NO. OF CREDITS:
5 QUARTER CREDITS
[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]
|WA CLOCK HRS:
This course meets OSPI's STEM requirements.
Are you overwhelmed with the sheer volume of digital communication each day? This course will help you take advantage of the storage and organization systems available that will simplify your digital life and free up your time. You will learn about personal digital assistants, getting to Inbox Zero, note-taking systems, task management systems, the power of RSS, collaboration tools, and how to bring this suite of efficiency tools all together into one place.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:
Participants walk away with a variety of tools to help them take back control of their digital life. An understanding of efficient and effective workflow systems will be covered. Workflow systems include:
Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.
Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.
UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT INFORMATION
REQUIREMENTS FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.
CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.
AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.
ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION
Choose one of the following
Text, Getting Things Done: A Time Saving Summary, is approximately $5.00 and The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is approximately $14.99 from Amazon.com
ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR HOURS OR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
A. INFORMATION ACQUISITION
Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments.
Assignment #1: Inbox Zero Part One
Taking control of your inbox is the first step in controlling your digital lifestyle. The email server (where I worked in China) sends and receives over 10,000 (yes that number is correct) emails per day! This does include students, but much (if not most) of that email is directed at teachers. Take a look at your email box if you think I am wrong. Let’s get a handle on this email!
Watch this video by David Allen about "Getting In Control and Creating Space"
Raise your right hand and repeat after me: Email is something to process not to read and my email box is a terrible to do list
Listen to this interview of David Allen by Merlin Mann. David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done. They talk about email and a whole bunch of things. It runs 90 minutes, so you may not want to listen to the entire interview. Skip around as needed.
Write a reflection (250 word minimum)
Suggested discussion topics
What did you like/dislike about the video or interview
What does your inbox look like?
The value of adopting or not adopting inbox zero
What new folders or systems need to be in place to create the opportunity of getting your inbox to zero
Other things you would like to discuss or reflect upon
Getting your email to zero is VERY DIFFICULT. It requires that we make decisions about every piece of input. It is particularly difficult in the beginning because you are new to the Inbox Zero process and don’t yet have a clear, defined process set up. Don’t worry, it does get better and easier. However, getting to zero is a continuous battle sometimes. It reminds me of how we should always eat well and exercise more. We know it is good for us, but we don’t always do it.
Merlin Mann’s Google Tech Talk (YouTube): Merlin talks at Google in 2007 all about email and how to deal with it. While this talk is older, the discussion is totally relevant today.
Leo Laporte interviews David Allen: Listen or watch Leo Laporte interview David Allen about his Getting Things Done philosophy.
Assignment #2: Inbox Zero Part Two
Now that you have a general understanding of what Inbox Zero really is, let’s take a look at how we can get to that point in our email lives. What processes are involved to make it happen? Just how much joy will this bring to our lives?
This is a difficult process for sure! You are looking to change your existing habits to something new and it can be very painful. Also, we are new into the course so you may not yet have reliable storage systems or ways to delegate tasks off to others. As you start using this process, you will find yourself coming up with clever ideas and ways to ensure that you stay true to the assembly line process of handling email.
Assignment #3: Pulling Down Your Favorite Content
The sheer volume and speed with which information comes our way is a big stressor in our lives. It is hard to process and handle the tremendous numbers of inputs we receive on a daily basis. This includes email, of course, but also social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), eBooks, list serves, TV shows, music, calendar alerts and more.
There are a variety of websites, apps and devices that can help with this deluge of data. Figuring out which one works for you and “programming” it so that it is useful, is big step and big helper. We will focus on RSS, Flipboard, and Feedly. It may be a little difficult along the way, but once you get the hang of it, you will never turn back!
Watch this video (YouTube) on Feedly, an RSS feed reader for your mobile device.
Take a look at the website for Feedly, a feed reader. Download and install it on your preferred mobile device: iPad, iPhone or Android, or your browser. Check it out and play with it.
Watch this video on how Flipboard. (YouTube)
Download and install FlipBoard on one of your mobile devices. Be sure to add some content to it. Have fun, play with it!
Write a reflection (250 word minimum) about using a feed reader. You may want to discuss
Your initial thoughts on Feedly and/or Flipboard
How easy/difficult you it to use the services
If you find this a useful way to pull information into one central location.
How/if you will use these services in the future
Understanding that nearly everything on the web is “subscribe-able” can be a mental shift for many of us. We get in the habit of going from location to location to gather and consume the content (blogs, magazines, TV, music, etc.) we really like. This lesson is asking you to create a system where you pull down the information to one location. It can be a little difficult sometimes to understand how it all works, but for the most part, the apps that you will be using make that process fairly easy. If you need help though, be sure to ask!
Assignment #4: Digital Storage Systems
There is way too much access to information today. There is way more information than we can possibly remember. There is way too much faith that a pencil and paper can help us enough.
Ok, enough with the “way too much,” but really it is stressful. I love that we can easily start a zillion projects and collect a ton of information to help us with our work and personal lives. I need a storage system that can help me with this problem. Something that will become my digital brain. Something that will give me confidence and reduce stress.
There are a variety of digital notebooks out there and may favorite is Evernote and what I will use as an example in this lesson. Evernote allows you to store a ton of things on your computer, the web and your personal device such as an iPhone.
I use Evernote to:
Take a picture and store my kids’ yearly checkups and glasses prescriptions
Store PDF documents such as online receipts
Record (audio) thoughts and ideas and store them for later retrieval
Take pictures of menus so I can refer to them later on when I want take out
Track student progress as I walk around the classroom
Clip web pages of things I might need later
The list goes on and on.
Currently, I have over 1000 notes in Evernote. I have been using Evernote for over five years now. I can remember everything! Not really, but Evernote makes me feel like I do.
Evernote requires us to possibly make a significant habit and routine switch in our lives. As we get older, this becomes more and more difficult. I have seen a number of people check out Evernote on the surface, but not make the full switch. They know Evernote is a better system for them, but it is too hard for their habits to be changed. On the other hand, I have seen people have a lifestyle change after they became heavy Evernote users. People can sense if you become an Evernote pro. They will treat you differently and surely with more respect. Ok, I just made that part up, but it might happen!
Evernote to the rescue (entertaining)
Other Storage Systems
Assignment #5: A Digital Look At To Do Lists
To do lists have been around since the dawn of man. Recently archeologists discovered drawings in caves that appear to be a list of to dos by early man. It had a series of photos: man need to hunt, bring back kill, clean kill, feed family.
Ok, I just made that up, but really they have been around a long time right?
Anyway…. To do lists generally involve a list of some sort that is written on a piece of paper. We get this odd satisfaction from checking off the list and feeling like we made a meaningful contribution to the world. While a future sociologist might find our behaviors and resulting satisfactions a bit odd, that is not the point of this lesson. Rather, it is time to take the written to do list into the digital age.
The top five reasons for going digital with your to do list are:
This lesson will focus on the tools and skills needed to take your to do list from analog (paper) to digital.
Moving to a digital system is a bit weird. Suddenly your to do list is available all over the place, can nag you with emails, is asking for tags or categories, can be prioritized and shared with other people. You may find this an intrusion in your life and not want to move away from the simple, paper to do list that was always your friend. This is a personal decision of course. A digital to to list will make you tons more efficient and allow you to get more done. However, it won’t really make your life easier. Becoming more efficient often means you end up volunteering for more projects and stay just as busy. But more people will love you!
Assignment #6: Creating A Workflow System
Wow, look how far you have come! Great work. You are well on the way to becoming a productivity super star. People will be rushing to you on a daily basis asking you how you became so efficient happy and successful.
Well there is one more step: Creating a workflow system so the tools all work together and are in sync. We need to create a map that helps us channel this crazy amount of input into a stream that lets you decide what you wish to prioritize Your life will become much less stressful.
Using a mind mapping software for your computer such as Xmind (Free) or one that is web based such as bubbl.us, create a design of your workflow system. If you prefer to use paper, no worries. Just take a picture of it.
Write a reflection (250 word minimum) about using and creating a workflow system. You might want to include:
A screen shot, or picture of your map
Comment on what insights you learned after mapping it out
Discuss the difficulties or ease you will have using this work flow
Sitting down and mapping out all the input that is tossed at you everyday can be painful and, sometimes, revealing. You may find your mind not wanting to tackle this deep thinking task. I recommend doing it in the morning or evening. These time periods are often when your brain is best suited for creative work.
Assignment #7: Personal Digital Assistants (Your Phone)
Today’s world allows us to have ubiquitous access to our email, digital storage, to do lists, project management and workflow systems. However, we have to ensure that our personal digital assistants (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows) devices are all connected to our world.
“The Cloud” allows us to wirelessly sync all our data from our computers to our phones. Our data is stored in the Cloud and we pull it down from there. Your school email, Evernote, Asana, Gmail, iCloud store data on server farms all over the world.
This lesson will help us stress test our phone and make sure it works properly.
Watch this video on cloud cloud-based computing. Parts of it are a little nerdy, but it is useful overall.
Check that the following applications are loaded on your phone and working properly
Write a reflection (250 word minimum) about using personal digital assistants You might want to include:
The process of getting all your cloud-based systems onto your computer and phone
The potential usefulness of having ubiquitous access. The potential frustrations!
How you feel our students access or should use this
Having your PDA linked to all your “stuff” can seem overwhelming and overkill at times. This is especially true if you set it to beep at you or alert you every time a new piece of information comes into your system. This might cause you some serious frustration too. To help with this, I don’t ask my iPhone to alert me very much. This means I see my iPhone as a device I can go to when I want to seek some information that I left in the cloud rather than an annoying person that is barking or chirping at me all the time.
Assignment #8: STEM Career Choices
The future of work, as you know, is shifting. Even education which is often one of the last structures to change embraced remote learning for certain courses or entire programs. These are designed to meet the needs of students who prefer to school from home and/or enjoy the chance to take a specific course their school is unable to offer.
Some sort of STEM-related skills is becoming nearly mandatory for access to a middle class or above lifestyle.
Take a read of the two articles below. One discusses the future of work and how it is (no surprise) embracing remote workforces. The other lists the top 30 STEM careers of the future. This list, of course, will end up changing over time but for now, it is a starting point.
After reading the articles, pick one or more of the 30 careers and in 250 words or more, speculate how the five changes of the future ( fluid gigs, decentralized workforces, motivation to work, lifelong learning, artificial intelligence) will impact the career you choose. For example, if I choose the career of web developer, what would my career look like based on the five future changes in how we work?
ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
B. LEARNING APPLICATION
In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments.
Assignment #9: Research Assignment
Assignment #10: Book Reflection
The two books for this course are wonderful and very different.
David Allen’s book talks about his “Getting Things Done” methodology. David’s ideas were a huge influence on the development of this course. His book had a profound influence on me many years ago.
Charles Duhigg’s book discusses habits, how they work, and how we can change them. It is one of my favorite all time books.
Personally, I think both books are worth reading. However, only one book is required for the course and for this particular lesson.
Both of these books help explain how to set up systems or change habits to improve our daily lives. If you find yourself agreeing with all or most of what you read, you might find yourself frustrated that you are not doing it all. I deal with that everyday as I try to change habits and use the GTD system from David Allen. I often fail, try again, succeed a little, repeat
Assignment #11: (500 Level ONLY)
This assignment will let you apply what you have learned so far in the course to your current teaching situation. You have two choices below.
Create a 30 minute or longer presentation to be given at a professional development workshop. It should relate to the themes discussed in this course. Submit your work to your THI online response box
Take a very deep dive into the “getting things done” philosophy from David Allen.
Check out these resources:
(or find some of your own) and write a 750 word paper where you discuss the “getting things done” ideas and how they work/benefit others.
Suggested ideas to include:
C. INTEGRATION PAPER
Assignment #12: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)
SELF REFLECTION & INTEGRATION PAPER
(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)
Write a 350-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:
INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS ON YOUR WORK:
Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHING THIS COURSE:
Michael Boll is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Podcaster and Technology Coach at the International School Bangkok.. Michael enjoys helping educators, parents and students harness the transformative powers of technology. Michael is an enthusiastic instructional designer and presenter. He works to make his courses and presentations information packed, slightly provocative and fun. Michael has a teenage son with profound autism and is keenly interested in the special needs community and its population of diverse learners. This interest led Michael and his wife, Lori Boll, to open an innovative school in Shanghai (ShineAcademy.asia) for their son.
TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR DIGITAL LIFE
Allen, David. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. New York: Viking, 2001. Print.
In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. I
In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:
Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty
Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
Feel fine about what you're not doing
Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. New York: Random House, 2012. Print.
“In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.”
Duhigg, Charles. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. New York: Random House, 2015. Print.
"At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.
They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.
A young woman drops out of a PhD program and starts playing poker. By training herself to envision contradictory futures, she learns to anticipate her opponents’ missteps—and becomes one of the most successful players in the world.
A group of data scientists at Google embark on a four-year study of how the best teams function, and find that how a group interacts is more important than who is in the group—a principle, it turns out, that also helps explain why Saturday Night Live became a hit.
A Marine Corps general, faced with low morale among recruits, reimagines boot camp—and discovers that instilling a “bias toward action” can turn even the most directionless teenagers into self-motivating achievers.
The filmmakers behind Disney’s Frozen are nearly out of time and on the brink of catastrophe—until they shake up their team in just the right way, spurring a creative breakthrough that leads to one of the highest-grossing movies of all time."