Saturday, 28 February 2015

A Day in the Life

Easing into the day  

This is what yesterday looked like:
The alarm goes off at six. A little mad I know, but I like to read for about half an hour with a first cup of tea no matter how early I get up. This is half an hour before my normal getting up time because I have a nine o’clock lecture. Most times setting off straight after breakfast will get me there in time. However, I daren’t risk it. Going at this time I’ll probably arrive at about eight. If I leave it until normal time I might arrive just before nine.  Or I may not.
I arrive at five past eight in the end/. I have a quick look through my emails. There’s nothing particularly urgent though there are a couple I can answer quickly.
I have some time to do some writing. I’m working on the second draft of my latest novel. The first draft was a disaster.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Blended learning?

Four of the buildings at the university are shut today. There are problems with the water supply. Lectures and seminars are cancelled. Even the main library is shut. What to do?
Ironically, I’m not affected yet I’ve met this situation before.


In the shadow of the volcano

I managed to get myself stuck in Cyprus when the volcano in Iceland erupted. I successfully taught one class, in real time, using slightly slow broadband. Ironically, when I managed to get back to England suddenly the day before a parallel class was due, I couldn’t get the technology to work on our own campus. Nevertheless the class did take place, just not in real time.


Replacing lectures

This is always difficult. Finding a mutually convenient time and a suitable classroom is quite a nightmare. Almost every student these days also has a part-time job so there are often whole days or half days that are not at all suitable.   
So, when a lecture has to be cancelled or postponed, I tend to go for a distance learning option.
I have to miss a class next Friday. I gave my students the option of moving it for one week only to later in the day or having a distance learning session. They’ve opted for the latter. That’s a little more prep for me but it may create something I can use again.

What I’m doing this time

I’m making four short videos of my lecture using a tool we have called Screenmatic. Then, between 4.00 and 6.00 on the day we’ll exchange messages via a Facebook page that I’ll create and the forum on our Blackboard site. Blackboard is our Virtual Learning Environment.
Hopefully it all goes well. Watch this space.