Friday, February 25, 2011

Perfection: Take away or add?

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery From The Quotations Page

And Gracie Allen "Always removed a piece of jewelery when going out so she wouldn't be 'overdressed'"  -- Wikipedia entry about Gracie Allen

Thanks to Avery Boyce for 1st quote above, Steve Ehrmann for 2nd!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stand up. Move now! "Are you using your laptop unsafely?"

Lacking self-discipline, I force myself to get up and move every hour when working on computer.  
How? Remote Timer!
WHY?  [more below from UC Berkeley]
Laptop configuration is not ergonomically desirable. Sitting without moving much for longer than 60 minutes is not healthy for human beings. That probably includes raptly attentive students during college lectures!
So, I always have my computer monitor physically detached from my computer keyboard - whether desktop or laptop - even when traveling (bring extra keyboard with laptop - put laptop on overturned ice-bucket on desk in hotel room). And I avoid zombie-like immobility when working.

Plug computer monitor power cables into a VERY long extension cord.
Plug extension cord into timer in an outlet in basement.
Set timer for 60 to 75 minutes.
One hour later, monitors go entirely black. No matter how intently I'm working, I must stop immediately, but my work is safe.
Walk through several rooms and up and down flight of stairs to get to the timer, reset it, and return to my desk.

Thus, I force myself to move and get at least a little exercise!

Have you found a better way that does not rely on self-discipline any more than this? Let me know.

WHY - ERGONOMICS@WORK UC Berkeley's Ergonomics Program for Faculty and Staff

"Take frequent stretch breaks every 30 to 45 minutes"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twitter - Starting A Revolution? International? Higher educ?

"Twitter co-founder Biz Stone ... how it was used recently in Egypt to help organize the revolution and how it has been used to spread democracy movements in other countries."
Fuller description of this interview, link to podcast, etc. avail at:

No one can ignore the extraordinary pace and impact of Twitter's emerging role in international communications, politics, revolution.  But, what are the implications for teaching and learning?

What can we do with Twitter in higher education?  

Constructively - not merely forbidding it's use by students in some classrooms?  Recognizing its growing availability, accessibility, low cost.  

See recent work, discussions by Derek Bruff et al.!/derekbruff

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Frugal Innovations - The Workshop

1.  What?  Why?

Individuals each identify one or two shareworthy, low-threshold, shareable improvements in teaching/learning with technology from their own experience.

2.  Which One?
Form small group.  Discuss each others' improvements.  Select one for the group.

3.  How?       
Develop 1st draft of materials to introduce this improvement.

4  Who, When, Where?  Strategy
Develop plan for use of materials to share this improvement.
 "Why me?  Why now?"

Sample Workshop Plan/Resources - Evolving rapidly
Used at Lilly-Greensboro 2011 Conference - Feb, 2011
Notes - to be integrated above soon!  SWG 20110209

Local Politics
     priorities, resources, limitations, opportunities

Friday, February 04, 2011

Shareworthy, low-threshold, shareable improvement in T/L sample

 Produced today in Lilly Conf workshop.  More:

Frugal Innovations for Student Engagement: 
Collegial Sharing of ImprovementsLilly Greensboro 2011
10:15-11:30AM Friday, February 4, 2011

Example of a shareworthy, low-threshold, shareable improvement - produced by small group during workshop Feb 4, 2011
"Learn, Teach, Learn" Activity
1.  Students learn a new concept
2.  Students prepare to teach this specific concept to peer students, using "their own way of teaching"
3.  Students teach this specific concept to  [some? many? one? optional?] peer students

Copy of paper bookmark first draft produced by this group and scanned with permission: [click on this image to see larger more legible version]