Most everyone has probably heard about the devastating earthquake that mauled Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this week. For anyone who knew we were in Dunedin, we are fine, but this fine city to the north of us is not.  This photo (unattributed) has been circulating around the Twitterverse, and it shows Chch from the Port Hills as the quake hit. Amazing shot.   I haven’t been able to locate the source. If you know who it is, please let me know so I can request permission to leave it here.

We lived in Christchurch for 6 months about a decade ago, and fell in love with it. It was (and I hope will be again) one of the most beautiful and convivial places we have ever been.

People are hurting there, and the infrastructure of the city has taken such a beating that it might take months for services to return. If you are moved to donate to its recovery, we are hearing that the Red Cross is the best organization.  Here is a web page with some details:  This is not, by the way, a request that you send money. But a few people have been asking what they can do to help, and really, this is all I can think of.  And do be careful; there are the usual array of scams surfacing.

And thanks to everyone for your kind messages and encouragement, just in case I have neglected to let you know how much it means to us.



RIP Amos

Amos Patterson gave me my first job in educational technology, as a graduate assistant at Indiana University. We became friends, and spent many a long Indiana summer day/evening over corn out of his garden and beer out of his fridge. In fact, we credited a hard day in the garden with inducing the labour that brought our first son into the world. We went fishing once in awhile, but I  don’t remember catching a lot, despite Amos’s certainty that we always would. He was also a pretty good poker player, but then, anyone is pretty good compared to me. I lost touch with Amos in recent years, following his retirement, but I’ll always remember his kindness, good humour, and buoyant spirit.


PATTERSON Dr. Amos C. Dr. Amos C. Patterson, former University of Toledo, Dean of Student Affairs. Dr. Amos C. Patterson, 68, of Metamora, OH, passed away at the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Sunday, February 13, 2011. He was born in Sallisaw, OK, November 2, 1942. Dr. Patterson was a graduate of Indiana University, where he received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Dr. Patterson joined the faculty of UT in 1974, over the years he served as the Director of off Campus Education, and as an advisor to graduate and doctoral students majoring in education. Dr. Patterson also directed many master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. While at the University of Toledo, he was honored as Teacher of the Year in 1980, Advisor of the Year in 1993, and University College Fellow in 1997. Dr. Patterson retired in 1999. Amos was a longtime member of the Toledo Bridge Club. He was a member of the Northwest Ohio Action Shooters; Amos loved shooting all types of weapons, and had authored a book on target shooting. Amos is survived by his loving wife, Karen A. Patterson; daughters, Ginny (Kent) Gapen of Queen Creek, AZ, and Amy (Vic) Wirtz of Bay Village, OH; step-daughters Kelly Ann (Tony) Petrosino of Tiffin, OH, and Lorie Kay Eikenbary of Bluffton, OH; grandchildren, Craig, Curtis, Corey, Kaitlin, Collin, Andy, Laura, Ann Marie, Hayden, Anthony, Brady, Logan, Landon, and Lathen; and brothers, Marion “Butch” and Herman Patterson; former spouse, Nancy (Weger) Gerard. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine S. Patterson; and brothers, Earl and Pat Patterson. Friends may call at the Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 N. Main St. Sylvania, OH, Wednesday, February 16th from 4 – 8 p.m., where funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m., interment will follow at Amboy Cemetery. Those wishing to give memorials, in lieu of flowers, are asked to consider, The Elaine and Amos Patterson Scholarship Fund, C/O The University of Toledo 2801 W. Bancroft, Ms #319, Toledo, OH, 43606 or the Center for Principled Family Advocacy C/O Sarah Gabinet 1375 E. 9th Street, 20th floor, Cleveland, OH, 44414, or the Hospice Foundation for Fulton and Williams Counties, 230 Westfield Dr, Archbold, OH, 43502. Family and friends wishing to share a memory of Amos, or offer a condolence to his family are encouraged to do so at:

Published in Toledo Blade from February 15 to February 16, 2011

CIDER session on Identity Formation, March 2

We would like to invite you to the next presentation in our series of free online CIDER sessions. This session features a presentation and discussion with Marguerite Koole, Athabasca University and Dr. Gale Parchoma, Lancaster University.

Title:  The Web of Identity: Identity Formation in Online Learning

As learners interact in online networks of learning, how do they come to know one another? Building on the work of Goffman (1959) and Foucault (1988), the Web of Identity (WoI) model shows how online learners may use dramaturgical strategies to create and negotiate their personal identities in a continuous flux of presentation and interpretation. Philosophically, the model is highly social constructionist and places a great emphasis on relational dialogue. For practitioners, the implications include finding ways to aid learners to improve their use and translation of WoI strategies. Such skill, theoretically, should help them to enact their unique personalities, lessen their sense of fragmentation, increase their sense of belonging, and gauge authenticity of others. The researchers will then discuss some preliminary research projects on identity in networked learning and future research in the field.

When:  Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 11am-12pm Mountain Time (Canada)
*Local times for the CIDER sessions are provided on our website:

Where:  Online via Elluminate at:

Please make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that you can use the audio functionality built into the web conferencing software. Please note that it is extremely important that you get your system set up prior to the start of the event. Information on installing the necessary software and configuring your PC is available at in the “First Time Users” section.

CIDER sessions are brought to you by the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University – Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education.

CIDER is a Community Partner of Elluminate – – who proudly sponsors our web conferencing needs. To sign up for a free, no obligation three-user version of Elluminate, please visit