The blog here has been a little quiet lately, and with an even higher proportion of inane personal posts than usual. That may give the impression that I have nothing to do these days, or that I’m not interested in happenings in the virtual neighbourhood. Far from it, the days are just packed, with lots of exciting local projects big and small here on campus. I look forward to blogging on many of them this summer as their online components grow.
But posting will likely be quiet over the next few weeks, as there are three events coming up that have a lot in common. Each involves a potentially unique opportunity to try something new in a workshop setting, each time out I’ll be working with a favorite collaborator, and each involves a trip to a desirable location.
* Tomorrow I fly to Arizona for the E-Learning Institute at Northern Arizona University. The exciting part for me is the chance to work with Alan Levine. Together we’ll be delivering a short hands-on workshop and will then lead the closing plenary. As with our recent collaborations for ELI Fish Tacos and Northern Voice we will try to provide a rich experience for the attendees while keeping things relatively open and with a conversational vibe. It’s always great to see Alan, and I’m looking forward to hanging out a bit in his mountain digs once again. I’ll try to behave myself a little better than last year, but not that much better.
* Next week I am taking the family to the lovely Comox Valley for one of my favorite events, the BCcampus Spring Workshop on Education Technology. I’ve been asked to lead a hands-on session on social software, and intend to use this as an opportunity to more aggressively launch the Social Learning initiative, which we’ve been keeping relatively quiet as the site finds its legs. Hopefully this event will provide us with a clear indication of how useful the site is for educators, and where we need to take it. The exciting part here is that D’Arcy Norman will be joining us for the session, and I’m looking forward to tapping his talents for structuring the event, as well as making the Drupal elements of the site really hum. Hopefully we’ll cook up a couple surprises, and I hope the attendees push things as well.
* And on June 9th I hop a plane for a trip to Zagreb for a two day workshop on social software, an opportunity that came about from my work with the Croatian Academic and Research Network’s CARNet E-learning Toolkit and a few other related projects. This is notable because it’s rare to get two whole days to deliver a workshop, I’m grateful for the opportunity to go into greater depth and to proceed at what I hope will be a less frantic pace than usual. And I get to work with Jeff Miller, who has led UBC’s collaborations with CARNet, and he always pushes things in new and worthwhile directions. I’ll have a few free days after the event, and not quite sure what I’ll do with them. My tentative plan is to head south to the Istrian Coast and then fly back via Budapest. If anyone has traveled in this region and has any tips or recommendations, I’d love to hear them.
I will do my best to pass on any notable outcomes from each of these opportunities. But all this goes on while there is plenty to stay on top of here at home (activity in social software is simply exploding at UBC, both through supported programs and from the grassroots). So I ask your indulgence should this blog plumb the depths of lameness over the next month or so.