PIDP-3250 Postings

Plain is Good..Is Plain Good?

Last week I attended a two day work shop, which was presented by Dr. Bosley -The Plain Language Group. This work shop provided me many useful tools when writing and editing material. At the end of the work shop, it was required for all participants to present a 5-10 minute mini lessons. The purpose of this mini lesson, was to ensure everyone understood “something” from the work shop, and were able to present it to others.

So what is plain language?

Plain language is a simple way to communicate with others. This could be through documents, e-mails, texts, websites, books, talking, blogs, etc.

The work shop provided a 7 step checklist for writing more efficiently and more effectivity.

  1. Planning
  2. Drafting
  3. Revising
  4. Planning and Analyzing
  5. Organizing
  6. Writing with style
  7. Formatting with design

By following this checklist and using these tools, I’m able to transform a document and make it simpler to read. Please compare the two examples below:

Example:

BEFORE The reason computerization of this process is being recommended is because it reduces the time required to obtain data and gives more accurate data.

AFTER We recommend computerizing the process to get accurate data more quickly.

The AFTER version is much easier to read. This was done by simply changing the way sentences are wrote.

What else?

When writing we must also consider the following:

  • Use active voices
  • Use positive language
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Minimize wordiness
  • Limit Jargon
  • Use transitions
  • Add visuals

Now what?

Working in the Middle East and teaching technical data to ESL students (English as a Second Language), is a difficult task. Having tools to help simplify learning resources and assessments, will add value for both the student and the instructor.

Currently, my department at CNA-Q is undertaking a redevelopment project. This project consists rewriting all related curriculum documents. Having this new knowledge allows me to teach others the importance of “Plain Language”. Over the next few months, I will complete a Train-To-Trainer session with my peers to ensure they have the skills to simply communicate with others.

 

Resources:

http://www.theplainlanguagegroup.com/

Flip It!

I read an article a few months ago, where Eric Mazur an university professor at Harvard was talking about the benefits of using a flipped class with his students. He said that the most valuable tool that can be used in a flipped classroom is a…..”Book”. Having students read or research information before showing up to class is very effective. This professor also believes that technology can create more unique ways to flip a class., but he chooses to stay away from using technology, as the simple “book” concept has effectively worked for the past 20+ years.

Sometimes simple solutions works great, but not necessarily innovative for the students.

http://evolllution.com/revenue-streams/distance_online_learning/audio-flipped-classroom-redefine-role-educators-10-years/

Who are you?

Susan Cain presented a 20 minute Ted Talk session explaining the differences between introverts and extroverts. In this video she defined, that introverts are people who learn more efficient when working alone or in small groups. They are generally quiet, but not shy, and tend to think better when doing things themselves. Where extroverts are outgoing, and work better in social situations, as they become more productive when working with others. Extroverts need to be social! Introverts need personal space!….Click Here to continue reading

https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en

Excuse me do I know you?

Understanding who your students are will help you succeed in the classroom. We must put ourselves in our students shoes and recognize that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Like us , we have good days and bad days. Sometimes its work related and other times its personal.

As an instructor we must support our students, and motivate them to succeed. Motivation can be expressed in a variety of ways. We can simply encourage them to become leaders. We can tell them why its important to attend class. We can express our interest, and show them that others care. We can help them find reasons to learn and succeed.

Motivation is key in education. Its up us, to help our students maintain it. We must always show up to class expressing a positive attitude, so our students feel welcomed and secure. Just remember, our job as instructors is to educate our students and encourage them to achieve their goals, no matter the circumstances.

Enjoy the Video!!

Digital Project

Role playing is an excellent way for students to interact. To learn how to use this tool in your classroom. Click Here to access my digital project. Hope you enjoy my characters southern “twang”.

First I wasn’t sure how to start the project. I researched several websites and used many different strategies to create my script. It was challenging trying to compact all the information in a 5 minute timeslot. Once the script was written, I tried a few different ways to record my voice. It started off with a professional microphone, which I rented from our “Advanced Learning Technologies Center”. Then I switched to an app that I downloaded on my phone. After a few recordings I loaded my voice on PowToon, and selected a mysterious background track to match the lesson.

PowToon itself was an easy tool to use, once I understood the main functions and its limitations. Following the suggested steps from PowToon helped me complete this task at ease.

Step #1 Write a script

Step#2 Record voiceover

Step #3 Add visuals

After compiling all three steps, I published the video and showed it to my peers at work. They all  understood the benefits of using “Role Playing” in the classroom, and were interested to try PowToon for future lessons.

I recommend everyone to try and create a cartoon with Powtoon.  It’s a lot of fun and it forces you to use your imagination.

“As you are aware there are many instructional strategies that can be used in the classroom. Role playing is a fun way to engage students in a higher order of thinking.  Having them involved in an exercise that is as realistic possible, will increase their ability to transfer knowledge, and show them how to behave in similar situations. These are important traits to have when socializing in today’s world.” Ralph (2015)

Resources:

http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/roleplaying/howto.html#objectives

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/role-play

file:///C:/Users/60083036/Downloads/TCM-Role-Play-Practice.pdf

Do you have style?

Everyone learns differently. Some like to visually learn, where others like to auditory listen to a lecture. Each of the seven learning styles listed on this chart are  beneficial when used with the right content.

In this TED talk video, Tesia Marshik lectures about the different learning styles and the importance of critical self-relection. This might be hard to believe, but she suggests that learning styles don’t exist. We all have our own learning preferences, but they don’t enhance our learning.

WHAT?? Is this true??But…… I’m a better learner when I physically do something with my hands. Watch this video and decide for yourself.

Do you have a preferred learning style? Does it matter?

Don’t believe everything you think!! “Research is what I’m doing when I don’ know what I’m doing” -Wernher Von Braun

 

Gogy……What??

 

There are may different gogy’s in the education world. Here is a brief overview of a few.

Andragogy:

  • Adult learning method
  • Adults learn differently from children (pedagogy)
  • This method provides structure for adult learners

Heutagogy:

  • Adults that want to learn
  • Self-Directed learning
  • Typically found in higher education settings
  • Students are responsible for their own learning
  • Teacher facilitate “Things that are going on in the classroom”

Technoheutagogy: (Spelling may be incorrect)

  • Using technology with Heutagogy
  • Examples; Blended learning, distance education

Am I missing any other Gogy’s??

 

4 stages of self-directed learning.

I teach instrumentation and process at a collage in Doha, Qatar. One of the competency units that my students complete is called “Plan a routine job”. This project has three steps.

  1. Plan
  2. repair
  3. Write a report

When my student go through the process  of planning and repairing a piece of equipment, they take full ownership of their learning and outcomes. At the end of the task, they  have to reflect on the experience by creating a report. This technique shows my students how to become self-directed learners.

As an instructor I only provide them guidance along the way. I become a mentor not an information provider. It is my job keep them on track.

After going through these steps, its Sad so say that most (not all) of my students are level 1 learners. They rely on the me on a consistent basis. With the right skills and simple adjustments, I believe these students can easily reach a level two or three.

In the course I’m currently taking (provincial instructor diploma program) I have to manage and participate in an online discussion forum with other students. This discussion forum consists of many topics with multiple conversations. If done properly, this assignment truly reflects a self-directed learner.  Up to this point I feel that i’m a constantly reflecting the traits of level 3 learner.Which I’m quite happy to admit!

The next time you’re learning something new, take a look at this chart to determine if you are a stage 1-2-3-4 self-directed learner.

Thoughts?