Interview Tool Reflection – 521

Let me begin by stating I am not teaching this term. I have not been employed in a school since August 2008. That stated we worked on active listening and Interview Tools this week. (Please see attached documents.) Both topics attract my attention as a teacher, administrator and soon-to-be Technology Integration Specialist.
I have called the parents, or at-home adults, of my students every year I have taught, save the first one. I do not have an issue with getting my parents/adults to open up. I call with something positive I have noticed and share that with the parents as my opener. It is specific to their child and not a finger-wag. That helps in so many ways, as students come in the next day beaming with pride. I would imagine the same would hold true in distance-learning as I love to hear good feedback for work done.
I reacquainted myself with lessons regarding active listening. The Building an Avatar lesson (see below) was a good reminder of skills needed to communicate.  I feel better equipped to promote good vibes via documents to help my personality come through and extract theirs reducing transactional distance. I learned from my peers some interesting questions I might use with younger students and their families. Some of peers constructed parts of their interview document with structure I would emulate. I particularly enjoyed one peer who incorporated space for interviewer notes on the form. I thought about but did not do it, violating my own mantra – “Don’t talk about it, be about it!”
I find this activity to be crucial to establish positive tone in an online class. Much like our own class meeting Dr. Rice facilitated last week, such interaction exemplifies good teaching. Considering the challenges facing online educators, any outreach that helps close distance between teacher and student and their learning coach or parent seems like a win to me.

Building an Avatar:

RSS For Education

Blog to Feed Chart

O’Keefe, K. (2007). How an RSS Feed Reader Works [Chart]. Retrieved from

My Teaching Resources Folder

I can see that using Google Reader or RSS would be useful in my classroom. Employing these tools in an LD classroom might allow me to set up some categories in advance so that I could filter, somewhat, student explorations in a given area. Teachers in our school could assign reading topics to study at home so class time could be spent working and discussing.

Some of it concerns me, in that too much information can overwhelm. Having never blogged before now and only seeking research I chose to seek, I feel overwhelmed with information now. I can only imagine one of my students with Organizational Management difficulties or Time Management issues trying to negotiate all the information in a feed. Hopefully, I can play with the filters to explore how to regulate this flow.

I certainly see how this connects to ACET Standard 4 Management, 4.4 Information Management as you can select the feeds that interest you and your specific research. Certainly that selection allows for information to come straight to your computer. It is a new era for me and I will explore how to control it as I progress.

Learning Log Assignment

Learning by immersion is all well and good. “Sink or swim!” is an expression I grew up hearing quite a bit. However, sometimes, having a life jacket, someone with a shepherd’s crook, or just starting in a shallow pool can give someone the confidence to move ahead. I will admit, I vacillate from feeling strong in my coursework and progress one moment, and then the next I choke on mouthfuls of water. This morning is no different. Setting up this Learning Log has been and continues to be a challenge as I swim harder trying to unlock all the widgets and whatnots that make my blog work.

I fully accept that the journey must be recorded. Successes are not nearly as important as the failures as we chart our courses. It is slow going for me as the tools are quite confusing in my opinion. I feel quite the buffoon as I flail about likening myself to Stan Laurel rather than Johnny Weissmuller making the apparent easy task harder and longer. Riis’s Stonecutter’s Credo is not lost on me. I see the value in making each and every step or misstep, fully realizing that at some point this will come much easier. I know as I continue this path, I will reflect on this lesson. Archiving it, I will remember not only as a source of the detail needed to complete a task in the future. I will remember this as I teach, knowing that another student learning differently, might be struggling.

Exploring the ACET Standards for this lesson, I see validity in both Standard 4: Management, 4.4 Information Management and Standard 2: Development as well. This tool serves to be a wealth of information, charting and categorizing my journey, making reflection and access to experiences easy and beneficial. It will also help me plan and develop computer-based lessons that meet the needs of my learners and guide me to teach not only to their weaknesses but mine as well.