Icon a go-go

In last weeks hands on workshop we asked our participants to do an “icon jam”, essentially a visual brainstorming activity, in which we collaboratively (and quickly) generate a series of icons based, and then share the results afterwords and discuss. This can be a challenge for those that have not had a lot of experience drawing, but I believe people come away with a better understanding of the subjective nature of visual language, and that ‘getting it right’ is not as important as making an impact.

Icon Jam 2015 Gallery


Icons will no doubt continue to play an important role in many of the educational media assets being created in our course, so I thought I would share a few extra online resources to help you find and make them, as well as a BONUS CHALLENGE you can use to practice your icon making skills.  But first.. some resources! Continue reading “Icon a go-go”

Street Interviews on the “Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan”

DTES Cover
What do different groups in the DTES think of the Local Area Plan? (click on image for video)

In March 2014, Vancouver City Council approved a $1-billion plan to redevelop the Downtown Eastside, covering a large area from Richards Street to Clark Drive (http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/dtes-local-area-plan.aspx). This comprehensive initiative, titled the “Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan”, has created controversy among the public.

It is the purpose of this video to contribute to making sense of the opposing viewpoints on the project. Conducted in the Downtown Eastside, the interviews seek to demonstrate to the students of urban sociology that the city, and social space in general, is a site of contention between different classes and communities.

The video will be shown in class (SA 364 – Urban Communities and Cultures), which will be followed by a short writing exercise where the students will be asked to discuss what they have seen in relation to urban sociological themes and concepts.

Capturing the Urban Experience

Student Photoboard for SA 364 - Urban Communities and Cultures
Student Photo Board for SA 364 – Urban Communities and Cultures (click on image)

This is one of the graded assignments for my urban sociology class. Throughout the semester, each student is expected to submit two photos they take within the Greater Vancouver Area. Alongside the photo, they provide information as to how that image relates to some of the themes and concepts that are covered in class, and they ask a question that is later discussed as a group in the seminar.

The learning outcome here is to develop students’ sociological perspective on the various manifestations of city life. The photo board is expanding every day!

Physics Doodles: Video and GIF

I created a short “doodle” video and a GIF to use in my PHYS 102 Physics for the Life Sciences II class. This is an algebra-based first-year course for students studying life science majors such as Biology or BPK. The video explains Faraday Law’s of Electromagnetic Induction and the GIF illustrates Lenz’s Law which is related to Faraday’s Law. Students often find the concepts behind these laws confusing so I though that learning tools that they can look at over and over again might be helpful to them.

I placed the doodle video on YouTube. It can be found here: Physics Doodle: Faraday’s Law

This is the Lenz’s Law GIF:


Graphic summary of discussions with Wordle

A Wordle graphic is a useful visual means to summarize discussions. Below is a summary of 800+ postings from 1200 students to the course question:

Can a GIS database produce an accurate representation of the real world? If yes, then how do we properly address concerns with GIS such as privacy and inequality. If no, then how do we improve our GIS so that it represents reality more accurately.


The graphic clearly shows the concepts that contributors consider to be important aspects of the question being asked.