I'm very excited. I just sent the book for Hermes off to be printed. Bill Vasilopoulos worked with his mom to do the Greek translation so that Hermes will be able to read it. I also ordered an English version as you can see above.
Just came back from my long-anticipated trip to Syros, Greece. What a lovely island! And the farmhouse I stayed at was hosted by the kindest people, Alexia and Lefteris who have 6-year-old boy named Hermes. Hermes reminds me of Gerald Durrell - a born naturalist. He showed me all kinds of geckos and other interesting creatures that he gently caught and released. While I was there I intended to do watercolors but I quickly tired of doing mediocre landscapes and started drawing crazy creatures. The result is the video story above. Below are pictures of the farmhouse and my trip.
I've done a terrible job of keeping up with this blog. And now it seems like there is too much catching up to do. But still, I had one of the best times of my life in early June and it was mostly because I got to go on a seaplane, which I've been longing to do ever since I moved to Seattle. (I love small planes!)
My boss, Rick Fehrenbacher, and I went to the Digital Humanities conference (DHSI) at the University of Victoria. To get there all I had to do was stroll a few blocks with my suitcase to arrive at Kenmore Air on South Lake Union. It took about 35 minutes to fly to Victoria and the seaplane put us down right in front of the Empress Hotel. We got some lunch, strolled around and caught a bike race, had some gelato and then took a cab out to the university.
My group, Games for Digital Humanists, was by far the coolest group of all. Everyone was wonderful and funny. Our teachers, Andy Keenan and Matt Bouchard kept us laughing the entire time. (Rick was in a group called Digital Humanities for Deans and Administrators. Not the same high hilarity in his group I guess. Go figure.) On the fourth day, Matt and Andy broke us up into groups and had us play a game they created, which was a game to make a game. As a result all the groups came up with terrific games but below you will see the standout, Reunion.
Andy and Matt's game led our team - Chris Leeder, John Fink, and I - to make a simple kid's board game called Vacation Migration. We set it up as a Print & Play game onthis website.
On the trip home I got to fly in the co-pilots seat and landing we banked right over my condominium. (I love small planes!)
Last week we were at the annual conference for Canvas, the university's learning management system. Like all conferences it was a mixed bag. My favorite session was about a course called Dungeons & Discourse by Gerol Petruzella from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts but really, it was hard for anyone to top the opening night where there was a surprise appearance by MC Hammer. The video below shows MC Hammer walking through the audience but doesn't capture how fantastic it was to be just a foot away. Also, near the end of the video you can see MC Hammer's 17 year-old son Booby on the stage. Amazing.
I watched an amazing presentation by Audrey Watters at the annual ELI meeting. In The Case for a Campus Makerspace she clearly articulates the need for makerspace literacy - the ability to make, build, explore, tinker and problem-solve with concrete stuff. Granted, for me it wasn't a tough sell—I kinda wanted to be Audrey by the end of the presentation—but more importantly I felt the need to get involved in a plan for a makerspace here. After the presentation, we all sat around and talked about what a makerspace might look like on our campus and how important it would be to keep it open, so that no one felt shut out. Jenine Cordon who helps out with the local First Lego League offered the FFL Core Values as a starting point. If we do manage to get a makerspace here one thing I would like to see included are some of the MIT-developed tools that let you "sketch" with electronics. The video below blew my socks off the first time I saw it:
In all of my ePortfolio work I talk about using the blog as an engine for collecting evidence and tagging that evidence so that during the selection process it is easy to filter. But I never follow my own advice. So as of today (1/15/13) I am going to begin dumping things in here and see if I can train myself to get in the habit of posting something at least once a week.