Life at my school can be hectic and overwhelming at times, maybe most of the time. Being organized and leveraging the technology available in a smart way will help you manage your workload and reduce stress. I plan to develop a way to organize yourself using the framework of David Allen’s “Five Simple Steps That Apply Order to Chaos” and Google Calendar.
Facilitated by advancements in technology we are becoming increasingly accessible. The result of which has our inboxes dinging at all hours of the night, enticing us to check them and luring us back into our virtual offices. Think about how many times you checked an email and it lingered in your mind late into the night. “I’ve got to remember to take care of that in the morning” you say to yourself. You toss and turn in your sleep holding onto that important memory, your brain working overtime to plan and solve the issue in preparation for dealing with it the next day. Allen says in his course “Your brain is for having ideas not for holding them”. This is where your ability to leverage the tools at your disposal to capture and organize important action items in order to “get things done” comes into play.
Students of the 21st century are bombarded at an unprecedented pace with information. Status updates, emails, texts, feeds and media in many different forms are overloading the brain and competing for their attention. So what are we doing as educators to help students manage and organize the flow of information? Not much in my opinion. My proposed action plan works to try solve this dilemma by creating online training geared towards improving the organizational skills of the students at my school. I’m focusing mainly on boys because I work at an all boys school but many of the strategies I develop will be applicable to any busy person.
The plan is to take David Allen’s research and apply his “Getting it Done” framework to a specific organizational tool, which in this case will be Google Calendar. The course is entirely delivered online through our learning management system (Haiku). Some boys will be required to complete the course as part of their individual plans with the Centre For Learning. However, the rest of the boys will be encouraged to complete it in the form of a game. My hope is that boys will complete the “enhanced learning booster pack” (the learning module) to upgrade their characters organizational skill set in the game. The idea is to add a visual representation of their learning in the form of a virtual character whose skill set is improved over time by completing online training and continuing to apply the skills they learn to their academic lives. The students can continue to receive skill points by showing evidence of the use of the strategies they learn. Badging could be utilized when students reach certain thresholds of achievements and those badges could be displayed on their profile and in their CVs much like additional qualifications(using a service like Credly).
Here is a snapshot of my brainstorm for the project (not including the gamification).