March 21, 2013
(this piece is called “The Heart is Everywhere”)
Join me for an “Eco Workshop” – I’m giving a Glass-on-glass mosaic demo
Monday April 29 7 – 8:30 p.m. $18
Register April 2 at Monterey Rec Centre. http://oakbay.ca/parks-recreation/facilities-rentals/recreation-centres/monterey-recreation-centre
More info about my process is here:
April 6, 2012
Vedran Smailovic had not performed in his hometown of Sarajevo for twenty years.
Yesterday, April 5, marked the 20th anniversary of the shelling of that city and Vedran returned to play his cello again.
Cellist of Sarajevo, Vedran Smailović from Marcel van der Steen on Vimeo.
Here’s a news article about the event.
I have always viewed Vedran’s actions during the siege as an example of the power of the arts to give people hope. It’s about picking up the pieces and rebuilding and it’s a perfect message to think of once again at Easter. Springtime is a new beginning.
(Above is a video of me reading my book about Vedran Smailovic: “Echoes from the Square” with artwork by my husband, Deryk Houston)
April 2, 2011
My hobby is playing with recycled glass and although I’ve had a bit of a “time away” from this over the past few months, I am happy to say that I’ve been able to fulfill a commitment I made about a year ago. Thank goodness I got started on some pieces immediately upon learning that a show was forthcoming. Life got in the way and if I hadn’t had a good start I would have had to cancel.
So…. my glass-on-glass mosaic work incorporating recycled, slumped glass objects will be on display at The Old School House in Qualicum BC (Canada) for most of April 2011. The opening reception is April 6 starting at 7:00 pm.
The pieces for this show have recycled titles related to movies, as the concept of recycling doesn’t have to end with the physical materials used in the work. Some examples: “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Send me no Flowers”, “April in Paris” and “Made for Each Other”.
July 24, 2010
My plan for the next while is to blog my way through the new book “Emerging Technologies in Distance Education“, edited by George Veletsianos and published by Athabasca University Press (including a freely available e-book version)
As a contributor to the book, I had the opportunity to read an early proof but was unable to talk about it in any detail until the completed book was made widely available. Now that it is (and being mentioned on Twitter, etc.) I think the time has come for some great conversations about s the ideas presented.
So… starting with the introduction, which of course outlines the basic premise of the book and also describes the need for a definition of emerging technologies and the need for a greater understanding of how these are used in distance education, Veletsianos describes a theme of choices and opportunities (p. 13)
A repeating dilemma will arise with each new wave of technology: Should this be used for formal education or is it a personal/social tool better left in the realm of information communication?” Anderson (chapter 2), Wellburn and Eib (chapter 3), Martindale and Dowdy (chapter 9), and Kop (chapter 14) implicitly raise the same question. While a strong desire (and perhaps pressure) exists to employ new and emerging technologies in formal distance education (see chapter 1), it is important that we critically evaluate (and experiment with) a set of technologies with respect to the opportunities that they afford.
Veletsianos mentions the Wellburn and Eib (that’s me and BJ) chapter as presenting technology for empowerment and he mentions that we look at “connected and social distance education” and I think that is a good lead-in to our particular approach to the dilemma he mentions. I’d say a technology should be considered for use if it has the potential to empower learning and that in the arena of distance education, “connected and social” are key considerations. A step further would be to say that if *not* having fluency (for lack of a better word) in a technology has the potential to dis-empower (e.g. not being able to search for and evaluate information online takes power away), then the education system has a responsibility to address that technology.