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Education Life

Is a PhD Worth It?

Is a PhD Worth It? by Chris Cornthwaite

As I continue working toward my own PhD I have found the discussion around the worth of a PhD to be interesting, if not terribly exciting. However, this specific article I think is well-balanced and, in the end, brings it all together with the fact that every educational endeavor’s worthiness is ultimately up to the individual.

Categories
Education Life Technology

Between Two Worlds

I have been spending too much time thinking about digital platforms again. It breaks down into two choices at the moment:

  • Continue working in Apple’s ecosystem for much of my personal and professional life
  • Work to move as much as possible to open source and free software alternatives which may include self-hosting a number of items

I have been able to work with a new ThinkPad T495 over the past months and there is a lot that I like about the machine. While it may be a little larger for a daily-carry device, it is quick, has some paths for upgrading, and is rugged enough to serve day-to-day. If I were going to continue trying to move more and more of my work to open source alternatives, I would probably look at a ThinkPad Carbon X1 as my personal device as the slightly smaller footprint coupled with being around 27% lighter would make a difference.

However, what is holding me back isn’t the device nor is it even the operating system (with openSUSE Tumbleweed continuing to receive updates and serve quite ably) … it is the available software in the community along with the seamlessness of mobile workflows.

This is felt most acutely when it comes to task/todo managers, at least for me. I have been suing OmniFocus for the past 5+ years on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS and it has served me very well. There are a lot of fiddly buttons and options to play around with, but I have fallen into a pretty simple way of handling recurring and then one-off items along with keeping track of different projects or contexts.

However, I have yet to find an equivalent application or option that will work between a Linux distro and any mobile operating system. Of course this is complicated by my want for a competent desktop application. I have looked at Todo.txt a little bit but the need for additional plugins to add recurring tasks and other features included with OmniFocus and the lack of a competent mobile app turns me off from that.

That is just the tip of the iceberg and so I am caught, in a sense, in the Apple ecosystem for the time being as I work to consider what options I may have in the future.

Digital ecosystems are complicated.

Categories
Business Education Life Technology

Team Chat Talk Posted

I was privileged to lead a sectional at the WELS EdTechLead Summit this week and I have finally posted the presentation on this site. It was a lot of fun to be able to talk briefly about team chat platforms and just to show off some of the myriad of options available.

I am hoping to be able to record the presentation and post that in the future, but for right now it is just the slide deck. Thanks!

Categories
Education Life Technology

79. Self-Learning vs. Online Instruction

79. Self-Learning vs. Online Instruction

Research shows that online classes are most effective when there is substantial interaction among the students and between the students and the instructor. In this episode, Dr. Spiros Protopsaltis and Dr. Sandy Baum join us to discuss the possible adverse effects of proposed changes in federal regulations that may reduce the extent of this interaction.

This is a great episode which talks critically about how online education programs can also fail those same people they are meant to serve. For me, lost in some of the discussion around “access” is that online programs have allowed professionals like myself to pursue higher education degrees when I would have just stopped otherwise.

A lot of time and ink is given to other communities, and rightly so, but I am very thankful for the online opportunities that I have been given and is part of the reason that I continue to teach online as well.

Categories
Business Education

The One About Manager READMEs

The One About Manager READMEs by Michael Lopp

In our ninth episode, we discuss the idea of Manager READMEs, vulnerability in the workspace, how Toyota empower its humans, and how much Rands detests drama.

I’m not sure if I will follow through with publicly posting my thoughts, but a bit of self-reflection on what it means to lead for me would probably go a long way in figuring out some things that have been sitting in my head and on my heart for a good number of weeks.