2015 week 8 in review


Work

  • helping to refine the technology/space plan for the new building. learning lots about the intersection between space and technology - blog post on that brewing. hopefully, time to write it next week.
  • head down reading nominations for this year’s University of Calgary Teaching Awards - I get to sit on 3 committees, so there’s lots of reading involved. lots of amazing work on campus.
  • piloted the use of Swivl robot camera mounts to record lessons as part of the Instructional Skills Workshop. Previously, they’d used huge, cumbersome, complicated video recording carts. Now, they use an iPod Touch to record good quality video, on an automated robot tracking camera mount. Worked great, and we learned a few things to improve the process.
  • working on plans to spin up a new Faculty Design Studio in the office - a place where instructors can come to make stuff to use in their courses. Still early days - haven’t even placed the orders for stuff yet (that’s the plan for the next few days) - can’t wait to get this set up and let people book it to make great stuff to support student learning.
  • I’m borrowing a Dell Latitude 7000 2-in-1 tablet/laptop, as a possible alternative to Surface Pro 3. It’s supported by IT, which means it should Just Work™. Early reactions, with about an hour of play time, is that it’s a total turd. Crappy as a laptop. Crappy as a tablet. But combined? Crappy 2-in-1. With Windows 8 Enterprise, so much of the touch-enabled stuff from Pro was turned off by default. I’ll put some more time into trying to convince it to suck less. So far, not impressed. Hard to tell, right?
  • my team went on a tour of learning spaces on campus, led by the director of Campus Planning. Saw some horrible and embarrassing spaces, and some absolutely amazing and inspiring ones. We don’t often get into some of these spaces, because there are classes using them (hence the tour during Reading Week). So, the tour was extremely helpful, as we’re working to come up with plans to improve learning spaces across all campuses.

Read

If there is a way forward, that is it. We need to try things together and see how they work. We need to apply our theories and find out what breaks (and what works better than we could have possibly imagined). We need to see if what works for us will also work for others. Anyone who does that in education is a hero of mine.

Other

Holy. Week 8 already? Dang.

EEEL wet chem lab

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