Archive for Ceit

Top Movies for the Year! — Well so far

This year seems to be, for me anyway, the Comic Book adaptation year. I have seen quite a few of them. I have two standouts that I would love to talk about.

The first by far is Logan. I was watching Fatman on Batman a YouTube show by Kevin Smith, and both Kevin and Mark talk about how well written Logan is. For me, Patrick Stewart gave his best performance (maybe edging out A Christmas Carol by just a smidge).  Logan is an amazing movie even without the superhero/mutant stuff. Hugh Jackman showed an aging Logan who needed to care for a “father” with dementia and find out that he was a “father” to a girl who grew up as a lab experiment. Yes, there was violence in the movie, but it was important to the narrative.

The second was WonderWoman. Although it was not as put together as Logan, or written as well as Logan, it was well crafted. There were some moments that put this in second place to Logan (with a deep sigh), I felt that we were left with an ending that was lackluster over the top and very dark. The pacing wasn’t as good as the first 15 minutes of the movie (which IMHO should have been given at least 30 minutes  I would have liked to know how Amazons age and would have liked to see a gap between when Diana finding out that she was powerful to seeing Steve Trevor crash). Aries seemed to be a little blah to me, not as robust as he should be. Although we have in Batman V Superman a Diana that pined for 100 years, the ending didn’t seem to match the level of pining or longing.

These two movies really were great! I don’t think I can say that enough. I think they both surpassed anything that I could have hoped for.

(Okay, I know that Star Wars the Last Jedi is out in December. I think that movie is in a different category, they can’t screw it up, can they? I mean fans have forgiven Lucas for the 3 90s movies, or have I? Plus Princess Leia! Oh My Goddess I will cry if they mess it up…. Just saying…. )

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Thor Ragnorok

Beauty and the Beast

Justice League

Atomic Blonde

PowerRangers (yes, I liked it better than Spiderman Homecoming)

Spiderman Homecoming

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Underworld: The Blood Wars

The Fate of the Furious

Transformers: The Last Knight

Kingsmen and the Golden Circle (I really wanted this movie to be great!)

The Dark Tower – Disappointing horribly made, didn’t watch it to the end.

Movies that I want to watch

I still have a few movies that I want to watch to round out the year. I wanted to wait for them to be on On Demand or a paid service so I can watch for free.  Movies are expensive. I try to reserve theatrical movies to movies that work well on the big screen, ones that are filmed in 3D, have the 4D experience or something I really think that I will like. For instance, I am happy that I didn’t see the Dark Tower in the movies because I stopped watching within the first hour.

Battle of the Sexes

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Goodbye Christopher Robbins

Despicable Me 3

Blade Runner 2049

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Update: It was on On Demand. It was a decent movie. The original series Valérian and Laureline was a French comic 60’s to present. Valerian is a Major and his partner Laureline is a Sargent. Although the description says that are time travelers, they don’t actually time travel in the movie. It is action packed and has some memorable parts. Over all I would give it a grade of B. It won’t win any awards, but it’s a decent way to spend the afternoon!)

War for the Planet of the Apes

The Smurfs: The lost village

Inktober 2017, is over!

Well, it’s over! I am sitting here thinking of what to write, and more importantly what to confess.In full disclosure I didn’t finish, I only got to day 17.  I did intend to catch up, but I never got a chance, I kept falling behind, thinking tomorrow that I would but never did.

This was my first Inktober. I was excited by it, making sure that I had all my stuff together to participate. I didn’t do strictly ink, I used watercolor as well. I wanted to do the spirit of the challenge. I wrote a post on my Instagram page, not everything, most though. I did try to follow the “official prompts” and did so for every day except for one.

Besides the never-ending fear of catching up, I felt the pull of not feeling good enough. What does that mean? I don’t know. Maybe I do.

I realize in writing this blog post that I don’t need to explain anything as to why I didn’t finish or to justify it. I think with any self-challenge it’s good on a personal level for self-reflection. It’s good to understand, but not judge, the process, or “your” process.

A process that’s the important part. I haven’t found this easy, in fact, I often sabotage the process, because — of tons of reasons. It’s not my lack of knowing how to create a process, after all, I am a trained Instructional Designer, avid Bullet Journalist, journaling enthusiast, blogger, etc… I know how to create a process – -But staying with it, that’s my problem.

Sure, I can follow through with a process for work, for things that are other than, well, for me it can be difficult. The idea of perfection, that you must complete something before moving on, or even the shame of failure. The culprits, of course, are the common ideas like;  finish your dinner, that or this person is better, make sure you get it right, there can be only one, and if I might, my favorite, you don’t have the talent (not, really favorite, but something I use)… These all interfere with the process, interfering with self-regulation, knowledge of self, and confidence.

So how did I end up not finishing Inktober? Or for that matter how does all this come together, and what have I learned on this journey?

A lot actually.

Letting go of the baggage.

That’s the rub. To throw off those things that are learned over a lifetime.

It’s okay that I didn’t finish because the challenge was to improve, and I think I did. I actually have one that I really do like.

Lesson learned for the next challenge? Simple, well maybe not so simple. The Challenge is for you, and you can determine the rules. It’s okay to leave the challenge when you feel that it’s putting pressure on you because this should be fun.

 

 

Open Educational Resources (OER)!

This post is in conjunction with the Workshop that was given at Bristol Community College on October 24, 2017, at 11:00 am for the CITE Lab’s Instructional Design Series. October is OER month so look for other events!

Locating, Assessing, and Adapting OER 

Interested in moving away from a publisher’s traditional textbook? This session will help you understand your options when it comes to locating, selecting, and incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER).   

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Outlander!

It was 1992, I roamed Barnes & Nobles in Saugus. I was looking for anything that was “Celtic” related. Anything and all books that cover Celtic mythology, history, and customs. I saw the cover of the book Outlander. It was a beautiful cover with a tartan covered picnic tablecloth. I loved science fiction and romance, with a smather of, well, history. I sat down with it, when bookstores like Barnes & Nobles still had comfy chairs to curl up in. I bought the book and waited for each of the others to come out. Always wanting more.

I fell in love with the language, the story, the characters of the book. I was working on my own novel back then. I never finished it, and it was for my consumption rather than anyone else. I am not even sure if I still have the files anymore, I doubt it. It seems like many lifetimes ago. I do still have my research and the books. I did create a reference for them but that too is long lost. I will most likely get around to that at some point.

I even started an email conversation with  Diana Gabaldon, the author of the novels, gave me some advice. It was nice that she responded. Diana was an early adopter and was online since CompuServe days! I wish I still had the emails, but I lost them when I stopped using my AOL email many years ago.

The books gave me an escape. I waited with baited breath for the next books over the years. I read up through # 6. The last two books I just stopped reading. I am in the process of re-reading or is that listening to the complete series and I am now on Firey Cross.

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Ceit’s Recommendations from GoodReads: Higher Education

Ceit’s bookshelf: higher-education

How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
really liked it
tagged:
higher-education, instructional-design, and learning
Web 2.0 How-To for Educators
really liked it
tagged:
higher-education, instructional-design, intro-to-tech, and teaching…
Engaging the Online Learner: Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction
liked it
tagged:
higher-education, instructional-design, and teaching-online
How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading
it was amazing
tagged:
educational, higher-education, and instructional-design
Project Management for Trainers, 2nd Edition
really liked it
tagged:
higher-education and instructional-design

 


goodreads.com

#Inktober, why I am doing it this month

Inktober is an initiative by Jake Parker – It is a 31 one day drawing challenge, in which you draw with ink and paper every day for the month of October.  These are the official rules of the challenge. He also has created prompts for the month.

You can follow me on Instagram to see my progression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my first Inktober. I decided to do the challenge this year because I really wanted to challenge myself. I do think it will help me to develop my drawing skills and have something to look forward to every day. I am also getting my niece involved with this as well.

 

 

 

 

I was hesitant at first doing the challenge because although not a novice, I am still unsure about my skills. I have a hard time sharing my art, because I feel it’s not good enough, or that someone will be unkind. Sure it’s my own insecurities, but that is why I really want to do this challenge, to get to a place where I am not insecure. For this Challenge, I am using a Stillman and Birn toned (tan) Nova series mixed media spiral hardcover notebook. I really do love the feel of the paper, it has a little bit of a tooth, and handles watercolor nicely.

So far, these are these are the images that I created.

I didn’t have my notebook with me for the first day of the challenge I left it home.  I did this on my Samsung Note8 with the app Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I later printed a copy and put it in my sketchbook. The first prompt was swift, what better way to show swift is a Witches Black cat on a broom. I was tempted to do a Nimbus 2000 from Harry Poter, but I decided for a regularbroom instead.

 

 

 

 

The next image is not on the prompt but I had so much fun with the black cat I decided to do a witch. I used the same app Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.  I really like how this came out. I love that you can use the Copic colors with this app. I forgot how much I really love drawing digitally, My favorite part of this image was doing the hat.

I printed a copy of this, but instead of putting it in my Intober sketchbook, I put it in my every day one.

 

 

 

 

 

On day 2 the prompt was #divided. For this, I had my sketchbook with me, but I wanted to do something different. I pulled out my sharpies. As a Witch (and Pagan) I notice that although not written on a sign, a divide when people find out that I am a witch. Notice that my Witch isn’t dressed in black, or face painted with green, but she is wearing pink. She is just a normal woman with a different belief system. Of course, there are no flying brooms, but it’s fun to play with it. The cat is there at her side so she isn’t alone.

I really liked how the sharpies worked! I love the colors. I also used some highlighters that I managed to blend with a water brush.

Day 3, was poison. What better way than to show a Witches bookcase with poison. Of course, a cat shows up again. Notice on her bookcase, there are books on ethics, herbs, and poison. I bet this Witch has the remedy for the poison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4, today! So this is the last of the images. I sketched this in another sketchbook last night, I wanted to come up with some ideas for the underwater theme. This is not completed yet and not final. I most likely will sketch some more. I want to get the arms right. This is the one thing that will push me. I need to do more figure drawings.

I decided to draw a merman. I have no idea why, but I thought that it would be fitting. I also put a shark and a squid to be his companions.

 

 

 

 

 

I use my Bee Paper Super Delux Mixed Media for my everyday sketching. (I will be doing a video on that soon) It is one of my favorite mixed media notebooks. I have been using them in various sizes for the last year. I have filled 3 of them and just started on another one.  I also love Stillman and Birn.

UPDATE 10/05/2017:

Here is the completed drawing. It is done with all shimmering inks, with a minor exception for his skin which I did use Schminke Yellow Naples Reddish (convenience color for white skin. This quick pick doesn’t really show the prettiness of the sheen. I did a merman because I wanted to try something different. I learned a couple of things; 1) I need to work on my drawing anatomy — especially hands, arms, and torso — 2) I really like ink, but then that is a given.

 

I hope that everyone has a wonderful #Inktober, #Inktober

 

 

So, you want to use Rurbics?

This week I was asked to do a workshop on Rubrics at Bristol Community College. I got to the conference room early,  set up the computer, entered the collaborate room, and started my presentation. Apparently, the computer didn’t like it, and my sound in part of the video didn’t work! Wow. It was a great session with lots of great questions on Rubrics.

A rubric is a scoring tool that provides feedback using criteria, levels of competency, and explanation of expectations (Blach, Blanck, & Blach) (Reddy, Andrade). Learners find that having this tool provided to them from the start help them to manage the assignment.(Reddy, Andrade).  They use it as a checklist, understand what needs to be completed, and identify what is important. (Reddy, Andrade).

According to Stevens and Levi there are several good reasons to use rubrics;

  • Timely feedback to students
  • Inspired Critical Thinking
  • valuable communication
  • Provides a sense of fairness

Typical Rubric: Criteria is on the left side, levels of competencies are on the top. The middle section is the descriptors.  Each descriptor should be clear, consistent, and understandable to the learner. Total possible scores for each criterion are usually listed under the criteria. (Blach, Blanck, & Blach) (Reddy, Andrade)(Stevens and Levi) Although I have Excellent to Not acceptable, some use the opposite. Just keep it consistent across your course.

 

Excellent Very Good Good Fair Not acceptable
Topic (20%)
Formatting (10%)
Introduction (10%)
Body (10%)
Conclusion (50%)

For more information on rubrics:

Using Rubrics to Measure and Enhance Student Performance from Northern Virgina Community College

Rubrics- Sharing the rules of the Game 

Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback, and Promote Student Learning

Introduction to Rubrics templates (Free downloads)

Where to find rubrics if you are not going to create your own?

Rubrics for Higher Education has many rubrics from scientific to humanities.

Rubistar: This site has a lot of rubrics – many of them are k-12 bases

IRubric: Is Higher Ed centric

Pinterest: Yes there are a lot of rubrics on Pinterest

When considered a pre-made rubric, read through the whole rubric, to see if it fits assignment that you created. If it’s close, consider reworking it.

What do you do with it once you chose it?

If you are using it in Blackboard, you will have to enter it into the system. The good part of entering it into the system, it’s easy to reuse, edit, and copy.

Blackboard: Rubric

Rubrics can make grading easy and help students better prepare for the assignment. I would recommend going through some of the material above to create great rubrics.

 

Ceit

 

References:    Link will take you to the reference page.

 

What Happened Hillary Clinton

Amazon link to the book

What HappenedWhat Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

She does take the blame but also points out strong and damning issues surrounding the campaign. If these issues aren’t resolved we are going to have problems next time. The link will take you to GoodReads so you can see my notes, that I took while reading.  View all my reviews

 

 

When What Happened by Hillary Clinton came out, I wanted to read it. I need closure on the campaign, but I needed it from her. It will come as no shock to people that I was angry, crying angry, at her loss. I just couldn’t believe it, the polls had her winning, but still, she lost. I thought that although we still were neck deep in instructional sexism, I thought that this was the year that America could elect a woman as president I was very wrong. When combined with institutional racism, heaped on a deep resenting fair of others, and an economy which on the face of things were booming was in decline for the middle class.  With this wicked brew and a would-be president and his backers willing to bring it to a boil and drink the bitter concoction of hate, fear, and greed we got the first White President.

 

First off, I do not agree with Hillary on some things, but I agree more with her policies than any other. She is not perfect; she had the baggage of her husband, which Trump did try to use against her. Like Hillary in her book, I do not want to vote for a woman just because she was a woman, but rather because of her strength of polices. I am a bit more progressive, liberal, as you will than Hillary. Hillary wants universal healthcare, but I support a single payer program, expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. I believe that healthcare is a right for all not for some who had the good fortune of getting a full-time job that had health insurance.

That I had trouble with other areas. None, of them, was her email, Beetlejuice (oops I mean Benghazi). I wanted to see her to take a stand on consumer protections, student loans (free college or trade school for all), and I wanted to see her reform our broken education system, by getting rid of the for-profit test that seems to be plaguing our k-12 system.

The book did not cover any of that. The book was a reflective piece that really dived deep on many issues that this unique campaign had. Those who say that Hillary did not take any responsibility for her loss, didn’t read the book. Hillary takes responsibilities. For example, she talks about shutting down and resorting to old bad habits.

This book is necessary to read, even If you do not like Hillary. I suspect this will be necessary read in a Woman’s Studies class and a Political Science class.

The book talks about sexism in a meaningful way. She covers sexism and misogamy in the first part of her book.

Yes, she does blame a cocktail of toxicity that included Comey, Russia, and Bernie Bros.

The one issue that would be Political Scientists should look at is how social media really for the first time played a huge part in a presidential campaign. Yes, Obama used social media to organize and recruit, however, with a bit underline, not to the levels that multiple organizations (and the Russians did) in the 2016 campaign. This is new and certainly, a force that needs to be understood more.

Hillary was moving in the book talking about the days after the campaign and how she only wanted her yoga pants, comfortable shirt, and face time with her grandchildren, and Bill. Her stories were heartfelt and remind me of a lot of woman’s experiences after they lost the promotion to a man who didn’t have experience.

I learned a lot from this book, like the powerful story of the Mothers of the Movement (http://www.mothersmovement.org/ or the blog http://www.mothersmovement.org/blogworthy/). She talks about all the hard work of Trayvon Martin’s mom Sybrina Fulton, and Lucia Mc Bath and how they want to see the end of the needless killings of unarmed African Americans.

This perhaps is one of my favorite quotes of the book that doesn’t get enough coverage: Located at location 3773 kindle – “When people feel left out, left behind, and without options, the deep void will be filled by anger and resentment of depression and despair about those who supposedly took away their livelihoods or cut in line.”  2016 is about how Trump exploited those people, making them empty promises, and rankling their fear, depression, and anger.

The book is more than a Mia Copia but rather a compelling look at how she lost.

Instructional Design Templates for Storyboarding

 

Well, what is Storyboarding? It’s a visual way pre-visualize learning assets. It can be done in many different ways, digital (Word, PowerPoint, etc…, pen and paper, whiteboard, etc.. One of my favorite sites Instructionaldesign.org, has some great information has more information on what it is. Also, this pdf from Columbia shows the process of storyboarding for Higher Education.  Another great blog on storyboarding can be found at Dashe.com. Most likely, you will not storyboard a whole semester or a large project, but you will find storyboarding helpful on a small project, that can add up to a larger project.

It’s frustrating to find one great template, especially for Higher Education. I found a template that I really like. It’s by eLearning Brothers, This website has a lot of great resources that you can use in your designs. If you have Captivate CC, you have access to all of their assets. This comes in handy if you need to create a Learning Asset on the cheap (which if you are in public Higher Education, is a must).

Along with their assets, they have lots of templates. The Template that I have used is the ID template. I think it’s robust and really has a great theory behind it. The template is free all you have to do is register. It is created in PowerPoint so you don’t have to pay for Captivate (or know how it works), or other software. It’s really is for an Instructional Designer rather than a developer (sometimes this is missed. Instructional Designers, although they can be, aren’t the media designer.

The only things that I would add to the template are; accessibility (is the project ADA compliant, the right use of closed captioning, can it be accessed by screen readers– all important areas especially in Higher Ed.), copyright (who owns the rights to the images, the content material, etc., and finally, what will the copyright be for the project.  These things must be identified up front, so they won’t be a problem after the learning asset has been designed.

If you don’t know how to approach storyboarding, have no worries the eLearning Brothers have something for you. It is called 8 Steps for an Awesome eLearning Storyboard. I highly recommend it. eLearning industry has a good article as well. 12 Tips To Create Effective eLearning Storyboards.

Wonder Woman 2017

 

I will be spoiling some of the movie if you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read. You have been warned.

 

I went to go see Wonder Woman June 1st @ the 7:00 pm show.  It was shown in Real 3D. I was nervous about it. All my hopes, dreams, and expectations of this movie (40+ years) were going to be forever changed.I also went to see it again on June 3rd with my niece and nephew.

I never thought that I would never see a Feminist Wonder Woman in a 150 million dollar film directed by a woman. At best, my fear was that they would cast a woman who was all tits and ass to fill a masturbatory role to stroke male egos. When Gal Gadot was cast in the role, the first comments, were about her tit size, they weren’t big enough. Many women objected that her tits weren’t small enough. With the state of women in print comics and how they are drawn, I was worried. Worried that it would all about tits and ass.

I was wrong, happily so. The movie is a Feminist movie. It’s a must see movie. Some so feminists are saying that the first 15 minutes didn’t pass the  Bechdel Test. I strongly disagree. It was about Diana making her own choices in her life, breaking with her mother. Other feminists decrying Wonder Woman because it’s not inclusive enough, or that she isn’t a woman of color. Some are even pointing to the actor herself, because she is an Israeli citizen.

 

Wonder Woman is a complex character who has a warm and loving heart. She born in privilege to be the princess of the Amazons. We learn that Queen Hippolyta formed Diana out of clay and asked Zeus to give Diana life, and he did. Later we find out that Diana was the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus. She was the only child on the Island of Themyscira and the Queen wanted her to remain a child for as long as she could and wouldn’t let Diana train with the other Amazon.

Hippolyta was afraid that Diana would die or be hurt at the hands of Ares and kept her away from Amazon training. This caused angst between her and her mother even from a young age. Diana was determined to be as every bit of a warrior as her mother and aunt were.

I remember watching one reviewer who said that the first 15 minutes was like a good meal that was over before you were fully satisfied.  The battle scene on the beach was amazing, it was far too short but to see a female 300 scene was just amazing.

I felt that way too. I wanted to see more of her training more of her self-reflection. The one problem I did have with this movie, is for some strange reasons Zack Snyder didn’t allow a lapse of time between events, they seemed (except for the very beginning) all happening within days of each other and showing some kind of plot device to show the reason it would take an overnight sleep on a sailboat (that Diana wasn’t aware of) to get to London from (I assume) the Aegean Sea near Turkey, even if towed by a tug.

I loved the visuals in Wonder Woman, the beautiful colors. Themyscira is a Utopia world where nothing bad has happened since the Amazon’s made it their home. It is protected from the outside world by Zeus.  The Amazons study languages, learn weaponry and have a female positive society. They know nothing of mankind or it’s war, protected from the War God himself. Ares did admit he whispers in the ears of those who want to harm, destroy, and corrupt, but doesn’t tell people to do the things they do, he (magnanimous) just watches taking pleasure in the destruction of his father’s favorite creatures. He in many ways sounds like many of the MRA and 4Chan activists who do not take responsibility for their own actions.

Although, Ares is a man, not all men are bad. Steve Trevor, is a good man. He stands behind her and allows her to make decisions on her own, although at times he is frustrated by those choices.

Although Ares, Dr. Poison, and General Ludendorff are the villains, they were overshadowed by the biggest villain, and that is war itself, not as in the god of war, but rather the plague of war and how it affects everyone.  War destroys the mind as we see Charlie struggling with PTSD and how he could no longer function as the trained sniper. We see Sameer, reduced playing into racial stereotypes in order to get closer to the bad guys, and we see the complex Chief who doesn’t fight for anyone because he has no home left to go to.

War changes the life of everyone, even the Princess of the Amazons, who didn’t believe her mother about war. To this point for Diana, no one lost their life (in her world – sure she heard the tales of her mother), the battle was always in a protection of those who she trained with and who were training her. It became real when she looses her aunt. She believed that if she just killed Ares then the war would end, people would be good and decent and choose love over anger, hate, and resentment.

At the end, she realizes that killing Ares will not stop the war, but being true to herself, allowing others to do what needed to be done will make the difference.

Patty Jenkins says that she went for the simple superhero movie. I don’t think that this movie was “simple” but rather complex. It showed that superheroes can love and can bring hope.

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