Aug 26 2008

OFF (the switch, not the bug spray)

Published by under Inspiration

Dear friends, I stumbled today on a glorious revelation – like, the kind they had way back when God Himself would make it all windy on mountains and stuff and then appear in a cloud and scare the living daylights out of you (I’m pretty sure I just fused two different stories from two different Testaments there, but you get the drift).

Friends, this revelation I’m about to share is earth-shattering. It’s iconoclastic. It’s unfathomable in this day and age. It could bring the downfall of humanity as we know it, so I beg you: tread carefully into what you are about to read.

The revelation is this:

I get more work done… when I turn the internet…

OFF.

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Apr 20 2008

Time Management in the Classroom

Published by under Miscellaneous

In my International Environmental Law course, each student is responsible for 20 minutes of a class session. The students are to split those sessions between presentation and facilitation of active engagement by the rest of the class. Students understand that time management is a critical to the success of the session. To help them with time management, I spent 5 minutes in class offering my two cents.

1.    Time management is important, not just for students but for their teachers too. Time management is hard, not just for students but for their teachers too. But there are things we can do to help us manage time effectively.

2.    Less is more, less is more, less is more. Decide what few items of content and skills are important for the session and focus on those. The best way for us to manage time is to plan an appropriate amount of things to do in the time allotted. By violating the less is more principle, we create our own time management problems. After we expend considerable effort to learn the topic, plan visuals, craft exercises, we then try to inject all of that into the session. Nope. A critical step is for us to decide which of the wonderful things we know, impressive slides we created, and clever exercises we designed, we are NOT going to use.

3.    Make sure the most important stuff happens and is not rushed. In our fantasies, we present/facilitate sessions that build to a powerful, dramatic conclusion, with our best stuff at the end. Nope. Most of us can’t make this happen consistently. Instead, our great stuff gets jammed in at the end, or even worse, in the few minutes after class was supposed to end. Instead, make sure the important things happen in the beginning and middle of the session, with plenty of time to spare.

4.    Plan omissions. Before the session, decide what parts can be dropped if time is becoming short during the session. What topics, visuals, exercises can be skipped? You can be the only one who knows that you skipped them.

5.    Sacrifice presentation for facilitation. For most people in the presentation/facilitation role, default mode is that we talk. We have control. We have important stuff to say! Often, however, learning would be enhanced not by us saying more, but by the participants doing more.

And now I see my time is up…

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