CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

February 2, 2015

This week, we’ll focus on ways to organize your tasks to become more productive with your time and help you manage school work and other activities with more success. In searching for the best solutions for YOU, we’ll explore lots of web-based options and give you a chance to review some of your own choosing.

Monday – First, let’s find out everyone’s comfort level with and knowledge about technology. That will give us a good place to start. Use this Google Forms survey, which will provide your answers in the form of a spreadsheet for us to go over.

Tuesday – We’ll meet for a bit to go over the results of the survey and discuss similarities and differences in how we deal with schedules and planning and remembering.

Monday-Friday – There is lots of advice out there for managing time and tasks, and not all of it is suitable for every person. In this LifeHack article, dozens of apps, web sites and articles are listed, and from them, nearly anyone can find something to help him or her. Read the article, scan the different tools, sites, articles. Choose a few to take a look at. Select 2-5 to really take some time to explore. Try an organizer or to-do list and see if you can make it work for you. Check out a mind-mapping app to see if it would help you plan out an essay or a project. Look into some of the articles about research or improving your writing. Then write a blog post reviewing those 2-5 favorites, favorites for organizing YOUR schedule, YOUR workload, YOUR assignments.

When you think LifeHack has covered every possible way you could spend your time and energy making your hours work for you, Dallas student columnist Blaine Finstein, shares his own point of view. His post goes to show you how differently one can look at this topic, and his column is a good example of another student’s writing.

Tip: Right-click = control+click. For unfamiliar terms in an article, you can highlight the word, control+click, and select “definition”.

Remember: Draft in Google docs, beginning in the folder with your name that is shared with me. Copy your draft to the class editing folder for feedback from a classmate or three. After revisions, share with me in the Snider folder. Title your piece something like “Productivity”.

Remember: You are writing for an audience who does not know you, does not know your assignment, so you’ll have to put it all in context for them.





January 5, 2014

This class is all about communication, particularly digital, but you can’t have even a digital communication class without the other kinds of communication: speaking and listening, reading and writing. Getting to know each other in the class will help us further our communication skills. Therefore, our week should roll out something like this:

Monday: My apologies, as I was absent. Mr. Jones did lead you in some discussion of the importance of effective communication, as I understand.

Tuesday: Explanation of how class operations, brief intro to this class web space, a little about some of the programs we will be using, and a nice little ice-breaker to get to know each other.
Also a request to sign up for communication via Remind, a messaging program wherein I can send reminders or other information to you without having to know your phone number nor you, mine. On your cell phone send the message, @digicoms15 to the number, 81010, to sign up. Share with your parents if you’d like them to receive reminders as well.

Wednesday: We will watch the TED video featuring Adora Svitak. I hope you find it inspiring. You will write a reflection over the video, drafted in Google docs, which will be your first blog post, once the blogs are up and running. To help you figure out what to include in a reflection, you will use this set of questions as a guide. But this is for next week, so think about what to watch for and what you might include.
Your first assignment, however, is to tell us about yourself in the form of a presentation. Consider Adora’s presentation in her TED talk, how she presented her talk: she hooked her audience, told stories to keep them engaged, tied all of her stories together in a theme, closed her talk with a purpose. You will plan a talk to last 1-3 minutes, telling your audience something about yourself. You could share a talent, an amazing experience or a passion that you have. Try not to do everything in one shot. Choose a topic, plan how you will present it, practice to get it to the 1-3 minute range. You may use a note card with keywords on it to help you keep on task, though I don’t want you reading from a script.
We will begin these presentations Thursday and finish Friday. You may volunteer at first, and then I will volunteer you. Plan to be ready to go Thursday.

Thursday – Friday: Presentations about YOU.


CC Some rights reserved by Joe Hardy

CC Some rights reserved by Joe Hardy

August 21, 2014

First assignment, and for some of you, maybe the scariest. Let’s get it out of the way and everything else will be easier. They say public speaking is the greatest fear of most people. I maintain that driving in high-traffic, unfamiliar areas is way scarier than sharing cool information in an animated way with your peers who are actually interested in what you have to say. Just remember to make it interesting – and animated.

One day, if you haven’t already, you’ll find yourself in an interview where your potential employer or scholarship donor will say, “Tell me about yourself.” So that’s what I want you to plan to do, following these guidelines:

  • Use 1-2 minutes, telling us about yourself, but particularly one aspect, one interest, talent, passion, or amazing experience you’ve had and any stories connected to that fact that will make it more interesting for your audience.
  • Consider your audience and how to engage them (humor? shocking statement? little-known facts?)
  • Consider body language and eye contact.
  • Project your voice and speak clearly.
  • Plan. Think about the main thing you want your audience to know. Think about how to hook your audience, the plan what to do in between. Will you tell your story chronologically? Will you bring up topics from least important to most important? Plan. Practice. Then follow the plan.

Presentations will begin Friday. Rubric scores on speaking/listening will be for feedback only, but will give you an idea of how you would have scored and what you can work on for improvement.