Planning and organising
Mark and I have been collaboratively planning our Hardie predominantly using OneNote. Using this tool we have kept a running record of ideas, draft Hardie Fellowship applications, and now as a central location for all of our finalised plans and ongoing research. The OneNote has been a repository for various thoughts, artefacts, links, invoices, receipts, itinerary, etc, that come our way. They are in the one location and can be accessed by either Mark or myself whenever needed. We have both found this very helpful.
All the major Universities have summer courses that you can enroll in and we have selected to study at University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin-Stout. We will be based at the University of Illinois, staying in self-contained student apartments at Orchard Downs.
While the course commencement dates are a little way off, it is interesting to note the efficiency and detail of correspondence between us and the Universities from an early stage - the process of building a connection and relationship between the institution, teacher and the student has already begun - connectedness. For example, for my course, 'E-Learning for Educators' through UWS I already have an outline and assessment schedule. I know who my lecturer will be and, with the rationale of not mixing correspondence, they have provided me with a separate Office365 account that is specific to UWS, syncing with all their calendars, posts, assignment submissions and other details disseminated only via this system.
Later on in our Hardie Fellowship we will be undertaking a customised PL program at Florida Virtual School (http://flvs.net). Mark and I have had several meetings already with a representative from FLVS (Crystal Howard) using 'gotomeeting' to set up our study schedule. This is similar in function to our 'Skype for Business', enabling screen-sharing and recordings of webinars, etc. The time-difference has meant a few early starts, however, it has been quite convenient because Crystal has been able to facilitate the meetings at the more earthly hour of 7:00am AEST (5:00pm Florida Time), enabling early PL and then off to work. I listen and learn best in the morning so this has suited me. It occurred to me that accessing webinars, while nothing new, can be an under-utilised means of accessing PL from anywhere (sometimes not 'anytime' if live of course). Certainly a through-line of this Hardie Fellowship will be that Tasmania is a global citizen with the capacity to be globally connected and globally competitive in various fields. We have world best-practice at our finger-tips and webinars/video-conferencing is one way to provide a window into that, as well as gaining access to experts wherever they might be. Working both ways, Tasmania has experts in various areas who the world turns to.
It is all starting to come together - the accommodation, the flights, the study schedules, the expert consultations - it is happening! 3 weeks tomorrow I fly out!