If Trump Led Our Public Universities…

Red wall iconLet’s build a wall in education.

No-one can be admitted unless they meet our carefully crafted requirements.

The ones who don’t get through we will make pay for it.

That way we can only admit the people who are like us so that we can make more and more of us and trample out the masses.

…or let’s not.

Bridge icon

Instead, we will build bridges for the brilliant and beautiful public.

We will work toward setting them up for success so that they can learn from us and we from them.

Sure, it will be messy work and hard work, but it is our job as a public university. It is what we are payed to do by the public we serve. We will likely even have to actually pay for the bridge construction.

But which kind of learning organizations do you think will make a better world?

Ones with walls? Or ones with bridges?

These are the questions we face in our organizations.

Spartan helmetI am proud of being part of a public university reputedly building bridges. #SpartansWill

Truly and astonishingly, these are the questions we face in our world, today.

(I probably goes without saying, but anything I post on my blog having anything to do with politics or opinions in general are not and should not be considered a representation of any organization I work for, but are my own alone). 

LearnDAT Farewell Post

Together, each member of the LearnDAT team makes up an amazing pool of talent, creativity, knowledge, skill and experience in the field of distance education.

LearnDAT Holloween Party 2012
LearnDAT Halloween Party 2012

For over the past year, I have had the privilege of working with the incredibly talented instructional and educational media designers at LearnDAT (this is a picture of some of us at our 2012 halloween party). Together, each member of the LearnDAT team makes up an amazing pool of talent, creativity, knowledge, skill and experience in the field of distance education. I will miss them very much.

Friday is my last day in LearnDAT as I have accepted a new instructional design position at Jackson Community College. I look forward to venturing into this new role that is closer to home and plan to stay in touch with my colleagues here at Michigan State. Thank you, for everything!

The team assembled here is so innovative, creative, collaborative and effective. Since being here I have learned so much from each person. There is a rich history here and notoriety not only in the MSU community, but in the field of instructional design and instructional technology in general. It makes me incredibly proud to have been able to contribute to a handful of the ongoing great things going on here.

Web Equation

A tool I found for writing out equations and getting results.


20, Math, Openofficeorg icon | Icon Search Engine | Iconfinder http://goo.gl/nI3mn
I want to share this tool I came across the other day that allows you to write out your math equations, calculations, or chemical formulas and instantly get the MathML, LaTex, WolframAlpha, or SymbolTree goods translated.

I haven’t yet tried it to see how it works on an iPad, but it seems like it would really be a nice tool for STEM faculty who use tablets? Thoughts?

Here it is. It is the tool on the lower left called “Web Equation”.

Google, are you losing me?

Google, are you losing me?

In the past couple weeks, I learned that Google Reader is going away and nearly cried.

After pulling myself together, I discovered that Feedly has been so much better all along and I have actually been missing out on an even better blog connection experience.

Today, I learned about Google Keep which really peaked my interest due to my near obsession with task lists. I am sorry to report that I am currently not impressed. No reordering? No connection to google calendar? Tasks don’t disappear when checked off? The search doesn’t seem to work? How was this even released without things like this addressed?

Google, are you losing me?

I hope not.

LearnDash – Could WordPress be a viable LMS?

So, I have always wondered about who might build a learning management component onto the existing WordPress platform.

LearnDASH LogoAbout five years ago, I had some kind friends help me to see the benefits of using WordPress as a platform for blogging and web design. I continue to find the interface of WordPress to be intuitive compared to other content management systems. The powerful plugins are also robust with an active developer community.

So, I have always wondered about who might build a learning management component onto the existing WordPress platform. There are many faculty who use it in their courses as a way to provide content to their students outside of a learning management system. In doing so, they also sacrifice native tools geared for learning like quizzes, discussion forums, and gradebook functions. This is why I have been recently really interested to hear about what has been developing over at LearnDash.

Besides having a great name similar to another one that I know, the LearnDash plugin is soon to be launching an LMS solution within WordPress. I am really eager to explore the course creation process, quiz creation process, certificate completion options, course scheduling features, user management integration with existing LMSs, learning analytics package, and even media hosting options.

What about you? Would you be interested in using LearnDash with any of your courses? What interests you about LearnDash? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Interview of Carrie on Google Presentation Collaboration with Students

I had a great conversation today about using Google Presentations for collaborative learning with Carrie Heeter and Keesa Muhammad from LearnDAT.

I had a great conversation today about using Google Presentations for collaborative learning with Carrie Heeter and Keesa Muhammad from LearnDAT. Check it out:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l14KQzwO50]

 

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”document/pub” query=”id=18YYM0EB2TmYpkBL1fCfSrOhTADcS9QNsIAY38_rbVXM&embedded=true” width=”700″ height=”394″ /]

Field Trip to Menlo

Remember field trips? What ever happened to those?

Remember field trips? What ever happened to those?

Well, I am glad to report that yesterday, LearnDAT team members and some others from IT Services here at Michigan State University took part in one.

Sure, we didn’t ride in a big yellow bus and I am pretty sure none of us had to have permission forms filled out, but it sure felt like an authentic field trip none-the-less.

You see, we had the privilege of visiting our friends over at Menlo Innovations today. Richard Sheridan, CEO, founder, and chief story-teller at Menlo gave us a tour of their facilities, practices and philosophies. He began by explaining how the entire vision is premised upon building a culture of joy. Immediately, one of the attendants asked, “Did you say ‘joy’?”

Richard then went on to explain that he did, indeed, say “joy” despite Menlo being a software innovation company. The surprise at the word joy in the context of the software industry is not uncommon, but Menlo is simply not a common place. That is what makes Menlo a constant revolving door for tourists like us who have gotten wind of some amazing things happening there.

Not many places can claim that their primary tool for project management is 3×5 cards, and especially a place that builds software solutions.

Other notable culture shock experiences during the tour included the wide open floor plan, the 40 hour work-week (with no overtime or limits of when employees are “allowed” to take vacation), and seeing bikes, pets, and children all around the room. The culture of transparency and trust breeds some fascinating results that made for a very interesting tour, to say the least.

According to Sheridan, the issues and difficulties they experience as an organization are not much different than what any organization experiences except for the way in which they handle them. In fact, one of the quotes seen right on the wall stated, “make mistakes faster.” Menlo intentionally identifies managerial practices based upon fear-tactics and eradicates them so that trust is built with clients and the Menlo team alike.

As Sheridan and his team continue to demonstrate leadership and innovation, you might consider joining one of their tours. See what kinds of things you could learn and conversations that could be started as a result. I know that we are glad we did. In fact, they could take the whole field of design and technology for a trip if you ask me.

See photos from our field trip on our Facebook page

speech | grandpa’s funeral :: 2012

This was a list of iconic items that will forever remind me of my legendary grandfather, Robert David Goodrich…

This was a list of iconic items that will forever remind me of my legendary grandfather, Robert David Goodrich:

bb guns
baseball games
bus garage chats
blue spruce fields
froggin ponds
robbie the robin

early morning prayer
grandparents day
huge wheat cereal
allegan country roads
campgrounds
hiking trails

dollar bills in a birthday card
the smell of fish
funny songs that no-body knows
put er’ there and letting us win
a love note in a bible
a Christmas speech

a charge
to love
the women in our lives

grandpa,

you lived a life worth remembering
a life filled with deep hardships and pain
and a life filled with love and redemption
experienced even deeper as a result

in fact, I am convinced that your experiences
shaped you into being the man you became
a man who cared for and talked to anyone and everyone
with laughter and genuine concern for eternal wellbeing

we honor you today
as we remember and celebrate you
knowing full well, that without you,
none of us would be here in this moment now

Wasteful Fear

This is a song I wrote to any preacher of the status quo or of a viewpoint that is closed minded & ignorant. It is a call to a better voice.

This is a song I wrote to any preacher of the status quo or of a viewpoint that is closed minded & ignorant. It is a call to a better use of their voice.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQnk_5clrSA]

Optimize Your Information Technology and Opportunity

Levy (2010) does such a beautifully articulate job of describing an organizational shift from grasping for enabling technologies to now optimization of so many technologies that are at our fingertips.

network connection manager iconLevy (2010) does such a beautifully articulate job of describing an organizational shift from grasping for enabling technologies to now optimization of so many technologies that are at our fingertips.

This technological optimization can help us more intelligently manage our time and assist us with prioritizing what to pay attention to. It also can help us evaluate which opportunities will be most worth our time.

This is critical in an age where both information and opportunity flood our landscapes.

Ellen Levy – Tungle Manifesto – YouTube.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7zdotm0TRM&w=425&h=350]