A Beautiful Distraction

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    A beautiful distraction

    A Beautiful Distraction

    Category:DanceTags : 

    A Beautiful Distraction

    Teaching-learning. How do you teach someone to learn?  It’s a beautiful distraction.

    Learning to teach isn’t quite the same when you realize you have to train others on what you’ve just learned.  You must offer the simplest and traditional training first.  It is here, that you make the decision of what not to do as well.

    A Vision of Dance.  It’s a Beautiful Distraction.

    New approaches are only incorporated when you understand that some change or actions can work, and work well.  New approaches should be looked at,  as beautiful distractions.  But, not everyone will adapt to new approaches, or accept outside assistance.  Some will fight off change no matter what – even if that change is the substance necessary to make things better in their studios, or their own personal performance, etc.

    Good teachers research their subject.  But how do you teach research?  With tutorials?  How do you write the tutorial without the research? Or without the teacher?  Or even without the student to learn?

    Somewhere in time,  someone (maybe you)  took on, r will take on,  the task of inventing a dance process by which others will benefit.  When a process is finally viewed for the first time by others, many begin to understand the painstaking hours that it takes to learn,  teach, research and write out,  an explanation of a  vision.  A vision of Dance.  It’s a beautiful distraction.

    Dance Choreography is “A Beautiful Distraction”.  You take the very raw elements of dance technique and music and you incorporate your own personal vision.  You can add pieces of emotion, and suspense.  You learn to talk and express a story using your body, and facial features, even the use of your hair flowing as you turn and move.  You feel the movements of dance in your soul.

    Dance, like with all the arts,  is perceived differently from one individual to the next.  It takes time, energy, and patience,  to make your dream a reality.  It is the lucky artist, however, who is able to reach a vast audience.

    ballet A Beautiful Distraction

    Follow your dreams – look into your own “beautiful distractions” that come your way.  One of those distractions may be that rainbow that you have been waiting for.

    To all those I’ve ever taught, or will teach,  I just want you to know, that having you in my life is a “Beautiful Distraction”.  You make up a very colorful rainbow.  Thanks for the  Skittles! Dance on, there are a lot more rainbows to come.

    http://cricketsdance.com/stagedoor/archives/2738

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg A Beautiful Distraction

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    Making The Grade- It's Crunch Time!

    Making The Grade – It’s Crunch Time!

    Category:EducationTags : 

    Making The Grade – It’s Crunch Time!

    Making the Grade – It’s Crunch Time! Anyone who has spent much time at all in education might understand the term Death-Bed Repentance.  I had another teacher spell that statement out for me this week as we were trying to motivate our one shared student to get his work done.  Death-bed repentance, or simply stated:

    • – those last minute adjustments to assignments
    • -picking up on any  late work
    • -actually showing up to class instead of just leaving your recorder there
    • -cramming information into our brains for quick purging

    Loans and scholarships are all on the line now, and for a fraction of the time, all life stops in the fast lane.  It’s death-bed repentance time – we are making the grade baby!

    Making the  grade baby!

    I’m just as guilty as the next student, at least in my undergrad days I was; not so much through my masters.  Taking our bodies and minds to the level of non-functioning, just for a little alphabetic character on a piece of paper – it’s insanity.

    a Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!What makes us do that to ourselves?   Unconsciously or consciously we fought sleep – up until  2:00 a.m. or later – if we slept at all.  We then drug our unhappy selves to class at the butt crack of dawn.  We lived for that college life-  Right?

    We lived for college life!

    I’m a distracted learner through and through.  I can sit in the middle of a room with nothing to do, and I will still be able to distract myself.   I don’t need any outside help to do that either.   If I have assignments in front of me, I will toss and turn any number of concepts around in my mind, making great strides – at least until I see something shiny on the floor.   Focus? What focus? For a few moment’s I am in mental bliss, at least until  I return to the task at hand – namely homework.

    Something shiny on the floor

    I am in the mindset of believing that maybe I am normal after all.  I watch my 9th and 10th- grade students struggling with the same issues I had (and still do).  Sitting in a hard chair with nothing in front of you but a cold table is really not anyone’s idea of a  warm and fuzzy experience.  I am the one with the soft chair, not them.  My experience is different of course.

    The best advice I could give to any teacher new or old –  is to build in distractions.  Don’t wait for your students to find distractive measures themselves, build those key distractive breaks into your curriculum.   Twenty minutes of study equals 5 to 10 minutes of light to mild distraction.  It could still be a learning distraction – just something different, or on a related topic.

    Some would ask how I would assess this distractive learning paradigm.  I look at this way.  If students who do not normally turn in assignments or have at least a passing GPA- all of a sudden start looking like the average student – guess what?  You get to go to the front of the class!

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAWPAAAAJGI0NDgwZTJmLWRlNDgtNDFkMS04MTI1LTU4NzNmNzA5OTk1ZQ Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!Then comes the question, what about those students who can’t refocus?  Or those students who are already self-lead learners and like peace and quiet.  What I have done with my students is to switch out the quiet time with bird sounds, ocean and/or anything peaceful found in nature.  I have obtained good reaction from both pairs of students.   Any group is going to be dynamically different.  You just have to find the right built-in distractions without losing the motivational aspects of learning.

    Sounds are a good distraction, but so are those upbeat pieces of information that help students readjust, recenter, and perform better.  Types of distractive information might include:

    • -Word of the Day
    • -Piecewise brain twister
    • -Notice of an upcoming celebration on how well they have performed
    • -Or just something fun that is about them, and something they take to heart.

    The human mind can learn more than one thing at a time.  If you allow your brain short breaks from the tedious routines of study, it tends to reflect better on items it has just learned.  Use pre-designed breaks as a scaffolding tool for learning.   This following statement is a no-brainer statement – I understand.   But, you retain more when you aren’t stressing out over a problem.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAATzAAAAJDNmODUxMTM2LTMyZTMtNDQ3Yy1iOWFiLTVjOGYzNTE0ODc2Yg Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!

    Experiment with this distractive styles of learning.  If you are already in a quagmire wondering how to motivate your students – this might be a helpful resource.  Back away from the idea that you have to stain and look like a zombie to be successful in your studies.  Look at something shiny on the floor, and then come back to your primary focus.  Come back gently.   The problem isn’t going to go away, but if you allow your brain a short power break, you might find you come back with a solution.   Solutions are always much better than problems anyways.

    Good luck.  I wish all educators success as they venture into the “new”.

    Making the Grade Baby!

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    Come to work as our favorite characters

    Come to work as our favorite characters

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    Come to work as our favorite characters
    ___________________________________________________

     

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Come to work as our favorite characters

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    Work after the kids leave home

    Work after the kids leave home

    Category:Wellness and FitnessTags : 
    Work after the kids leave home

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    When the past becomes the guide

    When The Past Becomes The Guide

    Category:Wellness and FitnessTags : 

     

    When The Past Becomes The Guide

    People tend to rely on the past as a means to prepare for the future.  While it is true we need to learn from our mistakes, are we allowing the past to control our future?

    Picking a time in my past that was riddled with mistakes and completely altered my life course, I ponder on how things could have gone differently.  We tend to focus only on the negative and often times allow that negativity to guide our present and future decisions.  Unfortunately, this way of thinking doesn’t help us resolve the conflicts or problems that haunt our memories.

    If we use the past as a guide and look for the things that went right instead of focusing on the negative,  we have a valuable tool at our disposal.  Using what we know today and incorporating the positive things of the past helps us make better future decisions.

    Past reflections:

    I recall a matter between an individual who was very close in the business sense as well as being a close friend.  I trusted this person with my back in every sense.  I knew he was going through an extreme amount of turmoil in his professional and family life.  I too was caught up in my own personal life struggles.  While we were very close,  we really didn’t know each other like we thought. If we could have looked at the struggles each of us was facing,  together, we might have avoided a head-on clash of wills.  A clash that would last for years.  An unfortunate error called “being human”.

    We each had our own set of values for life, complete with its checks and balances.  But were those checks and balances flawed?  Could either of us today remember the real story the way it really happened or did we just reflect the story as it related to our own concept of reality?    The pictures we have of life are often murky when we are facing difficulties.  Truth too often gets in the way.  Our anger and our feelings of being wounded cloud our better judgment.

    Letting the Past Guide the Way

    The upside to many of our past problems is knowing that the past is also filled with things that went right. Things that are good and bring light and happiness to the faces of those who care to remember.  If we use the things that went right we can help make the present much more relaxing, and the future peaceful.  Letting go of our flawed memories is a good start.

    I acknowledge that some things in the past need to stay there.  But for the honest mistakes and misunderstandings, the old saying Let It Go applies.   When the past becomes the guide you are on the path to regaining those valued relationships.   Trust can be re-established and friendships renewed, but it’s a focus on what went right that will get you there.





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    Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    Category:Business,Wellness and FitnessTags : 

     

    Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    Have you ever come home and “fired yourself”?  Somedays are like that, and it takes us a long time to unwind from those moments that are a dig to our self-confidence.  Rebounding from those moments of self-disclosure are important.

    The day I allowed someone to steal my work. I had to start over and learn to trust again. I had to let go of the old me, and lean on the new me.

    In a working environment, I’m to the conclusion that if you aren’t in on key decisions and one of the movers and shakers – the fault may lie with them. “Them” being those in power, or above us in rank – someone else in the know. I’m not necessarily challenged by authority unless it has proven to be less than scrupulous.  So if the fault has to find a home, I hope it is with them, the movers and the shakers.

    But what if I am one of the movers and shakers? First, I don’t want someone else’s mistakes.  I want to start fresh and correct my own mistakes.  It’s a difficult task to jump into the middle of a project and take ownership.  Rather, it requires research and time; plus a sense of humility as you begin to deal with people who have no loyalty toward you at first.  You have to build those relationships and prove your worth.   Let others praise your work – there is greater value in that than praising yourself.  Humble yourself and you will be lifted up.

    Secondly, there are those who would like nothing better than to sit back and talk about opposing issues and add roadblocks to your designs, inventions, and other such handiwork. To those, I would refer to an old saying, “what other people think is really none of your business”.

    “What other people think is really none of your business”

    Somedays we have to just go home and fire ourselves.  That is such an awful word “fire” when used in the context of someone’s livelihood.  No one wants to lose a job – or asks to lose a job.  But it happens, for good or bad people get fired, laid off,  or suffer a reduction in force.   When you are the boss, the only person who can fire you is YOU!   That isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you are the boss.  Letting go of pieces of a project and learning to allow others through delegation to complete a task can be rewarding.  For one, you get rid of the stress, and two, you increase the value of one of your employees.

    Firing yourself doesn’t mean you can’t come back the next day with a better attitude.  Usually, when you get to this level you are ready for a change, a good swift kick in you know what, to mend those attitudes of displeasure.  Your own attitudes.

    When you walk in the door at work tomorrow give some thought to some valuable points when you do:

    1. You have a job
    2. People like working in a positive environment
    3. Money won’t buy you the thing you value most, respect of others
    4. Talk to the janitor – they know more than you think
    5. Be the janitor!
    6. Smile
    7. Shine it on
    8. Compliment someone who has earned a compliment – be sincere about that compliment
    9. Delegate if you can – but make it worthwhile to the delegatee.
    10. Rehire yourself

    It’s how you approach your life.  Not how others approach your life.  You make the final decision on how happy or successful you will be.  Success is measured in happiness.

    “Success is measured in happiness”

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Have You Ever Fired Yourself?

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.





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    Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfalls

    Hiring a doormat doesn’t come without pitfalls

    Category:LeadershipTags : 

    Hiring a doormat doesn’t come without pitfalls

    I debated on writing this one. It gets a little rough in places, and I really don’t like rough opinions. But after talking with an old friend the other day, he convinced me to do it – for him. It is always hard to watch others suffer un-needlessly. To my friend who is feeling the burn, this one is for you.

    Employees are becoming more concerned about being victimized for being themselves, not just for the way they are doing their jobs. It’s a two headed dragon!

    I wonder if doormats are a new phenomenon created by our business culture, or if they have always existed throughout the ages? I am sure they have always been with us – and probably always will be.

    The radical right, and the equally radical left, inside an organization, can and do rip working environments apart. People are getting hit with the doormat coming and going! Here a doormat, there a doormat, everywhere a doormat. Kind of sounds like a children’s nursery rhyme, and we all know the meaning of those rhymes.

    Generally this type of doormat victimization starts at the lower end, or middle management sectors. They rip apart people who would be good workers with their indecisive and critical views points. Basically they run off the busy bees – the truly motivated and often dedicated; the people with all the information about your organization in their heads.

    These radical doormats break internal communications, cause departmental animosity, and breed distrust. That distrust can follow a corporation, and the outward view then becomes a direct reflection of those in power behind it. This level of distrust reaches the communities and business circles you serve, and gives many a reason to not want to do business with your organization. The effects can be long lasting.

    THE OPPOSITE OF DOORMAT

    The happy employee is an engaged employee, even if that engagement is sitting in a cubicle by themselves, effectively working on the day’s task; or running a board meeting, digging ditches, selling tours, or pouring coffee to the masses. They are engaged, motivated to come to work, happy and productive.

    These employees are the opposite of a doormat. You will know when a true doormat joins your operation. People will begin to lose their jobs, be demoted for unknown reasons, and many just leave. Moral collapses and people begin to lose their drive when doormats take over. The happy environment is replaced with one of tyranny and discontent.

    WHAT IS A DOORMAT?

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAe6AAAAJGZmNzkyYWZjLWJmY2EtNGE2My1iMTMxLTRkZGMxOGQyZmM5Mw Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsA doormat can be classified as a “yes” man/woman. Never questioning, never confirming, never engaging their higher ups on an issue, and always the first to point a finger;, neglect their own duties; and the first at the water cooler to discuss their dislikes.

    Sometimes they are given a position to appease a nit-picky boss who needs someone who will idolize their every word. Others are hired to return a favor for connections; information; or dare I say, “they were cute or funny”.

    AN INTERVIEW WITH A RECOVERING DOORMAT

    Doormats don’t always know they are doormats. I have an acquaintance who explained it to me this way. “When I was younger, I was able to gain favor from those in higher positions because I turned the other cheek so to speak. Others in the organization were not pleased that I was given a position over them, I was catered too and allowed privileges well above my status. One unhappy co-worker(s) even went as far as to write on the side of a building “my name, followed by the title, Brown Nose Pirate”.

    This acquaintance is now a semi- recovering doormat, and gracefully laughs off the past. He is quick to affirm that he knows how to walk-the-walk, and talk-the-talk, and it really doesn’t bother him to think about taking future positions of the same caliber. It’s money, end of discussion.

    Recovering Doormats. I wonder if there is a place for them to meet?

    DEFINING THE ROLE OF THE DOORMAT

    While I like money as well as the next person, I’m not sure doormat will ever be a title that would stick to me. I have the philosophy that if you are going to make positive changes in this world, you need to take risks. Risk is what business is all about. The type of risk I am referring to, is strategic planning and development of programs that support an organization. Being able to speak freely about those programs to those who make the final decisions – that is important.

    Doormats don’t bring that level of planning to an organization. What they bring can be summed up in the following:

    There are three different levels of doormats:

    • The shy timid doormat
    • The discontent with life doormat
    • The professional doormat

    THE SHY TIMID DOORMAT

    Does anyone even know their real name? They work like a dog day-in and day-out. They keep their heads down and coward when approached with a concern. Like a pup who has been beaten, they are the defeated. Sounds sad, but there are employers who actually seek out these types of employees (in the millions). They work long hours, say nothing, think nothing, and they are often paid little. My heart goes out to these types of doormats. I have worked with a few. I have attempted to re-train them, motivate them, and speak up for them. These people need a strong voice in order to find their own. I have a heart and compassion for the shy timid doormats.

    THE DISCONTENT WITH LIFE DOORMAT (Where the majority of doormats reside)

    I suppose I have been guilty of hiring discontent doormats. Yes, I confess that I have done the dirty deed and hired people who do not contribute to the overall picture in the longer sense. But their jobs were important for a number of reasons:

    • They have menial skills for tasks that are repetitive
    • They don’t ask questions
    • They smile and laugh with me and the janitor equally
    • They didn’t question my authority, and I rewarded them by leaving them alone.

    Even though they did tend to go from department to department stirring up their brand of discontent, it was generally regarding those much higher than my own title, and/or lower than their own. Since I ignored their office chatter and didn’t participate in their brand of office politics, they tended to leave me alone.

    They get the title of doormat because they really don’t do much to try to change their situation. Sometimes I think a few of think like the drama – it is fuel for their aggravation with the world. I’ve seen the discontent doormats in action however. As a force they can be nasty, but they generally run out of rhetoric quickly, and go about their duties. They are good workers – just discontent about life in general. Which brings in my thoughts about the professional doormat.

    THE PROFESSIONAL DOORMAT

    These types of doormats are the sleaziest type of people when it comes to having to work with. They like your pain. They like discontent – they thrive on it. These are the ones that may be educated, and have a higher level of experience, yet they don’t seem to excel when it comes to actual performance. They may look busy, but that is just a rouse. They are busy-being-busy, yet doing nothing. They are catering hand-and-foot to the higher ups. They never would they question the authority of those above them. They pass along information as if it were a weapon to control, and thus lower your status in front of everyone.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAbsAAAAJDQzOGVmN2Q0LTQyNWQtNGMzNC04MTQ0LTVlMmJlODE2NTJhYQ-300x210 Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsTo them, passing along information is power. A power they use effectively to disrupt the moral of an entire operation. Yet they remain fabulous! They are fabulous because they have just absorbed the responsibility of passing along information, that someone above them didn’t want to deal with. They start the gossip, and they feed it daily. If you are not within their office posses pack – your life can be miserable. They contribute to nothing but an environment of fear and discouragement.

    MOVING PAST THE DOORMAT

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAi9AAAAJGNlZDAzYjczLWI1M2EtNDBiOS05MjBhLTQwOWNkYTg4YWQ2Zg-300x212 Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsChange is always hard – but not always!

    You might have to lose a few doormats that can’t speak the language of your business, and start hiring people who welcome a challenge to speak in any language!

    Hire people who will offer you insight and worthy content that is relevant to the position they hold. No more glorified data keepers who draw lines under numbers, write and pass pain notices, and disrupt the moral of everyone around them. Rather, begin hiring people who have a common value system that is equal with the vision for your company.

    Hire people who appreciate the shy doormat, understand the discontent door mat, and can speak up against the tyranny of the professional doormat. Hire people who can train and re-train your staff to be a voice for your organization. Don’t hire people who leave your staff frightened of their jobs, and depleted of integrity.

    Here is the tough part. Have the #&$%’s to admit when you recognize that you have a professional doormat that is destroying your vision, and that you hired them! You made a mistake – move on and correct the problem.

    Don’t back down from tyranny – approach it head on, take that risk, invest real man(woman) power into your vision and stay on course. When you stand up to tyranny – you will see how weak it really is.

    There is a saying: A man’s steps are established, and the good delights in his way. Stand up for the weak, do good always- and good will follow you all the days your life.

    ________________________

    To my old friend…. Cool Beans!

     

    ___________________________________________________

     

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfalls

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

     


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    On the ledge

    Category:EducationTags : 

     On the ledge – Overcoming fears


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    Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    Category:Educational TechnologyTags : 

    Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    #BringItOn”

    I was standing outside the middle school talking with the technology guy for both the middle school and the high school a while back. Really great guy, family man, well respected for his work with the school district. We were discussing the issue of Bringing Your Own Devices (BOD) to school,  and how that would affect, not just the lives of the students, but his IT department, and all the teachers at both schools. While I am tremendously happy for our district, I also understand the challenges we face with technology.

    New Technology and Education

    New technology creates volumes of work for those in IT, as well as for teachers, and administrators on tightly held budgets. How can we really gauge eLearning or mLearning (Mobile Learning) when technology doesn’t have a consistency plan? We can develop plans, but technology doesn’t seem to have any boundaries. How do you strategically plan for technology? You can equipment your labs with the latest computers and software, but technology shifts almost monthly.  Once you plug it into the wall, it’s on the road to obsolete.

    We can develop plans, but technology doesn’t seem to have any boundaries.

    There are some key strategic questions you have to ask when you begin to prepare to integrate technology into your educational setting and/or any organization.

    1. How can educators ensure reasonable access for all students or employees? Not everyone can afford it.
    2. Will the wide variety of devices create a problem with consistency? It would be important to do research beyond specific brands.
    3. Ongoing discussions have occurred over the “digital divide”. Is this still an issue or is it narrowing?
    4. To avoid distractions from things such as social media and texting, would different types of mobile devices be more effective for use in the classroom setting?
    5. How can research keep up with the ever-changing world of devices and applications?
    6. When the novelty of using mobile technology begins to wear off, will student and employee engagement still be higher for the m-learning group?
    7. What are best practices for Twitter usage in a classroom?
    8. What external factors (age, gender, socioeconomic class, culture, religion, etc.) affect the usefulness of mobile learning?
    9. What situations is mobile learning least-suited for?
    10. How will the role of the teacher change as mobile learning increases?
    11. What changes will be made in teacher education to prepare them to facilitate mobile learning?

    Everyone needs to be connected

    It’s no secret that I used to work for a university, and one of my many hats that I wore had to deal with helping students get onto the wireless system. It was a small 5% or less of what I did. At the maximum level, I also helped troubleshoot nearly 82 computers throughout the complex. Between myself and the campus help desk, and UEN engineers, we muddled through a number of challenges daily.

    The hardest part of BOD, and administering access is that there are so many different types of devices. Students have presented computers to me that was almost archaic. I’ve seen some pretty sweet devices too – ones that I would love to own. The high school and middle school would see the same. Once you open the door to BOD – you will have to accommodate all devices, within reason of course.

    I have to say my favorite departments to work with were IT and UEN, at the university level. They have a thankless job some days. Other days they are everyone’s hero. They were always my hero’s. Somedays I kick myself for never having applied to UEN. Working with such highly specialized technicians and engineers was rewarding.

    Looking at the problems

    Here is the problem that I see. While IT usually has their hands full with a host of projects and fixes, most are not going to have the time to help students, staff and/or guests gain access to their wireless systems, nor offer technical support at the door. You have to have someone on site who can help those individuals who can’t access your wireless system, or need special help with software required by the institution or organization. It’s a troubleshooting job, not at all similar to an online helpdesk. These people are face-to-face.

    While there may be extra hard wired computers in the labs for students to use, when it comes to software and what each student MUST have to accomplish their assignments – that is where it gets a little tricky. Not every student will have the same software needs. Not every teacher will use the same software. You wouldn’t want a teacher using GPS software worrying about their students only having access to software that a marketing student would need.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAj1AAAAJDU0NWI4YzljLTFjOWMtNDQyMy05M2ViLTE4Yzk0ODZkMzY3MA Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    You can say you only have X or O software available for everyone to use, but when you begin talking about Adobe, Indesign, GPS, and other software – you run into bigger issues. A big example of an another major issue is licensing for all the software each instructor will need. If a student is required to have the software and it isn’t provided on the school computers – you WILL accommodate that students need and troubleshoot their access into your network. If the student is required to purchase software or rent it, you have to at least allow them access to your network.

    Anytime you upgrade a computer system, you should be thinking about training and hiring new staff too. Be thinking about this as you develop your long range plans for:

    • upgrading your computer software, and providing technical support.
    •  adjust your projected budgeting for new equipment & networking,  as well as the impact the change will have on your employees.
    • project how it will be implemented, with periodic evaluations and assessments on the finished product (technology is a change beast)

    A little good news

    Most wireless systems have an online dashboard for administrators so that they can add and drop computers easily just by knowing the IP and MAC addresses. The MAC address is a unique address for a specific computer. What is nice with the BOD system is that the person who generally monitors this online system can add and delete computers online, from anywhere. I would get phone calls after hours from the evening staff requesting help with a student’s computer.  I simply log into the online system and “issue solved”.

    The dashboard also allows you to set reminders to check for computers that are about to run out of their allotted connection time (365 days for students, 7 days for quests), and even add the IP and Mac Address along with the person information. Since I also advised students, I knew their class schedules, and I would automatically extend their time so they had a seamless experience.

    Oh, lets upgrade! What does that really mean? 

    Administrators are the worst when it comes to IT and wireless communications. They know a lot, but they really don’t get involved with the hands-on operational part of technology.  They don’t always have the insight for the long term difficulties that comes along with technology. They don’t get into the ends and outs of computers, nor the networks. Just so long as it works, that is all that really matters to them. When it doesn’t work – that seems to be when they really listen.

    Well, listen…..

    If you are going to incorporate new technology in your organizational structure, factor in potential new staff and/or additional man hours. You’re going to need it.

    You need people on site!

    Staffing also includes teachers and IT staff. Professional development for all distance and non-distance educators needs to go beyond the basics. All beliefs and values aside – some educators really do need to go back to school themselves (PhD’s, EdD’s, etc). Institutions of education cannot expect its instructors to teach over a technology medium, nor operate new technology, that they themselves struggle with. Teacher readiness may be more than just “being ready”.

    If an instructor doesn’t have those lifelong learning skills either from prior education or learned through continuing professional development, they probably won’t appreciate the benefits derived from the use of technology in the classroom.

    The changing classroom environment

    Adults still tend to think of a classroom with walls, desks, and a teacher who will lead them in a face-to-face learning environment. With the increase of technology in the classroom, the definition of a traditional classroom is evolving. Teachers have more access to online teaching tools and grading books that help to free up their time for more core curriculum planning.

    The modern curriculum is being redesigned to incorporate further blended learning environments for the student. With the use of online technology, instructors can offer a student a variety of instructional methods for learning. One day a student may be in the classroom listening to a lecture, the next day they may out in the field, doing surveys or working on experiments. The next day after that, they may be doing course work online.  These new blended environments give both the instructor and the student opportunity to utilize the best of many educational methods – traditional, online, and self-directed learning.

    IT has the responsibility to service all these ever changing environments. It’s not a matter of just deciding to install new equipment or software. Unless IT, teachers, and administrations are all working together in the planning and design stages, there really can’t be an assessment stage. You need those assessment stages.

    Understand this when it comes to technology and education

    The impact of technology is directing instruction away from a teacher based learning experience, toward a student lead experience assisted by media.

    Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) is a universal phenomenon, offering educational technology that has the ability to reach immense audiences globally, and obviously, students are by far the largest users of that product

     

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQTAAAAJGZjNmIxMjM5LWI4MjUtNDBhYy05Mzg3LTgxMDBlODA1MDVmMQ Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    Designing in the Digital Age

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Technology integration into the classroom now and into the future

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    How Technologically Savvy is your Instructor?

    How Technologically Savvy is your Instructor?

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    How Technologically is Savvy your Instructor?