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David Dickens
Worked at Pepperdine University
Attended Pepperdine University
Lives in Malibu, CA
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David Dickens

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A great article on a prominent piece of technology: the chalkboard.
I keep coming back to this theme. It isn't about what tools you chose to use, it is about mastering the tools you use to communicate effectively with your students.

I'm a tech guy, I love tech, I love new tech. In my head I am excited to see all the new horizons, the possibilities, and yes the disruptions and the challenges as well.

But we need to spend as much time and effort on a thoughtful approach to using the tools as we do on bringing new tools online. This means research, training, testing and perpetual refinement in the field by master practitioners.

The Japanese are not shy about new tech, but they've got a commitment to mastery that makes more of a difference in the performance of their students than merely launching Powerpoint or recording lectures can achieve.
Bradley Emerling is Principal Research Scientist at Pearson Research and Innovation Network. This commentary appeared in Teachers College Record  on April 13, 2015. Last winter, while observing and...
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Cassic and awesome read: The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint 
http://users.ha.uth.gr/tgd/pt0501/09/Tufte.pdf
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David Dickens

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A long hard read about the game few people are invited to play.
On the one hand I feel a sense of pity for someone whose entire life is dedicated to maintaining the myth of their social class. On the other, I cannot ignore that beyond (or behind) race, gender, creed, or appearance is a calculated, obsessively maintained divide between "us" and "them".

There was a very good article a few years ago by a nerd who was trying to correct a misunderstanding nerds have about having been social outcasts growing up. Essentially his thesis was, there are people who do nothing but pursue being in the "in crowd". They are just as passionate about that as you were about chess, the migratory habits of swallows, French literature, robotics or whatever it is was that dominated your life. And frankly many of them fail at their obsession and not having the one thing they pursued go on to live hollow lives.

This is true. If you are going to follow your faith or rescue cats, or build airplanes, or paint landscapes you simply cannot provide the product the elites are looking for. You cannot simply be the best lawyer because they aren't looking for the best lawyer. They are looking for the most elite person they can find, who happens to be a lawyer. They are obsessed with status first and all the badges, certifications and depth experience cannot add up to any significance in their minds because they are playing a completely different game.

Frankly they are to be pitied much more than scorned. Yet, if the rest of us, who are doing what we do out of a vocation, out of a dedication to our craft, or a love of our customers, or the hope of changing the world for the better, or the sheer joy of learning and growing, ... if the rest of us are going to do what we do, we need to understand these folks, be aware of them and decide what to do about the damage their games and their prejudices cause the rest of us.
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Yes, that's it. Excellent find +Jean-Michel FAYARD!
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David Dickens

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The Centipede's Dilemma
A centipede was happy – quite!
Until a toad in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg comes after which?"
Which threw her mind in such a pitch,
She laid bewildered in the ditch
Considering how to run.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analysis_paralysis
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David Dickens

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The 1980s has been calling me for a couple of days. Tonight, I decided it was time to answer the call.
If you don't understand why this is full of all sorts of 80s awesomeness I recommend watching it twice. A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
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I was going "I cannot recall Al being in Devo" - but it is of course 6am here. So I dared posting this stupid comment :)
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David Dickens

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Librarians have fought hard for their patrons privacy, but the devil can be in the details. HTTPs all the things folks! 

...simply protecting patron records is no longer enough. Library patrons frequently access catalogs and other services over the Internet. We have learned in the last two years that the NSA is unconstitutionally hoovering up and retaining massive amounts of Internet traffic. That means that before a patron even checks out a book, their search for that book in an online catalog may already have been recorded. And the NSA is not the only threat. Other patrons, using off-the-shelf tools, can intercept queries and login data merely by virtue of being on the same network as their target.

Fortunately, there is a solution, and it's getting easier to deploy every day.
Librarians have long understood that to provide access to knowledge it is crucial to protect their patrons' privacy. Books can provide information that is deeply unpopular. As a result, local communities and governments sometimes try to ban the most objectionable ones. Librarians rightly see it as their duty to preserve access to books, especially banned ones. In the US this defense of expression is an integral part of our First Amendment rights.
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Yes - SSL at least makes them have to put some effort out!
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David Dickens

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I've often said, I think art is editing more than it is creating.
So my friend sent me this link today. I think it makes the point creatively (by editing) better than I could. T. S. Eliot would be proud.

Source: http://austinkleon.com/2015/05/05/99-percent-robbery/
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One of my favorite makers said on their podcast this week; Everything is a remix. The topic was originality. Even if you're not conscious of it, your mind is constantly absorbing details from everything you see and experience. Art is the expression of how those things dissolve and reform in the studio of your mind. 
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David Dickens

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Super-useful link of the day.
When what you have isn't in the format you need.
convert anything to anything - more than 200 different audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet and presentation formats supported.
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Oh, if it were only that easy, +Theophilus Floyd !
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Free content costs a lot of money to produce.
+Robert Talbert made an excellent point in the comments that I'd like to expand on:

I'd be interested in seeing what exactly the staff members who tend to these videos are tasked with doing. In particular, were any of these staff members tasked with ensuring the accessibility or ADA compliance of the videos, for example captioning them? $300K/year seems like way too much just to edit out chatter and check for copyrighted material. I'm wondering if Berkeley is looking at MIT and Harvard with their recent ADA lawsuit settlement and figuring it's cheaper just to get out of the video lecture market altogether than it is to manage accessibility and potentially get sued for not doing it right. That might be off-base but I know that other institutions are wondering about this question.

This is the point I don't see confronted by any of the folks who call for a revolution in education seeking to make it dramatically less expensive. It doesn't take very long (ADA is first thought, not an after thought) to realize that doing it right is much more expensive than anyone appreciates. In fact, I'd argue that almost all the cost comes from adding that word "right" to the phrase "doing it."
Since well before MOOCs emerged, the University of California at Berkeley has been giving away recordings of its lectures on YouTube and iTunesU. In fact, Berkeley has become one of the most-generous distributors of free lectures on the web, adding some 4500 hours of video per year.
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I'd think a better answer would be to put the videos online, free, with the note "as free content we don't have budget to add captions, translations, etc." but offer credit to students willing to work on such accessibility.  Isn't that better than not having it available at all?  Equal access shouldn't "equal" no access for anyone.
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David Dickens

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The weekend is never quite long enough.
But I hope everyone had a day that met their minimum recommended daily allowance of bubbles. According to my daughter that's around a million. And who better to give expert advice on these things than a 6 year old girl?
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I could have used some bubbles.  :)
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David Dickens

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Google Collections is great. Their stock photos to highlight your collection? Not so much.
I try to share great places for free images from time to time and I just ran across another today. I collect these links to share them with professors (and staff members) to encourage them to make their presentations more engaging. But they work great here on Google+ as header photos as well!

While you're at it, make a Collection or two. I think this is the best new feature Google+ has seen in a long time. (And it proves it isn't dead.)
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I love pixabay :) 
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David Dickens

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Rural California is California's best kept secret.
Though it is under threat from bungling bureaucrats, massive social changes, suburban encroachment, public works failures, and environmental pressures, you can still find a rich life, one I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in.

I'd love to get out to Riverside to see this exhibit. Driving through Tulare county a few months ago I was nearly as sad to see all the McMansions and Big Brand Strip Malls as I was to see the thirsty trees dying next to them. Somehow it seems like I should add a little something like this:

Dave Alvin, "Dry River"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLpHsUmA3GU
Judging from the cars in the background of the photograph, you can tell it’s the 1960s. From a dusty patch of ground just outside a fenced enclosure, Renée,
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Well said +Anthony Fink
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David Dickens

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Everyone says they want it, but few are willing to practice the skills necessary to get it. Fewer still are willing to embrace it.

Critical thinking isn't the answer to every problem. I'm convinced there are important problems you cannot think yourself out of. But I am also convinced that every student without this skill will remain bound to someone else's agenda, a tool for someone else's purpose.

Without critical thinking we have only the illusion of freedom. This is not an abstract concept, but an eminent fact.

I've been holding on to this one for a while, but I wanted to offer some big picture thinking for my friends on Google plus. Relax, unwind, but don't forget to open up your mind.
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Good article. One of my personal tenants is to challenge my own views, if I can't then I have a biase and possibly have fallen into a dogmatic position.
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Work
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Project Management, Systems Integration, Professional Development
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  • Pepperdine University
    Consulting Technologist & Systems Architect
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Currently
Malibu, CA
Previously
Exeter, CA
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Communication, Service, Innovation
Introduction
I believe you learn more by putting things together than by taking them apart. This is most especially important if you want to learn about people.

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Quote
Heaven is full of those who believe that they do not belong there, and curiously absent of those who agree.
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I was almost shot by the Secret Service. Unrelated to that incident, I've lost over 150 lbs.
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    Computer Mediated Communication
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