Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blog post 4 - Wimba Sessions

Again, I was unfortunately unable to attend Wimba this week. One thing I noticed with all of the attendees is that they has a solid grasp on how they were going to present their piece to, who they were going to present it to and also have a good idea on how to put these into place. What I liked most about most of these, especially Blair's and Mark H's presentations is that it could generate a lot of communication by way of questions and inquiries to keep the ball rolling down hill so to speak. I see great potential for all of these ideas to progress and take off. Finding the right avenue to deliver these presentations, however, if you can find that right avenue, these ideas can really catch fire and take off.

If anything, taking a look at the Wimba session has really given me some great motivation in creating a presentation that would stack up to these others on a professional and complete basis. Thank you again everyone for all the input and knowledge we have shared.

Blog response 2 to Christopher

Creating the framework for possibility is my favorite chapter of this book as it forced me to think in a completely different way. I think we all need to aspire to be leaders and as teachers we lead everyday. This type of leadership would completely change the way my classroom would function as well as the staff that I work with. Since I have started to do a lot of staff development I have had to do a lot of leadership roles that I am slowly getting comfortable with but always looking for ways to become a better leader. Constructing a framework of possibility instead of working off others fears seems like a difficult thing to do. I think that constructing a framework of possibility does require some rapport with those that are hearing you or following you. Also, I would need to not have my emotions of the day effect how I lead those that are going through a tough time or during a tough situation for the whole staff.
There are many times when this form of leadership would be so much better than a demanding type leadership. WHen situations get tough, instead of leading or emerging out of fear, create a possible atmosphere where the staff as a whole can climb out of the situation instead of being pulled out by one person. 

I also enjoyed this chapter because of it challenging us to think different. I have always thought that challenging an idea, or a way an idea is created can unearth new sides to us we never knew exited. This would undoubtedly help us in trying to communicate and reach a new audience that we either could not reach before or felt extremely challenged to reach. You mention creating a rapport with those you are teaching or leading, and that is very important I believe. In educating on a more leading way instead of feeling your students are beneath you, can really help dial in to your followers, to have a connection instead of boundaries. Getting the participants truly engrossed in the idea and learning materials will greatly increase the chance of success in my opinion.

Blog response 1 to Sarah

Each week I've truly enjoyed reading this book. The part that really jumped out at me was that of "being the board." The idea of imagining myself as a board in the game of life and assuming all responsibilities and risks eliminates the need for the "blame game." (This would have been a great concept for me to realize as a teenager!) Even now, like the example in the book, it's so easy to quickly try to pass the blame for that quickly satisfying feeling of being right or off the hook. However, viewing myself as the board and realizing that I can change my outlook can help me overcome obstacles and greet each circumstance with a brighter perspective.

I could not agree with you more! I completely see the analogy between life and a board game, being a part of that game. We find ourselves in a very exciting position in what we can do with the knowledge we have gained over the last 11 months. I am curious to see how I react, how I perform with all of this new information. I am quite excited to get this journey going...even though another one is ending!

Week 4 Response to Reading

Coming up on the end of my program, this was a great few chapters to end this class. Getting ready to graduate from this program, it had some amazing analogies that I can apply to my life as well as my career. I think all of us can identify with the analogy of life being a board game of sorts. That we all have our own positions, parts and responsibilities during this game. Understanding that each decision we make, each path we decide to take, or not take, has an influence on the entire aspect of life itself. The paths we choose not only effect ourselves, but also the people we surround ourselves with at the time and even later on down the road, just as those we would not be influenced by ourselves. For example, our choice to be in an education program such as this effects those around us now and those we have yet to be introduced to. However, if we choose another career path we would likely not meet the same people as if we stayed on this one. All in all this weeks reading really drove hope the idea of what purpose means to me.

Week 4 Publishing Leadership Project

My plan for submitting my AR project for presentation purposes, I have two conferences in mind. Since my project deals in both education and design I think it appropriate to deliver this presentation in a conference that would benefit each category.

One choice would be to use EduComm because it has a lot a of background in producing presentations dealing in Adobe products which is where graphic design lives and it has quite a drawing of interested participants. The audience who attend this conference would definitely be the kind of people I want to get my message to.

My second choice would be any of the WordCamp conferences. I have one here locally in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I attended it last year and the director of the school where I teach was a speaker and based her session on Gestalt as well. This years conference I would love to get with her and get the presentation also in the hands of the people who would be interested in the information.

Blog post 1 -
Blog post 2 -


Week 4 Publishing/Leadership project part 2 of 2: Gestalt Presentation

I have decided to use my presentation within the WordCamp conference that will be conducted in Fayetteville, Arkansas later this year. I attended it last year and the director of my school that I teach at was a speaker and she is also one of my panel of peers throughout my AR project. Last year she also presented the principles of Gestalt and I am going to work with her to help generate a much more intuitive and informative project.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week 4 Publishing/Leadership project part 1 of 2: Presentation Ideas

When reviewing this week's Publish/Leadership project I decided on going with a presentation instead of a paper. Because my AR project is about Gestalt and it being very visual, I believe producing a visual reference for the project is appropriate.

In researching some of the conferences listed in our Week 4 materials, a couple stood out to me. EduComm, Association for Educational Communications and Technology as well as EDCAUSE. They all have areas in which my project presentation would fit. EduComm has a lot a of background in producing presentations dealing in Adobe products which is where graphic design lives and it has quite a drawing of interested participants. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology is another conference where this would fit because they focus on the learning in the digital age, all of which our projects deal with. Edcause simply because of the scope and magnitude it could bring a project like mine.

However, another conference is very interesting me, and one I have attended - WordCamp. I attended WordCamp last year in Fayetteville, Arkansas and while there were two tracks - blogger and programmer - they had speakers that touched on not only content but design. In bringing some kind of design psychology, in other words Gestalt, it would help introduce the Gestalt principles to those with very little education or knowledge, if any, of them.

Or maybe, just maybe, I can present this at several!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 3 - Wimba

Unfortunately I was unable to attend this weeks Wimba. However, after reviewing the archive, I am glad to see that we discussed more about the week's reading. The videos were great, and it's always a good time when you can include some Van Halen in the course material! Choice is a big debate, and always has been. Unfortunately, as humans, we tend to want to choose for others, and actually pass laws to keep people from choosing on their own. I understand there are moral and religious implications in most cases, however, when it comes down to it, the individuality we all have is what makes us humans to begin with.

Free Choice Blog post

This week I was able to book all my travel plans for our graduation ceremony in Florida June 2nd. I am so excited! I am bringing my son who has never been to Disneyworld, only seen the beach once and never to Florida. My mother lives in Tampa so we will be staying with her and hitting the beach as often as possible. I think it is important to my son to show how hard work and dedication can be rewarded in an educational environment. I am hoping this keeps him motivated for his continued education after high school (even though he is only 11).

Showing him what and where an education can get you, then also to reward yourself with fun and life is important to me. It's a great way to celebrate this occasion and get my son some time outside of his normal routine.

Reply to Britni

In the Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander, as I read chapter 5, I at times switched out conductor with educator. (I think that often times we feel like the conductor to all the various student personalities and learning levels.) As educators, we at times could boast and take too much pride in the success of our students, for example on the year end exams. But in actual reflection we the teacher's couldn't be successful without the hardworking, studious, and intelligent student, right? I love the idea of being more of a facilitator and aiding students in their success. Too many times lately have I experienced/seen students wanting to be spoon fed. And at that point what are we teaching our students by doing that? I enjoyed the scene where Maestro Guido Lobeps Gavillan and his Cuban Philharmonic Orchestra and how what he saw as failure turned into an amazing peer teaching moment. Their reactions were very similar to what I have seen numerous times in the classroom, the environment becomes energized! What a great "aha" moment.

I do feel that my overall mood/demeanor will effect the environment that I am in. If I am depressed, sad or grumpy, in my opinion I am going to bring down those with me. But if I am happy, positive and upbeat my energy is bound to rub off on those around me. I really liked the game that Roz described, "Have the Best ____ Ever." It is a good challenge and in the end will create positive results. I personally am happy 95% of the time, those around me will see me with a smile on my face, and almost always get those around me to smile back. (That is a personal mission that I seek to accomplish everyday, to make people smile!) But one thing that I find helpful is to take any situation and try to find one good thing about it! For example, say my car breaks down on the way home from work. I might say, well good news is, I don't have to cook-pizza delivered it is! You would be surprised how your mood might lighten/lift a bit. Sometimes when you have something that is bringing you down, you must first figure out what exactly it is that is holding you back. Once you have figured this out (prayed about it)

I like how you changed conductor for educator. While I can see both titles be adequate descriptions, we are all educators at some level. Just as others, I believe attitude and frame of mind can help deactivate any hostility or frustration in any situation. Change is no different. Eliminating any friction between too parties you can really defuse any problems and get right to the challenge at hand. Change is no different. If all parties are dedicated to finding a way to make it work, with open minds and a defused attitude, I think it does nothing but good tings.

Reply to Brandy

As I read this specific chapter it made me realize that this is the reason why so many teachers resist change. This chapter fit perfectly with the discussion board that we had this week as we talked about education and it's resistance to change. As I discussed earlier teachers don't want to look dumb, they don't want to feel bested or inadequate, and no one really does. If teachers could only remember Rule Number 6 I think that change would come much more naturally to the profession. Change would happen as we are up to just try something new, to give the students a different perspective, maybe something out of our comfort zone. Rule Number 6 would allow us as teachers to embrace change and roll with it, it would allow us to make a mistake in class and say "ah well" or to not have the answer to a technological question or hiccup in a lesson and say "we'll figure it out, no big deal". These responses are what make a classroom function as a place of real learning, and not just a room to instruct. Rule Number 6 would allow us to attempt something that we might not have had the guts to before and warn the students that you're not sure if this is going to work but hey we'll give it a try. Not only does this attitude by you allow you to be more free in your teaching but it also sets an example for the kids that it is ok to try and fail as long as you are willing to learn from your mistakes and not let it stop you from trying something else.
Rule Number 6 is a great lesson to teach ourselves so that we can better teach our students.

This is so true! I think trying to get on the same level with the students and be involved with them and not over them can eliminate any of the friction that can come along in a teacher/student relationship. Being honest about whether something is going to work or not, and be thoroughly into putting it into effect can help all members involved the change to relax. 

Week 3 Reading - Art of Possiblity.

Change is hard. Change is difficult. It is each of these to accept and apply. When something is different, or proposed to us to change the way we do things, we resist most of the time. That's normal I believe. We are creatures of habit naturally therefore any challenge to that habit is a challenge. This weeks reading hits that home for most of us. Teachers, I believe, are one of the professions where change is almost rarely seen. It takes a lot of effort, openness and time to really embrace any kind of change to education. Working outside our comfort zone isn't natural, so of course it will be met with resistance. Rule Number 6 allows for that to happen. One of the things teachers can do to help eliminate any harsh feelings between student and instructor, is to refuse the us against them kind of theory. Putting yourself on a higher level, whether it's instructor/student or boss/employee, it creates friction. To eliminate it and say hey, we are going to try this and see what happens. To be truly equally invested in the change would help both parties. This weeks reading has helped make that easy to comprehend.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Free Choice Blog post

I am definitely feeling we are on the downhill side of this journey. After all the hard work and effort I put in during the early months are paying off and showing it's worth. I am very excited to be booking my flight this week to come in for the ceremony, bring my son and take him on his very first vacation and also the importance of an education. This will be a new start for me in a lot of ways that I am both scared and excited to embrace.

So, here's to all the hard work and hopefully I will meet some of you in sunny Florida!

Week 2 Reading - Response to Dena

There were so many life lessons demonstrated in the 1st four chapters. The reading encouraged me to change the way I think. Think positive and to think of things as you want them to be. It forces you to be optimistic. It also suggested that life is better if you give. When you give and not look for anything in return, then your blessings are multiplied. I'm a living witness. There are a lot of concepts that I will be trying in my classroom next year. It is too late to apply some of them now. The concept of giving students an "A" at the beginning of a course can take some of the worries and frustrations away. Students may feel more comfortable in a new classroom setting and it may boost their confidence. Changing the way we think about everything is definitely the key to living a prosperous life. In some situations...It may even change the outcome.

I agree that this weeks reading was far more reaching than just in this class. You really got a sense it could be applied in so many different areas. I think the giving an A concept could be a slippery soap if not implemented correctly. While I agree that it would definitely put the student at ease and take off some of the stress in starting a new class, giving them confidence and a positive attitude, giving it on something that requires more effort may set them up for failure on future assignments. For example, if they put forth this effort and get an A, that effort may not be the same effort needed on future assignments. However, I do see the point being made in the reading, I just hope it's use is in the proper way.

Week 2 Reading - Response to Bruchetta

It was interesting to read the 1st four chapters of The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.  I liked the idea in the first chapter where it is said "We see a map of the world, not the world itself.  But what kind of map is the brain inclined to draw?" As a Social Studies teacher, I am constantly working with map a intangible items that I need to make tangible to my students.  Yes, these items exists, but I cannot physically bring the White House and the Capitol building into my classroom when I talk about the separation of powers.  This is the big picture that I got from these chapters.  We have to think outside of what we perceive and look at the bigger picture.  The exercise of the nine dots is a perfect example.  To be able to connect all the dots with four straight lines, you have to do something unorthodox.  You have to, as the authors state "extend beyond the borders that confine us to our everyday reality." This is an important concept that we can instill in our own classrooms.

I agree, those intangible things are difficult to bring into the classroom. Trying to find a way to get the students to think on a more abstract scale is something that works amazingly well, but very difficult to implement. Your reference to the four straight lines is a great point. Doing something unorthodox is not only hard, but we are almost trained NOT to think in those terms. So not only is it a challenge to learn in a different way, it is so to teach in a different way, especially when you were yourself taught in that same way.

Week 2 Reading - Art of Possibility

I could really appreciate this weeks reading. In the classroom there is a big challenge in trying to expand the way we think in a day to day. Trying to bring in ideas from the outside world from different places and apply them in a secure setting like a classroom is difficult to get the students to think outside of the classroom. Currently I am teaching Design Studio 1 which is covering the basics of graphic design and the Gestalt principles. Trying to get the students to connect the dots with what these principles are, or how to use them in their own work, is a tough task. This week's reading has given me some great motivation in trying to bring in that abstract thinking into the classroom, so I can get abstract thinking IN the classroom.

These boundaries are present in not only this weeks reading but in the whole program of EDMT. From the ADDIE learning mode to understanding multiple learning theories, it has really helped me think outside of the way education is currently in trend.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My blog comment to Trina

My thinking during Good Copy, Bad Copy:

While viewing Good Copy, Bad Copy I became aware of the conflicting opinions I have on the topic of copyright issues. I began to wonder how I really feel. I have always felt that the artist should maintain credit for the work they have developed. I also feel that the artist should be compensated for his or her work. However, I often wonder how much of the compensation actually goes to the artist and not the record label and so forth. I am also left wondering why copyright laws prohibit the public from building upon the ideas of others. This current generation has grown up with media at their fingertips. Why not allow them to use text, film, etc. to learn about their past and have a voice in their future as was stated in Good Copy, Bad Copy (2009). I thought this idea was brilliant. This is how these students learn. Why stifle this learning? Why not build upon the great ideas of the past to create a powerful idea for the future?

My mind was also opened during the section that discussed the Nigerian philosophy about copyright. This theory believes that copyright should not be about getting people for using work, but should be about using work legally and paying the artist for the work they have done. They don't have piracy because of this philosophy. The public pays the same for something new or something copied. So why copy it? This makes so much sense to me. The artist is compensated for his or her work and the public can then use this to create work of their own.

This idea allowed me to be very open to the idea of blanket licensing. This would allow for credit to the creator while still allowing open creativity. Money could still be made as the point of marketing was brought up. Marketing is what makes the money, not the copyrighting. Again, this makes perfect sense to me. So this can make copyright issues a nonissue. I wonder if that day will ever come? video: Good Copy, Bad Copy Directed by ANDREAS JOHNSEN, RALF CHRISTENSEN, HENRIK MOLTKE (, retrieved on 6/8/2009

My thoughts on US government finally admits most piracy estimates are bogus by Nate Andersen

The article written by Andersen (2010) was very eye opening. This article explained that claims made by the US government about piracy and copyright infringement were over-exaggerated and often misleading or incorrect.  I guess it shouldn't surprise me that many studies and claims made to the public are based on false information or incorrect measures. I also wonder who we are paying to look into this, and how much are we paying this individual. Talk about accountability issues!

I agree that copyright questions are challenging and hard to completely understand. The Good Copy, Bad Copy was a great section to read and see where the two sides stand. I think there will always be somewhat of a gray area when it comes to what can and can't be used based on copyright. I completely agree with you about the artist maintaining the most of the credit on the work they have done. Music is a big area of concern in copyright. While record companies seem to take most of the money and credit, the artist at least has their name on the label. Very few people know what record company puts out, but you can definitely identify the artist in most cases.

My blog comment to Tyler

Reading Week 1

Copyright is such a huge issue of concern nowadays with the expansion of the Internet and the availability of media items throughout our society. Being a music teacher, I really have to pay close attention to copyright when it comes to performance of others music. One such question we had recently with copyright laws was with our Marching Band show this past year. We wanted to use a portion of a concert band piece on the marching band field and was wondering if we could tweek a couple of parts to make it fit on the field. We did our research and found out that we still needed permission even thought we had already bought the rights for concert band but since we were using it for something else we had to gain permission. Well, to make the story short, we ended up having to pay rights to arrange the song ourselves. We had to gain permission from the publishing company who owned the rights to create an original arrangement of the song. It was something that they really look closely into in marching band especially when gaining rights to create a video for spectators to purchase at the State finals. It was a new process for me but I'm really glad I went through it and learned so much more about it this year.

I really enjoyed going through the myths about copyright because there are so many questions about it and just those 10 myths can answer a lot of questions. Numerous times in videos it was said that copyright is not about using media but about gaining permission to do so. It really made me think about copyright issues and YouTube. I direct musicals and we are always told that we can't take video of a production. Its hard to tell parents you can't tape productions that your students are in because of copyright laws when they can go online and see numerous videos of other productions. Makes me wonder if I have read the copyright issues wrong or if these people with the videos are getting into trouble or if its something that is just not enforced out there.

I agree, you see a lot of YouTube videos that copyright problems are easy to find. YouTube really tries to do a good job in flagging videos that have unauthorized music applied to a video.

Permission is likely rarely asked for and given in far more situations than the opposite. I am in full support of obtaining this permission though, as I feel music is just like a piece of art and to use it without the proper permissions given is theft.

Week 1 Reading

In addressing copyright issues in this weeks reading is a familiar subject I deal with. I teach a class called Professional Practices and we touch on copyright, what is considered copyright and what is not, when you can use copyrighted information and how to use that to your advantage.

Knowing what to do when wanting to use copyrighted material is important. Contacting the appropriate people to get permission to use it is important, and thanks to the way information is readily available these days, copyright can be quite hard to understand. The best part of this weeks reading is the Facts and Myths about copyright. I think if this was presented to the average person, they could decide on what information is available and which is not. Music is an easy issue to go over with copyright. The use of music on presentations or videos is closely guarded. For example, you can't use music you find on iTunes for projects without getting prior permission. I often see videos tagged with copyright issues where the audio is removed because of this.

Either way you look at it, copyright is a very challenging subject to master.

Wimba Week 1 Review

Because of a busy schedule and classes of my own to teach, I am rarely able to attend the Wimba sessions. I'm really disappointed because I enjoy the open exchange of information and opinions. Thank goodness in this digital world I am able to go back and view what was said.

This weeks session dealt with the AR projects of all my fellow students and see that I was not the only one working hard on this project. There was a great deal of questions as well as answers covered in the session which I am also thankful for. Many questions I would have had myself. The outline of when items are due ahead of time is quite a head start which I appreciate.