Throughout my almost four decades of teaching I have tried to build bridges. Bridges across the Kindergarten to Higher Education divide. Bridges among different global communities. Bridges between academic and corporate cultures. I’m now in the 2nd week of participating in a workshop led by The United Kingdon’s Jane Hart. The foundation of this workshop is her book Modern Workplace Learning: A resource book for L & D. How refreshing it is to interact with the author (whom I have admired and corresponded with for almost 10 years) and to develop learning relationships with individuals across the world. Based on things I’ve learned and reflected upon to date, I have “connected” with a workshop participant on LinkedIn, incorporated some of the exchanged ideas into my interactions with my student research team, and am having so much fun!
We are encouraged to keep learning logs this week and to share them with fellow workshop participants. One assignment also is to share a screenshot of our journal. One co-participant has already renewed my interest in revisiting EverNote (Thank you, Jennifer R!). Jane’s Chapter 34 whetted my curiosity to take a look at OneNote (though I’ll consult also with my student research team about its utility).
Here is brief screen cast created by student research (and author) Lizzie Hof how we use DayOne as a “learning log.”
I’m proctoring my first two exams of the academic year (Statistics and Experimental Design) so I have a protected five hour block for reading and for writing. I’ll have another such window of opportunity while my wife is in the dentist’s office for an hour later today. My Ipad will accompany me there.
First I glance at my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts. Looks like it is time to refine my Twitter filters. Can it really be that I have created over 1500 Tweets?? Do I still want to follow Edward Snowden? Jane Hart? Time to winnow—or to destroy the evidence:) I’ll revisit whom and what I follow as my interests and needs change. I’ll have to refresh my memory on what I and my students have written about Twitter. I send myself a note about which articles I want to read in depth or to share.
I’ll seek some counsel from my student research team. They surprised me the other day by indicating that they found Twitter a useful tool that they would like to learn more about. I fire off an email to them and am pleased that three of them are already on-board awaiting assignments—at 8:15 a.m.
Simpson Research Team 2016-2017
I peruse my email accounts briefly trying to identify what most deserves or needs my attention. I quickly visually scan the online version of the Waukesha Freeman with special attention to articles about Carroll; the Milwaukee Journal business section; and the Chronicle of Higher Education. I am delighted and impressed to see a draft stored on Google drive of an article written by one of my research assistants since we checked in this morning. It compares Skype and Face Time as communication tools. Well done, Alison! It was no accident that these students wrote their first book last year with only the slightest supervision from me. It will be interesting to see if they accept my challenge about advancing to the next level in developing their talent.
Time for a coffee break and a team meeting. We briefly meet between exams. I share with them a few projects that I would welcome their involvement in, and I share what I have learned today while exploring LinkedIn and Yammer. I learn so much FROM them. I grab several manuscripts dealing with “brain training” to read while I proctor exam # 2. Several Carroll alumni researchers share my interest in this topic and I want to keep up with them. Learning never ends.
I’ve successfully loaded the Sierra OS upgrade to my Macs and determined which of my apps
still:) work. It’s time to cast my ballot in Jane Hart’s 10th international survey about favorite learning tools. You can find her solicitation for votes here.
This year she invites us to categorize our use of each tool as to whether we primarily use it in education (E),for workplace learning (W), and or for personal and professional learning (P). She also shared to the members of the “Supporting Everyday Workplace Learning” workshop that I am taking with her for the next eight weeks her Top 10 Learning Tools and those of three of her ITA colleagues, Clark Quinn, Harold Jarche, and Charles Jennings. I found it interesting to benchmark my choices against theirs. Read More
It’s the first week of a new semester and I’m preparing for my PSY303 Experimental Social Psychology class. I’ve written extensively in the past about teaching such a course. As I wind down (or wind up), I’m attempting to re-examine what, how, and why I teach each of my courses.
At the end of this week I’ll password protect blog posts entitled “Confessions” as I use them within my PSY303 class to develop student critical thinking and writing. Contact me if you’d like reading permission to view or participate in this project.
Confession # 1: That is an old photo from my Social Psychology Network Web Page. I truly admire how Scott Plous has developed this web page and has maintained its excellence across the years. I also continue to be sympathetic with its over arching mission:”Social Psychology Network is an educational organization whose mission is to promote peace, social justice, and sustainable living through public education, research, and the advancement of psychology.”
Confession #2: I just now renewed my SPN donation for 2016 and 2017:) Thank you SPN for all you do.
I invite former students (e.g. Deana Julka, Cathy Carnot-Bond,Mark Klinger, Jennifer Welbourne, Pam Propsom, and Terry Kott) and social psychologists (that’s you Tara J. Schmidt and Denise Guastello:)) among many others) to share with me their experiences as social psychologists or who draw upon social psychological principles in their lives (like you Mike Schwerin and Michelle Braun).
What are your favorite technology learning tools? Now (until September 23) is a good time to send your recommendations to Jane Hart (see this link) as she for the 10th year finishes compiling recommendations made by learning professionals. Jane will be organizing her report into three broad categories of learning tools:
- Top 100 Tools for Education – those used in schools, colleges, and universities
- Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning – those used in training, for performance support, and social collaboration.
- Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning – those used for self-organized learning.
Before the academic year I formally and systematically review the technology learning tools that I judge to be most useful to my teaching and learning effectiveness.
In the next couple of weeks I shall be sharing my recommendations and the results of my revisiting my most useful desktop tools with particular emphasis on those that enhance my writing/ publishing/ screencasting capabilities.
I now usually also give my research assistants an opportunity to give me their recommendations. Last year they wrote and published their first book about their favorite tools. As soon as they are settle in I’ll share some of their new good work and their recommendations.
Gotta run. I hear bag pipes!
I usually arrive on campus to an empty parking lot. Today was no exception despite the road construction, school buses, and famous Waukesha trains.
The construction workers are already hard at work completing the new science building. New students adorned in their new tee shirts are exploring the campus making sure that they can find their classrooms.
An early morning phone call to ITS is quite successful both in resolving some traditional first of semester computer issues and in renewing some friendships. Daniel will be starting his 20th year here. Chris is a Carroll graduate. Both exemplify the authenticity in my belief that Carroll Cares.
Much mundane to accomplish today before the Cubs game. I hope to get a lot of serious writing done this year, but that block of time will not be available today.
Several of my student assistants have
threatened promised to stop by. As I’ve written many times I’ve been blessed across the years with over 50 superb student assistants. It is fun and rewarding learning together. They keep me young(er). Tomorrow, rain or shine, I’ll answer the call of the bagpiper as the new freshman class is introduced to the Carroll academic world.
Thanks to all you alumni for sharing via LinkedIn and Facebook your responses to my earlier blog posts of this year. It’s nice knowing that I have a reader or two:)
In some ways I wish that my retired colleagues had been present at the September 1, 2016 College of Arts and Sciences Strategic Planning Retreat. I’ve always felt that emeritus faculty (and alumni) are neglected resources of wisdom that can inform and guide us as we discuss ways 1) to improve the educational experience of our students and 2) to strengthen our relationships with each other across the campus community.
I had the enjoyable opportunity to interact in two discussion groups with six colleagues (from Communications, Theater, English, Education, Mathematics, and Chemistry) in addition to mingling with Dean Charlie Byler and the 74 the College faculty.
What do our students need to learn? Among the ideals/aspirations suggested by my colleagues were that we should be attempting to
- cultivate intellectual curiosity and a love of and ability to learn to learn
- assist students in developing resiliency (challenging them not to give up even as we give them opportunities to fail)
- help students appreciate the rewards of working hard
- develop in students the confidence and ability to find their own answers rather than their accepting ours
- combat ignorance in addition to developing wisdom
- give students experience and support in addressing difficult questions which have no simple, obvious answers
- mentor and model the above ideals
What would we like our students to say about their Carroll educational experiences 10 years from now? Much to my Colleagues’ amusement, I was initially uncharacteristically tongue-tied as they made suggestions like the following:
- They made the right choice in coming to Carroll.
- They were well prepared.
- Being here was a transformational experience.
- They are proud to have been here.
- They know how to learn and accept the fact that learning is never done.
- They would recommend Carroll to others.
- Their time here influenced how they see the world.
My silence was realizing that I would have little influence on graduates ten years in the future (I’ll be 77!) I will have interacted with four decades of students who could indeed be asked that question by me. In fact, over the past years I have often received solicited and unsolicited feedback from students via surveys I have developed, written correspondence, and social media interactions such as Facebook and LinkedIn (Feel free, Dear Reader, to inform me further:))
I’m sitting in my office going through the usual re-entry rituals at the beginning of my almost 39th year of teaching here. My friend and colleague, Phil Krejcarek teasingly reminded me yesterday that he started a semester before me. Our esteemed colleague Gary Olsen started here in 1975.
I smile at the usual beginning of semester chaos. Passwords that don’t work (or I have forgotten); printers that need to be reconfigured because of upgrades; a necessary visit to the book store to make sure that my texts are in.
Today is Move-in Day for freshmen. I read in the Waukesha Freeman that Carroll is expecting 58 international students from 25 different countries bringing the total of international students to 97.
I choose to exclude Carroll from my summer life as much as I can responsibly can and devote my time to family relationships, reading, and being outdoors. Among my favorite “good reads” this year were the following:
- Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
- Paul Silvia’s How to Write a Lot.
- Evan Kindley’s Questionnaire
- Julie Lindsay’s The Global Educator
- J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Jeff VanderMer’s The Big Book of Science Fiction
- Neal T. Jones’ A Book of Days for the Literary Year.
- The Annotated Alice
- Viet Than Nguyen’s The Sympathizer
- Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish
- Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
- Ethan Canin’s A Doubter’s Almanac
- Sharon Guskin’s The Forgetting Time
- Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
- Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky
- Brian Crane’s 25 Years of Pickles
- Ivan Doig’s Last Bus to Wisdom
I’ll be giving away all these books to interested students. What books would you recommend?
I also have seriously explored this summer some software tools to facilitate my goals for writing more and giving students opportunities to publish.
This will be an interesting transition year. A nationwide search for a new Carroll President; a Psychology Program Review; personal decisions. But for today, a few meetings and then still time to play at North Lake and continue learning from Leo the Great.
Learning from Leo