the red pincushion

musings on learning, living, and sometimes dancing

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Where the dance takes you

Last weekend I celebrated three years of teaching Jazzercise. Three years. Wow. It is roughly the same amount of time I’ve been living in California and working at Stanford. Moving here was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done—we were nearly broke, separated as a family for 8 months, and we struggled to settle in to…

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Mess & not-yetness at #et4online

I returned from #et4online last week with a happy heart and a whirligig brain. I learned a lot, and will be reflecting on those things over the next weeks, but I wanted to start by reflecting on how not-yetness came into my #et4online experience. After Jen Ross and I gave a plenary talk on “Mess in Online Education”…

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Not-yetness: Examples

Wow, thanks for all of the responses to my first not-yetness post. I love to hear your thoughts and questions about not-yetness so please keep them coming (it’s helpful if you use a #notyetness hashtag). In the meantime, you should read the following posts from colleagues: Alyson Indrunas (@AlysonIndrunas), NotYetness, Invention, and the Dream/Reality Whiteboard…

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sunrise over Edinburgh
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Not-yetness

I have done several talks lately about the idea of not-yetness. It’s an idea that Jen Ross (University of Edinburgh) and I first wrote about in our chapter, Complexity, mess, and not-yetness: Teaching online with emerging technologies, to be published in the forthcoming second edition of Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. In the first edition of the…

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picture of my son drinking butter beer
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Around the world & gluten free: England, Scotland, France

I am starting a series of posts—don’t worry, they’ll be sporadic at best—about my gluten free adventures as I travel to different places around the world. I decided to do this because I have benefitted tremendously from various articles on gluten free travel. I hope some people will find these posts useful. If not, move along. I…

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This time, Reviewer 1

Rejected. A paper George Veletsianos, Emily Schneider, and I wrote was rejected from a journal a few months ago. I’m still pretty grumpy about it. What irks me was that the paper was well-received by one of the reviewers, but the Reviewer 1 was having none of it. And it was this person’s review (and the journal editor) that…

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Unbundling: Resources from my trip to Edinburgh (and other places!)

After 10 days in Europe (London, Paris, Edinburgh), we are preparing to head home tomorrow. My mind swirls with reflections and memories—experiences I will never forget and new colleagues/friends whose warm welcome helped fill this trip with joy. I learned so much on my first trip to Europe (e.g., how to travel internationally with a 5-year-old,…

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Celebrating Care

I’m going to put on my family scientist hat for a few minutes to talk about Mother’s Day. Last year, I read this thoughtful article by my favorite writer, Anne Lamott, called Why I Hate Mother’s Day. She starts, “I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of…

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Courage to Dance

This month, I am celebrating two years of teaching Jazzercise. It has been two years of learning new routines, finding my voice and presence on stage, lots of oops-es and blunders and complete loss of functional memory, one tumble (twisted my ankle on a relevé), and tons of smiles, hugs, and greetings. Two years of learning clients’ stories, what…

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Building the “new data science of learning” – #eli2014 reflections

I’ve heard this phrase over and over in the last few months…”we are building the new data science of learning.” It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? The possibility of exploring emerging digital learning environments, with data points at scales that make education researchers’ eyes light up, and using all of this to inform and account for…

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Help us understand learner experiences in MOOCs and open online courses

An invitation from George Veletsianos (Royal Roads University) and Amy Collier (Stanford University): We are conducting a study to understand students’ experiences in Open Online Courses and MOOCs. We are interested in talking with individuals who enrolled and participated in open courses for at least 3 weeks. Participation to this study is completely voluntary and…

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Theory As Liberatory Practice (hooks informs the discussion)

A lot of people are talking about the absence of theory in MOOCs and MOOC research. Here are some posts from a few of my favorite people about this topic: Bonnie Stewart, The post-MOOC-hype landscape: What’s really next? Mike Caulfield, Short notes on the absence of theory Martin Weller, The iceland of Dallas Mike Feldstein,…

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Five

one breath, our breath the moment i met you your breath became our breath my chest tightening as you exhaled opening as you drew life back in. you cried one breath, our breath my throat burned and my eyes blurred never had I felt a pain so deeply. we gasped one breath, our breath eyes…

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Please vote for our SXSW Edu panel!

Hey, do articles like this make you grumpy? Online Education Start-up Gets an F from University Or this? Why Education Start-ups are Doomed to Fail Or blog posts like this? The Knack, a web app, story If you answered yes, please vote for our SxSW Edu panel. Do it now, I’ll wait. My good friend…

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A tale of two TEDs

I will start with a disclaimer: I fully realize how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event. I feel honored, mostly unworthy, and very rewarded to have spoken at TEDxStanford. Most days, I am just horrified by my presentation, wishing I hadn’t done it, or wishing I had…

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What happens in distributed flips? Investigating students’ interactions with MOOC videos and forums (re-post from VPOL blog)

This article was originally written for and posted on the Stanford Online Signal blog  Last month, Mike Caulfield and I introduced the term “distributed flip”, in an attempt to call attention to the emerging trend of flipping a course by making use of MOOC content (often “live” MOOC content) and activities. We both believe pretty…

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Jazzercise and empathy: Reflections on my first year of teaching

I stood by the back counter at my Jazzercise center on Sunday morning, saying goodbye to each customer by name. I work hard to know customers’ names, and to talk to each one before and after class. I’ve been teaching Jazzercise for a year (today is my one-year anniversary!) and it has added a joy-filled…

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#unET4Online: the (f)unconference success continues at #et4online

I just returned from a week in Las Vegas at the Sloan-C Emerging Technologies for Online Learning conference. Wow, what a lovely and useful conference. The main reason this conference was so useful?… …the Unconference. (I know this is no surprise, since I’ve been pretty clear about my love for unconferences) Held in the Sunset…

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Bloggity blog

Happy Friday, everyone! I just wanted to briefly share a new resource from my office at Stanford. It’s a blog, called Signal: Thoughts on Online Learning, and it’s where the VPOL pedagogy team will be posting resources, research, and rantings. I hope you will follow our blog and contribute your thoughts to the discussion. And…

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Alternately titled: “Online learning has been around since before you were born”

Last night, our EDUC 338x class did a deeper dive into the history of online learning leading up to MOOCs. One of the teaching team’s goals for this class is to help students take a wider lens to the landscape of online learning and critically evaluate new research and media on the topic. To prepare…

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