How to Delegate

by Allacyn - Dec 17, 2010


I came across an interesting article “The Right Way to Delegate Your Next Big Project” by Mike Michalowicz about delegation and I wanted to share with you some of the tips to make you a successful delegator.

Delegation is something we all have to do whether it is at home or at work and well we don’t always do it successfully. For example I often delegate household chores to my husband, but often times I find myself frustrated with the outcome or taking over completely because I have a hard time letting go of control.

We struggle with delegation because it means letting go of something we will still be held responsible for, but if done right delegation can mean accomplishing a lot more and giving each project the time and effort it requires. Here are the tips-

Champion

Find one person you trust to assign the project to. Make sure this project will be the only big project on their plate. Let your champion have room to make decisions related to this project.

Reward

Offer a reward. This will provide additional motivation and incentive to make the project a success.

Publicize

Make it public that you are assigning this task to your champion. This shows your support for your champion and the project, lets other people know who to turn to, and motivates because everyone will know who is responsible if project fails. Always point people back to your champion.

Do you have any personal examples of how you delegate? What about when a lack of delegation resulted in a project not going as planned? Tell us your stories in the comments!


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Project Based Learning Gains Momentum

by Allacyn - Dec 10, 2010


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Although you might still recall feelings of dread when you were told that you had to work together with a group of peers on a project for a class assignment, they are the projects you remember the most. In the fourth grade I worked with a group of my classmates on a book report and although I dreaded the task before, I had a lot of fun completing the assignment and I still remember exactly what it was about. This leads me to believe in the idea of project based learning for students.

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Top 10 Reasons to Get Certified

by Allacyn - Dec 09, 2010


IT certifications have many benefits. From the obvious to the not-so-obvious, we came up with a list of the top 10 benefits of having a certification.

  1. More money
  2. Of course this is the number one reason – getting a certification can lead to a pay raise in your current position, a promotion, or being hired for a different position that pays more.

  3. Advantage
  4. Getting a certification can be the competitive edge needed to overcome the competition for the same position. The point of a certification is to prove to everyone that you know your stuff. From an employer’s perspective, they see potential employees touting their qualities and abilities all day. Would you rather hire someone who only says they can do the job, or someone who took a test to prove it?

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Do You Know Your Company Security Policy?

by Allacyn - Dec 08, 2010


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IT Security is a big issue these days, and it doesn’t surprise me that a large number of employees have not been trained on their company’s policy, and those that have been trained have not received current training. Many companies inform or train employees on their security policy when they are hired, but what about the ones that have been with the company for 10+ years? It is important to have recurring trainings to keep employees up to date on this issue. Up-to-date training is important because it will keep employees abreast of current policy and also help prevent confusion on the policy.

Internet Security Policies are more important now than they ever have been, because they are intended to safeguard data and IT Security as well as sustaining employee productivity. There are new threats every day, and apart from the security software on your computer, the best line of defense is practicing safe computer usage.

Are you aware of your company’s policy? How well do you know the policy? How were you told about the policy and do you have regular trainings about the policy?


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10 Amazing Free Education Tools

by Allacyn - Dec 01, 2010


It is always great when you can find things that help make your job easier and more interesting. It is especially nice when those things are free. With schools tightening budgets we thought it might be fun to let you know about 10 totally free tools that are available to you on the web.

These tools will help you connect you with students, parents, and other teachers. Stay organized and access additional resources to supplement your curriculum. Create an interactive classroom to engage students in learning with these exciting and free tools.

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Benefits of Obtaining Vendor-Neutral Certifications

by Allacyn - Nov 29, 2010


Have you been looking for a way to increase your marketability to employers? Vendor-neutral certifications might be the answer because they focus on a technology and not a specific product from a company. These certifications also do not become obsolete as quickly as vendor-specific certifications will.

When a vendor-neutral certification is obtained as a complement to vendor-specific certifications, it shows your flexibility and diversity in handling different scenarios. This means that you will have a broader knowledge base which can be very appealing to employers, because you are not limited to working with one specific product. Vendor-neutral certifications prove that you can use your knowledge in a variety of situations and are well rounded. Sure, you can specialize in a certain direction, but when a problem arises that is outside your area of expertise, do you want to look like the guy who can’t adapt, or the one that can solve everyone’s problems?

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Microsoft Training in Every North Carolina High School

by Allacyn - Nov 29, 2010


North Carolina is on it’s way to becoming the first state to offer Microsoft certification and training in every one of its high schools. It is expected by next fall that all of North Carolina’s high schools will be participating in the program representing the largest adoption of the Microsoft IT Academy program to date.

Students will have the option to get certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist or a Microsoft Certified Professional by successfully completing training and passing certification exams. To support instructors and students, the program includes access to online learning, course materials, instructor resources, and support materials.

The hope is that this program will give students an advantage in a competitive job market. These certifications are widely recognized and the skills learned are highly sought after. The certifications represent students understanding of current industry standards and gives them the edge in the job market.

Do you see this catching on? Is certification through online learning materials the way schools are headed, or are too many still resistant to non-traditional learning methods?


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Promoting Creativity in the Workplace

by Allacyn - Nov 22, 2010


Innovation is a driving force in business these days and gives companies their competitive edge. So how do you promote creativity and innovation in the workplace? In the article “Why You Should Treat Your Employees Like Children”  Anita Campbell offers suggestions on how to foster innovation through encouraging creativity among employees. Here is a summary of her tips. 

  • Encourage employees to ask questions and find answers.
  • Appreciate creativity even if it fails.
  • Know which rules can be broken to foster creativity.
  • Have fun and don’t expect the workplace to be serious all of the time.
  • Expect with creative employees you might have more drama.
  • Give employees slack to try things on their own.
  • Let employees explore departments outside of theirs.
  • Allow employees time alone to think.
  • Don’t get hung up on being too organized.
  • Encourage friendships among different departments.
  • Set employees up with mentors.

To read the full article click here.

Have any examples of how you have inspired creativity in your workplace? Share them in the comments!


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Classroom Technology – Digital Textbooks

by Colin - Nov 04, 2010


Advancements are being made in technology every day, and slowly these advancements are now being implemented into the classroom, and are trickling down into K-12 classrooms. As good as this sounds, the key word here is “slowly” – there are some things that need to be considered when thinking about implementing new tools.

Digital textbooks are working their way into schools everywhere, allowing easy, portable access to that stack of books that you would normally have to carry around – but one of the major roadblocks to the adoption of digital textbooks in schools so far has been financial. Schools do not have the funding to adopt the technology needed to support digital textbooks while still providing traditional textbooks. Schools also for the most part do not have the internet speed and connectivity required to support digital textbooks. Another issue is finding teachers that are willing to adopt these new digital textbooks, and then the amount of professional development required to get teachers up to speed on these new technologies and materials. Also, what platform and format will these textbooks be offered on? How will you implement supplemental teaching materials that are required to support these new textbooks?

In the end this adoption is probably inevitable. The way to make it happen is a collaboration of teachers, IT departments, administrators, and curriculum experts. If you create a consistent, useful, and easily accessible platform, the hassle of implementation should be greatly reduced.


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College Completion Rates

by Allacyn - Oct 26, 2010


In 2018 it is projected that 63% of all job openings will require post-secondary education or training. The problem with this statistic is that although higher education is readily available, by age 30 less than 50% of Americans have earned a college degree.  The new initiative from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to improve student outcomes through the use of technology. The Foundation is going to award $35 million in grant money to institutions or organizations that utilize technology to increase enrollment and completion rates in higher-education.

What do you think? Is it the rising costs of higher-education hindering completion? The time that has to be invested in it? A combination of both? Or perhaps the use of outdated methods is less desirable to today’s potential employees? Let us know in the comments!


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