Planning for the spring semester

Whiteboard Planning

The blog takes shape, sort of

I am a visual thinker. I don’t do code. And yes, even though I teach languages words can escape me (oh what I could tell you about the number of things in our office that I have called “thing-a-ma-bob”)

However, what I can tell you what I would like the tools to do and have no qualms asking questions that begin with “Okay, so, on my class’ blog, would it be possible …” I believe I have asked this question enough in the past two or so years (and certainly o’er the last month or so) that Ryan has developed a slight nervous tick when I approach his office doorway. And this sign.

Can I Haz a question?

Uh oh, Barbara has another question

(Side note, I am continually reminded of how difficult this can be for some of our faculty, that is, the abililty to articulate what is missing from your class / what you would like the technology to do to enrich your class content vs jumping into the technology and hoping for the best… more on this later)

The above image is the whiteboard where I tried to “articulate” what it was that I was hoping to do via my class’ blog. Tag clouds, blog rolls, rotating images in the headers (ala Jim Groom… we < heart > Jim Groom) …yup its all there… somewhere.

And then there is the writing of the syllabus. Ick… I find the practice of creating a syllabus so constricting, so limiting. And, as indicated below…so messy.


16 weeks = 39 hours =????

I was reviewing my plans for the semester with a colleague and he shared with me this wonderful article entitled “Death to the Syllabus” written by Mano Singham of Case Western Reserve University as published in Liberal Education in Fall 2007. I have shared this with my students and await their response. It describes my frustration with the overplanned, micromanaged syllabi that we find ourselves creating… and then regretting because we have locked ourselves into an exhausting whirlygig of tasks.

Have a read and let me know what you think…

Oh and if you would like to see what “el blog central” for my class is starting to look like, please take a look here …and check back often!

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

Leave a comment

  1. Jim · February 6, 2008 Reply

    And Jim Groom you all! Although I let Ryan down by not figuring out your tag issue. I’m sorry, the reverend must repent!

  2. Ryan · February 6, 2008 Reply

    It’s not me you have to worry about, Jim … it’s Barbara. 😉

    But seriously, no apology necessary … we know you’ve been super busy.

  3. Jim · February 6, 2008 Reply

    Hey Ryan,

    It is on my list tonight, along with two other things, and I hope to get Barbara’s good side again!

  4. Barbara · February 7, 2008 Reply

    Ah yes, fear the Barbara…you are learnin’ Rev!

  5. To the whiteboard! | Language Lab Unleashed! · March 1, 2010 Reply

    […] blogging tool I am using this semester in HISP 205 was born, much like its predecessors, on a whiteboard. I knew we would be using WordPress MU again as our blogging tool, but I also knew […]

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