tl;dr | Garrett Guynn

@GGuynn

Archive for the category “Strategies for Learning”

Goal-setting

I am near the end of my Strategies for Online Learning course with a new insight on how I can change my habits and attitude to set the course for a successful future.  There are really two parts to this equation.  One is setting short-term goals.  The other is the setting long-term goals… and then there is everything in between.

Types of Goals

Setting short-term goals is the habit that keeps you coming back each day.  “I will log in to class on Monday and spend 5 hours studying.”  “I will give myself a break each hour for 15 minutes.”  These are the small milestones that do not overwhelm us.  These are goals that can be accomplished in a short period of time and add up to equal the overall success.  This is when you study the hardest.  The payoff will come much sooner for short-term goals.  This makes it worth the while to put more effort and thought into the task at hand.  This makes the “now” more meaningful.  For all you know, you may write an essay that defines your career.

The end-result

Ultimately, short-term goals equate to long-term goals.  Stating a long-term goal would be saying, “I will earn my degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 4 years.”  Ta da!

Getting there

We learned of goal-setting techniques that will help us maintain momentum in our objective.  Along the way, use the following techniques:

1.  Create a goal statement with a target date

“The goal statement should be specific and measurable; that is, it should entail some tangible evidence of its achievement and it should have a target date, a timeline for accomplishing your goal.  Your goal statement must use an action verb.[1]  Example: “I will earn my degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 4 years.

2.  Develop action steps

Action steps are can be the most fun.  They are like chapter points.  Action steps can be short-term or long-term goals.  Example: The following chart (which I used earlier in this course) demonstrates a type of action step measurement.  Each 6 weeks seems like a fairly short-term goal.  While each assignment is a shorter-term goal.  The long-term goal is aligned with my goal statement.

3.  Write a narrative statement

Example: “In my Strategies for Online Learning, I expect to learn strategies to help me successfully achieve my academic and professional goals.”  This could align with my shorter-term goals and remind me to do my best for each assignment in that class.

4.  Write an “I deserve it” statement

This guiding statement reminds us of the reasons we are taking these steps.  It is the attitude that is the catalyst for your success.  “You deserve it.”  “You will reach your goals.”  Example: “I deserve to be well compensated for my hard work and talents.”

5.  Add a personal signature

“This is an imperative step in that your signature shows that you are making a personal commitment to see this goal to fruition.  This is your name.  Use it with pride.”[2]  This is why you do your best.  You want to be the best that you can be.  And isn’t that why you’ve set these goals?  Example: Publishing my assignments to my Blog.  I am taking pride in my work.  My Blog title bears my name.  “Garrett Guynn’s Blog“.

These goal-setting techniques can be used in conjunction with my strategies for success.  I will encounter daily situations that will require critical thinking to solve a problem.  Often, the problem may be solved by outlining the steps to solve it.  Using these goal-setting techniques will serve as a reminder and action step in problem solving.  I believe anything can be done with the proper planning and management.  In my personal life, I will use each of these techniques.  Sometimes I will use them all, sometimes I will use a few.  Most importantly, the “I deserve it” attitude will encourage me to follow through with my goals.

References

[1] (Sherfield, Robert M.. Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall/MBS, 032007. 16). <vbk:MBS906557#page(16)>
[2] (Sherfield, Robert M.. Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall/MBS, 032007. 18).  <vbk:MBS906557#page(18)>

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Evaluating, Editing and Writing

Note: For the sake to this person’s privacy, I will refer to her as “Jane Doe”.

For this assignment, I am going to evaluate and edit Jane Doe’s assignment. Since I posted my assignment first, I get to pick whomever I want. While Jane Doe is evaluating my assignment, I am evaluating hers because she is the first available person to choose from. After reading through her assignment a few times and following up on her leads, this is my evaluation:

Evaluation of Jane Doe’s Career Research

How reliable were the resources the student used? Why do you think so?

What really is the criteria for a reliable source? I’ve tried things like, WHOIS searches, I’ve searched for reviews of specific job search sites, and I’ve examined the sites myself. I don’t think there is any one way to be for sure. Even sites like Facebook are only repositories for user input. Facebook has no way to validate a job posting. However, following Jane Doe’s tracks, I feel confident that her job leads were from reliable sources. I hadn’t heard of the Job Search Engine, Indeed.com, before, but I found some great postings there. I even applied for a job there today. Once I find a good lead, I try to find the company’s home page. The job hunt is like being an investigator. I also look for additional sources that support the validity of the company I am applying for.

Consider and edit grammatical, spelling and English usage of the summary. Include suggestions for improving the summary and point out instances of typos and incorrect language usage. Use the online writing lab for help, if you need it.

Jane Doe, I think you need to consider an overall structure here. What is the introductory statement here? What is your conclusion? These questions are rhetorical. It’s clear what these answers are, but in your structure, these elements are hard to find.

Also, be sure to link sites like Indeed.com. In your assignment, I had a difficult time telling that Indeed was a job search engine.

What are the other roles of an Interactive Designer? What other job titles can be considered an Interactive Designer? I ask this because I think you may find more options by searching synonyms of Interactive Design. These may be Usability Designer or Web Designer. I started with the critera, “Web” and isolated my results manually. If you did that, please disregard this paragraph.

Do a little additional research on this topic on your own and suggest at least one additional source of material the student should consider.

Have you tried any local searches? Living in a more densly populated part of the country, I imagine that local searches can have a few Easter eggs. I thought this was a cool site: http://www.nj.com/jobs/. It has some job hunting tools on it too.

Edited Copy of Jane Doe’s Assignment

Researching a Career: Interactive Designer

Week 5 Assignment 1
Jane Doe
February 07, 2010

Skills

  • Adobe CS (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustator)
  • Knowledgeable of cross browser compatibility issues and solutions
  • Looking for motivated self starters with at least 3-5 years of listening to business and project goals and answering with interactive design solution in some cases you’ll be required to evolve a design step by step from a concept to a final case we my move more quickly to meet business needs
  • Exhibit strong sense of design through the use of color usage, graphical treatments, and text layout while developing user friendly interfaces
  • Balance: successfully shift your focus on a wide variety of small, mid-sized, and large projects in a fast paced environment through the use of good time management

Experience

  • Working with a content management system a plus
  • Ability to work within the following languages a plus but not required (JavaScript and Flash Action Script)

Note: Look at consistencies in grammar and punctuation. The above list had a period after only 1 of the sentences. Should you omit the period or add periods to the other items? Consistency is very important. It’s always the first thing I notice.

Assessment

After doing a lot of research on the Internet using search engines Indeed, Dice, Yahoo! Hot Jobs, Facebook Job Search, and Careers.com, I found the average salary is $83,000/year, which is 24% greater in Newark, NJ then anywhere in the rest of the US. I also tried Monster and Jobs.com, but was not successful.

The company closest to me is Synectics. Synetics is located in Newark, NJ, which is hour an hour away (give or take depending on traffic). Synectics has been around for 25 years, has great potential for continual growth, excellent opportunities, and they are a 1 tier preferred vendor with several leading companies. I feel very comfortable and may possible apply for a position with them when the time comes. You can look them up at www.synetics.com or http://www.synetics.com/chicgo.html.

Using my Campus Commons Career Center and trying to use my critical thinking skills (which I am learning from my text book Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential: Learning Actively, and Living Well in Chapters 9 and 10), I felt this was the way to go. I asked myself, “Could I get there every day on time, would it be beneficial to stay at home and work, or should I relocate?” (which is not an option for me at this time).

Making a Career Decision

Note: In this discussion, I will discuss the following questions: How do you plan to prepare for your personal success?; How will you use shadowing and networking?; Why is flexibility important to preparing for success?; How can resolving conflicts lead to your success?; How are shadowing and networking important to your future success? I will also discuss three of the nine steps (in Chapter 10) to making a career decision.

I am the Sculptor!

I want to be successful. Here’s my plan. I will be prepared for things to happen differently than I expect them to. Being prepared for future success is a strategy. It is an art… and I am the sculptor!

Dream Big, Repeat;

I don’t think any two people share the same plan for success. There are so many variables. We live in an increasingly changing world. Our environments and goals often need to take shape to adapt. Success is always personal. Am I living my dream? I believe a HUGE step in choosing a career is choosing the right career. What’s relevant today? Getting this information can be complicated.

To be prepared for a career, I must have the critical thinking skills we discussed earlier. I must also ADAPT my learning style to the environment I am operating. I couldn’t know how to use every tool available, so I need to know how to learn. This means I analyze the consistencies around me and apply it’s lessons to what I already know. I know what the tool’s purpose is; I know it’s limitations; I know half of what I need to know to use the tool. This is like problem solving. Everything we learn is eventually applicable somewhere else.

Keep moving

My friend used to say this: “bytes are heavy”. He was referring to the megabytes it takes to store precious data on a computer. If you want to keep your pictures forever, you have to keep moving them to new volumes. Eventually, your hard drive will stop working or your DVDs will degrade. Do you have a backup? Moving information is relevant to staying informed about new trends. Career preparation requires the same key questions?

* Will your skills still apply 20 years from now?
* Will they be relevant?
* Is there still demand for your skills?
* Are your skills outdated?

All new information is added to old knowledge and makes old knowledge more useful. You may find that you can learn as you go when researching a topic by going with what you already know. It’s important to stop and review and make sure you are on the right track. This is why doing research online requires you to look for consistencies. In Science, you should always validate your answer. Always keep in mind that every step you take is a chance to build for the future. Gather useful information and use it.

Daily Reading

Read, read, read! This is the best way to gather new knowledge. It’s also the best way to research a career. Did you know that our brains do not have limitations to how much information they can store? We only remember what we need to know, because it is significant to us. Do you have a daily reading list? A blogroll? How do you get new information? I find that RSS feeds and social networking sites are effective for tracking trends. I get links via Instant Messenger from friends even.

Networking and Mentors

Internships and/or colleagues often have developed useful tactics for handling different situations. You also build immediate career skills. There is no replacement for work experience. Instead of trying to show off, I apply listening skills to harvest new knowledge from experienced people. Being involved in a network or internship also lets us see which needs are in demand. This allows us to further research these needs in preparation to step-up the career path.

As you read earlier, networking is important because it is a valuable resource. I posted a blog about researching a career, and Tammy offered me some useful information. It is quite possible someone will tell another person about your talents and you may be offered a nice job. You just never know. Planning a career is not easy. It takes HARD WORK, and it doesn’t always pay off immediately. You also need to plan for that.

Avoiding Conflict

Another thing I’ve learned is that conflict is inevitable. Managing conflict is a core ability in the learning cycle. This is because it draws on objectivity and listening skills. Much of how we handle situations will transcend our careers. It is difficult to escape. I will need to actively subdue conflict by use of these strategies. I do this by learning from the situation and applying it’s lesson to knowledge I already know. This gives me an objective perspective and I will have learned from criticism.

In Conclusion

As I stated in earlier, “Our environments and goals often need to take shape to adapt.” I will need to be flexible. I may have to conform to difficult scheduling demands. I cannot predict the future. If I count on things to work out the way I have planned them, then I will find disappointment. Flexibility means being ready for what’s to come. And why not? The future is now!

References

(Sherfield, Robert M.. Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall/MBS, 032007.).

Researching a Career

Note: The data in this post may not be accurate. This post is for research purposes only.

Researching a career has been frustrating. I realize now, that the need for critical thinking will be of most importance in this venture. I will be required to look at every angle and possibility while setting aside my personal feelings and anxieties. I’ve learned that critical thinking will allow me to break down this task into steps and take a fresh approach into researching a career. I decided that some critical thinking guidelines would be the most promising approach.

I had made up my mind that in taking this approach, that I would look outside of the textbook material for definitions of critical thinking. This is my research for research method. One of the first places I found was a Web site, http://www.criticalthinking.org/. This Web site is the “Foundation for Critical Thinking”[1]. I immediately noticed that there were items for sale here. That made my wary of the reliability of this source.

What is critical thinking? It’s problem solving, right? My problem is that I need to research a career. I just want to be more prepared. I realized that thinking critically wasn’t my problem. I already posses those skills, but I need to apply them in my career research. I also noticed that in thinking about my approach, I was already thinking critically. I found this most useful. While doing my research, I will derive my conclusions based on my understanding of what it takes to think critically.

Let’s begin:

Step 1: Defining my Area

I live in Ketchikan, AK, an island isolated in Southeast Alaska. I decided that my area would be ALL of Alaska. Since the entire state shares one area code, 907, this makes sense. The (A) label is Ketchikan.

This map is courtesy of Google Maps.

Step 2: Gathering Information about my Area

I Googled the following questions and found a result on alaska.gov. I decided that this was a promising source because it was from a state government site. This page I found was in .PDF format located here. It is titled “Alaska Economic Trends”. It includes information about the cost of living, but not the average wages in Alaska. To determine the average wages in Alaska for an Interactive Web Designer, I found only one site that seemed reliable. It was http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard.

1. What is the average cost of Living in Alaska?

I found that the average cost of Living for Low-income Households is about $41,000 per year. I decided to use this as a baseline, because this was the minimum I would accept in a career. “Alaska cities included in the ACCRA data were all at least 25 percent more expensive than the average ACCRA city.” This mean that I get “less bang for my buck”.

2. What are the average wages in Alaska?

I found that this depends on who you work for and what level of degree you hold. Since I am going for my Associates first, I looked into what the average wages would be for an Associates holder.

[2]

This chart shows us that on 17.11% of Web design jobs in Alaska are held by people with an Associates degree. If I really want to get ahead, I’ll need to shoot for a BA.

[2]

This chart shows us that, depending on the size of the company, the average earnings for this career path is roughly $45,000/year.

At this point, finding a job with a higher wage for cost-of-living ratio is unlikely in my area for my specific career type.

Step 3: Defining my Sources

In the past, I have done job research using various job search engines online as well as looking in the local paper. It is unlikely that I will find a career in the local paper, and besides, this assignment is about doing Internet research. I started with Google[9] and searched for sites that has indexes of jobs. My plan was to find these sites, and cross reference the results. I felt this would give me a more accurate look on what is available. These are the sites I chose:

* http://www.careerbuilder.com
* http://www.monster.com/
* http://www.jobs.com/
* http://www.craigslist.org/
* http://www.jobs.state.ak.us/

Each of these sources seemed reliable. That was my instinctive feeling. I’ve used sites like craigslist.com before.

Step 4: Searching my Sources

I found that monster.com and jobs.com used the same sources. There was an average of 4 results for jobs. The state site, jobs.state.ak.us, had 0 results.

Step 5: Career Research Assessment

1. The general employment outlook in your area (how likely are you to find a job in the next 2-5 years in this career?).

Likely, however, I am unlikely going to exceed the average Low-income wages.

2. How much this career pays, on average, in your location or region?

On average, this career pays $45,000/year.

3. How “new” your career is to the market.

I determined that a career in Web design has been around for as long as the internet has been available in homes. This may also mean that people have been searching for these types of jobs for that length of time. Regardless, this job market is still in demand.

4. How much training is generally required to enter the field in this career?

59.21% of exiting employees in the field hold a BA.

5. What is the potential for advancement in this career?

In my area, advancement does not mean more money, but advancement is a possibility if you work for a large company.

Step 6: Comparing this Job to Other Regions

Step 7: The Salaries of Web Designers Vary
[3]

References
[1] http://www.criticalthinking.org/
[2] http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard
[3] http://blog.nerdburn.com

Why Plagiarism is Cheating

I think it’s easy for people to draw inspiration from other people’s work, but I think some people take it too far and steal word-for-word (or pixel-for-pixel) from another person’s or persons’ work. There is a gray area in plagiarism. For example, as a Web coder, I use scripts that have been contributed to the open source community, BUT, I leave the notes that the author placed in the code. I may also use Creative Commons use graphics from Mediawiki or Flickr, but I will link the image to it’s source. ALWAYS give the original author credit.

In school, we are being graded for our ORIGINAL work, and plagiarism is a fraud against the institution and it’s accreditation. It’s easy to borrow work from online because it’s sourced by billions of contributors. In a traditional class, the act of cheating is really no different than cheating online. It is still wrong. On the internet, there are tools for school to validate original work. So, it may be easier to get caught if you plagiarize online. One thing I have found, is that you CAN cite an author and link them in your post. This can be GOOD for the person who has published their work online. Link-backs actually improve your search ranking.

I actually got (sort of) plagiarized once. Not in school, but online. I used someone’s original image and hot-linked it to my blog. The author was mad. They changed the image on their sever to say some really inappropriate words, and the changes were reflected on my Blog. The author had also posted a Blog about my hot-linking their work. I wrote the author and apologized, and she sent me the layered Photoshop version of the graphic. Had I asked in the first place, she would have just given it to me.

If you plagiarize, you run the risk of literally RUINING your career. To this day, my name is still associated with “Why you shouldn’t hotlink”.

Memory Techniques and Test Taking

1. Based on the first few weeks of this course and other courses you have taken this term, what memory techniques and methods outlined in Chapter 7 will prove helpful in your online education? Why?

In Chapter 7, I discovered that my memory strength lies in my long-term memory. I have learned that memorization is knowing. I know how to apply x in the real world because I care. Caring is a reason to know. Like Tomeia said, it can be a “survival skill”. As Felicia put it, “empathize”. I attach a feeling to the topic, relate it in my real life, and thus can retain the knowledge better. This works with my thinking/feeling personality type discussed in Week 3.

I supplement the memorization techniques with effective note taking habits. I am constantly finding that I need to review sections of the course text. I don’t feel that Mnemonic devices help because I have trouble remembering what words I attached to each letter, even if the Mnemonic sentence uses words I associate in my long-term memory.

Back in 5th grade, my class learned the song, “Fifty Nifty United States”. It’s a song (jingle) that essentially helps you memorize each state in the US by alphabetical order. That technique seemed to have worked great. Today, I can still recite each State in proper order in under 15 seconds. I think this technique might be effective for other people in this class, like Tomeia, because they are the Rhythmic personality type or musically inclined. Chris could make a beat and write a catchy song. That would be an effective story line and/or jingle memorization technique.

I find it amazing that to every degree, there is a counter measure of techniques that compliment our learning styles. It also seems that the more discussion and group work we do, like discussion, we start to know the material. This is because in discussion, we share, compare, and drill into the points. We also get feedback. In many cases feedback comes in the form of questioning. Questioning is also an effective technique in group discussion that will append the subject to the long-term memory. As is discussed in W4A1, I’ll need to be creative if I am to effectively learn and communicate.

I memorize information by remembering the keywords. It’s sort of my index of words-or-vocabulary.

You should explore these words. “To truly know something, you have to go beyond what is given. You have to look at and examine more than you are told or more than what is pointed out for you. In order to own information, you have to be totally committed to examining every detail, every inch, and every angle of it. You will need to practice and master the technique of “going beyond.” [1]

I would use Mapping method of note taking, to arrange these words into relationships. I would use Chapters 7 and 8 for reference. I would have created a tactile method of studying that could be built upon. I could map out the relationships and use each node as a table of information.

This would be especially useful in a collaborative team environment. We would have built a relational database or information schema.

I created the Word Cloud with Wordle.

I start to explore. I was interested in what information means. My friend Jay used to say in his instant message chats, “GIMBF”. “Google is my best friend.” I typed, “define:information” in my Google search. I got, “knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction”.

So I Google searched knowledge and selected
timeline view.

What is information????????!!!!!!!! It is Global. It is awareness. It is accessibility. It is a trend. It is everything we know. Kevin Kelly would call it a cosmic force.

I just need to be creative. I learn with open-mindedness and empathy and draw on the significance of how knowledge effects myself and my environment. This is a useful memorization technique. This becomes knowledge that I need forever.

I attended a conference to listen Marco Torres speak back in 2008. He was an amazing presenter! “Marco communicates a practical perspective on how we, as a learning community, can adapt and change to best accommodate today’s needs.”

I want to own that knowledge so I make it important.

2. What test-taking abilities and study habits will you develop to help you earn the best grades possible? Discuss those found in the text in Chapter 8 and explain how they will help you.

I really found it interesting how the text pointed out that you should never be unprepared for a math or science class. It this because it is a fixed set of information and would require a structured study plan?

I found that the same habits will be used in preparation for and during a test. These habits include:

A. Skipping over questions I don’t know getting back to them later harnessing the three types of response methods.

1. Quick-time response
2. Lag-time response
3. No response

B. Asking the Professor about specifics of the assignments and tests in attempt to predict and reduce my anxiety about the test.

C. Study the hardest material first when reviewing and/or summarizing test or study material.

D. Taking breaks and eating a healthy snack.

I learned different tips on how to complete specific types of questions including; essays, matching, true/false, short questions. “Write neatly”, the book says. Proofread, summarize, spell check.

I learned memorization techniques as written in Question 1. I learned new methods of note taking. Each of the study and test taking skills directly apply to earning the best possible grade and also help us to successfully prepare for a test.

Most importantly, there are the 11 commandments:
[2]

References

1. (Sherfield, Robert M.. Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall/MBS, 032007. 180).
2. (Sherfield, Robert M.. Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall/MBS, 032007. 211).

Personal Experiences in Given Scenarios

Scenario 1

Case:
You have a personal emergency that arises at the end of week 2 of your class which will prohibit you from moving forward. What do you do in this situation?

Action:
I would weigh out the best and worse case scenarios first. Knowing what I stand to lose in the situation would have a greater bearing on the importance of taking action. Since it is safe to assume that I would always stand more to lose, I would take action.

I have laptop, so location couldn’t be an excuse for missing class, but will I have an internet connection? What’s the severity of the emergency and how long will it last? If I could possibly attend class, I must tap into the resources I have available. That’s one thing technology does for us, right? I’m in this class because it is accessible from Alaska.

When I lived in California, I used the buses and trains to get from here to there. I had to be on schedule, because if I missed the #68, one would not return for another hour and I would be late. Needless to say, once or twice, I missed that bus. I always called my boss and let her know I would be late for work. That was the protocol: call in.

Using my Student Handbook from the AIO Campus Commons (go there), I would review the protocol on missing class. Additionally, I would seek the Course Home of each of my courses and review any information pertaining to missing class. I would review the week’s assignments. I would send a message to the Instructor via his/her AIO email. I would describe the situation and inform the Instructor what assignments I will miss. If I am in a study group and any other team effort, I would also inform my classmates that I would not be available. I would want to provide them with as many resources as possible. I would use the Dropbox in the course to share any documentation I have, including notes. I would ask the Instructor for an extension in my assignment or test. Depending on the emergency, the Instructor may be reasonable, but I won’t count on it.

Scenario 2

Case:
You are putting in upwards of 30 hours per week into your school work along with working a full-time job. What actions do you take to prevent from burning out?

Action:
If you look around the Campus Common and Course Home, you will discover (if you haven’t already) several links that offer Student Support. There is a Student Support Hotline: 1-877-872-8869; Counseling Hotline: 1-866-920-2071; My Admissions Counselor was extremely helpful…

If I am getting burnt out, it may be because I am setting too high of expectations on myself. Maybe I need a break from my computer and technology in general. I opted for the eBook for this course, maybe I should get a REAL book? I just need to be creative. This usually works for me.

I would need to review my study habits and organizational methods. I could supplement the time for a break by posting my work early for the week. Overall, however, it’s about the attitude I have about my education and what it is I am learning. School is a chance to be creative. I will need apply the habits and skills learned from my Strategies for Online Learning class so that I can maintain overall momentum and security in my academic career when faced with crisis situations or feeling burnt out.

Scenario 3

Case:
After receiving your schedule for the next quarter from your Academic Advisor, you have many questions pertaining to the content of the course, textbooks needed, and the software that will be used. What is the easiest way to find out these answers?

Action:
Assuming that the links to courses have been made available to me, I would access the Course Home.

Directly under the Course Home (on the left sidebar), there is a link that says “Description and Requirements”. You can pretty much follow the links in the pop-up window to order books or view the required software, prerequisites, etc. Additionally, my Academic Counselor is available if I just email her.

I may also find help in Support, Student Lounge, and Questions for the Professor.

Likewise, If I do not have access to my course, I would email my Academic Counselor.

I had not yet installed the Bookshelf software on my computer by the end of the first week. Luckily, the first two sections were available in .PDF format in the eChapters section. You may also see resources attached to the email you received when your Academic Counselor enrolled you in the course.

References

1. (Sherfield, Robert M.. Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall/MBS, 032007.172).

Yes, And?

I’m the type of person that gets really excited when in an interesting conversation. I have to shut myself out and focus on the speaker if I am to get all the information. I do this by making eye contact with the speaker and giving them my attention.

Weather it’s an engaging conversation, or just casual conversation I am engaged in, it is polite to show the speaker I am listening (and rude not to!). I also do this with verbal gestures. Often, someone has a great idea, and I say, “Yes, But.”. When I say, “but”, I am discounting what the person just said. I learned that from my friend Tony [Tony Baylinson].

These days, when someones has a great idea, I immediately say, “Yes! And?” By being a “yes, and?” person, I can then make my point while not trampling on the other person’s great point. That has helped me to become an active listener.

Summary of Textbook Materials

While reading this weeks material and thinking of what my note taking strategy would be, I decided to read on before starting to take any notes. I realized that since this lessons goal what to outline the best way for me to “learn”, I used the assessments provided to help me decide what method I should use.

My Multiple Intelligence = Thinking vs. Feeling
My Learning Style = Tactile

Note taking process

Using this information, and having learned from the “Learning habits” lesson, I used the information in “Chapter 6” on “The Mapping System” method of note taking. I felt this was a more tactile approach; consistent with my LEARNING STYLE. Keeping notes on paper or online, would vary depending on the learning environment:

1. Doing this on paper: This would be the most effective method if I were attending a live class or did not need to save my notes.

2. ONLINE: In this class, I benefit more from mapping my notes because they become more accessible. It also integrates into my existing schooling work flow and organizational habits.

Mapping out my notes

POINT: Using flowchart software would work well in a collaborate online environment. Also, this software offers Multi-touch gesture support, maximizing the TACTILE APPROACH and speeding up the process of keeping these types of notes online.

Another POINT: Being to rearrange the notes gives me the ability to relate relationships visually. Often I find that I need to move some of the elements. This helps me learn by allowing me to “explore” the information until I see the overall picture. My motto: ‘Life is “trying things to see if they work.”‘.

Mixing Learning Styles

But what about the Multiple Intelligence approach? And could I be hindering my ability to learn by focusing too much on the note taking? I think that assessing Learning Styles by each method will give you better insight into what approach to take to better learn from school.

Oh, yeah, those habits

Well, I decided to look at Reading as “Listening” and emphasis on OBJECTIVITY. Objectivity, because I am a Thinking/Feeling intelligence type. I should READ:

* With purpose
* Objectivity
* Constructively

Stop, take notes, read, stop, take notes…

What is happening here is I am cycling through this information, processing it, and interacting with it.

This is most effective for me.

I think that it is EXTREMELY important to set up your environment. I use a second Internet Browser on my computer that is configured to load all the pages I need for school in separate tabs. Also, the bookmarks are also all related to school. Doing this gets me ready to learn quicker as I don’t have to fumble opening my email, and school, calendar, etc. Once all the pages are open, it’s a good idea to create a “workspace”.

In this picture, you’ll see I have arranged windows for the school environment (AI Online), books I need (open .PDF), the Draft of my Assignment (Google Doc), and my notes (Flowchart [created with MindNode software]).

It helps to see the Assignment Objectives while I am reading. It helps me to stick to the underlying points.
Screenshots

Take screen shots as notes!

In summary

The materials I used to READ and RECORD:

* My “Listening” skills
* Setting up a learning “Environment”
* Mapping notes with MindNode or on Paper
* Mix of methods learned from Learning Style assessments

Web Design & Interactive Media

Pictured below is a table of the courses required to earn this Associate’s degree. Originally, I interpreted this assignment as “List your expectations for each class.” There are simply too many to list, and honestly, I expect to gain from each course what it is titled.

However, in taking the time prepare for my “misinterpreted” assignment, I had put together a handy table that details my Program of Study. I will keep this and go back to it to update my progress. This will really motivate me because I really want to fill this table up! In my first go-around with school, I quit because I wanted to give up. I hope each person in my classes don’t have that same attitude. I can look at this and tell myself, “Just a few at a time.” I can’t believe that the first class is already half way over!

Overall expectation for my Program of Study

What do I expect to gain from this cumulative list of courses? I can go down this list and tell you that I am well-seasoned in 90% of these categories. I’m not going to tell you that I know it all, and I’m not going to tell you that I cannot benefit from these courses. My expectations, however, have to be greater than most beginners in these areas. I cannot simply say, “Oh, this will be easy.” I EXPECT to learn, re-learn, re-think, and re-habit my way of thinking and existing workflows.

I expect to gain from my Program of Study:

* New methods
* New ideas
* Better methods
* Friends
* Leadership skills
* Habits that pertain to note taking, study skills, and developing documentation for end-users and other developers/designers
* Better writing skills
* More friends
* Better work habits
* Respect from my peers
* Some animation techniques
* A rock-solid academic career portfolio
* The “want” to CONTINUE my education
* Self-esteem and the “You did it !” attitude
* A better paying job

Career options and looking forward

Currently, I am 3 years into my career. I am contributing to retirement, making a descent salary, and feel good about the direction of my career. Right now, with my experience, I could probably get a less-paying job down in the lower 48. I could even try to Freelance and manage my own business. The fact is (and I’ve looked into this), most employers in in the Information Design/Web Development field, expect you to have a BA and no less. I found that this is common with most jobs topping 40k/year. I expect that when I finish school, opportunities will open. Still, I’d like to seek my own agenda in my career. “Design-based approaches to learning have a longstanding place in the K – 12 classroom, yet research attention to the role and effects of design-based learning experiences is in its infancy.” [link to post]. I would like to spend my career building the future UI (user interface), the future interaction (multi-touch), and the future classroom (through video games and UI design). It would be fun!

Personality vs. Strengths in Learning

I really feel like this class has over-used the personality > learning point. I think that all personality types have their pros and cons in learning, and I go with what is natural. This could be a weakness in my personality. The outcome Thinking/Feeling in my assessment has told me that I really do need to practice Filtering my Thoughts. I often find that I get very emotionally distracted by things in my life. So, I will need to continue to need to use OBJECTIVITY as well. I don’t think I will know what each of these strengths and weaknesses are until I get further along in my Program of Study.

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