Thank You For Amplifying Love

Over the past several days, I have been surrounded by the thoughts and prayers of loved ones. Even though Grandmommy passed away last week, I am learning new things about her everyday since people are sharing their memories and photographs on ellenjayne.keeganslw.com. Consequently, I wanted to take a moment and highlight a few memories others have shared online—these are some of my favorites:

Memories

Pickin’ Peaches

Always new discoveries regarding this special lady

Smiles and Music from the beginning.

Videos

These are just a few of the dozens of memories and the hundreds of media artifacts that have been shared (please submit your own recollections). Students, friends, and family alike have come together to pay tribute to Ellen Jayne. With each homage, I am discovering how much of an impact she had on this world—Grandmommy touched so many lives as a free spirit. Above all, I will never forget the role she played in my life and I want to thank everyone for amplifying the love that Ellen Jayne shared with us all.

The featured image is provided CC0 by Hossein Ezzatkhah via Unsplash.

Summer Updates & Grandmother Passing

Goodness, so many things are going on at the moment. At work I have been focused on all the training programs I am developing and facilitating this summer and upcoming semester. Additionally, I want to share some awesome things I have been working on in Canvas. Between itching to write about Canvas and my experiences from recently attending InstructureCON 2016, I have started writing only to be overwhelmed with all I want to do at the moment.

But none of that matters right now.

Writing and projects are on hold because while I was at InstructureCON this past week, my Grandmother passed away—complications from a surgery. It has been hard to express what I am feeling as I go through pictures and revisit memories. I have been ignoring social media and avoiding checking email for a few days. Right now, I just need time.

Even with my sadness, I wanted to tell you about a project I’ve started that makes me really excited. A project in honor of my Grandmother.

ellenjayne.keeganslw.com

Yesterday, I build a website in memoriam to her. The website itself is rather simple, but the functionality is phenomenal. This website facilitates the crowdsourcing of stories and media pertaining to my grandmother. What has been really exciting, even in the first few hours, is that I am reading stories and seeing pictures I never would have discovered. For example, my father posted one memory I’ve never heard and I just shared one as well.

I really want this tribute to my Grandmother to grow. So, I set up the ability for family, friends, and her many students to write about their memories of her. Additionally, I have created a space on the website where I am currently receiving pictures and videos of my Grandmother. If you want to see the submissions, check out the written memories and media that’s already available.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 12.42.30 PM
Website lets you read memories written about Grandmommy.
Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 12.42.47 PM
Website lets you view photos and videos of Grandmommy.

Website Anatomy

The ellenjayne.keeganslw.com website is built with WordPress and automated using a few plugins, dropitto.me, and OneDrive.

First, I setup the AccessPress Anonymous Post plugin to allow others to submit their stories of my Grandmother without needing an account on the website. This allows me to automate all of the writing that takes place on the website and notifies me about new posts.

accesspress anonymous plugin form
AccessPress Anonymous Post plugin on website.

Next, I setup a dropitto.me account and connected it to my OneDrive cloud storage (since I have 1TB of space from working at a University). These two services allow others to submit photos & videos directly to a folder in my OneDrive. I embedded the submission of photos & videos into one webpage and the OneDrive gallery on another page. (I explored the Perfect OneDrive Gallery & File plugin to display a gallery directly in the website rather than linking out, but ran into problems that I didn’t want to spend time solving.)

Dropitto.me integrated into website to share media files.
Dropitto.me integrated into website to share media files.

Finally, since dropitto.me is limited to 100MB file size submissions, I also setup a page where people can submit URLs to photos and videos they wish to share. That way if individuals have large video files, they can submit a Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive link. Alternatively, this allows people to submit links to FaceBook photos, etc. This is the only part of the website that is not currently automated. I have enabled email notifications upon receiving submissions through this form, but this feature requires my attention.

In Memoriam Projects

In addition to this website, I am also working on a Twine game and preparing for the memorial service. At the moment, it sounds like family members want me to live stream the service and setup a place where we can record videos of people reminiscing about my grandmother. Additionally, I hope to have ellenjayne.keeganslw.com available at the service to offer attendees the opportunity to read and writing memories about my Grandmother. The goal of each of these projects it to allow people to share their experiences and connect to one another like they connected to Grandmommy.

Closing

All of these projects, especially the website, are important to me as a tribute to my Grandmother and to facilitate positive connections between family, friends, and acquaintances as we honor this wonderful women. She had a profound impact on so many people in this world and she will be sorely missed by all.

Writing this has been especially hard because this will be my first post that is not read by my Grandmother (after she became a subscriber to my website, she started reading everything I wrote). Yet, I want to share ellenjayne.keeganslw.com because, although I am grieving, everyone’s memories are bring me joy.

The featured image is provided CC0 by Viktor Mogilat via Unsplash.

From Faraday to Facebook: The Life and Influences of a Faithful Scientist

I wrote this paper during my undergraduate spring 2012 semester. It was of my favorite projects during my early academic career. Although I am republishing this work (with a creative commons license), I have not altered the original essay besides formatting. (Fun fact: this paper was written entirely on my iPad 2 at the time.) I hope you enjoy! :)

Preface

It is difficult not to compose hagiography when attempting to portray Michael Faraday’s life. He was an individual of many talents, he possessed strong determination to learn and better himself, and he even succeeded in ascending the social ladder during his career. More significantly, he had profound influence in the fields of electrical engineering, chemistry, and physics. In other words, he played a distinct role in the production of many of the technologies that are presently commonplace amongst households and throughout commercial industry. In addition to his character and accomplishments, Faraday maintained a devout Christian faith and lived with piety and morality for the entire seventy-five years of his life. Consequently, being a humble and accomplished individual, Faraday possessed many qualities that are easy to perceive as saintlike. Thus biographical accounts can begin to show a hagiographic bias if the author is not careful. Therefore, for this particular work, my goal is to provide the reader with background information and context from many different sources to illustrate the pervasive consensus of his good character amongst biographers. However, although this aim of the text provides necessary contextualization of Faraday’s life, it is secondary. Instead, the primary focus is to portray how Michael Faraday has lived on through many of his ideas and topics of research, which are fundamental to many of the popular technologies of the current age, thereby illustrating the connection between Faraday and ourselves.

Introduction

Michael Faraday was a significant figure in scientific discovery. His contributions to physics and chemistry have been monumental in determining the nature of the universe. Without his discoveries and theories of electricity and magnetism, society would never have acquired such devices as the electric motor. Furthermore, his assertions on the nature of light gave Einstein the foundation he needed to produce the vital E=mc2 equation, thereby bridging matter and energy as interchangeable.1 Faraday is credited with many discoveries—even a scientific constant shares his name—which illustrates how the influence of his work has affected society. But who, really, was this prophet of electromagnetism?

Various biographers have written many different accounts of Faraday’s life. From the comprehensive biography of Pearce Williams, to Nancy Nersessian’s more philosophical text, and Iwan Morus’s historical book, Faraday’s life has been covered extensively.2,3,4 However, the greatest evidence of this scientist’s prominence is the existence of a biography written specifically for children.5 This comes as no surprise since Faraday was “a man of great kindness and modesty,” in addition to being an accomplished scientist; he was an ideal role model.6 Therefore, understanding Faraday’s academic and religious backgrounds will yield insight not only into his life and accomplishments, but also into the culture from which he ascended. Furthermore, as Faraday’s theories have allowed for the development of computers, the generation of electricity, and digital media, his connectedness to our lives illustrates the magnitude of his contributions to science.

Background & Context

Michael Faraday arose from humble beginnings with a natural curiosity for science and discovery, a trait that would eventually propel him to the forefront of physical science. Born in 1791 in Newington, Surrey, not far from London, Faraday received minimal education due to the financial limitations of his family.7 Thus, in accordance with the social status of his blacksmith father, Faraday accepted an apprenticeship as a bookbinder at age fourteen. It was during this opportunity that Faraday’s interest in science swelled. Aided by the encouragement of his master, George Ribeau, Faraday was able to read many of the books he was binding.8 And in 1809, Conversations on Chemistry by Jane Marcet was a particularly inspiring book for the young Faraday, sparking his active pursuit and eventual attainment of a position in the study of chemistry under Sir Humphry Davy.9 Yet before this journey could be made, Faraday “needed to improve his English,” and as he was renowned for his dedication to self-improvement, he set out to study.10 Over time Faraday became an exceptional writer, and Peter Day asserts that his talent for composition made him a successful and accessible scientist of his time.11 Eventually, he received the opportunity of his dreams—a chance to further himself in his scientific education— when he acquired tickets to attend Sir Humphry’s lectures, whereupon he impressed Davy and earned his place as a lab assistant to the influential chemist.12 It was this particular event that accelerated his life, rapidly bringing him out of trade and into academia.

Faraday assisted Davy for seven years. During this time, he published thirty-seven academic “notices and papers.”13 However, his role in science had yet to be determined as he prepared to enter into higher education. Michael Faraday was devoted to learning, and he educated himself for eighteen years, developing the mental stamina and capacity that would eventually allow him to produce his discoveries.14 And because of the vast collection of his academic papers and letters still available today, the progression of his intelligence is evident.15 It was through extensive reading, experimentation, and theorizing that Faraday had accumulated more than a comprehensive understanding of chemistry and physics. For instance, in regards to electricity, he had arrived at an intuition for the flow of electrons and “adhered to the idea that electricity is a fluid” and therefore is not necessarily continuous.16 This particular idea would aid in his derivation of two theories of electrolysis—one of his many contributions to science. Furthermore, with an advanced comprehension of electromagnetism, Faraday contributed to the development of many technologies in addition to his scientific discoveries. Thus it comes as no surprise that Keith Laidler, the Professor Emeritus of Chemistry for the University of Ottawa, claims “Faraday’s investigations on electricity, magnetism and electrolysis were of the greatest importance” during his time.17 Similar sentiments are common amongst other biographical accounts.

Yet Faraday’s journey was very different in comparison to his counterparts. For instance, he possessed one notable weakness because of his non-conventional upbringing; similar to Charles Darwin, “Faraday was ignorant of mathematics beyond arithmetic.”18 His lack of a mathematical background arose from both a limited education during adolescence and a late start in his formal edification and would forever limit the scientist to focus on experimental observation rather than mathematical proof during his investigations and deductions. Fortunately he had a rare strength at his disposal; much of his brilliance rested in his “pictorial methods of thinking about and describing physical phenomena.”19 Understanding what was really going on in each of his experiments as well as the theory behind his work was integral to his scientific study and set him apart from many others. Without a doubt, the fact that he took the time to “[repeat] all of the classical experiments in electricity and magnetism for himself” helped solidify his comprehension of the natural world and brought him to the forefront of electromagnetic science.20 But neither his lack of mathematical knowledge nor his late start in education stopped Michael Faraday from becoming an accomplished scientist; he continued to read and study, and his determination and hunger for knowledge catapulted his rise as an academic. Leaving behind his working-class status to reach his full potential as a theoretical physicist and chemist, he published no less than 450 scientific papers by the end of his career.21 Yet even with all his accomplishments and his work ethic, everything remained infinitesimal in Faraday’s life next to his devout Christian faith.

Religion & Faraday

Faraday was a member of a small Presbyterian sect called the Sandemanians.22 As a part of this group, he learned humility and obtained fulfillment from sources other than riches. For example, over the course of his life he received many recognitions and honors, but was often known to refuse such tributes. Amongst the offers was the presidency of the elite body of science at the time—the Royal Society—which he declined, stating that he wanted to, “remain plain Michael Faraday to the last.”23 This desire extended up until his death in 1867; Faraday had a small, private funeral and a simple tombstone illustrating the humbleness resounding within his soul, simultaneously setting him apart from his opulent Victorian colleagues.24 At one point in his life, he told his friend, John Tyndall, that “‘he had to decide whether to make wealth or science the pursuit of his life.’ He chose science and lived and died a poor man.”25 It is little wonder that there is a biography written about this individual specifically for children. He was a model human being. His moral behavior was governed by his religious views and his humble existence gave him the fulfillment and happiness that many often hope to obtain.

As a devout Christian, in addition to being an aspiring scientist, Faraday was a man whose worldview influenced his pursuit of Truth. He often questioned the nature of the universe as he “engaged in a great deal of metaphysical speculation, both as a result of his experiments and as a guide to experimentation.”26 Yet many of his beliefs were founded upon metaphysics that were compatible with Christianity. For instance, he believed in the conservation of energy and matter but not in the traditional sense. Conventionally, such variables of the universe are constant and have remained so since the big bang. Faraday simply felt that “only God could destroy those things…that God had created,” and therefore matter could not be destroyed (or created)—the law of conservation of mass.27 This particular example illustrates one of the more notable characteristics of Michael Faraday. He had interwoven science and faith into a dualistic philosophy, believing that science and the supernatural were in some ways connected.28 On the other hand, Faraday believed that science would not yield insight to religious matters since supernatural transcended the phenomenal. Thus, Faraday was able to keep religion and science “strictly apart, believing that the data of science were of an entirely different nature from direct communications between God and the soul on which his religious faith was based.”29 But even though Faraday believed that natural and supernatural were subject to two completely different set of laws, he still believed that at some level they were linked together since God is responsible for spawning reality. Thus the faithful scientist was able to balance science and religion, both of which played a significant role in Faraday’s life. As an academic equipped with religion, scientific understanding, and sheer determination, Michael Faraday was able to accomplish many feats over the course of his life.

On Scientific Prerequisites

“The discoveries made by Faraday were so numerous, and often demand so detailed a knowledge of chemistry and physics before they can be understood, that it is impossible to attempt to describe or even enumerate them here.”

-Charles W. Eliot, 1910.30

Much has changed since 1910, and even more since Faraday’s time. The amount of knowledge that has evolved over the last century has drastically increased humanity’s understanding of the universe. Moreover, this swell of intelligence has also played a role in the development of society. In particular, laypeople are receiving more comprehensive educations since the opportunity has become public for them in many countries. The United States, for instance, provides its citizenry with more than a dozen years of complimentary schooling during adolescence, and in addition to this gratuitous service, the U.S. encourages (through monetary incentives) continuation into higher education. Consequently, the breath of common knowledge has expanded over the last hundred years and now includes many more subjects, like chemistry and physics. This is a stark contrast to the society that would have been familiar to Charles Eliot and Michael Faraday, in which few individuals would have possessed the scientific background necessary to comprehend the research of the time. Therefore, as the science and relevant technology is explored in the coming pages, do not fear! With the completion of secondary school, you have most likely become equipped with sufficient knowledge of chemistry and/or physics. Anyways, Faraday would have wanted you to understand his work.31

“[T]hough our subject be so great, and our intention that of treating it honestly, seriously, and philosophically, yet I mean to pass away from all those who are seniors among us. I claim the privilege of speaking to juveniles as a juvenile myself.”

-Michael Faraday32

From Faraday to Facebook

Understanding the scientific subjects that intrigued the faithful scientist not only reveals how prevalent his contributions have become, but it also provides insight into the interests and mind of Michael Faraday. His laws of electrolysis, the electric motor, the generation of electricity, and the organic chemical benzene are just some of his notable contributions and discoveries that may be familiar to you as they are common in households, commercial industry, and academia.

Electrolysis is a major subject of the physical branch chemistry, specifically within the realm of electrochemistry. It is a process in which electrons are added to a variety of positively charged atoms that are dissolved in a solution (positively charged atoms, commonly called cations, are elements with fewer electrons than protons). During this operation the charged particles are neutralized as they gain electrons, whereby, the resultant neutral species of this reaction have been converted to their pure forms. Therefore, since pure elements are the byproduct of electrolysis, this technique has many uses in the field of chemistry.

In order to facilitate electrolysis, a source of electrons is necessary to fuel the required electronic exchange; often scientists utilize the current from a battery which produces a flow of electrons, like a stream, through a wire. Thus, Faraday (in addition to other scientists at the time) was passing electricity through chemical solutions in order to force the dissolved, charged particles back into their elemental form. Over the course of his research, Faraday was able to deduce that the amount of chemicals evolved from a solution is dependent on the amount of current (synonymous with the number of electrons) passed through the solution; this concept is now known as Faraday’s first law of electrolysis.33 Therefore, the number of electrons passed through a solution is directly proportional to the element mass yielded, which is coherent with basic chemistry as each atom requires a set number of electrons to become neutral. In addition to his first law, Faraday also noticed that the mass of the neutralized chemical was related to the compound’s atomic weight, which provided strong evidence for the existence of independent elements and became his second law of electrolysis.34 But what practical applications arose from all of Faraday’s research on electrolysis?

The most obvious application is an industrial process known as electroplating, but Faraday did not play a direct role in the development of this technique. Instead his contributions are the fundamental theories that govern the operation. Nonetheless, have you ever wondered how gold-plated jewelry is created? It just so happens that the location where neutralization of the atoms occurs in electrolysis takes place on the surface of the conductor (whether it be a wire, metal plate, or ring) submerged in the chemical solution. Therefore, as electricity passes through the solution, the positive atoms move toward the negative electron source (i.e. the conductor) and adhere to its surface, neutralize, and begin to uniformly coat the outside of whatever material is used to deliver the flowing electrons. This allows for the selective application of extremely thin layers of elements on the surface of another material. Electroplating is often used to protect an internal material from corrosion or damage by giving it a thin armor. Yet, in the case of jewelry, coating the outside is done to achieve a certain appearance and keep jewelry costs minimal while conserving the more precious metals. It was Michael Faraday who laid the scientific foundation for the process by which we can produce cheaper and mor durable products.

Yet another of Faraday’s more prominent contributions was subjected to controversy at the time of its development. In 1820, Faraday conducted an experiment in which he made an electrical wire rotate around a magnet and subsequently produced the conceptual framework for the electric motor.35 But Faraday had a problem. Up until this experiment, his life had been “uninterrupted success,” yet after he published his paper on motion derived from magnetic and electrical interactions, he was accused of stealing ideas and experiments from Dr. Wollaston, one of his prominent contemporaries.36 Fortunately, this charge was verified to be false, but it would later blemished his proposal for induction as a member of the Royal Society and led him to state the following: “My love for scientific reputation is not yet so high as to induce me to obtain it at the expense of honour.”37 Thus, when Faraday was eventually elected a member of the Royal Society as recognition for this experiment, his appointment was opposed by his mentor Sir Humphry Davy, as his honor, at the time, was in question.38 Despite the rough start of this particular idea from Michael Faraday, it went on to be monumental in the electric century that followed his life.

The faithful scientist helped produce the electric motor, which is responsible for raising my garage door, dicing my food in a blender, mowing and trimming the grass, providing the comfort of cool air from rotating fan blades, listening to music on record or compact disc, watching movies at home or at the theater, and even giving me access to my data on my computer hard drive. Thus, anywhere there is a fan or a computer, Faraday’s influence is present. Faraday practically aided the production of many of the technologies that are commonplace nowadays. He had demonstrated a significant and universal Truth: energy is intwined since it can be transformed into different forms. Whether stored in the bonds of chemicals or in the form of electricity, energy can be converted into motion to do work in our everyday lives. Therefore, not only is Michael Faraday responsible for many comforts in our live, but he also deserves recognition for enabling people to accomplish more with his technologies. In other words, how would society have differed if we had not received the electric motor during that time in history? Without this invention, it would be impossible to compose this biography digitally since the availability of an electric motor is required to spin the hard disk in my computer, not to mention the fans responsible for cooling our cars, our houses, and our video game systems. Therefore, Faraday’s discovery played an a indirect role in the engineering of thermodynamics. Since Faraday induced an electric wire to rotate around a magnet, electrical motors have been integrated into the functioning of this society.

Similarly to his influence in converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, Faraday also played a role in the reverse process employed by the electrical generator, which transforms motion into electron currents. “His electromagnetic induction devices of 1831 became the first electric induction generators,” subsequently laying the groundwork for selling electricity to the public.39 Since thousands of electronic devices have been conceived over the years, Faraday’s generation of electricity has become more crucial to our society as the quantity of machines accessed by the public has increased.

The fundamental principles of modern electrical generators has not changed much since Faraday’s work. Essentially, some form of mechanical energy drives the rotation of a turbine which results in the production of electricity, successfully converting one form of energy to another. For hydroelectric stations, flowing water forces turbines to rotate for power generation. However, air is more commonly utilized during this process. For example, wind can be used directly to produce electricity, or water vapor can be created and used in place of atmospheric air. Fossil fuel plants and nuclear power plants, for instance, actually use steam to rotate a turbine. Oil, gas, or coal can be burned, or the radiation from radioactive materials can be used to vaporize water, in turn passing through a turbine to produce electricity. After generation, the electricity can easily be transported and distributed to the masses as necessary. Yet without Faraday to lay the foundation for the first electrical generator, the modern century would not have experienced the integration of electricity into the fabric of society.

Another of Faraday’s notable discoveries was the organic compound, benzene.40 This chemical has become commonplace amongst organic chemistry curriculum with entire chapters featuring dozens of reactions devoted to the carbon ring. It is an interesting molecule whose derivatives are characterized by distinct smells. But more importantly, benzene possesses a relatively high stability in contrast to other hydrocarbons with the same amount of double bonded carbon atoms. Since the stability of the benzene arises from its structure, the molecular geometry necessitates explanation. Benzene is composed of six carbon atoms and six hydrogen atoms, where the carbon atoms are connected to one another to form a ring, and the hydrogens are each bonded to a different one of the carbon molecules and protrude outward from the carbon ring. The entire arrangement exists in a single plane which allows the carbon atoms to share their electrons with one another which results in the increased stability. Metaphorically, if each electron is considered to be a thread and the act of sharing an electron stitches atoms together, then the more electrons shared (or the more stitches present), yields a more stable molecule that is less changeable. Ergo, reactions with this compound are more difficult to induce and therefore require alternative procedures that are necessary for other double bonded hydrocarbons. Highlighting this organic compound is critical to portray Michael Faraday as a scientist since it demonstrates his versatility and diverse interest in both chemistry and physics.

It’s not that Michael Faraday is solely responsible for the advancement of each of these technologies. Science remains a collaborative process, and more than likely, many of the faithful scientist’s contributions may have eventually arisen from other researchers. Nevertheless, Faraday had a profound impact on the advancement of technology. The world would have looked much different without his work. But this brief introduction to Faraday’s achievements and how they have evolved is only a small portion of his total contributions. This minuscule glimpse into Faraday’s life may be sufficient to explain and suggest how access to technologies like computers and Facebook arose. At the very least it illustrate how often Faraday’s role in our lives is taken for granted. Still, science was not his only noteworthy accomplishment; by way of his public lectures and his well written texts, Michael Faraday also succeeded in furthering the popularization of science.

Faraday As A Teacher

“There is something more sprightly, more delightful and entertaining in the living discourse of a wise, learned, and well-qualified teacher….The very turn of voice, the good pronunciation, and the polite and alluring manner which some teachers have attained, will engage the attention, keep the soul fixed, and convey and insinuate into the mind the ideas of things in a more lively and forcible way, than the mere reading of books in the silence and retirement of the closet.”

-Isaac Watts, The Improvement of the Mind

Micheal Faraday took Watts’s words to heart in his presentation of science.41 Faraday delivered many lectures at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (several of which have been published) during his career as a professor.42 He found great joy in revealing the Truths of the universe to his audiences, as it was Faraday’s dream to play a role in the popularization of science, especially with young, aspiring minds.43 In regards to his lectures, Faraday stated that “the purpose of [his] lectures, simple and plain as they are, is to show [his] audience how wonderful it is to observe. Indeed, the best members of [his] audience are children.”44 Faraday’s lectures were very popular, especially his Christmas lecture on The Chemical History of a Candle.45 During this lecture, he engaged his audiences in scientific discourse in order to further their understanding of the physical world; he wanted them to learn everything they could about the universe. Therefore, although Michael Faraday’s science contributions are monumental, his other accomplishments—including bringing science to the masses—are just as crucial to understanding this prophet of electromagnetism.

Concluding Material

How far have we come since Michael Faraday’s groundbreaking ideas? In my household alone are dozens of technologies that have spawned from Faraday’s work. The electric motor and generator are especially common, while many of his other discoveries remain prominent in commercial industry and academia. However, more than Faraday’s scientific influences, his conduct as a person and his inspirational engagement in teaching science and furthering its prevalence in society are unique qualities of his character. All of these qualities paint a striking portrait of a complex individual who not only inspired great academics like Einstein with his unification of electricity and magnetism, but he also inspired children and layperson alike to engage in scientific discourse with his passion for science and for teaching.

Altogether, Faraday’s life represents a struggle—it is a story of growing up impoverished and only receiving a basic education; guided by determination, curiosity, and fortune, he was led to immortality in science. Without a doubt, as John Tyndall, the friend of Faraday surmises, “I think it will be conceded that Michael Faraday was the greatest experimental philosopher the world has ever seen; and I will add the opinion, that the progress of future research will tend…to enhance and glorify the labours of this mighty investigator.”46

Notes

  1. Einstein’s Big Idea. Dir. Gary Johnstone. NOVA, 2005. Film.
  2. Williams, L. Pearce. Michael Faraday, A Biography (The Da Capo Series in Science). Cambridge: Da CapoPress, 1987. Print.
  3. Nersessian, Nancy J. Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1984. Print.
  4. Morus, Iwan Rhys. Michael Faraday and the Electric Century. Duxford: Icon Books UK, 2004. Print.
  5. T. Kids Books, Michael Faraday – A Short Biography for Kids [Kindle Edition]. Amazon Digital Services,2012. eBook.
  6. Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 205. Print.
  7. Laidler, Keith, John H. Meiser, and Bryan C. Sanctuary. Physical Chemistry. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003. 268. Print.
  8. Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 204. Print.
  9. Laidler, Keith, John H. Meiser, and Bryan C. Sanctuary. Physical Chemistry. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton MifflinCompany, 2003. 268. Print.
  10. Jenkins, Alice, ed. Michael Faraday’s Mental Exercises: An Artisan Essay-Circle in Regency London. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008. 3-4. Print.
  11. Day, Peter, ed. The Philosopher’s Tree: Michael Faraday’s Life and Work in His Own Words. London: Institute of Physics Publishing, 1999. x-xi. Web. 3 March 2012.
  12. Jenkins, Alice, ed. Michael Faraday’s Mental Exercises: An Artisan Essay-Circle in Regency London. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008. 4. Print.
  13. Jones, Bence. Life and Letters of Faraday. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1870. 315. Print.
  14. Jones, Bence. Life and Letters of Faraday. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1870. 315-326. Print.
  15. Jones, Bence. Life and Letters of Faraday. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1870. 315-326. Print.
  16. Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 206. Print.
  17. Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 205-206. Print.
  18. Laidler, Keith, John H. Meiser, and Bryan C. Sanctuary. Physical Chemistry. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003. 268. Print.
  19. Knight, Randall D. Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education, 2008. 805-806. Print.
  20. Nersessian, Nancy J. Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1984. 40. Print.
  21. Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 205. Print.
  22. Brockway, Wallace and Mortimer J. Alder, eds. Great Books of the Western World. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1987. 255-256. Print.
  23. Brockway, Wallace and Mortimer J. Alder, eds. Great Books of the Western World. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1987. 255-256. Print.
  24. Morus, Iwan Rhys. Michael Faraday and the Electric Century. Duxford: Icon Books UK, 2004. 200. Print.
  25. Brockway, Wallace and Mortimer J. Alder, eds. Great Books of the Western World. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1987. 255-256. Print.
  26. Nersessian, Nancy J. Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1984. 37. Print.
  27. Morus, Iwan Rhys. Michael Faraday and the Electric Century. Duxford: Icon Books UK, 2004. 198-199. Print.
  28. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Faraday: Chemist, Physicist, Natural Philosopher. New Jersey: Princeton, 1992. Web. 3 March 2012.
  29. Eliot, Charles W., ed. The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. 3. Print.
  30. Eliot, Charles W., ed. The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. 3. Print.
  31. Faraday, Michael. “The Correlation of the Physical Forces.” The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. Ed. Charles W. Eliot. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. 88. Print.
  32. Faraday, Michael. “The Chemical History of a Candle.” The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. Ed. Charles W. Eliot. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. 89. Print.
  33. Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 205-206. Print.
  34. Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 205-206. Print.
  35. Morus, Iwan Rhys. Michael Faraday and the Electric Century. Duxford: Icon Books UK, 2004. 57. Print.
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  42. Morus, Iwan Rhys. Michael Faraday and the Electric Century. Duxford: Icon Books UK, 2004. 110-112. Print.
  43. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Faraday: Chemist, Physicist, Natural Philosopher. New Jersey: Princeton, 1992. Web. 3 March 2012.
  44. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Faraday: Chemist, Physicist, Natural Philosopher. New Jersey: Princeton, 1992. Web. 3 March 2012.
  45. Faraday, Michael. “The Chemical History of a Candle.” The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. Ed. Charles W. Eliot. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. 89-178. Print.
  46. Eliot, Charles W., ed. The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes Volume 30. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. pg. 4. Print.

All Sources

Brockway, Wallace and Mortimer J. Alder, eds. Great Books of the Western World. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1987. 253-866. Print.

Day, Peter, ed. The Philosopher’s Tree: Michael Faraday’s Life and Work in His Own Words. London: Institute of Physics Publishing, 1999. Web. 3 March 2012.

Einstein’s Big Idea. Dir. Gary Johnstone. NOVA, 2005. Film.

Eliot, Charles W., ed. The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. Print.

Faraday, Michael. “The Chemical History of a Candle.” The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. Ed. Charles W. Eliot. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. 89-178. Print.

Faraday, Michael. “The Correlation of the Physical Forces.” The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers With Introductions and Notes, Volume 30. Ed. Charles W. Eliot. New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1910. 75-88. Print.

Jenkins, Alice, ed. Michael Faraday’s Mental Exercises: An Artisan Essay-Circle in Regency London. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008. Print.

Jones, Bence. Life and Letters of Faraday. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1870. Print.

Klein, David R. Organic Chemistry. New Jersey: Wiley, 2011. Print.

Knight, Randall D. Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education, 2008. Print.

Laidler, Keith, John H. Meiser, and Bryan C. Sanctuary. Physical Chemistry. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003. Print.

Laidler, Keith. The World of Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Print

Morus, Iwan Rhys. Michael Faraday and the Electric Century. Duxford: Icon Books UK, 2004. Print.

Nersessian, Nancy J. Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1984. Print.

T. Kids Books, Michael Faraday – A Short Biography for Kids [Kindle Edition]. Amazon Digital Services, 2012. eBook.

Williams, L. Pearce. Michael Faraday, A Biography (The Da Capo Series in Science). Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 1987. Print.

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Faraday: Chemist, Physicist, Natural Philosopher. New Jersey: Princeton, 1992. Web. 3 March 2012.

WORDJelly 4 – Hedgehog

My outward appearance is everything. If I do not fit into people’s preconceived notions of beauty, I may not find a home.

When my personality is overlooked, I am disappointed. But when I find someone who loves me, life is good.

In the beginning, expect me to sleep 18 hour each. Expect me to burrow and hide. In fact, always expect me to be cautious and timid. At the same time, know that I can be more. I AM open to being calm and trusting with you around. How I want you to be around. This is about who I am, not what I look like.

How do you feel when you enter a new world. When you start a new journey, do you not feel the same as I do? Even though we are different—we look different—can we build a relationship?

30 minutes a day can have a huge impact on someone’s life. Can you spare me some time? I can’t wait to be in your arms! (More importantly, I can’t wait to be fed!)

How often do you have a connection with others? How do you feel when you are around me? Can we learn to laugh and laugh while learning? I need you to be patient with me. This world is new and scary.

Now do you see? When I know how to act and how to please, I’ll let you know. Just look past my appearance. My value is not determined by my looks, and neither is yours.


This is WORDJelly

If you want to know more about this project, check out my rules. (I did choose my own picture this time.)

The featured image is provided CC-BY by Keegan.

Canvas Training Roundup

These last few weeks have been intense work-wise. I’ve been developing and hosting multiple Canvas courses for instructors at the University of Oklahoma. This has been especially nerve-racking because I am (also) learning how to effectively use the tool I am teaching. Fortunately, at the end of the week I will participate in official training from Canvas experts. In the mean time, I will continue this rapid prototyping process that is keeping me afloat. 🙂 Anyways, I wanted to give a brief overview of the training programs I have been spearheading these last few weeks (please note this is not an exhaustive list as these trainings are only the ones I have been involved with):

Introduction to Canvas

Keegan's Intro to Canvas Course Homepage
Keegan’s Intro to Canvas Course Homepage

This is the basic overview of Canvas. It’s an hour long session that’s about 20 minutes of demonstrations and 40 minutes of discussion and Q&A. With this session, I want to introduce faculty to Modules and course organization within Canvas while highlighting the notable features. This presentation is conducted using an example Canvas course rather than just a slideshow. I released these materials to the Canvas Commons for other to use and titled them Keegan’s Intro to Canvas.

Image of Keegan's Intro to Canvas Course in Canvas Commons.
Canvas Commons Page for Keegan’s Intro to Canvas

How to Learn Canvas

The idea behind this training is to empower people to capitalize on the many resources in the Canvas Community to facilitate their own learning. In other words, I hope to produce fishers rather than give away Canvas fish. During this session, I walk people through the workflow I use to explore and learn from community.canvaslms.com. This allows me to highlight different features of the community such as the CanvasLIVE events and community groups. When attendees already possess some knowledge of Canvas and have the intrinsic motivation to teach themselves, this session is poised to equip them with the tools to succeed.

Community.canvaslms.com Home Page
Community.canvaslms.com Home Page

Office Hours

This session is both informal and open-ended. The content is directed by the attendees and their inquiries. From Canvas navigation to specifics about grading and course design, this session aims to provide teachers with any and all answers to their questions. I like to equate this experience to group and individual consultations because when there are multiple people present, the participants get to hear the ideas from their peers in addition to my responses. So far, these sessions have been successful in terms of tailoring assistance to faculty and since they require minimal preparation for the facilitator, they are easy to conduct.

Mini Courses

This is my favorite training at the moment. Mobile Blogging & Scholarship (MBS) is the first Canvas Mini Course. MBS is meant to indirectly introduce people to different features of Canvas as they focus on the topic of blogging from a mobile device. Other Canvas Mini Courses will be hosted in the coming months and will also be fully online 4 day experiences centered around a topic to give instructors the experience of being a student in Canvas (while also participating in professional development). These trainings can range in topic depending on the facilitators interest. Overall, Canvas Mini Course are intended to be a minimal commitment to experientially introduce faculty to Canvas.

One of the notable features I am using to conduct MBS is the Redirect Tool. This Canvas app allows me to embed full websites into the course. Since I can setup a WordPress website to accept blog posts from users without accounts, I have enabled my students to participate in blogging without the overhead of creating a WordPress account or learning the WordPress software—the focus is on the MBS content! You are welcome to read more about this setup here (and an official writeup will be coming soon). Also, MBS is a public course that you can explore here or add the contents to your own course(s) through the Canvas Commons.

Blogging Within MBS Canvas Course
Blogging Within MBS Canvas Course

Canvas Camp

The goal of Canvas Camp is to have faculty build and finalize a Canvas course in four days. This face-to-face training means to simultaneously teach best practices of using Canvas while giving instructors time to development their own courses, incorporating what they learn during each session. Thus, at the conclusion of this pragmatic training, attendees have produced a course to use for an upcoming semester.

Each day of Canvas Camp covers a different topic. Day 1 and 2 are about importing and (re)organizing content within Canvas, while Day 3 and 4 are geared toward interacting with students and the steps remaining to finalize a Canvas course. Whether an instructor wants to build a course from scratch or import contents from a previous class, they are welcome to this training. For those that do not complete their content related to the daily topic, they will have to work outside of the allotted course time to finish developing their course.

Features Speed-Dating

There are many features in Canvas that were not available to faculty in the previous learning management system (LMS). To introduce the multitude of features in an efficient manner, we (the Center for Teaching Excellence) have conceived of a program that is being branded as “Speed-Dating for features.” Faculty will spend a few minutes learning and experiencing the affordances of a Canvas feature before rotating to the next. This program is still in development, but the main idea is that features in this Speed-Dating program are being developed as interchangeable modules that could be used to give a Feature Speed-Dating sessions different flavors depending on the audience. Since this training is still in development, this is all I can say for now. 🙂

Other (Beyond Canvas)

In addition to all of the Canvas trainings, I’ve also been hosting other professional development:

WordPress Office Hours – Like the Canvas Office Hours, this is a come-and-go session that was intended to facilitate group consultations and answer individual questions informally. This style of training is ideal for me at the moment since it requires minimal setup, allows me to address random questions, and let’s me build relationships with faculty while we are learning together. This session was a huge success and I plan on offering more of these during the summer, especially since I got this piece of feedback from an instructor:

I’m very, very, irrationally excited about the progress made on the website this morning.  Thanks for the office hours!

OU Create Training – This introduction to OU Create is intended to give an overview of OU Create while walking participants through setting up a WordPress website. In fact, typically every attendee ends up with a functional WordPress site in under one hour. For more information about this training check out this video walkthrough:

Look Forward

There are so many exciting trainings going on at the moment. My focus moving forward is expanding programs and coordinating with the newly hired Canvas Graduate Fellows to also host trainings. Although this summer is intense, I am looking forward to the next year of building curriculum and facilitating professional development. 😀

The featured image is provided CC0 by Chester Ho via Unsplash.