Thursday, May 4, 2017

Project Debriefing: Valuable Lessons To Carry Forward

Today is the day a client and I will meet to debrief a workplace learning project (online compliance training game) we’ve delivered yearly for the past five years. It occurred to me in year 2 or 3 to create a lesson’s learned document, given some bumps in the road in the first years of the project. I’ve come to refer to the prior year’s lessons learned as the first step for a new one.

My document covers these items: 
  • Software choice and content strategies
  • Completion numbers  
  • Evaluation numbers, rating average, and specific reviewer remarks
  • Support feedback (two IT groups are involved), and
  • Questions for the HR members in the meeting.
Additionally, here are a few sites that provide some solid tips to focus your own project debrief:

“Four Questions to Ask When You Debrief on a Project”: https://hbr.org/tip/2015/10/the-4-questions-to-ask-when-you-debrief-on-a-project

This site provides four basic, helpful questions, beginning with whether the goal was reached, then moving on to successful or unsuccessful spots, and ending with evaluating which practices should be kept and which should go.

Jason Womack’s “Three Tips for Boosting Productivity with Project Debriefing”: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/222546

In addition to providing questions to consider, this author provides tips on communicating the debriefing content for different communication styles.

Sometimes there will be remarks to add from the HR participants in the meeting. I've come to appreciate how the de-brief document facilitates the meeting's discussion and closure on the given project.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Borrow from your Library or Buy?

April is National Library Month. And here's a tip: By adding the Library Extension to  Chrome, you can see if your local library has titles you may have looked at in Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Good Reads: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/browser-extension-to-find-library-books-on-amazon_us_587cdd32e4b0b3c7a7b20e2e.

Find the extension/app in the App Store, and install it on your Chrome Browser as directed (The site says, the extension for Foxfire is forthcoming.) Select a local library or libraries in the extension to connect their catalogs with Amazon or Good Reads.

Next, if you see a title in Amazon, click on the title, and it will activate the search in your library.

I have been very happy with the results--I can see the number of copies available in our local branches, or where it might be loaned from if an interlibrary loan is needed. I can put a hold on the book with my library card number. The first time out, the book I wanted did need to be loaned from another library, and my own library notified me in a few days that it was available for pick-up.

As an added note, I've had an exchange with the developer. He is a programming professional and created the app to speed up his own search process with his own library. Great contribution.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

How Tech Developments Impact Our Definitions, Our Curricula, Our Knowledge


Yesterday I delivered a work for the the 37th Valley Visual Art Show. While there, a printmaker arrived to deliver her work and what ensued was a discussion about giclee and inkjet prints, and whether they constitute reproductions of an original piece of art.  I went home to do some more research to better understand the effect of digital methods on the print continuum. As an educator, I am also interested in how developments in a field impact knowledge, practice, and in this case, definition.

And in addition to giclee and inkjet, a term relevant to this discussion is digital art, which is “art made or presented with digital technology”( http://www.tate.org.uk/learn/online-resources/glossary/d/digital-art).

Both giclee and inkjet are methods for reproducing/ making a copy of a previously existing work of art. Giclee typically is printed on archival papers (or canvas) and inkjet can even be produced by desktop and the inks are of much lesser quality. Both giclee and inkjet prints differ from printmaking methods that are the means of creating the original artwork itself (seriograph, lithography, monoprint, woodcut, silkscreen), since the artist is creating the work on the plates/surfaces.

In contrast to giclee and inket copy methods for reproductions is digital art. Digital art is the use of technology to actually create an original work.

A prime example of 2D visual art is the use of a table and drawing program by David Hockney. He creates/draws the image using the screen as substrate, then prints the final work with a printer. His artist’s statement also says, These prints “are not reproductions” (http://www.hockneypictures.com/computer_drawings/cd-statement.php). (See also: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1175521/iHockney-Artist-David-uses-Apple-phone-paint-mini-masterpieces.html.)

All of the above methods are different from collage or mixed media, as collage and mixed media might incorporate images. A distinguishing feature of collage and mixed media is that these works ultimately create new works with the images they bring together.

That said, galleries might want to clarify whether copies (reproductions) or original works only will be accepted for exhibit. And artists might consider how the varying productions and reproductions invoke different responses from viewers. #art