07 July 2012

My Time Value Conundrum

I'd rather be sitting under a tree. That's why I want things to work as swiftly and effectively as possible. And that's why I find myself looking ever more often at educational technologies in terms of how much time it takes to do x and what I (and whoever else is involved) get in return.

I'm working with a team of faculty putting a high-profile masters program online. We meet regularly f2f. A few collaborators are usually somewhere else. One lives on the east coast, another travels a lot. When we began these meetings, I worked-out bringing them in remotely. I had to talk to two different people to workout how to do that in the space we used. I had to engage one of those people to actually make it happen. We arrived 45 minutes early to make sure things were set up. 

That's 45 minutes times two salaried people.  

I did this twice and then stopped. The program lead, an ex-CEO of a major corporation had no problem with my rationale.

"Jeff," I said, "It's takes up way too much of my time just to bring things folks in remotely." I didn't need to explain why we weren't going to do something we could do, nor why this wasn't a good use of my time. He's a finance guy, that may be why he gets the time/value thing.  

I bring the same kind of sentiment to conversations with online instructors. I want them to have time "to teach," to be there with their students on the stuff that matters, not on the mechanics of teaching and learning online.