Many of us are feeling fragmented right about now. Regular holiday season stress on top of pandemic anxiety has created a cocktail for disaster. Are you having trouble focusing? Seeing an uptick in mistakes or feeling as if you are doing sub-stellar work? Do you end each day wondering where the time went, or feel that you are simply going through the motions?
If you are anything like me, your mind is a racing screenplay of the dozens of things we feel we need to accomplish. At the start of the pandemic, I had big plans for tackling long overdue projects at home while working remotely (I’ve not been overly successful on that front). The holidays have brought their own set of challenges while I try to figure out how to celebrate without our out-of-town family joining us this year.
Whether you are working from home, helping children manage their remote learning experiences, taking courses for personal or professional development during this time of economic unrest – or all of the above - there are steps you can take to make your days more efficient.
The principles for setting up for successful learning at home are not all that different than those needed to work remotely. The basic needs for structure and discipline are the same. By following a few of the steps below, you will communicate to your child, yourself, and your household that education and work are a priority.
I used to excel at multi-tasking, and now I cannot even SINGLE task. What is happening to me?
While I don't usually turn to the internet for diagnosing what ails me (sorry, WebMD), a quick search on the internet reassured me I am not alone. Turns out, experts say that the extra anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has impaired our working memory and ability to focus.
“All over the world, people are trying to overcome one of the few universal problems this pandemic has brought on: that it feels near-impossible to stay focused on anything. Whether it’s work or study, or even pleasurable things like reading, gaming or chatting, everything suddenly feels like a battle against your attention span to concentrate on what was once simply routine” writes author Sarah Manavis.
Reinvention. The word hints at limitless possibility. Although I am always looking for ways to grow and learn; there are times when I start really noodling the word “reinvention” around and looking to see what areas of my life I feel need improvement.
A few years ago, I realized that I’d get the itch to reinvent during two specific times every year – Spring and Fall. And I began to wonder why. Living in Florida, it’s not as if we have distinct seasons that might signify change. We are hot, then go slightly cooler, then get hot again. So, for me, it’s not a seasonal change that brings these stirrings to the surface. I began to wonder if it was because, while in school, the start of new semesters occurred around that time. If that’s true, then perhaps I’ve been conditioned to anticipate exciting new things at those times. Much like Pavlov’s dog, the ringing in of the Spring and Fall seasons leads me to anticipate something exciting coming my way.
A few weeks ago, we published the first in a series of Top Websites for Teaching and Learning, as compiled by The American Association of School Librarians (AASL). The AASL makes their yearly selections to honor those internet sites that provide “enhanced learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators”.
This week we’ll explore some of the digital storytelling websites available for teachers and students alike. Digital storytelling provides an exciting way for students and teachers to share their knowledge. It may include a combination of video, animation, sound, still images – any type of digital media that can be used to present an idea or tell a story.
Below is an overview of the top Digital Storytelling websites selected by the AASL in 2015 along with a few additions of our own!
1. Booktrack Classroom (AASL top pick)
Every organization and agency have goals to meet. Whether short-term or long-term, goals are essential in keeping employees and members of an organization encouraged and motivated. Apart from an organization’s overall goals, there is also training goals. Although training can be costly and time-consuming, it provides long-term benefits and having training goals can help you meet those benefits. These long-term benefits may include the decrease in employee turnover rate, overall growth and development, maintenance of permanent employees, and increase employee improvement and retention.
When creating training goals, we always want to make sure that the goals are realistic and measurable. If we want the right training program, we must remember to be SMART. SMART is an easy and effective way to assist you in creating your training goals.
S – Specific
“Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lifelong learning is about seeking or creating learning opportunities for both personal and professional development. Lifelong learning is important because it applies to everything that we learn throughout our life, not just what is learned in a classroom. Learning allows us to make better, informed decisions. It enhances our understanding of the world around us, betters our social skills and our increases our personal development. Lifelong learning also assists us in becoming more successful in our careers as advances in technology require that we learn something new each and every day in order to keep our skills current in the workplace.
Connected learning builds on what researchers have long known about the value and effectiveness of interest-driven, peer-supported and academically relevant learning. This type of learning seeks to tie together the knowledge we have on how youth best learn with the opportunities made available through today’s networked world. Connected learning calls on today’s interactive and networked media in an effort to make these forms of learning more effective, better integrated, and broadly accessible to expand the reach of meaningful and sustained learning.
Competency Based Training (CBT) is designed to allow a student to progress through a course at their own pace. Through regular assessments, the student shows that they have mastered the skills and knowledge necessary to move on to the next module, or to complete the course. CBT courses are learner-focused and not dependent on time, place or individual pace of learning. In contrast, traditional on-site college courses are dependent on time, requiring a student to complete the course over the semester term, even though they may have been able to complete and pass the course in a much shorter time.
June-2013, Davie, FL – I had the pleasure of joining Dr. Tricia Seymour on an eLearning adventure to South Florida recently. We made the four hour drive to attend Articulate’s “How to Become a Rapid E-Learning Pro” two-day workshop presented by Tom Kuhlmann. I’ve watched Tom’s How-To screencasts for years and have learned so much from him. He is a big inspiration to me and I feel he really raises the bar for instructional design.
In addition to sharing some tips and tricks in PowerPoint and Storyline, Tom emphasized the importance of intentional instructional design. Basically, everything that is displayed on a slide should be there for a reason and if it is not accomplishing something, take it off because it is a distraction. He taught that the three basic elements of eLearning are:
1) the content