Blog Prompt: Summer Projects & Technology

By Brenda Bethman

Today’s blog prompt is: “Do you have summer ‘projects?’ What are they, and will you be using technology to help you accomplish them?”

My answer, is “oh, yes, I have summer projects!” A whole list of them — a list that I sometimes refer to as the “more work than any one human could possibly complete in three months.” But my summer projects list is always like that — overly ambitious and unachievable. I used to think I should fix that, but I’ve given up. I like having a long list to pick and choose from. I know I won’t accomplish everything, but that’s okay.

So, here’s my list and the technology I’ll be using to help me accomplish the tasks:

Revise syllabi for my fall courses. The textbook we use for first semester German has a new edition and I’m bored with my Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies textbook, so I’ll be choosing a new one. This means that both courses need a revised syllabus. Not much new there, as I tend to at least tweak my syllabi every summer. This year, however, I plan to learn how to use Scrivener to help keep my courses together. I’ll also be deciding what technology (blogs, social media, etc.) to use in both classes and learning the new online tools that come with the German textbook. Finally, I’ll also use my favorite piece of old school “tech” to keep my classes organized:

Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com

(Seriously — I love my Moleskine notebooks. I use them for everything — classes, lists, research projects, etc. For my fall classes, I went with orange. And now that I’ve poked around the site to write this, I really, really want the Vienna city journal).

Other projects involve technology more directly. For example, I am determined that this will be the summer that I finally really learn Dreamweaver. I’m okay with it now, but I know there’s more it can do that I need to learn. I’d also like to learn how to use iMovie, but that’s a lower priority.

Then there are the projects that one never seems to get around to during the year such as cleaning up the office’s shared drive; analyzing blog, web, and social media statistics to see what needs to be tweaked; setting up new Facebook pages; and uploading photos to Flickr and Facebook (I realized recently that while most of them are there, there are a lot that predate my tenure here that aren’t).

Last but not least are the non-tech projects like catching up on filing and book purging (both at home and at the office).

Add to that a full schedule of new student orientations and the usual planning for the upcoming academic year, and I’ve got a full plate. I should also mention that in addition to the tech tools mentioned above, I’ll also be using my usual companions, the iPhone and iPad. We just got new iPads for the office and I’ve noticed that I’m using it a lot more. Add some productivity apps like Simplenote, QuickOffice, and Wunderlist, and I am set for the summer.

What about you? Do you have summer projects? If so, what technology will you be using to help get them done?

Blog Prompt: Summer Projects & Technology

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