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.
At the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year I indicated to my Chair, Dean, and Provost that I wanted to write a lot this year—especially with students. I reaffirmed that intention (to an international audience!) in an individual learning plan I was “required” to share while participating in Jane Hart’s “Supporting Everyday Workplace Learning” workshop.
I shared eight lessons that I learned in that workshop with my LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, and WordPress audiences in this blog piece.
Three individuals have had a major influence on my writing since my joining the Carroll community in 1978. Carroll colleague Jim Vopat taught a course entitled “Why Write” that I had an opportunity to visit.Thank you, Jim Vopat, for giving me direction.
An influential present Carroll colleague BJ Best continues to successfully engage students in writing both by regularly modeling it and by the creation of an online, student-centered journal, Portage Magazine. Thank you, BJ, for all you have shared—including students eager to learn. I can’t wait to entwine myself in the writing of that long threatened promised adventure stories about David in Carroll-Land.
For the past decade I have followed with interest and admiration the blogging and developments in thinking of Jane Hart about uses of technology tools to enhance learning. Motivated by her initial contributions, I created a first-year seminar course based on her top twenty-five tools. More recently, my students have begun writing and publishing books about the learning tools they found of most value. We are in the process of seeking financial support to expand that effort. Thank you, Jane Hart, for your fellowship, mentorship, and friendship across the ocean.
My introduction to blogging tools reinvigorated my personal interest in writing. It enhanced my judgment of the importance and value of including writing exercises in my classes. I am convinced that properly taught, introduced and regularly used, blogging and micro-blogging tools can enhance a student’s civic responsibilities (e.g. writing a thoughtful response to a New York Times online article or to a local paper—rather than merely clicking the “like” button). They can be used to improve students’ writing and enjoyment of writing, and can expand their knowledge about “publishing” and making the blogosphere and the world a better place.
Last night I took the time to wander and wonder outside our North Lake home with my camera taking pictures of the super moon. The evening not only was beautiful but the act of having to focus and refocus my camera helped develop in me thoughts about the importance of focus and refocus in my life. Reflection and refocusing in one’s life for me is not only good but imperative.
I’m sitting at my desk for the moment between the time of administering two exams. How best should I use this “free” time? Too often I use the time to start yet another project. Instead this time I am reflecting. I also am trying to dictate this blog piece using my Nuance Dragon Professional software. It surely has improved in terms of its accuracy and ease of use, and it is far past time for me to learn how to use it to my advantage.
Still, it has its limitations (or perhaps I still need to learn better its features).
“Hours longer we to bury was.” That gibberish was what the software produced when I attempted to quote something I read in Latin almost 50 years ago: “ars longa, vita brevis.” Art is long; life is short.
I had forgotten that the passage was originally attributed to Hippocrates. I embrace his more complete quotation:
“Life is short,and art long,opportunity fleeting,experimentations perilous,and judgement difficult.”
So much to learn; so little time. So much beauty to discover and to appreciate.
So many perilous experimentations to be risked in order to live more fully. So many difficult judgments to make. So many difficult conversations needed. Yet, I continue to believe that I have been blessed by being given the opportunity to teach and to learn continuously.
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.
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.
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:)
I’ve been so busy lately that yesterday I almost didn’t have time to change out of my academic regalia before beginning my PSY205 Statistics and Experimental Design course. Thanks to Jenny Percy for capturing this “precious moment”.
My social media day usually begins at 5:30 a.m. with a quick look at my Carroll email, my Twitter feed, my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. If I see an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Education worth sharing, I pass it on to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook followers. My restricted “Twitter feed” often appears on the left of the window of applications I am using like this WordPress software.
Here is what I mean (courtesy of my Snagit capturing software and Screencast.com).
Twitter primarily serves me as a personal professional development tool. Facebook is a rich source for my staying in touch with alumni (NO, Kim and Ryan, I DO NOT WANT a party in 2019). LinkedIn has proven to be a wonderful way to reconnect and stay connected to Alumni —So great reconnecting with you recently, Dave Verban!—, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Schneider Consulting Clients.
Time to meet with my colleague and FB “friend” Peggy Kasimatis.
Recently there has been a campus-wide discussion about the need to include writing experiences across the curriculum and across a student’s learning years here. I’ve become a strong believer in giving students opportunities to use blogging software and to give them mentored practice in writing thoughtful, civil responses online to articles which are published online.
I asked two of my research assistants (Alison and Lizzy) , before I left today, to create for me a screencast tutorial using the Camtasia software they just had learned about a basic student guide about how to use WordPress. In their guide they show how to create an account, how to follow someone else’s blog pieces, and some of the many capabilities of WordPress.
I am quite impressed how on short notice, with no supervision from me, they were able to exceed my high expectations. How fortunate I have been across the years from my first student assistant, Larry Jost, until now to work closely with such wonderful fellow learners!
Here is Alison and Lizzy’s tutorial:
Any comments or feedback would be much appreciated.
Right now I am using Nuance’s new Mac upgrade of Dragon Dictate to “write” this short blog. My motivation needing to assist my business partner Greg Schneider install the software on his machine. Greg is quite facile with earlier versions of this tool. I am so blessed to have him as a friend, business partner, confidante, and annual fishing partner.
Perhaps dictation software tools will overcome my handicap of not being able to type!
Stay tuned for my adventures and misadventures with dictation software —and some initially very short blogs!
And Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate this American holiday.
Dog tired as I try to bring the semester to a soft landing, I rely more and more on my student assistants to provide support in my research efforts.
I invited student research assistants Alison and Arianna to investigate the usefulness of Scoop.it.” as a teaching/learning tool. Here are their preliminary thoughts.
Scoop.it is a curating media web tool that allows individuals to find content for any topic imaginable. From these topics, it then creates an organized online magazine format. The components of Scoop.it are users, topics, and scoops. The potential users are anybody that has a Scoop.it account and can share articles about any topic. The topics can consist of anything, your favorite sport, a paper for school, current news events, and multiple endless possibilities. The scoops are the articles that are stored under the topic board/page for that specific topic. The free account for Scoop.it allows users to create two topic boards, connect two social media accounts, and scoop 10 articles a day.
To create a topic, one selects the “create a topic” button that is located on the user’s profile page. Once the button is selected, Scoop.it will then prompt you to fill out information about your topic. One inserts the name of the topic, selects the language, and then inserts a couple of key words about the topic. Inserting these key words allows Scoop.it to search for content that may be germane to your topic.
To find content yourself, a search bar in the top right corner allows one to type in keywords. The search will then produce three tabs related to the keywords; posts, topics, and users. The posts tab finds articles and content that is related to the keywords that were searched. Based on the keywords, topic boards that are created by other users will also be pulled up. If one wishes, one can follow a topic board which is then added automatically to one’s “follow” list. By following a topic board, one will be notified of the new content the user scoops into that topic board.
The topic board is a page that displays all of the curated content on the selected topic. In an organized fashion, the topic board arranges all the content you selected for that specific topic. By default, the content and articles are published in chronological order on the topic board.
When one finds an article that they want to scoop into their particular topic board, there is a scoop.it button on the article. This button allows one to select which curated topic board to add the scoop in, add additional text to the article, share this article with other social media sites, select a schedule of publication for the article, and add tags to the article.
Scoop.it allows individuals to share scoops with other social media sites without publishing the scoop under one of their topic boards. On the bottom right of a scoop is an arrow button that give you options of your other social media platforms to share the article with. Some versions of Scoop.it also provide the embedding code to include in a blog piece or to a website.
For convenience, Scoop.it has a web based platform and an app for mobile devices which syncs everything automatically across devices and platforms (e.g. desktop, iPad, iPhone, and Android).
There is an education version of Scoop.it that allows for 30 co-curators or groups to collaborate on a project. One is able to search for topics that may aid in papers, research projects, and class presentations. Teachers can create topic boards for a class and attach additional readings of articles that may enhance understanding of the material for the students. It can be used in conjunction with other learning tools such as SlideShare and PowerPoint.
We welcome any feedback or experience with Scoop.it.
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!