—>Update for Connected Courses:
All the stuff below is still good, and applies to the Connected Courses course, so why change it? Just want to update that my mind has been expanded this summer by my first (of many, I hope) visit to London. Pictures will show up, analogies will be made (their transportation system is a connected network, right?), and I just might change my spelling. Shall we have fun as we learn?
—>End of update

The history of my concept space.
Or is it the history of my thought vectors?
Or is it the history of my thought vectors in concept space?

As I am approaching the far end of a teaching career, I find myself more interested than ever before in the philosophy and technology of learning. For the last year or so I have been involved with the ds106 Digital Storytelling phenomenon, and through that have learned and practiced a variety of online resources. In addition, this has re-stirred an interest in creativity overall.

My background and influences, like most people I suspect, are varied and unsuspected unless pointed out. I grew up in a Marine Corps family and completed a 20-year career in the US Navy myself; yet, I’ve always thought of myself as the peacenik that being a teenager in the sixties directed me to be. For the last 22 years I have been teaching electronics and computer technology at “for-profit” colleges; first, eight years at ITT Technical Instutute (publicly traded), and 13 years so far at ECPI University (privately held). (Yet another apparent disconnect: being involved in open education endeavors, but working in the more restricted for-profit sector.)

My formal education has been as non-traditional as I could make it. Dropped out of community college after two semesters as a fine arts major (for lack of talent, I told myself), then received my BS eleven years later from what is now Excelsior College, piecing together courses, military technical training, and test taking to complete a degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in History. Then, once in a teaching job, used my GI Bill to earn an MS in Educational Technology online from Walden University. Then, my employer wanted a more technical degree, so I went online to Capella University for an MS in Network Architecture and Design.

But my real education and influences have always been my own pursuits. As a Christian, I’ve spent a bit of time in the study of biblical literature, theology in general, and Reformed, Lutheran, and Pentecostal doctrine and practice in particular. A lifelong interest in the sciences and science fiction informs a lot of my understanding of the world. The types of philosophical and thought-provoking writings I tend to migrate to would be represented by folks like Gregory Bateson, Douglas Hofstadter, the Whole Earth Catalog folks, and any number of other more obscure and esoteric stuff.

Less serious but still influential (or informative) reading would include: Sherlock Holmes (originals and more modern pastiches), other detective novels (recently finished reading all of the Nero Wolfe series), some science fiction (Philip K. Dick), and whatever shows up on the Interwebs!

Much of my life is filled with family. My wife and I have four grown children, three are married, two have children of their own; most live within a few minutes of us, one son/wife/granddaughter live in Denmark. Together, we are teachers, linguists, lawyer, musicians, piano teacher, police officers, retail workers, and pastor-in-training.

One of my areas of inquiry that might be a reason for playing along with the UNIV200 course is: what next? I will likely be retiring from active teaching within four years, and want to have some direction for the next decade or so. That direction would include increased travels, focused studies, and somehow “giving back” to the next generations. I’m open to suggestions for goals, job offers, and interesting propositions.

And that’s all you need to know for now! We will all learn as we go!




2 Responses to About

  1. Yin says:

    Nice to meet you, Bill, aka Byzantine Vectors! Welcome to Thought Vectors. Is there any medium that you gravitate towards for creative expression? I note your interest in the Fine Arts, :).

    • byzantiumbooks says:

      Thank you, Yin! My practice of art has not really developed in any formal way. I do have a series of collage-like scrapbooks, and have recently moved into photography and image editing. For the future, I would like to move into painting and collage. And there are many “media” that I would be interested in pursuing, time and resources permitting: book arts, mail art, artistamps, box assemblage, “real” photography with film, and creation along those lines. For now, learning digital arts is enough.

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