Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Organizational literacy

With information flowing through the internet, and the uncounted numbers of information I have assembled over the years, I started wondering about social tagging. Granted, I have 168 unique tags on delicious (http://delicious.com/dpeter19) and they MEAN something to me, but can I organize them more? I have folders/files neatly stored on a computer hard drive, and if I labelled the folder correctly, I can find things. But, how can I have ONE mega-tagging taxonomy? This new system would be based on some hierarchy or structure of knowledge, rather than my structure of convenience.

So, how organizationally literate are you?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Preparing to teach

One of the biggest conversation starters is something like "What do you do to prepare to teach?" Now, granted this could apply to a specific class period or some other time period. But what do YOU do? We each have our rhythms, our patterns, our rituals ... review the material the night before, the week before, the hour before. We want the materials to be fresh and we want to have a fresh approach to the content. How often to we revise the materials? Should the course be revised/updated after each term? Or, is there an inherent revision for each class period?

We prepare for a particular period. Teach that period. Prepare for the next. Do we change based on some events? If we feel something didn't work well, do we take the time to reflect on it and change, when necessary? The hardest thing to do, I believe, is ask ourselves "Can this be better?" If we are genuinely committed to teaching and learning, shouldn't each class period end with some reflective exercise where we ask what worked, what didn't work, and most importantly WHY?

We reflect, almost subconsciously ... but we need to be more deliberate in reflection. How do I prepare to teach? Reflect on what happened, what I hope to happen, and what I have done to prepare.
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