DWFDW Debrief

Day one is in the books, and day two is ongoing, and I am, more than anything else, still really, really grateful that District Wide Faculty Development Week (DWFDW) isn’t five days anymore! Remember how awful that was? Still gives me the shudders.

But, here we are. So, did you learn anything? See anything great? Carry out any unanswered questions in your pocket?

Got anything to say?

(I thought the opening set of speeches and what-not to be lovely, if not exactly inspiring; there was food; I thought it was cool that they used an android to give the “Business Analytics” presentation (kidding, kidding…stole that joke), and went to the TAP strand presentation on the new classroom visitation rubric at which I was really happy to see Jewel Younge who is one of my favorite people in the world. As for the rubric, I hope I’m wrong about its usability. Regardless, I’m excited to see how the new tenure process will work. It can’t be worse.)

Have at it.

DWFDW Bibliography

Speaking of Faculty Development Week, over the course of it, I heard numerous references to articles and studies and what not, and tried to keep a running list, and then at some point I thought, bah, and stopped doing it.

Then Kristin Bivens (she’s back!) was kind enough to forward me a link to an article that she’d heard mentioned, and so I thought that maybe it would be useful after all. Anywhere, here are the ones I heard about and found. Please add any others in the comments:

~Is Algebra Necessary? (h/t to Kristin Bivens). Also posted on Don’s Desk. For a response (and links to others, you can go HERE.

(Sample: “Maybe we can start by reaffirming the importance of learning for the sake of knowledge, in stark contrast to the commodification that has overtaken our educational system. No employer has ever asked me to analyze a Petrarchan sonnet, or expound on the intricacies of a Bach fugue, but I’m not sorry I have that knowledge, even if the latter meant suffering through the daily grind of musical scales on the piano as a child. The drudgery meant I might one day, in my teens, attempt Chopin. Granted, I didn’t become a professional musician; I didn’t ultimately have the chops. But my life is so much richer with Chopin in it.

I spent ten years training in jujitsu, yet I have yet to use my skills to defend myself from a real-world attack. So I guess those ten years were a waste, right? Wrong! The most important lessons I gleaned from martial arts had to do with learning to fail: getting my ass kicked and getting back up, again and again and again, until I mastered a given skill. Why wasn’t I willing to do the same for math?

All we’d end up teaching kids with Hacker’s strategy is avoidance. I was a master of avoidance. But learning to buckle down and do unpleasant things that don’t come easily to us prepares us for life.”).

~CUNY’s New College (mentioned in Alvin’s talk).

~A description of Austin Peay’s Course Picking Software  (Tristan Denley’s thing) and an article in the Chronicle.

~Uri Triesman was full of interesting quotes and references:

~”All of our services were built on someone else’s ideas of the students’ weaknesses.”

~”There is no shortage of opportunities for humility in institutional improvement.”

~”Start with what’s working.”

~”Institutional reforms can go awry and many times the first thing that they do is kill off what’s best about your institution.”

~”Being a college president is like running a cemetary; you have lots of people under you, but no one is listening.”

~”People like changes until they happen.”

~”If you can’t change the culture, enculturate the change; change, in the words of Adrianna Kazar, ‘requires a joyful conspiracy.'”

~”Placement is a criminal enterprise.”

He also said some stuff about research on how they’ve learned to predict, using data through the third week of classes who will be left in the class at the end. I found him after his talk and he said to look up the SENSE study by Kay McClenney (who runs the CCSSE and it’s associated research) and David Yeager from the Carnegie Foundation, but all I found was this link to a press release and this video (which I haven’t watched yet). They were also in the news this week when the Gates Foundation pulled funding for some of their splashy reform efforts, but that is a something else. He also mentioned Peabody models of decision making (which might be this?), Robbie Case’s work on mathematical learning called “Number Worlds” (here’s a description, but this is better), and an op-ed by Madeline Levin in the New York Times, which he connected to Placement (I don’t see it).

After that I went to a session on the new Learning Analytics, but I’m going to save my reading on that one for another post.

What did I miss?


DWFDW Day One (and Two) Debrief

UPDATE: Day two is in the books–disciplinary meetings and breakouts. I went to the one on Data Analytics by Charles Ansell and Kate Connor, which was pretty exciting (more on that as it develops). Anything else great out there from Day Two?

Better question: who has a great story from the Discipline Meetings? Bonus points for direct quotes (unattributed please–what happens in the Math meeting stays in the math meeting except for second hand reports with redaction)?

So, what did you think? Certainly better than it’s been in the past, no?

Personally, I really liked Alvin’s presentation (somewhere, sometime, I think I said that I thought there was probably a strong argument to be made for Reinvention, and I think today’s presentation is what I was looking for then –kudos, Alvin; and I’m not just saying that as payback for the shout-0ut, though it was appreciated).

After that, I went to the Mathways presentation and got some interesting suggestions for “beautiful” studies on learning that I’m excited about. Overall, I’d say, good day. On the negative side, I didn’t like the white bread and LACK OF COFFEE AFTER 9am–that gym was sleepy. Still, credit for improvements and responsiveness to feedback.

What did you think? What did you see?

Next Up!

Next up! is a regular feature on Sundays, showcasing HWC (and beyond) events in the coming week. Use the “Comments” section to provide updates and additions!

As hard as it may be to believe, the wheel of time has made its way around again to point to Fall and the beginning of the school year. Welcome back! Like every new school year, some things remain the same, including the inevitable changes–some subtle, some not, in you them, everything around us. “All things pass and nothing stays the same.

Monday, 8/6: DWFDW @ Malcolm X, 9am-3pm (Mandatory, unless it isn’t);

Tuesday, 8/7: DWFDW @ Malcolm X, 9am-3pm (Mandatory? Optional? Recommended? Our new VP’s letter says “Faculty are required to report on August 6th,” which is a little ambiguous regarding our reporting obligations for the rest of the week. Anybody know the story?);

Wednesday, 8/8: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Thursday, 8/9: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Friday, 8/10: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Saturday, 8/11: Business as usual as far as I know.

(One last question…last year we were required to attend five sessions of local FDW to fulfill our PD obligations. This year, I’ve seen no guidance on requirements, except the implied mandatoriness of it all and the Union letter. Anybody hear anything on this topic?)

Tuesday Teaching Talk (TTT)

Tuesday Teaching Talk is a regular feature which, as the name implies, is an opportunity to talk explicitly about teaching (and learning) in the practical and philosophical sense that happens on, you guessed it, Tuesday. Hold on to your hats.  The CAST coordinators (yes there are 2 of us) are tasked with supplying TTTs to you.  Look for questions, videos, tips, etc.  Enjoy!

I’m off for the summer with my grades all turned in as of this morning.  TTT slipped my mind.

Are your grades done?

Are you like me and planning to do a cost/benefit analysis of your teaching this past semester?

Would you be interested in creating course sites across the district?  I was toying with the idea of doing this for the courses I teach often.  The site would serve as a storehouse for the activities/handouts/lessons I use (and invariably recreate until I realize that I’ve already made them previously).  Just a thought…

See you at (DW)FDW!  Look out for info on the local portion of FDW which is hopefully not right around the corner, the Wed-Fri of Faculty Development Week, Aug. 8-10.

FDW 2012!!

Faculty Development Week 2012 is right around the corner, sort of.  It will occur, most likely, 2 weeks before the start of classes (Aug. 6-10).  It is the biggest event that CAST is tasked with organizing.  As such, we will work very hard to make sure that it is fantastic once again.  Please complete the survey to help us gather some info from you.  Thanks and enjoy your well-deserved break.

Day 1 (In Review)

So, the first day of this year’s DWFDW is in the books, and I have to say that it went as well and smoothly as last year’s went poorly! I’m sure some of that had to do with the general appreciation for the adjustment down to a two day District Wide event and three days for local business at the colleges–it’s always nice to feel heard.

There were many other things, too, though, that were strikingly different from last year’s event and showed greater understanding of the whole endeavor or improvements with respect to competence with this sort of thing or attention to the things that faculty have been shouting, saying, and whispering over the course of the last year.

For me, at least, it was a significantly better experience in lots and lots of ways, and so I’m sitting here now a bit relieved, a bit satisfied, and a lot hopeful. Among the people I talked to, the sentiment(s) seemed to be similar; nearly every conversation I had gave off a nice kind of cautiously optimistic vibration, which is a nice way to start the year, I’d say.

Kudos to Mike Davis and the whole planning team, I would say (Heather Shevitz had a big role and I know there were a few other people, too, but I don’t know who. Please add any names to whom we can give due credit in the comments if you happen to know them).

How about you? What did you think?

Faculty Development Week 2.0 Predictions

Hey gang, we are days away from our return to work and I thought I’d borrow PhiloDave’s idea regarding predictions (his was for graduation, mine is for FDW).

So what do you tink is gonna give come Monday. I’ve read in my emails that the presidents will be available for lunch. How do you think that’s going to go OR have you already prepared your questions? Something about lunch with the chancellor too? Any thoughts?

What’s the chancellor gonna share with us this year? What about the board? Expecting any surprises?

I for one am waiting for the conjugal union of CCC and MS. The foreplay from last year’s DWFDW is behind us and now it appears that it will be official. BTW, if I read the last board report correctly, I thinks we will only be allowed to keep one year’s worth of emails. Don’t spread rumors now. I said I thought, not I know. I’m real curious how this electronic transition from Groupwise to Outlook will happen. Be protected and safe. Something may have to give.

Ok, enough from me. What do you all have to predict?

HWFDW Schedule

Hi all,

Here is the schedule for our upcoming local portion of Faculty Development Week.  I’ve worked hard to put this together this summer.  I hope you all enjoy it.  Many thanks to those of you who are presenting.  This wouldn’t exist without you.  Thanks to V.P. Metoyer, Dean Bickford, Aretha Hall, Jo Anne Mason and of course Pres. Laackman for the 11th floor support and coordination. Also, thanks to Yev, Chao and Carrie (the officers of CAST) for everything.

Check your e-mail later as well for a few more details.

DWFDW2: What’s the good word?

Lookin’ at my summer calendar, I see that we are weeks, if not days away from DWFDW2. This here post will be a once-a-week feature between now and then in order to have an open line of communication. If you have questions or updates, please post here.

Lookin’ through my emails, it looks like we are in pretty good shape for next week. Former peep, Mike Davis (a current mice-chancellor) sent us a DWFDW2 link. Check it out and start charting your sessions. BTW, I appreciate the chancellor’s tone in her message to the faculty. I think I can work with her words. On the flip side, I am still perplexed/befuddled/bemused by the ‘Gallery Walk’ ’cause I thought we were implementing changes. I was lookin’ forward to doin’ some reinvention readin’ this summer.

As of Tuesday night (yesterday), former peep, John Metoyer, (current interim VP) has announced that the full HWC FDW schedule will be provided today (Wednesday). If I can, I’ll update the post to reflect his next message.

On a side note, it looks like we’ve got some changes comin’ to early registration week. I have to say I am delighted to see these changes and even more delighted to read the rationale for these changes. What can I say other than ‘it’s about time!’ we took a step in the right direction. I’ll take the slow down this semester if it means setting precedent for the semesters that follow. “Helping students through the self-service process will nurture self-reliance.” Amen to that John!

On one final side note, I’m openly askin’ PhiloDave if we can keep a post running all of next week for DWFDW2 and a post running the following week for Early Enrollment. I think we could all benefit from discussing the good, the bad (and this could be good bad as in “you did some bad time on that quick enroll you gots to show me how you did it!” or bad bad as in “that’s bad to see all those sections closed this early!”), and the ugly of these two weeks that build momentum towards the official start of the semester in the classroom on August 22nd. I always feel like these 10 days come and go and we never reflect on them like we do on the 16 weeks of teaching.

Thanks for readin’ peeps. This is the last you’ll hear from me about DWFDW2. See y’all next week at MX and HWC!