I love the sounds of a bustling campus – the chimes, physical plant staff changing shifts, the chattering of students as they discuss their athletic practices – though the predominant sounds this morning are those of the many construction workers trying to complete Rankin Hall’s renovation before classes begin. When completed, the renovated building will indeed be magnificent. Thanks to the many donors, some of whom have become my friends across the years.
Almost time to leave the new office and drive out to the Graduate Center for another morning of meetings dealing with implementation of Carroll’s new Strategic Plan and contributions the College of Arts and Sciences can make. It is interesting to reflect upon how much of my life has been spent in meetings. In retrospect, was that time well invested?
To prepare for my meeting I opened my newly purchased package of pencils.I try to find the right balance between high tech and low tech tools! Now if I can only remember how to sharpen them. I may have to consult the help desk.
“There is something wrong with you! You have no sense of urgency about time!” I was recently admonished while sitting in my chair reflecting upon Patricia Hampfl’s delightful book of essays entitled The Art of the Wasted Day. Don’t retire, accelerate advises Bracken Darrell, Head of Logitech, in a recent LinkedIn blog piece.
Here are some of my previous thoughts about time:
A canceled meeting! How best to make use of that unexpected 50 minutes—that gift of time. Maybe catch up on Profhacker blog pieces sitting on my RSS feed? Here are five of them:
- When the technology changes on you? Seems germane.
- Slowing down and learning about “deep listening”? I should also turn off my twitter feed that tempts me with messages from some of my favorite thought leaders. I am so easily distracted.
- Hints for teaching a large online course. I may try this when I leave Carroll.
- Making a WordPress Site Multi-lingual: Lately I’ve been exploring translation and language software.
- Exploring “gamification“: I’m still somewhat chary of moving in this direction, but intrigued by the creative writing/ gaming applications of English Professor Colleague BJ Best.
TIME was the campus -wide theme for Carroll University (Waukesha, WI, USA) during the 2014-2015 academic year. Across my years of teaching, I have enjoyed creating special courses (‘Why War?” “Happiness” “Pioneering Web 2.0 Technology Tools”) when I have been allowed time and total control over the course. Had I offered a course on this theme of time, I would have include the following as required reading and videos:
Time to walk with the Dog!
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.
A canceled meeting! How best to make use of that unexpected 50 minutes—that gift of time. I know, let’s see whether this new faster, better, WordPress.com Mac app lives up to its promise.
How best to use this unexpected time? Catch up on the last 10 Profhacker blog pieces that sit on my RSS feed? Here are five of them:
- When technology changes on you? Seems germane.
- Slowing down and learning about “deep listening”? First I should close my door since too many of my colleagues lecture loudly with open doors. Second, I should also turn off my twitter feed that tempts me with messages from some of my favorite thought leaders. I am easily distracted yet try to avoid using technology to reduce distractions and undermine my self-control.
- Hints for teaching a large online course. Germane to a Task Force I am on exploring the viability of online courses—-perhaps at a graduate level— at my institution.
- Making a WordPress Site Multi-lingual: One of my goals for next semester is to engage in more global outreach.
- Exploring “gamification“: I’m still somewhat chary of moving in this direction
Finished reading last night David Mitchell’s erie, spell-binding, soul-sucking novel Slade House. Maybe those Atemporals caused the Carroll computer to crash just now necessitating my completing this blog on my cell phone!
My work day begins at 5:30 a.m. I confess that I check my email and assorted social media accounts (especially Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin) upon arising, far too many times across the course of the work day, and again before bed-time. Thursdays is my research day. There are so many technological learning enhancement tools that promise me increased efficiency and enhanced opportunity to collaborate. I notice that Jane Hart have created a slide-share presentation of technology learning trends. I review them to make sure that I am familiar with their promise. I visit Profhacker. I try and make a substantive, constructive contribution to the creative work that some of my fellow educators across the globe are involved in. I have a wonderful 45 minute Skype session with an international colleague. Sometimes I get the most done by avoiding the Internet the whole day. I want to avoid the life described in the clever infographic below.