Before you reach Plan D

Presenting naked

A participant in a recent program on “PowerPoint CPR” asked me how I prepare for equipment failure. Irma Perry, a former Toastmasters International Director, put it this way: “I wondered if you come prepared with ‘extra’ equipment, in the event of equipment failure — been there done that, but used ‘paper handouts’ as I didn’t have extra equipment.”

Good question, because it’s bound to happen, isn’t it? My wife hates it when I talk about Murphy’s Law, but I consider it a positive thing: if you recognize the reality of Murphy’s Law, you plan to overcome its effects.

My definitive answer: it depends. Continue reading “Before you reach Plan D”

photo by: JoshuaBloom
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Configuring island

We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we are reconfiguring one of the islands PSCC has in Second Life. We’re organizing a meeting to talk about what to do with it; if you would like to be part of it, you can make use of the form here.

To defeat spammers, I’ll remove this post after we’ve gathered the input.

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Reconfiguring Campus2 in SL

This is primarily for those Pellissippi State folks with an interest in our presence in Second Life.

Things languished the last year or so, as we anticipated. We were all overwhelmed with moving to a new Course Management System, a new Content Management System, a new Student Information System, budget cuts. overwork, etc. Along with others, I found myself having to track my time and energy into other things. That situation has improved somewhat, and so we are looking at that potential again.

As we’ve mentioned in other articles, Second Life has fallen off the radar of the mainstream media, but since I’ve gotten back into it I’ve been impressed with the continued growth of educational endeavors there, and the ways in which people are figuring out how to use it to foster learning, along with the serious research that is being conducted on SL as a medium for education in distance and hybrid situations. The University of Texas system, for instance, has announced a system of around 50 islands to provide significant space to each of their 16 real-life campuses. Plus, we have people working on an open-source version that can reside on our own servers and potentially hook into the larger metaverse, part of a larger world-wide effort that is likely the next stage in developing a virtual universe that might be considered Web 3.0 or 4.0.

Several faculty were interested in the possibility of SL at one point. We would like to completely rebuild the island known as WindingRiver Campus2 to make it more useful for learning, given SL’s unique capabilities. We’ll have a meeting to discuss this when we get back from fall break, probably at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, but subject to rescheduling depending on feedback. If you are interested, please drop an email to dking at pstcc dot edu to make planning easier. Thanks!

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Take the time

 

This will strike some as too personal for including on a college blog. So be it. It deeply relates to one of our main topics: communication.

My cousin died in a car accident over the weekend. Your cousins may or may not be close to you. My family in many ways has never been close, but on the other hand I had no brothers and sisters, and my cousin was born within two hours of my own birth. He was the relative I was closest to growing up, though we lived an hour apart.

We’ve kept in touch mostly through third parties–my mom would hear from his mom, etc. I kept meaning to talk to him, but I kept thinking I’d spend some time with him at the next family reunion. Thanks to life challenges in both our lives, though, as well as the fact that no one in our family bothers to organize family reunions, that never happened.

I didn’t even find out he had been killed until yesterday, and the funeral in West Tennessee was this morning. Opportunity gone.

He has had a tough life. We could have helped each other. Coulda woulda shoulda helps nothing and no one.

Communication doesn’t just happen. It takes effort; it takes consciousness; it takes attention. Is there someone you need to talk with? Do it today.

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