On Making Me Feel Valuable

Value Meal

Photo by Fastfoodweblog.nl

Sometimes it’s a string of things that I see posted on the web over time that coalesces into a darn good feeling. The first is a quote from Alan Levine’s blog about his current state of mind before a big conference.

Oh well, the brain cells are headed towards oatmeal, and I am looking forward to the conference kicking into gear tomorrow.

That was me about a month ago, feeling like my feet were moving but I wasn’t going anywhere. Despite that, Faculty Academy 2006 was a great success. The point of value came as I realize that the “brain like mush” feeling is natural before a big event. I’m glad Alan shared this thought, and I’m very thankful that there is a technology in existence that allows this sharing. I’ve only met Alan once, but I feel like I know him a lot better than one face-to-face meeting could supply.

The second thing is a two-fer. A post by my boss (who often reminds me of my value…thanks), and a post by Brian Lamb, on using online video, something near and dear. The common theme of both posts was the value of sharing these web resources with a wider audience, and thankfully it has been made very easy. I’m happy to see something that I’ve been thinking about for so long, take flight.

The final nugget of value comes from the man whose name is still echoing around the Mary Washington campus, Jon Udell. Jon’s post dealt with us computer types and our humanity, and he also explained a little bit better what we IT people do, and enjoy. We are problem solvers, and in DTLT’s case, instructional technology problem solvers. When asked what we do on a daily basis, sometimes it is difficult to give a coherent answer. Jon helps explain in his column (and the other where he heaps praise directly on us) that we add value to the educational process by sharing our knowledge. The key quote from Jon’s piece:

When I read that the outcome was six lines of code, I recalled the old saw about the tradesman whose customer gripes about being billed a one-hour minimum for fixing a problem in five minutes. “Yeah,” he retorts, “but it took me 20 years to learn how to fix it in five minutes.”

Thanks Jon for showing the value of our work, and we promise to remain open source!

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