… and I’m losing control.

Well, not quite, but it feels like that at times. Communication is so important. Methods of communication that suit everyone is so difficult. Teams have exploded recently, I’ve been added to quite a lot – I’ve actively joined some, mostly outwith the University, but I’ve not got the time to keep up with them, though I’d joined them for the range of information they offered.

I find teams difficult, in particular, the fact that I can’t sort out particular posts that I want to save. With email, I use folders extensively. Sometimes a post from a particular person goes to “their” folder, other times it’ll go to a subject based one. [Or it just lurks in the inbox … ] With teams, though, it stays in a team – I can’t sort it based on my personal logic. We’ve also realised as a group that some of the channels haven’t been named well, so changing them seems like a sensible solution – until you’re looking for a file in Sharepoint – and can’t quite remember what the channel started its life being called. I’ve also discovered that setting yourself to do not disturb while logged into teams on the laptop doesn’t really work if you forget to close the app on the iPad!

For all I grumble,  it’s got a lot of benefits, especially for information I need now, but not necessarily in the future. And I’ve discovered how to pin chats, favourite individuals, and the general differences between a group chat and a team – so it’s getting easier. I still prefer Slack, though …

This last week was very hectic, getting exams ready for next week. It’s really difficult; as we know that one size doesn’t fit all. That said, our team is small, and we can’t provide a custom set up for everyone, much as it would be good to be able to do. Making something that covers all needs has been a huge challenge – but I think we’re there! The next few weeks will be hectic, but it’s now a much clearer process having done the first week’s worth. That’s also why my Friday post has become a Sunday evening post.

Going forward to next week – I’d really hoped to be able to get time to have some more informal, 1:1 coffee break / chat times with colleagues. That didn’t work at all, nor did trying to catch up on the backlog of draft posts in here. It’s a new week tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have time.

On a more personal front, the Lego model is being constructed and my garden is far more prepared for the summer than it’s ever been before/

Things I’ve read this week. 

Martin Weller’s Jaws and the Online Pivot – It’s years since I’ve seen Jaws, so I’d forgotten some of the plot – reading his post reminded me of the plot – and as always, he made pertinent points.

One of our students reminded us all of the importance of having routine during lockdown (wish I could managed to stop by 4pm each day!)

An article in today’s Observer looked at the issues facing Universities in the move to fully online teaching – up till now, as it’s so close to the end of term, most online teaching has been mostly communication, supporting students to prepare for assessment etc., rather than introducing new content. And, it’s generally with students who know the staff. In September, we’ll be in the same position as Australian and New Zealand’s Universities were in February – albeit we’ll have had more warning.

Steven Anderson’s tweet highlighting the important of activity over tool, using one of Prensky’s quotes.


What I’ll try to do this week

  • Get those at least 1 of those draft posts finished
  • Actually do some of the craft, reading, photography, and other things I’d planned to do in lockdown. Though, to be fair, had the weather not been so dry, they may have been done. On reflection, being outside trumps most things.

And a photo – this was taken one evening on a walk down on the beach.

If we can’t be 2m apart, lets just look opposite ways




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