Having Difficult Conversations

Chancellor Carey has asked the UAS CELT team to work on programs that deal with the impact of social media, and also to prepare you for difficult conversations. Last week I touched on social media. This week we will take a look at difficult conversations. Like last week, this post is only a very small piece of the larger puzzle, and is not intended to prepare you for all situations you may face.

Preparing for Difficult Conversations

Cartoon of two people with a number between then.  One is saying it's a 6, while the other says it's a 9.

Difficult conversations happen in the classroom, between faculty, staff, and administration, and also outside of school. I wanted to get started with a set of steps to help you prepare for difficult conversations. The following comes from Ashira Prossack, who is a coach, speaker, and journalist for Forbes magazine.

Be direct.

  • When having a difficult conversation, be direct and get to the point quickly.
  • Don’t give feedback sandwiches (say something nice; then critical feedback – what you actually want to say; then say something nice again)
  • Don’t give an excess of compliments. Feedback sandwiches and excess compliments will mask the point of the conversation and lessen its impact. Difficult conversations become even more difficult when the delivery is muddled.  
  • Dive right into the critique. Most of the time, the person you’re talking to knows that a critique is coming, so rather than dancing around the subject, just get to it.

Be specific.

  • Be honest and thorough with your feedback, and fully clarify why you’re having the conversation.
  • Offer as many concrete examples as possible so the person understands you’re not just pulling things out of thin air.
  • The more clarity you can provide, the better the critique will be received.

Plan out the conversation.

  • Don’t do this in the spur of the moment.
  • You want to think of what you’re going to say, as well as anticipate how the other person might react. Think of the questions they might ask and have answers prepared.
  • The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to stay even tempered and not get flustered, and therefore deliver a more solid critique.

Watch your language.

  • The actual words you use during the conversation matter. You must outline the critique and the reason you’re having the conversation, but don’t stop there.
  • You’ll also want to talk about the outcome you’d like to see.
  • Illustrating what a positive outcome looks like creates a goal that can be worked toward.

Offer a solution.

  • Nothing is worse than delivering a critique and leaving it just at that. You’ll want to clearly explain:
    • the reason for the conversation,
    • the specific critique, and
    • then offer suggestions to improve.

Manage your emotions.

Cartoon of a boy and girl yelling at each other
  • You want to speak in an even tone and keep it professional. Don’t let your emotions dictate your delivery.
  • If you get emotional, so will the other person. This is especially important when the conversation is with someone who you care greatly for or work closely with. In this situation, take a step back and remove the relationship from the equation.
  • It can help if you simply look at things from a fact based standpoint, and focus solely on that. When emotions start to take over, remind yourself that the more in control you are of your emotions, the better you’ll be able to deliver the message.

Be empathetic.

  • While your delivery of the message should be stoic, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t empathize. Think of how the other person will feel during the conversation, and allow them to process their emotions.
  • If you see they’re really struggling with what you’ve said, pause for a minute while they collect themselves.
  • Clearly explain why you’re having the conversation to help them fully understand where you’re coming from.
  • If they’re really taking the news poorly, remind them that you’re delivering this critique to make them better, and you want to see them succeed.

Allow the other person to ask questions.

  • Questions serve a double purpose. Asking questions helps the other person process what’s happened, and it allows you to clarify and solidify details of the conversation.
  • If you aren’t sure that the other person fully comprehended the conversation, ask clarifying questions to check their understanding.

Next time you have to have a difficult conversation, keep these points in mind to ensure that it’s productive and well received.


Conflict Resolution

A situation we frequently find ourselves in is being in the middle of a conflict between people with opposite viewpoints. I think many of us are feeling this right now, and often we tend to try and pick a side, but is this the best solution? What else can we do?

Graph showing conflict resolution with axis being concern for others and concern for self.

Interpersonal conflict has been defined as:

“An expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals.”

I bet that sounds familiar to all of us!

Here are five strategies for dealing with conflict:

  1. Compete or Fight – This is the classic win/lose situation, where the strength and power of one person wins the conflict.
    • It has its place, but anyone using it needs to be aware that it will create a loser and, if that loser has no outlet for expressing their concerns, then it will lead to bad feelings. This strategy is probably best only used where little or no further contact is necessary between the individuals or groups concerned.
  2. Collaboration – This is the ideal outcome: a win/win situation.
    • However, it requires input of time from those involved to work through the difficulties, and find a way to solve the problem that is agreeable to all. This may be hard work, especially if the positions have already become entrenched, but it is also likely to be the best possible starting point early in a conflict situation.
  3. Compromise or Negotiation – This is likely to result in a better result than win/lose, but it’s not quite win/win. You could call it a no-score draw.
    • Both parties give up something in favor of an agreed mid-point solution. This effectively results in a solution that pleases nobody very much, but hopefully will not offend or upset anyone too much. It takes less time than collaboration, but is likely to result in less commitment to the outcome because it is nobody’s preferred option.
  4. Denial or Avoidance – This is where everyone pretends there is no problem.
    • This strategy is used surprisingly often and can be quite effective. It is particularly helpful if those in conflict need time to ‘cool down’ before any discussion, or if the conflict is unimportant and will simply resolve itself given time.
    • However, it cannot be used if the conflict won’t just die down. Under these circumstances, using this strategy will create a lose/lose situation: there will still be bad feeling, but no clearing the air through discussion. It results, in Transactional Analysis terms, in ‘I’m not OK, you’re not OK’. This can result in serious stress for those involved.
  5. Smoothing Over the Problem – On the surface, harmony is maintained but, underneath, there is still conflict.
    • This is similar to the situation above, except that one person is probably OK with this smoothing, while the other remains in conflict, creating a win/lose situation again. It can work where preserving a relationship is more important than dealing with the conflict right now. It is, however, not very useful if one person, or others outside the conflict, feel that the situation must be resolved.

Are we in the Revenge Business?

As we enter 2021, we may be trying to claim victory over the conflicts we’ve been dealing with for years. I wanted you to see this 2 minute clip from actor Mandy Patinkin, who played Inigo Montoya in Rob Reiner’s 1987 film The Princess Bride.

I believe that Mandy Patinkin makes a good point, and that we need to sit down, take a deep breath or three, and think about where we want to be. It’s time to get out of the “revenge business” and start having the difficult conversations.


I want to close by sharing a statement by Chancellor Carey that was sent the morning after the January 6th riot at the Capital.

Photo of UAS Chancellor Karen Carey

“The events of January 6, 2021 will be examined in the following days, weeks, and perhaps decades as a part of history.  As a university, UAS will engage as part of the fabric of our community and nation, recognizing freedom of speech, academic freedom, and respect for one another as part of civil discourse.  We will stand by our values of excellence in teaching and community engagement, and collaboration and understanding.  Violence, or any threat of violence, is never the answer.”


I want to stress again, that this is the tip of a very, very large iceberg, and this post only scratches the surface. Stay tuned for more training by the CELT team. Have a great weekend, “embrace your fellow human beings,” and as always, thank you for reading the Faculty Learning Corner.

Conflict Resolution and Mediation. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/conflict-and-mediation.html

Prossack, A. (2020, September 09). How To Have Difficult Conversations At Work. Retrieved January 12, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/10/28/how-to-have-difficult-conversations-at-work/?sh=7a09bbc710b7

UAS Chancellors Office. (2021, January 7). A Message from UAS Chancellor Karen Carey [E-mail].

The Impacts of Social Media

The Globe with Social Media logos around it.

Chancellor Carey, in light of the historic events of January 6th, has asked UAS’s CELT team for programs that focus on a couple of key areas of our current lives.

My FLC today will touch on the impacts of social media, while next week we will talk about “difficult conversations.”  My hope is that these two weeks can help jump-start this dialog, as CELT prepares a more thorough look at these topics at a later date. 

Why Social Media

Why is social media used?

Here are the most popular reasons for internet users worldwide to use social media as of the 4th quarter 2018:

Reasons why users use social media.  click for accessible graph

Social media has been gaining traction over the last 15 to 20 years. In 2005, just 5% of adults in the US were on at least one social media platform, where as today that number is closer to 70% (and over 80% for teens).

Social media is a place where you can keep in touch with long distance relations, and even make new friends. It’s a place that can be an outlet for creativity.

Are there Negatives to Social Media?

Yes, there are negatives to social media. It is reported that 20% of the population gets all their news from social media, a place where it’s often hard to know fact from opinion. It can also be employed to disseminate information quickly, whether the information is factual or not. Social Media has also created a situation where marginal views can be quickly brought to the main-stream by grouping with others that are like minded.

Not only is it difficult to know what is “real” (It must be true, I found it on the internet) but it’s not even clear if individuals are real. They might be presenting their true-self, or they might be creating a false-self, as Brad Paisley shows us in the video below.

Social Media at the University – Opportunities and Challenges

Here at UAS we use social media in some very good ways. It helps us to brand the university and helps us get the UAS message out in a very personalized way. It allows students, faculty, staff, and the general public to connect and see what we are up to.

Opportunities in the Classroom

The University of Washington has identified the following opportunities for Faculty:

  • Students would like to see more opportunities to use social media in the classroom, because research shows that “social media assists students with acquiring new information, facilitates connections with course material and peers, and improves productivity.”
  • Students would like an increase in their ability to use their mobile devices. Mobile device ownership has risen with social media access and students see a benefit in mobile device usage as a tool for peer to peer and student/teacher interaction.
  • Students build connections with peers, faculty, and make campus connections via social media. “In 2015, 31% of UW students said they felt they would be more effective if better skilled at using social media as a learning tool.” In 2015 56% of UW students said that they were using social media as a learning tool.

Challenges in the Classroom

Here are challenges identified at the University of Washington:

  • Students want to keep their academic life separate from their social life. Many are wary of the use of social media in academics and how it might impact their privacy.
  • Behaviorally “the intensity of social media use contributes to … unproductive behaviors, including behaviors that may distract from the task at hand.”
  • Both students and faculty are concerned about the distracting nature of social media. A majority of students find that “technology devices and services, including social media, sometimes prevents them from concentrating.” Instructors think of social media as a source of entertainment and 63% of instructors found the use of mobile devices in the classroom distracting to students.

UW Recommendations

University of Washington’s IT Department has come up with recommendations for Using Social Media in the Classroom. These recommendations help with preparing, applying, and managing social media in the classroom.

UW Recommendation chart - accessible by the link Using Social Media in the Classroom

Final Thoughts

This is really the tip of a rather large iceberg, and I am sure CELT will be offering training on this subject this semester. There is a lot to cover, including cyberbullying, FERPA issues and sharing information, and even social media friendships. Social media is not going away, so it’s best to know all you can!

Two men sitting at a table.  First one says "How was your vacation?" and second one says, "I'm analyzing it now.  The photo only got 8 likes but one of them was from someone really influential."

Have a great weekend and thank you for reading the FLC!! Next week we’ll discuss having difficult conversations.

Happy Holidays 2020

I know one of my favorite things about the Holiday season is the music.  The ability to find live music events has changed with COVID, but there are still opportunities to find great music online.  As my holiday gift to you, I’ve assembled a list of  links to a number of virtual concerts.  Some are free and some have a ticketing component, but all will help you get in the Christmas spirit.  


Links to Free Events

Here are free events that you can enjoy by streaming the content. Remember that even with a free event, these musicians have done a lot of work to make this happen, so please think of donating to these groups if you are able.  Thank you for supporting musicians!!


A COVID Christmas with the Celaire Studio!

Covid Christmas singers, all wearing masks

Here is an event that happened December 3rd, but can be viewed now – This is a concert by members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks vocal performance program. This group is made up of students who study under UAF music professor Jaunelle Celaire. 

You will be able to watch this performance on Facebook live. Here is a link to “A COVID Christmas.”


Alaska Chamber Singers

Alaska Chamber Singers Logo

Tonight, Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. (Alaska Time) the Alaska Chamber Singers will present holiday classics from Anchorage. Watch for the link to the concert on the Alaska Chamber Singers Facebook page shortly before 7:00 pm. Here is The Alaska Chamber Singers YouTube channel.


Anchorage Concert Chorus

Anchorage Concert Chorus logo

On Sunday, December 20, at 4:00 PM, the Anchorage Concert Chorus will present a virtual holiday pops performance. More information can be found at anchorageconcertchorus.org or on the Anchorage Concert Chorus YouTube channel. 


A Singalong Christmas – London Symphony Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra logo

Here is a free event that happened on December 13th. It’s the London Symphony Orchestra’s annual Christmas spectacular. This event was hosted on YouTube and you can watch on demand! Here is the link to the London Symphony Orchestra’s Singalong Christmas!


An Irish Christmas Concert

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a big fan of Celtic music. If you want a good Irish Christmas, this is the concert to tune in to!
Here is a link to An Irish Christmas Concert!


Spirit of Alaska

Spirit of Alaska logo

The last free concert I wanted to share may be the most important. This concert is by Alaska artists and is part of an effort to combat hunger in Alaska. Click this link to Help Hungry Alaskans. This free concert celebrates the joy of coming together to help Alaskans in need, and the first $50,000 donated will be matched by First National Bank!

Here is the link to the Spirit of Alaska Holiday Concert


Paid Events

Here are a few “ticketed” events, in which you will need to purchase a ticket to watch. It’s best if you buy these tickets in advance, so there is no scrambling at the last minute to watch.


Juneau Symphony and Sitka Holiday Brass

“Holiday Cheer” virtual concert is happening Sunday December 20th at 3:00 pm (pre-concert talk with Franz Felkl and Roger Schmidt at 2:30 pm). This concert is a collaboration between the Juneau Symphony and the Sitka Holiday Brass.

Holiday Cheer Poster
  • A ticket for this event is $30
  • You can watch “live” on Sunday December 20, or
  • You can watch “on-demand” until January 3rd
  • Here is the link to Holiday Cheer Concert Tickets.

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is an annual favorite for many families. I did a lot of research because I found ticket prices to be expensive for many ballet companies. I finally decided to share Ballet Chicago’s Nutcracker. The events will be shown “live” on seven dates, although what you see will actually be one of four archived performances. Tickets are normally $26, but I found a half price option (only $13), which is what I am sharing with you in the links below. All times have been adjusted to Alaska time.

Ballet Chicago Nutcracker poster

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is performing their first virtual event tonight, Friday December 18th at 4:00 PM Alaska Time.  The show will be “Christmas Eve & Other Stories.”  Click the picture for a preview of the event.

  • The ticket for “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” costs $30.
  • You can watch “live” on Friday, December 18 (4:00 pm Alaska Time; “Doors open” at 3:30 for pre-show footage), or
  • You can watch “on-demand” anytime between December 18 and Sunday, December 20th
  • Here is the link to Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tickets. And here are video instructions.

Thank you for reading the FLC. Happy Holidays and enjoy the break!!

Adobe Flash Solutions

Adobe Flash logo

In last weeks FLC, I reminded you that Adobe Flash was at “end of life” on December 31st.  Flash content will be blocked from running on Flash Players beginning on January 12, 2021. 

I also wanted to remind you of which file formats you want to look for when you assess if you have Flash content in your courses.  The formats to look for are:

  • FLV
  • FLA
  • SWF

If you need more information go back and take a look at last weeks posting – Flash Player – End of Life.

Converting Your Flash Files

If you have Flash content in your course, and you know that you have the original files saved, you can convert the files to a new format that will continue to work.

For example, you can convert a SWF file to an MP4. To do that you will need a program that does this conversion.

CloudConvert Logo

CloudConvert converts your video files online. cloudconvert.com is a free way to get started. With this tool, you can convert 25 minutes for free per day. (You can also buy a package that allows you to convert more.)

There is nothing to download. You use it right on the web.

This will only work if you have the original files. You might find that you don’t have access to these files, such as if you took over a course from another faculty member.

I don’t have my Original Flash Files

If you still have a Flash file in your course, but cannot find the original file, all hope is not lost. You may need to screencast the Flash video. If there were interactive elements, these will be lost.

TechSmith Capture Logo

There are a few tools out there for screen-casting. One I would recommend is TechSmith Capture. This is the replacement tool for Jing, which many of you have probably used. Jing was discontinued because it was Flash based!! Capture works in a very similar way and will record what you see on your screen. So play your Flash file, and capture that in video form.

Screencast-o-matic Logo

Another popular tool is Screencast-o-matic. This is another tool you can use to screen-cast your old Flash videos.

If you did have interactive elements, again, these will be lost, and it will take time and an authoring tool to recreate that experience. You will need a program such as Adobe Captivate, or Articulate to get this done.

If I find Flash Player available for download on a third-party website, should I use it?

The general thought on this is No, don’t use a 3rd party tool.  These versions of Flash Player are not authorized by Adobe, and it is not recommended to use unauthorized versions of Flash Player. Unauthorized downloads are a common source of malware and viruses.


I hope this was helpful. I you have questions or need additional help, please contact CELT or your campus Instructional Designer. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!

Flash Player – End of Life

We are ending the first week of December so I wanted to remind you of the “End of Life” for Adobe Flash.  The last day for Flash is December 31, 2020.

History

Flash Logo

Flash started out as SmartSketch, which was created by FutureWave Software in around 1993. It was retooled with animation features and renamed FutureSplash Animator, and was a competitor to Macromedia Shockwave.

In 1996 FutureSplash was bought by Macromedia and renamed Macromedia Flash 1.0, and included a Macromedia Flash Player. According to Wikipedia, by 2005, more computers worldwide had Flash Player installed than any other Web media format, including Java, QuickTime, RealNetworks, and Windows Media Player.

On December 3, 2005, Adobe purchased Macromedia. Over the next nine years Adobe continually improved Flash, and by May of 2014 they had 1 Billion installations logged worldwide.

Even with the success, Adobe found they were losing users to other more secure technology such as HTML5. Adobe decided to end the life of Flash in July 2017.

Formats

To check if you have Flash content in your course, you need to know what formats to look for.

  • *.flv – These files are editable Adobe Flash files and may be animation, movies, or another Flash application
  • *.fla – These files would contain graphics and animation, and could contain bitmap images, audio files, or FLA Video.
  • *.swf – These are a movie file, which you might know as a Shockwave Flash movie, or a Flash movie. These may require a Flash Player.

Finding Flash Content

The first thing I would suggest when searching for Flash content, is to go through your course. Look at places where you have multimedia, and look for the following message to “Enable Adobe Flash Player.” This is a Flash file that uses a Flash player to open content.

Picture of black screen that says Enable Adobe Flash Player

The next place to look is in each drive that you have course content saved, and check them for Flash Content. Using File Explorer, first pick the drive where your course files are saved. Then go to the search bar and type in one of the three file types (for example *.swf).

Note: The star (*) serves as a “wildcard” for this search, so any files that have the swf extension will be found.

File explorer with the File and the Search bar highlighted

Do this for all three of the extensions on any drive that might contain course content files.

Once you have done that, you will know what possible Flash files may be in your courses. Now you will need to do an inventory to figure out if any of your saved Flash files are actually in your courses. When I did this, I found that I had Flash files, but they were just saved, and not part of my courses.

Do not delete any files that are in your courses yet. Next week I will give you some strategies for fixing these Flash files.

Thanks for reading the FLC, and I’ll see you next week!

Thanksgiving 2020

Wow! Who would have thought last March that we would still be in the situation we are in? Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and the Holiday break is coming up fast. To keep you as safe as possible during these times I wanted to reinforce the note Michael Ciri sent to UAS employees this week by breaking Alaska’s new health guidelines down a bit.

Traveling into Alaska

  • The Governor has not enacted a statewide mandate, other than stating what communities cannot do to restrict travel. Travel mandates are controlled by individual communities, so you will want to look closely at travelling restrictions set up by the city or village you are traveling to to find out what their rules are.
  • There is a breakdown of State testing requirements (interpreted as I read them – your results may vary!):
    • Will your “out of state family” be in Alaska for less than 72 hours?
      • Recommendation is for a SARS-CoV-2 molecular test within 5 days(?) after arrival – (hmmmm, in my opinion that could be clearer)
      • Follow social distancing until a negative test is received
    • Will your “out of state family” be in Alaska for more than 72 hours?
      • They should have a SARS-CoV-2 molecular test with 72 hours prior to travel and should have a negative test prior to traveling.
      • Five days after arriving a second test is recommended, and strict social distancing should be observed until that test result is shown to be negative
      • If they do not get tested they need to observe strict social distancing for 14 days
  • Anyone shown to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 must isolate until cleared by a medical professional – NO TRAVELING while infected!

What is Strict Social Distancing?

Here is how Alaska defines strict social distancing:

  1. Strict social distancing is allowed after you have had one negative test result from a test taken within 72 hours of departure or on arrival into Alaska. (I assume you will want to quarantine without the test result)
  2. You may be in an outdoor public place, but you must remain six feet away from anyone not in your immediate household, and you must wear a face covering. You may arrange curbside shopping or have food delivery.
  3. You cannot enter restaurants, bars, gyms, community centers, sporting facilities (i.e., ice rinks, gymnasiums, and sports domes), office buildings, and school or daycare facilities. Do not participate in any group activities, including sporting events and practices, weddings, funerals, or other gatherings.
  4. This 14 day window can be shortened if you receive a negative result from a (optional) second molecular-based test for SARS-CoV-2, which you take between five and 14 days after arrival into Alaska.

Please take a look at Health Order #6 for further details. Also, keep in mind that the issue with COVID19 has always been asymptomatic spread. We cannot be reactive to cases, because by the time someone become symptomatic or shows a positive test, they have probably spread the virus to numerous people, especially if they have not been social distancing.

So going forward, let’s be in a mindset that everyone is an asymptomatic carrier. If we can do that effectively, which means wearing masks and social distancing, we can significantly reduce the transmission of this virus.

Be safe this Thanksgiving and have a wonderful weekend! I’ll see you in a couple weeks!

Setting up Appointments in Google Calendar

As the Semester winds down, and you get more questions from students, my tip for today is to use Google Calendar to set up Office Hour Appointment slots. This is easily done in your Google Calendar.

The following video will walk you through the process.

If you still have questions on setting up or sharing appointment slots here is a link to Google Calendar appointment slots from the Google Help Center.

The important part of this is to not send a Google Calendar link, as if you are inviting someone to a meeting, but to click on the Block of appointments on your calendar and then click on “Go to appointment page for this calendar.”

Once you do that, you will be taken to the page showing the slots. Copy the URL address, and then paste it into an email or, for Office Hours, into a class announcement. And don’t worry, only the appointment block shows up when anyone else opens this link – they don’t see the rest of your calendar.

I hope this tip is one that helps you out. Have a great weekend, and thank you for reading the FLC.

The Mystery Box – with JJ Abrams

Today I thought something lighter might be good. With so many stressors in our lives right now, sometimes it is good to step back and just be entertained. But because this is a “learning” site, I wanted to give you something to think about also. I think this video accomplishes both. It’s an opportunity to look a bit deeper into yourself and perhaps unlock hidden potential.

Our lives are filled with mystery. In this 18 minute video, director, producer, and screenwriter, JJ Abrams (Lost, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Star Wars VII, Star Wars IX), takes us through the mystery of life – the unexpected turns and the meaningful moments – as he reminisces about the “mystery box” he got at a magic store when he was a kid.

Mysteries in our lives equal infinite possibility, infinite hope, infinite potential, and gives us greater imagination. This is important because everything that we do in life we think about first. We need to go beyond basic knowledge, and have some unknowns to enrich our lives.

As JJ Abrams says in the Ted Talk, “Look inside yourself and figure out what is inside you.” Our potential increases as we get to know ourselves better, and accept ourselves.

I hope you enjoyed this FLC. Stay safe and sane and I’ll see you next week!

Managing COVID Fatigue

You’ve probably heard the term “COVID Fatigue,” but what is it, and do I have it?  

COVID Fatigue is an overall sense of exhaustion due to the extra demands of dealing with COVID. Here is what health-care providers are seeing: people who are feeling defeated, burned out, and individuals with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug dependency.

Person with a mask surrounded by Caution signs
Photo illustration by Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com

University of Wisconsin Health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain has some tips to help you manage. Below are four main areas of COVID Fatigue, and some coping mechanisms for each one:

  1. Change fatigue and uncertainty burnout  
    • Radical acceptance that life will continue to be difficult for a while.
    • Find the silver lining.
    • Look for activities new and old that continue to fulfill you.
  2. Depleted surge capacity
    • “Take 5” mindfulness practice to recharge.
    • Expect less from yourself – cut yourself some slack and give yourself some grace.
  3. Zoom burnout
    • 20-20-20 rule (For every 20 minutes you are looking at a screen, look away from the screen and focus on a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds).
    • Consider getting blue light blocking glasses.
    • Use transitions well (getting up and walking for two minutes every hour can help reverse the negative health effects from prolonged sitting. Also consider other formats for meetings, such as a telephone call or shorter meeting where you do some of the work by e-mail).
    • Choose to move: Make physical activity a priority.
  4. “Doom scrolling,” or staying glued to electronic devices to find out information on the disasters and stressors that face our country
    • Limit how much social media you are exposed to.
    • Be mindful of the type of news you are consuming.

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. (2020, September 23). Managing COVID Fatigue is Crucial to Our Health and Wellbeing During the Pandemic. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.uwhealth.org/news/managing-covid-fatigue-is-crucial-to-our-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-pandemic/53530

Thank you for reading the FLC.  Have a great Halloween Weekend, and don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour Saturday night!!!

Top Tools for Learning 2020

For the 14th year in a row, Jane Hart has ranked the top tools in technology, using data she has collected from people around the world. The list was compiled based on 2,369 votes from 45 countries. Of particular interest is the Top 100 Tools for Education. Click on the picture to see the Top 100 lists (Personal, Workplace, and Education tools are all on the same page this year). These lists show the current ranking and the change from last year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Top-Tools-2020.jpg

Here is a link to the main site – https://www.toptools4learning.com/


Look for the menu at the top of the page.

  • About gives you background to the annual survey,
  • Categories breaks down tools into categories (so if you are looking for tools in games and testing, you can easily find them), and
  • Analysis 2020 gives observations about this years results.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these charts.  Where did your favorite tools place?
Have a great weekend and thanks for reading the FLC!