Zoom as an online teaching tool

I’d like to start posting things about digital pedagogy tips I’ve developed over the past couple years. This is hopefully the first of many. I’ve been working remotely as a contractor for a long time and have been an instructor online for a little over two years. I’m also addicted to online tutorials and my favorite bedtime story is often related to digital pedagogy.

I teach an interactive web design and coding class in person at an art college within a large university and I am an educator at an online code school for their design and web development programs. I have a BFA and MFA in Visual/Fine Arts and I’ve been a professional web developer since 1998.

I’ve got some advice to share. I hope that it helps some of you during this wacky time!

Zoom Remote Meetings

Zoom has removed the 40 minute time limit on video meetings to educators during the Covid-19 crisis, so you can use Zoom as a virtual classroom.

The feature I love most about Zoom is one that my friend and former professor Sarah Sentilles uses in her writing workshops — Breakout rooms. You choose how many people to a breakout room, and zoom does the managing. You can call students back and if they don’t return within a timely manner, you can bring them back to the main classroom yourself. It gives students the opportunity to work together on projects or assignments, and because it’s facetime and shared screens, it’s *almost* as good as real life collaboration. They also have what Sarah likes to call “Brady Bunch Mode” where you can see everyone’s face in a big grid instead of just the presenter’s face.

Zoom also has webinar and cloud recording features as paid subscription services.

Will Hunt, Caves, and Getting Lost

LOVE this article in the Atlantic: Getting Lost Makes the Brain go Haywire

“So deep-seated is our dread of disorientation that becoming lost might trigger a kind of crack-up, where our very sense of self comes apart at the seams. “To a man totally unaccustomed to it,” wrote Theodore Roosevelt in his 1888 book Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, “the feeling of being lost in the wilderness seems to drive him into a state of panic terror that is frightful to behold, and that in the end renders him bereft of reason … If not found in three or four days, he is very apt to become crazy; he will then flee from the rescuers, and must be pursued and captured as if he were a wild animal.””

Press for “Despondent” Show in Eugene, Oregon

The Register Guard gave us a nice write up in the paper!

“The Maude Kerns Art Center presents “despondent,” a group show of six artists opening with a public reception on Friday, February 21, from 6 – 8 pm. The exhibit features the work of Judith Hochman, Kumja Lee, M.V. Moran, Alanna Risse, Rhonda Vanover, and Amanda Martin Wilcox. Each artist has a connection with the Pacific Northwest and each received an MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. The six artists approach the subject of melancholy from different perspectives and with different media.”

Come to our artist talk Saturday March 14th, 2020 1:30 – 3pm.

Virtual Traffic Jams with piles of old phones

Love this project!

“With its Geo Tools, Google has created a platform that allows users and businesses to interact with maps in a novel way. This means that questions relating to power in the discourse of cartography have to be reformulated. But what is the relationship between the art of enabling and techniques of supervision, control and regulation in Google’s maps? Do these maps function as dispositive nets that determine the behaviour, opinions and images of living beings, exercising power and controlling knowledge? Maps, which themselves are the product of a combination of states of knowledge and states of power, have an inscribed power dispositive. Google’s simulation-based map and world models determine the actuality and perception of physical spaces and the development of action models.”

Unsplash Expands its Libraries

This is so cool!!!!

Unsplash now gives you easy access to awesome image libraries like:

New York Public Library https://unsplash.com/@nypl
Library of Congress https://unsplash.com/@libraryofcongress/
NOAA https://unsplash.com/@noaa
US Geological Survey https://unsplash.com/@usgs

Mind blown. More here:

https://medium.com/unsplash/meet-the-institutions-now-on-unsplash-3d35ffa5add5

Ceti Constellations

I’ve been helping ceti.institute get up and running by helping get a website up and helping with organization tasks. It’s been such an honor to work with Nandini and her crew and I hope it continues forever and ever!

We’re organizing a bunch of creatives, scientists, mathematicians and like-minded people to build fun projects for the Portland Winter Light Festival.

Last weekend was the meet-up-and-build-stuff weekend and it was glorious. The even on February 8th is going to be so much fun. Several of the pieces are very playful and I even managed to make a project with another person.

78 weeks ago

Here’s the moment I realized something was wrong. I didn’t know what yet, that would take months, and things would get much worse. But this is the moment I realized I couldn’t hear the music anymore. The world felt black and white.

Gratitude – Following my Rainbow

Disclaimer: I get to follow my rainbow because even thought I don’t get paid much, my husband’s income allows me to take risks and make choices about who i work for and with.

Today, following my rainbow led me to a new pot of gold. Inside that pot I found a person who is interested in all the things I’m interested in, is as excited about my mission as I am, because hers is nearly the same, and wants me to work with her.

Sometimes, because I have a whole family to think about, I worry my decisions are selfish. I make them for me and my kid as a priority. My husband benefits because he gets to see me follow my rainbow for years on end and get farther along the path every year. But My rainbow sometimes makes him feel stuck and I have to live with that guilt. But all in all I’m happy for the life we are building, I’m happy I get to be so involved in my kid’s life, and I’m happy I get some sort of paycheck doing that.

So my gratitude is for: 1. following my rainbow. 2. My husband supporting me following my rainbow and 3. my kid getting to come along for the ride, and to see me as a strong woman role model.

Gratitude: A Bad Cold

I know, this is a weird one to be grateful for. But maybe we can be grateful for anything. I got sick friday night with a sore throat. I drank a bunch of rum and non diary eggnog, it’s a great combo if you have the chokey coughs. I spent most of the day Saturday on my computer, or napping, or reading. I just gave in and allowed myself to not feel bacd about all of the things I had plans that required me to move my body around a whole bunch, like work on my dresser/clothes in the closet, or clean up and organize my office. I snuggled with my dogs a whole bunch and got quite a bit of work done. Today it continues. I feel better but don’t feel like moving much.

Another thing this quiet time has bought me is some time to think about my health. It’s been a challenge for me to take my life and health seriously since August. I’ve kind of been on some sort of protest where the only person that suffers from it is me. I think I’m ready to start now. I signed up for the 100 mile Petal Pedal ride in June, so I have a goal to work towards. I checked my glucose numbers today, they aren’t good. So I need to lose weight and exercise more to get them down.

Anyway, this couple days of sick time have allowed me some time to put some sort of plan together and do some time rallying.

Gratitude: New friends and Rock

I had a magical night this week with some women from Liberation Rock camp. I found myself sitting at a table with some 40 something year old women with kids who work in tech. It was like the most magical christmas present ever. They convinced me to go to Sleater Kinney. I never go to shows anymore. It was freaking awesome. I can’t believe how incredible this year’s LRC was. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. So here’s to new friends who totally rock.

Gratitude – Time Passing

Generally I’m not a great fan of time passing. My kid is getting older, I’m getting older, there aren’t enough hours in the day or the week or the month or year. Time passes more and more quickly as you get older, it has something to do with dopamine, I read it in a magazine once, before the internet was a big thing.

However, today my gratitude is for the quick passing of time because I’m in week 8 of 10 at the college I teach at. This is the week where I think: 1. well, let’s just get in there and rub some elbow grease around. And I have a pretty good attitude about everything because we are here and we have to get there, and we’ve got the tools we’ve got. 2. I know what I will do differently and it’ll be so fresh in my head (I hope) that I will remember to catch things before they get out of hand. 3. I’m happy that there’s a break coming and I can get my syllabus and ruberics and all that stuff dialed in before the term starts.

So, here’s to time passing fast… as long as it slows down immediately after I turn in that last grade on or before December 17th. Please pray for me that it’s before!

Oh no wait, apparently it has more to do with degradation of neural pathways! Yay for degradation!

Gratitude – Rock

Wow, haven’t had time to do my daily gratitudes. But this one’s a big one.

Gratitude for Rock N Roll Camp for Girls and the adult camp: Liberation Rock Camp. I attended for the second time this weekend and the whole weekend blew my mind. You cannot find a more supportive, kick-ass group of womxn anywhere in the whole universe. I needed it. Here’s our song:

Gratitude – Depression

I’ve noticed my depression and fatigue coming back as well as some TMJ. And things are hard. So gratitude is in order

I am so very grateful for my husband to hear me say in a very clinical way “I am exhibiting signs of depression, and this frustrates me.” and for him to just listen, and not say “you should… you should… you should.” And to hug me a lot and to say he’ll sleep on the couch so I can get better rest. And I’m grateful for my dog Maggie who knew I should put down my code book, stop trying so hard, and just pet her until I fell asleep.

That’s about all the energy I have for today’s post.

Gratitude – Love

It’s after midnight! So that means I get to post my gratitude for tomorrow (today) and I’m grateful for that!

I’m grateful that my friend sent me a text message response to an “I’m on my way” and she said “Thank you! I love you!” and that made me giggle out loud and kind of blush, and feel all happy about friendship when you think someone is great and you can finally make time to spend more time with them even though you’re an adult and sometimes that’s so hard.

I’m grateful for grading! I love grading! I love looking back through a student’s brief few weeks with me and see their progress and see that I’ve gotten to know each one of them in a “we’ve been through a fairly big project together” kind of way.

I’m grateful that I have a job that even though I have to work on a friday night til very late, trying desperately to get caught up, that the work I’m doing makes me really excited and proud.

I love sleep, and it’s 12:22 so I am going to enjoy some right now.