I have spent most of my week in Louisiana. My primary objective was to facilitate two workshops for Louisiana State University’s Communication Across the Curriculum Summer Institute (#CxCsi). However, I also was able to attend the event as a participant. What a learning opportunity and a wonderful community…
My hosts were interested in me sharing in two areas. First, they wanted me to talk about the ever elusive work-life balance. Finally, they asked me to share about educational technologies that support communication across the curriculum.
Tips & Tricks
You can view my slides from the workshop and also the responses from participants during the session on my CxC Summer Institute workshop resources page.
On part of the experience I really appreciated was how transparent some people were about their struggles and successes. I asked participants how well they would rate their own work-life balance and received responses that almost approximated a bell curve.
I encourage you to visit the section of the resources page for that session to see the ideas that people had around how we can: capture the commitments we have made, plan for how to execute on those plans, surrender to those inevitable times when things won’t go as we had planned, and how to unite with our partners in our lives when we need help.
My favorite part of this session came as a response to the question: What advice do you have about uniting?
Earlier in the session, I had shared about a poet that Maha Bali had recommended on episode 200. She suggested that we read the poems of Najwa Zebian, who also regularly shares her wisdom on Twitter.
I had a screenshot of her Twitter profile on the slide, including her words:
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only meant to climb.”
One of the participant’s response to the question: What advice do you have about uniting didn’t miss a beat:
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to admire from a distance.”
Did I mention that this is a terrific group of people? As of the time of me composing this blog post, we are still trying to discern who the witty poet among us is…
Tech Tools for Teaching:
One of the areas of emphasis in the institute is that there are activities we can have our students do that will help them learn through their communication efforts (communicating to learn) and there are activities we can have our students do to demonstrate their learning through their communication (learning to communicate).
In the Tech Tools for Teaching session, I shared more tools that provide students with a means for demonstrating their learning, though many of them could be used on either end of the continuum.
The participants' ideas for tools to help support students’ learning in spoken, written, technological, and visual communication are included on the Tech Tools for Teaching section of the CxCsi resources page.
Other CxCsi Fun
I really enjoyed the opportunities to engage with people one-on-one during the institute the most. The planning team for the event put forth such great effort in making our learning environment comfortable and welcoming.
A few times a day, they did a raffle and gave away some of my favorite teaching and learning books and some that I wasn’t familiar with before attending.
A few books I was excited would be getting in the hands of these faculty included:
- Stephen Brookfield’s The Skillful Teacher
- Robert Talbert’s Flipped Learning: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty
- Ken Bain’s What the Best College Teachers Do
A couple of books that I hadn’t heard of before the conference and am now interested in reading include:
- John C. Bean’s Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom
- Megan Poore’s Using Social Media in the Classroom: A Best Practice Guide
I have had a wonderful trip and am grateful for the opportunity to facilitate these workshop for LSU's CxC Summer Institute. I am also thankful for such fantastic hosts and getting to be a part of this community.
On the way out to Louisiana, I watched The King's Speech for the first time. If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it. On the way home, I will probably try to restrict myself to reading, as I am a bit behind on the books I'm working on finishing.
My mind is mush. But for all good reasons.
Have you watched any good movies recently? Anything good you're reading? I look forward to hearing from you and adding to my list of things to watch/read.