Just trying to be a viable node in the network of life

A challenge to the #thoughtvectors and #ds106 communities

07.14.14 Posted in thoughtvectors, VCU by

I have been waiting to reveal the video below for a while. I don’t remember exactly how we got here, but I know it’s the result of working with wonderfully zany and creative people. Shortly after we knew we would be teaching an open online course about research writing, which naturally includes helping students understand logic and […]


Research and writing in the digital age: A #thoughtvectors Hangout and Twitter backchannel

07.09.14 Posted in MOOC, Online Learning, thoughtvectors by

Today, as part of the #thoughtvectors course, we held a Google+ Hangout with a couple of our awesome VCU librarians. We discussed some key concepts around the inquiry project, where students will be demonstrating their understanding of research and writing in the digital age. I post this mostly for students and other participants, but I […]


On why I didn’t invite my students to a #BlogParty

07.02.14 Posted in Social Media, thoughtvectors by

Each of the 6 instructors in our UNIV200 digital engagement pilot (aka Inquiry and the Craft of Argument, aka Living the Dreams: Digital Investigations and Unfettered Minds, aka #thoughtvectors…) is leading students through the learning experience a little bit differently. There are some core elements of the design of the course that are constant across […]


Digital Investigations (and inquiry projects): The Gold Standard(s)?

06.17.14 Posted in MOOC, thoughtvectors, VCU by

For all stduents in UNIV200 at VCU, the culminating experience is an inquiry project. Given that the course is a “research writing” course, you can surmise that an inquiry project is, essentially, a project that involves research and writing. Typically, and not surprisingly, that means students write a research paper. As I understand it, there […]


“As we may think”: Vannevar Bush meet Stephen Wolfram

06.12.14 Posted in Technology, thoughtvectors by

In As We May Think, from 1945, Vannevar Bush wrote: Logic can become enormously difficult, and it would undoubtedly be well to produce more assurance in its use. The machines for higher analysis have usually been equation solvers. Ideas are beginning to appear for equation transformers, which will rearrange the relationship expressed by an equation […]


What I feel like when I think

06.09.14 Posted in thoughtvectors by

When I think, I feel… like this.   And like this…   And I feel worried about being this  


Team Oneder

06.04.14 Posted in thoughtvectors by

This is mostly a message to the VCU students in Section 010 of UNIV200 this summer. But, it’s here for anyone to read. I suppose, in that way, I’m modeling writing and learning “out loud.”1 We’ll be doing that together this summer. So, to my students who don’t yet know me, welcome! Welcome to what […]


Our Online Course Development Initiative (OCDI)

05.18.14 Posted in Online Learning, Open, VCU by

Remember that commercial? It ends with Sy Sperling saying, “Remember, I’m not only the Hair Club President, but I’m also a client.” Tomorrow, our Online Course Development Initiative (OCDI) begins in earnest. After asking the participants to engage in some pre-Institute activities, the week-long, face-to-face Institute will unfold over the course of this coming week. […]


Community matters

05.02.14 Posted in MOOC, Online Learning by

Remember when MOOCs, very specifically those offered through Coursera, Udacity, and edX (the so-called “xMOOCs”) were going to destroy higher education as we know it? Well, a funny thing happened… Turns out fancy content delivery platforms don’t get the job done. Who knew? From the article linked above, which reports on a new study about […]


The LMS qua training wheels

04.09.14 Posted in Online Learning, Technology by

Here’s a recap of a three tweet conversation exchange today. It started with a live tweet by Jesse Stommel of Jim Groom’s presentation at #et4online. Derek Bruff responded with a very fair question, and I responded as you see below… I believe I was moved to respond that way, in part, because just the day […]