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Agile environments

Working in Distance Education is either about the traditional print-and-post-by-mail method or the more trendy online method. While both approaches work, the latter is more likely to produce systems and processes that are sustainable, scalable and secure.  It just takes a bit longer to analyse things like decision-making and using available resources including personal resources.

My Masters in Education is also like this, as I am setting up the best ways to access the standard ways that the university uses to communicate across the kilometers.  The familiar problem of opening multiple screens, due to having multiple subjects, roles and responsibilities and the like is another challenge.

Fortunately, my research in information technology has helped a lot to prepare me for sitting at length, adjusting to different information and data environments and planning for reporting and journal activities.  Including a technical aspect to life and work seems to involve endless refinements to calendars, diaries, journals, reports and data gathering.  

Then there are the apps that manage to do 70% of most things that I need. I have developed a new understanding of people’s fascination with smart phones, as having a working knowledge of how to use all those features is a good, transferable skill.

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Wintergarden, where Dad has been busy planting tomatoes and putting up a second umbrella, is a nice place to sit and have breakfast. Perhaps it will be fine for study, and writing, too.

Yesterday I found out about workplace wellness programs and the potential to run one at my place of work. I really look forward to seeing how that goes. It could be lots of fun. Pedometers, walking groups, walking shoes that are fresh, sweat towels and water bottles…. mmmmm. Some workplaces might need adjustment for people who glow, perspire or sweat in the ongoing 30 degree Celsius weather that we have been having.  I would like to see how people handle exercise without facilities.  It’s a bit like Distance Education without being on campus.  So much more relies on being organised and mindful of what we do and how much can be personally sustainable.

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A whirl of work

The last two weeks have been very exciting and lots of fun. There is a huge challenge with tracking information across different systems and computer screens, but I have been able to choose some subjects in my Masters in Education which are related.

Digital Leadership and a Literacy subject are the relevant ones, while the other two core units are relevant to everything.  This is the end of week 1 so I have lots of reading to do and some organising.

After tidying up the house this morning I investigated screen capture methods on MacBooks because on Monday I need to record a Skype interview role play to assess a student.  The regular Trainer is on holiday, so I am stepping in to do the interview.  I spent Friday afternoon preparing, as this is the first time I have had to set up the computer with free screen casting software, a Skype account and testing the student’s Skype connection with the one in the college.

I found a way to record Skype on the MacBook, so will test it with Mum at home later on today or tomorrow.  

My days have been busy, leaving early to explore the neighbourhood around work and searching out apples, V8 vegetable juice and snacks to offer hungry students.  The apples and juice were for my lunch.  Finally, after three weeks, things seem to be making sense and I have some brain space or cognitive alignment with the corporate values.  

What is better is that the laptop that tripped our electricity circuit several times at home is OK, according to Jarod.  When he visited on Wednesday, it seemed fine.  The connection from the power pack was crackling a bit today when I tried it out.  Otherwise, it seems OK, which means I can go back to thesis production.

I have also started a hand written diary to record my professional development and research planning.  Although I only add a few lines a day, it is a good anchor for my progress towards a finalised thesis and some written papers.  Writing on a keyboard does not seem the same.