Saturday, 27 February 2016

A dog can learn -- So can you

My dog points her nose away from activity so she can focus
Black and white chickens talking to my dog
         People told me that a Siberian Husky was a dog with a mind of its own. They said she would roam and never be good with chickens. Well you do not have to believe everything you hear. She has a mind of her own. She makes decisions, lives her own life and tries to respect me and the things I like to do.
        I talk to her a lot. She has seen me kill chickens and has eaten chicken feet fresh from a kill. She understands more than most people think she does. A good dog can learn and so can a good owner. The chickens and roosters use me and my dog as extra protection.
       The chickens push in to make sure that it is safe and then they hang out with the dogs. It is my theory that the chickens know a new dog in the neighbor hood would not want to upset the balance maintained by the alpha dogs and the chickens and wild turkeys that have already found a place in the pack.

A good dog sets an example for others

       Nanook does roam a bit. One neighbor even called her a wolf but mostly people on the back road love her. She backs up old and young dogs dealing with cougars around the house.
She loves children. She licks them in the face and moves slowly around in a protective way.
        One of the things that I have thought watching her behavior around other animals and people is that she is not afraid of very many things. She is afraid of guns, fireworks, and electric fences but that is it. She is very calm and trusting around people.  My good girl is always ready for an adventure.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Sore back rock stack

Rock wall building with my cousin on his driveway

Stones hold soil and allow for steeper banks

Stones must be sifted from dirt and can be stacked as a wall is back-filled
 So I have been stacking rocks on my cousins driveway improvement project. Some things it is nice to see before they happen. Somethings you can only learn by seeing happen, and sometimes it is good to remember that we all are just learning and living and trying to communicate what we can and can not see. I see rocks and I see lots of work for days to come.
Need rocks stacked? A little organization for your yard? I can see it, can you?
Up close and personal with some dirty rocks

Roots and rocks out -- makes a nice soil -- the chickens approve.

Splitting wood

First swing

Eventually it splits

Second swing leaves the piece of wood ready to pop.
So I was out splitting a little wood in the sun the other day thinking about instructional strategies. I am thinking about the simple pleasing task that I am engaged in. I recall that despite years of experience I have received valuable tips at key moments when they changed my way of doing things.
I am struck by the idea that a new idea means something totally different if given at the right moment. Like it or not it also seems likely that it matters who is sharing the idea. Just in case anybody out there feels open to a wood splitting tip hear goes.
First off a good splitting axe makes a big difference. Spitting freshly bucked rounds of birch in the early spring is also a good idea. But start by placing one round on top of another. Swing your axe with medium strength aiming for the far side of the round. Shown in the first photo.

This technique is safe and sets the situation up for a successful second blow. Any number of follow through strokes can be made to the near side of the round. The axe handle will not sustain as much damage as you cut through the round and you will be able to easily get the axe out of the round.
Notice that I never described hitting the round in the center. This is because I generally avoid it. The center will suck the axe in and make it hard to get out. Strokes to the sides draw a line across the center of the round. If it does not split once you have your line in, keep at it and use our new found experience.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Motivational Turkeys

Why are Turkeys so motivated
Wondering about survival, the seasons, biology and motivation. So life goes on. So we define survival and success for our selves. So we take responsibility for deviating motivations in our being. We take pride in being motivated in different ways. We like to find our own ways to strut our stuff.

Perhaps it is not so bad to be motivated in different ways. It also seems like a teacher can help students find find new directions of motivation. At the same time it seems like education is becoming less personal and it might become more and more difficult to understand students well enough to influence their personal motivations.
Sometimes they stomp around showing their feathers
The male Turkeys are putting on a show in my yard

Changing Seasons

 Nostalgia is so sweet and can strike so fast. A photo of a few weeks ago. The snow is almost gone. I love my dog and this place so much. The river is so beautiful. It gives and it takes -- this tree is a miracle in transformation. 
Nanook checking out the Slocan River

Even nature blinks

Friday, 19 February 2016

Inspiration from Politics?

walking on the snow

I am feeling inspired in strange and unusual ways by politics. We are no longer being lead by Climate change deniers. Trudeau is an intelligent person and a decent human being. Bernie Sanders is intelligent, straightforward and courageous. Here is one of the songs he inspired.

I have never in my life felt like intelligence inspires intelligence as much as I am believing it right now. Trump inspires a sense of school yard hatred in supporters and those who think he is a rich cry baby. This is the song Trump inspired.

And then there is the Wolf Kill In BC -- Have you heard about the use of Judas wolves in southern BC? This is not the face of intelligence or compassion. Cristy Clark -- Shame on you
Now the wolves are moving into the community -- why not when the forest = death from above.

And they tried to make Milé Sirius seem like a child for bring up the wolf kill as an issue when she came to Vancouver. Sometimes you just care and that is all.

Some thoughts posted in the discusion Forum

Thank you for sharing your sales person metaphors for teaching. I find metaphors a valuable way of thinking and communicating. I appreciate teachers who are direct and share their teaching preferences, styles and metaphors with their students.  I find value in the variety of approaches and individual strengths of teachers I have had. I see the value in the sales person metaphor but I also see some weaknesses so just to play devils advocate for a moment I would like to present an alternative metaphor.
My cat Winnie knows what she is doing

I find the idea of selling students a set of ideas kind of troubling. First I would suggest that we do not know everything and that much of what we do know is how to use more and more resources. But understanding that any message can be sold I will go to the more loving and Parental model for environmental education proposed by the institute for earth education.
From this perspective, scientific education has failed to inspire knowledge that helps us live sustainably on this planet. It is suggested that too much emphasis is placed on what is known. More time could be spent telling stories about the mysteries, changing theories and ways that we know what we know. To teach like we parent. To lead students to ask questions by showing love and respect for the material. The things we consider bad and taboo in education are related to our historic fear of communism and long term thinking.

Cat on Bar

There is a critique that says we have brought a cold and sterile business model to education and the environment to help transfer ideas of the western economic system and industrialization to a next generation of students. The argument goes on to say that the environment should not be something teachers can explain all the mysteries of and it should not be something we are afraid of showing strong emotions for. The fear of loving trees is being sold in many classes. I ask you how many planets our solar system has -- or does any one really know.
Some of us have already bought lots of education and are ready to sell -- Check out my blog
Camp site coming soon -- book your learning holiday --

Monday, 15 February 2016

Essential questions

Heraclitus asked a question something like "Why is it impossible to step into the same river twice." Because both the river and the person have changed -- the world is in constant flux. -- This is a great question with an answer.
My dog nose things she learns from the river.

Interesting discussion on essential questions. I like the video "what is Art for?" but I am still following up with my favorite essential question -- "who benefits?" ..... What is art for and who benefits?
What is Art?

I also like a challenge I found this week in this discussion. The challenge is to think about questions not to ask?
Why would a student take this course? How much would you pay for your education before it became too expensive? What would it take to make you buy a fake education online? Does anyone have any personal beliefs that are going to interfere with their participation in this course?

Friday, 12 February 2016

Mostly an introvert

My house Jan 2016 - or one rooster on the porch
So the journal assignment for the week involves reflecting on the video the power of introverts. I found the video easy to watch and inspiring. We all have something different to contribute. Lets not shame and isolate introverts. I feel like I am an introvert who needs and likes stimulation from other people. We all need balance and the world needs all of us. Great motivational speech, great images of the speaker showing up at camp with her bag of books and misplaced expectations. A funny look at growing up and a meaningful look at one of the little accidents made by a society that sets norms and expectations.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

A fellow students list of digital resources. I am impressed and think this list is valuable.
Picture of Jeremy Boyne
Digital Storytelling Resources
by Jeremy Boyne - Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 11:03 AM
Here are links to resources to help with creating a Digital Story. If you have others please add them below.
All working links

Free/Trial Software for Recording A Project 

Video Scribe (thanks Doug)
Windows Movie Maker
iMovie for Mac
MS Powerpoint
Prezi (presentation software that uses motion, zoom and spatial relationships)
WeVideo (cloud based video creation platform)
Free version = 5min/month, 2GB max
Paid = $10/month, 1HR, 5GB max
Powtoon (create animated videos)
Capzles (Create rich multimedia movies, timelines, etc)
Slidestory (free narration over pictures software)
Zeega (interactive slideshows)

Photos and Videos (Creative Commons)

Creative Commons (Free Images, Video, Music)
Flikr: Creative Commons (Non-Copyright Online photos) (free pictures, movies and pictures -- non-profit)
Morguefile (catalogue of high res stock photos)
Wikimedia Commons (free, shared photos)
Bigfoto (free photos)
Fromoldbooks (Free scanned pictures from old books)
Stockvault (Free stock photos for non-commercial use)


Audacity (Free Multi-track audio editor and recorder)
FMA (Free Music Archive)
Freesounds (Free music & sounds -- Creative Commons)
SoundCloud (mix of free to download tracks & paid)
Opsound (Free music)

Software - Membership/$ based

Zimmer Twins (Animated Digital Storytelling)
Animoto (professional videos using predesigned templates)
$16/month (personal), $42/month (professional)

Additional Software Resources

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Metaphor and Learning

Feeling both young and old
Confussed and bold
A Rebel who does what he is told 

Building projects are moving and also standing still
Basic ideas are the center of learning
New stuff is added to old

And what do you do when the Turkeys come for you -- No Joke the wild turkeys are back and
it is better than netflicks -- the window goes both ways.

Adult learners are like cats

Adult learners are like cats. Lazy and effective. Sometimes it is good to just relax and enjoy the heat of the fire. I take notes from my cat and dog. Both are adventures and currious and both take time to rest and save up energy for later.

Fun top of the head thinking on experiencial education.

This is just a little video I made while I was thinking about the short video we have to make for the course. I am a little releaved and a little disapointed that more is not expected in terms of the video we are supposed to produce. We will see what I come up with but I find that I learn as much thinking through the ideas than I do actually doing the work - one point for procratastination. Also a little tip -- my brouser is no longer offering coments on my spelling -- not sure if it is a punnishment or a reward.
Not sure that this is really an instructional stategy in the same way that some of the other examples are but I will pull it off or move over to discuss physical activity or something else simple and great like that. I will look into Carl Rodgers idea of experincial education and see if it is something I still feel good about discussing.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The story lasts longer

Rocks listen to gravity
The pull of the earth
January 30th was the 9 year aniversary of my fathers death. I decided to post a video that he made with a couple of other local artists a bunch of years back. I find it interesting that one of the forum discussions is on digital story telling. This discussion feels fresh and new and yet my father was taking it seriously some 10+ years ago. Please enjoy a moment of reflection, a story in motion on a forgotten page.

There is a second video called the shadow of the world.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Quotes from my comments that could be applied to other subjects


Re: Definition of a flipped classroom
by William Parker (Will) - Thursday, 28 January 2016, 9:48 AM


In education I feel it is often the case that new teaching ideas should be welcomed but should not be expected or allowed to replace the old. The flipped class room sounds like a great idea for many programs and could add meaningful diversity to all students learning experience. I guess I also like to feel some flexibility left up to the teacher and feel that I diversity of learning experience is better but having only one system is a lack of diversity.
I think there are a list of pro s that are specific to each program and that they should be figured out by the teachers and administration to best facilitate student learning. I feel like many teachers have been trying to do this for years and it only works some of the time for them. So I guess I am saying this is a tool and context is everything.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Maintaining adult Inspiration

Still amazed
I am still amazed by nature. Even things I find just out side my door. As an adult learner I have seen many tricks and heard many stories but I still get a buzz off of learning and participating in discussions. Sometimes I let the You tube class videos run for hours. Yesterday I watched 2 classes worth of finance classes -- and I do not usually like that kind of stuff.
These energies seem to lead me again and again towards teaching something and doing many things.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Reflecting on adult learners

A back yard Igloo

       One of the things I have taken from the forum discussion on adult learners is that they need to understand why the learning is important and what the information relates to. It makes me think about the times I have decided to try something just for the experience. There are also some experiences that it would take a great deal of convincing for me to try. But trying something is not quite as good as really wanting to learn something.
       A couple of years ago I built a back yard Igloo for a new years party. The guests were quite impressed and some asked if I would come and build one at their house or perhaps teach them how. I was reminded of how keen I had been on learning how to make an Igloo in grade 10. A motivated learner is a special thing. Learning to motivate yourself is something worth learning.

Back to Blogger School with Instructional Strategies 3250

I can see the cycles of change; I can be the cycles of change.

Eagles nest by the river -- this dead cottonwood has fallen and the new nest is on the other side of the river 
I am working on this blog again as part of my last class in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. It feels great to be learning by doing and focusing on completing another stage in my journey of life long learning. I feel good about the instructional strategies course. 
I am leading a discussion forum on adult learners and have been quite conscious of myself as an adult learner.  I find myself thinking about the ways I know myself as a learner. I am a good observer and I am a great learner. I feel like I become even better at learning with each new skill I acquire. I feel like it is important for all learners to have confidence in their learning abilities.