Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 4 Publishing Presentation Project

Link to Presentation: Motivating Teachers to Incorporate New Technologies in a Classroom

During the course of the past 11 months, I have engaged in a Challenge Based Research Project during my studies in the EMDT program at Full Sail University. The goal of this project was to research teacher motivation to infuse technology into their classroom. Throughout my research, I found that three things were very important in the success of technology use in a classroom:
  1. The availabilty of the technology
  2. Teacher motivation
  3. Continued training for teachers on how to use the technology
The goal was to present new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom to my department of teachers, allow them to explore the implemenation, and then have them collaborate together to find new and consistent uses across our entire department. The following presentation "Motivating Teachers to Incorporate New Technologies in a Classroom" has been prepared in hopes of speaking at EduComm 2012.

Week 2 Think Out Loud PPP Post

Week 3 Think Out Loud PPP Post

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Week 4 Comments on Michelle's Blog

Michelle's blog can be found here:
Found in Translation

Wk 4 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 9-12

So here is the last blog post for the Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) and I must say that it has been a very good read. It’s definitely going to be in a few Christmas stockings this year. I was particularly inspired in chapter 9 when the author spoke about working in the inner city schools. Newham is actually the first local authority I worked for and where I got started on the road of education. As a teacher it is almost a per-requisite to inspire, not only those we instruct but also those I work with. Empowering those around us in life to allow them to find their inner flame, facilitating a safe space to radiate their gift to the world, which is their individuality! How poignant, we are all co-creating the reality we experience around us! It’s never really just you or me. Just think about how dependent we are on electricity. Could we harness that power without someone turning that switch on? Another point to be mindful of is the choice we have over the quality of our experience. Once we take responsibility for our lives in this manner, we are then master of circumstance rather than victim. One thing I try to remember is this; imagine you start your life as a cup filled with water. After a while you need change the water. Putting in what you choose, dirty water or clean water. All of these fundamental truths have so nicely been put together in this book. It is easy to read, not too abstract and can strike a chord with so many different people. A Wonderful song for life.

Shawn McKeown said...
Great way to sum up the entire book, Michelle! It was also interesting to hear about your connection to the school district that was talked about in the book. While some of the book seemed a bit broad to me, and the topics could have been narrowed down more, I think that overall the meaning and the themes behind this book are universal to many.

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Week 4 Comments on Jennifer's Blog

Jennifer Williams' Blog can be found here:
Although the idea of reading a self-help book as the culmination of a masters program has completely tweaked me out, I decided this week to apply these 4 chapters to the next step in my life.  My robe came in the mail, the tassel is hanging on my computer, I’m contemplating the perfect shoes to wear, (so I won’t trip across the stage) but really my biggest concern is what happens when there’s not a group of people, a program, or a set of assignments to guide me and the gravitational pull of that downward spiral, that is sometimes more like a bureaucratic, educational black hole, exerts its grip.

A revenge creature!!
Remembering my initial forays into the field of education, I was na├»ve, optimistic and completely certain that I would not only light a spark but also ignite a fire.   And while some of the “no’s” I’ve heard along the way should have been an “invitation for enrollment”, many of them were completely earned due to a limited, unrealistic vision of what it takes to educate a community of children.   I hope that my re-discovered optimism is more tempered by realism, a larger picture of success tempers those manic tendencies by those on the eve of success, and my zeal is tempered by the now-glimpsed multitude of complexities that are human development.  However, I am grateful to Full Sail for re-igniting the spark.

Chapter 11 of The Art of Possibility, entitled “Creating frameworks for Possibility” stirred many options for me. Of the things I have learned in my 15 years of teaching, one of the greatest is that learning seldom, very seldom, happens in giant leaps.  It’s the daily grunt, the daily practice, the daily head banging, and the persistence (on the parts of student, teacher, parent, administrator, community members) that make it happen a little bit every day!

This past year at Full Sail has taken me from an educator who meets the challenges teaching serves up, to one who can design the stage on which her students and colleagues can learn.  Yet, for continued advancement, a framework of possibility is needed.  One that attends to those details of educating students.  One that attends to the need of perfection in the daily grind.   At the brilliant suggestion of a fellow conspirator, and the encouragement of my iPad donor, I will create a wiki as a means of charting progress and, hopefully, as a means of creating a “WE” story, for all of us who are trying to find our way through the unchartered waters of appropriately educating the next digital generation.  Here’s a link to its humble beginnings.   Care to join?


Shawn McKeown said...
Jennifer, I have also wondered what will happen when we graduate and don't have the assignments and support structure that we currently enjoy. Will I still be driven to innovate my educational practices? After reading your post, I will say this: While we won't have the assignments to fall back on, we will have each other and the staff who has guided us for the past 11 months. We have all be enlightened, and while we won't have the amount of contact that we currently have, I hope to continue to use you and the rest of our classmates as my sounding board, as well as support when things go awry. I know this may sound very much like it did in high school, you know the old "Hey, we'll keep in touch". But honestly, I don't see how we can't. We ventured into the EMDT program as strangers, but have developed into a tight knit group of professionals with common goals, as well as created friendships along the way. We may not have the weekly wimba sessions, but I still feel that in a field of limited "experts", I have access to valued opinions of those, such as yourself, who have been taught to think in a new way.
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Week 4 Reading Reflection

I loved the concept of enrollment, defined in the book as “generating possibility and creating a spark in others”. I discussed in a previous discussion board post about, involving the way that music has impacted my life, the most memorable concert that I ever attended. I’ve made it a point on the first day of my course to ask my students this question “Why are you here? What inspired you to find a career in the Show Production field?”. I start by discussing what first inspired me, and it was August 4th 1988 at the Philadelphia Spectrum (RIP). The band Aersosmith was the headliner, and an up and coming new group called Guns and Roses was the opening act. To this day, I remember the curtain dropping, and Aerosmith ripping through the song “Toys in the Attic”, and at that moment, I saw a concert from an entirely different angle. Instead of just watching the show, I wanted to be a part of that show.
Now, I’m not just spouting this off to my students to relive past glory, but to show them that I was in their shoes, and that they can make it into this business and be successful if they remember what brought them into this in the first place. In other words, make them remember what inspires them, don’t think of this as school, but more of as a pathway to reach their dreams. That is the same idea as “sharing the spark”, and having my students enrolled, not just “attending”.

The chapter on “Being the Board” was, honestly, way too broad in its discussions. The point that I took away from it was to not make judgments, or place blame, without first asking “why” to yourself. While this is, in my view, good practice, the authors tried to enforce this point so much that it became generic and cloudy. The anecdote about he violist named Cora would have sufficed to explain the idea of looking at the big picture before rushing to judgment, while the anecdote about the drunk driver seemed unnecessary. Yes, we can look at the big picture, but we also must understand that there are things in life that we do not have control over, and this is the reason that we have laws and government to help protect us from others’ behavior.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 3 Thinking Out Loud - What type of presentation?

Last week that I decided to do a presentation proposal, instead of a paper, due to the extremely interactive and collaborative nature of my subject. I just don't think that a  paper can do justice to the topic of using technology in a collaborative classroom environment.

I found that Educomm is accepting proposals for presentations for their 2012 conference, and entries must be submitted through their website by December 11, 2011. (just in time!)

There are a few different topics that Educomm is looking for, and you must select one of the following:


Teaching and Learning is definitely the way to go, as my presentation is all about motivating teachers to incorporate new technologies into their classroom. The website submission also asks for a 200 word (max) description, as well as what type of presentation it will be: Visionary Thinking, Problem/Solution, or  Demonstration. I think it would be best to address this as Problem/Solution, with a bit of demonstration mixed in.

Next up - crafting the presentation!

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Week 3 Wimba Post

Unfortunately, as most of my Wednesday nights are tied up, I had to miss this past week's Wimba session. I love the interaction of our class, and it's a bummer to miss out on good quality discussion between them, but here's some of my thoughts....

Image courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art Gallery

When discussing the “Art of Possibility”, I loved Rick’s comments about being present, yet we have multiple people in a room on their devices (such as computers, smartphones, etc) Yes, we may be present physically, but are we present mentally and emotionally. Yet on the other hand, through technology, we are able to be present emotionally and mentally even if we can’t be present physically.

I do like the way the book is presented, because as Joe put it, it is not all “Polyanna”. It does show the downsides, while reinforcing the positivity and methods to surround you with like people through positive attitudes. I believe that much of this book reinforces some of the themes presented throughout the EMDT program, so since they have been demonstrated to us already, it is much easier to see the meaning behind this book.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 3 Comment on Wayne's Blog

Week 3 Reading: The Way Things Are

The Zanders wrote that sometimes people are confused between physical realities and abstractions (creations of the mind), and these abstractions prevent us from being wholly present with the way things are. We believe things that are not true and these things prevent us from growing and living in the present. I think also coincides with living in the past. We get caught up in dreaming of what could have been rather than dreaming of what could be and how to get there. We waste a lot of time putting out fires rather than living the dream. I'm not sure if maturity and age have anything to do with it, or if at some point in life you just have to say "quit taking yourself so seriously" and live. For me personally, I was tired of dealing with those who think they no what's best for me, so I quit them and took a chance on an education from Full Sail University. As I keep focused and see my dream of teaching in a university, I continue to work toward that goal and keep aligned with like-minded people. It's difficult to stay positive if you surround yourself with negative people. All anyone can do is keep plugging along and make the dream happen.

Shawn McKeown said...
Wayne, I love your comments on this, as I see the reading has hit home for you, as you are following your own path to your dreams. After I spend hours lecturing or in meetings during a day, I get home to my kids who remind me daily that life is not all about work, and I don't have to live my life off of a checklist. Sometimes you have to throw the "rules" out the window, have fun, and do it your own way.

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