teaching

Teaching Professionalism

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On 3/7/19 at 1:45pm, I attended the North Carolina Computer Instructors Association Conference Session Teaching Professionalism at the SCITECH Building at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC presented by Joy Dark.

Teaching Professionalism

 

Is there a need? By that, I mean does professionalism really have to be taught in the classroom?

Mark butler, commissioner for the Georgia department of labor stated “in the workforce shortage we’re facing right now. Soft skills are very much on of the biggest concerns”

Let’s take a look at these numbers from the impressions of employers in 2018 and the same impressions from the graduating class of 2017. See how the expectations and the realities don’t match up?

85% were deeply concerned about work ethic and soft skills: Attention, punctuality, character specifically

87% creative thinking and problem solving.

Job outlook 2018 employing organizations and the class of 2017 student survey report from national association of college and employers. Look at the disparity.

This is not new, this is a 19th century problem. Employers still looking for that work ethic, and they’ll be employing them longer.

What employers expect

Work Ethics

Attendance, character, teamwork, appearance, attitude, productivity, organizational skills, communication, cooperation, respect are graded. Those who enter with it, leave with it. Those who enter without it, don’t get it

DRIVE by Daniel H pink.

Four greatest motivators.

Exterinsic reward/punishment. Intrinsic: autonomy, contribution and masters. Extrinsic motivation takes you to about the $60,000/yr mark. Intrinsically motivated engineer usually becomes an entrepreneur. Many of us are on the left, extrinsically motivated. We want to get to the right side.

Open discussion: How do we create a professional culture in the classroom?

Set your expectations. These are the expectations, these are the goals. You’re expected to get the job done and get the job done well. Classes are no longer classes, but a meeting with the employees.

Set the individual and team goals. What are the team strengths and weaknesses? Give them room to have space and make mistakes. Have the goal, give the resources, and give them the room to get there. Boss expects you to find the goals and reach the point of success.

How will you be accessed?

Lead by example.

Do as I do, not just as I say. Show on time, dressed appropriately. Lead. Respect, curiosity, appropriate behavior. Show examples or leave it open for interpretation.

Give respect even if you haven’t received it yet

Even if students are late, you are not. Even if students yell, you act respectively. Unconditional respect is important. You honor them and their efforts, even if they have not met the minimum. This does not mean that you accept the unacceptable, it means you treat them respectfully as you are working with them. This is especially good if you frame the change in terms of “I recommend that you…”

 

Call them out

Have that uncomfortable conversation. Be honest. Call them out on behaviors which are negative issues for the class. Make comments in general first, and then specific after the fact. Sometimes it is effective to note that specific issues need to be pulled out. Some confrontational conversations can occur without the confrontation. If you let one get away with problems , they all get away. Some say “This is just a classroom”. Seeing this is the kind of item whereit is not a reflection of the real world is a fallacy.

My job is to get you a job. Make good grades, learn the skills, and get that job. If you take the expectation from “I don’t care if you come to class in your PJs, just come to class”… to “You need to dress professionally if you want a job”.  Many people will note that the disparity between the rating differences above are related to the fact that students are not being called out for being unprofessional.

VLC professionality course coming in Fall 2019/2020. Basic skills, coned, curriculum. There are 8 competency items.

Students may not know how to behave in a given environment. This is now your job. Arrive here by XXxx.  Do not plan to leave before XXxx. Set aside XX hours of time for homework. Decide how to include time management issues on how to solve the problems.

Provide choices

Provide choices with natural consequences. Your job as the teacher is to enforce those consequences. These are the expectations. There are room rules. Make sure they are clear. Hold people accountable. Grades are a real world application. This is a guage of how the real world makes this available.

 

Encourage responsibility

Encourage responsiblility through contribution. One good example is the responsibility of teamwork. Have your team members call them out as well. Peer pressure is a good thing.

Don’t give up

Especially when they give up on themselves. Students can start to have more confidence in themselves and do better in class when they find out that someone is behind them. A pep talk and cheerleader moment can help them to get back on their feet and decide what their correct path might be. Compassion can be a hard truth and sometimes the truth hurts.

IF you screw up, say you’re sorry. Don’t worry about the person, worry about the problem. Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution.

 

High standards

High standards for everyone. Without it, everyone suffers. Without proper training, what are we doing? Really. High standards for us as well as them

Grade your listening skills.

Address it and look to general attitude in the classroom and a completely subjective grade. Responding to questions can be a matter of responsibility. If it doesn’t contribute to the overall discussion, those items don’t count

Challenge Reactions

Challenge reactions to challenging situations. Get the ball rolling and then see if they can work toward larger solutions. There are many ways to solve problems, and this will teach resilience, bringing them back and forcing them to face challenges.

Use Delayed Gratification

Use delayed gratification to build grit and gratitude.  Use projects which build upon one another.

Group participation

Speak, listen, organize, lead

Mock interview and orientation

Overwhelming first experiences. How do you expect them to dress? Is on-time early or late

Framework for lifelong learning

VISION

In the real world, there will be no boss dragging you through the project. You’re either going to get it, and its going to work properly or you’re not. You’ll get fired. You need to take, this, own this, and make the decisions.

You might have to spell this out for people. Traditionally, we celebrate individual accomplishments. When we celebrate what the class has done, this increases what motivates us to do well. Carrot and stick doesn’t really motivate, but when they take control and own it, we’re setting you up for success. IF yo use the test as something to endure, then you’re seeing it as a problem. If you see the test as a tool for knowing where  they stand and what they know, it so much more than a completion item.

 

 

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You Too Can Learn To Teach On YouTube

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At 9:00am on 3/22/2018, I attended the presentation “You Too Can Learn To Teach On YouTube”, Presented by Brad Swearingen, at the 2018 North Carolina Computer Instruction Association Conference in At Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

Overview

After getting started, we’ll talk about Brad’s recommendations. Brad mentioned that the reasons he moved to lectures on video was because of a duplication of q/a with students. They can quickly break down what they want to know, re-watch it, view only small sections, etc.

We’ll talk about getting started, managing your account, recording tips, whether you can make money, and of course resources to help you out. SO, to start at the beginning.

  • Getting started
  • My recommendations for hardware and software
  • How to open an account
  • Managing your account
  • Recording tips
  • Can I make money?
  • Resources to help you
  • Q and A

Benefits

There are many benefits to having YouTube videos. Let me outline those below:

  • Repetition
  • Retention
  • Perpetual Resource
  • Visual learners
  • Learn at their own pace
  • Read industry jargon on cc

Repetition

Having material on YouTube gives you the power of repetition which you can bring to bear. Firstly, you have the ability to reference the older material yourself in the classroom. This allows you use it as a reference and also to use it to recreate and update the materials you’ve posted in the past. Secondly, students can use the repetition to assist them. The repetition element allows student to watch and rewatch the entire video, pieces of the video, and pass the materials as necessary to others. Students will have access to the material 24/7/365. This gives them the freedom to view and review the material at their will.

Retention

Students find that the use of videos in the class increases retention. Students in online classes like the videos and video announcements because it gives a stronger connection to the teacher. Online students can see the teacher and their mannerisms, personality, and place a face with a name and a voice. Students in the online classes feel less disconnected to their class, part of a team, and less like they are being taught by an inhuman robot. This makes the students feel more strongly about being in the class, and retention rates are higher. Since students can revisit the videos (Above) retention rates are also higher because students can bone up on the materials that normally might trip them up. This keeps grades higher and allows students to feel more confident and more successful.

Perpetual Resource

Its no secret that things posted to the internet are never truly gone. The materials are available after the test, after the lesson, after the class, and even after graduation. The material can be shared, revisited, in some cases even downloaded. As a perpetual resource, students can find those after they’ve found their way into the workforce.

Visual learners

Some students learn by listening, others by hands-on learning, but many people learn visually. Visual learners are able to learn by watching, seeing examples, and watching videos. Video of course is a great way to show the actions you’d like students to see, they can watch the process of implementation or creation, and they can watch each step. Also, as noted above, the students can watch and rewatch, in whole or in part, any pieces of the process which can be problematic.

Learn at their own pace

Some students learn the first time, others do not. Some read slowly and others need to truly digest their materials. Video allows students to learn at their own pace and absorb the materials as the pace they need. Also, those students who retain the information better at night can watch in the evenings, some can watch in the mornings before work or travel, and any student can revisit the video material during breaks or downtime in their study sessions. Video truly allows students to study at the time and place of their choosing.

Read industry jargon on cc

Most teachers at Wake Technical Community College are steeped in EPIC, a system of accessibility and e-Learning compatibility with an emphasis on creating truly accessible materials. As such, all videos used in our curriculum are Closed Captioned for hearing impaired and subtitled even for those who are not. This is teacher-approved and NOT google-content. As the google content is often poorly worded, their teacher-made captions allow for accurate portrayal of the materials covered. While this is a win in its own right, it also means that our students can have access to Jargon terms in clearly defined type. No longer will students in the class room fail to know terms- OK, well, will no longer have an excuse for why they don’t know the terms provided in class. With every term outlined clearly, and transcripts available to our students to use as written notes, students have the ability to know and revisit industry Jargon so that they are not only informed and aware, but able to investigate on their own to deepen and enrich their own understanding.

My Recommendations on Recording Software

There are several options for recording software.

Many people teaching today use Camtasia. Camtasia is a great screen recording software which can integrate video, audio, and screengrabbing. For individuals, there is a $165 entrance fee, but many teachers have a campus license which can be used to install the material directly onto the computer as needed.

For those without those means, OBS is a fine solution. OBS stands for the Open Broadcaster Software, and open source software which can be downloaded from OBS PROJECT ( http://www.obsproject.com will open in another window). OBS project is free, easy to use, and offers a fine list of features.

My Recommendations On Microphones

Rather than describe each one here, I’ll just include the image with names and prices. You can look into these as you wish. Brad was speaking a little quickly, but the gist of it was quite simple: get the best microphone you can, and don’t make a bunch of hissing SSSS sounds and detonations of Popping P noises should of course be avoided.

I’m personally interested in getting one of those microphones which have the honeycomb guard over the mic. Guess I’ll have to be on the lookout on my own!

Easy vs. Easier

So what do we need to know about YouTube anyway? There are a few things to separate the easy from the easier methods of using it:

  • Easiest if you get a gmail account
  • Google owns YouTube
  • Lots of other goodies as well
  • If you have an Android phone, even better
  • If you have an Apple, don’t despair

The Process

I’ve done several videos on my own (about 40) so this process is fairly simple and understandable. However, I’ll outline it here for ease of understanding

  • Record your video in Camtasia or OBS
  • Edit the video if desired or needed
  • Remember where you saved it
  • Go to YouTube and sign in
  • Press the upload button
  • Follow instructions

Practical Advice

So what is some practical advice that you can bring to your YouTube endeavors?

  • Keep It Moving
  • Keep It Upbeat
  • Keep It Interesting
  • Keep It Short 5-15 minutes
  • Keep It To the point: don’t try to stretch out your videos needlessly to get your hours up
  • Keep It informative

Keep It Moving

Its easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of what we’re doing, and easy to pontificate and expand. However, for what our students need, getting down to the best parts is what we’re interested in. Keep the video moving with a good script, a clear timeline, get to the point and make it relevant to your content and your audience.

Keep It Upbeat

A nice, uptempo number is always well-received. Except at a funeral. Keep the video focused on how the students can do the work, how its an achievable goal, and how useful it will be in real-world application. Ensure them that it can be done in the time they have, and that they can revisit the links and rewatch as necessary. Don’t dwell on poor grades, but note common pitfalls, issues which could be avoided, and the important parts of each lesson. Remember, if you’re confident, they will be too.

Keep It Interesting

Don’t actually do this. Just kidding. Keep the video interesting. Remember, once a student decides their no longer interested in watching the video, it doesn’t matter how interesting it is, the video content is missed. As a result, keep the content moving forward and not only on pace but on script. Once you’ve lost them, you’ve lost them.

Keep It Short (5-15 minutes)

I don’t agree with this one. Personally, I listen to a lot of youtubers while driving to work. If the video is too short, Its not worth my time unless I’m in a rush. And when I want to learn, I want to learn the content. Students like to have short videos, often dropping off heavily in the 9-12 minute mark. If you have short snippets which are not lecture related, make it work for you.

Keep It To the point: don’t try to stretch out your videos needlessly to get your hours up

If you have a long lecture, and its not working for you, just divide that up into smaller segments. Again, if people aren’t listening, a long video won’t help. Remember, the videos aren’t for us, they are for the students and you need to ensure that the students are being served with those videos. Don’t tailor them to your needs, meet the student needs.

Keep It informative

Keep this material packed, and chock full of nuts.

Practical Tips for YouTube Videos

  • Market yourself at the beginning and the end
  • Say your name
  • Subscribe to YouTube channel
  • Like on Facebook
  • If you mess up, keep going and edit later
  • Use a good quality microphone
  • Save all your videos to the same folder on your hard drive
  • Stay logged in on your computer if you are the only user
  • Record in True HD or higher resolution
  • Add some energy to your voice
  • Add videos as often as possible: weekly

Final Tips for Success: 6 Easy Steps

  • Create a YouTube account
  • Record your video lessons
  • Upload videos
  • Create a Facebook page
  • Invite friends and students to like
  • Post your YouTube links to FB

Brad moved through this presentation in an efficient manner and pushing the basics of youtube videos with one simple motif in mind for the entire way: You can do it, and its easy enough to achieve.

No doubt, Brad uses the same methodology when creating his videos with a strong message, a clear goal and an underlaying message which can be easily absorbed and revisited: You Can Do It.

Microsoft Technology Associate Status in HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals Achieved!

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At 10:00am On 3/22/18 I attended the Certiport certification lab presented by Certiport at the 2018 NCCIA Conference located at Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

Tyler Dockery Achieves MTA status in HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals

MTA status in HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals Achieved!

I chose to attempt this exam because of my knowledge of core HTML5 client application development skills that will run on today’s touch-enabled devices (PCs, tablets, and phones). Although HTML is often thought of as a web technology that is rendered in a browser to produce a UI, this exam seemed to focus on using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to develop client applications. I felt confident to take this exam, because I had a solid foundation of knowledge of HTML5 & CSS3, but expected some issues with JavaScript. Since I teach and have hands-on experience with these technologies and since I’ve been working in the field of web design since 2000, I felt I’d have a fair handle on this. While I did not have a ton of experience with Microsoft Visual Studio, I felt I could do well.

The Official Breakdown of Subject Matter

Microsoft’s official exam page for this test: MTA EXAM 98-375 outlines the following fundamentals will possibly be covered:

Manage the application life cycle (20–25%)

  • Understand the platform fundamentals
    • Packaging and the runtime environment: app package, app container, credentials/permission sets, host process, leverage existing HTML5 skills and content for slate/tablet applications
  • Manage the state of an application
    • Manage session state, app state, and persist state information; understand states of an application; understand the differences between local and session storage
  • Debug and test an HTML5-based, touch-enabled application
    • Touch gestures; understand which gestures you test on a device

Preparation resources

Build the user interface (UI) by using HTML5 (25–30%)

  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to display text content
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to display graphics
    • When, why, and how to use Canvas; when, why, and how to use scalable vector graphics (SVG)
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to play media
    • Video and audio tags
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags to organize content and forms
    • Tables, lists, sections; semantic HTML
  • Choose and configure HTML5 tags for input and validation

Preparation resources

Format the user interface by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) (20–25%)

  • Understand the core CSS concepts
    • Separate presentation from content (create content with HTML and style content with CSS); manage content flow (inline versus block flow); manage positioning of individual elements( float versus absolute positioning); manage content overflow (scrolling, visible, and hidden); basic CSS styling
  • Arrange UI content by using CSS
    • Use flexible box and grid layouts to establish content alignment, direction, and orientation; proportional scaling and use of “free scale” for elements within a flexible box or grid; order and arrange content; concepts for using flex box for simple layouts and grid for complex layouts; grid content properties for rows and columns; use application templates
  • Manage the flow of text content by using CSS
    • Regions and using regions to flow text content between multiple sections (content source, content container, dynamic flow, flow-into, flow-from, msRegionUpdate, msRegionOverflow, msGetRegionContent); columns and hyphenation and using these CSS settings to optimize the readability of text; use “positioned floats” to create text flow around a floating object
  • Manage the graphical interface by using CSS
    • Graphics effects (rounded corners, shadows, transparency, background gradients, typography, and Web Open Font Format); two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) transformations (translate, scale, rotate, skew, and 3-D perspective transitions and animations); SVG filter effects; Canvas

Preparation resources

Code by using JavaScript (30–35%)

  • Manage and maintain JavaScript
    • Create and use functions; jQuery and other third-party libraries
  • Update the UI by using JavaScript
    • Locate/access elements; listen and respond to events; show and hide elements; update the content of elements; add elements
  • Code animations by using JavaScript
    • Use animation; manipulate the canvas; work with images, shapes, and other graphics
  • Access data access by using JavaScript
    • Send and receive data; transmit complex objects and parsing; load and save files; App Cache; datatypes; forms; cookies; localStorage
  • Respond to the touch interface
    • Gestures, how to capture and respond to gestures
  • Code additional HTML5 APIs
    • GeoLocation, Web Workers, WebSocket; File API
  • Access device and operating system resources
    • In- memory resources, such as contact lists and calendar; hardware capabilities, such as GPS, accelerometer, and camera

Conclusion

All in all, this test was not bad, but perhaps a little more vigorous than expected. The materials covered had a good amount of in-depth knowledge requirement, and while I suffered a bit with the knowledge of JavaScript and managing session states of the application, I was able to break through with a score in the mid 900s. It was a good challenge, and I felt it will be helpful to me in the long run.