Journal ~ November

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November
Week One

Week 4

This will be the month to add structure and a timeline to what I am doing. I have reread Margaret Riel's emails and posts and find a number of suggestions I need to follow up on. Notably, I need to do more work on my community of practice: groups and individuals that are working on more effective teacher education and professional development. To that end I have

  • Added a CoP section to the plan and will begin to collect good resources there.
  • Started an email correspondence with Robert Poselli, but it bounced back; need to track him down. Looks like he is getting his degree through Nova University. I now have mixed feelings.

Also this month, I need to work with my collaborators, evaluation team, and critical friend.

NOTE: The work on my Digital Portfolio project for Learning with Technology (Ed664) has been particularly helpful in seeing and thinking through how WBT could be helpful in this ARP. The concept of using web components to sustain the learning when the mentor is not available is intriguing. I have really enjoyed the web tutorials offered by ESRI in Arcview and found them well done and effective at promoting my understanding of the tools.

Tech Step

Got web page to better size for 800x600. In the process learned more about dealing with individual cells and setting the width. Interestingly, I used the HTML code to figure out what was happening, but the was able to use the Properties section to make changes more efficiently.

Also found the "Frames" button in the tabs. Made me think about screen design. For beginners, a complex screen such as DW, makes it difficult to find the tools. So when designing the web component of my ARP for the "tweening" of teachers, it will be important to keep the screens simple. Note: that is one of the points that made the online ArcView courses for my DP so successful.

November
Week
Four

Week 1

Have not journalled in this course - heavy into CoP (633) and Digital Portfolio (664). Both projects relate strongly to my ARP.

  • In the CoP, the community was small to start with (faculty member, trainer, web developer, and "integration architect" - me), but grew to include the 18 students in the course. At all levels, learning occurred in both directions. As the faculty member taught us the sociology issues - something he cares very deeply about, he learned from the rest of the community about technology. Both the web and Powerpoint advanced how the class learned to new heights: "...never in all of my twenty years of teaching have students been so excited about their final projects that they engaged the class in learning about it!" He not only discarded his syllabus, but is rethinking his native American course for the next quarter. While he sees the value for the students and the learning, he is still slow to actually do web activities on his own. That's our next task!
  • In the Digital Portofolio, the learning has been less dramatic. The Education Department are already committed to implementing Graphical Information System software into their program. They just never had the impetus to plan the steps and learn the software. My project got us ALL involved.

Today the trainer and I met with a theatre faculty member that wants to use PhotoShop and Painter in her costume design and makeup course. She has always been a marginal tech user that needed a great deal of hand-holding to progress. That learning only went as far as she was led. She has never felt empowered to go beyond that. When we started the meeting today, she wanted just to learn enough PS so that she could keep up with the students and know what to assign them. By the end of the meeting we had worked out a plan that would, over 12 months, have her ready to teach the tools to her students. It was interesting to watch her become engaged in the process of planning the intervening time and what needed to be accomplished. It appeared at the end of the hour that she was taking ownership of the learning and teaching. It will be interesting to see if this engagement broadens to learning tech in general...or even if she is able to be prepared enough to teach the tools.

I did hear back from Poselli once. Sent reply and did not hear back again. Will try again after the semester is over - he may be swamped as well.

Tech Step

Good review of behaviors/events as I updated the navigation buttons at the top.

I am increasingly discontent with the theme and design. My Digital Portfolio (DP) theme is better and I suspect that is because the project is more focused. The implications of "HOOK" are more threatening than encouraging. Working through the graphics helped me get at the real issue: though I have concerns about the graphics themselves, I am more concerned about the message they convey. I think talking this through (Nikki?) will help me brainstorm to a better message.

Timeline

 

...of Note

On the tech side, I adapted the DP format. I need to build the frame page, but opted not to because I want to completely redesign the site in January.

On the process side, this was a great exercise and at the right time. I would have been lost if I attempted this earlier. At this point it did two things. First, it helped me firm up the next steps into concrete steps. Second, it helped me see that December is NOT time off!

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