Surviving Your Serengeti

Stefan Swanepoel has written an interesting, and business skill book. However, I would not say that the content of the book was a “game changer” per se. Then again, the objective was most likely to do something different and longer lasting that that. What Swanepoel has done is present seven foundational business skills set against one of the seven wonders of Africa, Serengeti. The way it is presented, demonstrates these skills with its occupants as an allegorical example of each of the seven skills. Stefan Swanepoel’s book is Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life.
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First Day of fall Semester 2013

Well, the first day of classes usually has only a minor impact on my work in the CTE. However, this semester I am taking a course, Language Acquisition.  Now I must go down the road to see if I can find the text book at a reasonable price. I am excited about this class, as I lobe the subject matter. 

I hope to learn from this course and other language courses to enhance my ability to understand language learning to the extent that I can assist others.

This is not much of a post because I am posting from my new Galaxy S4…not a computer. I will be writing more soon though…so stay tuned.

Catching up on Blogging

Well, here we are again, at the conclusion of 2012 almost and my last posting on here was January 2012.  Life has been busy, but I have decided to be very intentional about blogging assign myself one post every-other week for starts.  After doing that for a while, I should be able to transfer to once a week, and then possibly even more frequently.  At least this is my goal. We shall see.  Life has been busy, interesting, weird, and about anything else you can think of. In May, I took students to Ukraine.  It was an experience for the 10th year I have done this trip, but it was the first year I led the trip as the only one with any knowledge of how and what Ukraine is all about. In June, I took the month off and can’t really tell you what I did.  NO!!! It’s not a secret …. at least I don’t think it is.  I simply don’t recall what I did in June.  July was good because I was teaching and we did a few things as a family.  Then August was quite dead since students were gone home. However, I had to gear up for two newly re-vamped courses.  Those courses being Intro to Web Design and Advanced Web Design.  Advanced was more of a drastic change that the intro.  My students in Advanced Web Design developed WordPress sites and some even widgets within WordPress.  It turned out “ok” but not up to my standards.  The course has been approved and has eight students signed up so far to teach it again in January.

The big event/project that I didn’t even mention was the iBook project that I was asked to be the consultant, programmer, and project manager for.  Some of June was figuring out how to accomplish the iBook.  Apple produced an application called iBooks Author, which is quite intuitive to use, unless you want some extras… and those cost. The cost is not simply money either.  The time consumed in my efforts to get an understanding of some programming was unbelievable.  Here I am still trying to work with a team of workers and trying to get this out of the way.  It isn’t moving fast enough for me.  I want to say “it’s done” but it isn’t. So, with three other people on the team to get this accomplished by Christmas, we are pushing extremely hard to see it come to fruition.  Developing an iBook isn’t difficult in itself, however, if you have creative leaders that want more than is possible, then you find yourself in a tight spot.  That is my scenario.  Nothing wrong with creativity… just have to know your realistic boundaries.

iBooks Author is an awesome application.  Users must keep in mind that the word “Book” is within the name of the application for a reason. It is not for developing “Games” and it is for the purpose of doing some extras with the Book itself.  It has limitations, as Apple has made many of the options that one would think possible, quite difficult to accomplish, if not impossible. I fully intend on using this for developing an iBook using this for my “Intro to Web Design.” I will keep updating this and letting everyone know where this is going.

Till later…

Year 2012

Well, here we are at the brink of yet another semester at Lee. The Christmas break was good for all; I especially found it to be a good opportunity to rethink my teaching and work plans. As for the teaching, I am only teaching one course this semester (spring 2012). The web design course that I have been teaching since 1999; is still the one I seem to put time into as I try to perfect the course and assure that my students comprehend the presented content.

Brett Deaton has been amazingly helpful assisting in this class. The coding of websites is simply natural for Brett. He has picked up on the ways to get the information across. With my teaching and Brett’s assistance, this course has already improved double-fold. This semester will be a time to prepare students for taking the advanced web course, which will focus on designing sites using WordPress. The full coverage intended is not yet known as the revamping is still in progress.

The other areas I had the opportunity to think about was my work in the CTE. As the semester starts up, I will help a number of faculty begin to use Adobe Connect. Adobe Connect is a synchronous online system. Teachers will be able to teach onlive, live! Teaching online is not the same as classroom teaching, and I hope to assist faculty in crossing over from the classroom to the online environment in their practice. Additionally, I am hoping to start the process of videoing the use of various technologies purchased via Title III funds. Dr. Austin Patty has developed a video of this sort, of which I would like to model our videos after.

Since I will be leading a trip to Ukraine in May, I also have two courses to teach before the trip. The Russian language will be part of the preparations for the trip as well. In addition, Abbey and I will call numerous meetings that will pertain to the culture, peoples, practices, and language of Ukraine. As we did for the 2010 trip, we will aim to have students well prepared and psyched for the trip. This trip is going to be fantastic, especially with a group of ten.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I intend to offer training online for using Moodle in a manner that would be sequecial and traing of using the Promethium Interactive Whiteboard. With the above goals in hand, this should be a productive and busy semester.

Are teacher more like doctors – or used car salesmen?

Dana Goldstein‘s piece in the American Prospect, “The Test Generation,” presents a fascinating and disturbing juxtaposition. On one side is Harrison School District 2, a Colorado Springs-area district of about 17,000 students. School officials there recently set up a pay-for-performance scheme where “performance” means improved test scores, even for subjects like art and P.E. Godstein opens the story with a description of such an art test.
Read the rest …at Getting Schooled.

Photoshop Lightroom Bridge

Adobe has announced Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK & Apps! What does it mean to us? It means the power and precision of Photoshop on one hand and the fun on devices on the other hand.Adobe have just released free Adobe Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit SDK to communicate between mobile devices and Photoshop CS5. It sounds exhilarating, doesn’t it? This will allow the developers to offer a multitude of interactive apps.To show what’s possible, Adobe are going to release three iPad apps soon. Here’s what Adobe say about these three apps:

via Photoshop Lightroom Bridge.

Photoshop Exercise

Offering students exercises of various types that are fun and help them learn concepts, theories etc are a favorite avenue for me.  Recently I offered to start class every week with a fun learning exercise.  The following was the first exercise and my students thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 – Go to wikipedia and hit random. The first random wikipedia article you see will be the name of your band.
2 – Open a new tab or window and go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first… album.
3 – Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven… days”. Third picture no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 – Use Photoshop or a similar software (picnik.com is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.
5 – Post it with this text in the “caption” and TAG the friends you want to join in…

The outcome of doing this exercise for me is right here.


Blog e-portfolios

The advantage of a blog eportfolio is that it is easy to put up a blog. Most students have their own email so they can set up a blog quickly. They can individualize the appearance by selecting from many existing templates. A blog is a good tool for an eportfolio with much text.There ae some disadvantages. The eportfolio can contain images. However, often those images are limited. Many blog programs do not allow video. Some allow audio with special programming. The student has to be shown how to set up the blog to limit access to it if it is a school eportfolio.The student has to be more creative in showing improvements in their work such as their growth in their comparison writing. One way is for the student to write notes in parentheses such as to show the changes. For example,

via 2007 February « Education with Technology Harry G. Tuttle.

Attitude effects on aptitude

I have often said to students and to my children alike, that “attitude determines aptitude. ”  What we believe about ourselves and what we are capable of accomplishing determines what we actually will accomplish in and with our lives. Our attitudes will either impede or fuel us along the pathways we choose.  As one author stated, “or they will frustrate us and defeat us and cause us to battle against depression and a sense of failure…”

Attitude may be one of the best predictors of one’s success in life. If I believe I “can” I usually will, but if I believe “I can’t! I usually won’t. My attitude determines my outcome. I believe that is also true in the whole realm of Christ following I believe if I am to be a success in the life of discipleship I must have the right attitude. I believe that the Bible calls on us to have the right attitude if we want to follow Jesus Christ successfully.Philippians 2: 5 says “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus!” I believe that the Bible lays out for us what the attitude of a Disciple of Jesus Christ ought to be. I would assert that the marks of a good disciple’s attitude would include the following characteristics:1. Humility: A successful Christ follower will always be a humble person. Right after Paul counseled the Philippians “let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus” he said “Who being in the form of God thought it no robbery to be equal with God but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of a cross.” Philippians 2: 6-8. Humility is a hallmark of Christ followers. It is a quality that God holds dear in His people. Isaiah 57::15 declares ” For thus says the high and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy; I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Jesus asserted in Matthew 18:4 “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” James 4:6 says “But He gives more grace. Wherefore he said, “God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble.” 1 Peter 5:6 counsels “Humble yourself therefore under the might hand of God that He may exalt you

via Attitudes and their effects on aptitude – by Ed Ostrom – Helium.

Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom

Research consistently has shown that traditional lecture methods, in which professors talk and students listen, dominate college and university classrooms. It is therefore important to know the nature of active learning … read the rest by clicking on the link below:

Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom.