Psalm 18:30 — form biblegateway.com

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

 

A beautiful sunset over a wheat field -- from pixabay.com

 

Amazon Contractors Are Revolting, Here Are Their Demands — from interestingengineering.com by Loukia Papadopoulos
Two major delivery partners announced they chose to shut down rather than keep sating Amazon’s draconian demands.

Excerpt:

The firms essentially offered Amazon an ultimatum to either agree to a set of conditions that they said would improve driver safety, or they would shut down — well, Amazon is their only client. Amazon refused, and the two companies actually followed through with their ultimatum.

From DSC:
Our son, who is college age, worked at an Amazon distribution center last summer. He is typically a healthy person. But his back and knees did not do well over the summer. After just a few weeks of having to meet an aggressive (and constant) quota of items being shipped, pains and issues started appearing. I don’t know how some of their employees keep up the pace that they are required to maintain…hour after hour after hour after hour…day after day, month after month.

Also see:

Amazon is destroying millions of unsold goods, from smart TVs to laptops — from fastcompany.com by Lucy Wishart
An Amazon warehouse exposé in the UK underscores a larger problem with how goods are treated as disposable.

Excerpt:

A recent undercover investigation in an Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland, reported the disposal of more than 130,000 “new or lightly used” objects in a single week in just that one location. Public outrage was clear. Questions were asked about how Amazon could be so wasteful and why weren’t the usable objects sent to those in need?

 

 

Leveraging EdTech: brilliant tools for student voice — from global-edtech.com by Cecilia Astolfi
Cecilia Astolfi provides three very useful tips for any teachers wishing to promote student voice in the classroom

There are three tools I recommend in order to enhance the ability of students to express their views in a constructive and valuable manner.

Best Microsoft PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Teachers — from by Luke Edwards
You may be amazed to see how much you can get out of Microsoft PowerPoint as a teacher

Excerpt:

5. Create Instagram Stories in PowerPoint
Another social media app that has great traction with students is Instagram, specifically the Stories feature that allows you to share images or videos from the day, which are wiped for a fresh set each day.

Imagine doing this in class? Perhaps the students could carry on a story you were studying in class. Maybe they could tell the tale of a comet as it travels through space. The options are huge and it’s easy to do using this PowerPoint template as a starting point.

6 kids games that make math learning engaging and entertaining — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

BBC School Radio Maths is an excellent educational resource we learned from MakeUseOf‘ s list of 10 Cool Math Games for Kids. School Radio Maths offers a wide variety of educational games to help kids develop their math skills. Kids will get to grapple with various numeracy challenges that involves a higher degree of mental skills. The games are entertaining enough to keep pupils motivated and focused on the learning task at hand.

6 strategies to help you improve your math skills — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:
As a child, did you love math back in the elementary? Now that you are an adult, do you feel awkward with your Mathematic’s skills? Let’s admit it – not everyone is great at Math. Some find it fun, brilliant, stimulating others find it too difficult to comprehend.

However, the stigma associated with math learning is not always true especially knowing that Math is omnipresent and is being used in almost every facet of our life. The purpose of this post is to share with you  some of the ways to help you  strengthen your Math skills.

This map lets you fly along the path of a drop of water from any place in the U.S. — from fastcompany.com by Adele Peters
Click on any spot or enter an address, and it will show where the water is likely to flow. Good for both learning how pollution and plastic spreads, but also for an aerial visual ride of the country’s waterways.
Also see: river-runner.samlearner.com/

This image portrays a map of the United States.

Hands-On with the Lego Snapchat Augmented Reality Experience That Lets You Build With Friends Remotely — from next.reality.news by Adario Strange

Excerpt:

The world of Lego is timeless primarily because everyone, regardless of age or background, can build a wide variety of amazing things with the simple component blocks from the classic toymaker.

But now that Snapchat has brought that dynamic to augmented reality via the Rebuild the World Snapchat Lens the possibilities are truly endless.

Snap Spectacles Early Prototype, Volkswagen Drives into AR, Inside Lego Snapchat, & Instagram Updates AR — from next.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Best Apps To Learn The Korean Language — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

Korean, one of the popular Asian languages for non-native speakers, is the official language of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

This is an increasingly important language globally considering South Korea’s powerful economy, geopolitical importance, and growing presence in Asian pop culture; perhaps one reason for garnering a surprising amount of interest in people worldwide to learn the Korean language.

5 Places to Sell Your Artwork Online — from hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Selling art online is making a comeback. Artists have been selling their work on the Internet but as of late, there’s an increase in online art sales. You can of course build your own website to share your art, run your own marketing and promotional exercise via social media and other channels but you will probably gain more exposure with the following websites . Time to get your beautiful art out there.

12 good edtech tools to use in your distance education — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Looking for some educational websites to help you with the management of your online (and also face-to-face) classroom teaching? The list below has you covered. It features a collection of  some popular web tools you can use to perform a wide variety of educational tasks. These include: creating interactive video lessons, collect formative assessments and provide real-time feedback to students, enhance students learning through the use of digital games and flashcards, create online classes and share assignments and learning resources with students, organize students into appropriate learning groups and many more. Links to these websites are under the visual.

 

40 Spectacular Sights of Nature You Should Know, Vol. 1 — from hongkiat.com by Nancy Young

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Image Source: Libertas Magazine

From DSC:
I realize that I’m biased here…but I say, “Glory to God!” when I see these pictures. He’s an awesome designer and creator. Only He can “paint a canvas” like this.

 

Radio.Garden — with thanks to David Pogue for this resource

From DSC:
This is amazing! Some screenshots:

Radio.garden -- tune into thousands of live radio stations across the globe!

Radio.garden -- tune into thousands of live radio stations across the globe!

Several questions/reflections come to my mind:

  • What could those teachers and professors who are trying to teach someone a language do with this?!
  • If this can be done with radio stations, what can be done with learning-related streams of content?!
  • Talk about “More Choice. More Control.”  Man o’ man!

Streams of content


Addendum on 2/28/21:
Could this type of interface be used to navigate the world of work? Where instead of nations, you would have arenas of work?

 

A beautiful picture

A beautiful picture

 
 

2020 ties for hottest year on record, says NASA and NOAA — from bigthink.com by Kevin Dickinson
In a joint briefing at the 101st American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, NASA and NOAA revealed 2020’s scorching climate data.

Excerpts:

  • 2020 is tied with 2016 for being globally the hottest year on record.
  • The year’s hotspot included the Arctic, which is warming at three times the global mean.
  • The United States endured a record-breaking year for billion-dollar natural disasters.
 

Best NASA Pictures of 2020 — from fubiz.net

Beyond the beauty of these contemplative images, the space agency also had another goal: that of raising awareness of the urgency of taking action to protect the Earth and its fragile environments. Fires, pollution, rising waters, floods…so many phenomena that these images reveal and document with precision and that should challenge us. As Thomas Pesquet said after his experience in orbit, looking down on the Earth can make us aware of its fragility and the sometimes disastrous action of man on nature.

Best NASA Pictures of 2020

Also see:

 

The Digital Divide for Tribal College Students — COVID, CARES Act, and Critical Next Steps — from diverseeducation.com

Excerpt:

In this episode staff writer Sara Weissman shares a story that focuses on the digital divide for Native Americans by bringing in voices of tribal college leaders and their students during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service. Hear first-hand how students from Diné College and other institutions are currently affected. Carrie Billie (Big Water Clan), President & CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and Dr. Cynthia Lindquist (Star Horse Woman), President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota, break down the data and lay out critical next steps necessary to address the digital divide.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service.

From DSC:
When will there be justice!? Let’s join in and make amends and provide the funding, concrete assistance, products, and services to Native American colleges, universities, and communities. Some potential ideas:

  • For the short term, could there be Loon balloons deployed immediately to provide free and stronger access to the Internet?

Could Project Loon assist Native American colleges, universities, and communities?

  • Could our Federal Government make amends and do the right thing here? (e-rate program, put Internet access in, make policy changes, offer more grants, other?)
  • Could Silicon Valley assist with hardware and software? For example:
    • Can Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others donate hardware and software?
    • Can Zoom, Adobe, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and others donate whatever these communities need to provide videoconferencing licenses?
  • Could telecom providers provide free internet access?
  • Could MOOCs offer more free courses?
  • Could furniture makers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others donate furniture and help establish connected learning spaces?
  • How might faculty members and staff within higher education contribute?
  • How could churches, synagogues, and such get involved?
  • Could the rest of us locate and donate to charities that aim to provide concrete assistance to Native American schools, colleges, universities, and communities?

We need to do the right thing here. This is another area* where our nation can do much better.

* Here’s another example/area where we can do much better and make amends/changes.

 


Addendum on 12/7/20:

 

Virtual Reality: Realizing the Power of Experience, Excursion and Immersion in the Classroom — from nytimes.com
A framework for teaching with New York Times 360 V.R. videos, plus eight lesson plans for STEM and the humanities.

A Guide for Using NYT VR With Students

  • Getting Started With V.R. in the Classroom
  • Lesson 1: A Mission to Pluto
  • Lesson 2: Meet Three Children Displaced by War and Persecution
  • Lesson 3: Four Antarctic Expeditions
  • Lesson 4: Time Travel Through Olympic History
  • Lesson 5: Decode the Secret Language of Dolphins and Whales
  • Lesson 6: Memorials and Justice
  • Lesson 7: The World’s Biggest Physics Experiment
  • Lesson 8: Journey to the Hottest Place on Earth

 

 

Gift ideas for young geology lovers and rockhounds — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Gift ideas for young geology lovers and rockhounds/

 

 

Many students complain that online-based learning doesn’t engage them. Well, check this idea out! [Christian]


From DSC…by the way, another title for this blog could have been:

WIN-WIN situations all around! The Theatre Departments out there could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging, digitally-based learning experiences! 


The future of drama and the theatre — as well as opera, symphonies, and more — will likely include a significant virtual/digital component to them. While it’s too early to say that theatre needs to completely reinvent itself and move “the stage” completely online, below is an idea that creates a variety of WIN-WIN situations for actors, actresses, stage designers, digital audio/video editors, fine artists, graphic designers, programmers, writers, journalists, web designers, and many others as well — including the relevant faculty members!

A new world of creative, engaging, active learning could open up if those involved with the Theatre Department could work collaboratively with students/faculty members from other disciplines. And in the end, the learning experiences and content developed would be highly engaging — and perhaps even profitable for the institutions themselves!

A WIN-WIN situation all around! The Theatre Department could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging learning experiences!

[DC: I only slightly edited the above image from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Though the integration of acting with online-based learning materials is not a new idea, this post encourages a far more significant interdisciplinary collaboration between the Theatre Department and other departments/disciplines.

Consider a “Dealing with Bias in Journalism” type of topic, per a class in the Digital Media and Journalism Major.

  • Students from the Theatre Department work collaboratively with the students from the most appropriate class(es?) from the Communications Department to write the script, as per the faculty members’ 30,000-foot instructions (not 1000-foot level/detailed instructions)
  • Writing the script would entail skills involved with research, collaboration, persuasion, creativity, communication, writing, and more
  • The Theatre students would ultimately act out the script — backed up by those learning about sound design, stage design, lighting design, costume design, etc.
  • Example scene: A woman is sitting around the kitchen table, eating breakfast and reading a posting — aloud — from a website that includes some serious bias in it that offends the reader. She threatens to cancel her subscription, contact the editor, and more. She calls out to her partner why she’s so mad about the article. 
  • Perhaps there could be two or more before/after scenes, given some changes in the way the article was written.
  • Once the scenes were shot, the digital video editors, programmers, web designers, and more could take that material and work with the faculty members to integrate those materials into an engaging, interactive, branching type of learning experience. 
  • From there, the finished product would be deployed by the relevant faculty members.

Scenes from WMU's Theatre Department

[DC: Above images from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Colleges and universities could share content with each other and/or charge others for their products/content/learning experiences. In the future, I could easily see a marketplace for buying and selling such engaging content. This could create a needed new source of revenue — especially given that those large auditoriums and theaters are likely not bringing in as much revenue as they typically do. 

Colleges and universities could also try to reach out to local acting groups to get them involved and continue to create feeders into the world of work.

Other tags/categories could include:

  • MOOCs
  • Learning from the Living[Class]Room
  • Multimedia / digital literacy — tools from Adobe, Apple, and others.
  • Passions, participation, engagement, attention.
  • XR: Creating immersive, Virtual Reality (VR)-based experiences
  • Learning Experience Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Interface Design
  • …and more

Also see:

What improv taught me about failure: As a teacher and academic — from scholarlyteacher.com by Katharine Hubbard

what improv taught me about failure -as a teacher and academic

In improv, the only way to “fail” is to overthink and not have fun, which reframed what failure was on a grand scale and made me start looking at academia through the same lens. What I learned about failure through improv comes back to those same two core concepts: have fun and stop overthinking.

Students are more engaged when the professor is having fun with the materials (Keller, Hoy, Goetz, & Frenzel, 2016), and teaching is more enjoyable when we are having fun ourselves.

 

Heatherwick Studio designs flood-resilient park The Cove for San Francisco — from dezeen.com by Eleanor Gibson

Heatherwick Studio designs flood-resilient park The Cove for San Francisco -- from dezeen.com by Eleanor Gibson

Excerpt:

Slated for completion in 2026, The Cove is intended to provide a new hub of activity while addressing rising sea levels threatening the waterfront site and also consideration [of] its history.

From DSC:
Many years ago, my wife and I spent several years out in the San Francisco Bay area. I was there to go through SFSU’s Multimedia Studies Program. I have many good memories from our time out there. I hope to be able to take that road trip in 2026!

 
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian