Thursday, June 9, 2011


The situation that I want to present is a personal project.  I am a musician and a year ago I started my second production.  To create a CD You will need to considerate many hours of planning and to take care of things to obtain good results.  Automatically I became the PM of the project, and at the same time the ID.  The first steps of the project are completed at my house.  I also have a music arranger, which turn my ideas true during the preproduction stages.  This process has to be very clear and establish details.  Once there are agreements with the other parts; this is permanent.  One example is the selection of songs; once they’re selected we need to search for copyrights and permissions.  This stage brings much money invested and many planning.

After the music arranger started, he calls me to share some suggestions and to change songs.  He wanted to use certain songs that he had the approval of recording them.  Starting the project all over again, meant a waste of money.  This situation interrupted my musical inspiration.  There were many calls, insisting on changing materials.  I don’t want to ignore how this situation made me stop my recording.  I wasn’t sure on how to handle this situation.  I decided to stay firm and share with him my desire to continue the recording as planned.

“There are critical moments when project teams have just gotta say “no!”.(Greer, M. 2010). This weren’t easy moments.  I was trying to keeping it as it was.  This changes affected my timeline and it brought many disappointments.  It end up delaying the date for the release and changes on the agenda.   An important detail is the fact that I didn’t include an PM that would have all evidence and documentation to avoid Scope Creep.   Factors should as “change Scope document” could help us.  These documents help us to stay firm and not accept changes.

References:

“Practitioner Voices: Overcoming ‘Scope Creep’” Walden University, 2010

Greer, M. (2010). The project management minimalist: Just enough PM to rock your projects! (Laureate custom ed.). Baltimore: Laureate Education, Inc.

“Project Management Concerns: ‘Scope Creep’” Walden University, 2010

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Budgets and Resource Allocation


The process of developing trainings is arduous that requires a series of specific steps for the quality of it.  Various websites dedicated to the development of trainings presents us their services.  It presents various models that shares the amount of hours invested in this profession of Instructional Design.


 Learning Circuits

http://www.astd.org/LC/2009/0809_kapp.htm



Learning Circuits is a division of ASTD, dedicated on trainings for all types of business.  The majority of their studies are based on ADDIE.  R. Defelice and K. Kapp presents us a study about training development and the different factors that affect it.
 

 
 
Proton Group Co. 
 
http://www.protongroupco.com/home
 
 





This company is dedicated to project managements of construction projects.  Project Controls, Scheduling, Estimating, Cost control and other specialized services offered.  The design and construction of structures requires a detailed planning process and budget planning.   The control of the inventory, work hours, payroll and schedules are priority for a company that is looking for success.


 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Communicating Effectively



  

The message presented in this email is clear and precise.  If I would have receive this message it would be very effective to remind me of my responsibility.  In my particular situation, emails are effective to communicate in my workspace.  The use of emails in companies, schools and organizations has become part of the daily routine of communication.  Many work areas require the use of emails as a communication tool.  It is important to send emails to maintain evidence of the communication establish.





The use of voice mail could also be a beneficial and essential tool.  In this particular case I don’t like the tone of the message.  The requirements of specific document require a more formal communication, in my opinion.  There are moments when an audio message could bother the person if they are under stress.  Communicating a message in audio allows to perceive the tone in which we want to communicate the message.







Communicating a message in face-to-face is another effective way that will allow to see the reaction of the person.  In this particular case, the communication is less formal.  The message face to face allows the use of body language that could bring a positive reaction in the recipient. The message face to face helps to maintain an effective communication in offices where everyone has different roles.




The three ways presented complements each other.  The email is an essential communication tool in your workspace.  The use to voice mails is other type of communication that could be important in many different settings.  The voice tone is important to consider when communicating a message.  Face to face is essential since allows a reaction of the person who communicates and who receives the message.

Reference

Multimedia Program: "The Art of Effective Communication"
 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Learning from a Project “Post-mortem”


 
A couple years ago I received the good news that I will participate of a project to bring video conference to the classroom.  I felt very happy about this project ignoring all obstacles that will prevent this project to be successful.  I remember participating in different trainings and meeting with others teacher participants of the same project.  Each meeting increased our motivation and made us dream of the day of joining all our classes together and reach other classes around the world.

After two months I could identify that the planning process was not effective and that implementation was not taking place.  After two months they didn’t completed the connection and basically there was no basic training on equipment management.  The meetings turned to be paperwork meetings and dream sharing sessions.

The right thing would be to integrate teachers in the project after realizing technical tests.  The lack of planning was key to postpone the implementation of the project.  The selection of personnel for the project wasn’t done in a correct way.  The PM was a person with no technology knowledge and no idea on how to manage a project.
 


A positive part of this project was to collaborate with other teachers to plan lessons and activities.  Exchanging ideas and experiences enriched the process.  All teachers were enthusiastic about creating high quality projects to benefit our students.

Completing a project scope was never mentioned.  It was needed to identify risks and design a plan to work with these knowing what would affect the process.  From my learning’s I would start from scratch.  I would create a team with a PM, an ID and various professionals with educational knowledge.  I would have established a curricular plan to prepare teachers in how to integrate the use of video conference to enrich instruction.  They should have established a curricular plan to help teachers that refuse due to privacy myths.

This was a excellent idea, bad planned.  There was no participation of directors.  In my situation, we received the equipment and the principal didn’t authorize its use.  The equipment was kept so safe that it disappears.   She could never understand why would I want to connect my students with students around the world.  The best way was to integrate all parts.  Present the idea with the use of a scope and have an ID controlling its design and identifying advantages present with the use of videoconferencing.


Reference:
Greer, M. (2010). The project management minimalist: Just enough PM to rock your projects! (Laureate custom ed.). Baltimore: Laureate Education, Inc.
“Project Management Concerns: ‘Scope Creep’” Walden University, 2010

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Future of Distance Learning

We are living in a socio-cultural transformation period.  During this period the institutional and traditional models are object of discussion.  New technologies are transformation and developing new models that integrate access to knowledge.  These technologies of information and communication have motivated a cultural and social change in our communication and the communication channels to share knowledge.  Distance learning continues to grow rapidly not only as a cost-effective option; also as a necessary tool in all educational areas and all types of business.  My perception includes a rapid growth that will be accompanied with the social webs.  The way that we daily interact with the use of Internet has transformed the society in one highly technological.  “Online environment has changed significantly” (Siemens, G. 2010).

As a middle school teacher, in my computer science class one of my biggest challenges is to train my student in the correct use of technological tools.  By the other side, it is my responsibility as a Instructional Designer to design learning experiences to share principles of technology integration with my coworkers.  Other teachers are exploring the use of new technologies without idea on how these could benefit our students and how technology literacy skills can be developed.  It is a challenge to design for adults (teachers) and for teenagers (students) on technology use and integration.

There is no doubt that we are living in a technological era.  It is very important to become a motivating agent to individuals and organizations.  Distance Learning needs to be promoted in different ways.  Many organizations have discovered the effectiveness of Distance Learning to provide trainings design to fit their particular needs.  In the educational area K-12, we need to start integrating tools that provide students with a new learning alternative.  A great example is the expressions of President Obama presenting the use of technology as the tool of the future.  We need to convince many educational systems about the use and integration of technology in the educational system.  Instructional designers should have the opportunity to develop different educational strategies including distance learning opportunities.

My experience at Walden has been gratifying as a student.  Being able to participate in a program that really works.  In 2000, I participated in online experiences that were totally different.  I also participated as an online teacher for high school students.  After these experiences I am a defender of distance education.  I have to consider how our society has advanced in technological areas.  As a teacher, I integrate the use of distance learning as a tool to help my students.  By the other side I try to influence other areas where I collaborate such as church and other educational organizations incorporating distance learning in different aspects of our daily life.  

In conclusion, as a student I can positively talk about the benefits of distance learning.  As an Instructional Designer I can assure that distance learning is one of the most effective tools of our times.  “We need to recognize the global dimension of education” (Siemens, G. 2010).  In corporations, industries and educational areas distance learning plays an important role in the development of instruction.

References:

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Video Program: “The Future of Distance Education” 2010, Walden University

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Converting to a Distance Learning Format
A training manager has been frustrated with the quality of communication among trainees in his face-to-face training sessions and wants to try something new. With his supervisor’s permission, the trainer plans to convert all current training modules to a blended learning format, which would provide trainees and trainers the opportunity to interact with each other and learn the material in both a face-to-face and online environment. In addition, he is considering putting all of his training materials on a server so that the trainees have access to resources and assignments at all times.
In this scenario the following areas will be consider:
  • Pre-planning strategies - Explore and select technological activities that will enhance the learning experience.
  • Aspects to enhanced - The use of different tools like wikis, chat, discussion boards and more will enhance the distance learning experience.
  • Trainer role - The facilitator will provide significant activities that will bring content to become meaningful for the learner
  • Student participation - The trainer will be a motivation agent where the student trusts and doesn’t fear using technology.
Click on the link to read more.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Impact of Open Source


  • Does the course appear to be carefully pre-planned and designed for a distance learning environment? How so?

Yale University presents a model of Distance Education Open Source well organized for the student.  After navigating for a while and visit various courses I felt comfortable with the easy navigation tools.  The goal of the university is to share information presented in face-to-face courses.  These are offered free with the purpose of sharing information and improve international relationships.  The courses are designed in a simple way and where students can interact friendly.  Each course presents the material in different forms such as readings, audio and videos accessing in a page of the course.  All videos are available through ITunes and YouTube, offering the opportunity of accessing it from their IPods, tablets and smartphones.   “The focus of the instruction shifts to visual presentations, engage learners and careful timing of presentations of information’s” (Simonson, et al, 2009).
  
Despite the presentation of the course is excellent it is obvious that the course has been design in a way that interaction between the learner and the instructor is not possible.  Other limitation could be that there is no evidence that the learner completed the course.  The course that I decided to explore was Roman Architecture of the Department of History of Art. To enrich this course the instructor Kleiner presents a study group using an external that provides space for a discussion board.  This addition provides that interaction piece fundamental in an online course.  I would say that the instructor took this initiative since the university platform does not provide space for this type of interaction

  • Does the course follow the recommendations for online instruction as listed in your course textbook?
 
Yale University establishes clear communication in their about section that answer frequent asked questions.  This section also provides information about how each course has being designed.  Just wondering, does this course follow the recommendations for online instruction?  The interaction between instructor and student is not fomented. Other elements of distance education courses are also missing.  There is no assessment tool, discussion boards or a list of additional resources to learn more from the class.  I need to give credit about the alternatives presented, which include text in html format, mp3 audio, video in flash and QuickTime format.  These types of files become a valuable tool for those who interact with technology.  “This is essential for purposes of student intellectual engagement” (Simonson, et al, 2009).

  • Did the course designer implement course activities that maximize active learning for the students?

This course was designed in a standard format.  To design a course it is important to consider the course outcomes.  “Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives is extremely useful in this process” (Simonson, et al, 2009).  This course in particular; Roman Architecture is designed with the purpose of sharing information with someone that has the need and interest of learning about the specific topic.  There are no assessments included to measure growth and there is no interaction between instructor and learner.  In my opinion this learning experience could be offered through ITunes as a podcast.  I understand that Yale University wants to present this course in a more formal format.  This offers the user a easy and fun learning experience.

Reference
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009). Teaching and
learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scenario 2

Scenario:  A high school history teacher, located on the west coast of the United States, wants to showcase to her students new exhibits being held at two prominent New York City museums. The teacher wants her students to take a "tour" of the museums and be able to interact with the museum curators, as well as see the art work on display. Afterward, the teacher would like to choose two pieces of artwork from each exhibit and have the students participate in a group critique of the individual work of art. As a novice of distance learning and distance learning technologies, the teacher turned to the school district’s instructional designer for assistance. In the role of the instructional designer, what distance learning technologies would you suggest the teacher use to provide the best learning experience for her students?





Video Conference:

Video Conference has become essential in the educational field.  The use of video conference in this situation becomes an important element for the development of the classes integrating experiences where the student can interact in real time with the curators of the museum.  Questions and comments can be shared about different artwork selections.

Most of the museums are integrating tools to share their exhibitions online.  The virtual aspect of this tool plays an important piece in today’s education.  Shortening distances makes it a cost effective tool.  The fact of facilitating a class or orientation with the use of a “two-way” communication system makes the experience valuable for all learners.  It is a great opportunity that allows students to share with the experts.

New York State Museum offers an excellent program named Virtual Classroom.  This interactive program allows presenting different topics tied to the Learning Standards of New York.  This 45 minutes programs is offered in Wednesdays at 4 different times to allow more schools to participate from different places in the nation.  It is necessary to register before to have access.

An example is shared from Marshall Elementary School in Lewisburg, Tennessee.  This school brings live animals and education from the Tennessee Aquarium into the classroom. This school is connected with other schools in North Carolina and Maryland.  Students from schools connected share questions about the experiences being shared. Topics shared are related to Dinosaurs and Rain Forest.

"Our students learned to become better communicators through the interview process and learned about geography too,"
"The excitement generated by the conferences helped support the students' confidence, and we were able to see an improvement in student presentations in the classroom. The video conferences were a wonderful enhancement to our traditional learning experiences." said Shepherd.
 




Wiki:

The use of wikis is a tool that promotes collaboration between students and students and students with instructors.  This tool provides the capability of many participants collaborating into one document.  This situation requires a place where groups of students will critiques two samples of artwork.  Wiki offers the opportunity to all students to become participants on this project.  The wiki a perfect component of “blended learning” where there is a combination of classroom instruction and online interaction.  Wikis allows the integration of visuals that will help the students make references to the artwork and add their comments.  We should not ignore that this activity will not only provide art experiences; with the use of wikis writing skills are being developed.

The blog Digital Arts Technology Academy is a great example of how students collaborate by the use of wikis presenting their portfolios that include a collection of work related to arts.

For this situation, the ID can suggest the use of videoconference in coordination with the museums.  This facilitates an alternative use in the classrooms.  We are integration collaboration and writing skills with the use of wikis.  We need to keep in mind that today’s learner interact with a diversity of technologies as part of their daily life.  “The effective utilization of distance education classrooms require a new set of skills for most educators” (Simonson 2009, pag.119) As ID we need to provide learning experiences that will satisfy the technological reality that our learners live.


Reference
Data, (2011). Data Wiki Home. Retrieve March 19, 2011, from

Educational World, (2011). Desktop Videoconferencing: Novelty or Legitimate Teaching Tool? Retrieve March18, 2011, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr120.shtml

New York State Museum, (2011). Virtual Classroom. Retrieve March 19, 20011, from http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/education/pv.html
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009).
Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance
education (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Distance Learning...



(click on the concepts to interact)


Defining distance learning made me look back in my memories of my teenager years.  I have various memories that helped me understand the distance learning concept.  Years later, I became a teacher and I had the opportunity of teaching in a virtual school in Puerto Rico.To build a clear definition we need to understand the word distance.  This type of learning experience includes a teacher and students that from different places interact with the use of technology.  I understood that one of the benefits was the use of time.  In my teenager days, I did not knew concepts such as synchronous or asynchronous I did understood that teacher and student weren’t working at the same time.

Simonson defines distance learning related with formal education where teacher and students are separated and telecommunications are vehicles to share instructional resources. There are four components that are essential when defining distance learning.  These are “Institutionally Based, Separation of Teacher and Student, Interactive Telecommunication and Sharing of voice, data, and video. Hilary Perraton defines distance learning as the process of teaching provided by an instructor that is in a different space/time compared with their students.  By the other side, Dictionary.com offers a very vague definition of distance learning “education in which students receive instruction over the Internet, from a video, etc., instead of going to school”.  This definition limits distance learning to the use of the Internet.  



When I was a child, I remember that I loved military airplanes.  I used to live next to a military base and had the opportunity to observe these planes everyday.  One day, one of my teachers shared with me address that I could write to learn from airplanes and receive photos and instructional material.  Other students started to write to the address and we started to exchange address where we could write for information.  Some of these military agencies would send us excellent materials that we later used in school.  This is one of my best memories of distance learning.  Other memory is observing my parents send and share materials with students in other countries as part of a Bible Institute, a concept similar to Moody Bible Institute.  I was young to understand that my parents were teaching students that lived far and couldn’t meet in a regular basis.  They would read and answer the materials and send them back.

The meaning of Distance Learning is more or less, understood by the majority of the persons.  In general is associated with correspondence learning.  I want to clarify that this could be one of the communication tools used.  There are many other technological tools that facilitate distance learning.  Distance Learning is a modality that takes place thanks to methods, techniques, strategies and tools that facilitate communication between teachers and students, which are physically separated,and only interacts with each other occasionally.




Technology is a tool that is constantly changing.  It has affected our lives in a very positive way.  Our daily life has been enhanced with the opportunity to share with others since the beginning of a new day.  In the same way, it is important to facilitate our students the tools and activities that will help them learn.  Distance education is an option for many business, organizations, government and educational systems.  This modality offers us modern experiences that develop skills that are needed in our daily lives.  Collaborative opportunities enhance the student’s skills.  Distance education is a modality that needs to be open to the integration of new innovations and technologies.

Technology is changing our educational systems.  I visualize an educational system where distance education can facilitate curricular opportunities for students with special needs, talented and gifted and for those whose learning styles could benefit from it.  My vision is to see Distance Education being the tool to foment collaboration by peers to solve problems, share ideas, research and create new tools.  It is a challenge to facilitate collaboration activities in a society where MySpace is what defines who I am.  Our students are used to copy behaviors and be themselves.  Our society is changing and new tools are being developed that will facilitate distance learning.  One of the primary characteristics of DL is the ability to learn asynchronous.  This characteristic makes distance education attractive for adults that work and have other obligations.  K-12 educational systems could benefit from distance education in real time.  The develop of video-conferencing tool could help to create a bond between learners and their instructor at the same time that satisfy the social interaction need in early learners.  I see the future of distance education providing synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for all learners.  New technologies include phones that are capable of facilitating videoconferences and chat features.  Sharing documents, participating in blogs, wikis being used in projects and online presentations are just a few tools that will take part in the near future of distance education.   

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Distance learning | Define Distance learning at Dictionary.com . (n.d.). Dictionary.com | Free Online Dictionary for English Definitions . Retrieved March 5, 2011, from
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/distance+learning
 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011