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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday Feb 24th

Productivity update

I mentioned in the last post that weekly reviews were new and it would take some getting used to doing each and every week. I got a bit behind yesterday and did about half and today I finished. I decided that making sure I have enough time is key to being successful with weekly reviews. I made a list in my one note notebook that has the 43 folders, about everything that should be covered in weekly reviews. I have been able to keep up with inbox zero and really like the feeling of clean inbox and either immediately responding if it's short or spending some set time to take care of all email related items. I think weekly reviews will really help me stay on top of everything but making sure I have ample time and that they actually take place are key to ensuring success.

As far as the other items: hipster PDA and 43 folders. I am doing quite well. After 2 weeks I feel like I have to have my notecards with me at all times to jot down anything and everything as it comes to me. I set aside time at the end of each day when I review my items in the 43 folders to make sure all the notecards are in line with what else I am doing each day. I love being able to move items to another day when I get bogged down and not feel the weight of trying to remember everything I need to get done. I have found this particular aspect the most liberating of all the productivity items

Today I spent time cleaning out files on my Google Drive. I have two more major tasks with this: organizing each folder with sub folders and getting rid of stuff I don't need anymore and cleaning out the shared with me stuff. It is intimidating with how much is in there. I have decided to tackle a piece each week as part of my weekly review when I clean up digital items and scan my computer. One thing at a time. But I already feel so much more on top of things.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Productivity changes

So this week I am begininng a few new productivity tasks. To begin with I cleaned my inbox for the three emails I use to zero. This took a while and made me consider what I really needed to keep and could be deleted. It was an exhiliarating exercise and I am glad I did it. It's been almost a week and I feel so much better about emails. I really like the thought that if it will take you less than 2 minutes than answer immediately. I am much more decisive with how I handle emails now.

Next item was 43 folders. This took me a bit to consider how to make this happen. I didn't really want to carry 43 folders around with me so I used One Note and created a folder for each month and a page for each day. Before I did this, I had a daily list that I would work on and for the most part it was ok, but somethings I would never get to and then list would get longer and longer.  I like being able to move items I am not going to get to this day to another day. I chose OneNote cause I want to get better at using it and I can access it on any device

I also created a hipster PDA. It is just 3 x 5 cards with a fastener. I like the idea of always being able to take notes and write things down as they pop in my head. I have added a gas mileage page and grocery list, I imagine a lot of ideas will come as I use this more.

Last thing I am going to do is the weekly review. I have done lots of different productivity methods, but this is definitely an area that I have not done well. I am good at setting goals and writing lists, but reviewing them on weekly basis and having a standard procdure are things I don't do as well. These are the items I am going to focus on each week:
Make sure all items on list are completed or moved forward 
Clean out emails 
Clean out temporary folder 
Update hipster PDA: add notes where they need to go, consider new items, get rid of full pages 
Clean off desktop  
File digitally and physically 
Run spyware/virus programs 
Need to figure out what to do about notes 
Blog about experience 
Review goals 

Week one was great, now onto week two, more peace and calm. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

IDET 6430 Wrap Up

Where to begin on what I learned this semester, almost too many things to write about. Overall, I learned a lot about the IDET process and how integral each step really is. I think it is of utmost importance to plan and plan as effectively as possible in the beginning. Certainly you may not know everything that will come up, but having a place to start is important and will certainly guide you through the process.

Getting good feedback is essential for your project. But getting good feedback is not easy to get. Proper planning and time needs to go into getting good feedback and you need to go to people that will not just pat you on the back but look for the blindspots in your project. Having your clientele look at your materials before you publish them can really help guide the process. You will learn real quick if it is going to work by their reactions to the materials.

One of the other important things was communication in our group. We developed a system for getting work done and helping each other with each piece of the project. Luckily I was working with a great group of like minded individuals and all of us were eagerly working together for the same goal. I can see that this would be problematic if group members didn't work well together and/or didn't have a good way of communicating with one another.

Getting to the point and determining your objectives is key to planning everything with your project. This is the part of the process you want to spend a lot of time going over and over and making sure you are really getting the main objectives figured out. There is a saying "The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing" I really feel that this idea is the point of determining your objectives. You can certainly not spend enough of time working on objectives, but I don't think you can spend too much time working on them.

Overall, I learned that there is a lot to this process and it takes a lot of time and planning to get started and then a lot of good feedback to help sort the project out. You need to have a good SME and know the culture and have an understanding of the client. All this can seem daunting and it kind of is, that's why you need to have a plan to tackle it all. Without a plan you wouldn't know where to start and what to do. They say "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" and that is definitely the case. Having a plan can really help you get through the drudgery of the work and sort through what is important. In the end your project will only be as good as the plan you create, so its best to spend some time in the beginning to develop your plan and then you will need to constantly evaluate throughout the process to make sure you are meeting your goals and that your plan is going to work. You should have a good understanding throughout the process as to whether or not you are on the right track.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Visual Media

Here are my thoughts on visual media as per our upcoming presentation

One of my biggest pet peeves is being in a presentation and having the instructor just read off slides that are text heavy. I was at presentation not too long ago in which the speaker referenced his slide deck and had 0 images, none, zip, zilch, zero. It was unbelievable really that a speaker using a projector and a slide deck didn't use a single image to illustrate his points. Its not like it would have been difficult, many of his ideas would have been easily portrayed with an image.

Item #1 for effective visual presentations is to use pictures. If I was presenting on the election and what the electoral map looked like and I was doing it without any visuals my audience would be lost as soon as I started. On the other hand a good map with identifiable color, text, and symbols can really enhance a discussion on the electoral college
This image helps make the complications of 50 states of differing sizes and numbers of votes understandable. Trying to explain this topic without a visual would be nearly impossible.

#2 Don't bullet point and read everything. Too much text and reading is an absolute waste of the tool. College professors are notorious for this bad behavior and poor use of technology. We all know they like to hear themselves talk, but c'mon don't read it too.

#3 A good presentation slide deck shouldn't make a lot of sense without the presenter. There should be images and text but the presentation shouldn't necessarily make sense if you are just looking at the deck. A good presenter weaves a story and ties everything together. That's the magic of a good presentation, don't tell and show everything all at once.

Good visual design should ensure everything is legible and understandable, increase engagement, and focus attention. If you are checking your phone or looking at the clock somewhere along the presenter failed in one of these areas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Here are my notes for the debate: Consistent evidence is found for the generalization that there are no learning benefits to be gained from employing any specific medium to deliver instruction

Most current summaries and meta-analyses of media comparison studies clearly suggest that media do not influence learning under any conditions (Schramm 1977)

Basically, the choice of vehicle might influence the cost or extent of distributing instruction, but only the content of the vehicle can influence achievement. (Schramm 1977)

Media as simple vehicles for instructional methods, such as text organization, size of step in programming, cueing, repeated exposures, and prompting. (Lumsdaine 1963)

Media are mere conveyances for treatments being examined and are not the focus of study
(Salomon and Clark 1977)

Most media comparison studies to that date had been fruitless and suggested that learning objectives can be attained through “instruction presented by any of a variety of different media”
(Levie and Dickie 1973)

Media comparison studies, regardless of the media employed, tend to result in “no significant difference” conclusions (Mielke 1968)

Causal connections between media and achievement are confounded.

Only .2 standard deviations differences in the final exam scores of audio tutorial and conventional treatments. This difference was equivalent to approximately 1.6 points on a 100 point final exam. This small effect is not instructionally significant and could easily be due to confounding. (J. Kulik, Kulik, and Cohen 1979)

We have reason to believe that the lack of difference is due to greater control of nonmedium variables.

The weak but positive finding for college use of computers over conventional media is due to systematic but uncontrolled differences in content and/or method, contributed unintentionally by different teachers or designers (C. Kulik, Kulik, and Cohen 1980)

There is evidence in these meta-analyses that it tis the method of instruction that leads more directly and powerfully to learning. It seems not to be media but variables such as instructional methods that foster learning (Glaster 1976)

Novelty effect, these gains tend to diminish as students become more familiar with the new medium. An average effect size of .32 for computer courses tended to dissipate significantly in longer duration studies. In studies lasting 4 weeks or less, computer effects were .56 standard deviations. This reduced to .3 in studies lasting 5 to 8 weeks and further reduced to the familiar .2 effect after 8 weeks of data collection. .2 is weak and accounts for less than 1% of variance (Cohen 1977)

Computers are less novel experiences for college subjects than for secondary students.

Five decades of research suggest that there are no learning benefits to be gained from employing different media in instruction, regardless of their obviously attractive features or advertised superiority...clearly indicate no significant differences

Studies comparing the relative achievement advantages on one medium over another will inevitably confound medium with method of instruction.

Media are delivery vehicles for instruction and do not directly influence learning. Certain elements (like zooming in) might serve as sufficient conditions to facilitate the learning of students the skill being modeled.

We will not find learning differences that can be unambiguously attributed to any medium of instruction

My favorite line is the last one...It seems reasonable to recommend, therefore, that researchers refrain from producing additional studies exploring the relationship between media and learning unless a novel theory is suggested.

Overall the article basically says there is no connection between media and learning. The one issue with the studies are is that they are old, none of the studies are recent, and by recent I mean in the past 30 years. Yes, 30 years, so I am bit skeptical about the salience of this article.