What’s ahead – Lviv, Ukraine

As an opportunity to work with a few churches and the Kiev Theological Seminary, I am going to Ukraine in just a few days.  Specifically, I am leaving on the morning of December 6th.  Arriving in Kiev on December 7, 2012, I will then go to Poltava and arrive around 8:30pm (Ukraine time) which is 1:30pm Friday afternoon. 

If possible, I will contact my family via email shortly after I arrive in Poltava.  After a few days, I will leave on a train from Poltava to Lviv. An image of winter time in Lviv is shared here just to give an idea of what the weather is that I am headed into.  Along with my meetings with pastors and now some planned seminars for Active Learning Strategies that I will teach, I also hope to do some landscape photography of the gorgeous winter scenes that can be captured.  Similar to the photo here, the opportunity to photo snow on monasteries will be great.

Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has had a number of snow falls already.  Lviv, as well has experienced a number of snow showers in the past week and will have more during my time of arrival according to the forecasts.   At the Kiev Theological Seminary, I am hoping to make connections for my church to participate in a missions trip to assist evangelical churches in Ukraine.  The International Missions Board has sponsored a portion of the work at the seminary.  The school of planting churches is sponsored by the IMB.

After returning to Poltava from Lviv, I will be teaching a few seminars on Active Learning Strategies.  This allows me to share my knowledge and practice what I like to share with other teachers.  This trip may be the opening of missions opportunities for my church; however, the teaching aspect of this trip may be the conclusion of Lee University’s connections to the Pedagogical University. I certainly hope it isn’t, but that is just how things may go.

More about the trip will come as I am traveling if the connectivity is as good as it was on my last visit.   Keeping in touch —

Catching up on Blogging

Well, here we are again, at the conclusion of 2012 almost and my last posting on here was January 2012.  Life has been busy, but I have decided to be very intentional about blogging assign myself one post every-other week for starts.  After doing that for a while, I should be able to transfer to once a week, and then possibly even more frequently.  At least this is my goal. We shall see.  Life has been busy, interesting, weird, and about anything else you can think of. In May, I took students to Ukraine.  It was an experience for the 10th year I have done this trip, but it was the first year I led the trip as the only one with any knowledge of how and what Ukraine is all about. In June, I took the month off and can’t really tell you what I did.  NO!!! It’s not a secret …. at least I don’t think it is.  I simply don’t recall what I did in June.  July was good because I was teaching and we did a few things as a family.  Then August was quite dead since students were gone home. However, I had to gear up for two newly re-vamped courses.  Those courses being Intro to Web Design and Advanced Web Design.  Advanced was more of a drastic change that the intro.  My students in Advanced Web Design developed WordPress sites and some even widgets within WordPress.  It turned out “ok” but not up to my standards.  The course has been approved and has eight students signed up so far to teach it again in January.

The big event/project that I didn’t even mention was the iBook project that I was asked to be the consultant, programmer, and project manager for.  Some of June was figuring out how to accomplish the iBook.  Apple produced an application called iBooks Author, which is quite intuitive to use, unless you want some extras… and those cost. The cost is not simply money either.  The time consumed in my efforts to get an understanding of some programming was unbelievable.  Here I am still trying to work with a team of workers and trying to get this out of the way.  It isn’t moving fast enough for me.  I want to say “it’s done” but it isn’t. So, with three other people on the team to get this accomplished by Christmas, we are pushing extremely hard to see it come to fruition.  Developing an iBook isn’t difficult in itself, however, if you have creative leaders that want more than is possible, then you find yourself in a tight spot.  That is my scenario.  Nothing wrong with creativity… just have to know your realistic boundaries.

iBooks Author is an awesome application.  Users must keep in mind that the word “Book” is within the name of the application for a reason. It is not for developing “Games” and it is for the purpose of doing some extras with the Book itself.  It has limitations, as Apple has made many of the options that one would think possible, quite difficult to accomplish, if not impossible. I fully intend on using this for developing an iBook using this for my “Intro to Web Design.” I will keep updating this and letting everyone know where this is going.

Till later…

Photoshop Exercise

Offering students exercises of various types that are fun and help them learn concepts, theories etc are a favorite avenue for me.  Recently I offered to start class every week with a fun learning exercise.  The following was the first exercise and my students thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 – Go to wikipedia and hit random. The first random wikipedia article you see will be the name of your band.
2 – Open a new tab or window and go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first… album.
3 – Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven… days”. Third picture no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 – Use Photoshop or a similar software (picnik.com is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.
5 – Post it with this text in the “caption” and TAG the friends you want to join in…

The outcome of doing this exercise for me is right here.