Most of my work is done in the home. My wife is the primary bread winner, and I'm the primary bread baker. Sometimes I do need to leave my house to work and that's at the local college where I teach classes and supervise student teachers.
Supervising student teachers is a nice opportunity to interact with undergraduates. They are so close to being done, yet face their biggest obstacle of all, student teaching. Our weekly meetings are a bit of hand holding and cheerleading mixed with breakdowns of different analytic assessments. It's quite a mixed bag.
While these meetings may not be similar to your work environment, they do have something useful that you can use. Evernote. Jamie Rubin wrote a good post about adopting new technology in your workplace, writing that, "corporate bureaucracy often makes it difficult, if not impossible to install or use what is considered “non-standard” software". The great part about Evernote is that you can use it personally without needing support from your superiors or without it getting in the way of other software. My college using the Google suite of products, my student teachers have mostly pen and paper, and I'm neck deep in Evernote. They all work.
My use is generating a list of talking points. Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, said in a recent interview, if there is a meeting there should be interaction, if there is a lecture it should be a video. In meetings I create a series of buoys that can guide our conversation with plenty of opportunities for detours.
I also use the linking feature in Evernote to connect to different things. For example, I wanted to talk about the method of negotiation in Getting to Yes and my note looked like this:
- Getting to Yes. The Method
Nothing complicated, but enough structure for there to be valuable information being shared.
Finally, it makes taking meeting notes and sharing those notes easy. Under each of my talking points, I added comments about what was discussed and then emailed the note to my students. That looked something like this.
- Does missing school due to snow matter? No, but missing it as an absence does
- Our rethinking of work to do at home
- Sharing time
- Molly's App Suggestion
- Daniell's "I Can" statements as lesson objectives.
Throughout the week I'll clip, link, and add talking points and then organize them on the morning of the meeting. It's made our meetings richer, smoother, and more organized and it prevents the "Oops, I forgot to share this at the meeting" emails.