Last week while hosting one of my Coffee with Cole sessions I shared a few items that I am working on and I got a somewhat surprising reaction. One of the people there said something to the effective of, “wow, I had no idea we were doing all of that!” I know I shouldn’t be surprised by that because I have so little time or opportunity to share all of what we are working on … it did, however, strike me as an opportunity to go back to doing something I really love doing — making podcasts to share with my team.
I remember back in 2005 when I became the director of Education Technology Services at Penn State I was using podcasts internally to help share the work of our team with both the outside world and internally. There was a method to the madness — we were launching our institutional podcasting service so I was also trying to promote the use of the technology in an interesting way. I remember getting good feedback from members of my team — they said things like, “wow, I had no idea we were doing all of that!” Sounds pretty familiar. Podcasting some thoughts and updates served to bring my team into a larger conversation at the organizational level, while still letting them focus on their specific work. That was a good idea then and I hope it is a good idea now.
The notion of sharing information is a tricky one. Quite a bit of what I am doing isn’t really all that shareable … a lot of it is either in-process thinking or stuff still in the negotiation process. That shouldn’t stop me from trying to connect some dots across DoIT though and so with that in mind, I am going to work to release a short audio update on a regular basis. This past week I released the first one using our private Yammer space and got a decent reaction from members of the DoIT team. I did have a couple people say that there are folks outside DoIT who might be interested in listening and since this first one doesn’t have an super secret stuff in it, I am including it below.
If you listen and have any thoughts about this notion, please share them in the comments.
We walk around with a shared value in DoIT that is focused on all of us and our growth.
“We will actively hire great people, develop the growth of our staff, promote a diversity of voices, and support our staff.”
I want so badly to make sure that we as an organization find ways to support growth in a systematic way through professional development. It is a struggle to do that however — events are limited, interests are all over the place, funding is always an issue, and finding time is a complicated endeavor.
With those thoughts as context, I’ve been discussing how important it is for us all to share our experiences at conferences, training events, and growth opportunities through participation through IT Travel & Training Reports. I’m not thinking of ultra formal reports that end up in a manger’s email, I am thinking about ways to share experiences widely so that all of us in DoIT and beyond can learn from each other. I am willing to share most thoughts on such events in the open, but I also understand that everyone isn’t comfortable with that, so I wanted to offer ways for both to happen.
Participation allows us to:
Share our experiences with a diversity of people
Help each other evaluate opportunities
Help ensure that training dollars are used wisely and the community can learn from other experiences
Share Your Experiences
Travel and training takes time and money. Let’s work to maximize that investment across Stony Brook by sharing information. Let your peers know where you went, what you did, and what you thought by sharing your experiences in SB You and the “IT Travel and Training” group in Yammer.
To get started:
We’ve created a standard list of questions that can be found in the “IT Travel and Training” group in Yammer as a guide to sharing your experiences. Simply use those to create a shareable report in Yammer.
Or if you’re like me and you are already blogging your experiences using SB You, please add the tag “sbuittravel” to your blog posts, and then share links to your posts in the IT Travel and Training group. By using this tag, all results can be aggregated together into a single search result.
When we all share, our contributions can be shared with the Stony Brook community and we can all grow and learn together.
We just posted a new invite for Coffee with Cole … all I can say is that I love these. Each time I have one I leave feeling so energized by the interactions. I enjoy the informal setting and the opportunity to just sit back and talk to one another.
When I was at Penn State, my CIO held similar sessions and I never attended — I guess I figured since I worked for him on a regular basis that it wasn’t for me. He always told me otherwise, but I wanted to leave a seat for others to get a chance to hang out with him. I just simply didn’t understand how different getting together over coffee creates a different dynamic. The conversations are about us in a very different way when it isn’t a staff meeting, an IT Partners gathering, or a meeting in general. It gives us a chance to get to know one another in a more holistic way and that is the win. Its funny, when I told my old boss I was adopting this idea he immediately told me how much I would love it and how much I would learn. As was typical with Kevin, he has been right. So sign up — no matter who you are or what you do at Stony Brook. It is a chance to engage in ways that are so rare at work. Oh, and you get to be in a group selfie!
I had an excellent meeting today with some colleagues in the College of Business to discuss the Innovation Center here at Stony Brook. The real point of the meeting was to look at space and discuss how to best use and support it. What I saw reminded me of a blank canvas that I know could be transformed into something that would inspire the faculty, students, and clients who would participate in it. One of the other things we discussed was the inclusion of a One Button Studio space to support pitches, practice presentations, and the like.
I promised the Dean I would assemble some photos from spaces that I have either had a direct hand in or have visited. So instead of sending them in an email, I just decided to post them here. Most of these are from Penn State … the Krause Innovation Studio in the College of Education. I was lucky enough to have a hand in that one and even to teach in the connected classroom … the space is unique in that it is designed to be a BYOD space — with large collaborative tables and displays. Really a great space. There are also a few pictures from the Pattee Library Knowledge Commons, one of our larger computing labs with collaborative spaces, and some spaces from a visit to the University of Michigan. I am happy to talk learning space with anyone interested.