About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where is your time spent?

In response to the Learning Circuit Blog question of the month: How do you spend your time, I wish I could answer. I know how I THINK I spend my time, but then when I review it, it all goes out the window.

So here is the closest to a typical day when I am teaching:

I go into the office after dropping my kids off at school and check emails, class sites (nings, courseware, blogs, delicious), and mail that may have come through interoffice mail. I also download and print assignments students have submitted. I don't download on my own computer because of viruses and supplies (let the university deal with the crashed system). I look for resources for the class I am teaching, organizing them on delicious or in a powerpoint (I update links). I begin to plan for the next class, looking for resources I can use. I make copies of in class activities or resources in case students don't bring their own (there are always a few that will forget to download from the class site). If I have time, I'll read through some of the blogs (and respond to them) that are listed on my igoogle.

After I teach, I return home and turn on my computer. I will look at my general email, finish looking at and commenting on 2 or 3 blogs from my igoogle while I make lunch. Then I will work on my dissertation. Right now I am in the process of analyzing data and finding literature to update my proposal. I might search through google scholar, go to the online library section, search for the journal and article or request online for the digital article through interlibrary loan (online).

I then try to take a walk before the kids come home. Once the kids are home, I don't have access to the computer, but I will monitor their computer use, including looking over my son's facebook interaction and keeping my daughter limited to the few safe gaming sites she enjoys when they aren't doing their homework. Most evenings, the kids have some sport or school event to go to. If not, occasionally, we'll watch a missed episode of a TV show via the internet. Or we might watch TV at night together. In between, I'll check my email 2-3 times a night or if I'm really bored, I'll check to see if there are any replies to the blog postings (this will usually only take 5 minutes or so).

On the days that I'm not teaching, I work on my dissertation until noon. Every hour or so I'll take a break, read a blog and post a comment or a blog posting. I noticed that I tend to post on Mondays and Thursdays. I'm not sure why. Maybe Monday because I will have had little access or time for the computer or myself, and it is "my time". After noon, I will vary what I do, taking time to exercise, reading a blog, or just "looking around" the internet. Sometimes I'll just read during this time. The day is the same after the kids get home.

I think that the blogging and searching the internet sometimes allows my mind to wonder into areas I'm really interested in and takes me away from the pressures of school and work. On the other hand, I have to be careful I don't take too much time to "wander" so I am procrastinating what I need to do (like starting dinner), speaking of which...

(Later). What do I do less of now? Planning for my classes. I now can be more spontaneous with my class, addressing issues as they come up as I will have a group of resources I can access during class. For example, whereas before I might have to have a powerpoint I am using in class, I can create the powerpoint as we work as a class and load it to the Ning or Courseware for my students to access later (sort of like uploading the chalkboard). I can also use a video clip to illustrate something my students might be having trouble with. This doesn't mean I am less prepared, but rather I don't have to have a static lesson plan (or handouts that take time to copy) to work from.

I also spend less time reinventing the wheel. I can work off of what I did the last time I taught the class. Finally, I watch TV less, especially the news. I can go to the internet now and find just those episodes or reports I'm interested in (rather than sitting through stuff I don't care about to get to the stuff I like).

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