The End of the Semester Reflection and Lawn Mowing

First, I would like to say that I am inspired by Ted and his 32 posts. Now that I feel like I know him from our numerous G+ Hangouts, I can say that he participates. Participation is key you know. You gotta step out on the field if you want to play. If our game here is pedagogy and digital spaces, the field is the web. You gotta get wet to play. Ted is all wet, so I have made him a badge. Here you go Ted!

Let me begin my self assessment post by saying that I will not make any excuses. Except that….

Just kidding. I have been very busy working with educators and folks in the field. In fact, my new project is to mow my name into our lawn like my hero Alan Levine has done while visiting other awesome teachers in Australia.

So with important things like education and lawn mowing on my mind I will share some thoughts about this class and my participation in it.

First, I would like to say that the group we have gathered in this POT class reminds me of some friends of mine and some other work I have done over the course of the last year. I feel like I have made some friends and that I have learned much from all of you. But, you see, I keep on doing things for this other class too. It is on the thing called the internet. You have heard me mention it before. It is the ds106. This is what it feels like:

It has been a long strange trip and it is hard to tell what is education and what is not. It is a path I must keep moving down. It pulls me to it. It is art, I think. But I am not completely sure because my eyes are closed. But no matter, I FEEL it and that is enough.

I started this class, the Program for Online Teaching class, as a mentor. I hope I have been able to share a few ideas with the good folks in the class. I know I have learned a lot! I started this class at the same time I started my third trip into the ds106 world. This time around I tried to frame everything differently. Literally.

As you can see, there was this strange line between lofty ideas and strange glittery frames of reference. Here is my blog for the class. Notice all the badges! I am like the Badge Collector.

In the POT (Program for Online Teaching) class I was not a badge collector, I was Captain Synchronous. I was in charge of some of the synchronous events and we had a Hoot. Literally.

Lisa asked me to help get some real time events going each week. I started strong and ended more or less ok. I had a great time doing the sessions.

I think that the people I have met in these Hangouts will help me learn about learning and teaching. They already have! I feel very fortunate to have been involved!

In some of these hangouts I found myself in the presence of someone who I greatly admired in the ds106 class. I only knew him as “NoiseProfessor” in the class but I come to find out after talking with him a couple times that he is Zach Dowell and really nice. Here he is:


Turns out Zach is a gardener too. He is awesome.

So in the POT class we met each week and we spoke of many things. I learned a lot from Lisa and Ted and Claire and Cris and the many others who showed up in our events. It was good for me to become a bit more comfortable in the environments we worked in. It is important to practice these things. I jumped in. I got wet.

I was in email contact on several occasions with some of the mentees I worked with. I even got a phone call from one. That was awesome. I wish more people would call on that old thing the telephone. Mine still works. I carry it around all the time. If it rings I answer it and Ta Da, I am speaking to someone far away from me geographically. After talking with them for a bit I get to know them. It is a miracle!

In the second semester of the ds106 experience I was an old man from Scotland.  This is me:

It was weird. I was killed and I nearly overthrew the reigning terror that was Jim Groom.  Here is my story.

I have contributed to the Facebook space for the POT class. I am please with my participation there. I think that the POT space is a great resource for educators. There is much uncertainty around the use of Facebook for classes and stuff. There is much uncertainty.

As I look back at the posts I have created here I see I had this to say back in September,

I am also offering a Google+ session in twenty minutes and I only know I am still trying to figure out the invite process and what public really means in terms of having a hangout. So I am partly lost, but I’ll not get any better if I do not get out there and try.

Let me repeat,

So I am partly lost, but I’ll not get any better if I do not get out there and try.

I feel good about the experience and I hope to do better next time. This is such an amazing idea for professional development and I am hoping to work more with Lisa and others delivering PD in this type of environment.

I can’t wait for the next part!


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7 Responses to The End of the Semester Reflection and Lawn Mowing

  1. Alan Levine says:

    You have grass? What kind of Arizonan are you?

  2. What a great post. I’m looking forward to getting involved in this here POT thing, and to the potential for cross fertilization with other networks and amazing learners and thinkers and teachers. This spring is gonna be amazing. Rad.

    • Todd Conaway says:

      I am interested in where we will go too. There is one teacher here at Yavapai who has really benefited from the Facebook page. I hope to wrangle some more into the space in the spring.

  3. Lisa M Lane says:

    Todd, I knew at the beginning of this class that you’d bring a delightful insanity to the whole thing, and it’s been great! Thanks so much for being Captain Synchronous — let’s do some more. Oh, I know, how about Thursday? 😉

  4. I can’t wait for the next part either