Video of the Week: "OK GO Sandbox: One Moment of Math"

This week OK GO announced a project that they've been working on to help the many teachers already using their videos within the classroom. The OK GO Sandbox provides behind the scenes information about their videos and classroom activities for teachers. I'm loving the math behind their "One Moment" video. Take a look: 

Here's what I'm wondering: 

  • What's the effect of making something outside our level of perception? 
  • Make a list of all of the factors that were needed to make the timing a success in this scene. Which one do you think would be the most challenging? 
  • What math equations did they use in this video? How did they solve them? 
  • What spreadsheet formulas would you use to make this happen? 

Video of the Week: "It's not you. Phones are designed to be addicting."

I've been thinking a lot about phone addiction lately. When this came up in my YouTube feed this week, I was intrigued. 

Here's what I'm thinking about: 

  • Do you believe that phone designers are manipulating you to be addicted? 
  • Would you be willing to try one or more strategies this week? 
  • Which notifications on your phone have a real person behind them? Which don't? 
  • What do you think about the pull-down feature as a mimic of the slot machine and a feeling of control? 
  • Explore the Center of Humane Technology. What ideas to you agree with? With which do you disagree? 

Just because it can, doesn't mean it should.

Dinner and quality conversation: one of my favorite duos. And yet lately, I have found the conversation stopping suddenly, mid-sentence even. We're interrupted. Not by the server, not by another patron, but by someone not even in the room. In might be through a phone or a watch, but regardless, it brings conversation to a halt.

That's why when my Fitbit died this fall and I was considering switching over the Apple Watch my husband was wary. Wary of the notifications jumping in and entering in moments and spaces where they don't belong. We came to a compromise: I bought a watch, but the turned the notifications off. 

This, combined with my work with students has had me thinking this year a lot about notifications, and I've come to a conclusion: just because it can, doesn't mean it should.

 Are you distracted?

Are you distracted?

You can set your device to ring/beep/vibrate whenever someone calls or texts.

But just because it can, doesn't mean it should. Most of the time, people don't need that instant access to us. We can put our devices on silent (notice silent, not vibrate) and engage with the people who are face-to-face in the room with us. If you're a parent of teenage kids and you're worried that you'll miss an emergency, utilize the "Do Not Disturb" function, which will silence all calls/texts except for calls coming from your favorites list or if someone calls twice in a row. This boundary doesn't need to be there all the time, but we should have sacred spaces and moments that can't be interrupted, like the dinner table for example.

 What's your response to a notificaton?

What's your response to a notificaton?

You can receive a pop-up every time your receive a new email. 

But just because it can, doesn't mean it should. One of the biggest classroom management issues we had with a 1:1 environment is students "passing notes" via email during class. Since many of our students have notifications set up for their email, they receive pops up that distract them. And who am I kidding, I've been derailed at least three times already in the course of writing this blog post. There's been a big push against these notifications in the entrepreneur world in favor of "batching" tasks, like writing 3 blog posts in a row so that your brain stays in that mode. Again, it's rare that our emails are urgent, and most of the time we don't respond to them right away any way. I think I'm preaching to myself here to turn off my email notifications when I'm trying to get some serious work done. 

 How do you choose what to post? 

How do you choose what to post? 

You can receive alerts every time someone likes your post.

But just because it can, doesn't mean it should. We post pictures, videos, or words on our social media to share with others. But there's often an underlining motive. Have you ever found yourself going back constantly and checking notifications? I know I have. What's the point of these alerts? If it was truly important, wouldn't the writer call us? 

I'm spending time re-evaluating the notifications I receive on a moment by moment basis and trying to be intentional. Intentional in my work. Intentional in my face-to-face relationships. Intentional with being fully present. I'm not perfect at it by any means, but I hope to keep learning and growing in it. And I hope my students will too. 

How do you choose what notifications to use in your life and work? 

Video of the Week: "Email in Real Life"

I'm prepping a new presentation for SVCUE on Saturday called "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That," full of ideas for increasing productivity. One of the biggest things that comes in the way of my own productivity: email. 

Here's what I'm wondering: 

  • Did you, like me, look to your inbox after the opening ding? 
  • Did you notice your body having any response to that notification noise throughout? 
  • What would a student-version of this video look like? 
  • What does your email signature say about you? 
  • What's your biggest email pet peeve? 
  • What should the culture of email be like in your school or business? What might you do to change that? 

Video of the Week: "Why Perfect Grades Don't Matter"

I've been thinking a lot about perfectionism lately. Partly because I try really hard to be perfect, and partly because I see students striving for this perfectionism everyday. When I came across this video, then, last week, it really struck a cord with me.

Here's what I'm thinking: 

  • Do you communicate to the students in your life that good grades are the key to success later in life? How do you do so? Or, how do you fight against that?
  • How do we fight against students putting their self-worth in their grades? 
  • How can we balance accountability with the need for perfection? 
  • Adults, how did your high school grades compare to your university achievement? 
  • Do the grades in your class measure hard work, creativity, or mastered skills? 
  • Do you have a better approach for grades?