ThinkICT Sites

Photo of Cathy

ThinkICT is a name I adopted many years ago for my website and my Twitter username. The name was meant to symbolize the act of thinking of all things related to Information, Communication, and Technology. Today, this ThinkICT site contains a few different blogs within it (pictured below). I’ve developed these over the years as my interests and experiences changed. Each blog has a slightly different look and feel. Use the menu bar on each of these blogs to click from one to the other as you read about what I’m thinking and feeling. If you get lost, just click on “Back to ThinkICT” to get back to this section. Thank you for visiting!

Image of Happiness blog

Happiness – This blog is actually titled “With Great Happiness”. It was originally a response to a challenge, and I just kept it going. I seem to post most often these days to this blog.

Image of Think ICT blog

ThinkICT – The original blog about educational technology kinds of things. This is the one blog that contains all the others (not at all like “the one ring to rule them all”).

Image of China blog

China – A blog about traveling thru China with Kelsey in May 2012

Image of Mind and Matter blog

Mind & Matter – This one is a mish-mosh of what’s on my mind and what’s going on in the world of matter for me in my personal life. It also contains several posts from my Baha’i pilgrimage with Kelsey in 2011.

Image of Women in IT blog

Women in IT – This is sort of an offshoot of my ThinkICT stuff, specifically related to — you guessed it — women in IT!

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Walk and Work

Do you spend most of your day sitting at your desk? Have you ever wished your work required you to move around more, instead of sitting all day? Sometimes that sedentary feeling just makes you feel lethargic, right? Well, that was me until I decided I’d had enough of it.

treadmill and desk

Treadmill and (temporary) desk setup with laptop, monitor, and external mouse

My typical work day consists of emails, reading resources online and offline, phone calls, and conference calls, all of which can be done at my desk. Thankfully, I have a wonderful home office for my work at Heinemann Publishing. So my home office has all the things you would expect… a desk, white board, filing cabinet, and such (yes, lots of papers and books and such). And now it has a treadmill, too, which I have discovered is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of office equipment. In fact, I think treadmills ought to be standard office equipment. Here’s why:

  • I just feel better at any moment in the day. Life before treadmill used to mean lots of stretch breaks. If I ignored my body’s need to stretch and move during the day, I was exhausted and felt like a lump at the end of the day.
  • I am sure I stretch much more throughout the day. I usually turn on the treadmill within the first hour of getting to my desk. If email catch up is my first task of the day, I will keep the speed low because I type better and faster (especially before the coffee kicks in). Gradually, I will increase the speed during the day and vary the speed according to the task. Since I’m in a standing/walking position for most of the day, my knees frequently ask me to give them a break. I sometimes exaggerate my walk for a few minutes in order to bend lower and take a longer stride. Or I might simply place my feet on the treadmill frames on the side and bend my legs. I will pause the treadmill now and then, in order to take a few very long stretches. And I might just get off it altogether and walk around the room for my eyes to see something else in front of me.
  • I am getting much more exercise, rivaling my exercise at the fitness club. I have more consistently done plank exercises each day. When I got my treadmill, I also started doing planks in order to strengthen my core. The combination of walking and planks has helped me feel my body is moving much more every day, while still keeping my mental focus. In fact, I’m pretty sure my mental focus is better now. There’s some research about that.
  • I get to wear my Newton watermelon shoes every day. Cool footwear, don’t you think? I bought them from the folks at Runners Alley in Portsmouth.


    Newton running shoes, great for my Rebel treadmill

Have I convinced you to consider a treadmill? Have you been trying to figure out the brand name on that photo above? After reading lots of other articles about treadmill desks and definitely waffling between a low cost do it yourself approach (around $200) and the high end desk-treadmill combos (add another zero), I settled on a fairly new brand which seemed to offer the best of both worlds for my needs.

Rebel Desk offers standing desks, treadmills, and accessories. The price was manageable (when I decided to forego that brand new Mac which is still on my wish list) and the features fit my needs and interests. It’s quiet, has a low profile, and has a max speed of 2 mph which is fine for me. I never intended it to replace my workouts at the nearby fitness center. It arrived pretty quickly (within 2 weeks) and was easy to setup.

treadmill case

Small crack in the case

Although it arrived with a slight imperfection, which I’m sure was due to the packing and shipping process (small crack in the plastic case near the motor end), it has worked beautifully. I don’t really notice the cracks, nor does it matter in terms of equipment functioning. (I barely managed to get this blog post written, let alone take the time to contact them to get a replacement part!)

That was a few months ago, and I’ve been delighted to use it every day for anywhere between 2 to 5 hours of a typical day. As you can see from the top photo, my standing desk is temporary. My next purchase? A proper desk to match.

Walking at work is great! Now, if I could just get the scenery around me to look like a walk in the park …

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Good Work by Good People

kids around a globeMost days, my news feeds bring me news about inspiring and empowering projects in education. Today was one of those days. There’s a journalist who has committed 7 years of his life to walking from one continent to the next. (For the record, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to think 7 years ahead when planning my next adventure in life!)

Pulitzer prize winner Paul Salopek is his name, and he’s partnered with a cool project run by a team of educators and researchers at Harvard called Out of Eden Learn. From their website:

Out of Eden Learn is a unique online learning community designed to accompany Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk. Through Out of Eden Learn, students from around the world can engage in Paul’s journey and all that it represents. They explore their own neighborhoods, investigate contemporary global issues, and reflect on how they as individuals fit into a broader geographical and historical context. In addition, they share their perspectives and interact with one another on an exciting digital platform that uses social media as a springboard for deep, meaningful learning. The goal is to ignite students’ interest in the wider world and support them to become more informed, thoughtful, and engaged “global citizens.”

Out of Eden Learn is an initiative of Project Zero, a research center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, in collaboration with Paul Salopek. With generous support from the Abundance Foundation, Out of Eden Learn is open to all schools and students, free of charge.

Do you know any teachers outside of the U.S. who might want to engage their students in this? Seems the project is still looking for non-U.S. classes.

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