Week in Review: 3/26-4/1


One of my favorite things about my job is that I meet with people from a variety of departments and offices across campus every week to brainstorm and build all sorts of projects. This week, I had meetings every day.

I have been working with Prof. Honorée Jeffers on a couple of websites and some course design throughout this academic year. Meeting with Honorée is always one of the highlights of my week. As much as she’s a gifted storyteller—she was recently recognized with the Harper Lee Award—she’s equally gifted at flattery, and I always walk away from our meetings feeling like I revolutionized the internet and lassoed the moon.

I also had brainstorming meetings for new websites for an upcoming conference and a history database. I love brainstorming meetings, because I get to throw out all sorts of ideas and then sit back while someone else decides what they want to actually implement.

At the end of the week, Keegan and I met with Stacy Jacob from Slippery Rock to discuss research in gamification and gameful learning. Keegan and I need to start writing more, so I’m hoping that we can find some partners like Stacy who will line up prompts for us, give us deadlines, and then hold us accountable for saying something interesting.

New Tech

On Monday, I attended a demo by CodeOcean that Sarah Clayton arranged in the library. Unlike GitHub, which hosts code, CodeOcean allows you to stand up an environment in the cloud to run the code. You can import python or most other open language code sets into your account, tell the system what environment you need and then allow people to run your code for themselves. This improves transparency and reproducibility in code-based research. I really like this concept and have already recommended it to one of the professors who’s looking for ways to share code with and among his students.

I stumbled across Notion.so this week and have already spent a ton of time playing with it. Basically, it’s a cross-platform service that’s designed to be a personal or team dashboard. It combines the functionalities of Trello, a rich-text note taking app, and a wiki. You can embed files or link out to files. I’m using it for personal organization right now to help me make sense of my files that are spread over my local hard-drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Apple Cloud.

What I’m Reading

I’m trying to read a book every week this year. This week I read The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn at the recommendation of both my sister and dad. The book plays off of Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The narrator is a recluse who hasn’t left her house in quite a while and has spent her time watching Hitchcock and other classics. One day she sees something horrible out her window, and the reader is left trying to decide whether to trust the narrator and her view on the world.

I so enjoyed the novel that I read it in one sitting, probably the first time I’ve done that since Harry Potter 7. I’m not a movie buff, so many of the allusions went over my head, but I still found it a gripping and sad story about mental illness and trust. I really recommend this book.

My Top 3 Goals for next week

  • I need to plan out the 3rd Annual OU Creaties for this year. Every year we honor the best students and faculty who created the best new websites and web content in OU Create. I thought last year was a great success, so I’m going to build off of that and add on 3D printed trophies and one or two other new features.
  • Keegan and I need to draft an abstract for an article on our GOBLIN Faculty Learning Community.
  • We are getting closer and closer to OLC Innovate 18. I am running a new online portion of the conference called OLC Live. This week I need to line up the interviews that we will do with keynotes, organizers, and presenters at the conference.

Photo of the week

This photo is actually from last Saturday, but close enough. I got a decent shot of my daughter and my dad walking to the playground together.

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