ATL Winter 2015 Retreat: Owning The “Wow”

On March 5 and 6, Peg and I had the honor of co-facilitating the Assessment, Teaching, & Learning Winter Retreat for the SBCTC. Usually when I am a part of something like this, I will reflect and write for hours about my ideas. I took a lot of notes. We generated a lot of notes, people! Unfortunately, I am a bit swamped at the moment with deadlines, conferences, and quite frankly—who am I kidding? We are all busy. Yet you took the time to come, new friends. You took the time to talk. To care. To share. One of you commented on the power of breaking bread together, and that’s exactly what we did. Funding well spent.

I want this blog post to hit your inbox at the same time as the survey Jen will send to you. It’s very important that we start something soon while it’s on our minds. The screencast video below and my wiki are not my finest work, but I’ve let go of aiming for perfection. The moving target of perfection is what stalls the Slow Ideas. My unfinished hunch may resonate with you and I invite you to help me so we can help each other. No rush. No pressure. Think about it.

I didn’t get to talk to everyone personally, but I tried to look you all in the eye. You know that communication teacher trick, right? You scan the room with your eyes and everyone feels noticed. Cared about. Recognized. And what a group! Wow.

Can I also admit that I felt like such an impostor standing up there? Really. All of you are so smart. So driven. So experienced. So very cool. I left there thinking I could be happy at any of your institutions because you care about the same things I do. I don’t want to speak for Peg, but I could tell she left energized by this experience. If nobody would say no to my ideas–as we discussed–I would ask for you all to have funding and support to do the work you want to do on your campus.

So. Here’s the wiki–The This–in screencast below–that I started that we didn’t talk about the retreat. And that’s okay. I can roll with changing the lesson plans, so to speak. And I mention “a five-year” in this video as a way to think about this work in smaller ways. It’s a huge sea-change that we have to see wave by wave. Sometimes this work–professional learning–feels like we’re drowning in sorrow yet a retreat like this is a life raft. That SOS we can only see and feel when People Talk To People. Door to Door. Click by Click.

I explain this retreat follow-up in a five minute video http://screencast.com/t/xjZ5nitHPU

Here is the wiki http://atlwinterretreat2015.wikispaces.com/

And yes, dearest retreat attendees, you need to own your “Wow.”

photo credit: c’est moi

Inefficient For the Sake of Inefficiency Together

Last Friday, I sat in a room with 12 other people to discuss the Faculty Learning Community Grant process. The idea was to offer advice on the grant application, and I think we did just that. If you are reading this blog, then you know, the only thing I have to offer you at this point is advice on how to write the application. And I most happy to talk about grant writing (dirty little secret: I like grant writing).

How to facilitate said FLC, well, that’s one problem among the 99 others I have right now. My co-facilitator is feeling the same way, so I thought I would post a quick list of what I learned from the meeting.

Good questions asked during the task force:

1. How do we get students involved in FLCs?

2. How do we create opportunities for teacher-leaders? Not all teachers want to become administrators. How do we create leadership learning opportunities for teachers to lead other teachers?

3. Does an FLC grant help establish momentum for change at institution because of the “seed money” from the state board?

4. Do we have to create an FLC for system-wide change or should we just focus efforts on our local institution?

5. How do we account for faculty learning when they may not have gained “measurable” skills? (This measurement, for the record, is important for proof of cost movements on campuses).

I think these questions came up in the first two hours into the meeting, so you know, just your average conversation with educators. I’ve done a lot of research I could link to for this post, but I’m stretched a bit thin this week. I’ll take up these questions on another post.

Here’s what I loved about the meeting: we digressed quite a bit at times, and Jen reminded us that it’s okay to “inefficient for the sake of efficiency.” If I had to choose a quick summary of where we are as an FLC, that’s how I would sum it up. Very inefficient, yes, for the sake of efficiency.

Later in the week, I have a meeting with my co-facilitator, and I’m going to propose that we hold a bit of a task force ourselves, only I don’t want to use task in the title. Down with the tyranny of tasks! I’m also helping put on a retreat for 78 people this weekend, so I’d like to use something else other than the word retreat.

What’s a good title for getting smart people in a room so that they can help you?

Potential Working Titles:

Help Feed Me Ideas, and I’ll Feed You.

Tell Me About the Future, and I’ll Feed You.

Food For Your Thoughts?

Questions, Food, & Conversation; Yay, Research!

It’s Too Early In the Day To Drink Booze, Coffee Anyone?

So. I’ve got time for the title writing, so in the meantime, I have a short list of folks that I would like to talk to, and I’m also open to adding more people if you’re interested. We will host this yet to be titled event at either Everett CC or some location near Seattle, and we’ll talk about ways to support faculty. Ways to help faculty collaborate. Ways to help the good teachers become better. Ways to gather faculty together without the tyranny of a “deliverable” or “a task.”

We are going to ask questions and I’ll take notes, listen, and then create something we can share wildly and widely with other educators who support educators.

I have two edicts for this discussion:

1. I don’t want to talk about funding, stipends, contracts, and any of the barriers that we already know exist. Let’s be like Mahatma Ghandi talk about what we’d like to see in the world. Then we can create a strategy later.

2. If you want to talk about a problem, you have to bring a solution that you are willing to bring up to the group for a debate. We won’t change topics until we have helped solve your problem.

The only question that I know I want to ask you is: 

If you knew nobody could say no to your ideas, what would your dreamworld look like for teaching and learning?

We want to talk to community college and university folks, so if you are interested, please contact me at aindrunas@everettc.edu and use this in your subject line: Interested in FLC.

That’s all I need from you: email address and that you’re interested. You can just say hi in the email, if you like. Nothing fancy.

Let me be clear right now, I don’t have a plan. But I will, and I promise I won’t waste your time.

We will be gathering in April, most likely on a Friday. I can feed you breakfast, lunch, and depending on how far away you are, your mileage to drive here or a train ticket. Flights are out of my budget range. Logistics to be announced and solidified very soon.

Come, let us be inefficient for the sake of efficiency together.

FLC Debrief: Somebody Threw My Notecards Out the Window of a Speeding Car

“What makes me happy I seem to catch out of the sky with both hands; I only hold whatever it is that I love because that is all I can really see.”― Jane Bowles, Two Serious Ladies

This week we had a meeting via Collaborate about the state of our FLC grants, and Dr. Boyoung Chae did a presentation on OER. One of the conditions of the grant is to license whatever we produce to support the state board’s open learning policy. Not to toot my own horn, but I would have done that anyway. In fact, I’ll share anything I create if it makes your work better. Improves OL education. Helps teachers. Supports students. I’ve stopped caring about attribution, and I realize this perspective is not popular with all academics. But if you see something that I’m writing about and you want more, contact me, and I’ll bombard you with everything I have.

During our meeting, I watched the comments in the chat, and I learned a valuable lesson, so I’d like to share my three insights from that meeting. Again my audience for this blog are current and future FLC participants/coordinators/facilitators/grant writers.

Insight 1

Having an asychronous meeting where only some people have microphones for the audio complicates communication. The chat function goes rogue while microphoned people talk. I mostly facilitate or participate in Collaborate discussions with eLearning-type folks–directors, instructional designers, tech support–but I’ve noticed lately that when people are new to Collaborate as a medium, communication gets harder. I’d rather exchange dozens of emails in some cases than try to manage meltdowns in the Chat with a live Collaborate session. Sometimes getting everyone oriented on Collaborate takes up half the time of the meeting. In fact, I’d rather–gasp–talk in person or on the phone than deal with this clunky medium.

Perhaps having some basic rules about questions and chat usage would help these meetings go smoother. Perhaps I need to work on my instructions for new users. The best discussions I’ve had lately is when we have a Google Doc. open while we use Collaborate to screen share. I worked with three people to create a conference proposal that way, and they left feeling like they could do that type of meeting with their students. One small eLearning victory! Collaborate is just not that easy to use. But we pay for it–so I feel like I should teach teachers how to use it.

Insight 2

There are still a lot of questions from faculty about OER. The act of licensing looks really difficult, and I’m wagering that this faculty PTSD over dealing with publisher permission for course packs. It takes forever to get the proper permissions, and so you know what happens? They break the law and they copy up a storm. How do I know that? I did it for years. If I had the choice between losing a student who couldn’t afford my textbook and making copies for him; I made the copies. I took the heat from deans who warned us about “our copy usage” and the budget. I gave students hints on how to meet at the copy machine with one textbook and make three friends. Wrong? Yes. Illegal? Yes. Offensive to my library friends? Yes. But it was essential to keep the poor community college students in my class. There is a tidal wave of openly licensed information and yet, it’s still really hard to understand licenses, linking, and using information. Throw in the FLC budget, the logistics of gathering people, and well, frankly just getting down to the work itself, it all seems like a lot of work.

Jen Whetham, who coordinates the grants, created analogy about working on an FLC as being very similar to writing. You start with an outline and then you start researching. And then, you start to write and the research paper turns into something else.

I could sense the air was getting a bit tense because I have a feeling that all of us are behind with our timelines.

And so, people, I needed a laugh.

I posted this in the chat: Or somebody threw your notecards out the window of a speeding car.

This comment actually has some backstory for me. When I was a wee-tiny undergrad, I did research on The Beats and the expatriates of that generation. I had a class on Paul Bowles and post-colonial literature–and it was life-changing for me. I discovered ideas, thoughts, and writers that I never knew existed. My teacher was a scholar of Islam, and he blew up my world with his reading and writing assignments. As I was researching Paul Bowles, I discovered Jane Bowles, his wife. Bowles wrote beautifully about his wife as a thinker (and her subsequent madness), and I never forgot his story describing how she threw an entire manuscript out of the window of speeding taxi in Manhattan.

So in my deepest moments of despair about projects, writing, and work in general, I channel Jane and throw the whole damn thing out the window. How beautifully dramatic!

And thankfully, my co-facilitator is amazingly flexible, and she’s starting a new position. And I need to protect our workload. In addition, we’re a part of team putting on a retreat for our own faculty and staff, and that’s a major part of my job description right now. And I love it. Our theme is Fear, and I’m very excited to see what connections folks will make with the structure we’ve provided. It’s a big job with a lot of responsibility.

Insight 3

So through this grant, albeit part of my research for many other projects I’m involved in, I now understand a bit more about the system and my institution’s place within it. I’ve been calling this experience a failure, but what it’s really teaching me how to take my big, big plans, and make them small. Then make them even smaller. That’s a good thing.

Peg and I met yesterday and we’ve sketched out a plan to go “on the road” to visit places and people we can learn from, and we’ll report back to the other four colleges in the consortium. We’re going on tour in April! And just when I think I’m being overly ambitious, Peg suggests that we ask a researcher to post on our blog! Yes!

One person posted in the chat during our FLC meeting about whether these grants can be focused on “deep change” at one institution rather than worrying about the entire system. Yes, I think that’s a noble goal, but I also think we can create ideas and materials that can be used throughout the system and beyond. Why not?

Look closely at the photo I chose for this post. See the green shoots? See the flowers? The machine may have stopped, but there are things growing around it. Rather than focusing on what has slowed down the gears; I’d like to refocus on what’s growing.

My idea is your idea; this FLC was made for you and me.

In 2014, I sacrificed the time I used to spend practicing yoga to carve out hours to ride my bike, but I’ve kept the advice of my favorite yogi close. She not only has the most perfect postures, she has a lovely British accent.

At the point where she could see her students struggling–we couldn’t possibly hold a pose for another second–she’d say:

“Class, use your English Bulldog determination. Your Bengal Tiger strength. Don’t give up.”

As a person who loves dogs with crushed snouts, I have to admit that it’s hard to imagine that those lumps of flesh that we know today were once the bull-baiter kings. The lazy fat bellies we know today were once tough working dogs.

One strand of their DNA that still remains is their ability to pull your arm out the socket if you play tug. Once they latch on; they don’t let go. You get a glimpse of what they were like when they pull down a bull by the nose.

So it’s almost 2015, and this is my last blog post for this academic year. Here’s a quick summary of what I decided last week:

1. I’ve retitled the subtitle to this blog.

There is some collaboration happening, but it’s not what I promised in the grant. That’s fine. I have to let it go. I had originally envisioned us to be more like traveling researchers, but for our own sanity, Peg and I need to be buskers in one spot.

For folks at the other four stars, here’s my promise: We’ll send out invites, and we’ll hope you can make it. Invite us when you can. Never hesitate to contact me. I hope the books I sent you help you create the thing that you need.

2. In January, I have three objectives for the next six months.

A] I’m going to invite Todd Lundberg and Walter Hudsick to come talk to us. Because I like them, and they are instrumental players in who I am as an educator. We’re going to eat and talk. I want to know what Todd did at UW-Madison. And I need to see Walter more.

B] Peg and I are going to go Tacoma to visit Joanne Munroe, Chris Soran, and the awesomeness that is TCC. We’re going to eat and talk with them. I want to see their space. The more I’m around Chris’s “Let’s break it so we can learn how to fix it” DIY spirit, the better I feel. And I’ll blog about Joanne another time.

C] I’m going to use some of the grant to get Lisa Chamberlin over the Cascades into my world. We need her change management research, and well, I like Lisa. She can take three popsicle sticks and make a cabin. Plus, Peg and I owe since our work inspired her VP.

3. I’m not sure we can pull off a retreat. I’m worried about Peg’s workload and I don’t need another event to plan. On the days when we visit with the folks above, we’ll use the entire day. No multi-tasking. If I continue on this path, I’m going to be right back where I was six years ago when I started researching teacher burnout (for a reason).

4. Peg, your assignment is to choose your three objectives and we’ll explore the fun of state budget bureaucracy together (wink). You can also give me another idea because this really isn’t an assignment. Just tell me what you want to do, and I’ll make it so (Jean Luc Picard philosophy alert!). I just don’t want to bug you on your last teacher holiday break. Trust me, you need to enjoy time with those grand-babies.


So for now, I’ll return to my promise to help future grant writers.

Peg and I have been asked to go to a meeting in Olympia with the state board folks, and I’m a bit worried about what we’ll say. I can say this–our 2F is worth re-using–for any FLC grant.

State board folks, the 2F is a good question and it’s worth keeping, IMHO. It forces the big picture on collaborators.

Grant writer tip: 

Discover the thing that makes you say, “We See A Dire Need To Create ______.”

Fill in the blank with something singular, you can only do so much. Connect said “Dire Need” to some initiative from the federal level.

Then take something from your strategic plan that connects to your “Dire Need.”

Use specific language about how your “Dire Need” HELPS STUDENTS LEARN. Imagine your audience will love your ideas. Even if you don’t know how to do it.

Be sure to use “Need” and not “Want”–be careful with semantics. Your audience is intelligent, forward thinking, and dedicated. They are kings and queens of close reading and their resources are scarce. The sentence above is not sycophancy; I know this to be true about anything Jen Whetham and Bill Moore create. If they read this, I hope they know I’m being honest and sincere.

So. Here’s what we wrote. I busted out the edict-like response and Peg came up with the BRILLIANT idea of selecting language from all of our strategic plans.

My idea is your idea; this FLC was made for you and me. (Woody Guthrie, forgive my riff).

2F. What connections do you see between the learning that will occur in your FLC and student success?

As a group we are philosophically and pedagogically in agreement that faculty support and student success are intertwined. We believe that student success initiatives such as Achieve The Dream, the Completion Agenda, and other strategic initiatives are motivating ideas to restructure professional development on campuses. Many of the initiatives stress the importance of “Week 1 for Students” and we see a dire need to create “Week 0 for Faculty.” In other words, the cornerstone of student success is prepared faculty members.

By highlighting student success, we can reimagine what is possible for professional development for faculty. The 2010 Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of the Five Star Consortium highlights the “goal of maximizing efficiencies and promoting institutional coordination and collaboration.” Our project will maximize our collective effort as a community of practice for faculty professional development. Below we have selected our campus mission statements to show meaningful intersections of common need and interest in our strategic plans.

Cascadia CC Mission Statement:
Every individual is supported and engaged in lifelong learning.

Edmonds CC Mission Statement:
Edmonds Community College strengthens our diverse community by helping students access educational and career opportunities in a supportive environment that encourages success, innovation, service, and lifelong learning.

Everett CC Mission Statement:
EvCC creates life-changing educational opportunities where students become active learners who strengthen our diverse local and global communities.

Lake WA Institute of Technology Mission Statement:
To prepare students for today’s careers and tomorrow’s opportunities.

Shoreline CC Mission Statement:
We are dedicated to serving the educational, workforce and cultural needs of our diverse community.

So go forth and read. Think. Write, FLC.

New Edict: We aren’t behind. We’re just getting started. See you in 2015.

Look at the words, I’d say.

Before I proceed, I have to acknowledge Peg’s promotion. She is now our Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning. Well done, you!

It’s now officially one year since I’ve taught an English class. Rereading my last post and my cryptic introduction made me think. How many times did I ask a student to be more specific? Look at the words, I’d say.

Hunting for the repetition of words is something that I used to ask students to do who were struggling with reading comprehension. If you want to become a better writer, I’d preach, you have become a better reader. I would try to convince them that reading was like a treasure hunt for ideas. These students–typically over the age of 25–struggled to be on par with the superb high school students who already knew the game. Adult learners and younger students mentoring one another is a success story of effective learning spaces (be specific). This exercise helped poor readers grow into better readers. Sherman Alexie’s “Superman and Me” allowed students to figure out how to find his themes. I chose this reading because it was available on the internet for free, and I found that this helped my students who were waiting for their financial aid check. At the time, I didn’t know this was a style of teaching with OER (I didn’t know this acronym)–I just knew it helped my poor students stay in class. Students would highlight, circle, and jot down notes when they saw the same words repeated. The brighter ones would connect what Alexie was saying about race, class, and literacy while the others learned how to read carefully.

Later when I did the same exercise with online students, they would create a Wordle. When we repeat something as writers, I would preach, we are trying to emphasize something. That was the genius of Chris Farley’s character Matt Foley, the motivational speaker who warned kids about the ways you could end up in a van down by the river.

As I’ve been reading Building Faculty Learning Communities , I’ve noticed several words keep reappearing.

Flexible. Autonomy.Funded.Purposeful.Challenges.Pitfalls.Change.Strategy.Space.

Food.Community.Open.Collaboration.Safety.Joy.Respect.Active.Reflective.Vision.

Physical space.Technology.Networking.Access.Isolation.Hinder.Cycle.Central.

Here are two quotes that I mentioned to Peg in our last meeting:

“Unfortunately, learning communities always seem to push against an institutional glacier that grinds away at innovation, smoothing it out and trying to make it like everything else.” (p.8)

“Thus, the challenge for campus leaders is to devise an implementation strategy that pulls people towards voluntary FLC acceptance. It is easier to implement a change with people than to change people.” (p. 45)

from “Institutional Considerations in Developing a Faculty Learning Community Program”

 Here’s a phrase I can’t let go from the reading: The Illusion of Progress.

Advice for FLC grant writers: Start with what you’d love to see if nobody could say no to your ideas. Imagine there are people at 33 other colleges in WA who feel the same way. Ask yourself, what can I do that I can share with others? Ask yourself, what can I create with my colleagues that will bring joy into somebody’s teaching? Ask yourself, what’s best for students?

Answer those questions first. Daydream. Think. Sketch. Always keep in mind who is funding you and their goals. You can’t have a plan just for you, your department, your discipline, and your institution. It’s got to be magnified by 34. Note this sentence from the rubric in the grant guidance booklet.

“The proposal describes the learning artifacts it will create and shows how these connect to the FLC goals and outcomes. The proposal identifies multiple means and channels for dissemination of its knowledge, experience, and wisdom within the FLC itself, its home institution(s), and the larger ATL and eLearning communities.”

You are one of the 34, and those colleagues exist. You just haven’t met them yet. (Repetition, for emphasis).

Maps Never Drawn To Places I Wanted to Go: A Memoir

Let’s say you just saw a map of the future. It’s a location that you care deeply about and you’ve been given a detailed proposal of what this place would look like a decade from now. Imagine that you thought you were working to explore the typography of what is possible in this location. Envision that you are working with others to create a tiny corner of this map. Feel lucky that you’ve been entrusted to help complete the work created by others who came before you. Listen to the tales of bewilderment  from your colleagues. Let your mind spin stories of legacy and great leadership. Witness a group of people not asking one crucial question:

What would be best for the people who will live out their lives in this future location?

Now try to ignore that this turf war isn’t happening so that you can perform the meaningful tasks at hand. Remember that maps usually allow you to daydream of possibilities, potential, and new directions. Pivot and get to the task at hand. Write a memoir title and move on:

Maps Never Drawn To Places I Wanted to Go: A Memoir

Here’s how this hypothetical map connects to the work I am doing with this FLC. (Note the pivot). In January, I’m going to report to other FLC coordinators about our progress. Here’s a rough draft of what I’ll say:

Accept that trying to get people from five institutions together at once is highly unlikely. We’ve identified a need and we are working to address to it. We’ve connected our goals to those of the state board. We’ve identified the “You Are Here” location on the map. We don’t know where we are going, but we have to go someplace else.

Explore synchronous modes of collaboration. I can’t believe it took some despair and rage to help me get here. FLCs need not only exist by face-to-face collaboration. File this under “Duh, like, aren’t you into internets and stuff? Hello? Um, read your own research lately?” A lot of the research about FLCs are about teachers working together–which is the future plan. I’ve discovered very little (yet) about the folks who help create the infrastructure for that to happen–which is the current plan. The digital space is the uncharted territory for this style of collaboration.

Spend the next six months researching, writing, and talking about how to accept that we don’t have the answers. I’m working with people who want to ask better questions, so that’s a start. Peg and I want to change the model how faculty collaborate at our institution. She’s already done some amazing things in the short time I’ve known her. She’s one of the strongest cartographers I know.

Invite different people talk to my group (If you can’t make it; I’ll record it, I’ll blog about it, I’ll talk your ear off if I see you). We’ll pick the brains of smart people. I’m also going to invite students who are thinking about becoming teachers. I’m curious how they envision their futures as teachers. Ideally, we’re building a space for them. What do their dream maps look like?

Remind myself that this grant justifies the time that I am spending on the organizing thoughts and researching. My boss is a librarian by trade who understands the need for space and time to learn. She’s a historian who understands how to learn from the mistakes of the past when designing spaces.

Continue giving advice to writers who are thinking about applying for this grant. I made this promise to Jennifer Whetham, who accepted it. If all else falls apart, I can at least help future writers who want to hitch their wagons to her train.

So here is your FLC tip of the day: As you are drafting up your ideas, look very carefully at the questions on the grant and how they align with your vision. Don’t get so caught up in the “deliverables” that you can’t give yourself permission to change directions. Remember this bullet from the SBCTC website:

  • FLCs increase communication and collaboration amongst faculty who, by the nature of their work in individual classrooms, are often isolated from their colleagues.

I’ve already said this in another post, but I can’t stress the importance of imagining the colleagues you haven’t met yet. Your FLC may be the map that will help you find them.

We already do this; I just didn’t know there’s a word for it.

My blog title comes from an aviation instructor whom I love working with at my institution. Two years ago, he sat in the back of the class while I did a presentation on “Tech Tools.” This presentation became the major turning point in my career. It was the moment that I stopped talking about how to write essays as a comp teacher and stood in front of my peers to talk about educational technology. Unlike many other folks in the audience who challenged or applauded my ideas, this aviation teacher sat quietly taking notes on his iPad. If somebody had asked me if there was one person in the class that didn’t like what I was doing, I would have pointed him out. As I walked to my car killing myself with the things I should have said, I pegged him as the audience who thought my presentation was a total waste of his time.

Weeks later, I heard from several people that he had taught them something from my presentation. Others told me that he gave them so much information that he learned from me and he questioned why we didn’t have more of these types of opportunities. As a professional technical teacher, he has limited time to learn new teaching methods and he praised my work effusively to others. Really?! What?!

Many prof. tech. classes are based on “seat time” so teachers have very little time to themselves. They are surrounded by their students constantly which is both a blessing and a curse. Months later, I learned that he was one of my biggest champions for the new field that I was exploring. Personally this helped solidify that the risk I was taking in changing my career. Perhaps what I was studying would be welcomed by the very same people I wanted to help: teachers. Professionally, he has no idea how much he helped me.

Since then, I have put more effort into working with professional technical educators. When I had a itty-bitty budget to take faculty to a conference, I invited this aviation instructor and a cosmetology instructor to attend the Assessment, Teaching, & Learning Conference. The invitation came with a caveat; they had to propose a presentation the following year.

A few weeks ago, we met online to brainstorm what we are going to do, and I got such a kick out of working with them. I kept trying to compliment them that they have to innovate in their fields because of industry standards. They can’t keep doing the same old song and dance in the classroom because standards change. Students change. Hairstyles change. Airplanes change.

As we discussed pedagogical “buzzwords” and educator theory speak, I was stunned silent when the instructor said, “We already do this; I just didn’t know there’s a word for it.” I listened to these wonderfully kind and caring teachers talk about how they can help other prof. tech. teachers. The are wizards of the workaround to help students learn and succeed. When I’ve had enough of the ed. tech haters and the news of current events, I need to remember these teachers.

A whole month has gone by with little accomplished in the way of the FLC. I’ve mailed books, and I’ve started reading. I’m devoting this month to organizing what’s next for us. I’ve daydreamed about possibilities.

One FLC success: the five colleges have begun sharing more faculty-to-faculty workshops. We are in contact more. We’re trying to make this happen. We have one member in flux with a new position, one just lost her eLearning Director, and two faculty overwhelmed with being faculty. And then there’s me.

Note to Facilitators and future grant writers: Nail down dates to meet during the summer. Don’t try to build-it-as-you-go. It may never get off the ground the way that you envisioned.