Journal ~ May

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Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Personal Growth

Tech Notes

Other than not having had my DSL since Tuesday, I am making progress. It's just that I am the only one that can see it at the moment.

I did get the navbar redesigned. I now have the a solid handle on multi-state buttons...if only my artistic design sense were better. Kathy, Eddy, and Jason sure set the standard.

I feel like I have all of the pieces of this project in place.
--> The Abstract, Background, and Plans are in finished form. I am sure they will benefit from editing.
--> The structure for the Cycles, Observations, and Journal are in place and just need continued additions.
--> Conclusions will come sometime in June.

Since my action will be going on through the first week of June, I am trying to do as much writing as possible along the way.

Revision or
Editing?

Interesting comparison in doing the two redesigns. Both rewriting my Background (and combining it with my Lit Review) and redesigning the navbar were forms of revision. Revision is reworking the ideas and not just the words. Both required reassessing my focus and how I was making the vision easy to understand. The art of revision - taking a step back for a distance view of the work - is one a lost one. The use of word processing has removed the hand organization of writing that occurred pre-word processing. Today editing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.) is seen all too often as revision. The computer can edit; only the author can revise.

That by-hand process (with cards and outlines and multiple drafts re-typed) was an idea-revision process. Hopefully, Inspiration and other applications of that ilk will bring back the skill of idea organizing. By the way, I had much more fun with the button editing, though it was really frustrating at first.

Week Two

Good week. At the HS I have two teachers interested in both P4L and Blackboard for their English and composition courses. We meet next week to go over how to approach this next year. While this will not be part of the OMAET program, it will be interesting to see how this goes.

Meeting as a group weekly with the student partners is probably not worth the time. They just don't have that much to share and I need to make sure I have a new tech to share at each meeting so they do find it worth while. To that end I have asked the History mentor to find out the facts about using web resources on web sites and in PPTs. He is to create a half-page info sheet to share with us and that we can subsequently share with faculty.

Breakthroughs with each of the student mentors this week.

  • Sociology/Ella ~ Ella's highs took a plummet this week. She is discouraged that Roger doesn't pick things up more quickly. Two items particularly bugged her. First, that he couldn't remember how to insert a new slide in PPT even in one 30 minute session. Second, that he didn't have a clue about the Library electronic sources and had the same problem here that he did in PPT. We talked through some tactics for independence as well as just talking through with him why this was a challenge. She and I also thought through how much should be presented at once. Mostly, she was discouraged. She had had such success and had been elated by the progress. Most importanly, she lost repect for him since it was obvious he didn't have a clue about the bibliographies his students had been turning in. She felt he was clueless about large chunks of his field. Here is how I addressed them.
    • In the PPT, she will do a couple of sessions with discrete PPTs in that session and have the content inconsequential. He is so involved in the topic that he is not focusing on the skills.
    • She will get a friend who is in his class to be sure that when he needs help with the mechanics in the classroom, she is the one doing it. Our third party will not do it for him, but get him over the immediate hurdle so he can continue 'driving' in the classroom.
    • We decided to let the Library electronic resources go for the time being. I reminded her that while these resources had been around her whole academic life, it was one of a myriad of new tools for him. I helped her see that with her discretion, she was not only helping him to grow, but also benefiting all of his students and thereby Principia. I mostly reminded her to see the wonderful qualities that he brings to his classes. He cherishes other cultures. He is creative in his teaching approach. He opens his students to new ways of seeing and learning.
  • Biology/Stephanie ~ She had been chomping at the bit to learn the new image db software so she could get to scanning the slides. [I required her to clean up the bio space/files on the server before we added more.] Didn't take long for her to get rolling. Noted a couple of times during the week that she was working for extended periods. I did ask her to check with the assistant that is cataloging the database of our extensive bio collection (plants and animals) to see if there was a standard format. That format should be used in the keyword search area.
  • History/Ethan ~ Ethan has taught his prof how to get images through Google. It think we have unleashed a monster!! John's teaching has greatly improved over the last 18 months through the use of PPT to illustrate and bring alive the topics he is covering in his classes. It began with one class and he is now using Ethan to help with PPTs for all of his courses. He usually has about one PPT for each of the 10 weeks. He will jump in and out of the PPT during that week. Now with Google he is getting many of his own images. This week I got them both to realize that they needed to credit/cite those images by putting the web address on the slide (small font at the bottom). While Ethan is checking on the legalities this week, I was able to make my point with, first, the need to go back to that site at some point and, second, to model to the students citing your sources.

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Week Three

Great week - started out bummed, felt like I was making little progress, was sort of at a loss and not sure where to go next. Today did an elevator pitch with a good friend (admin type) and she was enthused about what was happening. Also, the head of Academic Advising in passing noted they were seeing some real progress. Need to go back and follow up on that. Also chatted with Soc prof partner and his student partner has a summer internship at a very prestigious anthropology organization - came about as a direct result of P4L. This prof is now totally comfortable with using the tech in the classroom - a direct result of her efforts. So the two-way is working nicely.

Friday afternoon worked with the Hist prof on some file mgmt issues and he really has this nailed now! Nice change. His student partner has taught him how to do Google searches for images for his PPTs and the prof is now on his own. They started Blackboard this week and he will start using it for practice in the fall and then it will be a core method for him Winter Quarter when he takes 20 kids to HI for 8 weeks. The first 2 weeks of the 10 week quarter will be in Blackboard - the kids will be at home.

Three goals for the week:
1. Get all Case Study pages up to date
2. Start short article for MM on teacher training from this ARP pov
3. Set up end of quarter meeting with all and one with just profs - review, next steps, etc.

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Week Four

Usually I don't care that I don't get Memorial Day off...this year I sure do! I could use the day to work on my ARP. Hung's evaluation of my Background/LitReview was wonderful. Some wording was just an automatic fit, some just helped me write a bit more clearly, and other points made me rethink not only how I was phrasing something but the organization. They all resulted in a tighter clearer document I think. He inspired me to do be as helpful to Matt when I look at his site tomorrow.

Started on the article for MM - need collaborate with Susan and Jason. Working on that article and the one for publication feels a tad premature ~ they will be better once I am a bit further along with my results. That should happen in about two weeks when our quarter is over.

I did not make as much progress on my ARP today (spent just about the whole day on it) as I was hoping. I spent way too much time trying to find a format for case study writing. One frustrating issue was that I kept finding more resources for my ARP!

What I ended up with was combination of several options I noted. As well as Google searches, I poured over the ISTE publications, Syllabus, Learning & Leading with Technology and several other publications. But I think the format for case studies is solid and the first two are done. I have one more long one to write up and two brief ones. In writing up the first two cases, it was fun to see my theories come together. While I won't have a huge sample, I do feel this will be a good foundation to build on.

Ella is making great progress with Roger. Just when I feel panicked that I have been so hands off letting the partnerships work out the details, I get great surprises on how well it is working. Ella decided that to guarantee the Roger was comfortable with the technology in the classroom she would have him practice in several classrooms! And it's working so well - I am totally amazed. Ethan has moved John far further than I expected. John is now totally comfortable with PPT and file management. He has taken over organizing and managing the History department files on two servers. Ethan taught him Google searching for images for his PPTs and he has taken off! They have started on Blackboard. So both partnerships are working well.

Stephanie is working on gathering material for Gary while he is in Nepal this quarter. They will work together in Nepal next fall. She is the scanning queen and is learning a great deal about Nepal prior to the Abroad.

Week Five

Okay, I do NOT want to be writing this journal!! I would rather be working on other writing, so this will be brief. However, I will continue this in June even though not assigned. In fact, I will continue this next year. While I would love to continue this for a PhD, I am not sure that is affordable. But I will continue to develop this idea and contine the professional writing. I believe in this idea and think it is worth sharing. While it may not work for all situations, it may be a valid approach for some and there are components that can be adapted to a wider variety of situations.

The highlight of the week was the wrap-up meeting! Totally blew me away. I was definitely NOT in control of the meeting! The four partners just took off sharing their enthusiasm. The students were for the most part on an equal footing with the professors. The profs were enthusiastic about their progress and shared unabashedly how far they had come.

The part of the discussion that was the most encouraging was the debate over class web sites and whether or not this was 'spoon feeding' the students. The fluency with which they all talked about technology in general and utilizing web sites specifically was validating. Audio of this meeting will be in the case studies and and Cycle 2 as data.

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Sixth Grade
Web Club

My Sixth Grade web club has had interesting results. Those that were in it for flashy stuff, quickly tired of the work. Also those with no real content purpose drifted away. Mostly girls are left. I am thrilled. One is now writing a story - just wonderful! Another is working on his Boy Scout communication badge. He has a Corny Joke page. Some of the jokes are at the expense of handicapped groups: they will need to go ~ great opportunity for character education. On all pages for all kids, spelling, punctuation, and grammer fixes will be such a wonderful authentic learning.

The pages are published and they are not exactly pretty, but I have not been at all instructionist in the process. That is a huge shift for me. I am less concerned about what the pages look like and more interested in what they can do on their own. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman (Feynman) has encouraged me along that route with his clear examples of a life of learning through play. Web Club has one more week to clean up these pages, but they will all be back next year.

Next year in Middle School we hope to continue the Web Club and have them manage the MS Web page. I think having a purpose will be a help for them all. Mostly it is just plain fun to work with the kids.

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Personal Growth

It has been a tough week. I feel like I am making no progress in character growth. Last Thursday I ran a meeting with the HS language teachers to update them on the research on which of the two language lab systems they wanted. The time was very limited - a very bad situation - due to their parameters. I adjusted the presentation to accomodate them, but then plowed ahead with sharing what I I I I thought they needed to know.

There was no time for discussion, no time for thoughtful consideration. I should have just handed them the paper with the material and asked them what they wanted to know. Let them drive the inquiry. Of course, they came to no decision at the meeting. The anonymous vote only garnered a 50% participation. Not good enough for buy-in. They will meet again next Wednesday.

My enthusiasm makes in hard for people to bring up questions or other povs. I do well at the advocacy/inquiry part of dialogue - particularly the advocacy part! But I still need to work on a quieter approach. I did better today. Met with an Art History teacher and we spent the first 10 minutes in just casual conversation. I let her make the move to the reason for the appointment (her agenda). I need to be better at listening without forming a rebuttal!

 

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Tech Notes

TUESDAY NIGHT: Yippeeeee! DSL was installed when I got home today after MM's class! Reconfigured it and now up and running. Finally have NGs going at home, course pages under way, and ARP site published. Hope I can keep the ARP focus going now that other connections are so easy. Example: Nikki popped in AIM tonight and there went 20 minutes. Easy to justify as we were talking about a joint project for Gary, but nevertheless a distraction.


Week 1:
I'm grumpy about the new TI. Some of it feels like busiwork when I want to be working on my ARP or reading. Tough to start a new venue at this point. Extra overhead is not what I need at this point in the program. However, I could have been more proactive about this last tri...
Week 2: I'm a bit more fluent in the new interface - the TI session helped. Not sure all are in the habit of checking this along with NGs. Makes me wonder about next year using new TI only for all communication. It will mean all profs need to be on board as well. It sure makes sense to have everything centered in only site. I added links to the ARP group for citing and for presentation...we'll see who notices. Will send message from there on Monday.

Week 3: Okay, it's getting better. I am more comfortable, but it feels like there are too many places to check. Passageways are helpful. Did my first LC eval.

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