Weeks 23 & 24: Snow

Jan 26, 2015

Spring semester started last week, even though spring seems to be far, far away. It's been snowing on and off for days now, with temperatures below freezing. It looks nice and peaceful now, but more snow is forecast for the beginning of next week as well as a "historic" blizzard, so as I can see on the news, people are stocking up on food and other supplies.

Again, the first week of the semester was reserved for observing classes and selecting the ones that are most relevant for us. My choices are  Learning Design Studio, which "examines a range of skills, processes and theories for designing and developing interactive educational materials" and Disruptive Technologies with the focus "on the application of social theory to emerging and disruptive technologies in teaching and learning". 

At the beginning of the semester I had a fantastic opportunity to listen to and meet in person Dr. George Siemens and Dr. Dragan Gasevic, who is originally from Serbia but lives in Canada. Their talk on The Future of Learning and the Tools That Will Support It was inspirational and uplifting and it can be found here: The Future of Learning and ProSolo.

Just like the fall semester, the spring semester started with a nice lunch at the Nittany Lion Inn and a game - but this time it was basketball, not football. 
Just like in the fall semester, now again there are lots of readings for the classes and there are also lots of different books that I want to read and have already borrowed from the huge PSU Library. So as I was reading Designing for User Engagement on the Web: Ten Basic Principles, I stumbled upon my name and my wiki project Greetings from the world as a recommendation for further exploration! What the authors think it could be worth exploring is whether I have designed my wiki for a specific context or for diverse users! Are these two consistent with one another and if not how they can be reconciled? That's an interesting perspective and perhaps I might look into it one day, but right now it just feels great to be on the Index Page together with Christensen, Hofstede, Rheingold and other guys whose papers I've been reading for my classes at Penn State. And BTW, I finally wrote a piece about Coursera Kids.

Week 22: New York, New York

Jan 15, 2015

I spent my winter break with my nearest and dearest at home in Croatia. It felt like a dream to be home again after four months.

Naturally, it passed in a flash and I soon had to return to State College. My stand by trip was nerve-racking as it always is. It seemed that half of the world population was heading to the US and that I'd never get a seat. But I did. I got a seat on the flight to New York City and from there I planned to take the bus to SC on the same day. However, it happened that during that particular week NYC hotels were unbelievably cheap so while I was airborne, my husband booked a room for me in a hotel just a few steps from Times Square. What's more, when I landed, not only did I have a room booked, but also a bus ticket to SC bought, my American phone refilled and a screenshot of how to get from the airport to the hotel sent to my email. Because I have the best husband in the world.

Photos from NYC:

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