Ok, only 4 days in and I blew it. I missed day 4 of my 30-day blogging challenge. Oh well, I am giving myself a pass since it was a national holiday. Here we go with Day 5.
When I sat down today, I thought I would be ready to revisit the idea of connected learning, but I don’t think today is the day. Instead, I am going to reflect on communication and my disdain for email. I know I am not alone in this feeling. Like many, I get lots of email everyday, I check it on multiple devices and regardless of how I organize, emails get lost. Recently, our Teaching & Learning Innovations team took steps to address this challenge, we made major changes to how we communicate. I am pleased to report the results are quite impressive. The change came about quite organically. We all knew we needed to get away from email if we were going to keep track of our increasing workload. We also needed to have a common understanding of breadth and depth of our projects. Oh, did I mention we are rarely all in one place at one time. Luckily, our team is not afraid to try new tools. We set out to explore and quickly landed on two applications that met our needs, Wunderlist and Slack. Between these two tools we have, shared ToDo lists, categorized instant messaging and an archive of our communication. Most importantly, we have a space that is dedicate to communication from our team. I know when I go into Slack or Wunderlist, I am focused on our team and our projects. Our communication in Slack and Wunderlist does not get buried in the pile of emails or complicated by others being added unexpectedly to the conversation. The combination of these two applications has helped us prioritize the important and not loose track of the less important. We have been using both Slack and Wunderlist for three weeks now, and I must say they have been a three remarkable weeks. First of all, there was zero to no start up pains with either tool. They are both simple to use and do what they say they do. More importantly, our productivity has improved dramatically and the cohesion of our team is off the charts. For years I have been looking for a way to move beyond email and I am happy to say we are well on our way. Thanks Slack and Wunderlist for making great tools. Now I have to get back to checking things off my list!