Friday, April 17, 2009

Harnessing the force

First, I must practice what I have learned and make sure that it becomes second nature to me. Lets say with powerpoint, I can practice hyperlinking through the slideshow and also taking people to other web pages from the slideshow. Hyperlinking images and objects to have them do what I would like. Things like that, making sure that I know exactly what I am doing and barring any unforeseeable technological disasters, make sure everything goes smoothly. I will not be able to see into the future and make sure everything goes well, but I can have a positive attitude and a few backups just in case. I am confident enough to put together a little mini workshop and teach some people the basics of powerpoint. One day, maybe :):)  I mentioned in my video that I prefer windows moviemaker instead of powerpoint and I was a bit hasty in that statement. Moviemaker is a simple, picture or video moviemaking software that can make you look like a pro. However, it doesn't have the capabilities of powerpoint. You can embed a video of pictures, along with music (which you made with moviemaker) into the slideshow so you don't need to have a bunch of picture slides eating up your memory. In fact, you can teach the two softwares side by side if you wish to go in that direction. They are two excellent tools which educators can use to impart their wisdom ;)  

Bottom prepared, practice, have alternative ways of instruction for problems that may arise. As Dr. JAM said, be alone with your thoughts for a little while and relax and try not to be so nervous.  

Saturday, April 11, 2009


My vision is simple, and yes I do believe in it quite heavily. However, I mustn't be arrogant. I cannot go through trying to become an educator, all the while thinking that I can cure every fear and problem that people may have with technology. I WILL run into people that are just stubborn. I suppose...that is my fear. What will I do if--when I come across that one individual, that first time that doesn't really want to pick up what I am trying to teach? How can I react? What if I have to confront this person in front of classmates? How will I handle that? What should I say? What shouldn't I say? I will do my best to try and teach everyone, I know that is what every educator strives to accomplish. You have to keep in mind one thing, You must not, ever lose your sanity. Because the moment that happens, it will be a different, non-pleasurable experience for you. You have to get it in your head that some folks just do not want to learn that certain something. Maybe everything. What if you are teaching a 2nd, 6th, 8th, or 11th grade class? How will you teach your students? How will you know which ones like and find what you are teaching as interesting and enjoyable, versus the ones that just do not care? I remember my 12th grade computer applications teacher. I also remember my friends in that class, and most of us did not have a problem. He explained the assignments well and we had questions sometimes that he answered. Then there were the 3 or 4 students that just didn't want to put forth the effort. Saying that they were making his life miserable would be an understatement. At least that's what we thought, he was one cool educator. He just did what he had to do, and didn't care about anything else. He put in the effort at the beginning of the school year, and treated everyone like equals, even the troublemakers. After awhile, as long as they turned in their work, half done or not, he was fine. You have to draw a sanity line in your mind and be careful of students like that. Some will not give a second thought to what you are saying...and that is ok. It is their future and you have done what you can. The rest is up to a higher power...if you believe in that type of thing :) So, to answer ALL of the questions that I have asked myself in this post...I simply do not know. I will know when the situation presents itself. I believe that being prepared helps. Keep your cool, your sanity in check, and be calm and enthusiastic with your teaching. Not too much as though to show sarcasm, but enough to show that you like it.  

I can overcome these fears as the weeks/semesters/years roll on. I know that interacting with different types of personalities, be they warm or cold will help me with coping with my fears. I really would like to be an educator one day, and I want to be a warm, inviting one. I know that once I go through a few sessions with students, I can feel more at ease. I know it won't be easy, but it can be if I believe in what I teach.  

I can definitely use some of the TSD's that we have gone through to help with my lessons. It can make me feel more at ease knowing that I know this and can show it to some extent to students. I hope that I can help people overcome their fears. I hope that I can help take out of some peoples minds the notion that once you are over 25, you have no business learning anything. Just give up, make babies, have a family, and just wait for it all to end. I have come across people with that type of mindset, and I do not find it at all amusing. We have all taken different paths in our lives, as long as you are willing, and have patience and understanding, you learn anything. With a few helpful instructors along the way (which doesn't hurt...Dr Mac ;)   )  it can really boost your confidence. Regardless if you are 25 or 65 or 85, you can and will succeed.  

I for sure have to examine the way that I will teach. I have to keep it interesting, because now, in 2009 people have to be wowed to be motivated to learn. Teaching them how to upload videos to YouTube for the world/classmates to see. Teaching them how to make an interactive powerpoint will help them with a presentation. Teaching them sites like blogger, ning, google sites, delicious, they will se just how easy they can make their lives in advancing their knowledge about technology and the web. Imagine if you show someone how to go to their bank website, set up a payee address, and have their bank pay the bill via mail without you having to do anything. Wouldn't that help someone with time restrictions? Wouldn't that help someone who couldn't drive? I think so. Something so simple can change someone's life for ever.

I have to keep a mindset that nothing is too difficult. My continued research may uncover subjects and opinions that I do not agree with, and that is fine. Not every educator, especially in an Educational Technology field will agree with one another. You may have similar teaching styles, but your beliefs shall differ, and more often this is the case. Learning to co-exist with your co-workers will be another battle that will coincide with your teachings. You have to deal with it and see that it doesn't get in the way of your thinking about your lessons.