e-Journal Entry #3: Going through the bits and pieces of designing hand-outs and creating non-projected visual aids.

LESSONS: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRINT MEDIA, STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES, AND HOW TO CREATE NON-PROJECTED AND PROJECTED MEDIA.

e-Journal Entry #3: “It’s time to share your experiences and insights once again. Tell us about your experiences in designing handouts and the learning you got from your 3rd week in class.” -Prof. Roja

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I prefered to divide this reflective blog into three parts which are 1. Personal sentiments (i.e. includes my honest reflections of what I personally felt, observed and realized within a specific span of the course) and 2. Academic realizations (i.e. includes ideas relative to the knowledge and skills gained from the lesson).

If you feel that going through subjective opinions and personal sentiments are irrelevant to the purposes of this blog, you can feel free to maximize the scroll button to immediately go to the Academic realizations from this blog. =)

1. PERSONAL SENTIMENTS:

The race with time: Dying from deadliest deadlines.
Like any other battles I’ve had, the third week of our class has been one of the fiercest. It has been a relentless battle with time and juggling priorities ranging from family matters to demands of work. It has been a tough race with time. I was eaten alive by deadlines. I regret it. But I would have regret it more if I had let myself stooped low, felt helpless, and never found strength to pick myself up and pushed on.

Thankfully, the classmates and Teacher Roja are both supportive. I find peace from C. W. Longenecker’s poem that goes:

“If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.”

It’s not over until it’s over.
More than learning how to design and make handouts, I have learned the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break. I have gained strength to put my career temporarily aside, sacrificed normal sleep to cater early for family needs, and finally committed on catching up with school deliverables. I felt standing at the bottom of a collapsing building and felt all its debris crumbling down to me. I grasped for time as the dying grasped for air.

Being a bread-winner slash full-time employee slash student with full 6-unit load, I knew I have gone too far on putting things on my plate. But I also knew there was a good reason for this. That I was up for the challenge. I am up for the challenge!

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2. ACADEMIC REALIZATIONS:

Obra maestra
I learned that visual aids are not isolated on the colorful papers we are placing onto the black boards, they could take simpler forms like handouts and pamphlets. And like any other undertakings, they are not as easy to achieve. I believe I have the passion for art, but matching it with standards (rubrics) and technology is a whole new story.

It was fun contemplating ideas of how to simplify the lesson, what imageries could be most efficient and useful, how to align learning objectives with content and instruction, and how to put everything altogether in one mesmerizing output (i.e. non-projected/multiple non-projected/projected media).

I thought pictures could just be cut, resized, and mounted right here and there, but the rubrics made me realized that alignment, proximity, directionals and others are also vital to take into consideration. A colorful visual does not always mean a good one, it needs to fit what the need is, as not all plain text is as bad. We need to find the right purpose of what and why we are putting things in our instructional media.

Kiss-kick-kiss: The sandwich principle
I was stunned of how helpful and interactive my classmates are upon receiving and giving feedbacks to each others’ works. When you thought that you’ve already given your best, someone would tap you on the back and help you realize what needs to be improved. I am just a little worried about how others could have absorbed non-euphemized feedbacks. It is true that feedbacks are meant to push improvement as not all work are impeccable, but positive scripting could have been more motivating.

I believe most of us (as most of us are emotional creatures who are as easily motivated or demotivated like you and me) could find the wisdom in the sandwich principle (Thanks to some classmates in “Assessment course” who shared it) that goes:

“If there is a need to emphasize on negative insights to make people realize their AFI’s (i.e. Areas For Improvement),
We must put (sandwich) it in the middle of two positive insights,
In that way, the stimuli for sensitive emotions would be less impacting. The positive side of the comment would still prevail, attracting greater positive reaction from the reader.”

for example: Your work is neat (Positive), although adding this and that could have been more helpful. Also, doing this and that could have made it more effective (Negative). Despite these, the effort given to come up with this is still well appreciated (Positive).

POSITIVE COMMENTS>NEGATIVE COMMENTS>POSITIVE COMMENTS

I believe you could relate that nothing kills a person’s motivation than insensitively constructed feedbacks. Constructive comments are as easily achievable as putting ourselves to the other persons’ shoes. Most of us have already been applying this, and that is a good enough reason to smile about. =)

An emoticon is worth a thousand words
I especially appreciate how teacher Roja and some of our classmates maximize the use of smiley icons. It may sound sissy, immature and irrelevant/insignificant with the lessons, but come to think of it, our words posted online have no emotions. Anyone could infer varying impressions from it ranging from happy, sad, excited, amazed to disappointed, mocking, sarcastic or irritated.

Behind every words are not only ideas but emotions. Emoticons give the emotional profile that our words lack. It gives the reader proper interpretation of what the writer wants to imply, lessening mis-interpretations and communication gaps, in the same way as how we apply it in creating visual aids that convey all the thousand ideas and emotions we want our learners to grasp. =)

Many Thanks!
-Jeff

About this blog

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eJournal Entry #2: How was my second week in class?

LESSONS: TYPES OF INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA, THEIR STRENGTHS AND RESOURCES, AND SELECTING/DEVELOPPING INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA.

e-Journal Entry #2: “How was your 2nd week in class? What have you learned in the past week? Tell me about your interaction with your classmates!” -Prof. Roja

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Game face is on!
The second week of our class was like an echoing “Tiiinnnngggg!” sound of a bell from a boxing fight. It marked the start of another journey filled with almost all domains found in Bloom’s taxonomy. We’ve savored gaining knowledge from knowing the different types of instructional media, comprehending their different strengths and weaknesses, applying these knowledge by illustrating guidelines of how to select and develop these intructional media, among many others.

chalk and black board

My personal take-aways from the second week
I appreciate how the class had been smooth sailing. Everyone seemed engaged and all hooked as non-stop posts gradually graced from all parts of the fora. While I felt enthusiastic with how my classmates got huge amount of energies in synthesizing, expounding and tabulating all forms of helpful insights about the topics, I also felt humbled with the fact that I am lagging behind everyone else, as chaotic work schedules and family priorities made me feel how reality bites.

Googling this and that
I learned that the figures from Dale’s cone of experienced were fallacious and that there is more to instructional media than creating drawings, works of art and visuals. That these materials, more than art-works are educational resources that are still bound by learning objectives and pedagogical principles.

As I have learned that “visual aids” is not necessarilly synonymous to “instructional media”, and what “instructional technology” means, I have also learned that not everything about instructional media is easy. I first thought that the lessons would just be light since the terms appeared to be self-explanatory. I thought wrong.

The second week is full of research. It was quite tough, especially when google is filled with ambigous articles with same topic but irrelevant meaning to the one you need. It is studded with “instructional media” for all sorts of topic but education (e.g. instructional media for aerobic exercise, gardening, winning a date, etc.) It sharpened our research and perusal skills.

Interaction: Sharing a piece of me to you
Interacting with classmates is quite relieving. There were friendly souls who share the same struggles, zest, and willingness to learn as you are. But there are also insensitive few who may need to learn the art of “euphemism“. Regardless of the impact of those experiences, I always prefer to look at it as constructive as necessary.

After all, in an online environment, all words could be associated with all possible emotions and meaning we could possibly think of. The important thing is that there’s an authoritative FIC (teacher Roja) who makes sure that the class is always at the right track and tirelessly finds time to put things in order. =)

Many Thanks!
-Jeff

About this blog

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First Impressions and Expectations about the class and the course (e-Journal entry #1)

The first step on EDS151 class towards the journey of a thousand miles.

I was filled with mixed and opposite emotions upon logging into EDS151 for the very first time, knowing that this subject would mark the finale of my stay here in UPOU, as it is one of the last subjects I need to take before permanently bidding goodbye to my virtual classes and saying hello to the real world as I take up LET (hopefully this year). It has been almost 8 months, 2 days and few hours since the very first time that I had logged into UPOU portal, and it has been a rewarding learning experience ever since.

foot prints

My few months of stay here in UPOU have witnessed first impressions that don’t always last (both good and bad ones), of hopes that turned into disappointments, of dismays that turned into inspirations, and vice versa. Now that I have learned my lesson, I intend to be cautious about carefully dissecting my first impressions. Here are few of them:

First impressions about the FIC (Prof. Roja L. Rivera):
1. Accomodating and approachable – This is my first time having an FIC who gives study tips to her students at the onset of the class. Most of the FIC’s I had were strict and too much straight to the point. No sugar coating. Most of them were also accomodating and approachable, but few would pro-actively extend effort as to giving technical and even non-technical support to the students as the way EDS151 is being introduced.

2. Hands on and student-centered – I admire how an FIC could actively follow-up on most, if not all, of her students’ posts. Yes, it is an expectation that being in an online class would mean less intervention from teachers and more student self-effort, but having an FIC who actively find time to solicit student consensus and post timely responses (even in an asynchronous set up), makes being in an online class a bit easier and motivating.

First impressions about the class/classmates:
1. Lively and interactive- I know it is a sad reality that most of us fail to maximize our online responses as we are impeded by time, family and work priorities (as most of us have full time jobs to attend to). But I am glad to see familiar names in our class list, making me think that there would still be more lively class threads and discussions.

2. Informative – I have never been disappointed with this first impression as most of the student (teacher) posts found in UPOU are worth reading. In fact, most of the time, I find it easier to learn from my classmates’ works/posts than from the reading materials provided, as the former are simpler, more concised and reflective than the latter.

Expectations from the class, classmate and myself:
1. The class – I am always hopeful to find lasting learning experiences from the class (student-student interactions, discussions, etc.) that would serve as my take-away from UPOU, as I step out of my virtual class and towards the real world of being a teacher. I expect the class to be upbeat, constructive, and lively. I expect to have more audio-visual materials rather than plain pdf read-outs, which facilitate greater retention of information. I also expect to have more attainable deadlines as the deliverables could require not only plain text but usage of other media and applications. I expect to be adept in the usage of different instructional resources upon going through the course.

2. Classmate – I guess most would agree that being in a virtual class gives us lesser chances of finding friends out of our online classmates than it is with a normal class, as online interactions are sometimes too formal and restricted by class protocols. Nevertheless, I hope that the intellectual exhanges in the portal could facilitate more friendly interactions among classmates.

3. Myself – I have always been a victim of cramming despite all preparations I have been doing. I realized how self-discipline and time-management could strongly salvage one from struggling with extension grades and completion requests. I thought being in an online class would make it easier for me to serve two Gods (school and full-time-work), but the deadliest deadlines and death defying deliverables proved me wrong. Having learned my lesson, I intend to finish all deliverables in time and beat cramming tendencies (fingers and toes crossed).
What are your ideas about instructional media resources, educational technology, and instructional/teaching materials? The following reflect my (initial) personal ideas for the said subjects:
1. Instructional media resources – Places or portals that serve as rich depot of teaching/instructional materials (i.e. internet, library, t.v., etc.).

2. Educational technology – Technology driven instruction. Teachers of this generation face the challenge of adapting their pedagogical skills with the rapidly advancing technological climate. Old-school teaching is challenged by constant educational changes, especially in a technologically-driven generation that we have now. Traditional books and references are seemingly replaced with the ones being easily accessed online, chalks-and-black boards are devalued by power point presentations, hand written projects are made obsolete by computerized ones, and even the manner from which we acquire education is made flexible by technology. Traditional face-to-face class is now redefined by the creation of open universities. Thus, educational technology reflects our usage of technology to uplift traditional way of delivering education.

3. Instructional/teaching materials – Materials (audio-visual aids, presentation utilities, etc.) that allow better delivery of the teaching-learning process.
How do you think this course will help you become better teachers?
It has been once said that an effective teacher is one who could facilitate fruitful learning despite only being armed with plain chalk and black-board. While I agree with this, I also acknowledge that our learning needs are dragged by time and technological changes and challenges. The learners of this generation are swamped with too much technological attractions (online games, cell phones, social networks: fb, twitter, etc.) that compete with how they experience traditional learning. Their interests are harder to trigger and their attention span easily declines. Thus, delivering contents through traditional instruction would less likely be productive. I therefore believe that enhancing skills for “instruction” through uplifting knowledge of instructional media/resources would definitely open outlets towards being a more effective teacher.

What is your commitment to this class? What are you willing to do for you to have an abundant and a deep learning from this course?
As I have learned it the hard way from my previous courses, I am much committed on beating deadlines and promptly delivering quality outputs (deliverables). I have always been up for any challenges. Yes, there might have been rough times, of not meeting expectations and of patience and persistence being shot dead by time and other priorities, but I am now stretching my stress-threshold to its limits’ limits. I intend to do advanced reading, be attentive with FIC’s and classmates’ posts, and render more presence on the online discussions.

As king Solomon once said, “There’s a time for everything”. As we all again put our time-management skills and self-discipline into their greatest test of fire, I am optimistic that all these hopeful impressions, expectations and committments could find their fruitful accomplishment in God’s perfect time.

Many Thanks!
-Jeff

About this blog

 

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