Friday, July 31, 2009

Honoring Dale Auger

A story in the Calgary Herald caught my attention, Calgary-area artist honoured: Dale Auger inducted into hall of fame. Dale Auger and I were graduate students at the University of Calgary together -- my best memory of Dale is from 1992 when, along with another graduate student, we traveled to Wabasca-Desmarais to lead a multimedia storytelling project with several young people. We packed up several Mac computers and a scanner for the children's artwork, and set up an impromptu lab. The students spend several days drawing, storyboarding and writing their stories using Hypercard. We wrote a few short articles about this experience for "The Writer's Notebook" -- it was life-changing for me, and this work with Dale still influences how I teach and work with students and digital storytelling today. It was very sad to learn about Dale's death last September - he was only 50 years old. It is so fitting that the The Stampede's Western Art Show Hall of Fame has recognized Dale's contribution and has provided a lasting tribute to his work. To learn more about Dale Auger and his stunning artwork and publications, visit

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Great Cupcakes and Sushi Near Campus

Thanks to Barb for the two dozen yummy cupcakes in doctoral seminar today. FYI - the cupcakes came from Crave -

Where can you get good Sushi near campus? Here are a few places Thang2 and I go: Number One: Yamato - (403) 282-2217
2. GlobeFish -
3. Sushi Boat -

Birds From Here to There

There was a beautiful sunrise this morning - at 5:49 AM in Calgary July 23 according to, a website that tracks such things - and I look forward to enjoying another stunning sunset this evening - around 9:45 PM - much like the majestic solar display that rendered us speechless last night while enjoying the tail-end of the spectacular Airdrie Airshow.
In a subsequent post, I plan to reflect on the heartfelt pride I felt watching our Canadian Snow Birds demonstrate their precise formations last night; it is another type of bird that captured my attention on the way in to work this morning.
While I was listening to the results of the election of Shawn Atleo, the new National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and the University of Calgary President's favorite book, on my way to campus this morning, I glanced over to see a large, Blue Heron standing in a pond amongst dozens of ducks and geese in a pond by the side of the road. A variety of ducks and geese are a common sight in my part of rural Alberta. However, it is relatively rare to see these gorgeous Blue Herons so close to the city. Hence, I was motivated to learn a little more about the prevalence of this bird throughout the province, which lead me to the Royal Alberta Museum, which has some great information about birds throughout
Turns out, according the Talk About Wildlife, this big Blue Bird is fairly prevalent throughout Alberta. Since my house backs onto a pond, I hope to see more of these stately birds this summer. What I didn't know, and I was delighted to learn, is that Barrhead, Alberta is home to one of those large, roadside attractions, the Biggest Blue Heron in the World! Who Knew?
Happy day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

EdTech at the UofC: In A Super State of Awesomeness

It is my privilege to lead a doctoral seminar, EDER 779.01 Advanced Concepts in Educational Technology, again this summer. Among many cherished moments that I will comment on in subsequent posts, I am delighted, and more than slightly humbled, by the opportunity to observe my edtech colleagues expertise and toned presentation skills as we progress through the on-campus part of this blended seminar.

Allow me to explain: as part of my instructional design for this seminar, I have invited several experienced educational technology colleagues and two post-candidacy doctoral students in educational technology to share their research and experiences with the large group of doctoral students who are enrolled in the Online EDD and Oncampus PhD programs in Educational Technology in the Faculty of Education. Each Guest Professor and Doctoral student presenter shares an article or paper they have written and then presents their work to doctoral students for discussion.

Eight of my valued colleagues and doctoral students have generously agreed to share their published and written work and their time to mentor our newest talented group of doctoral students into our field of study. So far, each of these presentations has yielded interesting insights, hands-on opportunties to engage with the ideas or to discuss them, and new connections between doctoral students and the professors & peers with whom they will work in the next four years.

Each of the guest professors and doctoral students reminds me again why the Educational Technology group at the University of Calgary is in an advanced state of AWESOMENESS! Colleagues have addressed key questions and topics that characterize the field of educational technology. Each presentor has pushed our thinking with regard to research topics, research methodology, issues of ethics and instructional design, new technological processes and tools, and the nature of disciplined inquiry in our field.

Whether or not they know it (and believe me, I will keep on telling my cherished colleagues about it), the guest professors and experienced doctoral students leave me feeling like Rhino, the hampster, when he meets his superhero, Bolt, for the very first time - like this enraptured and slightly manic fan, I think my Educational Technology colleagues and doctoral students score high on the scale of super awesomeness. I am so glad to be on their team!!

Great Rhino quotes to reflect what I am REALLY trying to say:

Bolt: "Am I missing anything, Rhino?"
Rhino: "Just the knowledge that every minute spent in your company becomes the new greatest minute of my life"

Rhino: They need a hero Bolt, someone who, no matter what the odds, will do what's right. They need a hero to tell them that sometimes the impossible can become possible if you're awesome!

EACH of our guest professors have demonstrated what is possible if you are awesome!!

I welcome your comments (or questions, if I haven't been as clear as I want to be in my admiration and respect for my fellow colleagues in Educational technology!). ;-)