Excellent summary from @davecormier. We’ll need to know about this, for later discussion:

You can choose what you do, how you participate and only you can tell in the end if you’ve been successful. Just like real life.”

Master of Karaoke?

Karaoke Star!

cc: flickr.com/photos/derekgavey

From the “Research Interests” section of my application package:

“My course work will focus on media, technology and literacy. The proposal for my research project is to focus on media-enhanced presentation styles that encourage improvisation and participation. Specifically, I will be examining PechaKucha, Ignite, PowerPoint Karaoke, and Battle Decks events. My final project will explore how these presentation styles can contribute to meaning-making and community building in an educational setting.

My research will focus on these presentation styles as a new type of literary form; a digital, participatory, fluid and multi-modal script. Through an examination of these presentation formats, I’ll discuss how the enforced structure of these styles affects the information presented, suggesting that the rules demand a creative and intentional approach to meaning-making. I will look at ways in which this enhanced script creates a new performative experience, establishing new relationships between the presenter, audience members and external online participants who are contributing to the discourse during the presentation. I will explore the interplay between the live events and the online commentary, examining how the boundaries blur between the "real" presentation and the "backchannel" conversation, and how this interplay can serve to enhance or distract from the intended meaning of the performance.

My research will draw from and advance the work done by Guelph’s Media Education Project and the international Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice research project. I will be working with educators to explore how these presentation styles can be incorporated into course delivery and student assessment.  Together with these educators, I will explore the new literacies necessary for students to be able to effectively participate in and learn from these new presentation styles.  Beyond the context of the University, I will build partnerships with the technology and arts community and community-based organizations, with the goal of creating a community engaged approach to this scholarship.”

@barrydahl put it well: “Cool – you’re going to get a degree in PechaKucha and Karaoke. I’m looking for a program in slot car racing and ping pong.”

I’ll show him!