the view at 65 is worth it

Friday, February 18, 2011

A case of GMOD

Amidst courses called COMM (Communication)and a graduate degree program called MACT (Master of Arts in Communication and Technology)and all sorts of hi-tech prefixes that consume my expanding vocabulary, I have found time to enjoy a case of GMOD (Grand-Munchkins Over Drive)in Kelowna. I had finished studying about external environments and uncertainty reduction in organizational domains, when I realized I was right in the middle of one with the uncertainty of a distinct possibility of more severe winter weather on two high mountain highways back towards the coast on Wednesday. I'm counting on the memories of an external environment aka 3 adorable grandchildren to carry me through the snow back to our island home. Amazing that I can check road conditions via DriveBC's many highway cams. The images sometimes are foreboding but other times assuring there's a reasonable way to get through. I love distance driving, but through BC's mountains, it's another world, especially when the winter sun shines. But, then it's back to mt computer and a case of COMM /MACT.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

“Thinking visually and prototypically”

An inside look at my process. I think visually. I process graduate studies visually, from doodling on a page, mapping an idea, structurally fitting the part, to penning “to do” lists. I was trained to think that way, combined with a natural inclination towards visual thought. It is my process of fine art drawing ( of course with lots of room for spontaneity and conceptual impulses ).

The process fared me well during my years in the advertising industry and still fares me well in all project management from creating artwork to exhibitions, media, publicity, and graduate studies. My “back to school” journey is beginning to take a much sharper focus in the form of a project portfolio and a final applied research project. Most of my computer work in research is textual. It’s not easy to keep “the large picture” in view, so I create visual maps.

My entries are organized and each document is recorded in the appropriate course folder with duplicates copied to other folders. I keep one massive folder called “research library.” It’s a lot of information, but I can “see” enough to be able to find it when I need it. Sometimes it’s very intimidating and I am overwhelmed by the amount of information I have gathered.

To take my visual thinking another step, I decided to create a prototype of the final research project in the form of a website. When the time is right, I will transfer applicable content from the prototype to the website and direct its “traffic” to the actual applied research project itself. And yes, I have called the project portfolio BIG MACT complete with a picture of a big juicy hamburger. MACT is the acronym for my graduate program. Thinking visually or prototypically is like architecture ( whether online or in real time ). I have a visual idea what the whole thing ( research project ) should look like, but the time is now to examine each component carefully and build a sustainable structure ( context ) based on all the courses towards a satisfactory end result. At least that’s the plan, or should I say “the drawing?”
The picture I took is one of a gale force wind blowing on our island shores yesterday.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

“Virtual Teams”

It’s definitely a new age for me, that is, learning to adapt to team work and technology. A team of five of us just completed an assignment that spanned across three time zones, from as far east as Nova Scotia to a small western Pacific gulf island in British Columbia. No one had been assigned “captain,” so it was pretty much left to all of us to push forward by online discourse and consensus. A valuable lesson in the art of collaborative learning. Like this blog of mine. Its intent is not to advance theoretical or applied knowledge. Its intent is to demonstrate the reality of the learning journey. Many who read this blog belong to that “virtual team out there, somewhere”. Some, such as my collaborative team, I know as newfound friends in real time. But the journey is the same whether virtual or real time. The “e” in eClass is not only for education, or electronic. It’s also for encouragement.

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