Category: Week in Review (Page 1 of 2)

2017 Creaties

This past Friday we held the second annual Creaties to recognize some of the best new sites created by OU students, staff, and faculty. The event went great thanks to the University Club here at OU. The venue, food, and drinks made for a great setting for people to show off their work and chat with other makers.

Last year, we were trying to promote OU Create by showcasing sites built on the platform. This year, we expanded the scope a bit to include sites built in SquareSpace, Wix, and the like. The point of Create and similar Domain of One’s Own projects is to make it easier for people at the university to be digital makers. As long as people are out there making great stuff, it doesn’t matter what platform their using.

Keegan Long Wheeler did a great job documenting the event on our twitter account @OU_Create:

For the event we opened up nominations on our website and emailed all of the Create users and digitally inclined folk here at OU to ask for submissions. It was great to see so many students sites nominated:

In addition to the student blogs and portfolios, we also had faculty portfolios, course sites, and an open textbook. Perhaps the most unique site was a scheduling app that can help departments identify conflicts between required parts of their curriculum:

The 2017 Creaties were great, thanks to the wonderful makers on campus. As soon as the event ended, I was thinking about next year and a couple conversations I want to start or continue. Rob Carr pointed out the opportunity to promote accessibility with the event.

I would like to see about either creating a prize or making accessibility part of our rubric for all prizes. This is also a great venue for conversations about OER, multi-modal communication, and privacy. Can’t wait for next year.

My Week in Review, June 6-10

Tweet of the Week

Blog Writing

Monday: Canvas Tip: Messaging Inactive Students

Tuesday: Twine & Serious Gaming

Wednesday: Action Figures in the Classroom, a book review of Play Like a Pirate

Thursday: Open Notes for Deep Maps, a demo of the Situating Chemistry database and a call for open research


– I have been finishing up with the QA review for a 4-week session of the History Channel summer course that starts on Monday. The first weeks worth of material is now available to the students, so hopefully everything is done. We’ll see.

– I have also been trying to wrap my mind around on-boarding strategies for students as we at OU transition to Canvas. I am working on an open class for students that will walk them through some of the basics of the LMS and point out a few differences with our old LMS, D2L. But, I would also like to find a way to do something a bit more creative to attract students into a course that they would want to do and would give them an experiential grounding. I haven’t found anything similar online, so if you know of anything, let me know.

OU Create Maintenance

– We had a batch of registration issues this week for some reason, but as usual, the Reclaim Hosting technical support was awesome. About a dozen students managed to sign up for multiple accounts each. Reclaim helped to consolidate those accounts according to the students’ intentions and got everyone squared away in time for them to build their course projects.

Media Consumption

– I have watched a lot of basketball lately and will be watching more soccer over the next month or two. I also watched Sicario last weekend and am slowly going through the newest season of Peaky Blinders. Both tell stories about the intractability of crime, but I enjoy Peaky Blinders more because its anti-heroes are more human and likeable. I highly recommend /filmcast’s pod on Sicario.

– Zach Lowe’s basketball podcast is always excellent, and his coverage of the finals has been particularly good:

– I also really like the Ringer’s Keeping it 1600 with former Obama White House staffers Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer. This week they interviewed David Plouffe. Plouffe threw out the idea that Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin might make Trump’s short list for vice president. That would be a Palin-esque disaster that and might get her out of her gubernatorial office, so win-win.


– We continue to paint our kitchen cabinets. We’re probably up to 60% done, and I’m trying to finish by the time my family comes to visit for father’s day.

My Week in Review May 16 – 20

Tweet of the Week

Blog Writing

– On Wednesday, I put up a post about a Google Spreadsheet that I’ve built called Collector. The basic idea is that you can use the Google sheet to search through the annotations made using the web annotation tool. You can enter various search terms like user name or url or tag or pull all annotations by a group. The system will create a google sheet with up to 200 annotations (working to increase this right now), and create a table that counts the number of annotations by user across various urls. This last piece was the initial reason for the project. I wanted to build a tool that allowed instructors to quickly see the activity of their students in a group. It could similarly be used by a research group or anyone else. Both the sheet and the code are open, so please read the blog post or check out the sheet itself.



– This week has been quiet. I’ve been working with Keegan Long Wheeler on our GOBLIN project, and I’m meeting today with Lauren Horn Griffin to finalize plans for a workshop we’re doing next week on using in the classroom.


– The OU Spring semester ended on Sunday, so I spent all of Monday and Tuesday calculating and entering grades and working with students to find those missing assignments that meant the difference between a C and a B. Hitting submit on Tuesday provided a definite sense of closure on the semester.

– There was supposed to be an 8-week summer version of one of the courses that I facilitate kicking off this week. However, we had to cancel it due to low enrollment. The online course is heavily discussion based and we didn’t think the handful of students enrolled would have a good experience in the course. As late as last week I was reviewing the course contents making sure the materials were all properly titled and tagged in our LMS and fixing several broken image and web links.  Thursday I found out that the course was being cancelled.  Rather than finishing my review of the last couple of units, I talked to the professor and then contacted the students. I then contacted the registrar’s office, our LMS support people, the office that helps concurrent enrollment students, the TAs, etc. Working with a professor to design a class is an extended process, and I had lost track of how many people were involved.  Cancelling the class required that I email or call all of these people in a couple of hours. This week I’ve been finishing the clean up and helping to either get students refunds or move into the June or Fall versions of the class. Next week, I’ll do the QA on the June class and start back into the course management cycle anew.

OU Create Maintenance

– Minor upkeep helping students activate new accounts and helping faculty transition from their old html only sites into their new LAMP domains.

Reading and Viewing and Gaming

– I have watched a ton of basketball lately. As an OKC fan, it’s been an up and down week, and I’m looking forward to Sunday.


– I have been painting (enamel + polycrylic) my kitchen cabinets all week, and it looks like I’ll be working on them for at least another week. Before and after pictures to come.

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