High School is Easy

No, Really It Is …

Get full credit on the easy activities — By submitting them ON TIME!
Don’t take a zero in the grade book on assignments/activities for which you should be, easily, earning full credit.  That’s just redunculous! (this is a real word – check here)

What Are These “Easy” Activities?

Listen, most schools have some version of the following three activities (four in some cases) that are used for grades.

  1. Bell work / Bell ringer
  2. Class work
  3. Home work
  4. Uniform (if required)

Explain Further Coach

Well, you should just watch the video for the explanation, but here is the premise.

Bell work / Bell ringers

These are those assignments that most teachers have right at the beginning of class.  They, usually, are short (maybe 5-10 minutes), and are meant to be done while the teacher takes attendance, checks homework, hands out papers, etc.

All students should earn whatever maximum credit is possible for these assignments.
Most of the time, you just have to get it done on time.

Class work

I really shouldn’t have to explain this.  Just participate and do the work.  Again, all students should be earning maximum points here.  This grade is usually based on honest effort, maximum participation, and timely completion.  It really is that simple.

Home work

Ok.  Here is one set of assignments where you, sometimes, might not earn the full amount of credit — IF you get some wrong answers.  However, you have to at least do the work.  You have to show that you made a legitimate attempt to complete whatever work was assigned.  Even if you get stuck, at least do everything up to the point where you get confused.  Show all of your work, and maybe even write down your thoughts in attempting to complete the work.

Uniform (If Required)

Look …
This is THE MOST unacceptable thing to take a zero on.
I’m not even joking.

If you have some kind of PE (physical education) class that has some kind of “uniform requirement” — wear it.  Whatever that requirement is — just wear it.  I mean, don’t be silly.

The fact is that taking a zero on any of these things is an act of Stupidity; not to be confused with ignorance.  They are two completely different things, but that is a topic for another day, and another video.

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Teachers Talking | Mr. Bland & Coach Pabon | Controlling Your Digital Footprint

Digital Content is King

Welcome to the 21st Century – where a video recorded in high definition via a mobile device may be uploaded and shared to Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. in just a matter of minutes – if not seconds.

Now, these videos may be anything from a surprise birthday party, service member returning home from deployment, an engagement proposal to a fight at school.

Either way, the speed with which video may be shared with anyone who has access to the internet is incredible when you really take a moment to think about that.

Now, for all of the positive scenarios of sharing video, that may, very well, be a good thing.  However, when considering the negative instances of sharing video, educational institutions need a positive way to control the “spin” factor, as well as, the associated positive/negative reputation that develops from this kind of exposure.

Control Your Digital Footprint

Your “Digital Footprint” is anywhere that information about you, or your organization/company, can be located digitally — especially via the interwebs.  It is important to understand how wide of a digital footprint you generate.  Then, you need to take steps to control your digital footprint.

From an individual viewpoint, this could be as simple as not creating any online accounts.
Or, is it really that simple?  If you don’t have any online accounts, does that prevent someone else from posting an image and/or video(s) where you are “tagged”?

You see …
Not participating in the digital/information age is not really a solution — especially from the viewpoint of a company or an organization.

It is more important to positively interact with and engage with the consumers of your product, service, or information.  Additionally, it would probably be in your best interest to control your digital footprint in the same spaces as the consumers with whom you interact (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, etc.).

This is becoming more and more important for schools across the nation.
The education world tends to be slow in adopting technological advances – including forms of communication.

In the end, it is more important to be proactive and to take action to ensure that the message you want disseminated throughout the interwebs is actually what is getting promulgated.

Teachers Talking | Mr. Bland & Coach Pabon | Book of Bland

We Should All Write A Book

No, seriously.
I believe we all should write some kind of book.
Everybody has something inside of them to contribute to the world around them.

There are those small things that we found ourselves repeating time and time again.
Maybe it’s some kind of quality advice.
Maybe it’s a step-by-step process for doing some kind of task.

  • Achieving a certain kind of style or look with make-up
  • Different way to perform various maintenance requirements for your vehicle(s)
  • Life lessons and how to capitalize on opportunities that stem from “mistakes”

The point that I’m making is that we all have something of value to share.  Maybe it won’t be a book that turns into the next block-buster movie event of the Summer, but who knows?  Maybe it will.

Either way, why not take a chance and just go for it.
I like Mr. Bland’s idea for a book, and I actually think he should write a book.

If you know who Mr. Bland is, and even if you don’t, you should encourage him to follow through with this idea & publish this book.

His youtube channel is: Mr. Bland
You can go subscribe & leave him a comment to get started on his “Book of Bland”.

While you’re at it, I would be most appreciative if you subscribed to my channel:
Coach Pabon.

What in the World is a Flipped Classroom ???

There has been much talk – and sometimes debate – over this idea of Flipping the Classroom.

Well, many people – including educators – still do not even understand what a Flipped Classroom truly means in order to be able to take an educated stance in favor of, or against this newer concept.

Instead of trying to write a very long explanation, I came across the following Infographic that explains the concept and its origins very nicely.  I came across the website for this Flipped Classroom Infographic when I was looking at the blog of one of my previous professors – brainmeld.

This Flipped Classroom Infographic was published by Knewton.

 

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

 

Video Games and Learning

Originally Posted: April 12, 2011


Green 3D Puppet Pulling Another Puppet Out of Laptop ScreenVideo Games and Learning

We are well into the information age, and educators are at the forefront of this paradigm shift.  Additionally, educators must have a concrete understanding of learning theory in order to create successful courses.  Professor Ted Henning asks whether students agree or disagree with the argument presented by Prensky, Gee and other researchers, “…that video games and technology have fundamentally changed the way students have learned how to learn” (Personal communication, April 10, 2011). 

 

Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education, answers this question best in an interview with ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine where she states, “When you add any new technology…something is amplified, and something is reduced.  Part of being literate in the 21st century…is being able to make careful decisions about technologies and their uses” (2011, p. 20).


Learning Theory

“Learning theories attempt to describe how humans learn….what are the key elements in the process of gaining new knowledge and capabilities and how those elements interact” (Januszewski & Molenda, 2008, p. 18).  Fundamentally, the three main learning theories (isms) are still at play even with students‘ increased use of video games and technology.  


Behaviorism

The theory of behaviorism is based on physical events that are visually discernible, in other words, a person’s behavior.  Learning takes place when desired behaviors are reinforced or rewarded, and undesired behaviors are ignored or punished; this is called operant conditioning (Medsker & Holdsworth, 2001).  The theory of behaviorism is very much at play in most video games.  There are very specific behaviors that lead to winning, successfully completing quests, and/or developing a following in the online gaming world.


Cognitivism  

Taking a slightly different approach when compared to behaviorists, supporters of the cognitivist theory focus on that learning which occurs in the mind of the learner.  Supporters concentrate on the visual aspects of content delivery concerning themselves with the learner’s ability to recall the material being conveyed (Januszewski & Molenda, 2008).  This theory is also very much utilized in the video game world – especially when it comes to role playing games, and even first-person shooter games that blend aspects of real time strategy into mission objectives.


Constructivism

In describing Constructivism, it may be easier to begin by confirming that it is neither behaviorism, nor cognitivism.  Medsker and Holdsworth (2001) go on to explain that adherents to this theory believe in granting learners more control and freedom to decide the direction of their learning.  According to this theory, the goal of the instructional designer is to provide an immersive training environment where learners are able to engage in a hands-on approach to learning.  Not to be left out, constructivism is very much  a part of the various role playing games that are available.  Additionally, constructivism is a big part of many immersive virtual 3D worlds such as Second Life.


επιλεκτικής : An Eclectic Approach

From a personal standpoint, the “ism” which I adhere to is “eclecticism”.  When it comes to learning, there is no “one size fits all” approach.  People are different, and as such, people learn in a myriad of ways.  According to Januszewski and Molenda (2008), an eclectic approach combines ideas from the different learning theories without forcing the implementation of an entire “parent theory”. 

 

Like any other tool, mainstream video games have a double-edge.  When implemented properly as part of the learning process, they truly can bring a subject alive for students and generate enthusiasm like never before.  However, if implemented haphazardly for the sole purpose of “hoping” to connect with students, an educator can quickly lose control and oversight of the original objective(s).


Three for Me

The three games (and their respective genres) that I have chosen to research utilizing the XBOX 360 platform are: Call of Duty: Black Ops (First-Person Shooter), Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (Real Time Strategy), and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Role-Playing Game).  Both, Call of Duty and Sid Meier’s Civilization have an enormous amount of information that could easily be incorporated into just about any World History/Geography lesson.  Both games provide several opportunities for (a)synchronous class discussions and/or debates.  The Oblivion game may take a little more creativity to implement, but can be used for lessons that involve social interaction skills, economic principles of supply/demand and/or concepts of buying low and selling high.


 


References


ASCD. (2011, February). Transforming education with technology: A conversation with Karen  Cator. Educational Leadership, 68(5), 17-21.


Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Educational technology: A definition with commentaryNew York, NY: Routledge.


Medsker, K. L., & Holdsworth, K. M. (2001). Models and strategies for training designSilver Spring, MD: International Society for Performance Improvement.

Draft Audio Intro

Originally Posted: February 13, 2011


Linked is the first draft of what will become the audio portion to a video introduction to my National University Capstone project for my Master of Science in Educational & Instructional Technology.

Although this first draft only needed to be 30 seconds in length, I extended it to about one minute in order to show the transition from my opening quote, which was adapted from a 1999 movie, to the actual  capstone course introduction.  The audio is found here.

 

Taking it to the Web

Originally Posted: February 5, 2011


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
~ Charles Caleb Colton

I am currently enrolled in a “Media and Instruction” course at National University which will be utilizing digital storytelling for some of the assignments.  It is widely accepted that classical storytelling may be utilized as a catalyst to assist students with the cultivation of literacy skills.  The idea of digital storytelling simply moves the associated activities into the digital arena (Ohler, 2008).

The video which is embedded below is an excellent example of digital storytelling, and not because it happens to be the course instructor’s welcome video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Where there is a will, there is a way. ~ Pauline Kael

While it was not easy to find the embed code for Dr. Taylor’s welcome video (I did not see the video on his Youtube channel), I used my natural curiosity along with my previous background as an IT Security Analyst to find the necessary embed code.

I chose this video because when I first watched it, on my mobile device, I knew right then and there that I wanted to be able to do something similar for my degree’s capstone project.  Some of my first thoughts were that I would love to be able to utilize the green-screen technology with a 3-D digital world as the overlaid background.