The original plan was for me to do a blogpost everyday during October, specifically on teaching tools. Well, not only has that not happened, but I have fallen way, way, way below my normal frequency of posting. What’s going on? Am I sick? Did a family member get hurt? Some sort of crisis? Nope. Well, what then? Ran out of ideas, lack of inspiration? No way, José.
The problem is that there is TOO MUCH to say, too much going on, too many great ideas. The dam is clogged with leaves, and the river is about to burst through. Very very briefly, here are some of the things that have been keeping me away from the blog, each of which I hope to post on eventually (but no promises).
It all started when I saw Danah Boyd. I came away wanting to talk about (1) her presentation, (2) the back channel conversation during her talk, (3) a profound comment by Ed Vielmetti about groups behaviors in online social spaces, and (4) a curious conversation with Danah after the talk about limitations to use of Creative Commons images in her presentation. That’s four blog posts I wanted to do, right there. At this point, I still thought I was going to get one a day on teaching tech!
Next, I attended two meetings in one week about ways to use augmented reality on campus, in libraries, and for education. One was the Instructional Designers group on campus, and the other was the Library 2.0 SIG, both of which have monthly meetings. My other similar monthly meeting is with the campus Web Accessibility team, that haven’t yet talked about augmented reality, but, well, probably ought to. I actually started that blogpost, but haven’t finished it yet. Basically, if you aren’t paying attention to augmented reality, if it isn’t on your horizon as something worthy of attention, START paying attention.
The CCMB/HIRO group on campus has a regular invited speaker series on the topic of informatics, almost always bioinformatics. Yves Lussier was the most recent speaker. While his talk focused on stuff for bioinformatics geeks, there was a persistent thread on the importance of science collaboration across discipline and geographic boundaries. He said some really important stuff that connects to the whole open science / Science 2.0 movement that I am so passionate about. Not only did I want to blog about what Yves said, but this reminded me that I promised several people to blog about Garrett Lisi, and haven’t done it yet.
Speaking of Garrett Lisi, there was the first meeting of the Open Educational Resources reading group (basically a journal club). It was a really great conversation! Many many ideas, provocative conversation, issues to explore. A focus was on not just the changing environment of higher education, but also on the changing roles of educators and mutating concepts of professionalism. Garrett was mentioned again (I really need to do this!), as was my daughter, who has a 3.9 GPA from the University of Michigan which is completely (98%) irrelevant to her professional work and mostly ornamental. That’s the hook, line and sinker later.
A couple days after that, I attended a presentation at School of Public Health that was billed as being on risk science and emerging technologies. Sounded pretty relevant to this Emerging Technologies Librarian, so I went. Want to blog about that, too, so much! Short story, there are some really amazing opportunities for applying emerging technologies librarian skills, environment scanning, information filters and stream management skills, and social media to identifying potential public health risks and disseminating relevant information. If you aren’t already following Andrew Maynard on Twitter (@2020science), well, good stuff. I was already following him long long before he hit campus for this talk.
It felt like as soon as that happened, I attended the local Public Forum to funnel ideas to Obama’s team working to revise the National Educational Technology Plan. That turned into an opportunity to repeat the forum in Second Life and build up the national conversation.
While all this was going on there was, of course, life “as usual.” The #HCSM meetings on Twitter every Sunday evening always generate at least enough content for 2 weeks of blogposts, and I never get time to do any of it. Metanomics and ISTE Eduverse in Second Life are also weekly events that are provocative, informative and blogworthy every single time. We have the School of Dentistry Bootcamp series starting up again, which means I’m both recruiting other presenters and promising to present myself. Working on the grant for Delta Dental, guest lectured in a School of Information class on systematic review searching, supporting the Health Literacy Month events here, and got the IRB approval on our consumer health for seniors project.
Speaking of teaching, there is a new project I’m involved with that is a collaboration between the University Libraries and the Office of the Vice President for Communications and the Communicators Forum. The focus of that project is to provide teaching and training on social media tools and best practices. More on that later, but suffice it to say that there are a lot of project team meetings both with the Forum and with the Library team, as well as having started to develop some of the classes and implement them, and recruiting experts to teach from other parts of campus.
Collaborations are just crawling out of the woodwork. I am a pretty intense supporter of collaborations and conversations as both productivity tools and consensus building. Our administration seems to agree. There are new projects going on with the School of Public Health (I provide backup support, and am not a lead on that one, thank goodness) and with the Office of Medical Education.
There is more, but my brain hurts even trying to think of what all is on my plate, so … I think I’ll go back to pulling my gray hairs out of my coffee cup.