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.

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

 

Best Practices in Virtual Learning Environments

Originally Posted: March 23, 2011


Woman holding a future digital reportBest Practices in Virtual Learning Environments

Dictionary.com defines best practice as “the recognized methods of correctly running businesses or providing services” (World English dictionary section, para. 1).  When based on principles, the same activities that constitute best practices in “traditional education” will, usually, translate well across any medium chosen for course delivery.  For a course to be of value, it has to answer a need – successfully.  This is where Instructional Design (ID) becomes important.  It is the analysis at the beginning that will help determine the “consumer’s” need, and how best to address that need.  Piskurich (2006) states that one of the benefits to employing ID is that it helps to identify the best practices for content delivery, essentially identifying the best manner for the target audience to successfully acquire the intended knowledge.  


Additionally, listing course prerequisites is vital and should, almost always, be mandatory.  Piskurich (2006) further suggests that course prerequisites are important for, both, the instructors, as well as, the students.   With a well-developed set of expected prerequisite skills and knowledge, the instructor(s) have a fair understanding of their students’ ability, and what kind of material they will be able to utilize with their students.  At the same time, potential students have an understanding and fair expectation regarding what information will be covered in their course.  Students that are reviewing course prerequisites can make informed decisions whether or not a course is too basic, too advanced, or just right.


Factors for Success in Virtual Worlds

Andrea L. Foster (2008) reported that educators experienced in utilizing the 3D virtual world, Second Life (SL), for distance education have stated that “…communication among students actually gets livelier when they assume digital personae” (p. 12-13).  Foster also reports that one educator, that teaches a freshman English composition course via SL, suggested that educators getting started in SL should be open to the idea of allowing students to have some control over the course in order to maximize student engagement.  Other suggestions include eliciting feedback and suggestions from other educators and students.  From a personal standpoint, this author believes that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is essential in order to keep the audience engaged.  Having experienced SL conferences where the main means of communication between the presenter(s) and the audience have been either text chat (only), VoIP,  or a combination of both, it is very easy to say that this author found it more engaging to utilize VoIP with the occasional text chat for a side conversation/question.  Additionally, the use of multimedia such as video and/or presentation slides definitely helped to create the opportunities for increased audience participation.


Application Becoming Reality

The Simulations and Virtual Reality course that this author is currently participating in has really expanded the thought process regarding how to approach the final capstone project, and which tools, skills, and objects will be needed in order to develop a successful product.  This author had already settled on creating a course within Moodle, an open-source Learning Management System (LMS), entitled, “Developing Immersive Virtual Learning Environments”.  However, participating within the 3D world of SL has taken the original concepts to a whole new level of possibilities.


For the final project of the Simulations and Virtual Reality course this author intends to create one of the lessons for his final capstone course.  Beginning with basic best practices, this author will develop a detailed syllabus that will contain course prerequisites, course requirements, and technical requirements for the final capstone course.  Within SL, this final project will have to make use of multi-media viewers, a magazine and brochure shelf in order to provide external links to various learning objects, and text and voice chat.  Additionally, this author plans to explore the benefits of possibly utilizing SLOODLE which is an open-source project that has integrated SL with Moodle, and may be found in SL at: SLOODLE TeleHub and Fountain: 128, 128, 22 (SLOODLE, Home section, para. 1).


 


References

Best practice. (n.d.). In Dictionary.com’s online dictionary. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/best+practice


Foster, A. L. (2008). Professor Avatar. Education Digest, 73(5), 12-17. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.nu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=28755255&site=ehost-live


Piskurich, G. M. (2006). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.


SLOODLE (n.d.). In Sloodle.org’s open source project. Retrieved from http://www.sloodle.org/moodle

Draft Green Screen Intro Video

Originally Posted: February 20, 2011


This is my first run at using chroma-key (green-screen) technology. It is part of a course I am taking & will eventually become an introduction to a web-based course that I will be developing for my Capstone Project.

I downloaded a stock background from http://www.stockfootageforfree.com .I used that to do a waist-up key of my intro with iMovie ’09.

I wanted to do more, such as walking around & full profile shots, but I ordered the wrong size green-screen (too small), and now I’m waiting on a bigger screen to arrive.

I also started playing with the Ultra Key option in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 …It gives me a few more options than the iMovie ’09.

Depending on how that turns out, I may update this post, and embed that video as a comparison.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.

 

FlipSnack: Convert PDFs into Stylish Page Flip Books

FlipSnack is an online flipping book software that allows you to convert PDF documents into Flash page flip digital publications. It’s the ideal solution for those who wish to embed a book, magazine, catalog, newspaper, portfolio or any other kind of document into a website or blog.

Once created, you can embed your flipping book collection, download them or share them on social networking websites such as Facebook.

P.S. With FlipSnack you can upload several documents at once, allowing you to embed not only one, but multiple page flip publications in the same Flash widget.

~ FlipSnack

(No registration required – You may use Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, or MySpace to login for FREE).

 

This is a pretty nice service.  As a test, I converted a Teaching Guide that I made for using Call of Duty: Black Ops with High School Seniors in an American or World History class.  This is the FlipSnack version of the original PDF.

Flipsnack