Returning to my office two of my student research assistants were “at their work stations.” One was engaged in an animated phone conversation in Spanish with someone in Honduras. She has the difficult choice this weekend of choosing among three graduate school acceptances. Hasta luego, we have a brief team meeting where I update them on present and future projects (CrowdFunding proposal for extending their book publishing capabilities; a grant to fund brain fitness training research in the fall). I indicate that I also want to make a screen cast of each of them before Tuesday. Both Alison and Lizzie are very facile with technology learning tools such as iMovie. I share with them that I soon am going to need to find some new student assistants. THEY know best what goes on in Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood, so they will do my “vetting.”
I ask Lizzie to share her experiences as my research assistant.
What has kept me here almost forty years is not the buildings but the traditions, the faculty, staff, administrative, and trustee friendships–and the students. I asked one of my graduating senior research assistants to stop by and to spontaneously share some of her Carroll reflections. I promised to be well-behaved—i.e. no funny hats and unusually quiet:)
She laughed. She knows me well.
Arianna will be leaving me for graduate study at Marquette University in the Fall.
We recorded this from my MacBook Pro using the Capto screen casting software.
I had a few “extra minutes” at work today for reflection. I’m awaiting (dis)approval of seeking Crowdfunding financial support to expand my students’ capabilities to self publish books. I am also writing a few small grants to fund some modest research comparing several different “brain fitness” programs (e.g. BrainHD and Lumosity).
Just for fun I chose to document my rambling ruminations by creating a screencast. I still find Screenflow easier for me to use than Capto or Camtasia. I favor using Skitch for Screenshots from my Mac. It is indeed hard to teach an old dogged professor new tricks (or to discard old tools).
In the screen cast below I am thinking out loud as I experiment with the camera software (iglasses) and the microphone (a Yeti). I am leaning towards using both for our next Student Guides to Internet Learning Tools (if funded). The first volumes of the new works will most likely focus on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Screencasting tools. Oops, time to go for a walk with my canine companion!
There are buildings on campus whose cornerstone bears a date before my birth. My father-in-law walked in some of these very buildings in 1936. Voorhees Hall was a women’s dorm when Walt walked this campus.
So many memories. Some converge; some change. Some researchers argue that memories change every time that they are retrieved.
With age comes my increased interest in the inevitable aging process. At one time or another I have written over 80 blog pieces (or drafts) about relationships between aging and memory.
Here are a few: (Clicking on all the links in each and viewing their contents might be a valuable brain fitness exercise!):)
- Thanks for the memories!
- I’m not sure that you will remember me but…
- Brain fitness training (Part 1)
- Brain fitness training (Part 2)
After consulting with my four student research assistants, I’ve decided to focus my Fall semester research seminar on the topic of “brain fitness”—fact and fad. I am particularly intrigued by the promises of the program “BrainHQ.” Time to don my skeptical thinking cap:
While cleaning the office today I came across my journal notes from when I still was a graduate student at Ohio State. I had just returned from a two-day job interview at then-named Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Much has changed since then! I continue working against changing too much too quickly.
I still use and keep journals now–some paper and pencil— though I now do most journaling using software dedicated to that function. Though I have explored the utility of many apps, my personal preference at the moment is DayOne.
I particularly use journaling to follow the recommendations of Jane Hart on the value (I would argue, the necessity) of reflecting on my work day accomplishments and failures and for short and long-term goal setting. This was one of many lessons I learned from Jane this past year. I encourage my students and clients to create regular times for written reflection.
What journaling software do you use? Why?
I have come to believe that a syllabus should be a dynamic learning tool. To that end on the first day of class I randomly select some students to download my syllabus. Using the classroom projection system, they explore in the syllabus embedded links to such things as a paper I wrote about how I teach and they begin using a tool (Research Randomizer) for drawing random samples and for randomly assigning participants to conditions.
Here is the syllabus I use in my PSY205 “Statistics and Experimental Design Course.”
I am moving towards requiring that all my students demonstrate to me minimal mastery of my technology enhanced teaching and the learning tools which I introduce into the classroom.
Here is an example of a Quizlet benchmark: Example 1: Quizlet.
How helpful are these links? How might they be improved?
I also am increasingly incorporating screencasts made by me (or by my students) into the class as additional instructional support—especially as I teach SPSS. Though I realize that there are an abundance of such resources on YouTube (and even on LinkedIn!), I still see some value in my personally producing them (or having my students do so).
Here are some screen casts that Simpson research assistants Tia and Ariana made for me to demonstrate their mastery of using screen casting software tools:
And here is one of my SPSS screen casts made at home with the help of Leo the Dog:
Should I continue to produce these even though their production quality may not be “professional”?
It so easy to allow pet peeves to distract one and to engender a foul mood. Let’s see if I can exorcise them by listing some recent annoyances and thinking through a resolution while I proctor an exam.
- Leo the Great (pictured above) barks incessantly whenever I give Siri a command or use the dictation mode of my computers. This is also a nuisance when I proofread out loud. Solutions: Remove the dog (though he can at times be so angelic); don’t dictate; accustom him to my talking to myself:)
- Faculty colleagues who teach (loudly) with their classroom door open. Solutions: Close my door; close their door; put on sound reduction headphones
- Individuals who don’t differentiate between the reply and the reply all command. Solution: Send them a gentle correction: “Did you realize that you shared that slanderous reply with the entire campus community?”:)
- Bombardment by Bombastic Buzzwords (I’ve twice ranted to my one reader in the blogosphere about this peeve: here and here.). Solution: Think of the buzzwords as a specialized language unique to that marketing/corporate culture; update the buzzword bingo software; create a buzzword translator.
- Hmmm. Maybe I need just to lighten up or to consult Alex Blackwell’s eight step approach to dealing with pet peeves found here. Or at least to contextualize the irritation like this.
Or unwinding by playing in a pile of leaves.Or listening to a beautiful piano recital.Or snuggling up with some grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Life is far too short to allow pet peeves to bother one disproportionately. Or as my dictation software once jabbered,”Hours longer we to bury was.” See the translation here:
In preparation for contributing my suggestions to Jane Hart for her “Top 100 Tools for Learning” list I am systematically examining (and in many cases rediscovering:)) apps on my MacBook Pro. Jane will be organizing her report into three broad categories of learning tools.
- Top 100 Tools for Education – for use in schools, colleges, universities
- Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning – for use in training, for performance support, social collaboration, etc.
- Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning – for self-organized learning.
My (re)discovery for today is 1Password. It continues to serve me well, especially as I am starting to have difficulty remembering passwords!
Carroll calls me back tomorrow. Quite a changed place since I entered Carroll-land in 1977.
Below is a first draft outline of an ebook I am contemplating writing. I share it at this time welcoming feedback. I shall use this draft as part as a review for my PSY205 students. Here is a brief description of HOW I teach the course.
Each hyperlink is a “module. Thanks to Arianna, Tia, and Lizzy for helping me create this draft (while I was away from the office).
What data analysis should I use?: Test your knowledge by clicking on the link. Eventually I shall incorporate a flow chart / decision tree here.
- Teaching Tools: SPSS, inStat, starQuiz, Camtasia and Research Randomizer.
- Augmenting My Teaching Capabilities: Top Technology Learning Tools Revisited.
- On Engaging Students (Part 2): Adventures with StarQuiz and SPSS
- Changes: How much tinkering should one do with a course that seems to work well?
- Learning by Teaching: Alison and Lizzy’s Guide to Using SPSS Data Analysis for Simple Linear Regression
- Retrospective Thinking: How much tinkering should one do with a course that seems to work well?
- Two-way Between Subjects ANOVA Using SPSS (Part 1)
- What Questions can you Answer with your Data? Using SPSS to guide you.
- Review of One-way Between Subjects ANOVA using SPSS
- t-Time: Three Short SPSS Screencasts for PSY205
- Still Looking for ways to Improve Courses After 36 Years of Teaching (Part 1 of 2)
- Retooling and Sharpening the Saw
- Something Old and Something New: A brief Introduction to Effect Size Statistics