My final week and some reflections

This is the final week of the PIDP 3240 course.  It’s been an interesting experience to say the least.

I’ve learned that there are pros and cons to the online learning environment.  The biggest pro is that you can access the course at any time and in any location.  The con to this is that there isn’t the environment of the classroom and the software is a difficult to navigate.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn this type of software as this gives me insight into online learning and how I will best manage it when I go into the world of potentially teaching online courses.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the learning community!

Trends in Technology and you’ll never guess who’s using it!

There have been some changes in education in the past 5 – 10 years but for the most part but the biggest glaring change has been technology and the advancement of it.

I remember when the internet started to really become popular and that was in 1997, the year I graduated high school.  It was a big deal to say the least but it was slow, if you’re old enough you will remember 56k dial up modems and that horrible screeching sound it made.  I did have a PC at home and that was almost just of a big of a deal as the internet connection was.  I had the “Encyclopedia Encarta” software.  Wow, it changed the way I submitted reports for history class, that’s for sure.

We also didn’t have mobile phones.  Sure, there was the odd person – usually a physician that had one and it was the size of a brick and weighed about the same.

Now computers, internet and mobile phones are everywhere.  I see 2 year old children that know how to run their iPad better than me.  The zoos are even starting to introduce training programs for the orangutans in D.C., granted they can’t hold the iPads themselves (I’m sure they would just drop them on the floor) but this is amazing if you ask me.  A far cry from where we were 15 years ago!

Mobile phones.  My friend and my foe.  Part of me really misses the day when you called friends on a landline, it was a big deal when your mom finally agreed to have a 30′ phone cord that reached your bedroom so you could get some privacy.  People showed up to meet you when they said they would, as the luxury of ‘texting’ someone at the last minute to cancel didn’t exist. BUT, having everything in one place with a smart phone has it’s ups as well.  The internet WHEREVER I go?!  Do you know the value in being able to look up any fact at any time?  I love finding out facts and being able to look up a map at any time.  Unsure of how many towns named “Springfield” exist in the U.S.A.?  I know the answer in an under a minute.  I don’t care for the the use of mobiles in the office or classroom setting, it’s very frustrating when you’re in a meeting or teaching and someone is emailing.  I know they’re not present and my personal theory is that ‘multi-tasking’ is not a good thing.

Online courses.  Something else I get torn between.  Online learning is not for me.  I really don’t care for it.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s something that was never part of education when I was growing up.  I could be totally wrong.  I just find computers frustrating in general for the most part.  Anything beyond typing a letter and using Google – I run short of patience very quickly.  A perfect example is the software we use at my place of employment for invoices and processing them.  They get scanned, uploaded, reviewed by 3 different approves  printed and walked to accounts payable.  By the time this has all taken place it could be up to a week in time.  If I had just taken that first original hard copy, got it approved and have it walked up to A/P – a process that could be completed in a day.  As for for the open online open university courses – I think this is fantastic for students that otherwise have a chance to learn due to situations such as financial constraints

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57565393-37/orangutans-monkey-around-with-ipads-at-zoo/

Teaching a classmate

A classmate phoned me last night to check in on how I was doing with the technology course for the PIDP program.  Between the two of us there was a lot of “Oh no, I didn’t know we had to do THAT as well!” but that’s OK – we’re making our way thru.

One thing that she didn’t know how to do was create a ‘widget’ on her blog.  We were on the phone for about an hour and got quite a bit accomplished.  I told her I was thankful that we had done previous courses together as we’ve been good resources for each other.  But back to the widgets – so she didn’t know how to do this.  I managed to walk her thru it and we created new widgets!  She was very impressed with herself and how her blog was looking better and better (rightfully so).  I was also impressed that I did a good job of teaching her, especially over the phone!  It gives you a new appreciation for that poor help desk technician that I call ALL THE TIME with some really dumb questions.
What about you?  Has there been a time when you’ve been impressed with your stellar teaching skills?

When I’m in charge

So I’ve been learning from this PIDP course on technology.

Some general thoughts that go thru my head:

1. This software is NOT what I would choose if I’m ever to teach an online course.  I  find the moodle to be very cumbersome and doesn’t navigate too well.

2. I’m still not on-board with online learning, at least from a student’s perspective.  Maybe the challenges are less to the instructor on the other side?  Or maybe my teacher doesn’t like this as much as I do.

3.  I’m REALLY trying to embrace this and be positive about the whole thing.  I don’t want my teacher thinking I’m walking around with my stink on – that’s not the case.

4.  A fellow student sent me a direct message on twitter  – TWO weeks ago.  I didn’t see it because I didn’t think to check my direct messages.  This lead me to the conclusion that I’m not giving students the luxury of 30 ways to get a hold of me.  It doesn’t matter to me that you’re 20 years old and you’ve only known internet your whole life.  You’re getting two resources.  Which two I  haven’t decided yet but it’s only 2.

I have really enjoyed every course in the PIDP program to date – I’m just struggling with this one a bit.

This is for now…Just some general ramblings.

Aside

I don’t even know where to begin with this post.  Last weekend was a bit crazy.  Hours spend in 91 degree heat driving between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, hours spent working out and being trained by 4 IFBB pro’s (including 7 Olympia titles), a little time in the casino, very little time on the Strip and a day at Disneyland, no time for shopping, one trip to the emergency room and a VERY patient Brian!

My first night at the fitness retreat was good – we talked, some of the pro’s told their story – because we all have a story and they’ve all had to overcome huge obstacles.  None of these girls were handed their hot bodies and they all work for them.  Like, really, really hard.  I’ve learned that they do look as good in person as they do on the cover of Oxygen magazine.  Sure, there’s a little more make-up but they look that good, all the time.  I worked out a total of 12 hours in 3 days.  It was a lot.  It also taught me that I still need to be doing a lot more – the 2-2.5 hours a day I’m doing now is just simply NOT enough.  It doesn’t help that I’m at a desk most of the day – so I need to get more workouts in on my lunch break. 

I started coughing on day 2.  It hasn’t stopped.  The first thing I did after landing at YVR was head straight to the hospital.  My poor little lungs, as an asthmatic who’s had their lungs collapse 3 times all the sprint work and the cigarette smoke in Vegas just did me in….Oh well.  Sitting on the nebulizer really helped.  I just haven’t had my lungs in such a state for many years.

I’m still recovering from this nasty lung thing that I’ve got.  It’s been 3 weeks now!  Ugh.  Oh well.  Keep ticking along folks!

 

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ipads, ipads

Tablets, ipads – whatever name you want to give them…they’re everywhere.

Some of the great uses that I’ve recently encountered for iPads include the following:
Menus – you will see these in a lot of higher end restaurants (including the Fairmont Pacific Rim Vancouver), it’s used in lieu of a paper menu. This makes your life a lot easier when going thru the wine list – the only disadvantage is a waiter still has to take your order but the wine pairings are fare more simpler. It also saves on paper as the chef can update instantly.

Flying – A lot of pilots love this as maps are constanly changing – one simple download and you have all of your charts that are up to date.  You can spend thousands of dollars on these in paper form and this just makes life simpler. Along with cost savings of updated maps, you also save on fuel costs as traditional flight decks can weigh as much as 50 pounds.

Hospitals such as Cedars Sinai are using iPads to allow new moms and their premature babies to connect over the camera.  Since the infants are too small and sick to be exposed to germs – this allows moms to still see their little ones.

Do you have any great uses for you iPad?