Week 35 2014

A couple days ago I blogged about some new habits I am hoping to cultivate this fall (which, as anyone who works in education knows, is the real start of the new year). One of the habits was to start spending some time each week documenting what I did that week. I’m hoping that it can provide some motivation to GTD during the week and, hopefully, give me a feeling that I actually did accomplish some things on my (now manually tracked) to do list. Thanks Doug for the inspiration (and I noticed that Audrey does something similar so I feel in very good company here).


  • Finished creating multiple formats of the question testbank that was created at the Psych testbank sprint & can be used as ancillary material for an open Intro Psych textbook. Also wrote up a process for disseminating the bank to Psych faculty who adopt an open textbook.
  • Also finished the final review of the Geography textbook created at our June textbook sprint. I’m hoping to have that out the door and released next week (after we fix a few validation errors on the export).

Gawd, it feels good to be getting those 2 projects out the door.

Open Textbooks

  • Met with OpenStax to discuss best method to attribute our upcoming Canadian adaptation of their Intro to Sociology book (to be released in the coming weeks).

Fine Dining

  • Had a wonderful impromptu lunch with Jack Dougherty from Trinity College who did a pop-in to BCcampus this week.


  • Fought with VagrantPress to see if I can get a virtual instance of PressBooks running on it. No luck yet, but that’s probably due more to my hacking skills than Vagrantpress itself. To be continued.
  • Dug into Adobe Premiere to repair a broken PDF of an open textbook.
  • Attended an Equella seminar on the upcoming 6.3 release and noticed that the BCcampus SOL*R collection is among the (1 million+ holy crap) OER resources being harvested at oer.equella.com.
  • Mashed up a simple RSS feed using Yahoo Pipes (which I haven’t touched for a looooong time and forgot what a great tool it is) to create a feed for a new widget on the open.bccampus.ca homepage (the Open News & Resources widget)
  • Worked on reinvigorating my long dormant Netvibes account as I consider migrating some of my Feedly stuff back to Netvibes.
  • Also stumbled across MAMP, which has beta for Windows. Might give this a go as a local dev environment.


  • Submitted a proposal to present on open textbooks at COHERE in Regina in October. Thinking something along the lines of what I presented at the BCCAT JAM last fall – Beyond Free. Have a couple of nice local examples with the sprints to augment the collegial collaboration bit.

Other stuff

  • Started on my “only check email 2x a day” routine (11 & 3). I let the rest of my team know (and am still available on Skype). Really liking it. Side benefit: I know EXACTLY how much time I spent working on email-based issues & communication: 7 hours and 20 minutes (might be a tad off because I didn’t start tracking time until Tuesday, so Monday is an estimate). Another benefit: I found myself actually reading my email instead of skimming. I think this is because I had dedicated the time to dealing with email and had no other distractions pulling me away.
  • Attended a couple of internal meetings regarding sandbox apps we have running, and an upcoming Open Badges project.
  • Am totally digging using paper & pen again

Clint Lalonde

Just a guy writing some stuff, mostly for me these days on this particular blog. For my EdTech/OpenEd stuff, check out https://edtechfactotum.com/.


4 thoughts on “Week 35 2014

  1. It’s cool that you are sharing this detail about your work life – I love this stuff and am always looking for good ideas, a new system, tip, trick, tool, or just a reminder that it doesn’t have to be all that complex. Seriously, i think we should be planning a professional event about this. I’m going to try the 2x/day email thing. I can already hear the excuses bubbling up in my head about why i can’t only check 2x/day, but that’s so beyond ridiculous: of course i can!

    1. The email 2x is a very good productivity tip. I used to have it running in the bg all the time and notifications zipping off left right and centre. The best part is that I have changed my habit in the morning. It used to be that when i started work, the first thing I did was check email. Not anymore. Now I have this 2+ window of time in the morning where I feel very productive. I did let the rest of my immediate team know that I was moving to this schedule as well, so they didn’t get frustrated not hearing from me. And I am still available on SKype for IM. But overall, that one tip has been killer for getting things done.

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