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.
(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.
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!