June 29, 2010

After College

Hey Students! 

Where do you want to live after school?
What physical setting do you want work in?
With whom do you want to work?
Better yet, who do you want to avoid working with?
What type of weekly schedule do you want?
What type of daily schedule can you realistically deal with?
Do you want a 5 minute commute? On foot? In your car?
How about an hour on the commuter rail?
Do you want a suburban life? An urban one? A rural one?
Do you want flexibility... urban now with a chance of returning to your rural roots?
How about a job that has you working out of three offices each week?
Or one that has you on the road for weeks at a time?
What about a job that chains your leg to a desk from 9-5? Live in a cubicle?
What about a job that comes with a pager to carry 24 hours a day?
Love the computer? Maybe a job that involves sitting behind on all day?
How about a job that involves being outside all day?
Like working with your hands? Prefer to be on your feet all day?
How about taking work home with you after work? (Homework. It's not just for school anymore.)
Want to work with people all day?
How about Cairo today and Beijing on Tuesday? (You better like airports and hotels.)

What do you care most about? What interests you? What bugs the crap out of you? What are you good at and enjoy? [Warning: Just being good at something may not be enough. You could end up very bored. Fork-in-the-eye bored. This is a quality of life issue.]

What would you like your life to be like 5 years from now? And 10 years from now?  
(No worries. No one will hold you to it.)

June 24, 2010

June 23, 2010

Online Courses.... sniff. (Howdy T3 Teachers!)

After a long absence and no posting, I'm here to whine... about teaching online. [Ah, summer.] It bores me. Not the students, not the topic -- just the dullness of Blackboard (sorry!) discussions. We just aren't at a point where we can have real time interaction. [People expect asynchronous courses, right? Why else do online courses. The whole point is they "fit" into your schedule.]

In some version of the future, most students have a) better, higher speed internet connections*, b) integrated webcams and mics, and c) the ability to use them ... wait, scratch that last one. Not the ability to use them, but comfort and familiarity with using these things. [I forgot to add that students -- and teachers -- in this future would expect more synchronous (real time) interaction, understand this takes time, and would be willing to plan for it. You know, instead of treating online courses like an old school correspondence course with Tech veneer.]

(* The internet is allegedly democratizing, but when you live in the sticks with minimal infrastructure in a county where the median income is somewhere around $24,000 -- it is not that simple. Those who have get more; those who don't get further behind.)

Realistically I could rant longer... but instead, if the T3 Teachers end up viewing this blog (for a blog example) -- Hello!! I hope you are having fun and learning a lot. A suggestion: Be kind to yourself about how much you expect of yourself right away. It takes awhile to digest and get use to a lot of this stuff (i.e., Keynote, imovie, blogs, etc.)There are so many new cool things. My most frequent mistake is getting overly ambitious about integrating them. (That backfires!) I have two new things for this summer and fall: podcasting and using a Student Response System. I'll try integrating the SRS into one of my fall classes, and for my second online summer course I will be making 10-15 minute podcasts at the end of the week to review the material that students seem to be struggling with (based on their homework and discussions.) We'll see how that works. Always an adventure!