2020 Week 10


⚙️ Work

We started preparing resources to support a rapid shift to online teaching, in case the COVID-19 thing spreads to Calgary.

I got to meet with a gathering of librarians, to talk about learning technologies that are available - and to talk with them about how we can support instructors in response to a potential COVID-19 thing. UWashington just announced they’re closing doors for a few weeks.

On a mostly-unrelated note, I’m involved with trying to make a few online tools available for teaching and learning, and am struck by just how hard and slow that’s become. I don’t think something like campus email could be implemented as a new thing in the current environment.

You want ANYONE to be able to send you messages? What kinds of devices are they using? You’re only going to be using a fully managed and secure device, right? And you want your messages to potentially be sent to ANYONE? On the public Internet? And they can store them on their own devices? Can they print them? What’s the data retention policy for this?

Woah woah woah. Hang on a minute. We need to step back a bit.

What data security level is that? It could be level 4! What if you email something about a research project! Who has authorization to create new email threads? ANYONE? What’s the approval process to request creation of new email threads? But how will we manage and support all of those email threads! This needs to be managed more responsibly! Our license doesn’t include that feature for all classifications of users anyway.

Let’s strike a committee and see if we can draft a proposal and project charter to take through channels. Let’s socialize this and circle back when we’ve got a better problem definition, and an executive sponsor and funding source identified. This time next year ok?

I gave a presentation to some library folks, about what learning technologies are available for them to develop resources and connect with library users. I’d planned to show how to quickly record video with YuJa, but the silly cheap USB-C - HDMI dock adapter thingy1 didn’t send a signal to their room AV system, so I wound up doing a lot of handwaving and just showing some videos. I hate not being prepared. I’ve ordered an apple-branded USB-C - HDMI adapter so that won’t happen again.

🤔 PhD

I have a working title! I want to refine it some more before making anything public, but it’s already helping, having the title as a hook to start tying things together with. Made some progress on fleshing out the thesis proposal (and my supervisors seem happy with it so far), and have identified 10 potential articles to write as part of the process, including potential collaborators.

PhD Fridays™ is working, but I need to get into a more productive pattern. Not sure working from home is as effective as I was hoping. I need to figure that out, and/or find a non-day-job work space on campus…

📚 Reading

🧺 Other

I’m learning a lot about how I don’t want to get old. I mean, I want to get old, and I’m planning on it, but not in the way my parents have. Shutting down after things hit fans is not a good way to wrap things up.

🗓️ Focus for next week

  • COVID teaching-continuity preparations. This will likely wind up taking a good chunk of my week.
  • Giving a tour of the TI (and other interesting parts of campus, time allowing) to a contingent from URegina on Monday.

  1. an older version of the Minix Neo-C ↩︎


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