Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rose Farm, Bolton

Rose Farm, Bolton, CT
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are fantastic opportunities to take college courses at no cost.  It's wonderful that complex subjects such as climate change are available to all.  Although scientists concur, the general public still considers climate change to be a controversial issue.

I help out as one of the many teacher's assistants in a Climate Literacy class at the University of British Columbia.  The voluntary job entails monitoring the discussion board, answering student questions, providing links for further reading and reporting problems that need the instructor's attention.

Walt and Lola
Alternate viewpoints and healthy debate are encouraged on the discussion forum.  Disrupting the forum, derailing discussion, demeaning other students and discrediting teacher's assistants are not tolerated and are dealt with on a case by case basis.  In only two runs of this class, all of these problems have occurred.  This has brought about a flurry of discussion and suggestions on how to prevent future problems.  It has been an eye-opening experience realizing the lengths that some people will go to to disrupt a learning environment.  Unreal.

At this point, I've had enough of picture time
I am really looking forward to the American Association of School Libraries Conference in mid-November in Hartford.   

These photos were taken at Rose Farm in Bolton, at the height of fall foliage.  I'm really not big on appearing in my own blog/website, but the leaves were spectacular that day, so I thought I'd share.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Home tweet home
At New Media Day in Amherst MA, I listened to speakers discuss the digital revolution.  James McQuivey, author of Digital Disruption, was the first speaker.  He impressed all one hundred people in attendance by giving his entire lecture without Powerpoint because the projector wasn't working.  To get an understanding of the quantity of the digital marketplace, he mentioned Apple has sold 155,000,000 ipads.  He also said that the most successful writers are those that publish with traditional publishers and also self-publish.

Reflection in pond water
Rubin Pfeffer, who works at East/West Literary Agency, discussed the market and how publishers are creating digital imprints and collaborating with e-publishers to meet this new demand for digital content.  Three authors discussed their experiences turning their out of print books into e-books.  Sales are tough because the app search facility is lousy. Lastly, Ruth Sanderson spoke about her long career and being flexible and willing to try new things.

The nicest strip of community garden
I brought my camera on a stroll through the woods out back.  Color was everywhere.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Yesterday, I attended a workshop about school visits given by Alexis O'Neill.  I was fortunate and grateful to have had that opportunity.  She was excellent and covered a lot of material in two hours.  The time flew by as I sat their soaking up her words of wisdom.  She discussed how to create engaging presentations with a beginning, middle and end and she also stressed that this was THE most important consideration.  Then, she talked about getting gigs, how much to charge, promotional material and what to send the booked customer.  One of the things she cautioned against was ending with a question and answer session.  If you do that, the momentum and enthusiasm will slow right down and the presentation won't have a strong ending.  . 

As I drove home I thought about the presentation that I created.  It definitely was engaging--definitely, but the beginning and ending needed work.  I'll have to think more about how to improve those.  The talk also sparked my interest in creating a new smaller workshop, one that I could give at the art center in town.

When I take photos, sometimes I'm so immersed in getting the shot that I fail to notice the details, like goose C484 (see prior post).  In these photos, I didn't notice the small notch of red on the clear wings until after I downloaded the photographs.  They reminded me of colored tabs in a file cabinet.  I believe this is an immature male autumn meadowhawk dragonfly.

Btw, this looks like a great website to identify wildlife if you live in Connecticut.