With the end of another year quickly approaching, I must acknowledge I’m never good for predictions, resolutions, or year-end wrap-ups. In part because I am myopic, lazy, and disorganized, but also because that’s really not what this blog is about. The bava is about unadulterated longing. Today my youngest, Tommaso, turned four years old. In my mind I mark his birth (which was an unplanned home birth that played out dramatically in our bathroom) with a couple of other major personal and professional events, namely buying our first home and planning the first iteration of what would be ds106 (my other, Frankenstein baby 🙂 ). Hard to believe all these events happened four years ago. And, as I already noted here, bavatuesdays turned eight this past week and I’ve been working at UMW for more than eight years. My life is starting to accumulate in ways it never has before. I’m a decade into my career as an educational technologist, a field I still truly enjoy, and probably the most troubling development is that my oldest son can now regularly school me at Madden 25.
This weekend Tess and I started packing up for our family’s tri-annual trip to Italy to spend time with family. It’ll be a bit quiet on this bog for a while. There may (or may not) be a flurry of posts over the next few days about some things I need to wrap-up, but after that things should go quiet on the bava for a few weeks. I want to enjoy some time away with those crazy kids I helped cheerlead into the world. It’s starting to dawn on me they won’t be young forever, and I should probably take advantage of the time they actually want to spend with me. I’ll be nostalgic for this moment, I always am—it’s in my nature, but I also want to know I lived it. So far I’ve done pretty well in that regard, and while sometimes I live it all a bit too hard, I’m thankful we’re all still together and we’re still having fun. It’s all meaningless for me without la famiglia. Bring on 2014, I’m not afriad of whatever may come as long as I still have all my maniacs beside me.
Well, Happy Birthday to Tommaso! He picked a good one – the same as me, although I got to it a bit more than four years ago.
Nice, two of my favorite people! Happy 8th birthday! 😉
How do you do those GIFs, anyway! GIFing your children! My, my, my, I guess they think it’s funny. The world is a changing place, and we are changing with/because of/in response to it. Congratulations on all you accomplishments. You have a lot to be proud of, because you “followed your bliss,” as Joseph Campbell said. I think it’s something we need to really think about – those of us privileged enough to have a choice in the matter, because we can be pulled so many ways, going with the flow so much that we lose sight of our deeper truer selves.
What I’ve been thinking today, based on what you and so many others are about: What has become ever clearer to me is that we need to think of teaching more in terms of student learning than in terms of professors’/educators’ teaching. One can teach and teach, but do the students learn? What do they learn? How do they integrate that learning with all they know and have experienced before? How does it affect them? To what action does it (not) prompt them? How does it affect their outlook on the world? How does it help them become skilled in some way or other, and do they contextualize that skill, I.e. think about the wider social, human, environmental, ethical implications of the actions to which they put that skill?
I absolutely love it that you support students doing “real stuff!” As they say in Germany, “Weiter so!” (pronounced vituh zoh, more or less).
Funny you should ask about making animated GIFs, I have a tutorial using free tools just for you:
As for the teaching, you’re too kind, but I think folks all over the web are doing just that far better than me, and those are the stories we need o get out there. That’s the future of teaching, Downes said it best:
Let’s all build the architecture together, that’s the promise.
Thanks for the GIF info – and, yes, Stephen Downes said it eloquently. Have a great break!