Puzzle Craft 2

puzzle craft 2

What am I supposed to do with a board like that? I had to collect lemons for a challenge but I didn’t need lemons to gain access to the next fruit. I needed to collect cattle so I could get horses. It means I should have set the board up to get more fruit but I set it up for animals so I could achieve the cattle and then the horses. The puzzle boards in the last village often pose problems like this. The biggest challenge is working out which villages to use to maximise collecting resources so I can achieve what needs to be achieved. I have to collect silver chests in the first village. They can come up or I can pay 400 coins and maybe not get the items for the collection. it is not that easy to make game coins at moment but I am getting better at it by working other villages. I am using the water game in the village which doesn’t bring up storms, sharks and pirates so I can conserve game coins! The pirate board just sucks up the game coins as does this farm in the last village by always bringing out the rats or cluttering the board so I have to use tools to get out of a bind. The game limits tools so I have to use brains and strategy to overcome the issues and challenges. I was building up gems so I could get the strawberry and I did ,only to find out I can’t really happily use it in the game because I now have to collect jack fruit. The vegan answer to meat. Why? Jack fruit make rats appear. Then they allow me to achieve another fruit which is very attractive to rats. Who, in their right mind would want to be doing that? I’d rather have strawberries…but then I won’t progress in the game. At his stage I just have to meet the challenges and try to get the other animals, vegetables , fruit and mounts. Not easy but that’s the point. I have to think how I am going to do that. Meanwhile ,I have no idea why. My tools were all packed into a galleon to be taken off somewhere. In the other villages they were packed up and I did custom puzzle boards to get to the next village. I have just been told to work on collections and resources. Have no idea where I am going ! I’ll find out. I have the castle ready to upgrade but the silver chests in the first village have given me some great treasures but not all the collection items as yet. Shall I pay 400 game coins a pop for them? I have always worked that first village. It is wonderfully simple and it doesn’t matter what is on the board . It is always dealt with quickly and I get a sense of being able to do something without having to break my head like with the puzzle board featured in the post. Some of the puzzles really push me to think hard. Like trading. I have to think about the trading according to what resources I will lose on the trade or whether I can make game coins out of the trade. I’d love to be able to trade things from the other villages. I have over 400 eggs in my first village and I can only sell a few at a time and they are not used up in producing tools in this village. I want to trade them! Trading is limited to the last village and then only certain items are traded. Sometimes I’d like to be able to choose so I can get rid of the gluts. It’s not always an issue because more often than not I am running short of things to produce enough tools. I use my other villages to help buffer the production blow on tools at this level of the game. I am hoping to get my new castle soon…and be able to eat lots of strawberries!

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Call centre standards

Is this what we have come to? Call centre staff wanting to be mean to us and we want to be irritated  by and mean to them? The comments under the clip are just as revealing. We have done this to ourselves. We have allowed technology to run a system which is not suiting either side in many instances. Some companies and organisations have very good and effective call centre procedures so everyone is happy . Others do not. Apparently there are no call centre industry standards and that is maybe something we should be looking at. ContactCentreCentral has an article about the myth of call centre standards:

“I wish such a formula existed. I even wish there was a standards body that published verified performance measures.  But there isn’t.  And there never will be. We refer to the contact centre as an industry, implying consensus and uniformity where it doesn’t really exist. The reality is that each contact center is unique in terms of the value it provides to the enterprise, unique in terms of the skill and knowledge of the management team and unique in terms of the centre’s culture”

Talkdesk has some benchmark statistics which would only come into play if the organisation or enterprise has competition. In that case , what appears to be happening is that people are taking the solutions into their own hands and that might work initially but then it will create yet another bottleneck as companies and organisations address the change in client behaviour. Britain has been working hard to address call centre issues because it is costing people time, money and their health. The  DailyMail published an article about what health issues lengthy call waiting could  possibly create. That is something which needs to be researched , established and dealt with in a society which rates work/life balance and wellbeing highly. MyfamilyclubUK has some interesting work arounds to avoid long call queue waiting. I certainly have never forgotten the time I was on Twitter while I was waiting in a call queue and I actually solved my query on Twitter with the help of that company while I was still waiting in the queue. I stayed in the queue and encouraged them to keep providing that social media service. Emails /voicemail only work if you get the call back or a response to your email which helps solve the issue. People are in call queues because they need to solve a problem. If it can be resolved off the phone then that will save time and costs. I am also in favour of the call back option. That works for me. I am happy if I know that I’ll get a call in an hour or whatever they say. That is helpful and I can get on with my life. Talkdesk also has an article on improving call queues. They believe it comes back to staffing but that may not be the case when it comes to an emergency or an unexpected set of circumstances which then has everyone on the phone. Call abandonment is often how companies judge the success of their call centre system. If, however, it doesn’t matter how many people hang up because they cannot get through , then that is not addressing this call centre problem. I think we do need to look at better ways of managing this. I think we need to use our technology options to help us. We can use texting, voicemail, email, chat, phone calls, social media. There are so many ways we can communicate these days. We need to clearly identify the issues and then clearly develop ways of stopping call queues of 20, 30 or 40 minutes. If the call is costing nothing, that is not an issue. I know people who leave the call on speaker phone and then jump to answer it when it’s their turn. Some numbers are expensive to call because of mobile phone costs or the cost of the number being dialled. I am not sure what holds places back from using the toll free 1800 numbers. In terms of social justice and equity it’s a sensible decision. I’d like to think we’ll resolve this call centre craziness we’ve brought upon ourselves . We need to start that conversation now.

Thinking Kit

Thinking KitThis  free Thinking Kit app is designed for iPads and for students to work in pairs to promote collaboration and some real thinking as they learn. It can be used solo. I have downloaded it onto my iPad and there are examples of what you can do with this app. I would imagine it would suit some subject areas better than others and some activities better than others. I was going to look at it to see if you could use it for language learning. The site for Thinking Kit provides a lot of support and what I like about his type of app is that it allows you to work your way through what it can do so that you learn as a teacher. You can try different things and see what the app can achieve. It is also a good app for getting student feedback so they are partners in learning. You can work with them to create better tasks and improved learning scenarios. You can create the activities in any browser on any device. Since this is a hands on app, I’ll let you look and explore.

The future is marvellously daft

So you thought your privacy was compromised? Now you can monitor your own privacy and put it up in a visual story. You can be in charge of your own tracking. You can track your drinking, your room temperatures, your kiddies. You can have a Mother Sensor and 4 cookies to monitor what you want and it will be fed visually to a computer. I am beginning to believe we have gone monitor mad and data daft but it is what is currently driving the world. Mother Sensor looks so innocent, so I bet she can get up to no good! That aside, I am certain there would be some really helpful things you could do with Mother Sensor. She will be pretty affordable if you like her and she is the future so she is someone you could install in your life and make the best of. It is an interesting concept so it’s about exploring it in a more creative way. Once they are  widely available and people can see what to do with a Mother Sensor , then I am sure they’ll have educational as well as home use. I was wondering if I can attach one to my dog and find something out! It would be good if you could programme it. Like when the room temperature falls to this temperature, please put on the heater. When the ground is this dry, please turn on the sprinkler…at 4pm , please turn off the lights. Can you please write me a blog post of 500 words??

21st Century Thinking Skills

critical thinking skillsTeachThought, a site worth knowing and visiting, had this poster up about 21st Century Thinking Skills which had been created by Mentoring Minds. Beneath the head are 25 critical thinking skills which would be easy to share with students.  For a teacher , none of this is new. They are skills we are familiar with and have been working on all the time. It’s the fact it is visual , is put together really well and makes very clear what our priorities are for the 21st Century :

1. Content Delivery
2. Sharing
3. Getting feedback

which then creates

1. More and better content delivery…

The 21st century is very much a collaborative learning loop where we engage in the real world and use the input and feedback to create more and better ideas. With technology you are not in a content bubble, you are in a fluid cross curriculum learning situation where you can showcase your subject area but it needs input from other areas to make it take life and grow in any real sense in the technology age.

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