Saturday, November 19, 2011

AC Week 4-BP5: Comment 3 / Michelle

Wk 4 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 9-12

So here is the last blog post for the Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) and I must say that it has been a very good read. It’s definitely going to be in a few Christmas stockings this year. I was particularly inspired in chapter 9 when the author spoke about working in the inner city schools. Newham is actually the first local authority I worked for and where I got started on the road of education. As a teacher it is almost a per-requisite to inspire, not only those we instruct but also those I work with. Empowering those around us in life to allow them to find their inner flame, facilitating a safe space to radiate their gift to the world, which is their individuality! How poignant, we are all co-creating the reality we experience around us! It’s never really just you or me. Just think about how dependent we are on electricity. Could we harness that power without someone turning that switch on? Another point to be mindful of is the choice we have over the quality of our experience. Once we take responsibility for our lives in this manner, we are then master of circumstance rather than victim. One thing I try to remember is this; imagine you start your life as a cup filled with water. After a while you need change the water. Putting in what you choose, dirty water or clean water. All of these fundamental truths have so nicely been put together in this book. It is easy to read, not too abstract and can strike a chord with so many different people. A Wonderful song for life.

Rosetta Cash said...

Enjoyed your post and your insight Meesh! Zander and Zander is an easy read and is a book that should be shared. I love your interpretation and explanation of what it means to empower and be empowered, “facilitating a safe space to radiate their gift to the world.” That is exactly what I think we as concerned and invested educators what to accomplish. Great analogy with the water and I would add that we have to periodically add to the cup as some of the water evaporates, so we must replenish. And you’re right we choose what kind of water we add to the cup.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MAC Week 4-BP3: Comment 2 / Chuck

Week 4 blog post on The Art of Possibility

Chapter 9, Lighting a Spark was an interesting read, it discussed the possibility of generating a spark in someone else.  It may be to do something you want them to do, or it may be something that they should do.  In any event, it is the art of planting a seed, of lighting the first candle; of taking and having others take with you the first step.  A “no” may be a “no” but it should never extinguish your spark.  If someone does not want to participate with what you want him or her to do, you need to go onto the next.  

Chapter 10 dealt with “Being the Board”.  This chapter was somewhat confusing to me.  I understand the concept of wanting to take control over your life, but I found it confusing.  I will read it again and hopefully it will mean more to me.

Creating Frameworks for Possibility that is chapter 11 discusses great people who had a vision of the future and was willing to put all at risk.  People who are not willing to accept anything other then the best from themselves and the world.  They inspire people with passion instead of moving them with fear.  I found the story of the little girl and the teacher to be inspiring.  That teacher was not willing to let the little girl get harmed because of her lack of hair, so she changed the whole story in one night.

Telling the “We” story (chapter 12) is a great read, it discusses changing the story from me or I to us or we.  I may be the leader of the group, but we all share in the good and the bad.  All too often people spend their time trying to make themselves look good, stepping on people to get ahead.  People need to understand that if they bring everyone up, everyone moves up.  I had a boss 25 years ago, who inspired people to be the best they could be by using this type of thinking.  He was a master and a great man.  I recently spoke with him and it was great.  To this day, if I had a chance to work with him again, I would move to Los Angeles to work by his side.

Rosetta Cash said...

Chuck I totally agree with your comment: “A “no” may be a “no” but it should never extinguish your spark.” It is challenging to keep that spark going but oh so necessary. You and I seemed to gravitate to the same areas in the reading. What I took away from “being the board” is that we have to sometimes look at ourselves as the game board and see how others are placed in our lives and why we have them where they are. Are they in the right place, or should they be moved or shuffled to make improvements?

The story of the girl and teacher is a good example from Chapter 11, using compassion to enhance your passion to help make positive change is a novel concept. I agree with you that we are so used to operating from fear instead of from passion. Passion is a much better starting point.

The “We” chapter reminded me of our class. For the last eleven months we have worked together, supporting each other, critiquing each other, laughing and sharing our experiences. As a result we have managed to get each other to this most exciting point in our lives and have learned so much from each other. I have several people in my life who inspire everyone to be their best and to always do their best work. A few of them are now Ancestors but the others are still around and I like to think that I am one.

MAC Week 4-BP2: Comment 1 / Marc

Marc's MAC: Week #4 - Reaction to Reading

This book for this course in previous weeks was a real quick read however, this week it seemed a bit drawn out with the examples the author used. I agree with him that they were necessary but I found myself hoping the concert with the young students would come and also end.

On a positive note, I thought the idea of avoiding the "downward spiral" by the use of enrollment was really quite good and also relatable. My job depends on how many students want to take the video/sound production course so this chapter gave me a sense of urgency for sure. I try to find the spark in the students and also those who come by to either shadow the class or even just drop in for a visit. I also try to look back at what my curriculum map has and be sure to update that each year in order to keep current with industry trends and also try to point those trends into the students interests. I can see how easy it is for people, teachers, and students can get into that downward spiral by saying no and not having a solution or even asking for a solution like the author did when he asked for the two quarters.

The other take away from the reading I had was "becoming the board." This was very interesting. Imagine how many of us could take some stress out of projects and life if we take ourselves out of the equations and figure out what the "player" was looking for. Cool idea and way of thinking. First I was a bit confused and list but when the conversation between yourself on how to get your boss to hear the ideas you have then made sense. For educators I am sure we are told too many times "no" on certain classroom ideas, but, if we find a way to bring up those ideas where we can show how it relates to the current school agenda or even state's changing standards then those conversation might actually gain more approvals.

Rosetta Cash said...

Marc, I agree with you about the “downward spiral” segment. So many obstacles, attitudes, and entities come our way everyday that it is easy to fall into the downward spiral. Your solution to “keep current with industry trends” is an excellent way not only to grab the student’s interest, but also to keep your enthusiasm. So many people are afraid of the "no" that they get stopped in their tracks and because that is what they expect to hear they don’t bother to ask.

I too liked “becoming the board.” We have to operate outside of the box sometimes in order to really see how the box is operating. Sometimes when you are too close you can’t see the obvious. Being the board allows you a different vantage point from which to operate and approach a matter so that you can get your desired response.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

MAC Week 4-BP4: Think-Out-Loud PPP

My Capstone Project began in January 2011 (month one of the Education Media Design and Technology /EMDT - MS program) with assurances from our instructor that our confusion and apprehension would dissipate as the months rolled on. We were essentially told not to worry, all would be revealed, and it was. Now in month eleven we our finalizing our projects and it has been a wonderful, life changing experience. My project’s big idea was motivation. I looked at how to motivate teachers to infuse web 2.0 tools and technologies in an effort to motivate and engage their students. The target audience consisted of six African American university instructors who teach mainly African American students. They researched the web tools/technologies, selected those that they thought would benefit their curriculum and implemented them into their classes. They also taught culturally relevant material (meaning Africa and African history and culture that has historically been changed, distorted, and deliberately omitted or trivialized). Infusing web tools and technologies to enhance the culturally relevant material and their enthusiasm resulted in their motivation and the motivation and engagement of the students. This project can serve as a stepping-stone for others who teach, especially in urban settings, as a way to better engage and motivate their students. It can serve as a way to get students involved and invested in their own learning process.

MAC Week 2-BP4: Think-Out-Loud PPP

MAC Week 3-BP4: Think-Out-Loud PPP

Week 4: Google Doc PPP

Monday, November 14, 2011

MAC Week 4-BP1: Art of Possibility Chpts. 9-12

Zander and Zander stated, “Certain things are better done in person.” I love this line! I agree with its premise. There are times when a face-to-face is the best method to convey your true sentiment. “Enrollment,” that spark of possibility that you generate with your passion and being in the present. I am a firm believer in never being afraid to ask for what you want. The “worst” response you can get is a “no” but there is always that possibility of getting a “yes.” I know that this is the age of technology and that we have email, Skype, iChat, a variety of ways to communicate. But the turning point can be achieved in the way you present yourself in person. This can persuade and get a person to agree to do something that they had not even considered until you raised the point. A “no” may be an invitation to enrollment if new possibilities can be introduced that will spark a different way of doing things. Zander asking for the two quarters when they did not have change for the $10 bill.  Turned the “no” into a “yes.”

Cover: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional 
and Personal Life by Zander & Zander 2000.
Zander and Zander also stated, “…the practice of enrollment is about giving yourself as a possibility to others and being ready, in turn, to catch their spark.” I really like this quote as well.
On a trip to New Jersey for a conference we checked into the hotel in the late afternoon. The hotel manager checked me into the hotel. He was visibly a bit irritated and a little weary. I chatted with him, got him to smile, and eventually laugh. I thanked him for his very courteous service and how welcoming he had been. The next morning in the hotel restaurant I was seated at the table about five of my friends, one of whom was short on funds so he was only having coffee. Well, the manager stopped by the table and greeted us. I smiled and asked why he was still working since he worked so late the evening before. He smiled and said he wanted to make sure our group was well taken care of before he went home. (He had been on duty all night.) I thanked him for his consideration. He then asked if there was anything he could do for me and I jokingly responded, “You can buy breakfast.” Much to our surprise, he smiled called our waitress over and told her that there would be no bill for our table. We all thanked him for his generosity. My friend who only had coffee was overjoyed and got to eat a full meal.

The story of “Anthony” the ten-year old who energetically conducted the orchestra bought tears to my eyes. I love it when we can give our children the opportunity to operate outside of the boxes in which society has placed them. They quite often exceed even their own the expectations if given positive encouragement.

The concept of “being the board” was interesting in that you can change your circumstances by changing your perspective and the way you handle the situation. Not taking the blame or assigning blame to someone else but looking within to change yourself and how you view things. Developing the “vision” that opens up the “sparks for possibilities” results in creating the environments that generate certain conversations. And of course relinquishing the “I” mentality and incorporating the “WE” mentality that looks at what is best for the whole and not just the individual. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

MAC Week 3-BP3: Comment 2 / Lara

MAC blog post #10- The Art of Possibility

I found the chapter on "The Way Things Are" to resonate with me. I pride myself on being a very creative, "out-of-the-box" thinker who can find new solutions for many of life's challenges and obstacles. I am also very determined and persistent about getting what I want. These qualities create a variety of effects; I often (but do not always) get what I want. When I don't get what I want I react in 1 of 3 ways; I find a new angle as a means to that end and try again, or I find a replacement goal and pursue that, or very rarely, I become angry and spiral into a black hole of loss of control. Being so adept at "controlling" my world also can have its backlashes; I have a tendency to WAY over-think things and second-guess myself into paralysis. Drives my mother crazy. I create too many options for myself which results in a condition I like to call FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). This is a Rule #6 moment; I am lol-ing at myself here... So I would say I have some difficulty with the practice of being with "The Way Things Are" (frequent yoga notwithstanding). Although the one exception to this for me is when it comes to other people and relationships in my life; I do not attempt to control people, I do not hold grudges, I do not often allow myself to be hurt by other peoples actions. This is another Rule #6 moment; people do not think about you nearly as often as you think they do, so don't imagine that their actions have anything to do with you.
However the sum of these parts may actually be aligned with the practice of "The Way Things Are". The result is that I consider myself to be in complete ownership of all of my choices; that I have been lucky enough to have made every choice and had all of the control, which has landed me exactly where I am today. And I am not built for regret.


Rosetta Cash said...

Bravo, Lara, I applaud you. You are indeed very creative and it is always a positive step when one can take responsibility for whatever choices they make in life. I too enjoyed that chapter. Those of us are “out-of-the-box” thinkers and workers tend to find creative ways to deal with the various situations in which we find ourselves. The chapter about “passion” came to mind when you spoke about becoming angry and losing control. It reminded me that we could allow ourselves to have and experience those emotions as well as the happy and joyful ones, because we are after all, human.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MAC Week 3-BP4: Think-Out-Loud PPP 2: CBR Conference Proposal

This past weekend I attended the ASCAC (Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations) Midwest Regional Conference at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The board of the international organization met during this conference and I took the opportunity to address the group. The board reviews and selects those who will present at the conference. I explained my assignment and they agreed to allow me to make a presentation of my proposal to present at the 29th Annual International ASCAC Conference, which will also be at Kent State University, March 22-25, 2012. I created a Prezi presentation to give them a brief overview of the EMDT program and the CBR project. I had the presentation of my proposal videotaped. After I concluded my presentation they voted and I was given approval to present my work at the conference in March 2012.

I will make some revisions to the proposal presentation and expand on it for the formal presentation in March. Much of the process is already laid out in the Prezi. I need to add the results of the Phases, my conclusions and reflections. What I am finding challenging is writing the speakers notes for the presentation. I usually make sure that the bullet points are listed in the PowerPoint or Prezi and then I speak to those points. I don't write out what I am going to say. Well, I love challenges, so let me get cracking and create my speakers notes. 

MAC Week 3-BP2: Comment 1 / Marc

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MAC Wk #3: Reaction to Reading

I have found that "The Art of Possibility" has been an interesting read and also a fast one.
This week I enjoyed hearing about the 'White Sheets" the author would give to the orchestra as a way for them to critique him and also communicate their needs. I found this part of the book to directly relate to the ADDIE model we have studied through the EMDT program. I have always put value into the evaluation and and have began to use this method in my class as well. During the year when the students are given progress reports or final quarterly grades, I allow them to also grade me and give me ideas on how I can improve what we covered.

Rosetta Cash said...

MAC Week 3-BP1: Art of Possibility 5-8

A good leader takes advantage of the expertise of the people whom he /she is leading. The information Zander & Zander wrote in these chapters reminds me of a piece of ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) literature, “The Instructions of Ptah Hotep” that speaks to the very concepts they relay. Ptah Hotep stated, “No one is born wise…. Don’t be proud of your knowledge, Consult the ignorant and the wise; The limits of art are not reached, No artist’s skills are perfect; Good speech is as rare as precious stones, Yet may be found among the girls who grind the grain.” Wisdom does not know status and there are times when we must deflate our egos to make room for knowledge. I thought the “White Sheets” was an excellent move to help get those you lead to know that their opinions matter and that they can contribute even more to make sure the overall project is successful. Allowing others to take the leadership role on occasion also works to increase moral and job satisfaction. It's another way to acknowledge their expertise.

I love “Rule Number 6.” It has been my experience that people not being able to keep their egos in check have caused viable organizations, groups, teams, etc., to go down in flames. Sometimes we tend to get overly dramatic and make things catastrophic when all we really have to do is take a deep breath and watch things work themselves out.

The phrase that got my attention in chapter 7, “…being present without resistance; being present to what is happening and present to your reactions, no matter how intense. “ I think this is the most difficult for many of us to incorporate. We have been programed to conceal emotion, not to let our feeling show, but what we have really done is hide /bury them deep to the extent that we forget that it’s alright to have these feelings and reactions. I think this flows directly into ”giving way to passion” as it speaks to one being able to allow oneself to go for it, to follow that path that will allow us to contribute something of substance to the world. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MAC Week 2-BP3: Comment 3 / Marc

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MAC wk. #2: Reading Reaction

As I read the book, "The Art of Possibility," the second chapter of giving an "A" really spoke to me and also let me know that I actually am on the right track. The chapter begins with the story of Michelangelo talking about how a sculpture is hidden in a piece of rock, and you need to chip away the excess parts to reveal the art. The author compares this in education where the student needs to drop the "excess" to gain mastery and self-expression.
I have an assignment at the beginning ofd the year where my students study themselves and really think about who they want to be and what their Artistic Identity is. I have found that giving this assignment to the students helps them to let go of barriers and also gets to feel more comfortable to their self-expression in my class. They really respond positively to the assignment and I think it helps to set the tone for the year and also get them excited about who they are as an artist. I wanted to share my assignment and also give you all permission to use it if you would like.

Here is the presentation to get them thinking:

Rosetta Cash said...
I know how you feel Marc. That section also gave me an “Aha” moment. I too realized that I was on the right track with my students. The reading has given me even more ideas to incorporate into my delivery of instruction and how I help to heighten the awareness of my students. The Prezi is a really nice touch. I can see that it will get the students to critically think about their lives and why they do what they do the way they do it. I also think that your “Artistic Identity” assignment is excellent. It incorporates several activities that address different levels of learning. Well done.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MAC Week 2-BP3: Comment 2 / Rick

Posted: October 31st, 2011 | Author: Rick | Filed under: mac | 2 Comments »
One of the first things I discovered when I started researching academic journals to which I might submit my research for publication was the common assumption that I would transfer exclusive copyright of my work to that journal. For example, here’s a snippet of the ISTE submission guidelines:
Each Author retains the following rights: [...] The right to post the ISTE-published version of the article on the Author’s own Web site, the right to provide photocopies to colleagues, and the right to reuse any portion of the Work without fee in future works of the Author’s own provided that the following citation appears [...]
So I’m allowed to take the word-for-word article that I wrote and put it on my own website, but only after asking for written permission? And, as near as I can tell if I’m reading it correctly, I am not allowed to put a modified or updated version on my site at all. (And I’m not picking on ISTE here, as many of the journals I researched had similar verbiage.)
What utter nonsense. It’s like we’re back to High Priests translating everything to Latin so that the mendicants can’t read it. To be clear: I’m not looking to retain exclusive rights—quite the opposite, I want to give my paper away and don’t want anyone to have exclusive rights. (And certainly not a publisher.) Nor am I opposed to the basic concept of publishing exclusivity—I don’t mind promising that I won’t publish the paper through multiple journals. But that can be granted without a transfer of ownership, and without promising that I won’t publish it anywhere else.
I’ve come across the concept of Open Access, which boils down to allowing authors to keep an archival copy of their work in addition to providing free access on the website of the publisher. I’m not sold on this as a perfect solution, but it does seem to be a step along the correct path.
And yet, we in academia still hold up publishing as the end-all goal of our careers. As if research should be writ down on paper in some perfected form, never to be revised.
Again I say: what utter nonsense.
Someone needs to whack this industry upside the head with the Web2.0 stick.
Rosetta Cash said at 23:47 on November 2nd, 2011:
Rick, you have a wonderful way of getting to the heart of a matter. I agree with your conclusion, “what utter nonsense.” It just seems so backwards to me that you have to get permission from someone to post your own work. The fact that you submit work to their publication, in my mind means that you are helping them out by providing them with content. So they take the content, the credit, and the ownership. All we are left with is a free copy and the ability to tell people that you’ve been published. You were right again when you complained about not even being able to modify or update your work. If you are truly doing the work it should evolve and it would need to be updated at some point. It’s all too one-sided to me. These regulations need to be revised and updated so that they fit the 21st century technical world and the creativity of the people within it.

MAC Week 2-BP2: Comment 1 / Lara


MAC blog post #5: week 2 reading

The book The Art of Possibility is an interesting approach to changing one's thinking to create positivity in one's life. So far, I am most struck by the chapter on the "invented-ness" of our reality. I enjoy the idea that by understanding the nature of our perception, we can change it to be free from the limitations we impose and the judgements of others. Several very simple analogies and illustrations are given on these points. I am interested to discover how one frees oneself from some of the more concrete pressures associated with limitations, such as inadequate income. The idea of "contributing" rather than "achieving" is liberating in and of itself.

Rosetta Cash said...

Lara, I too find the book interesting. They have taken positive thinking to another level. Having students examine how they think and relate to the rest of the world and then to change their thinking so that it is more positive and upbeat in an effort to get a more positive outcome. The art of reinvention. You bring up a good point when you factored in how people with the limitations of an inadequate income can free themselves following their analogies. It is difficult to free yourself when you’re worrying about how to pay the bills.