Sunday, October 11, 2015

Using the E-mail as a Productivity Tool

Recently, I put out a teaser to all the staff in my place of work. I wanted to see how well the e-mail could function as a productivity tool. Here's the gist of the teaser: Why are the snow monkeys in Kyoto's Monkey Park more disciplined than their Malaysian counterparts? Well, not all the staff answered, but those who did certainly contributed to my insight into using the email as a productivity tool.The following is a summary of what I have learnt:                                                         1. Knowledge. The diversity of replies has increased my knowledge of monkeys and animal psychology.                                                                                                                             2. Brainstorming. This is the first time I’ve tested the e-mail as a productivity tool. The replies I
 received and the discussions I’ve had with a few respondents is just like in a face-to-face brainstorming session. The idea is not to judge any in-coming replies even if some ideas may appear to be ridiculous. And this is most true for me. Sometimes it’s the seemingly ridiculous ideas that trigger off a useful idea. In my case, it has given me an idea about storyboarding my English modules. The brainstorming has also encouraged me to write an article (answer to the teaser) instead of just writing a 2-sentence reply that I had originally planned to do. It was while writing the article that I got a brainwave for the following: 3. Classroom Management. Can we use the idea learnt from the way the Japanese use to ‘train’ the snow monkeys in Monkey Park? Most certainly This would be particularly useful when you have a large class of unruly students (monkeys?).
Click here to  read an account of my visit to Monkey Park.