Lessons Everywhere

I had a colleague I never met.


Actually, that’s not true. I met her once in an elevator at a training, where she admitted that the elevator was making her nervous, but that was before I even started at UMW.


She was on leave this last fall, when I started at UMW, and she passed away this winter.  So we were technically colleagues this fall, even though we never worked together.


There were drifts of books left in her office; they were later relocated to a table in the Ed Suite where people could take some if they liked.  A person’s books reveal who a person is and what they care about.  There are lots of books there on teaching, the arts, writing, reading…the list goes on.  I wish I had known her better, but at least now I know her books.


I picked one up that looked interesting and opened it to where a blue post-it marked a short chapter; it is called “Fall in Love at Least Three Times a Day.”

photo copy photo (1)


How amazing: this colleague gave me advice even though she is no longer here.  In the blue-flagged pages, the writer doesn’t mean to fall in love with a different (or even the same) person three times a day, but rather reminds us to appreciate all the tiny beautiful amazing things that surround us.  In the chapter, Georgia Heard writes, “I’m in love with this light and everything the sun brushes.”  The book and the chapter remind me of how hard it can be to be positive, but how essential it is, and also this article that I found through Twitter: How to Stay Sane: Revising your Inner Storytelling.  The article is on a site with which I happen to have fallen in love.  The beauty of the layout, the colors, the organization, and the topics that relate so perfectly to my interests.


As it happens, there are still some books on that table in the Ed Suite.  I just know she would want you to have one.

Students’ Views of the Virtual Environment

See below for an online Task for 351 Students and any other interested parties:

SlideShare is a great resource for teachers who use Power Point, and it shows lots of best practices of presenting–this one here has a small amount of text (and no audio), but the message is clear and focused.

Step 1: Review this presentation and respond to the questions below on the Canvas discussion board (or here if you are a guest!)


1. What do you think about this view of education in general and of virtual education?
2. How have you seen the five big mistakes in action?
3. (You may need to make a login to browse) What presentations do you see that might be useful for your content area?
4. Respond on Canvas to the discussion board posting named “SlideShare response”
Step 2: Read the following draft proposal to turn our class (351) into a more blended learning environment: OLI
1.Consider what you believe/know about online learning, your knowledge of our class content, and your thoughts about the tasks in the sample syllabus (it’s in the appendix of the OLI file above).
2. Respond on Canvas to the discussion board posting named “OLI/351″
If you are just visiting or want to make a more public comment here, post away!