Monday, March 9, 2015

InVolen--Intergenerational Game Making for the Environment

I came across mention of this project in a listserv posting from the ARIS game people while looking for crowdsourcing examples. It is really an example of a number of things: crowdsourcing, maker spaces and serious games:

                                          12.15 ugolini involen from progettoacariss

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Women's History Salute to Colorado Adult Educator Lucy Stromquist

I met Lucy Stromquist, somewhere in the early 21st century, when she was one of the long-time trainers for CASAS literacy certification. I was in awe of this woman who so exhibited the traits of Master Teacher. A few years later, faced with developing online courses to meet the needs of Adult Educator Certifications in Colorado, I was struggling with how to group the needed competencies into courses and related instructional activities and assessments.

 I called Lucy and asked if I could pay her a visit. Beyond the opportunity to tap her extraordinary expertise, I was secretly hoping she would agree to co-develop the courses. We agreed to meet at the St. Vrain Literacy Center on a holiday weekend in Loveland Colorado. The snow part of winter had set in, so I had dressed accordingly with a winter-weight coat and snow boots, and luckily so. The center’s heat had been turned off for the weekend. Lucy and I seemed to have similar histories—I had been raised in the north and she was a hearty rural professional. So when we both showed up at the cold building, we were dressed to meet. She put on coffee and brought out a tin of cookies. Fully dressed in our outerwear, we waded through our histories and the competencies. Those discussions made clear two points: We were sisters in the trenches and traditions of adult education, and I was able to see how the competencies should be sequenced.

Most fascinating, was hearing about Lucy’s rise to leadership. Prior to Pearl Harbor, she’d applied for medical school. To my astonishment and sense of irony, one of the questions asked of her during her interview was whether she had a serious boyfriend. When she replied yes, the counter was, “How can you expect him to wait so long for this part of your education?”

Lucy followed this part of the account with, “And then Pearl Harbor happened.” So her beau went off to war, and she was invited to be one of the women trained to operate airplane production factories in Kansas.  The women were in classes or working 6 days per week, and received training that areonautical engineers might have, or at least to the production level.

So Lucy served and developed, and when the war was over, married her beau and had her family. And then was invited to finish her 4 year and grad degrees.  And
Followed by establishing the Ft. Vrain literacy center and serving on CASAS, a competency-based national literacy initiative.

At the end of the day, in her 82nd year, she declined to be my co-developer. But she agreed to review the courses. And affirmed that she wished she had had these courses when she began her career as an adult educator.

I executed many searches to develop this tribute to her. I could find so little.

Leecy Wise, and others, if you can add or correct my account, will you?

Creating a Multimedia Work--Attributions and Permissions Sought

I am working on a multi-media work "of you i sing" and writing a piece on the attributions. I've written a second email to ask permissions for the use of one of the images, a fabulous doll/statue by Rosalie Paniyak to her daughter, after first writing to the National Museum of the American Indian, where I saw this wonderful piece. The other image is part of a birthday card sent to me, and I cannot find the portion that bears the maker or owner of copyright. If anyone knows who this is, please contact me: This post is being linked to a QR code that will be appear on this work.

These images express the beauty of things grown and made—the pickup and the NM chilies come from a birthday card. The image of “My Love, Miss Liberty" by Chevak dollmaker Rosalie Paneyak comes from a photo I took of Miss Liberty in the National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan. Nearby is the Staten Island Ferry that takes you to the French gift of the Statue of Liberty. To me, Rosalie’s is the most beautiful. Documents say she gave this doll to Bush 41. So does he still have a version or did he share this one? I first wrote to the National Museum and sent them a copy of the photo asking permissions. They advised me to contact Rosalie's estate or a gallery representative. After some searching, I also found that Rosalie's daughter Ursula Irvin is also a doll artist.

I have written to Rosalie’s daughter Ursula to ask permissions for the use of the photo of her mother's creation in the case I would make it public in some way. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More About Code

An after school program recently shared there is a request for an enrichment learning class on coding. I’m not a coder, but you’ll remember I bought the toys Dash and Dot for the sake of understanding how these toys can forward knowledge and coding practice.

 The Hour of Code effort offers all kinds of curriculum for this purpose. and the Khan Academy are two such sites:!

This is the second year of Hour of Code events. This video highlight a couple things: President Obama’s visit with students during an Hour of Code Event at the White House, and the mention of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, one of the early experts to convert binary computer code to language resembling code we use today:

  PS. Note

The programmable toy on the table in the video—yes, I’m working on a code routine for mine! So more to come. But in leaving today, I want to share this video by Common Craft which nicely elaborates on coding principles:


Friday, December 19, 2014

The Programmable Toys Have Arrived: Meet Cowboy and Mustang (aka Bo and Yana, Dot and Bo)

About a year ago, a group named Playi proposed a Kickstarter project to fund toys that would teach programming concepts through play. Their marketing efforts were brilliant. One of their promotions included having Bo play a song on a xylophone. The public was invited to suggest a song that Bo would play. Playi then surveyed the masses as to which suggestion should be programmed.

Another of their promos was to invite the public to play with Bo and Yana at an Hour of Code Event.

2014 dragged on, and I waited for the delivery of the product. Well, it came during this year's Hour of Hour of Code--smart strategy!

So here they are--can't wait to carve out a piece of time to use the Blockly app on my Ipad to program Cowboy's/Bo's Dance Party number.

Just Barely Home--Getting Charged and Blinking

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More and Less QR

I’m always on the lookout to see how tech is used in various countries. These were my observations on recent trip to Australia and China. There was plenty of evidence that QR was used in several places in Darwin and Cairns for both tourist venues and other.

This one from the Charles Darwin University provides downloads of library subject guides:

On one of our tourist outings, I had the good luck to meet a social media professional from Germany. Her take was that QR has not really taken off in Germany and this is probably due to the fact of a more limited ownership of smart phones.

In contrast, QR’s were in abundance in China. From the Jilin University e-book kiosk
to connection to retail sites and codes for cash rebates in shops through an app known as WeChat.

The QR’s on the library kiosk allow users to download the e-books to readers from the kiosk.

The wide-spread use of QR’s with marketing and retail purposes is driven by the use of WeChat, a combination chat, picture, and live video app available on phones. Because the app operates from the phone, it is a natural driver for scanning the QRs. 

WeChat is an app available internationally. As for use within China, it makes social media interaction available while other social media such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked. What I did find upon return to the US, is that I was blocked from Chinese WeChat sites, meaning that WeChat if for national, rather than international access in that country.

What is your experience with QR where you live or where you have travelled? Would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pop Pop Pop: All Kinds of 3D Printing Developments

Have You Been 3D Scanned?

What a terrific TED talk on how 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is “personalizing” and “localizing” the creation of new items.

And since viewing that TED talk, earlier today, the #3Dprinting world seems to be exploding. A 3D camera that attaches to an Ipad to capture 3D images came forward, then a bunch of other stories, including the printing of bone substitute, and a solar-powered 3D printer. (Yes, when I’m on the beach, I could print some running shoes, or maybe a boogie board LOL). 

 How the 3D Ipad Scanner works:

More stories here: