One of the courses that Academy students have to take is “Managerial Oral Communication.” I rarely (almost never, actually) use PowerPoint in my classes, but for a change, I decided to deliver this presentation to them. (I’ve included notes below so you can have an idea of what was discussed in the class itself.)
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Goodbye “Dear Diary” and hello “Development Diary”
Many people can be a bit intimidated by the thought of diary writing. A large part of this is the recollection of childhood diary writing experiences filled with mundane details which look something like:
Today I got up at 6:30 and had five idli for breakfast. Then I went to the tea shop and had two cups of tea and …
You get the point. No one—not even you—is likely to want to read or re-read those words a month later.
- This document was prepared for Tata-Dhan Academy students who are completing the fieldwork or development practice segments of their curriculum. As such, some of the content specifically highlights the types of topics they would be recording about their experiences. [back]
Standards-Based Curriculum and Instruction
In the education world, there is a slight but significant contradiction in the implementation of standards: one purpose of standards is to serve as a guide to ensure that everyone receives a comparable education—but the standards are not easily understood by all stakeholders. Perhaps most importantly, it is highly unlikely that a student given a copy of the standards for a given subject area would be able to decipher anything about what is expected of them. As there is a movement in contemporary education to adopt a practice of stating objectives clearly for students prior to a lesson this paper is an exercise in paraphrasing the third-grade writing standards for the State of California into everyday language that would be more easily understood by third-grade students. While it may be arguable that even the following can be overwhelming for third-grade students, one expected result of paraphrasing the standards in more accessible language is that students will be able to discuss the expectations more easily. The text for the original standards can be found in the appendix.
Standards-Based Curriculum and Instruction
Communication is extremely important, especially for a busy teacher. Teachers must communicate on many levels with different stakeholders. For example, communication with administrators and colleagues are likely to look critically at the overall operations of the integrated scholastic environment including curriculum decisions or sharing procedural ideas. Communication with students may often focus on the level of comprehension of the materials. This is not only in the delivery of the instruction, but also in the non-verbal communication that can offer feedback about the direction a course is going. Parents are another group with whom teachers are likely to have regular contact. In some ways, parents are the most challenging group to have effective communication with—teachers may find that parents have inadequate information about curriculum and instruction, making it difficult to verbalize performance standards. In an era when educational reforms are taking place, “clarity” for parents may be even more confusing, but if used properly, standards can be used to help reinforce communication with parents.
Integrating Educational Technology in the Classroom
The Task: For this group assignment, we were supposed to develop three inter-related lesson plans, preferably multi-disciplinary, which included the integration of computers in some way.
The Inspiration: I made the proposal to my group based on my work at both the Education Enhancement Program (EEP) at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing as well as my work at the King Open Extended-Day (KOED) program in Cambridge. At the EEP, we had done a store-type project with several of the younger students, and they all really enjoyed the whole process. At KOED, I did several cooking projects with the students—pizza being one of them. In the process, I made broccoli converts out of at least six students.
The Lesson Plan Set “Introduction”: Everyone eats. Everyone likes to make money. This instructional plan appeals to these facts by engaging students in nutritional research, exercises in cost and profit, and advertising. Pizza was selected because it is a favorite food of many middle school students and thus has high appeal. The “store” format allows students to engage in learning in mathematics, language arts, nutrition, visual arts, and economics. The overall result is an engaging, student-centered, problem-based series of lessons incorporating several disciplines and integrating several technological applications.
The Lesson Plans: Download this PDF document to view the three lesson plans.
The Other Team Members: Marilee Warner and Christopher Wood.
A colleague wrote: I am attempting to do this project, but I have absolutely NO CLUE what I’m doing. I’m trying to use Microsoft Access to create a database, and I’ve even looked at a tutorial online. I’m just not sure if the information we’ve been instructed to put on there should go on a Table or Query or what!!! I’m sooo frustrated. I don’t know how to do this. HELP! Someone! Anyone! This is the only computer application that I’ve never used, and I am so confused.
I’ll try to help. Step-by-step, just to be on the safe side. (Sorry, I didn’t bother to make it pretty…) Targeted towards Access beginners like myself….
This is the last in a series of three papers written for my instructional design class. Unlike the previous two, which focused on a needs assessment and on how I would plan to conduct my evaluations, this post is basically an outline of what I would want my (extremely crammed) one-hour of instruction to look like. For this I made some assumptions about the audience (see intro paragraph and the two other posts) to help with the time requirements—but the workshop times can probably safely be simply doubled to be able to have enough time to cover everything…. While this is certainly based on my current workplace, there are several reasons that I don’t think it would work, but I certainly can see the advantages to trying to make it work!
This one-hour workshop will take place at the upcoming staff meeting. These meetings typically span two full working days during which staff members share progress on their research projects and also receive project-related feedback from other staff members. The total desired attendance would be all 47 potential participants; however, since a considerable number of the learners are abroad, the in-person attendance is expected to be 30 participants. All learners are equipped with an internet-connected laptop. Prior to the workshop, password-protected user accounts will have been created for all learners and the MediaWiki software will have been installed and tested on the research institute’s webserver. The conference room used for these staff meetings is equipped with a projector and a screen.
At a certain research institute, many of the employees collaborate on documents intended for publication. Documents range from short (1,000 to 2,000 words) articles for website or newsletter publication, to longer (20 to 80 pages) reports and working papers. The authorship and editing process is sometimes shared by up to four people. The problem is that these groups of authors working on papers together often have a difficult time managing version revisions of their co-authored papers. Often, the authors are uncertain about which version is the most recent version of the paper.
Most of the learners in this setting are in their mid- to late-twenties. Most of them live and work in different parts of India, but some of them are visiting PhD students or project interns who also spend part of their time abroad at their primary university. In all, there are 47 learners, including the local researchers, the visiting PhD students, and project interns.
Improving the Classroom Performance of Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disabilities: Proactive Interventions at an Out-of-School Time ProgramSeptember 6th, 2006
Preface: This paper is a sample “Action-Research Proposal” in which we were required to go through the complete process of designing the research and justifying it by a review of current literature. Ideally, we would have the proposal reflect our work setting; however, since I’m not in the educational setting these days, I worked with a combination of my past experiences. The community setting I have identified is the one I worked at while in Santa Barbara. The description of the student population, however, is a little bit more hypothetical and based more on observations from my other after-school experiences and from my observations of one of the sites that the after-school program was going to be expanded to. This paper also borrows certain elements of an earlier paper on program design for out-of-school-time programs.