Saturday, May 31, 2014

open source learning survey

By now you should have received an invitation via the email address you provided yesterday, but just in case here is the link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RHSclassof2014

If you have any questions please email dpreston.learning@gmail.com.

Thanks & see you Monday!

masterpiece question & archive

masterpiece academy question & archive

For the last two weeks the Masterpiece Academy has been your showcase.  As you reflect on this experience, and your overall experience in this course throughout the year, please address the following questions in a traditional MLA-style essay.  Then post about it to your blog in any medium (music, pictures, video, animation, [?]) that brings your thesis to life.  (You may embed the original paper if you can't think of a better way to communicate.)

Please Note: Everything on the traditional paper assignment counts.  Please proofread and/or ask a friend or relative to help with organization, flow, and mechanics (capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, MLA style, e.g.)


Masterpiece Academy Question

In the first week of the school year we were visited by a newspaper reporter who wanted to understand Open Source Learning.  Since you have spent nearly 200 days on the subject, you are one of the world's most experienced authorities-- now it's your job to be a journalist and report on yourself and your learning experience.  Have you grown/changed through this process?  How?  Have you improved your reading/writing/thinking skills?  How?  Please be sure to address the following elements as you write.

ELEMENT 1: You have been treated as colleagues and you have been given a great deal of choice in this course; this represents a high level of trust.  Did you and the others deserve it?  Earn it?  Honor it? 

ELEMENT 2: Have you re/connected with a passion that drives you?  If so, how will you continue your learning?  If not, how will you proceed?

ELEMENT 3: [Something about literature or this course that made you laugh out loud.]

ELEMENT 4: [A unifying theme that runs through a minimum of five (5) presentations; a quality of the content, or the speakers, or their communication techniques that strikes you as something important that we have in common.]  Please illustrate/support your point with specific examples from the presentations.

ELEMENT 5: Evaluate whether you completed the hero's journey.  Are you a hero?  To what extent did you respond to the call of adventure?  Did you find a mentor, conquer a challenge, and return enlightened?


Masterpiece Academy Archive

To save you some search & scroll time, here are brief remembrances and artifacts from your presentations in chronological order.  (Note: I will be finishing this today--Saturday, 5/31--so if you're looking for something in days 5-8 and don't see it yet, either send an email, look on the presenter's blog, or wait a few hours.)  Please comment to any post that contains omissions or errors.

Masterpiece Academy Day 1 (Tuesday, May 20)
Masterpiece Academy Day 2 (Wednesday, May 21)
Masterpiece Academy Day 3 p.0 (Thursday, May 22)
Masterpiece Academy Day 3 p.1 (Thursday, May 22)
Masterpiece Academy Day 4 ((Friday, May 23)
Masterpiece Academy Day 5 (Tuesday, May 27)
Masterpiece Academy Day 6 (Wednesday, May 28)
Masterpiece Academy Day 7 (Thursday, May 29)
Masterpiece Academy Day 8 (Friday, May 30)

Friday, May 30, 2014

course commencement

In the two-hour period during finals week we will be celebrating our accomplishments.  Contribute your "best of" and program ideas in comments to this post.

masterpiece academy day 4

Notes from Friday, May 23

Jared kicked things off by bringing in a ringer to help illustrate the benefits of motivation and collaboration.  Jared is working on an app for the purpose; in the meantime, his personal account was testimony to the power of keeping an open mind.

Andrew walked us through the process of writing a song.  Had his keyboard not acted up he would have played one for us too! (Maybe we'll have another chance during finals week?)  Here is his Prezi:



Loren has kickstarted her career as a journalist.  She even met with a local pro who mentored her.  Check out the stories on her blog!



Dustin, on occasion, has dared us to follow him down roads of the mind. This time he dared us to follow him on a skateboard. Since people took away different messages from this video/talk (ranging from design to physics to "huh?") you'll have to collaborate with others and interpret it for yourself.

video




Originally, Shane's masterpiece centered on the study of happiness.  He read books on philosophy, success, and flow theory.  Eventually this made him unhappy.  So he decided to practice happiness instead, and his focus on how theory actually works in the world led to this song (you can see him play starting at 2:00).  {Hey Shane, can you send an embed code or YouTube link so I can embed the video here?}


Roman is a man of many talents.  He designed and produced a full-length feature soundtrack (with cover art) of electronic music to commemorate his learning experiences this year. Check it out here.




Analyssa is using pictures to say thousands of words:



Jon is writing a novel-- thousands of words that paint a picture of a world that is at once familiar and totally unknown.  You can read his work here.




You know how parents call to their kids to get out of the pool?  Billy & Elizabeth aren't listening.  He wants to coach water polo and she wants to coach swimming.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

request for response: "gun rights" = absurd recipe for tragic disaster

Normally I refrain from offering opinions about politics and policy.  After all, I am in the business of helping you develop the skills to find, analyze, evaluate, and act on information in order to make up your own minds.

However, once in a while democracy demands that we stand and be counted.  The recent tragedy in Isla Vista could have and should have been avoided.  Apart from whatever fueled this young man's decision-making process, there is simply no reason for a college student to have guns in a dorm room or an apartment.  Just four days after last week's killings another UCSB student accidentally fired a handgun through a wall and the apartment next door.  He was in possession of seven weapons and over 1000 rounds of ammunition.

According to Richard Martinez, a Santa Maria attorney and father of one of the murder victims, shootings such as this-- once considered shocking-- have become the new normal because of "craven politicians and the N.R.A."  The author of the article entitled "Christopher Michael-Martinez's Father Gets It Right" agrees, going on to say that every other country that had this problem (note the past tense) went on to enact laws that made everyone safer.  We, the United States of America, have not.

Your thoughts?  (Please Note: This is not merely an exercise in rhetoric or expository composition.  Members of our own community lost friends and relatives in this tragedy.  Be mindful and base your arguments on facts and clear reasoning.)

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2014/05/christopher-michael-martinezs-father-gets-it-right.html?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email



may 30

JOURNAL TOPIC:
After you see today's presentations, create a meaningful connection between them and write about it.

AGENDA:
0
Alina
Maggie
Elias
Chance
Taylor, Matt, Cesilio, Alfredo


1
Jacob
Alicja

may 29

JOURNAL TOPIC:

After you see today's presentations, create a meaningful connection between the three and write about it.

AGENDA:

0
Matt/Elizabeth
Gabi
Alina

1
Paige
Joseph/Erik
Nick/Grant
Frankie
Dylan

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

epic fails

You will succeed if you are prepared to fail.  Often.  In public.  Splat.  Success depends on resilience.  Just imagine if these people had just given up and walked away.

may 28

JOURNAL TOPIC:

After you see today's presentations, create a meaningful connection between the three and write about it.

AGENDA:

0
Veronica
Jorge
Carlos Serrano
Malik Pope
Tiana/Summer
Angel Vega

1
Mackenzie
Joe
Austin
Derek

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

may 27

JOURNAL TOPIC:

After you see today's presentations, create a meaningful connection between the three and write about it.

AGENDA:

0
Maria
Veronica
Bobby/Xavier
Shane
Dustin

1
Amparo/Judith
Alex/Joey
Johna/Alicia
Dale

Friday, May 23, 2014

welcome to the unclass

This just in from Alfredo:


I agree with Alfredo, and I wish that some of our best conversations weren't disrupted by bells.  So, 608 is open to anyone who wants to extend formal presentations and/or have informal conversations with presenters to answer questions and keep exploring.

may 23

JOURNAL TOPIC:
After you see today's presentations, create a meaningful connection between the three and write about it. (Alternate: write about Andrew's song: tone, mood, & how you think it should end.)

AGENDA:
1. Masterpiece Academy

0
Jared
Andrew
Loren
Dustin
Shane

1
Roman
Analyssa
Jon
Billy/Elizabeth

Thursday, May 22, 2014

masterpiece academy day 3 (1)

Notes from Thursday, May 22

When you look at Jonatan's blog you see a tabula rasa, a blank slate that makes you wonder: "What's this guy THINKING?"  Apart from the occasional journal entry, quiz, and hard copy assignment, I've asked this question often.  And I'm so glad I kept asking!  It turns out Jonatan has been working on a novel. It's a suspense/adventure/action/thriller about some guys who overhear the wrong conversation and have to think quickly to save their lives, the ocean, and us.   Today he read us a selection and asked us for feedback-- please check back on his blog and join the story in progress.  (Or, if he's still living the analog life, find him in person and ask to see the manuscript.)





Alex presented on senioritis.  Her original masterpiece focused on the fashion industry but she quickly found herself bored with it, and she began reflecting on why she and her friends were giving up on things they previously thought important.  Even their personal style choices deteriorated over the year: "At some point we stopped trying to impress each other because we realized it just didn't matter." EXACTLY.  Challenge: Instead of inventing words that sound like diseases to describe investing less of ourselves in things that suck, let's dedicate ourselves to endeavors that don't suck.



Lastly, Rachael explained how she transitioned from her original masterpiece topic (zoology) and focused instead on her music.  Her comments and her music (see sample at bottom) reminded all of us how our passions can lead us to learning-- and sometimes sustain us through the difficult, technical, and/or bureaucratic barriers to being our best.




 


video


masterpiece academy day 3 (0)

Notes from Thursday, May 22

"I grew up on Bunny Street in Santa Maria..." (laughter: bunnies are cute.)  "When I was 10 I heard a gunshot, walked around a corner, and saw my first dead body.  He was about 18." (silence.)  Sierra has started a petition for a program to help young people thrive in our community.  Check out her blog here and sign the petition here.




Thanks to Rick for the welding education!  Check out his welding blog here.  (I'm putting in my order for a GUADALUPE-style BBQ.)



Remember the end of Fahrenheit 451, when the people became the books to preserve the ideas?  Today Alfredo suggested that we are all living, interdisciplinary textbooks.  He used himself as an example by taking us on a whirlwind 20-minute tour through calculus, evolution, philosophy, and religion.  Please visit Alfredo's blog and contribute your own chapter.







may 22

JOURNAL TOPIC:
After you see today's presentations, create a meaningful connection between the three and write about it. (Alternate: write about Andrew's song: tone, mood, & how you think it should end.)

AGENDA:
1. Contribute notes to Andrew's tune
2. Masterpiece Academy

0
Rick
Sierra
Alfredo

1
Jonatan
Alex
Rachael

HW:  (extra credit, whatever that means)

Please comment to Andrew's blog post about his song with your ideas.  *Bonus if you're willing to collaborate with him to finish the piece.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

masterpiece academy day 2

Notes from Wednesday, May 21

Today... was... awesome. Thanks to Daniel's Restaurant we all started with a terrific breakfast, a passion for perfection, and the realization that school subjects (like chemistry) are actually super-relevant to everyday life and would probably catch our attention much earlier/better if we could explore and learn about them through the things that truly interest us.






Then Jake shared his professional path toward big animal veterinary medicine. Quite a shift from quiche and cupcakes to dislocated horse shoulders and cat brains!




Finally, Valentina brought things back to a personal level as she taught us about how our inner states of mind affect our interactions with others.



may 21

JOURNAL TOPIC:

After you see today's presentations, create a meaningful connection between the three and write about it.

AGENDA:
1. Daniel
2. Taylor
3. Jake

4./HW: Journal

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

masterpiece academy day 1

Notes from Tuesday, May 20

Thanks to Alfredo Medina and Jacob Caldwell for kicking off the Masterpiece Academy in style. Alfredo presented on renewable energy and wind turbines-- and made his own-- and Jacob presented on the personal, economic, and cultural benefits of bodybuilding.



may 20

JOURNAL TOPIC:


What would you do if Batman shoved you up against a locker and told you to give him your lunch money? (Hint: you're going to be on the wrong side of a beat down if you handle this badly, so choose your strategies/tactics/words carefully. :)

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy: Alfredo & Jacob (p.0)
3. Masterpiece Academy: prep & "best of" (p.1)

Monday, May 19, 2014

masterpiece academy line-up & requests

Below is the schedule for Masterpiece Academy.  Please read through and check out the requests at bottom-- if you need something or it you're able/willing to help, please comment here or visit the Masters' blogs to collaborate.  I look forward to taking your micro-courses!

May 20
0
Alfredo
Jacob

1


May 21
0
Daniel 
Taylor
Jake

1


May 22
0
Rick
Sierra
Alfredo

1
Jonatan
Alex
Rachael

May 23
0
Jared
Andrew
Loren
Dustin
Shane

1
Roman
Analyssa
Jon
Billy/Elizabeth

May 27
0
Maria
Veronica
Bobby/Xavier

1
Amparo/Judith
Alex/Joey
Johna/Alicia
Dale

May 28
0
Jorge
Carlos Serrano
Malik Pope
Tiana/Summer
Angel Vega

1
Mackenzie
Joe
Austin
Derek

May 29
0
Matt/Elizabeth
Gabi
Alina

1
Paige
Joseph/Erik
Nick/Grant
Frankie
Dylan

May 30
0
Elias
Chance
Taylor, Matt, Cesilio, Dustin
Valentina

1
Jacob
Alicja

REQUESTS
* Rick needs a cylinder magnet
* Austin needs a spotlight




may 19

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "When You Wish Upon A Star" by Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards)]

Wave your mental magic wand and imagine the next three weeks as valuable, unforgettable learning.  What do you expect from the Masterpiece Academy and how can you contribute to making it the experience you envision?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy Build: schedule & logistics


Thursday, May 15, 2014

pentagon apparently ready for zombies

You can read the full story here.

may 16

JOURNAL TOPIC:
Authors from Shakespeare to Ray Bradbury are often inspired by real life events.  We recognize Shakespeare's characters from the headlines of history: Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth.  Fahrenheit 451 started as a short story called "The Pedestrian" that Bradbury wrote after being stopped by police for taking a walk.

Write about your favorite book, play, short story, poem, or song that was inspired by or based on real people or events.  What effect/s did the fictional account create?  How did it influence your knowledge or understanding?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. MGOTM

HW: projectprojectprojectproject  


may 15

JOURNAL TOPIC:
Talk to your inner 8th grader.  If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently in high school?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. MGOTM

HW: projectprojectprojectproject

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

masterpiece academy presentations

Beginning on May 19, the inmates will take over the asylum as students show how they've become the masters.  Each of you will teach the rest of us:
  • How you decided what you're passionate about;
  • The value your topic/field/skill has for us;
  • How you learned more about the topic/field/skill by:
    • Finding resources
    • Becoming fluent in the language of the practitioner
    • Seeking out a mentor 
    • Collaborating and getting feedback from peers/blog followers
  • How this has enriched your life and your experience in this course.
Per our conversations in class, your presentation should include:
  • Visuals and/or hands-on experiences that bring the audience into your world
  • Enough craft so as to convince us you didn't just throw something together for a grade
  • Handouts or main points you think we should remember.
Please note that there will be a final essay exam based on the curriculum you create, so be sure-- as both presenter and audience member-- that you are getting the maximum understanding and value from everyone's presentations. 

may 14

JOURNAL TOPIC: [No tunes today; please watch the following and write a response.] Thanks to Jared for sharing this--very powerful and worth passing along!



AGENDA:
1. Journal/discussion
2. MGOTM & complete individual interviews

HW:
Please read the post on Masterpiece Academy Presentations and get yours ready.  The Academy begins next Monday, May 19.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

beginnings 3

As an arms dealer, Ray had heard the sound thousands of times.  But never from behind or in the dark. Click.

may 13

JOURNAL TOPIC:
Why do people make spelling errors on words they already know?  It's been famously observed that, "To err is human."  Why?  What is the connection between imperfection and humanity?  Is imperfection a flaw, or a glorious, romantic state of being, well... us?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. MGOTM/Interviews
3. Beginnings 3

HW:
At this point, if you have to ask you may never know.

Monday, May 12, 2014

may 12

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Mother" by Pink Floyd]

Yesterday many of us celebrated Mother's Day, which was made a U.S. National Holiday by Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago.  Did you observe the occasion?  How do you show gratitude or affection to your Mom the other 364 days?  (If you want to de-personalize the topic: Why do so many public figures thank their Moms on camera so much more often than their Dads?)

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Masterpiece Academy logistics & scheduling

HW:
1. Prepare everything you need to bring to class tomorrow
2. Audit your blog and catch up/augment as necessary

Friday, May 9, 2014

may 9

JOURNAL TOPIC:

Today, please use your journal to take notes on the Open Source Learning Chat with Ted Newcomb and Raines Cohen, and please remember to turn in your journal at the end of the period. Mahalo.

AGENDA:
1. OSL Chat with Ted Newcomb & Raines Cohen

HW:
1. It's been proposed that we have an awards ceremony for this class at the end of the year.  In a comment to this post, propose your ideas for "Best of..."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

open source learning chat: ted newcomb & raines cohen

Unless they have living grandparents, most young people don't have much opportunity to engage with people over 50.  This means we miss out on intergenerational exchanges that increase understanding and enable us to learn from Those Who Have Been There & Done That.

Tomorrow we will have the chance to talk online with two men who have a great deal to teach us.  Ted Newcomb has been learning and building communities online since The WELL, and he is one of the most curious, patient, and generous people I've ever met.  Raines Cohen has spent decades growing nonprofit organizations, he served two terms on national board of the Cohousing Association and is an authority on cohousing and aging in place.  I'm excited that both Ted and Raines are willing to spend time with us; please come prepared with an open mind and any questions that you'd like them to consider.

beginnings 2

She put a finger to his lips.  "Stop," she said.  "We shouldn't."

may 8

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" by Bruce Cockburn; "Don't Look Back In Anger" by Oasisi]

What makes you angry and how do you deal with it?


AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Return/proofread "Beginnings 1" and post as a comment to Beginnings 1
3. Read/riff on Beginnings 2
4. MGOTM

HW:
1. In a post entitled BEGINNINGS 2, describe how the creative writing you're doing with "Beginnings" gets you thinking in a different way.  Also, describe how creativity can help you with you're Masterpiece.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

beginnings 1

It was too gentle to call a chill, but if you know California’s subtle seasons the air was unmistakably fall. Eddie looked out over the penthouse balcony at the boats in the marina and the fading pastels over the point. He smelled the Plumeria on his hands. For a moment—just long enough that when he looked up the sunset had deepened, and then it was gone—he wished he hadn’t pushed her.

may 7

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Act Naturally" by The Beatles; "Celluloid Heroes" by The Kinks]

Over the course of the year we've talked about the similarities and differences between fiction (the lie that tells the truth) and nonfiction (the truth that isn't objective). Explain how you and your life would be portrayed in a movie. Would the movie be focused on you, someone you know, or an event? Who would play you? Why? Please explain your answers.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Beginnings
3. MGOTM

HW: 1. Catch up on your posts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

may 6

JOURNAL TOPIC:

In 10 years how will you remember today?  If you find that difficult to imagine, what can you do to make today more memorable?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Interview at least three people about their masterpiece.  Ask them:
  • What are you working on?
  • Why?
  • What is the significance of this project in your life/career?
  • How do you see this work helping you in life outside of school?
  • Has anything surprised you in your work?
  • What do you need to successfully complete your project and present it?
  • What have you learned that's worth teaching someone else?
HW:
1. Please report your findings in a post entitled MASTERPIECE INTERVIEWS

Monday, May 5, 2014

may 5

 JOURNAL TOPIC:

What is the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo, and what exactly does it have to do with the way the "holiday" is celebrated and marketed in American popular culture? 

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Beginnings
3. MGOTM

HW:
1. [Ongoing/Reminder] Bring your blog, literature analyses etc. up to date.  You/we do not want any unpleasant grading surprises in the weeks before graduation.
2. Masterpiece work

Sunday, May 4, 2014

masterpiece presentation advice

I just ran across a piece entitled "Why I Hate Prezi."  It's brilliant and it offers advice worth considering as you prepare your Masterpiece presentations.  Bottom line: your ideas are more important than your visuals.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

common core debate with louis ck?

Occasionally public figures to get into spats on Twitter.  Sometimes the disagreement is constructive and enlightening; more often, it's about as constructive and enlightening as a monkey scat fight at the zoo.

This morning I ran across an exchange between senior Newsweek writer Alexander Nazaryan and comedian Louis CK, who disagree about the Common Core:




Reading these gave me an idea: What if we hosted a Skype debate between the two?  I sent an invitation and within seconds Alexander answered:




As soon as I hear from Louis CK we will set a date and time.  If you're interested in seeing this happen, please: comment to this post (I'll be Tweeting a link), ping @louisck on Twitter to get his RSVP, read up on his position and Alexander's, ask your network what they'd like to see asked and answered, and let me know if you're interested in hosting and/or moderating the event (I'll do it if no one else wants to).

I'm excited to hear about this issue from public figures who clearly care about it.  I see their views (and all the RTs, blog posts, interviews, etc. etc.) as valid artifacts of a confused, concerned culture, and I think we all stand to learn a great deal from the exchange.  It's a critical error to dismiss either of these men or their perspectives just because they don't work in classrooms or aren't "experts" on education.  As Marshall McLuhan observed, "Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either."

Friday, May 2, 2014

7 things you need to stop doing to be more productive

Hard to imagine a more timely resource than this:




whose internet is it?

may 2

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Beginnings" by Chicago]

From the Oxford English Dictionary:
What will you begin next month?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. MGOTM

HW:
1. In a post entitled BEGINNINGS, describe how your Masterpiece work is helping you begin a new chapter of your life.  (*IF you don't feel like the work is serving the purpose, this is a[nother] moment for you to reflect on how it could/should be.)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

this just in: hancock orientation

From Mrs. Dirkes:


may 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Clampdown" by The Clash; "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford]

Happy May Day & International Workers' Day.  It's on most of our minds most of the time, but today is an opportunity to reflect on the question consciously: is America in 2014 the Land of Opportunity, or is it a rigged game that favors the wealthy?  Please support your perspective with at least one personal example and one from the media.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. MGOTM