“Do what you can…”

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Mar 18, 2020

When I read this quote by Teddy Roosevelt, it made me pause… and then to take stock. What can I do in this moment, right now, to make a difference? How can I positively impact where I am, with what I have?

As we all wrestle with the unexpected changes in our lives due to the Covid-19 crisis, I’m asking myself these same questions about the career I chose decades ago. Over the last 15 years I have been working to help colleges and universities integrate the use of new technologies into their learning experiences. This has been a gradual change.

Right now, higher education is undergoing a mass migration from classroom-based to the virtual environment. This is a massive change.

Our O’Donnell Learn team–hundreds of learning designers—is here to support your faculty as you undergo this change. To start, here is an article you can share with your faculty: 5 Tips for Engaging Your Learners When You Go Virtual. In the next few days, we will be releasing interactive tools to ease the burden for instructors who are struggling to move online.

We all need to remind ourselves, change is a difficult process; even the smallest change can require great intention and effort. I believe effective change can be fueled by these four truths. I can:

  • Choose to be kind.

  • Respond with courtesy.

  • Acknowledge my limitations.

  • Support others with my strengths.

As we seek to quickly adapt how we deliver learning experiences from onground to online, I’m reminding myself daily to take time to breathe, embrace these truths, take stock of what I can help change – let go of what I cannot. And get out of my chair and walk around and enjoy the outside world.

Moving forward,

Dan Bartell

Dan has worked in higher education for 25 years, helping educators evaluate, understand and connect educational services, technology and content to the academic missions of their colleges and universities. Believing all can succeed in education given opportunity and the right support, he often helps task forces, committees, and governing boardscharged with examining and solving critical initiatives and challenges in higher education. 


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