Flexibility is Going to be Key

Flexibility is Going to be Key

“If you look to the future, it’s really going to be necessary for faculty to have a good degree of flexibility. They’ll need to be flexible enough to use new technology, flexible enough to respond to the changing student body. Appointment types are changing.”

– Chronicle of Higher Education

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Librarian as Futurist

Librarian as Futurist

To reimagine the production of knowledge so that it invites sustained play—poetry, dance, theater, games of science and history, role-playing and pedagogy, urban ecology and invention, sustainability and material sciences, questions about the limits of tolerance and difference, immersion in the sounds of natural languages preserved, formal languages refined, ancient music, and future texts—this is the university in the age of delightenment.

Johanna Drucker

The Quantified Self – Hack your way to better health

The Quantified Self – Hack your way to better health

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We are fortunate to live at a time when technology is enabling the exploration of solutions because of expanded connectivity. Digital technologies connect us to each other and to information at an ever increasing rate. One of the interesting fields that is gaining quick traction in this space is called the Quantified Self Movement. It is essentially self-knowledge through self-tracking.

This is not new. Benjamin Franklin famously tracked 13 personal virtues in a daily journal to push himself toward moral perfection. Not sure how well that worked, but our curiosity and capacity for self-scrutiny remains intact. If anything, our house of mirrors has gained momentum with new gadgets that make data collection cheaper and more convenient.

Big data and wearable tech allow us to quantify biometrics we never knew existed. Want to know your insulin or cortisol levels, or sequence your DNA, or learn what microbial cells inhabit your body? There’s an app for that. Apple’s app store’s medical category has more than 13,000 individual apps for download. The mobile health industry is estimated to be worth $400 million by 2016, according to ABI Research. Last year, mobile users downloaded 247 million health-related apps, according to market research company Research2Guidance.

Pew Research points out that about 69% of US adults track at least one health metric. Here are some of the more popular tools in use today:

  1. Want to lose weight? Keep a food log. Use MyFitnessPal, pen and paper, or just take a picture. Tracking your food intake will lead to interesting insights about your diet and health. A 2008 study also showed that the act of tracking food further facilitates weight loss.
  2. Searching for happiness? Track your mood. AskMeEvery tracks your mood for 3 months and might add insight to your personal and professional barometer readings. Other good apps include MercuryApp and TrackYourHappiness. We often are not mindful of our changing moods or the factors that affect them. Tracking them daily keeps us self-aware.
  3. Need to move more? Track your activity. There are tons of great tools including Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP, Basis, Omron, Moves, and more. Your iPhone can also track your activity.

Why do people go to the trouble of tracking health data for themselves or for loved ones? Some say they get results:

  • 46% of trackers say that this activity has changed their overall approach to maintaining their health or the health of someone for whom they provide care.
  • 40% of trackers say it has led them to ask a doctor new questions or to get a second opinion from another doctor.
  • 34% of trackers say it has affected a decision about how to treat an illness or condition.

Track your way to health and happiness? Beats wasting time looking at cute kitten videos on uTube . . .

Monday . . .

Monday . . .

Tony Wagner is my new hero. He speaks and writes about change leadership and the transformation of education in the 21st c.

His blog is loaded with ideas and this video rocked my world. These seven survival skills he cites are worth internalizing and making part of all your learning outcomes.

Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills . . . as defined by business leaders in their own words:

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

“The idea that a company’s senior leaders have all the answers and can solve problems by themselves has gone completely by the wayside…The person who’s close to the work has to have strong analytic skills. You have to be rigorous: test your assumptions, don’t take things at face value, don’t go in with preconceived ideas that you’re trying to prove.”
—Ellen Kumata, consultant to Fortune 200 companies

Collaboration Across Networks & Leading By Influence

“The biggest problem we have in the company as a whole is finding people capable of exerting leadership across the board…Our mantra is that you lead by influence, rather than authority.”
—Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Cisco

Agility & Adaptability

“I’ve been here four years, and we’ve done fundamental reorganization every year because of changes in the business…I can guarantee the job I hire someone to do will change or may not exist in the future, so this is why adaptability and learning skills are more important than technical skills.”
—Clay Parker, President of Chemical Management Division of BOC Edwards

Initiative & Entrepreneurship

“For our production and crafts staff, the hourly workers, we need self-directed people…who can find creative solutions to some very tough, challenging problems.”
—Mark Maddox, Human Resources Manager at Unilever Foods North America

Effective Oral & Written Communication

“The biggest skill people are missing is the ability to communicate: both written and oral presentations. It’s a huge problem for us.”
—Annmarie Neal, Vice President for Talent Management at Cisco Systems

Accessing & Analyzing Information

“There is so much information available that it is almost too much, and if people aren’t prepared to process the information effectively, it almost freezes them in their steps.”
—Mike Summers, Vice President for Global Talent Management at Dell

Curiosity & Imagination

“Our old idea is that work is defined by employers and that employees have to do whatever the employer wants…but actually, you would like him to come up with an interpretation that you like—he’s adding something personal—a creative element.”
—Michael Jung, Senior Consultant at McKinsey and Company