How Technologically Savvy is your Instructor?

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    How Technologically Savvy is your Instructor?

    How Technologically Savvy is your Instructor?

    Category:Instructional TechnologyTags : 
    How Technologically is Savvy your Instructor?

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    Change is positive

    Winds of Change

    Category:Wellness and FitnessTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMOAAAAJDc4ZmFhYTJmLWY3OTUtNGRmMi05NTZjLWRlZDZmZWViZDA1Mg Winds of Change

    Winds of Change

     Time changes everything, and we need to be able to re-evaluate our own lives and the direction we are headed in. It doesn’t matter if the direction is one we have selected for ourselves, or one where life itself has lead us there unaware. Sometimes those things that we thought mattered most, are not important any longer. Rather, things that we overlooked or have forgotten from the past come closer to our new reality.

    Change is an emotional experience that reminds us that nothing is permanent. It teaches us to prioritize those things that are really important.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMOAAAAJDc4ZmFhYTJmLWY3OTUtNGRmMi05NTZjLWRlZDZmZWViZDA1Mg-300x172 Winds of Change

    Change can mean loss, but it can also mean gaining as well. Changes can impact our lives right out of the blue without any time to accept what is happening to us; nor plan for what will come next. Sometimes you are just thrown into the mire and expected to sink or swim. There is a time of uncertainty where you do not know what is going to happen.

    Dealing with change isn’t always easy. You could try to forget about the change and get used to new items or circumstances. You can choose to Ignore the changes happen in your life. But in the end some level of acceptance has to take place.

    There are a number of factors that increase ones struggle to change. We have to learn that change happens for a reason. We have to learn to teach ourselves the truth. Not all change will have closure, but we have to learn to build those emotional bridges over that portion of our life so we can move past a particular moment in time.

    A number of quotes that emphasize overcoming change are as follows:

    • -Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future ~unknown
    • -The key to change… is to let go of fear ~unknown
    • -Change is the essence of life ~Reinhold Niebuhr
    • -Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become~ Reinhold Niebuhr
    • -Ecclesiastes 3: 1-22 ~The Bible

    Benefits of Change

    Unknown opportunities and new experiences are a benefit that can come from change. While change is inevitable in everything we do, change keeps life interesting, and ensure that bad situations won’t last forever. Change gives us the opportunity to move on with our lives.

    We have to look at the positives of change and draw from that energy. We have to give change a chance to move us, teach us, and mold us into something new – something better.

    change-is-positive-2 Winds of ChangeHere are a few quotes that help to inspire the idea that change can be good if we allow it to happen naturally. Often we find that change allows us to regain ourselves, and start enjoying people places and things again. The winds of change can be very good.

    Here are a few life lesson quotes about change.

    • “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu
    • “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi
    • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
    • “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

    When the winds of change blow in your direction, I hope you will learn from them; and embrace them. Learn to change in a positive way that magnifies your life and allows you to appreciate the differences in circumstances. Change can be good if you let.

    Here are a few quotes that help to inspire the idea that change can be good if we allow it to happen naturally. Often we find that change allows us to regain ourselves, and start enjoying people places and things again. The winds of change can be very good.

    Here are a few life lesson quotes about change.

    • “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu
    • “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi
    • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
    • “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

    When the winds of change blow in your direction, I hope you will learn from them; and embrace them. Learn to change in a positive way that magnifies your life and allows you to appreciate the differences in circumstances. Change can be good if you let.

    Thanks for visiting Radcliff Design


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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:Instructional 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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    Designing in the Digital Age

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    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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    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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    Work after the kids leave home

    Work after the kids leave home

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