PIDP 3250 – Assignment 2: Week 7 Self-Assessment of Blog

John Powszedny 2016

Rubic Score for PIDP Blog Assignment

https://powszedny.wordpress.com/ Level 1 2 3 4 Score
Blog postings reflect breadth and depth x 8.5
Links to past students’ digital projects x 8.5
Contributions Weekly x 9.5
Social Media Links x 8.5
Organization x 8.5
Grammar and Spelling x 9.5
Creative Commons Indicated x 7.5
Total 0 1 4 2 86.4/100

average

 

Statistically Speaking

https://powszedny.wordpress.com/

 

# Pages on Blog # of Posts on Blog February 29- April 12 2016 # views of Blog February 29-April 12 2016 # Comments on Blog by Viewers
PIDP 3100 related N/A 9 N/A 0
PIDP 3250 related 1 7 N/A 2
Total 6 16 203 2
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John Powszedny 2007

Reflective Question 1:

What did you learn about creating a blog?

I started my blog without a clue. Beginning with a free blog site from WordPress, I began my trip down the rabbit hole to blogtown. The first page was ugly. And not just a little ugly. The content was lame and the design was horrible. WordPress graphics are blocky and unless you buy a premium version, you might not get the design capability you are looking for. Next time, I will definitely upgrade to a premium site, or do a better job of shopping around.

My present blog is not too bad: I tweaked the settings and found a color combination that works. I have little control over the font, only the size is configurable. Inserting photos is easy, but you can’t just copy and paste. You have to use their picture insertion menu.

As for content, I have been publishing my assignments for the two courses I am taking concurrently (PIDP 3100 and 3250). I tried to make the content relevant and readable. I paid attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling.  There are many hyperlinks embedded in the text. Things that need improvement are creative writing skills and paring down the length of some posts (they are too wordy at times).

But overall, my blog is decent enough. I like it.

Reflective Question 2:

IMG_20140523_190920 (2)
John Powszedny 2014

Which classmates’ blogs did you like and why?

Suzanne Carlisle’s is colorful and informative. She has an advanced blog with lots of graphics, and obviously put a lot of time and effort into it.  That, or she is secretly a graphic artist.

I also like Melissa Ashman’s blog. Her opinions are well thought out and she is clearly organized. No wonder, she is also the Education Director at theCentre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention, and has prior professional blogging experience.

Reflective Question 3:

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John Powszedny 2012

What are the strengths and weaknesses in your blog?

I tried to make the content relevant and readable by paying attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling.  I have links to all of my classmates’ blogs (under a page called PIDP 3250 Community).  There are plenty of my own personal photos that are meant to help reinforce themes. I have paid attention to colors and layout, and although it still looks amateur, for a free blogsite I think mine looks not too bad.

Things that need improvement are creative writing skills and paring down the length of some posts (they are too wordy at times). The font on the blog is terrible. I would like to try a different premium version for a template next time, with more customizable features. Like the font. Ug. Lee.

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PIDP 3100 Journal 2– Problem Centered Adults

“Adults are problem-centered, not subject-centered, and desire immediate, not postponed application of the knowledge learned.”[1]

This quote by Knowles is part of his assumptions of Andragogy[2],

  • As we age, our self-concept moves from dependency to self-direction (Knowles 1980)
  • An adult’s accumulated experience is a learning resource and is integral to identity (Knowles 1980)
  • Readiness to learn is correlated to social role (Knowles 1980)
    • Roles in society create need for learning[3] and create teachable moments[4]
  • Application of knowledge shifts from future to present as we age. Thus an adult is problem centered in learning (p. 44-45) (Knowles 1980)
    • Adults are problem-centered, not subject centered, and desire immediate, not postponed application of the knowledge learned[5]
  • Adults are motivated internally by potential for growth, development and self actualization (Knowles & Assoc. 1984)
  • Adults need to know the reason for the learning (Knowles 1984)
    • Knowing importance before beginning learning increases motivation[6]

I have learned that a self-dependent experienced adult who is ready for problem-centered leaning and immediate knowledge application. What caught my attention was the problem-centered learning and its meaning.

 

“Adults are problem-centered, not subject-centered, and desire immediate, not postponed application of the knowledge learned.”

I realized that the traditional method of doling out facts to adults is not engaging them properly. Adults need to see results, not just hear facts.

A teacher should be engaging the students by giving hands on discovery. Showing them the immediate results and letting them try it for themselves. If you show how to solve a problem, whether it’s a calculus equation or a faulty brake line, the adult learner needs to tackle the problem and see the result.

 “Adults are problem-centered, not subject-centered, and desire immediate, not postponed application of the knowledge learned.”

 

My “Aha” moment was when I realized how the students felt when our lectures dragged on for two weeks with no labs. It is my observation that the adult students need to perform the practical part of the learning to really “know it.”  The students were anxious to prove the theories to themselves.

The quote made me think that, as an adult educator, I have to ensure that the students get immediate application of their learning, or as soon as possible.

One analogy could be that you can’t learn to fly an aircraft by watching Youtube.

A key insight is that I have also feel it necessary to apply knowledge immediately after learning it. Often, it is difficult to apply new knowledge to a practical problem unless the knowledge is still fresh in my mind.

“Adults are problem-centered, not subject-centered, and desire immediate, not postponed application of the knowledge learned.”

This quote has reinforced my preconception that students need immediate practical experience to complete their learning.

As a teacher, I need to keep their learning schedules balanced between practical applications and learning theory. I also need to ensure that my classroom has a positive learning environment and the lectures are meaningful, relevant and of importance.

 References

Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice – (Merriam and Bierema, Jossey-Bass 2014)

Andragogy, not Pedagogy – (M.S. Knowles 1968, Adult Leadership-16[10], p. 350-352, 386)

The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy. (2nd edition) – (M.S. Knowles 1980, New York: Cambridge Books)

The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (3rd edition) – (M.S. Knowles 1984, Houston: Gulf)

Andragogy in Action: Applying Modern Principles of Adult Learning – (M.S. Knowles & Associates 1984, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass)

The Adult Learner: (7th edition) – (M.S. Knowles; E.F. Holton III; R.A. Swanson 2011, Houston: Gulf)

[1] Merriam & Bierema 2014 p. 53

[2] Andragogy – from Greek aner (man) + agogus (leader of). Popularized by Knowles (1968)

[3] Merriam & Bierema 2014 p. 51

[4] Merriam & Bierema 2014 p. 52

[5] Merriam & Bierema 2014 p. 53

[6] Merriam & Bierema 2014 p. 55

PIDP 3100 Journal 3 – Critical Reflection and Learning

 

“Learning from one’s experience involves not just reflection, but critical reflection”[1]

Objective:

What have you learned from reflecting on this particular quote? What has caught your attention?

Image Link

spoon

Critical thinking describes the process by which students become aware of two sets of assumptions:[2]

  1. Students investigate assumptions held by scholars in the particular field being studied
  2. Students investigate their own assumptions and the way these frame their own thinking and actions (Brookfield 2012b)

Brookfield proposes that critical reflection has 3 phases:

  1. The identification of assumptions that underlie our thoughts and actions
  2. The scrutiny of the accuracy and validity of these assumptions in terms of how they connect to our experience with reality
  3. The reconstituting of these assumptions “to make them more inclusive and integrative” (Brookfield,1991, p. 177)

What I have learned from this quote is that the learner should also look inside his or her self and contrast pre-conceptions with real experience. The learner should look at the concepts objectively and without bias.

What caught my attention is the way that one must not just accept hegemony[3]. One should question the generally accepted knowledge with what is actually experienced.

“Learning from one’s experience involves not just reflection, but critical reflection”

Reflective:

What did you realize about teaching as a result of this quote?

photo by john powszedny 2014

IMG_20140523_190920 (2)

The students have the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the experience, and oppose it with their own deep thoughts. As the emotional content of experience is processed before the meaning is processed (see my Journal 4 post), their emotional reaction to the experience may be more accurate than their thinking reaction to the experience.

If the teacher is to foster critical thinking, the teacher should encourage the students to contrast their assumptions to their emotional reactions from the experience.

“Learning from one’s experience involves not just reflection, but critical reflection”

Interpretive:

What was your “Aha!” moment when you read this quote? In what ways did this quote change your mind about being an adult educator? What was one key insight that you now have as a result of this quote?

Image Link

aristotle

My “Aha” moment when I read the quote was “Why should I believe everything I am told?  Isn’t it true that if you want to believe in something, a simple search of the internet will find a site where supposed experts have scientific proof of what you want to believe in?  Isn’t that considered hegemony[3] when one group (scholars and theorists) offers widely-accepted facts for the rest of us to accept as irrefutable?

An adult educator should encourage the method of critical thinking by comparing how the preconceptions with experimental results. The students could compare the predictions with the facts. Also the students and teacher could share their predictions.

The key insight is the fact that we all have methods to solve problems, and at often times the student needs to frame their experiences with their assumptions and actions.

“Learning from one’s experience involves not just reflection, but critical reflection”

Decisional:

How has this quote, and the insight that you have gained from reflecting upon it, influenced your notion of teaching or how you will teach in the future?

Image Linkbrain

The insight I have gained from this quote is that during lectures and labs I will be asking the students questions that require deeper thought. Instead of breeding encyclopedias, the students will be responsible for more thoughtful answers and solutions to greater problems.

In the labs I will be asking the students to explain what will happen under certain physical conditions, then get them to prove it by measuring the results. Then they can compare the results with their predictions.

References

Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice – (Merriam and Bierema, Jossey-Bass 2014)

Using Critical Incidents to Explore Learners’ Assumptions – (S.D. Brookfield – in J. Mezirow and Associates’ “Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood”, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991 p. 177-193) 

Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions – (S.D. Brookfield, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 2012b)

My PIDP 3250 forum “Positive Learning”

[1] Merriam & Bierema 2014 p. 117

[2] Merriam & Bierema 2014 p. 213

[3]  Influence or control over another country, a group of people, etc. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hegemony

PIDP 3100/2 – The Impact of Technology on Student Engagement Part 2

Objective:

The objective of this blog post is to consider The Impact of Technology on Student Engagement. My original blog post can be seen here.

My assignment partner, Mr. Craig Lovell, wrote a blog post called Technology and the Adult Learner – Engaged or Distracted.

Technology in the Classroom – How It Changes the Role of the Instructor

california2007 359
photo by John Powszedny 2007

As a new instructor, I want to find out how the trends of technology are impacting student engagement in the modern classroom.

In today’s society, technology is omnipresent. Virtually everybody is impacted by the ubiquitous use of smartphones, computers, and other gadgets. It impacts many aspects of our lives; travel, work, hobbies, and time management. Much of our communication is delivered electronically through emails and text messaging.

In James Bryson’s “Engaging Adult Learners: Philosophy, Principles and Practices” (2003), he states that while a perfect level of “barrier free learning” is not entirely attainable, continuous improvement of providing education to a diverse population is attainable.  Therefore, continuous improvement should always be considered.

principal based practices
Image from Bryson (2003 p. 14)

Examples of barriers to consider are that some learners:

  • are reluctant readers
  • have become technology dependent (obsessed? addicted?)
  • are transactive (do not memorize, rather they learn to find online etc.)
  • prefer passive learning to active learning

Bryson goes on to say that each barrier is an opportunity for the teacher’s skill development.  

Lovell’s post considers the impacts of technology to the instructor:

  • Wealth of information can also provide both opportunities and challenges for the instructor.
  • Sophisticated learning management systems (LMS), such as Moodle, can supply evidence of a students access to information, resources and learning. This can provide insight to the learners’ engagement
  • The need for familiarity with resources available to students. Guide them to quality resources.
  • Classroom management of acceptable gadget use could include:
    • Audio recording the lesson (with teacher’s permission)
    • Looking up unknown words
    • Adding peers to their contacts list
    • Photographing board work or homework assignments
    • Sharing photos when related to class content (for example, family photos on a family unit or holiday pictures on a holidays unit
    • Doing web searches
    • Using the calendar to schedule meetings with other students

Technology tools available in my classroom to use include:

  • Document Camera. These devices use a camera that projects real time video from a tabletop platform. Similar in size and shape to the traditional overhead projector, they are a welcome improvement.
  • Digital Projector. It can be linked to a laptop (ex. animations, simulators, Powerpoint, Youtube) or a document camera
  • Industrial Controllers. Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Distributed Control Systems (DCSs). Real equipment used in the labs.

In their presentation “Engaging Adults Learners with Technology“Saint Mary’s College of Minnesota suggests the following software for using technology in the adult classroom:

Forums are another tool for the instructor to engage students and peers. An example is the forums I administered regarding Positive Learning Environments and Technology: Classroom Tool or Distraction?

My role as a teacher is to:

  • Identify and mitigate barriers to learning ” And each time we find ways to reduce barriers to student learning, we reduce barriers to our own enjoyment and satisfaction as teachers” (Bryson 2003)
  • Accommodate diversity (the students aren’t going to change so I should)
  • Embrace technology (if you aren’t moving with the times then you are standing still)
  • Continuously make improvements

The impact for me as an instructor is that I am expected to be an experienced user of all these technologies. As technology improves, new methods and uses are continuous. The instructor must continuously stay focused on their hardware and software skills. The more skilled use of technology by the instructor, the better the motivation and active learning, and thus the greater the student engagement (active learning * motivation = student engagement)[1]

The Impact of Technology and Students’ Engagement

california2007 063
photo by John Powszedny 2007

The sheer magnitude of information available online is intimidating. The students are impacted immensely through bombardment of information. If we require them to use gadgets to learn, how do we ensure that the students are not distracted by the billions of websites and applications on the everyday smart-phone?

Mr. Lovell postulated one way to reach out to the younger students would be to make a game out of learning.  For an on-line learning example, if students were to earn credits, tokens, or other certification while learning, there would be more satisfaction at achieving progressive levels and tasks.  He theorized that “gamification” would increase satisfaction in the learning.

It has been my observation that younger students are more comfortable with using electronic devices than older students.  They have always been around technology, take information for granted, and are adept at finding out what is relevant (and what isn’t).

My classroom includes a diverse cross-section of society ranging in age from 20-50. I asked them “Do you prefer classroom lectures or online learning?” and the entire class preferred classroom lectures. I also got negative feedback regarding Youtube videos (was called a time waster) but did get good reviews for my powerpoint animations.

From this, I conclude that the students want to make efficient use of classroom time. Recommended links to resources, forums, youtube videos etc. can be posted for non-classroom time study material, but don’t necessarily need to consume classroom time.

 What I Learned From My Assignment Partner:

My assignment partner, Mr. Craig Lovell, has created a blog called Technology and the Adult Learner – Engaged or Distracted

Lovell’s opening remark “With the proliferation of technology these days its hard not to feel like its a smorgasbord” has an interesting food metaphor, including his later references to technology-based learning being “fast food” learning.  If an individual wants information on a subject, he or she can simply “google it.” With “endless information available to us anywhere  at any time in multiple formats on multiple devices” Lovell questions the impact on learning, whether it helps or hinder the process of learning engagement.

The issue is whether the self-directed learner having access to “heaps of information” helps with engagement or distract from the learning. Lovell’s example: “Simply Googling ‘adult learning engagement’ for this post yielded over three million results!  Rather than feeling ‘engaged’ I felt a bit more ‘overwhelmed’…but equally thankful for the wealth of information available.”

In our interview and in his post, Lovell considers elements of “gamifying” learning. Gamifying refers to breaking learning down to small sized pieces that offer rewards (ex. tokens, levels, competition). This is similar to a video game, where there are levels to go through to complete a task or certification. The idea is to increase engagement by making the learning more fun by being progressively challenging.

Lovell’s post considers the impacts of technology to the instructor:

  • Wealth of information can also provide both opportunities and challenges for the instructor.
  • Sophisticated learning management systems (LMS), such as Moodle, can supply evidence of a students access to information, resources and learning. This can provide insight to the learners’ engagement
  • The need for familiarity with resources available to students. Guide them to quality resources.
  • Classroom management of acceptable gadget use could include:
    • Audio recording the lesson (with teacher’s permission)
    • Looking up unknown words
    • Adding peers to their contacts list
    • Photographing board work or homework assignments
    • Sharing photos when related to class content (for example, family photos on a family unit or holiday pictures on a holidays unit
    • Doing web searches
    • Using the calendar to schedule meetings with other students

Lovell concludes with the wisdom that “As educators we need to  set the table and provide a  buffet filled with all sort of options that encourage ‘healthy eating’.   As a general rule for most diets we can also indulge in a few treats along the way; everything in moderation.”

Conclusions

Upon reflecting on the research of Lovell and myself, my conclusions are as follows:

  • The internet has increased the quantity of information available, but it has not increased the quality of information available
  • There are certainly more websites to visit than I personally have time for (an understatement)
  • The source of online information should be vetted for reliability (National Libraries for example)
  • Identify and mitigate barriers to learning ” And each time we find ways to reduce barriers to student learning, we reduce barriers to our own enjoyment and satisfaction as teachers” (Bryson 2003)
  • Accommodate diversity (the students aren’t going to change so I should)
  • Embrace technology (if you aren’t moving with the times then you are standing still)
  • Continuously make improvements
  • Opinions are like armpits; everybody’s got one

Personal Reflections (Bonus Rant)

What a far cry from ancient times, when scholars traveled great distances in caravans to seek knowledge in libraries. The quest for knowledge is now at everyone’s fingertips. No effort required.

Fading away are the mental exercises required for finding the knowledge. If an individual wants an opinion or thought on a concept, he or she can “google it” and voila, there it is.

All this exposure to knowledge has a caveat: You cannot believe everything you read on the internet! There is a lot of information and misinformation out there. You want to find out how flat is the earth?  (207 million hits on google). Did Apollo 11 land on the moon? Is Putin a great president? Are there aliens among us? Who will win the Stanley Cup? You may look for the information with a preconceived notion about it, and using that as a filter, can seek out an opinion that agrees with your preconceived notion.

References and Links

Merriam & Bierema, Adult Learning- Linking Theory and Practice (2014 Jossey-Bass)

Elizabeth Barkley – Student Engagement Techniques – A Handbook for College Faculty (2010 Jossey-Bass)

James Bryson “Engaging Adult Learners: Philosophy, Principles and Practices” (2003) http://northernc.on.ca/leid/docs/engagingadultlearners.pdf

Lovell’s blog https://pidpcraigdlovell.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/technology-and-the-adult-learner-engaged-or-distracted/

My blog https://wordpress.com/post/powszedny.wordpress.com/

Positive Learning Environments http://moodle.vcc.ca/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=148377

 Technology: Classroom Tool or Distraction  http://moodle.vcc.ca/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=148659

Engaging Adults Learners with Technology   http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1236&context=libtech_conf

[1] Barkley 2010 p. 6

 

PIDP 3100 Journal 4 – Feeling Creatures That Think

buddha
Photo by John Powszedny 2015

“We may think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, biologically we are feeling creatures that think”[1]

[1] J.B. Taylor 2009 “My Stroke of Insight” p. 17 (quoted from Merriam & Bierma 2014 p. 170)

Objective:

What have you learned from reflecting on this particular quote? What has caught your attention?
triune Image Link

J.B. Taylor, a neuroscientist, had a stroke.  She was rendered physically unable to walk, talk, read or write.  During her 8 years in rehabilitative therapy, she was the subject of her own study on how the brain functions and repairs itself.

Her quote, on a scientific level, sums up the fact how the brain has evolved, and how we, as humans, react to stimuli.

MacLean’s[2] Triune Brain map shows the brain divided into 3 layers

  • Reptilian (most primitive, reacts instinctively i.e. feed-mate-fight-flight)
  • Limbic System (Paleomammilian, covers reptilian, takes in sensory data and sends to Neo-Cortex)
  • Neo-Cortex (covers Limbic System, distinct to primates, all learning occurs here, “the mind”)

Reflective:

What did you realize about teaching as a result of this quote?
IMG_20140523_190920 (2)Photo by John Powszedny 2015

The Limbic System controls the basic value system of the brain, which enhances or suppresses short term memory (Merriam & Bierema – 2014, p. 169)

As sensory data is processed by the Limbic System before being sent via synapses to the Neo-Cortex, the emotional content of experience is processed before meaning is processed. In other words, when learning something, it is sensed emotionally before it can have meaning applied.

Humans are subject to overwhelming amounts of memory, and we react to the world with our senses and emotions. What is remembered is subject to our feelings, and the emotional state of the learner at the time of learning has a major effect on how the learning is processed.

When teaching, the educator must be able to set a positive learning environment (see the forum I administrated on Positive Learning Environments here). This helps create positive emotions, and (hopefully) enhances learning.

Positive learning environments include elements of:

  • Classroom management (rules and guidelines set a fair standard)
  • Respect (know student’s names, treat all fairly)
  • Clear communication (no sarcasm or misuse of questioning)
  • Comfort (seating, lighting, etc.)

Interpretive:

What was your “Aha!” moment when you read this quote? In what ways did this quote change your mind about being an adult educator? What was one key insight that you now have as a result of this quote?
aristotleImage Link

My favorite chapter in Merriam and Bierema’s book “Adult Learning” was Chapter 9, “The Brain and Cognitive Functioning.”  This chapter discusses the hard science of neurology and how the brain actually works. I found Taylor’s story fascinating: how she suffered a stroke, went through therapy, and had the “inside story” of how the brain is resilient and can “adapt to change and recover function” (Taylor 2009 p. xv)

The quote really summed up the science: your emotional state is your reactive state to stimuli. If someone is in a bad mood, they are difficult to reason with. Now it makes more sense to me; how anxious people do more poorly on exams. Their emotional state is interfering with their limbic system to neo-cortex synapse communications and hence do more poorly on their exam.

This quote did not change my mind about being an adult educator. If it did, I wouldn’t be writing this paper right now, I would be looking for a different career! It did, however, provide insight into the intertwined reality of science, psychology and teaching. I have a lot to learn.

One key insight that I now have as a result of this quote is that my personal emotional state when teaching can be a big part of the learning of the students. If the lesson starts off with a personal negative emotional state then the learning will not be optimal. A positive attitude is a key part of classroom management.

Decisional:

How has this quote, and the insight that you have gained from reflecting upon it, influenced your notion of teaching or how you will teach in the future?
brain.jpgImage Link

The insight I have gained from this quote has inspired me to look for the most beneficial things I can do to help reach the students.

  • Be attentive to my personal emotions and how they affect the learning.
  • Be vigilant in providing the most positive learning environment for all the students. Many wise people have said “Enthusiasm is contagious.”
  • Learn about psychology and neuroscience. The Triune Brain science is interesting.

And one last thought; teaching isn’t rocket science or brain surgery, but it’s close.

References

Adult Learning – Linking Theory and Practice – (Merriam and Bierema, Jossey-Bass 2014)
My Stroke of Insight – Jill Taylor (2009 New York Plume/Penguin)
Triune Brain
My PIDP 3250 forum “Positive Learning”
[1] J.B. Taylor 2009 “My Stroke of Insight” p. 17 (quoted from Merriam & Bierma 2014 p. 170)
[2] The triunebrain model was introduced in the 1960s by American physician and neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean

PIDP 3100 Lesson Planning Assignment

Introduction to Lesson Planning

buddha

Photo by John Powszedny 2015

Contents:

  • Blooms Taxonomy

  • Creating a Positive Learning Environment

  • Motivational Techniques

  • Media

  • Planning

 

Blooms Taxonomy

Apply Bloom’s Taxonomy into lessons.  Consider the component domains: The Affective Domain, Cognitive Domain and Psycho-Motor Domain.

 

The Affective Domain,

  • Receiving and responding to phenomena, valuing, organizing, internalizing.

bloom

Image Link

 

The Cognitive Domain

Stratified into layers (see figure above)

  • Knowledge (remember, recognize, recall)
  • Comprehension (interpret, exemplify, classify, summarize, infer, compare, explain)
  • Application (build, choose, construct, model)
  • Analysis (differentiate, organize, attribute)
  • Synthesis (adapt, combine)
  • Evaluation (agree, assess, judge)
  • Creation (adapt, change, maximize, modify)

The Psycho-motor Domain

  • Covers the cognitive skills used to manipulate a tool or instrument. This especially applies to my teaching of tool use and safety.

 

 

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

In order to create a positive learning environment for the students (and me), the following items should be considered:

  • Classroom management, such as rules and guidelines, sets a fair standard for all the students.
  • Learning the students’ names is a good place to start showing that the educator cars about the students. Treating each student fairly and with respect are also important ways to create a caring connection and trust
  • Use clear communication. Sarcasm and misuse of questioning is not recommended.

class.jpg

Image link

 

Motivational Techniques

humor link.png

Humor in classroom video link

 

  • Define the purpose (economic etc.) to the lesson
  • Set guidelines and resources for SDL[1]. Consider aspects of the flipped classroom
  • Students take students take responsibility and accountability for their goals.
  • Incorporate stories and humorous anecdotes into lectures.
  • Stimulate motivation with enthusiasm and humor
  • Avoid unpredictability and misuse of praise.
  • Content must be relevant, practical and useful. Keep on topic.
  • Students are motivated by grades. Regular monitoring and checking with quizzes, exams and assignments are necessary.

Media

movieproj

Image Link

The following must be considered when applying media:

  • Video, often Youtube videos, are sometimes time wasters. I have had some negative feedback and have learned that sometimes it is better to do a personal demonstration on the whiteboard or using the document camera
  • Use real equipment or animation visuals for demonstrations
  • Use Powerpoint more effectively. They can enhance presentations, but do not stand alone well.
  • Our handouts are dated and need improvement
  • Online resources can be added to a blog for the students to link to
  • Concept maps used are schematic representations of the learning

Planning

The following must be considered when planning lessons

  • Objectives must be clear. The content will reflect the learning objectives in a clear concise manner. Rational must include relevance to the real world and applied to the curriculum
  • Time, digital media, slides, and handout content must be organized
  • Co-operating with other faculty and institutional schedules. Be a good team player
  • Collaborative planning[2], such as short-term planning, accommodating special needs, and allocation of resources
  • The curriculum should be divided into units. This could be approached by using backward design

 

Conclusion

I will be using this paper as a guide to plan my lessons in the future. Thanks for reading and please post your comments.

 

References and Links

Adult Learning – Linking Theory and Practice – (Merriam and Bierma, Jossey-Bass 2014)

The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice. Dumont, H. & Istance, D. (Organization for Economic Co-operative Development 2010)

Rethinking Secondary Education: A Human-Centered Approach” (Scherto Gill, Garrett Thomson, Routledge 2013 p. 49)

Blooms Taxonomy

Humor in the classroom link

My PIDP 3250 forum “Positive Learning”

Engaging Adult Learners

Creating a Positive Learning Environment for Adult Learners

Goal setting for teachers

Backward design

——Footnotes ———————

[1] Self-Directed Learning – the process in which individuals take the initiative in setting their learning goals (Merriam & Bierma 2014 p. 63)

[2] http://www.sd71.bc.ca/resources/plc/10%20RESOURCES%20Tchr%20Collaboration/Librarian%20Collaborative%20Planning.pdf

 

PIDP 3100 – 21st Century Competencies

In Chapter 1 of Merriam & Bierma’s “Adult Learning – putting theory to practice”, the concepts of Adult Learning in the 21st century are explored. Topics such as; the social context of Adult Learning, Globalization, The Knowledge Society, Technology, Changing Demographics, The Adult Learner, and Participation in Adult Learning are covered. As an extension of the Knowledge Society topic, the focus of this journal post is 21st century competencies.

21st Century Competencies

The “Knowledge Society”, which has replaced the industrial society, has implications for global learning and educational systems.  Knowledge is directly correlated to economic activity. National education systems must adapt to this economic reality if they are to remain prosperous.

According to Dumont and Istance (2010), the 21 century competencies are:

  • Deep understanding
  • Flexibility
  • Capacity to make creative connections
  • Good team-working

Deep Understanding

Knowledge is cheap, wisdom is priceless             Jay Deragon 2013

The anytime/anywhere access to the internet to get information has benefits, both positive and negative. The market is being spoon fed knowledge by using search engines. However, as Deragon points out, knowledge cannot be found in the dictionary or Google.  It must be learned.

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Flexibility

Hamstring stretch diagramCognitive flexibility is the human ability to adapt the cognitive processing strategies to face new and unexpected conditions in the environment (Cañas, Quesada, Antolí and Fajardo, 2003).

Cognitive flexibility is the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously.

In our information world, sometimes concepts contradict one another. One must have the flexibility to think critically and make decisions about the multiple concepts.

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Capacity to Make Creative Connections

Being a good thinker requires a wide range of skills, sensitivities and values. Thinking also involves being able to make creative connections between different areas of knowledge.

In the book “Rethinking Secondary Education” (Gill & Thomson 2013), it is stated “The capacity to make creative connections between different areas of knowledge can generate new understanding for the learner.”  For example the study of optics and graphic design can be inter-related creatively.

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Thus it can be seen that in order to have a capacity for creative connections, one must be a good thinker, be literate (usually a person who cannot read, listen, write and speak well also cannot think well), be knowledgeable in multiple disciplines, and have the capacity to combine knowledge and skills from the multiple disciplines. For instance technical expertise and writing skills combined to write a book.

Teamwork

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Increasingly, work is being done as a committee or in groups.  A necessary skill is to be able to work with your group and the results for the greater good. Teamwork requires a positive attitude, critical thinking, sensitivity, good judgement, and other soft skills.

Conclusion

In the modern working and learning world, one needs to understand the concepts, and be flexible, creative, and work well on a team.

Technology and education are making information available to everyone, but the caveat is that there is a lot of information and misinformation on the Internet, be careful.

References

Adult Learning – Linking Theory and Practice – (Merriam and Bierma, Jossey-Bass 2014)

The Nature of Learning:Using Research to Inspire Practice  Dumont, H. & Istance, D. (Organization for Economic Co-operative Development 2010)

Rethinking Secondary Education: A Human-Centered Approach” (Scherto Gill, Garrett Thomson, Routledge 2013 p. 49)

 

PIDP 3250 Reflective writing assignment 1.3

 

I recently had the pleasure of watching the Susan Cain “Power of Introverts” video.  As my previous submission for this assignment was deemed in an unsuitable format, I am reformatting it. My logic is that the first attempt was a week early so it cannot damage my grade to resubmit.

Objective

After watching the Susan Cain video, I have had some time to reflect and write about her themes and how they affect me. I will attempt to describe my opinions on the video, how to interact with introverts, and reflect on Cain’s “3 Calls to Action”.

Reflective

Cain says the ratio of introverts in society numbers from a third to half of the population. I think she is correct here. Cain also states that introverts get higher grades. Perhaps this is because they are deeper thinkers in general? Are they more used to problem solving independently, and tend to write exams more successfully as a result? Or are they more creative from their inner solitude?

IMG_20140523_190920 (2)

Interpretive Motivation

Introversion[1] is very common, according to Cain, yet modern educational programs have become designed for extrovertion.[2]

This may possibly be true (to a certain extent) in my institution. It might be in K-12. Does that make it easier for the K-12 students to learn? You could ask 100 different people and probably get 100 different answers.

The key to maximizing introverts’ talents is to put the introverts into a zone of stimulation. Be more accommodating to introverted behavior. Instead of forcing introverts to do things they don’t want to do, we should encourage them to be more autonomous (because that is when they are most creative.)

My research about introvertism led me to the table below, explaining the Myers-Briggs personality chart. You could divide the chart into 16 basic personality types, and the 16 types fall into 8 introvert types and 8 extrovert types.

The personality types are organized like this:

  • 1st letter             E (extroverted)      or        I (introverted)
  • 2nd letter           S (sensing)              or        N (intuitive)
  • 3rd letter            T (thinking)            or         F (feeling)
  • 4th letter            J (judging)               or         P (perceiving)

For example, I am ESTJ (Extroverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging).So it turns out that being an introvert is not really that black-and-white. Personality types are sort of like 16 shades of grey. And although we may not know the exact personality type of each individual, it helps to be aware that not everyone thinks like yourself.

In my current class, the majority of the students are 19-21 years old, but I have 1 student who is in his 50’s. The older student is a new Canadian, and is quieter than the millennial students. He is clearly intelligent, is polite and quick to smile, and I enjoy having him in the class. At times he has a language barrier, and doesn’t understand a concept. He will seek me out privately and ask for an explanation. Since I don’t speak his native language, I try my best to explain slowly and clearly.

Decisional

Cain wraps up her video with her 3 Calls to Action:

  1. Stop the Madness for Constant Group Work
  2. Go to the Wilderness
  3. Look at What is Inside of Your Own Suitcase
  1. a) I received some feedback that some of my students did not like the pairing I put them in last term. I tried to combine the more experienced students together and the less experienced students together. I didn’t think it would have been fair to purposely pair up stronger and weaker students because it was of my opinion that it wasn’t fair to the stronger students; it would slow them down. This, in hindsight, may have been a self-fulfilling prophesy. I tried to mark everyone fairly, and everyone got through all the labs. In future labs, I will try my best have students work more autonomously. That way they can learn on their own and maybe get more out of the course.
  2. a) When I am feeling the stress of modern life, I like to spend some outdoor time. Fresh air does wonders, and it helps me relax. Light physical activity is good physically and mentally. Works for me.
  3. a) It is important to have something or someone that you are proud of. As an instructor, it is important that I engage each student fairly, and provide a positive learning experience. Every student is an adult who has chosen my field. I am proud of that and I want to make my enthusiasm evident.

According to Elizabeth Barkley (2010) in her text “Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty” (2010 Jossey-Bass), student engagement is the product of Active Learning and Motivation.

It is my goal to continuously improve my skills in providing a positive learning environment for all my students. I will continue my PIDP studies put the theories to practice.

—-footnotes———————————————

[1] Introversion is one of the major personality traits identified in many theories of personality. People who are introverted tend to be inward turning, or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation.

What Is Introversion? – Psychology – About.com

 

[2] Extroversion is a core factor of personality and is difficult to modify. But generally speaking, the only people bothered by extroverts’ volubility and drive are the introverted members of their circle!

Extroversion | Psychology Today

 

PIDP 3250: Week 4 Mid Course Self Assessment

This is a midway self-assessment of my forum and blog.

Rubric Grading Statement                                            Score out of 10

Forum postings demonstrate author’s depth of thinking         8

Links to 3 other students digital projects                                        7

Contributions are weekly over weeks 2-7                                       8

Wide range of media evident throughout forum                          8

Several types of social media connected to forum                       8

Organization and grammatically correct                                        9

Total out of 60                                                                                         48

Total out of 100 (midway self-assessment)                                   80

 

My forum, Positive Learning Environments March 18-April 17 (John P),

Statistically Speaking

  • # posts March 14 –April 1        58
  • # different posters 13
  • % of students 13/20 = 65% plus the instructor
  • # of media provided 8
  • # of hyperlinks to other sites 17

Topics of Discussion

  • Positive Learning Environments: Personal Observations and Reflections
  • Experience and its role in providing a positive learning environment
  • Roles of the Teacher in Providing a Positive Learning Environment
  • Roles of the Student in Providing a Positive Learning Environment
  • Student Engagement and its Role in Providing a Positive Learning Environment
  • Power teaching and whole brain teaching (wide variety of opinions here)
  • Respect and Communication (between all stakeholders – for example calling students and teachers by name, classroom etiquette)
  • Humor (some students felt this was unnecessary)
  • Physical comfort, (lighting, seating, classroom temperature etc.)
  • Rosenthal and Self Fulfilling Prophesy (the point was that if the teacher had a pre-conceived bias towards a student then the student was more likely to fulfill that bias)

There has certainly been a lot of opinions put forth so far on these forums!

Midway Conclusion on Discussion Forums

Overall, these have been good forums. Interesting feedback for me and all the participants.

I have contributed over 20 posts and comments over the past three weeks on these forums. Strengths: There has been a lot of traffic on this forum. While I didn’t start it correctly at first, I am getting more confident as I go along.  My posts have improved, and I started a second forum called Technology: Classroom Tool or Distraction?  So far it has 23 posts in 4 days

Weaknesses: I need to have better time management, and have trouble understanding all of the other posters. The problem with my posts are that the forum introduction is a bit wordy and then my replies are more Spartan. When it comes to my concern-o-meter, the struggle is real.

I definitely do not agree with every comment stated, and think it would be rude to give my actual thoughts at times.

I plan to conclude the forum in one week on April 7, as per the schedule. In the meantime I will continue to read every post and try to answer every comment. I will also contribute more posts to other students’ blogs.

According to the Rubic, I believe it is at least a level 2, possibly level 3.

References I Provided for the Forum

Knowles, M. (1980) The Modern Practice of Adult Education. From pedagogy to andragogy (2nd edition). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall/Cambridge. 400 pages.

Merriam & Bierma (2014)  Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice (1st edition) Jossey-Bass – 302 pages

Barkley (2010) – Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty (1st edition) Jossey-Bass – 398 pages

James Bryson (2003) “Engaging Adult Learners: Philosophy, Principles and Practices” http://northernc.on.ca/leid/docs/engagingadultlearners.pdf

References Provided by Others

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/humor-in-the-classroom-40-years-of-research/

http://www.brighthub.com/education/online-learning/articles/41064.aspx

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/posting.php?ID=368

http://www.humber.ca/centreforteachingandlearning/assets/files/Teaching%20Resources/01%20Laugh%20and%20Learn-B.pdf

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/the-rationale-for-seating-charts/

http://www.crlt.umich.edu/gsis/p3_1

http://homepages.gac.edu/~jwotton2/PSY225/rosenthal66.pdf

http://www.cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/building-inclusive-classrooms/inclusive-teaching-strategies.html

Engaging Adult Learners: Philosophy, Principles and Practices

9 types of intelligence

Diversity Toolkit: Cultural Competence for Educators. National Education Association. (2012-2105). http://www.nea.org/tools/30402.htm

Rick Reis. Tips on Sustaining a Positive Learning Environment. Tomorrow’s Professor: Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning. http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/posting.php?ID=368

Cultural Differences in Online Learning: International Student Perceptions

ICE CREAM” approach to online facilitation

http://learninghowtochange.blogspot.ca/

 

My Blog https://powszedny.wordpress.com/

Statistically Speaking

  • # pages on blog site 6
  • # of posts 12
  • # hits February 29-April 3 2016 163
  • # comments 2

Reflective Questions Regarding My blog

  • What did you learn about creating blogs?
  1. I have learned how to use a blog. It turns out to not be too bad, not sure where the traffic is coming from.  It is outside of my comfort zone as I am a private person and don’t really feel like broadcasting myself.  But nobody died, so it couldn’t have been too bad. The blog started off looking pretty ugly (my favorite oxymoron). Today it looks a bit more polished. I don’t expect to profit from it, but it has been a good experience.
  • Which classmates’ blogs did you like and why?
  1. I liked Suzanne Carlisle’s. It is colorful and informative. She has an advanced blog with lots of graphics.  She obviously put a lot of time and effort into it.
  2. I also like Melissa Ashman’s blog. Her opinions are well thought out and is clearly organized. No wonder, she is also the Education Director at theCentre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention, and has prior professional blogging experience.
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses in your blog?
  1. I have put a lot of photos into my blog, and also paid attention to style and layout. I try to keep the content relevant, and have been updating it every day
  2. The weaknesses are obvious: I have never bothered to blog or tweet or keep an updated Facebook profile. Blogging for me is not easy, as I am not sure about what works and what does not work. I am trying to improve and hopefully the results will follow