Archive for April, 2008

Another baking experiment, smoked roasts

April 20, 2008

The weather is really chilly for late April, about 40F at mid-day when it should be in the mid-50’s. The oven has been staying pretty dry in its tarping since the last adventure. I decided to make white sour dough and roast a chicken with rice. I had a hankering for brown/wild rice, and the COOP has a nice blend.

I was raising the bread in the kitchen where it was cool because I got ahead of myself and put the yeast in at 9AM. By 1PM it was ready for the first punch down.

Here is the timeline:

  • 1:40 ignition, on top of a “V” of 4 bricks to funnel the air and to keep the floor of the oven cooler.
  • 2PM clear smoke, added fuel, roaring chimney; Whole chicken into Lil Chief smoker.
  • 3PM more fuel, it had burned down to coals
  • 3:30 more small fuel for hot finish; oven is warm on top; bread shaped to rise
  • 4PM Fire pulled out to Weber grill, a couple cherry pieces pushed to the side and bricks in place to shield it. Extra brick covering chimney hole. Sealed door and chimney to soak; Pork sirloin roast into Weber, not very hot. The experiment I tried was putting some green cherry pruning’s into the bottom of the Weber before dumping in the coals. Resulting smoke was not very appealing.
  • 4:15 Oven steaming/smoking. Underside of floor warm, not smoking, but there is char visible between the 2×6 floorboards.
  • 4:25 650F, bread in (I was worried it would burn on the bottom) Chicken had been in smoker most of this time, without marinate. Its skin is warm and smoky. I placed chicken on top of onion rings and put pre-cooked rice on the sides. Chicken’s dish is covered.
  • 4:50 Bread looks beautiful, but not done.
  • 5:10 Bread out, oven 425F; pork, carrots and potatoes in covered dish go in.
  • 6PM Chicken out, its great
  • 7:15 Roast out, temp 300F

Since I am not yet coming up with uses for the 300F oven after cooking the second meal, I’m starting to think about enclosing the oven in a room to capture the heat like from a masonry stove.

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Start with pedagogy not technology

April 1, 2008

From the recently released ECAR report “Learners 2.0? IT and 21st-Century Learners in Higher Education (ID: ERB0807)”

Start with pedagogy, not technology. Creating a new learning climate demands that
chief academic administrators collaborate with chief information technology
administrators to develop incentives and rewards for faculty who reexamine current
teaching practices, for staff who support innovative teaching practices, and for students
who engage in new learning activities. For faculty, changing pedagogy is not necessarily
accomplished by simply introducing new technologies.
(emphasis added) Change starts with an
examination of pedagogy and domain content if new learning is the aim. Only then can
useful technologies and teaching strategies be matched to best achieve desired learning
outcomes. Across all ranks and disciplines, faculty should participate in the necessary
shift toward active engagement of contemporary learners.

This perspective is nice to see coming from a high profile source. They have a table “New Competencies for New Learning” on page 5 that lists long-standing tenets of how higher education functions, and contrasts it with new (Learner 2.0) functions. I find this table useful, but Stephen Downes’ ideas in Learning 2.0 (original table mid-way down here) more far reaching than the ECAR view. We have been exploring some of the implications of these learning/learner 2.0 in a case study we are doing for Microsoft of ePortfolio uses. I need to fold this ECAR piece into that work.