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October 6, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

And suddenly it’s October and all my visions of a highly educational early fall complete with well-planned reflective, thoughtful, interludes amongst periods of high intensity learning have pretty much fallen by the wayside. I’d love to say I’ve been so deeply entrenched in learning communities that I just haven’t wanted to pull myself away long enough to do the more solitary work of reflection and writing. Or, that I was asked to present my own research in to online graphic design learning to a rapt audience thus have been spending all my spare words speech writing like a boss. In truth, I’ve been occupied with far lesser academic endeavors. Like being a hair model. And traveling out to Colorado. And joining a new face to face community of graphic designers who feed part of me I didn’t even realize had been creatively starving these past years. Oh and cooking….lots and lots of cooking.

My 803 class has turned into a giant hairball of dead links, a non-communicative prof, and assignments that can be generously described as “ambiguous.” Though the cohort has stepped up to fill in the gaps as best we can and the total lack of fear in being wrong (since there’s not even an expectation for what might be “right” or who really cares if I find it) is allowing me to be push boundaries like never before, right now it’s just an all around let down. I feel myself entering the dangerous apathetic waters of really not caring and being ready to coast out the remaining weeks until December. I know in my head it’s my responsibility as the learner to take control and build my connections and engage regardless of the course kerfuffle or the flaky prof but in my head it still kind of feels better to don a victim hat and wash my hands of it all.

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week 1 reflecting

September 13, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Today marks the completion of Week 1 of my new doctoral course at Athabasca 803: Teaching and Learning in Distance Education and kind of the completion of my first week in Connected Courses.

In the spirit of reflection and doing things to proactively support new and good rhythms for the rest of the year, I’ve decided that instead of spending the remaining hours of the day browsing the internet for Halloween costumes appropriate for small dogs (Ruby and I have already had the talk establishing that it’s okay to be a bumble bee two years in a row) I’d spend a bit of time reflecting on what I’ve learned this week.

I’m hopeful too that by consciously adding reflection time into my week I’ll avoid feeling research bloated, which was kind of a constant during my last course and the cause of me dropping from #rhizo14. Before I was consuming research articles with the reckless abandon of a six year old consuming cookies at a birthday party. This year…no  longer my first rodeo thus time for some positive reflective bursts built into the works.

First Up….Athabasca.

Overall analysis of the first week: instructional design chaotic + cohort proud.

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connected network…remixed in sugar

September 5, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

CONNECTED

connected courses post 1

September 3, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Hello fellow Connected Courses participants! My name is lisa. Welcome to my own little domain.

I’ll admit that for as much as I totally enjoy having people over in a face to face sense, it feels awkward at best to open this space up to you all because I’ve been at this blogging game just long enough that if you were to peel back the layers (or rather read the archives) you’d see kind of the equivalent of a drawer that was once meant to hold silverware but now is a mess of odd spoons and Sharpies and lipsticks that I never wear anymore…all stuff that makes me who I am now but not so much company-worthy and slick.

But back to the real reason we’re all here, which isn’t to paw through any of our older internet identities rather it’s for connected courses and openness and all the good stuff that I know as academics we tend to applaud and then promptly ignore in our day to day LMS-entrenched lives. Or, maybe that’s just me.

I’m looking forward to this course for a number of reasons. The first is…legit the people who are leading it are rockstars. Seriously. I follow many of them on Twitter because they’re just that crazy amazing and out of the box in their ability to balance pedagogy and real people. I am hopeful that a small bit of that will rub off on me. The second (slightly less teenage girl brain obsessive) is…I love community, especially the community that comes when people from different timezones or even different countries find commonalities. This course has all the makings of the digital equivalent of Burning Man and yeah…who wouldn’t want to be part of that? The third is…I’m the Senior Dean over a fully online graphic design program and have recently come across this weird phenomenon where students seem to confuse me and attending our program with some sort of magical life redemption and I honestly am trying to find a better way to re-frame the metaphor (since I know myself and I know my staff and yeah…divinity wouldn’t even make the top 20 adjectives I’d use to describe us or our program.) I think that we’ve done a wonderful job (in the States) selling a dream of betterment through education to those who previously never had a chance or the ability to access higher education. That said, as anyone who has successfully navigated to the other side of an educational experience can attest…facts, grades, and all the testable knowledge you pour into your head is really the sideshow to the true learning that is in how to build relationships and generally find the resources you need to succeed at whatever task might present itself.

How to dismantle this weird somewhat edu-cultic myth? No clue. But, I do have suspicion that we need more collaboration and less top down counsel…more real-human conversations and less academic hustle. All of this thinking comes back to connections and connected courses and the courage to live and teach in a way that is open and transparent in all ways…not unlike me welcoming you all to my little domain. Yes, it is indeed a start. For my part, feel free to poke around here a bit. It’s not perfect but it is wonderfully human and totally me. Looking forward to what happens in the next few months.

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