Ahhh Spring! Poets have waxed eloquent on the machinations and permutations of the season. If you are a gardener, thinking of spring quickens the blood! Thoughts of fresh veggies et al. I enjoy gardening.. the eating part… BUT.. am not as fond of the rest. The digging, weeding, watering and constant maintenance (in 100+ degree Kansas weather) takes a bit of a stretch to call it fun.
But, if you want succulent snacks… you gotta do the work.
Managing your Cont Ed database is like maintaining a garden. We could go on and on… you have to take out deadwood, prune poor performing shoots (names..??), take notes on what crops grow best where.. and what combination (water/fertilizer … marketing/program type) generates the best yield.
ACEware Systems tries to help you by building tools you can use to manage your data. But, we can’t (at least right now…) do the heavy lifting for you. Recording the data, analyzing the results and running the purge routines are your responsibility.
Another analogy to gardening is… to what end do we garden? Some folks may garden to save money, some like to DIY, others (me included) enjoy watching the life cycle play its course. Same thing in CE. Some programs are Jerry MacGuire types… “Show me the $$”, others may see their role as a community resource, others see it as a way to build good will and community. The goal you have will determine what things (in the operation and setup of your database) you choose to do.
So, it is all about opportunity and choice. we at ACEware work hard at trying to provide you opportunity (in the form of our Student Manager and ACEweb software) to do your job. It is your choice to learn about these tools, how these tools can be used, and finally to implement them in your quest for the perfect crop.. whatever that may be.
Finally, I think that another trait that gardeners and Cont Ed folk have in common is optimism in the face of uncertainty. We don’t know in advance whether that “Seed idea” of a new class or conference will take root and produce. We have to understand our environment, have to know what our resources are and enhance (Continuing Ed??!!) our skills in developing and managing our resources. If we do that, whether we anticipate sitting down to a fresh salad, or welcoming a packed house, we’ll increase our chances of success.
One of these opportunities for growth is happening next week in Savannah at our 16th Annual ACEware User’s Conference. If you haven’t gone to one of our annual meetings, you need to put that in your “Crop Planning” for next year. This is always a great learning event… and a lot of fun.
Now go out there and plant!