Journal ~ October

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October
Week One

Week 2
Week 3

 


Resource

 

 

AH~HA
Moment

After the flurry of getting the ARP articulated and up I stalled out. However, the experience of writing up the project and recalling examples did help me think through how to quantify and give some structure to this.

I note that I love my digital portfolio project. It is more concrete and structured than this. I find myself getting pulled off to work on that. I also find that I will do web pages rather than write or do thinking and work on this project.

I found a great resource this week: Kathy Beyer right here at Principia College was part of a grant team that studied faculty training with a cadre approach. She is willing and will be a great resource. Has offered to get me access to their research findings which are not published yet. Last year was the 3rd and final year of the project.

Kathy made a comment in a TI about how she trains: does a demo of the whole process and then has the students do a project in the lab on their own. No step by step now do this. This made me think about how to train those that are quick learners. This has some merit. However, when I work with quick learners as with our 4th Grade teacher learning FrontPage, it is the one-on-one (1on1) that I did after the training session where we did a lab that really has been the learning point for her.

I am also a little burned out at this point. XCadre takes time - mostly AIM and some emailing and calling. I like doing it alot, but it does take time. I am giving myself permission to take this Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday off! Am going to the Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden and then the Shaw Art Fair on Saturday. Will play duplicate bridge on Sunday night with friends. The only work will be some hardware repair for the Language Lab - something I don't get to do very often anymore. NO PEPPERDINE!

My routine looks like this (as well as reading & NGs daily):

    Monday TI and work on 633 projects 6 - 11 pm
    Elsah office
    Tuesday drug court work at home in the morning, LangLab off and on all evening, miscellaneous reading for Pepperdine 6 - 11 pm
    Elsah office
    Wednesday LC3 TI and ARP 6 - 10 pm
    St.Louis office
    Thursday 664 TI and ARP 6 - 10 pm
    St.Louis office
    Friday NG catchup, small projects 6 - 10 pm
    Elsah office
    Saturday
    DP
    1 - 9 pm
    Elsah office
    Sunday
    ARP & journals
    1 - 7 pm
    Elsah office

October
Week Two

Week 1
Week 3

Spent Monday getting back on track and organized so I wouldn't feel frantic about being behind. This will help with getting a better focus on this ARP since I can then put the other things on a mental shelf.

I need to reread everything I have saved from MM on what goes in this journal.

Wednesday - big day! Ron Riedi drops from the program. What a sad loss. I feel sort of responsible. He was in my LC, I had made contact with him frequently at the end of August when his life was falling apart. We seemed to make a connection. What did I miss? He was so active in LC two weeks ago. He was not there last week. I did not follow up with him. So far he has only been responsive when he had a need of his own. I probably should have at least made an approach. Need to be more alert to Nikki, who missed this week.

LC3 on Wednesday was terrific!

  • First: got real inspiration from Kathy's model with Matthew and how they are working as a team - what synergy. Need to find a way to do this.
  • Second: MM, Kathy, and Evelyn gave me the kick to get rolling on this journal. Have abandoned Blog for this. It was boring and not fun. It also added a level of complexity. I was feeling guilty that I was not making better use of it. Love Kathy's comment that it was for people that couldn't do web pages was just what I needed to hear!!
  • Third, MM pushed me to work harder on what's out there on this and suggested mentoring groups. Interesting, as I am on a task force that is working on that topic for Principia.
Tech Step

Stayed very late Wednesday night and started the design for this page. Decided to learn frames. Got it to work. Couldn't adjust the left (month) column. Help was worthless, and no manuals here in StL. Asked a friend that does web dev. He wasn't sure how to do it in DW - does HTML mostly, but he noted what page (the frameset page) I needed to work with. You can't acually open that page, but if you get into the code view, close all other pages, and double click on the icon for the frameset (ARPLOGset.html) page, the code comes up and I could set the column width wider. [Note: See Tuesday for better way.]

Nikki emailed us on Thursday. She is having serious challenges at work. Title but ignored and disrespected is a hard place to be. Through email and AIM today we agreed - at Kathy's suggestion, to communicate daily in some form. Got on AIM with her a bit after TI and she is so appreciative. We are the same generation and have lots we could share. I need her to push me along and to bounce ideas off of.

Analogy for what I am trying to accomplish: When want to cook you don't have to have a lesson for every recipe you want to make. Once you learn what the tools are for and what basic ingredients do, you can transfer that knowledge to other similar recipes and then venture into Mexican from and then into Brazilian or even French recipes. When you get even more confident you, your venture from the recipes and create your own concoctions. Teachers and faculty should feel the same way with technology...even if they don't cook!

Next Steps:

  1. Start looking for resources.
  2. Read MMs journaling guidelines and include somewhere on this page.
  3. Start defining and adding structure to the plan
  4. Get materials from Kathy Beyer on UMSL training program.
  5. Put suggestions from NG postings in log.

October
Week Three

Week 1
Week 2

Monday: A revelation and a breakthrough.

  • Revelation ~ the lack of structure I have provided for this project is hampering how I move forward. I need to reread MMs notes and finish the text books. However, even before I do that I will create a home page and put in a structure similar to the blue print for the digital portfolio.
  • Breakthrough ~ spent about 3 hours working through online resources. The first breakthrough was that I actually did this; the second was the last article I found. I used both ERIC and Infotrac. The former was good for older data and historical information. The latter had more current information. I found a great article that really hit home and gave me encouragement that I was headed in a viable direction. He linked mentoring with WBT (Web Based Training) to create WET (Web Enhanced Training) and is having considerable success with the combination. Nice idea, though I will have to think about the web part. I really want to talk to this guy and wish I could visit. Distance may preclude that.... (http://www.aace.org/dl/Search/view.cfm?id=9222)

I did do some web work tonight - my reward for all of the reading.

Tuesday
This was get organized night. I find that the web creation helps me have a better view of this project. Like writing, it tends to be a conversation with myself - only more graphical. The more I learn the tools, the easier and more fun it gets - and the more organized it gets. Nice to have the resources page going - need to turn that into a frameset. That way I could have buttons down the left for the categories of resources. I also want to get my Actions frameset created next as some of what I have in here should go in there. The web site is about accomplishing the project and NOT the project.

I did reread all of the notes I could find from MM on AR and that was helpful.

Tech Step

A big tech find tonight was how to turn on the frames in the View/Visual Aids menu. Has been driving me nuts since I started frames. This fall I would like to have a good handle on the core tools. So frames and behaviors this week. Flash the last two weeks of October.

End of the week - wrapup
Finishing the McNiff book has given me impetus (a nice way of saying "kick in the pants") and I found I was making lists as I read. For me, it was good to read it at this juncture as I was able to apply what I was reading to something concrete. I found that it organized the stew-pot of ideas that were floating around. This made me think about the whole thrust of this ARP: you have to have something that has meaning for you to apply what you are learning effecitvely. I suspect that is why I detest tutorials and why "learner" object to a throw-away project.

I love the freedom to write in my books. I had a hard time giving myself persmssion to do that. But when I looked at the cost of the book versus the cost of this program, I figured it was worth it if it made what I was doing work better. Notetaking - cards or otherwise - just takes too long.

I found that books that easily related to a project (ARP or DP), that is, had a practical application, were easy to get into. I look back on some of the books that I struggled with and note that they were more theoretical and didn't directly apply. I suspect that all of the reading could apply; I need to take even the more theoretical readings and apply the ideas to a project to make those ideas come alive for me.

As I go over the notes in McNiff, I note that I have restated my plan several times - each with a slight modification. Each time I do this, I am honing and clarifying my focus. I liked the McNiff idea of spontaneous thoughts need recording, so note pads or tape recorder handy. I will pick up a small tape recorder Sunday. Will be great for those moments when I am with someone and wish I had record of a conversation. As I talk to people in the role of teaching or integrating tech, I find that they also have the challenge of carry-over from training to classroom. When asked and I do share my concept, eyes light up and I often hear, "Yeah, yeah!"

Nikki and I have been in AIM almost daily. It is a mutual "caring" and it has been nice to share daily triumphs and challenges. Most exchanges are brief - a sot fo "checking in."

AH~HA
Moment

I also note that this project is becoming all-comsuming and I love that! However, I am now going to have to work at keeping a sense of balance in my life. I mean, here it is 10:05 pm in Fargo, ND, and I have just spent a long two days at a language tech conference (MWALL) - and here I am writing in this journal and scheming away! Though engaged in the conference and the planning for upgrading our HS 15-year-old equipment, I kept seeing crossovers and applications for my ARP. In fact, one of our faculty noted that what she really needed was a weekly appointment with me - she saw about three things she would love to implement in her classes. This is exactly the opening I have been looking for. She was turned on by the possibilities for alternatives to the traditional language lab console system on a road trip we did last spring to Oberlin University and Western Reserve Academy. She and I have tried a two ideas this fall, but though good attempts, they didn't go very far. She has been putting me off, primarliy because she was busy. She now sees the significant pedagogical potential benefits and the effort it will take on her part. She also saw what other language teachers have done without the aid of a tech partner. Tomorrow on the flight home we will work out our schedule...and I will ask her if she will be a collaborator on my ARP. A good control subject will be the second teacher that is with us - though excited (conference euphoria), I doubt that she will implement anything. I know I need to let her come along at her own pace. If I pushed or prodded or encouraged, the impetus would not come from within her - where she lives. Not sure what will make that happen for her.

Tech Steps

Learned how to do named anchors. Had messed around with this a bit before. Used the online Help. Used it for the navigation tool for the weeks as this month's journal got longer and longer. Love the Ctrl+A for quick adjusting of a table once blank lines are removed. Also found at the conference this weekend (see below) I was taking notes in Dreamweaver (DW). Will post web pages when I get to my office on the way home tomorrow. Will be easy way to share with those from Principia that did not come.

So at the end of week three in October, I feel that this project is really launched and has a good possibility of success. Next tonight I will work on the next version of my plan. I have had confirmation from within Principia and another faculty member to work with. I have had confirmation from outside Principia both at Millikin University at the Associated Colleges of Illinois Teaching and Learning Mentor workshop on the 11th and here at Concordia University at the annual MidWest Association of Language Lab Technology conference. And very importantly, I have had confirmation from MM who suggested that I begin thinking about publishing. Don't know if this is something she says to everyone, but it did make me want to do this work with rigor and care. On to the next revision of my plan.