Showing posts from September, 2012

Recent Post on LETS Blog: Using Google Docs

I’ve been using Google Docs more and more with each semester.  I find it a great tool for organizing my work, files, and student work.  It’s pretty easy to set up, to organize, and to keep track of students and their work.  Since it is attached to the student’s school email and all done online, it avoids issues of compatibility and software issues.  The most software they’ll need is an updated web browser.  Any browser works well, but you can expect some wonkiness.

For the rest of the article, click on through to the LETS Blog.

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Look What I Made: Potpourri

So recently, I came into an abundance of wonderfully smelling flowers in vases that were starting to enter into the decay stage.  Rather than let them go to waste or try to hang them upside down to dry them out (my cats would have had a field day with that!), I decided to use my dehydrator and make some potpourri.  It was a pretty easy process and makes for a wonderful olfactory delight in the apartment.

So here's how I did it:

Pretty simple, quick to do, cheap, and a great way to upcycle flowers and keep their usage going long after they've hit their peak.  Enjoy and let me know if you've tried it!

By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tales of Running: First and Last Impressions

When I was in middle school, my dad signed me and my brother up for a lacrosse camp.  We went to this camp once a week (or twice--I don't clearly remember the frequency) for several weeks.  I wasn't entirely into lacrosse but I was mildly curious in it and more interested in it compared to football or baseball by this point. Like most programs, they broke us up by age, so while I hung out with the youngest kids, my brother was with the high school kids.  My group was paired with Coach Logan.  My first impression of him--through the haze of the 12-13-year-old know-it-all attitude while trying to climb or aspire to a higher run on the social hierarchy that was developing--was rather sad.  Coach Logan was quirky, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic.  But to my developing and judgmental mind, he was someone who must be high and an idiot.  I remember we ended our practices with "Indian Runs" (I do hope they have been renamed since then).  For those not in the know, this is wh…

Adventures in Learning: Or My Skepticism About "Adults" Part 2: Learning In Adulthood.

So in a previous post, I took to task some of the concerns and problems that I find with Tenant and Pogson's Learning and Change in the Adult Years.  Now, I'm going to discuss Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner's Learning in Adulthood (Henceforth: LIA).  We had 2 chapters to read for LIA.  Chapter 3:  Adult Learners:  Who Participates and Why & Chapter 13:  Cognitive Development in Adulthood.  Here we go!
Chapter 3:  Adult Learners:  Who Participates and WhyThe first assumption I have trouble with is "participation in adult education is largely a voluntary activity." (Pg 53).  But is it?  A teacher getting his/her master's degree could be construed as "voluntary"--but only voluntary in so much as that teacher wants to keep his/her job (in MA, I believe the rule is that a teacher needs to obtain one within 5 years of starting a teaching position).  There were numerous jobs I worked where we were required to get training and certification in orde…

Adventures in Learning: Or My Skepticism About "Adults"

So starts my rambling (and yeah--it's definitely a rambling) about the readings for the second class.  I have lots of questions, problems, and thoughts to share--I probably won't get to most of them and we had limited class to really even cover a speck of what the readings entailed, but away we go!  We've got 2 texts for this class:

Learning and Change in the Adult Years:  A Developmental Perspective by Mark Tennant & Philip Pogson.Learning in Adulthood:  A Comprehensive Guide, 3rd Edition by Sharan B. Merriam, Rosemary S. Caffarella, and Lisa M. Baumgartner.

For brevity sake, I'll probably refer to them as LCAY and LIA respectively.   I'll work with LCAY first.

My overall problem thus far is that there so very little that defines the adult learner in a wholistic way.  The readings largely talk about a path to becoming the adult learner but it doesn't seem like that's a universal for every adult learner.  That is one has to wonder how many "adult lea…

Letter to the Editor: Issue of sex change for prisoner deserved a deeper look

The Salem News’ handling of the Kosilek situation needs work. They framed Kosilek’s gender identity disorder and the attempts to address it through surgery as a “want” and tell us that insurers consider it “elective” so it must not be important. It’s like Botox, right? When did the insurance companies become bastions of correct decisions about health care?...

For the full letter, click on through.

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33 Years and My first 30K

I turned 33 this week.  With any luck, hope, effort, and technology, I'm at the 1/3 point of my life.  Totally optimistic, deciding that I'll live to 99.  But at least I have goals, right?  As birthdays go, it was enjoyable.  Those close to me celebrated it in different ways--showing their affection, care, and love.  I've not been big on birthday nor age for that matter, because it never really means much beyond tracking when I was born.  But if this were to be the 1/3 point (or hell, even the half-way point, I'd take that as well), I'm pretty happy with it.

I treated myself to a race for my 33rd birthday.  A 30K race (close to 19 miles). I did the Nahant 30K.  My race results can be found here and while I am pretty much far in the rear of the group.  I'm ok with that.  I did it and there's only getting better from here is how I see it. Today's run was put on by the North Shore Striders, who were very cool and has me thinking I might need to join them i…

Online Education: Some Considerations

I took my first online course in the summer of 2000 and since then have taken about half a dozen.  I've also taught several dozen over the last 4 years and in my current position, I have helped faculty develop online courses to teach.  The following are the four critiques that I've come to realize that stilt the potential of online education.  Much of this comes from my experience as I've become an online instructor, while other is shaped by conversations and reported expereinces by others.
1.  Direct Entry.We need to find ways to get access to portals instantly. In most schools, there's a 3-5 step process just to get into the course (going to log in page, logging in, finding specific course, moving pass the entry page and into the most recent/relevant page).  This needs to be streamlined--it's not that it's too much work, but if a person is at the computer, such steps often creates delay.  Besides keeping track of usernames and (every-changing) passwords, it st…

Adventures in Learning

As many of you know, I'm work on Master's Degree #3 (MEd in Instructional Design), in part because I'm a nerd and in part, it would help my current position as an Instructional Designer.  One of their required courses (which is one of two that are required to be face to face) is The Adult As Learner.  And if you can't anticipate what I'm going to say next, you're not paying attention.  As part of that course, we're required to keep a blog.  My instructor kindly let those who are blogging already use their own blogs, so this series of posts will be labeled as "Adventures in Adult Learning."

So what is a course on The Adult as Learner entail?  The course description reads as "Students are introduced to the body of knowledge concerning adults as learners.  This course focuses on the principles of adult education, learning styles, variables that affect adult learning, appropriate training methodologies, reinforcement of learning, skill transfer, a…

A Youth Well (Mis)Spent: (Video)Games of My Mind

I was that kid.  I loved video games and was completely devoted to them.   Those that are out there that remember my 5th grade elementary class with Mr. Mercier will remember the ceaseless barage of video game references when it came to homework.  We had vocabulary and we had to make a sentence for each new word.  I made sure every sentence had something to do with video games.  (In retrospect, I wonder if committing myself to focusing on one arena lent to both learning the words more meaningfully and my interesting in writing fiction).  I had my first Nintendo (over the course of several years, I would end up with two since the first one broke from over use) by 2nd grade, my first Supernintendo by 7th grade, and several other game systems including Gameboys, Sega, and Playstation along the way.

Over the years, I fell in love with different games.  There was the original Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, Legend of Zelda, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (I remember the first time I beat Piston …

My Summer (Not) Vacation

So what did I do this summer?  For those not following (or have properly blocked me on Facebook or Twitter).  Lots.
Running...Lots There's the training and the running that I did for the 25K run.  That's been an aweome and inspiring project (for myself and hopefully, others out there).  To go in just over a year from being a complete non-runner to a runner doing impressive runs still feels crazy in my mind and brings a smile to my face in reflection.  It marks a major accomplishment in my own life.
GardeningI also worked on and developed a garden with two dear friends.  From seeds and saplings to fully-grown fruit/vegetable-wielding plants and bushes, the garden has always offered me a delightful reflection on tasting the fruit of my labor.  From tilling the soil, to planting, to weeding to harvesting, the experience is rewarding.  From June to September, each day visiting the garden is full of anticipation.  What is here today that wasn't yesterday?  Has that squash gotten …

Tales of 9 Runs: A Tale of 2 Medals or I Just Ran a 25K, No, Really!

It was cheesy.  All of $. 50 of plastic and ribbon, but the sincerity and sweetness of it was pretty awesome.  In the picture below, it's the medal on the left.  My sister-in-law made it for me for my first 5K race that I ever ran (It's happening again this year for interested runners-- the 2nd Annual Lynda Talbot 5K in Danvers, MA).  It was cheesy but a kind gesture.  One that I recognize was just enough of a carrot to get me to the medal I received today when I finished my first 25K race.

Today's race was hard.  I wasn't there fully as I explained in my pre-run post.  But I got up, did my routine and got ready to run.  It was a laborious course with lots of hills but luckily the weather was on our side.  Largely in the low 70s and partly cloudy, the weather wore away less on me than some of the hotter runs during the summer, which was good because I made the cardinal error of going out too fast.  I did my first mile in about 9 minutes 15 seconds which for a run like …