321 Assignment 2.1

Assignment 2.1

Find at least 2 to 4 resources that discuss other learning style theories. Based on the information you find, discuss the following:

  • How does the information you found compare and contrast to the theories discussed in the book?
  • What new knowledge can you take and apply to your learners or to your approach to instruction from this resource that you found?
  • Be sure at the bottom of your post to include reference information so that your peers can find the resource if it is something they would like to add to their resources as well.


Nature’s Powerful Tutors; The Educative Functions of Free Play

Psi Chi – The International Honor Society in Psychology

Sudbury Model of Democratic Education

The Sudbury Model of Democratic Education is a model that literally does incorporate all learning styles. Even those we don’t think exist or have not thought of yet. This model of learning styles is backwards to everything we have learned so far. Instead of trying to figure out what the learning style is or categorize it, this model let’s the student decide it! The concept has blown me away in thinking how we approach education. This is truly a working model in practice since 1968. The basic premise is that the student decides what they learn, how they learn and when they learn. They have complete and total control over their learning. The reason I chose to investigate this is that it was discussed as a “Response to Intervention” model.  RtI is very popular right now in Special Education circles and working with these folks, I get to hear a little bit about it. One premise that comes out of this is that we don’t have learning disabilities, we just learn differently and at different rates and times throughout our lives.

I will take away something very powerful from researching this model. As we have learned from previous readings and research in this course, we are all motivated to learn. As facilitators we must avoid putting up roadblocks to unmotivated our students. One of the questions I would like to test on my students is “What would you like to learn today?” This puts the motivation back on them in what they come away with from the class or workshop.

GSU Master Teacher Program: On Learning Styles

This article by Dr. Harvey Brightman of Georgia State University is about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The article describes the four dimensions of the MBTI and teaching suggestions for each type. The information in the article was conformative to the theories discussed in the book. By that I mean the MBTI classifies personality traits into groups of people that we can normalize educational situations for. It is somewhat different in that it is all cognitive in relation to preference.  It seems many of the other learning styles theories are based in senses and some cognition where this particular theory is based solely in cognition.

This article will be very beneficial as I review the development of lesson plans in the future. It gives good concrete examples of how I might develop activities suited to a particular learning style. For example, as I think about teaching to the “Perceptive” student, I may create a set timeline through out the day in a full day workshop to keep them on target. On the flip side of this, a “Judging” student will likely learn better having note taking strategies at their disposal. This may mean having a split page outline as a hand out or some other note taking tool I can create for them.

References:

Gray, P. (2007). Nature’s Powerful Tutors; The Educative Functions of Free Play. Psi Chi – The International Honor Society in Psychology, 12(1), Retrieved from http://www.psichi.org/Pubs/Articles/Article_645.aspx

Brightman, H. J. (1998, December). Gsu Master Teacher Program: On Learning Styles. Retrieved from http://www2.gsu.edu/~dschjb/wwwmbti.html

People Smart

What is people smart?

This intelligence is about people working and learning with others.

hellomynameisjason

What are some personality qualities of people smart people?

People smart individuals like to interact with others either one on one or in group settings. They are usually labeled extroverts and tend to do a good job of judging others emotions and motivations.

What are some activities and technologies that would help people smart people in a learning environment?

Communications Tools – Software that would fall in this category might include Instant Messaging programs like Skype, Google Talk, or iChat. It’s a way to build a list of friends, colleagues and professionals to ask questions of or hold instant conversations individually or in a group setting. Most of these packages let you chat by typing or some also have audio and video capability. Some also let you share your computer screen and have other features to let you share and express your ideas.

Social Networking Tools – There are several web 2.0 tools to facilitate this type of learning style. The important part is remembering to build your network with those that will help you in a particular area. If you are interested in geography, follow/friend those who are in this field. If you want to know more about woodworking, follow master carpenters. The two most popular sites for social networking are Twitter and Facebook. You can learn much by building your PLN (Professional Learning Network.) You may also want to build your own social networking site for those with the same interests. A great site for this is Ning.


Have you worked with any of these technologies? How do you feel technology helps or hinders human communications? Comment here…

Music Smart

What is music smart?

This intelligence covers music, patterns, rhythms and sounds.

music-smartPermission to use for educational purposes.  © 1999 Fablevision

What are some personality qualities of music smart people?

Music smart individuals learn by working with sounds and patterns as it relates to music. They are able to decipher rhythms and tones and can play and create great compositions.

What are some activities and technologies that would help music smart people in a learning environment?

GarageBand – This software allows you to create music and podcasts. It can record audio, play and mix virtual instruments in predefined loops or ones you can create on your own and also has a lessons feature to learn to play different instruments. Using a book like GarageBand Mechanics by Dan Schmit will give you ideas for lessons in many curricular areas. For ideas on using GarageBand with your students, see what others are doing on Apple Learning Interchange.

Guitar Hero/Rock Band – This gaming landscape is taking off in the musical realm. There are many players in this field that bring music to everyone. Games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band not only introduce music to our students, they can teach rhythm, meter, pitch and a host of other musical intelligences. Many others are taking this a step further. Guitar Rising is using a real guitar game ideas from Guitar Hero to teach the instrument and other concepts. Jam Sessions is a unique game that turns the Nintendo DS into a portable guitar that you can use for many teachable moments. Click for Guitar Hero‘s or Rock Band‘s website.

iPod/MP3 Player – Having a library of music is helpful for any facilitator. Need to pick up the pace? Play something jazzy. Need to mellow the room? Play some easy or classical pieces. You can easily set the mood with the music you choose. Not only this but you also have the ability to relate your teaching to different genres, historical instruction and geographic information. Music plays such an important part of everyone’s lives and is great arsenal to add to your toolbox. Done with thought and conviction, you will see engagement and ultimately, better productivity. Click to read more on Apple’s iTunes/iPod.

How do you use musical personally? Is it an important part of your life? Did you pick specific pieces to play at your wedding? Birthdays? When you hear a song from the past, does it create memories of that time and where you were at? How can you start using music for your students? Share your thoughts.

AEDU 321 Class Blogs

Blogs on Learning Styles from my fellow students in the Bellevue AEDU 321 class:

  1. http://aedu321-boom.blogspot.com/
  2. http://badort.blogspot.com/
  3. http://bellevueaedu-stacey.blogspot.com/
  4. http://5reeds.blogspot.com/
  5. http://my.siouxlandvoice.com/Groups/Foodies/blog
  6. http://www.educationrebels.blogspot.com/
  7. http://creatinglearningstyles.blogspot.com/
  8. http://tungebellevueuniv.blogspot.com/
  9. http://nahnook.blogspot.com/
  10. http://rosiaaedu321.blogspot.com/
  11. http://mythoughtsonadultlearning.blogspot.com/
  12. http://misslisathoughts.blogspot.com/
  13. http://cjbeebe.blogspot.com/
  14. http://delightfulinsights.weebly.com/

Will edit as more add their blogs to the discussion site! There are some really good ideas!

Body Smart

What is body smart?

This intelligence covers movement and learning by doing. It is the capacity to learn and think by using the whole body or parts of it, such as hands, fingers, etc.

body-smartPermission to use for educational purposes.  © 1999 Fablevision

What are some personality qualities of body smart people?

Body smart people learn best by getting up, moving around, and doing. They think best when moving and working muscles. They enjoy things such as sports, dance, hands-on experiments and building things.

What are some activities and technologies that would help body smart people in a learning environment?

Nike + iPod – This is a great way for those inclined to walking and/or running to track their progress. A teacher/facilitator could have contests or track classroom progress with charts and other tools. It’s also a great way to teach health and wellness and have a virtual PE class. See more at Apple’s Nike + iPod site.

SmartMoves – This DVD provides “Body Puzzles for the Mind.” This highly researched activity improves focus and attention in students as well as calming restless students who can never seem to sit still. I have used it in workshops with adults as a great transition tool. It provides them activity and movement and something unique most of them have not experienced. It is a fun activity that spurs conversation and motivation. Find out more at the SmartMoves website.

Wii – The Wii gaming console is a unique system that gets students off the couch, moving and thinking as they progress through the many challenges the endless games Nintendo and other third party game developers have created. Some games, like Smarty Pants, have an inherent educational component and yet others challenge the facilitator to come up with educational value. One can use Wii Bowling, for example, to teach mathematics and graphing. For more educational games and ideas, visit Super Smart Games.

Mobiles/Handhelds – I add this category because I think the mobile technology allows us to get out in the field and collect data or do experiments. Anything from digital cameras, to GPS units, to cell phones and iPod Touches with the vast array of applications can get the kinesthetic learner moving and learning. See what the Horizon Report – K12 Edition has to say about the implication of mobile devices.

How important is it as facilitators to get our students up and moving? How often should we consider activities for this type of learner? What are some ideas you can implement to engage the body smart individual? Post your comments here.

Picture Smart

What is picture smart?

Picture smart people work well with images and spacial issues. This can cover a range of topics from art to cartography.

picture-smartPermission to use for educational purposes.  © 1999 Fablevision

What are some personality qualities of picture smart people?

Picture smart people enjoy imagery and have a strong sense of artistry. They are often good at building mental models and manipulating images in their mind. Picture smart people have a strong sense of direction and an ease of reading maps. I believe we will see an increasing trend for this intelligence as our students are exposed to more and more media on the television and the Internet.

What are some activities and technologies that would help picture smart people in a learning environment?

Flickr – From the photographer wanting a place to upload pictures to the student browsing for images to match a topic, Flickr is a wonderful resource for exploring, storing and sharing images. Flickr’s section for Creative Commons images that usually has less restrictions on their use. Learn more at www.flickr.com/tour.

Google Earth – This free application from Google is a 3D model of earth, space, and mars all in one. It is a wonderful resource for most grade levels and any curricular area. Zoom in to see the pyramids or the pool in your friend’s backyard. Plot points of interest and create reports in a visual form. Take a tour of Google Earth.

Animation-ish – This program from Fablevision is a must have for drawing and creating animation. From the beginner to the advanced user, this program has something for everyone. Peter Reynolds also gives video tips and encouragement in your creative journey. To learn more and for a free trial download, visit Fablevision.

Animoto – A web-based application that takes your pictures and makes a dynamic video for presentations, storytelling, or other projects you can do with your students. Add music and text to your projects also. Many teachers are using this tool in their classroom as an easy way to engage the visual learner. Visit their site and learn more about Animoto for Education.

Webspiration – This mind-mapping web software is a great tool to visualize your ideas in a web format and has the ability to collaborate with others on the same project. Create flowcharts, visualize processes, and strengthen organizational skills with this tool. For examples, see the webspiration gallery.

I mentioned earlier that I believe we will have more and more students gravitate toward this intelligence because of the easy of access and the onslaught of visual media we are inundated with on a daily basis. Do you agree? If so, do you feel this is a good or bad for our students? Comment here…

Number Smart

What is number smart?

This intelligence covers logical and mathematical skills. It is working with numbers, abstraction, reasoning and logic.

number-smart.ngPermission to use for educational purposes.  © 1999 Fablevision

What are some personality qualities of number smart people?

Number smart people like to crunch numbers. They enjoy math and games of logic such as chess. They excel in activities such as computer programming and other logic based activities. Number smart people learn best in critical thinking activities and experimentation.

What are some activities and technologies that would help number smart people in a learning environment?

Google Finance – Our budding economists will enjoy having all the tools Google Finance has to offer, from current news to building custom portfolios to discovering trends in the stock market.

Programming – This is a great area to reinforce logic and systematic thinking. There are two very good programming languages that come to mind when thinking in this area. MIT has a program called Scratch which I feel would be a good fit for all ages, young and old. Alice is another language for programming in a 3D environment which is more advanced. There are also the traditional programming languages typically taught in a programming class although these won’t be as conducive to developing a digital story or other project for something other than a straight math or programming class.

Sketchup – This is a 3D modeling tool that every future engineer should use. Sketchup lets you engineer the next mega-bridge or build skyscrapers in 3D. Students will be able to build these 3D models and share them with the world.

Games – I am going to use games again using both mobile handhelds (cell phones, iPods, PSP’s, etc.) and online. There are many resources in this category to challenge the number smart persons. Baingle has brain teasers, games such as Chess and Sudoku, and much more.

Google Docs – This is again a standard tool every student and faculty needs access to. For the number smart person, they will enjoy working with spreadsheets and charts. Click for the standard Google Docs link. I will also again urge the use of Google Apps for Education.

With the Internet resources we have available and the computing resources now in everything from cell phones to super-computers, number smart people have many opportunities to learn and express themselves. What would you do to help support this intelligence from a learning standpoint or maybe harder yet, from an assessing standpoint? Share your comments…

Word Smart

What is word smart?

This intelligence covers verbal/linguistic skills. It is working with words, spoken or written.

word-smartPermission to use for educational purposes.  © 1999 Fablevision

What are some personality qualities of word smart people?

Word smart people like to read, write, talk and/or listen. They revel in words, books, languages and telling stories. People with a preference toward this intelligence learn best by reading, note taking, and lectures.

What are some activities and technologies that would help word smart people in a learning environment?

iTunes U – many lectures on just about any topic from professors and universities all over the country. This could be used for direct instruction or for those that need a place for extra resources on a topic of interest. Click for more information on iTunes U.

Podcasts – Listening to and creating podcasts would be a great activity for word smart individuals. For a great starter resource, take a look at Learning In Hand.

Blogs – Both reading and writing blogs is a way to engage these learners. Edublogs is a wonderful resource for educational blogging.

Stationary Studio – This software is a fantastic way to get reluctant or elementary students writing using theme based stationary. Check out this and other creative software from Fablevision Learning.

Digital Storytelling – Planning and writing scripts. Digitales has great resources for the beginner and the advanced storyteller.

Games – Using both mobile handhelds (cell phones, iPods, PSP’s, etc.) and online, there are many games for the linguist. For a few to try, see Word Games at the Gameroom.

Google Docs – This essential resource should be in any toolbox. With it’s suite of word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, it’s a must have for collaborating for any student or faculty. I am going to post two links because I feel strongly every school should really, really consider having Google Apps for Education. Here is the standard Google Docs link.

The applications and resources for this group are wide and varied. There are tons of tools but putting those into effective practice is the hard part. Please share other technology resources you have used for this group and how you put them into practice by commenting on this post.

Buckle

The Buckle is building a new warehouse. It is truly ginormous! The pace of construction is incredible. They are there everyday of the week working on it.

IMG00228

Learning Styles and Technology

Over the next week I would like to share my thoughts on how technology might play a role in reaching more learners with different learning styles. I will argue that applying different learning styles to your lessons using technology will elicit engagement and increase achievement. There is already research happening in this field and there will only be more to come. But we don’t need research to know that we are all motivated by different factors and have different preferences for learning and sharing.

This brings up an important point. We need to not only think about how our students prefer the input of information but also how they may best output their knowledge. Given the same information some students will prefer to convey their thoughts on the topic verbally. Some will prefer to write and yet others might like to portray their knowledge with a skit.

As I thought about what I wanted to blog on, I reflected on many learning styles models. From Dr. Felder’s Index of Learning Styles to Dr. Kolb’s Learning Styles Model. But the model that made the biggest impact on me is Dr. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. Before we get started with this week of, hopefully, fun and spirited discussion on this topic, I would like to have Dr. Gardner share a little bit on his thoughts on the use of technology given his framework in Multiple Intelligence Theory. Click the clip below to view an interview excerpt from Edutopia. Here is a link to the full article and interview: Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences

Edutopia-Interview

I would also like to introduce you to the eight intelligences I’ll be writing about. We probably see signs of these in ourselves and our students but have preferences for one or another based on our context in terms of our environment or what role we are in when we need to draw on our learning preference.

As you review these areas, do you see signs of preference for yourself and do these change depending on where you are or what role you are playing. For example, are you more prone to linguistic intelligence when you are taking a class or are you more kinesthetic when doing yard work. Or are these just stereotypes that, as we think about them, need to turn on their head! Do you really map out your yard before planting anything? Come on… you can tell me! Comment here…

Overview of Learning Styles

I am intrigued by different learning styles and all the models available to assess your strengths and weaknesses in this area. Of all the online assessments, I am particularly drawn to the Memletics Learning Styles Inventory. I feel this is the most rounded and balanced of the assessments I have taken up to this point. Below are the learning styles Memletics covers.

The learning styles are:

  • Visual (spatial). You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural (auditory-musical). You prefer using sound and music.
  • Verbal (linguistic). You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical (kinesthetic). You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
  • Logical (mathematical). You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
  • Social (interpersonal). You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal). You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

via Overview of learning styles.

After taking the 70 question inventory, you are presented with a graphic that indicates your preferences. Here is what mine looked like when finished.

Memletics - EverettClick image for full size

Have you used an online assessment of your learning styles? Which did you like best? Do you think these are accurate representations of your learning styles? Why or why not?

321 – Assignment 1.2

Assignment 1.2

The book does state that it is not necessary for an instructor to prepare 20 ways to teach the same thing – it would be unreasonable. I believe we can agree with that, but are there techniques you can be using to spice up your instruction? Utilize the internet (not Wiki) and library resources and complete the following:

  • Find at least three resources that discuss learning styles.
  • Provide the reference information for others so that they may find it if they are interested in reading more (continue to try your hand at APA formatting – please include a title page and a reference page).
  • Provide a summary of the articles – comparing and contrasting the information you have found.
  • Based on what you have read in the book and from your articles, analyze the information about learning styles and how they pertain to you, your learning and your teaching.

The resources I found on the Internet were mostly taken from the Google Scholar search with the exception of the Felder resources. These were links provided within the Course Documents in BlackBoard.

As I investigated Richard Felder’s website, I was drawn to his “Random Thoughts” article series on “Meet Your Students.” These articles tell stories about the different learning styles of the characters. The first in the series, “1. Stan and Nathan,” is a story of two chemical engineering roommates with seemingly similar personalities.  Except for the Index of Learning Styles model dimension of Sensor vs. Intuitor. Each article focuses on a particular dimension and is very useful for me to have concrete examples provided in the storylines.

I also came across a video interview with Dr. Felder. This was most beneficial in terms of hearing from him what each dimension in his model Index of Learning Styles. He also provided advice and valuable resources for new teachers. For example, Dr. Felder explained that most people think we need to find out the learning styles of each of our students and teach to the way they prefer for the best results. He explains this is impossible to do if there are two or more students in your class. To be successful professionals, he explains, students must be able to participate on both sides of each dimension. We, as teachers, need to touch both sides of the dimension some of the time in our teachings. Of example, a typical lecture time might include time for lecture, something to do, a question, and/or a brainstorming opportunity. These might happen individually, in pairs, groups or 3 or 4, in a think/pair/share and usually on 30 seconds to 3 minutes time.

I also read an online article from a group of mostly Chinese professors and one Canadian. The title is “The Relationship of Kolb Learning Styles, Online Learning Behaviors and Learning Outcomes.” My interest was in how our topic of Learning Styles relates to online learning and what we might do as online instructors to best prepare our students. As discussed in the article, providing a well-rounded library of electronic documents to support the instruction will satisfy students of Abstract Conceptualization. Students geared more toward Concrete Experience will find a learning environment chalked full of communications tools and resources will be more useful. Although I have not seen any research on our particular class, it would be interesting to do a survey and see how we relate to the online material, usually having both resources available.

The last article I’ll discuss piqued my interest in Learning Styles and how they relate technology. The article titled “An early investigation into factors in student’s choice of technology for e-learning” was beneficial as we see growth from different technologies and mediums of communications to more advanced models of use. For example, students used email 62% of the time to communicate but were more likely to use text messaging given the choice of email, texting, discussion boards, chat, etc. Currently, there are a very low percentage of students who download media (video or audio) of a lecture but given the chance, they are very likely to engage in this activity.

I have learned that as I go forth and provide learning opportunities for my adult students, I need to keep a balanced approach to learning styles. It is beneficial to learners to be exposed to as many opportunities for growth as they can and by providing different teaching/learning styles, we open the doors for them. I also need to take into account my learning preference and, knowing what these are, be aware of any mismatches between my students and myself. As I have matured intellectually, I have noticed that my styles have changed from a more hands on approach to being more comfortable in a “heady” environment.

References:

Felder, R. M. (Interviewee). (2007, February 15). An Introduction to learning styles: how students learn, how teachers teach, and what usually goes wrong with the process [Video]. Retrieved from http://ctl.csudh.edu/SpeakerSeries/Felder.htm

Felder, R.M. (1989, Spring). Meet Your Students: 1. Stan and Nathan. Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Stannathan.html

Lynch, K., Debuse, J., Lawley, M., & Roy, S. (2009, July 6). An Early investigation into factors in student’s choice of technology for e-learning. Retrieved from http://www.herdsa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/conference/2009/papers/HERDSA2009_Lynch_K.pdf

Lu, H., Jia, L., Gong, S., & Clark, B. (2007). The Relationship of Kolb Learning Styles, Online Learning Behaviors and Learning Outcomes. Retrieved from http://www.ifets.info/journals/10_4/17.pdf

321 – Assignment 1.1

Assignment 1.1

It is important to know your own learning style before you begin to assess those of others. In the Course Documents please click on the link to the learning styles assessments. You will see there are a variety of them – each of you much complete the first one, “Rightbrain-Leftbrain Assessment” and then choose at least two others to complete. Once finished, submit a post thoroughly discussing the following:

  • Of the three assessments you completed, which do you feel represents your approach to learning and life the best?
  • What have you learned about your learning style?
  • How do you think you can utilize this information to help yourself as a learner? How about as an educator?

I feel the assessment that best reflected my approach to learning and life best was the Memletics Accelerated learning Styles Inventory. Although a little more complicated and a little longer process, it reflected with more accuracy than the others. Although the others captured the essence of my learning styles, I am so close in visual and kinesthetic that the other two I took reflected different results. I also feel the Memletics assessment covered more areas related to a variety of learning styles instead of just using three categories.

Generally, I have learned that my preference for learning is very visual and very kinesthetic. I also know I have adapted over the years to learn to adapt the other learning styles. I have also learned in the Memletics assessment that aural and verbal can be two very different things. This explains why I can listen to a piece of music and get the beat and notes almost instantly but it takes a concerted effort to remember the words.

I can utilize these assessments to create an environment for myself that is conducive to learning that fits my style. I can also use a combination of my learning styles and mix it up every once in a while without fear that I may miss something or without fear it is outside of my comfort zone. Although I am strong in a couple areas, I don’t have any styles I just despise or cannot learn from.

As an educator, I need to be aware that people do have different learning styles and to not stick to one or two ways of presenting material just because I am comfortable with that particular style(s). It is good to mix it up a bit so everyone gets a boost at some point.


I ended up taking the Index of Learning Styles Inventory as provided by Dr. Felder also. In taking this assessment, I was torn by almost every question of the 44 provided. The instructions were to “choose the that applies more frequently.” My results were very skewed to, yes, my preferential mode of learning but I don’t think it accurately reflected my actual learning styles given the scales used in the results.  I feel a better approach would have been to separate each question into a scale in and of itself and then average the to to come up with a more aligned learning styles assessment.

For example, the first question was:

I understand something better after I
(a) try it out.
(b) think it through.

I really do both of these to different degrees! So I would re-frame this one question into two and average the results:

I understand something better after I try it out: Strongly disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly agree
I understand something better after I think it through: Strongly disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly agree

If I chose agree, giving me 3 points for the first question and strongly agree for the second question for 4 points, I can then average these on the scale pushing my preference toward thinking vs. trying.

Results of the first way:
<— Thinking (Reflective)  – X – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Trying (Active) —> (very skewed)

Results of the second way:
<— Thinking (Reflective)  – – – – – – X – – – – – – – – – – Trying (Active) —> (more on target with my actual learning preference)

Part of the reason I bring this up is, as I age, I am finding myself sliding in different categories more and more. It is a growing process that doesn’t have a definitive beginning or end.

Garage Project #1426

I love woodworking! My latest project is derived from a little remodel project we did this summer. (Yes, this summer! And I am just NOW finishing.) As we were tearing out some built-in cabinets, we discovered a HUGE hole in the drywall to the back of our fireplace. Disaster to say the least. Not what were were expecting! I guess you never know what to expect in a remodel project. Well, as we thought about it, we decided to see if the space was suitable for storage of some sort. There is really quite a bit of room that is wasted back there and it really would be a nice place to keep game, ironing board, etc. So, instead of closing up the hole with drywall, we decided to put a door there. I know I could have purchased a door but I thought it would be cheaper (yes, I am a cheapskate) to just build on myself. And the door you see in this picture is the result. I’ll have to post a picture when it is actually hanging!

IMG00223

Stilts!

Did you have stilts when you were growing up? Had to build some for Colvin. He spent quite a bit of time in the garage playing with them. Was pretty fun!

IMG00220

311 – Assignment 1.4

Assignment 1.4 – Group Project

This assignment will be one that you will work on in an assigned group, and you will work on it all four weeks. The final result will be a presentation of your group’s new and improved theory of learning. Throughout this course you will learn about different learning theories and models – some of them are easy to understand, some are not so easy to understand; some of them contain information that truly applies to adult learners, some of them don’t.


Group Members:

Jason , Nancy , Joy , Paul , Rosia



Introduction:

Welcome to our Concept Attainment Model, “Colorful Paths of Learning” presented by Jason, Nancy, Joy, Paul, and Rosia. Our model uses color to support visual direction of changes in the learning process.  Each change of color represents a new section of concept attainment (guessing, testing, conforming, and changing information).  Please take a casual stroll through our connecting paths of learning, which eventually leads to confirmation, conclusion, and feedback.


Modified Scientific Method Model of Learning

Model Diagram



Explanation


1) Acquire coded or uncoded input either internally or externally.

2) Ask a question about the input: “How?”, “What?”, “When?”, “Who?”, “Which?”, “Why?”, or “Where?”

3) Do research to find out if the question you are asking has been suitably answered.

4) Ask “Does a suitible answer exist?”

4a) If “Yes”, ask “Were other questions raised in the process of your research?”

If “No”, the Current Behavior Continues. Nothing changes.

If “Yes”, other questions were raised, we can return to the beginning of the cycle of having Aquired Input.

5) If “No”, Construct a Hypothesis, or educated guess about how things work: “If I do ~this~, then ~this~ will happen.”

6) Develop a plan in how you will answer your question.

7) Test your hypothesis. If possible test with all possible scenarios. Also try to test using methods that are measurable and will give quantifiable results.

8 ) Analyze the results of the test to draw a conclusion.

8a) If the conclusion is one that is not expected, rethink the process and return to constructing a new hypothosis.

9) If the conclusion is one that is expected, report the results to others.

10) Obtain external input as feedback.

10a) If there are other questions raised as a result of the external feedback, return to the beginning of the model and restart the cycle.

If there were no other questions raised as a result of the external feedback, continue current behavior.



Examples


Example #1

1) Central Campus in Sioux City has closed, ending an entry-level cooking program for high school students

2) Can we replace it and expand it with a cooking program for mainline and at-risk high school students at a different site?

3) There are excellent programs in Des Moines, Omaha, Council Bluffs, Dubuque, and Lakes College with magnet schools for culinary and other vocational arts. All of these are associated with post-secondary culinary/vocational programs at the local community colleges.  There are no Iowa records of successful high school programs (other than the most basic consumer science cooking classes) without a supporting community college to help handle the academic, clerical and lab support work such a programs demands.

4) Sioux City does NOT currently possess any culinary programs in post-secondary education and there is NO high school program for advanced culinary studies.

5) The first step is to create a interest in the high schools and the community colleges.  The next step is to get the correct city organizations involved. The third step is to work as an “expert” in these groups to facilitate the end result of high school and community college culinary programs.  The forth step is to make sure I have all my certifications in line so I can work in these organizations I am helping create.

6) PLAN:

a) Get Community Colleges (Western Iowa Tech & Northeastern College) to do feasibility studies on a Culinary Program – DONE

b) Speak to Sioux City IA high school Superintendent and South Sioux City NE high school Superintendent about starting the high school Culinary Program – DONE

c) Get tri-state educational committies to explore the importance of vocational specialty schools in the Siouxland region. – DONE – Meetings have begun.

d) Find a central location for high school culinary programs – IN PROCESS – Visiting sites and doing feasibility studies for both sides of the river (IA & NE) need sites.

e) Get entry-level community college programs started. IN PROCESS – Nebraska will be visiting a site I have rented and will be visiting my current class to observe.  Iowa is still not proceeding, but I have not given up.

f) Get Vocational Certification Board (American Culinary Federation) group going for Siouxland so we have a licensing body – IN PROCESS – I am collecting names of Chefs, Educators,  Food Service Vendors and Hospitality Professionals to create our own chapter.

7) TEST:My current program in the pilot for the initiative.  The next test will be a feeder program in the Northeastern Community College in South Sioux City to begin feeding students to the big school in Omaha NE.  The next test will be to begin the pilot culinary programs in the two high schools.

8) The analysis to date shows great progress.  The high schools are interested in expanding the program.  The restaurant public want to sample more of the students offering. The Nebraska Community College program is functioning well, but the students are disappointed that they have to go to Omaha for their second year.  The Iowa Community College must get  involved soon for this tri-state effort to be a success.

9) Reporting the Results to the school districts and community colleges.  Reporting the results to community action agencies and Juvenile Court Services.  Reporting the results to the local newspapers.

10) The feedback was that we must expand the program and the Western Iowa Technical Community College in Sioux City Iowa must get on-board.

10a) The city fathers want to know if we can open a student-run restaurant.  Oh my goodness, we are back to the starting point!

Example #2

1) As input, I see a pet therapy team at the local library participating in the “Paws to Read” program. There are many children there and it seems to be a very successful event.

2) I ask myself, “Could I be a pet therapy handler?”

3) I talk to the team at the library. I also look online for information about what it takes to become a pet therapy handler.

4) I ask myself, “Does the research I have just completed tell me I could become a pet therapy handler?” If the answer is yes, there is no need to do anything else I have just answered my initial question. This may raise another question and bring me back to the beginning of the cycle. If the answer is still questionable, I need to for a hypothesis.

5) Hypothesis: If I study and practice, then I can become a pet therapy handler.

6) I develop a plan that consists of reading and participating in training events.

7) I then engage and test the plan.

8) If the results of my test are not what I expected, I will 8a) rethink and determine if I need a new hypothesis. I may keep my same hypothesis or change it and go on to develop a different plan and test.

9) If the results are expected, I will report the results to my peers and institutions that may need my skills.

10) After review of their feedback, I will see if any questions were raised. If none, I will continue on as a pet therapy handler (or not depending on my outcome!) If there were questions, this would be input for a new cycle. For example, the feedback might be: You would be a good tester/observer.

Example #3

1) As input, I am given an assignment to write a research paper about learning styles.  In an effort to successfully execute the assignment I go to the public library to obtain sources.

2) I ask myself, “What books are available at the library that would be relevant to my topic?”

3) I utilize the public library computer system to determine available books, by typing in a variation of “learning styles” in the “subject” search box.  I determine the books available at the library and write down title, author, and call number information necessary for obtaining and borrowing the books.  I also reference the library map to determine how I can reach my chosen books.  Likewise, I communicate with library personnel to understand the layout of the library.

4) I ask myself, “Does the research I have just completed enable me to obtain the books I desire to successfully execute the research paper assignment?”  If the answer is yes, then the initial question is answered.  This may raise another question and bring me back to the beginning of the cycle (1).  If the question is still questionable, I need to continue by creating a hypothesis.

5) Hypothesis:  If I locate and obtain the desired books, then I will be able to successfully execute the assignment.

6) I develop a plan that consists of locating the books in the library, assessing my findings, and checking out/borrowing books from the library.

7) I then engage and test the plan by reading and referencing the books while formulating notes for the assigned research paper.  Writing the research paper ensues.

8) If the results of my test are not what I expected, I will 8a) rethink and determine if I need a new hypothesis.  I may keep my same hypothesis, or change it and go on to develop a different plan and test.

9) If the results are expected, I will confidently turn in my learning styles research paper to the facilitator.

10) After review of the facilitator’s feedback, I will see if any questions were raised.  If none, I will continue my methods when seeking out sources for research paper assignments.  If there were questions, this would be input for a new cycle.  For Example: The facilitator’s feedback includes, “In the future, when writing research papers, you should use a variety of mediums to obtain your resources.  In addition to books, you could offer relevant sources in the form of journals, websites, articles, etc.”



Sources


Escoffier, Georges-Auguste. The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery. Translated by H. K. Cracknell and R. J. Kaufman. London: Heinemann, 1979.

Kendall, J. S., & Marzano, R. J. (2007). The new taxonomy of educational objectives. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.

Mackeracher, Dorthy. Making Sense of Adult Learning. 2nd. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2004. Print.

“Steps of the Scientific Method”. Science Buddies. 03 May 2007. Science Buddies, Web. 14 Nov 2009. http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/project_scientific_method.shtml.

Understanding Origins of Teaching Methods and Approaches. Britt Tatman Ferguson, Ph. D. Minnesota State University Moorhead. “Reaching Out To Learners Project”. 2005-2006.

311 – Assignment 4.2

Assignment 4.2

Chapter 8 of the text addresses the issue of relationships in learning.  Adult educators should recognize the roles of relationships in learning and how best to facilitate them.  According to the text, good educators need to be able to offer activities that support both relational and autonomous learning.  For this assignment, think about some of the learning activities that you have designed either for this class or that you have created as an instructor or curriculum developer.

Select a topic or subject matter that you have instructed or created curriculum for – using Figure 8.3 and the Learning and Facilitating Principles on pages 168 – 171 discuss the following:

  • Describe an activity you have designed that strongly supports autonomous learners. How could you modify this activity to support relational learners?
  • Describe an activity you have designed that strongly supports relational learners. How could you modify this activity to support autonomous learners?
  • Describe an activity that provides balanced support for both types of learners. If you don’t already have one, create one in addition to the two already discussed.


This is by far the hardest assignment I have had up to this point. In thinking about the two different approaches, I have never (consciously) used one or the other or a stronger approach then the other. Or tried to as I developed them. The approach, I feel, works better as you are providing the instruction. A particular group of people may need a more autonomous approach where another group may need a more relational approach. And, within each group, you may have individuals that will need something different. The only way to be successful is to be flexible up front and get a feel for your audience. This is true in any situation whether it be a learning experience, a meeting, or other encounter.

Strongly Supports Autonomous Learners:
I provide several opportunities for autonomous learners by giving them access to online resources for particular subjects. This works with applications based trainings such as “How to use PowerPoint.” The step-by-step actions (provided in video format, images, and/or text) that may require repetition are provided online so the learner can go over them as much or as little as required.

Strongly Supports Relational Learners:
We have workshops targeted at different curricular areas in which sharing is the central theme of the learning day. For example, we have a Social Studies 2.0 workshop that consists of introductions where each person has to share a success they have had since the last time we met. We then have them share with the group any technology they may be using and the pros and cons are discussed and how others may use the ideas. We will also introduce new technologies (by either invited guest or shared by me) and talk about different ways they may be used.

Provides Balanced Support:
I provide teachers a WordPress account from our organization and in doing so, give them the opportunity to learn how to implement their website as a classroom information portal. For the autonomous users, I provide them with an address, username and password. I also provide for them a collection of print resources, online resources, and informational webinars they can use to learn on their own. For the relational learners, I provide onsite workshops where the learner can get to know others and how they are planning and using their web presence. I give them time to discuss with others what they are planning also time for questions that can be explained one to one or in a group setting.

311 – Assignment 4.1

Assignment 4.1

The concept of “situated learning” is discussed on pages 140 – 141 and pages 201 – 205 of the text. On pages 202 – 203 of the text, the author presents a bulleted list of features that help encourage situated learning.

Share a brief overview of a topic or lesson that you might teach where situated learning would be viable.  Using the bulleted list on pages 202 – 203 as a guide, describe how you could use three of the features to enhance the facilitation of your topic.   Share your ideas with your colleagues by posting your assignment to the Assignment 4.1 Discussion Board.


I am going to stray away from the usual technology workshops I facilitate and write about how I could do this particular assignment as a potential “pet therapy” instructor. I am not, nor have I ever done this, but this assignment struck an interest in how this might work in instructing other people interested in pet therapy.

Part of becoming a registered or certified (depending on the regulating organization) pet therapy team is obtaining the skills necessary to handle the pet, work with all types of people, other animals, various institutions, etc. Not to mention the organizational skills needed to set up visits and activities. To this end, “access to old-timers’ situated knowledge” is an invaluable key to being a successful pet therapy team.

All of the bullet points on page 202-203 would be beneficial in this scenario but three points I would use and will discuss are:

Telling Stories: Given the unpredictability of animals and people in different situations, storytelling is a key component to any learning process in the contexts given as there is no way to effectively convey every situation that may arise. I would having several seasoned veteran’s of the program share stories and answer questions that may arise.

Promoting Collaborative Activities: I would develop activities that would enable the learner to work with others in the field in a non-threatening environment. For example, set up a scenario that would enable the student to bring in their animal and work in the same room with others so they can experience what is like to have other pets in the room. I would also pose questions like: How does your animal act differently around other people/animals. What are some things you can do to calm them or keep them “working?”

Providing multiple opportunities to engage in practice: It is imperative in this type of work to understand different facilities and who you will be working with. I would set up a three stage process that would allow them the opportunity to participate in at least two, if not more, events and locations as [first stage] an observer with no animal, [second stage] as an observer with animal so the animal gets comfortable, and [third stage] as a participant with animal with the instructor for coaching.

Stage One Event One: Visit hospital observing another team.
Stage Two Event One: Visit hospital as a team with pet with instructor team. Not participating but still handling their own animal.
Stage Three Event One: Visit hospital as a team with instructor participating in the pet therapy process and getting coaching from the instructor.

Stage One Event Two: Visit library observing another team.
Stage Two Event Two: Visit library as a team with pet with instructor team. Not participating but still handling their own animal.
Stage Three Event Two: Visit library as a team with instructor participating in the pet therapy process and getting coaching from the instructor.

Funny Duck

This is a funny story – sort of… This may look like an ordinary day at the lake at the Everett house but what’s funny about it is that this live duck (the white one) has been hanging out with this decoy (dark one) for about a month now. I’m sure the conversation is stellar and they get to do all sorts of fun things together. It is way to funny. The live duck just won’t leave the decoy alone.

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311 – Assignment 3.3

Assignment 3.3

In chapter 6 of the text, the author examines the role of motives in learning.  As the author points out, motives arise from within the learner, and instructors have an impact on their learner’s motivation. The feedback or reinforcement an instructor offers to his/her learner may indirectly increase a learner’s motivation. It is important for adult learners to identify their educational goals and to develop objectives and desired outcomes.  These objectives guide the learner toward their goals and guide the instructor in providing feedback.

You will first approach this assignment as the learner, then as the instructor – you will be paired up for this assignment.

As the learner, write a brief piece that describes your educational goals and objectives; be sure to include your motives for continuing your education. Post this to the discussion board as “Assignment 3.3”


My professional mission is to help others learn and share 21st century skills.

To achieve this mission, I am committed to expanding my knowledge and providing my students with the best I have to offer in terms of how best to meet their needs.

My goals in taking this program are:

  • Obtain a solid foundation and degrees to be able to provide credit to teachers for course work taken at the ESU.
  • Obtain knowledge to help me in the instruction and understanding of how adult educators learn.
  • Expand my knowledge in providing online coursework for educators.

My motives for undertaking this new endeavor based on two categories, as defined in Mackeracher book “Making Sense of Adult Learning” (p. 131), the drive to bond with others with the same interests as myself and the drive to learn by meeting growth needs in the areas of improving job skills, developing professionally and learning for the pleasure of learning. (p. 132, 133)

311 – Assignment 3.2

Assignment 3.2

For this assignment post a question that you have based on your readings. It could be about something you didn’t quite understand, it could be a question to generate discussion or debate, or it could be regarding a situation that you have encountered that applies to what you have read.


Based on the reading in chapter 6, Emotions and Motives in Learning, I recalled a recent book I read by John Medina called “Brain Rules.” Our reading, “Making Sense of Adult Learning,” states  “Adults learn best when they are stimulated, aroused, or motivated to an optimum level through internal or external sources.” (p 129) Dr. Medina explains a useful technique in chapter 4 (Attention: We don’t pay attention to boring things.) of his book “Brain Rules”. The practice he uses is called “hooks.” A hook has to “trigger an emotion such as fear, laughter, happiness, or nostalgia.” It must also be relevant to the material at hand.

My question is how can we effectively use this technique to enhance the learning process? The typical argument I hear is more information is better. We have so much to information to disseminate we don’t have time to add “fluff” or hooks to the presentation. Is it better to pile on the information and hope some of it sticks or is it better to cut some of the irrelevant content, adding hooks to make the highlights more memorable?

311 – Assignment 3.1

Assignment 3.1

On pages 120 – 121 of the text, the author lists nine conditions which affect cognitive development in adulthood. For four conditions, provide an activity, assignment, or teaching method that an instructor could use to help his/her adult student develop these skills.


Condition Three: Adults must be able to identify and formulate problems before solving them, or invent questions before answering them.

For this condition I might suggest a game of “What If?” Participants would have to come up with questions based on the context of the class or workshop. For example, in a podcasting workshop, participants would have to come up with two what ifs before a break. One would be hardware/software related, the other content related. A hardware/software example might be “What if I wanted to use several computers to make one recording?”  A content question might be “What if I asked my students to write a script using creative writing techniques?”

Condition Four: Live in environments where it is not clear what one’s goals should be.

I would use a blog activity and have each participant write a future scenario depicting what the future looked like at certain stages. For example, I could set up a scene in which the fast forward to 1 year from now and have to journal about what they see. Then we fast forward to 3 years, then 5 years, then 10. At the end of the activity, I would have them reflect on their journal and try to come up with goals and/or objectives that would get them to the point they last wrote about. I would also have other classmates look at and suggest possible goals to comment on the others blogs.

This activity would work well with condition three also.

Condition Six: Managing interactions and conflicts within a system of roles and relationships.

I would have participants participate in a related internship or job shadowing opportunity and have them reflect specifically on the interpersonal relationships encountered and how these might be appropriate or need adjusting and how this might be accomplished. If something like this were not available, I would set up a mock classroom or environment and act out several scenarios they could “judge.”

Condition Seven: Ability to reflect on their own actions.

For this activity, I would have participants journal and evaluate themselves at certain stages of the workshop. It would be useful to have a rubric of some sort they could objectively look at what they had done and compare where they were in the process. Leading questions might be “What have you done up to this point?” “Have you met your objective?” “How did you meet your objective?” “What could you have done or provided to instill the objectives better?” “What do you still need to do?” “Is there anything you thought of in the process that you would like to add?”

Google Maps Snafu

This was too good not to share. I was working with Google Maps getting ready for a workshop when I came across this extraneous road running through my backyard! Makes you wonder where they come up with the road information. I highlighted our home with the orange arrow. The road that doesn’t exist is labeled by the yellow arrows. Too funny! I did “report a problem” so we’ll see what they do and how soon. Click the image for a larger version.

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