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Laura Gibbs
Works at University of Oklahoma
Attended University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Ph.D.)
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Laura Gibbs

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TONY BATES: This man is amazing!!! We need more like him, and I am glad that he will indeed keep on writing.
This is a great post to read from start to finish, but of course I have to single out what he says here about MOOCs. Hey MOOC-meisters: you should listen to what this man says. He knows of what he is speaking. So, please, listen!
quote And then there’s MOOCs. I can’t express adequately just how pissed off I am about MOOCs – not the concept, but all the hubris and nonsense that’s been talked and written about them. At a personal level, it was as if 45 years of work was for nothing. All the research and study I and many others had done on what makes for successful learning online were totally ignored, with truly disastrous consequences in terms of effective learning for the vast majority of participants who took MOOCs from the Ivy League universities. Having ignored online learning for nearly 20 years, Stanford, MIT and Harvard had to re-invent online learning in their own image to maintain their perceived superiority in all things higher educational. And the media fell for it, hook, line and sinker. This is a battle I no longer want to fight – but it needs fighting. But my reaction did make me wonder, am I just an old man resisting the future? And that has definitely left a mark.
Anyway, read the whole post - it is heartfelt and inspiring, and I wish us all such a fine 75th birthday as he has had! I know that his is well-earned!
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Very nice post.  It reflects on a lot of things and has implications beyond online learning. My step-father walked away from the publishing industry a few years ago because so much was changing.  And the new hire is an older woman who complains a lot about the many changes in her line of work.  I'm just moving into the industry so the changes she finds overwhelming aren't a game-changer for me.  But it is feeling like it's harder to keep up.  I'm blabbering.  Need more coffee.
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Laura Gibbs

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Today's #LatinLOLCat  is Star-Trekesque:
Audentior ibo.
I will go forth more boldly.
Details at the blog post:
http://goproverbs.blogspot.com/2013/04/latin-lolcat-more-boldly.html
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Oh, watch the state governor and legislature stomp on democracy. Sheesh.
quote Today you should know that Governor Mary Fallin has signed a bill that bans cities in Oklahoma from increasing the minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements. A petition in Oklahoma City has been seeking to allow citizens to vote on increasing the citywide minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
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This is the week where students are nominating their favorite projects to go on the Storybook ballot (and I'll be able to share the ballot here in a week). It's something I find fascinating - I have my own personal favorites of course, as does every person in the class, and seeing which projects have a big fan base is really fascinating. One of the students wrote about this process in her blog post today (see snippet below), and it's something I think is so true: students really gain from looking at other people's work, especially open-ended, creative work that is full of surprises. It's not about a grade, not about right/wrong, but about individual creativity. And every semester, I get to see so much of that - it is a real pleasure.
Here's the student's comment from her blog:
quote This week, instead of reflecting on my own work like I usually do, I decided to write about some of my other classmates' work. Since we are submitting our nominations for best storybooks, I have had the opportunity to go back and look at the story book projects that other people have been working on. I love getting to do this because I think it is so interesting how everyone is creative in their own respective ways. People have been coming up with ideas that I never would have thought of  myself, and that is the beauty of this project. While I certainly have loved everything that I have read this semester, there are a few storybooks that stuck out in my mind as exceptional. (and she goes on to talk in detail about the favorites which she nominated to put on the ballot)
Here are the instructions for the assignment - I pair up the nomination process with a thank-you process for students who gave great feedback. :-)
http://onlinecourselady.pbworks.com/w/page/13131720/week13internet
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I cannot believe a teacher would knowingly invite a speaker who espouses hatred for students into a classroom, letting that person express his hatred for the students as part of the class. To get a sense of the level of hatred the speaker had for the students and how he expressed that in the class, see his comments afterwards at his blog. But be warned: it will make you feel ill if you look (link provided in the IHE article). 
I cannot believe the university spokesman thought this was an appropriate response: "A Missouri State spokesman said via email that the university is a "marketplace of ideas; some that we agree with and some that we aren't as comfortable with." 
Aren't as comfortable with??????????
For crying out loud.
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Well, not exactly. The students were adults, but adults do not call each other "typical jew liars" in a discussion that is supposed to be educational. I would not characterize Miller as being an adult, if by adult you mean someone who knows how to engage in discussion with others. It's one thing to read ABOUT such people; it's another thing to have such people attack you in person. My school was targeted by Westboro Baptist for a while, harassing the Jewish students going into and coming out of the Hillel office. That was bad enough - but at least students were not being forced to be insulted in their own classroom. Westboro Baptist had the right to picket, and picket they did... but that is very different from being invited by a teacher to come and insult his own students in the classroom.
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And the #DailyProverbPoster  suits our weather here today - based on all the rain we had, the summer flowers will be spectacular!
April showers bring summer flowers.
Details:
http://goproverbs.blogspot.com/2013/05/poster-flowers.html
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I now have these song lyrics running through my head
"Though April showers
may come your way
They bring the flowers
that bloom in May" 
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So here is another delightful Storybook from this semester, and it is constructed so elegantly: a modern kid discovers in the Introduction that he is the son of Zeus (!!!), and then he battles three different giants, accumulating three supernatural objects along the way... until in the final story he is transported to Mount Olympus to participate in a second Gigantomachy, saving both the heavenly world and our own. Such a great framework, and the kid himself (the stories are told in first-person) is so goofy and charming. This student may be able to take Indian Epics next year (not fall, but hoping for spring)... so now my hope is that he will carry on their project to pair up this hero with some other modern-day unexpected hero (or heroine) who is tied into the Indian tradition. Wouldn't that be cool...?
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So, people might remember the post below - I just had my follow-up interview today, and the interview was a lot of fun, plus it felt GREAT to hear the comments that the students had made about the Storybook projects. There were three students in their pool who had chosen the Storybook project as a meaningful college writing experience, and they were interviewed about that - so during my interview today, the interviewer read to me the students' comments about what they liked most about the project, why it was meaningful, how it could help them in their future lives. The students said such different things - which made me really happy.

One student talked about how they got to CHOOSE the project and be creative, do their own thing, etc.

Another student talking about how it was TEXT AND IMAGES, and by working with text and images together to tell an extended story they were able to really express themselves in a way they found meaningful.

The third student talked about how they learned what EDITING is all about, how to edit their own work, how to give and receive editing feedback, work together with other students.

How cool is that??? Because of course there are so many different goals that I have with this project, and it felt great to realize that the students are indeed connecting with a range of different goals, based on their own interests and priorities.

In terms of the questions the interviewer asked me, it was all pretty straightforward descriptions of class procedures, but one very interesting question was whether this project was like or unlike the most memorable writing experience I had as an undergraduate... and I realized I did not have any writing experience I would say was meaningful as an undergraduate. I hated writing papers, and I would always just throw my papers out when I got them back... as many or even most students do I suspect. But I had never really thought about that, how this writing project is kind of the opposite of my own undergraduate writing experience. 

That made me REALLY curious about how other faculty members answered that question: are they trying to give to their students the same positive experience they remember from their own undergraduate days OR are they trying to provide the kind of experience that they never got to have as undergraduates. I am in that second category, but I bet there are some faculty who are in that first category.

Apparently the results of all this will be published... but as a book. So I guess it will be several years at least before it takes shape, because writing the book of course will take time and then the lag time until the actual publication. But still, I will be curious, and of course I am so excited that my students got to contribute their experiences to a project like this, which allowed me to be part of that also! Whoo-hoo!
 
People, something just happened that really made my day (and, after the disaster of last week, I can say that it made my week!) - I just got an automated email... in fact, I got 3 of them, from the director of our Writing Center. See below; in a random survey of OU students, some student (or maybe 3 students?) said that the Storybook for my class was their most meaningful writing experience. 
OH MY GOSH. You can imagine: I am thrilled. 
As a result, it apparently means that someone will interview me about the writing process in my class for this study, etc. etc. See below.
Anyway, I am really happy. And also laughing because of course I am NOT a professor (despite what the email says, ha ha), yet even though I am just an adjunct, I care A LOT about student writing, and I work really hard to make my Gen. Ed. classes a valuable part of students' careers here at OU.
So happy! You can imagine: SO HAPPY!!!
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I really was bouncing around in my chair, ha ha (Skype video interview). The interviewer probably thought I was pretty weird, but I'm guessing that all the faculty who ended up in this group must be a bit on the weird side, ha ha. I wish it were not confidential - it would have been fun to meet them. :-)
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A rejoinder in the true #LatinLOLCat spirit to "lux umbra dei" of yesterday - love it!!!
Although light might be the shadow of God, THESE (lights) ARE MINE.
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And in the spirit of the cat!
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So, I appreciate the effort that has gone into this new development at my school - I just got an email alerting me to these materials. At the same time, it seems to me that ALL students deserve the same kind of respect and dedication that is being asked for here. But still, it's something: I am pretty sure that in 15 years at my school this is the first time I have ever received a mass email whose goal was to help me do a better job working with students!
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Have them in circles
11,081 people
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University Faculty
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  • University of Oklahoma
    University Faculty, present
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Dedicatedly digital... teaching online for 10+ years. :-)
Introduction
I'm an online instructor at the University of Oklahoma with a long-standing interest in Aesop's fables! You can see my online courses - Mythology-Folklore & Indian Epics - at MythFolklore.net, and I blog every other day at the Bestiaria Latina.

During the summertime, I try to get some writing done. These are my books:
About the fox avatar: I use different fox images for my online avatar (sometimes a cartoon fox like Fox in Socks, or real foxes, like this one) - it's because the fox is the most important character in Aesop's fables... and the trickiest! :-)
Education
  • University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Ph.D.)
  • Oxford University (M.Phil.)
Although I did not take home a cat from this shelter in the end, and was initially very unhappy about that, I also have to say that the director of the shelter, Shafonda Davis, turned out to be extremely responsive and compassionate. She listened to my concerns and helped me to understand the constraints that determine policies at the shelter. She is clearly committed to doing the best for those animals, and does so under the pressure of being the county shelter for an urban county with large numbers of stray animals. I appreciate the time she took to answer my questions.
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Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
We bought a lovely rosewood urn for our cat's ashes. We really had now known what to do - and a friend recommended Perfect Memorials. I am really glad that she did. The engraving options were easy to understand and the final result is beautiful. It arrived very promptly, carefully packaged. I would recommend this service to anyone - having this lovely urn with our cat's name engraved so nicely really means a lot. Thank you!
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
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