Saturday, July 31, 2010

Beyond the content...

Before the content within a blog, there is layout. I think these two related blogs have lot to say before you even begin to read the incredible posts. Check out the layout, and see how blog formats like these could enhance your viewers navigational experience through your materials.

Social Voice

Spencer's Scratch Pad

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just in case you didn't see it elsewhere...

Check out Mr. Brian Crosby breaking expectations...

By the way... Does anyone know why this video is longer than 10 minutes?

Thank You

This post is a special thank you to Mr. Chamberlain and Dr. Strange (and their families) for being so supportive and encouraging throughout my educational and now, career experience. I am a proud and grateful recipient of the Hadley Herrington Strange Scholarship and the William Chamberlain Award. Both of your helping hands have been inspiration enough for me to WANT to do and learn more, and your financial support certainly plays a large role in making that my WANT to's easier to DO. Thanks again Doc and Mr. Bill.

Also, thank you EDM 310 students of Summer 2010 for helping me make them think I was necessary. Y'all did a PHENOMENAL job this summer. Some of the work you produced has completely altered my ideas of expectations and feasibility. I can't tell you how many times I have forwarded links to my family (and a few friends who will tolerate it) to brag on y'all. Don't let your journey end with this semester, keep up the good work indefinitely!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding Your Motivation

I have heard time and time again how insightful your class has been this summer. EDM310 is growing and producing faster and more boldly than ever before. Some of you are using the tools y'all have learned about in your professional lives, some of you are already teaching these tools to schools and teachers out of the state, some of you are researching tools that we have yet to explore as a class, and others of you are making masterpiece productions of your assignments. Congratulations to you all. It is amazing to see the team work effort between y'all as a class.

Now I ask you all this: Why? Why are you so motivated? Why are you excelling so profoundly? Why is it harder for others of you to keep up? What have you noticed about the habits of classmates that are struggling? What have you noticed about the strategies of classroom bar-setters?

These are a few questions that fall under the umbrella of a little research I am doing on educational motivation. Any answers or comments y'all have will go a LONG way in helping me draw some meaningful conclusions.

Here's a little quote by Sir Ken Robinson that was published to CNN that got me thinking...

"Facilitating learning is like gardening. You cannot make a plant grow. It grows itself. What gardeners know is that there are certain conditions under which that will happen, and if the conditions aren't right-- nothing will grow. If the conditions are good everything grows. Great teachers know that. Their job is to create the conditions under which people will grow. Those conditions include: understanding the nature of talent and motivation, the need to feed people's spirits and energies." Sir Ken Robinson

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life in Perspective

This morning I walked into the lab to be greeted by Steven and Dr. Strange. As I was preparing for my day, Dr. Strange coolly says, "Where should I begin? I have 7,000 emails to read." I thought I would share this with you guys because before this morning, I used to complain about the now, seemingly minimal junk mail that the Jaguar system sends me-- I now have a new appreciation for my 10-20 emails I am responsible for reading each day.

Before the invention of Email:

And after his great influx emails:

I hope y'all have a good day full of gratitude!

P.s. Follow the source tag on the young Dr. Strange picture to get a glimpse into his roots.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reflecting on Reflections...

This week, I was afforded an awesome opportunity to gain some insight. Two students asked me to film their Smartboard presentation and I was happy and eager to do so because these two ladies always have such an uplifting, giggly persona about them. At the end of the filming process, as I was about to take my leave, one of them asked for feedback. Knowing that Student A would appreciate honesty and frankness, I responded rather bluntly to her question, "Was it good?". I bluntly said, "no". First lesson learned...

1.) Know your audience and always consider everyone in the room. Although Student A could appreciate and possibly prefer the brutal honesty, I could tell by the expression on Student B's face that she needed a little more "constructive" in my criticism.

After I said no, I asked them if they could tell me why I might say that. I then asked them to think about the purpose of the video, which was to demonstrate how the Smartboard can enhance the learning experience. We decided that although their presentation was full of good content, it poorly met the project objective because they make use of Smartboard potential.

We continued to discuss what the project was lacking, which lead me to my next thought... Why? They informed me that they spent a fair amount of time looking for lessons and eventually settled for the one they created. They concluded that although Smartboards are great for certain subjects with young elementary students-- it was not effective as a tool for more mature minds. Having heard their thoughts, I shared what their presentation did demonstrate: Smartboards are not practical tools for upper level learning environments. Mistake number 2...

2.) When encouraging the reflection process, trim back the conclusions and encourage students to come up with their own restored purpose. I suggested that they add a reflection piece to their presentation and publish it as an argument as to why they feel Smartboards are ineffective for their area of study. If I had pushed them to trouble shoot more independently-- who knows what they would have come up with-- they may have even decided giving Smartboards another shot was easier than spinning their flop into a valuable production.

So now that I have written down my own reflection about this experience, I am left wondering, "How could I have directed them towards reflection without leading them to the product that I have in mind?" I don't want to lead them to my vision because theirs might be more creative, and WILL definitely offer insight into their own minds and capabilities. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today in EDM...

I learned the the iPhone 4 weighs approximately 137 grams, which is equivalent to about 3 tasty chicken eggs. The iPhone 3GS is a whopping 8 grams heavier, which is about the size of one brown spotted turquoise quail egg. So next time you cook up breakfast, let your mind wander to the wonderful world of Apple.

Also, Google recognized Ms. Frida Kahlo for her artistic contribution to Mexican culture with her surrealist paintings. Enjoy her lovely ladies and their unibrows!