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Plotting, planning, and sleep deprivation

You guys, the next couple of weeks are going to be crazy exciting.

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Next Thursday I’ll be attending OpenVA, “Virginia’s First Annual Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference,” as the tagline proclaims. Looking over the proposed schedule is overwhelming, especially since the final schedule will have my name on it—I’m giving a quick talk on how the internet is, in fact, a real place (many many many thanks to Jim Groom for giving me the chance to be an active participant)! I am so thoroughly beyond stoked for all the panels, lectures, TED-style talks and random conversations I’ll get to experience; I can’t imagine a better way to learn about edtech and open education. My hope is that this conference will help me to sort out where I want to focus my attentions if I do wind up pursuing edtech for graduate school, to learn which topics truly speak to my passions and which people and programs I find most compelling. Of course I’ll be live-tweeting and blogging about what I learn as the conference progresses, so if you’re interested in the musings of an undergrad on the goings-on, stay tuned!

One other big project is coming together right now: as an English major with a creative writing concentration, one of my required courses is structured around designing and launching a literary journal. The vast majority of the journals are built using WordPress, and we’ve received invaluable help and support from UMW’s Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies. My group is amazing, and we’ve come up with a gorgeous little site, most of which I put together myself (I may or may not be inordinately emotionally invested in our website). You can check us out at StitchJournal.com. The site is far from perfect and currently doesn’t have any content up (so you should submit if you’re an artsy or writerly type!) but I haven’t been this excited about a thing I’ve made in ages. That might have something to do with the fact that the last website I attempted to build was in middle school and was hand-written static HTML, but I’m hoping this one will end up slightly more elegant. 🙂

In the mean time, midterms are over, I’ve made some big decisions about another conference I’ll be attending later this month  (this one for creative writing), and tomorrow I get to go home for a few days off and to catch up on sleep before OpenVA.

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