tl;dr | Garrett Guynn


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.

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.

Managing My Time

I’ve decided to attach these images because of our discussion in this week’s first assignment. My organizational preferences mirror my learning habits.

By visualization (and using color) you can maintain a task and priority list. This list, shown using Google Calendar, is shared to a desktop application that displays my daily agenda when I log in. These events are then sync’d to my mobile phone giving me instant access and audible reminders of these agenda items.
Each block is a container (as shown in the second attached image). They contain details, contacts, https, and are the perfect place to attach resource files. These could include .PDF snapshots of the weekly reading assignments, or links to them. However, I may want to only remind myself to read a section of my texts and not read them on a small screen.

Using a calendar like this is also a great way to keep an archive of your posted assignments and a placeholder for “to-be-posted” assignments.

Folder Structure

Some people like to have a hierarchical structure in their folders and others like to store all their files in just only one or two folders.  I prefer to have more folders with less files in them.  The biggest reason for this is that the folder containing the files may have a unique name.  This is helpful when searching.  I often use Spotlight to find files.  Let’s say I need to install a licensing for my software.  I have a folder named, Software Licenses.

1. I use the Command+Space keystroke to active Spotlight and type “Software Licenses”.

2. Next, I press return.

3.  Here, you will see how I use folder structuring in practice.  This folder is synce’d to my iPhone.  If this folder contained hundreds of files clustered together, and not in folders, it would take longer to read the files.  You would notice this type of lag over a networked folder.  The main reason for this method of folder structuring is this: indexability.  This is directly related to Web Design.

4.  Each folder in the following image is available in Adobe Dreamweaver and sync’d to the server where the site lives. (Some of these sites are no longer live.)

I am using Dropbox to sync these files.  I highly recommend this if you are not using MobileMe.

No Folder Structure Alternative

It is safe to say that there is really no right or wrong way to structure your files and folders.  It is safe to say that keeping a cluster of files, which are tagged and orderly named will work just as well.  In the following example, I am using Google Docs.  Much like Gmail, you can label documents.

I am able to sort and filter these files based on both the filename and tags.  As you can see in my CPU101_S class, my files are grouped by filename.  My Strategies for Online Learning course is tagged.  I could search for “Strategies for Online Learning” and see only those files.

Time for Reading

1. My pleasure reading speed: 45 pages/hr.
2. My classroom reading speed: 40 pages/hr.

I estimate that devoting 2 hours/day to reading should suffice. However, for comprehension sake, I suppose it may be a greater benefit to skim material ahead of schedule and go back for a review. I am going to guess that my classroom speed is lower due to a greater amount of unfamiliar words. Things that I enjoy reading often make more sense because I have a better knowledge of the vocabulary used in its context.

Building Blocks for Change

Using the information you gained from the ILS learning preferences questionnaire (Link to ILS is found on Your Approach to Learning lecture page), describe some ways that you can benefit from knowing your types (active or passive; sensing or intuitive; visual or verbal; sequential or global) and how you might apply these to enhance your online learning success.

Knowing these results reinforces my thoughts that different learning patterns are accepted. It is also beneficial seeing how these pattern’s scales relate on a chart.

List at least TWO habits that you feel have helped you or will help you in your scholastic and professional career and TWO habits that you feel have or might have hindered your advancement.

1. By learning-as-I-go, and being an Active Learner, I have been able to keep up with new information.
2. By learning about concepts, and being a Global learner, I am able to summarize information well…
…which is 3. By skimming content, and not reading it fully, I often miss out on important details.
…and 4. By not keeping notes and from working out of sequence, I often have to trace my steps to validate the quality of my work.

Discuss how you will go about changing your “hindering habits” in the coming weeks. Be specific in your description of past experiences in changing habits or in your plans to change hindering habits.

I will change my habits by embracing new ideas and learning from others. By making them practice, I think it’s possible to move from having hindering habits to developing working, healthy habits.

How does knowing more about your learning preferences from your results on the ILS support your helpful habits and/or help you overcome hindering habits?

I think it is important to be able to switch-modes and and have different habits for different situations. The learning styles provide a great point of reference to make improvements and adjust for new situations.

OS and App Versions

Determining the OS version on a Mac

1.  Apple Menu > About This Mac

2.  The OS on this machine is Mac OS X 10.6.2  (Snow Leopard).

Determining the App version on a Mac

I am going to determine the version of Firefox installed on this machine.  Compared to PC computers, finding the version of an App on a Mac is fairly consistent.  With the Menu bar fixed to the top of the screen, the first menu option is always titled after the name of the App.  Make sure that this App is the active App.

1.  Firefox Menu > About Mozilla Firefox

2.  The version of Firefox on this machine is 3.5.7.

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