Monthly Archives: February 2018

I’m Tired

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Featured Image: A tiny chihuahua engaged in blissful slumber

Sleep, you elusive and indulgent beast. I recently participated in a PIDP 3250 forum regarding the quality of sleep and our brain’s capacity for memory. Sleep ‘experts’ study the restorative effects of sleep on consolidating new memories into long-term memory: blah, blah, blah. I’m getting defensive about this because I’m sleep deprived, and it’s not by choice!! I usually don’t make generalized statements, but: I don’t think anyone chooses to not get enough sleep, especially the kind that the ‘experts’ say we need for ideal human functioning.

I’ve been researching how much sleep an adult requires, and there’s a lot of information available. Just Google© it and you’ll see what I mean. All the websites, blogs, and scholarly articles that I’ve read all agree that you need an average of 7 hours of sleep each night, and for an efficient rest, they all suggest reducing caffeine and sugar intake, reducing screen time before bed, and optimizing your sleep environment (comfort, darkness, temperature, etc.). But, none of the resources addressed OPPORTUNITY!!! Personally, the lack of opportunity to sleep is the number one cause of my sleep deprivation.

My instructor in 3250 talks about time management often because it’s a busy and demanding course. I need to work on time management for sleep (even 6 solid hours a night would be a great improvement).

I’m tired.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The above photograph is of my little dog in his frequent state of blissful slumber. He has the memory of an elephant! I’m so jealous.

Teaching Tips

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Featured Image: A beautiful waterfall in a rocky canyon flowing into a deep and calm pool

I can stare at a waterfall for hours, mesmerized yet attentive, and surrounded by the freshest air! A great instructor can be a metaphor for a waterfall: powerful and compelling, fluid, and contemporary.

The University of Waterloo Centre for Teaching Excellence is a fantastic resource for instructors, especially the Teaching Tips page.

I love that this resource is available online and available to use without a subscription. The fact that it’s free certainly does not reflect or diminish its quality.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the photograph at McRae Creek in Christina Lake British Columbia. I want to be like the waterfall 🙂

(G)Oh Canada!

 

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Featured Image: A lone snowboarder at the top of a snowy mountain

I’ve been reading a lot lately about motivation. My go-to is Daniel Pink’s Drive (2009). Pink argues that having autonomy is the key to motivation, and I agree: at work, at home and in a self-directed learning environment. Pink explains that rewarding people for hard work decreases motivation. He calls it “if, then” (if you do, then you’ll get – also known as the carrot and stick approach). This attempt at motivation takes the control away from individuals to do great work on their own accord, because it “requires people to forfeit some of their autonomy” (p. 36).

In Student Engagement Techniques (2010), Dr. Elizabeth Barkley explains that motivation requires two elements: expectancy and value. People must expect that they will be successful at performing a task, and they must value the work that they are doing (p. 58). I suspect that a combination of expectancy and value is what motivates our Olympic athletes in PyeongChang. I’m not sure if autonomy has anything to do with their success at the Winter Games though. These athletes must rely on family, coaches, communities, and the support of their country to excel at their sport. I suppose it’s autonomy that drives them to work harder than their competitors because the goal is not just to represent your country and your sport, the athletes are also trying to achieve a medal or an Olympic record. And these athletes must be motivated even when they are sick or tired or COLD or in pain. Such drive!

As a Canadian, watching the Olympics this winter, I’m inspired by the dedication and sacrifice of our athletes, and I am so proud of all of them for their motivation to represent us all.

2000px-Maple_Leaf.svgThe above photo was taken on a very cold day at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, British Columbia

Pecha Kucha

I’ve created a Pecha Kucha showcasing digital projects on the topic of Instructional Strategies created by PIDP 3250 students. A Pecha Kucha is a Power Point presentation which incorporates 20 slides, each no more than 20 seconds long. It applies imagery and sound “to create a seamless, memorable, meaningful and concise presentation” (Watanabe-Crockett, 2016, para. 2). I think a Pecha Kucha is a great instructional strategy to introduce new material, or to summarize a lesson. A Pecha Kucha can also be assigned as a project to assess learners. This post is part of an assignment where I had to choose 6 student exemplars of digital projects. As I started viewing the multitude of presentations, I couldn’t narrow my selection down to just 6 projects, and I thought a Pecha Kucha would be interesting and inclusive. The pros of creating a Pecha Kucha is that it is an engaging technology. The cons is that creating a Pecha Kucha is time-consuming (my short video took hours to create). None-the-less, I plan on using Pecha Kucha in my professional practice because I love cool technology, as well as trying out some of the instructional strategies portrayed in my presentation.

Enjoy

🙂 I would like to thank the students who shared their projects so that I could create My Pecha Kutcha. The links to their full presentations can be found on my Resources page.

I would also like to thank the Black Keys (Auerbach & Carney, 2010)

 

Mindfulness

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Featured Image: Driving on a beautiful stretch of mountain highway on a clear blue sky day

I am trying to figure out exactly what it means to be mindful, while at the same time trying not to overthink it; I don’t want to be overly mindful, you know – live too much inside my own head where things can get distorted. The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as,

 “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”

To me, mindfulness means intentionally focusing on the task at hand and purposely/purposefully shutting out unnecessary distractions or judgements.

It’s important to be mindful when I’m performing tasks such as driving a car (really important), preparing a meal (important, but not life or death), or playing online solitaire (not that important, but it helps my personal stats to stay focused).

Being mindful helps me remember peoples’ names – I’m horrible at this and have had some embarrassing situations when I can’t remember the name of a patient or their family member that I met 5 minutes earlier. There are certain things that I want my students to be mindful of that will help them remember protocols; repetition will certainly be in their favour after they’ve set up an operatory for surgery multiple times. BUT, there are also certain things that I want my students to be particularly mindful of, such as the reason why it’s important to prevent healthcare associated infections by maintaining a strict chain of asepsis. I need to convey appropriate values on procedures and protocols. How do I teach mindfulness when I’m accountable to deliver a competency based education? How do I place value on importance? Certainly, attention is key. Educator, Dr. Jeremy Hunter, explains that knowledge and skill are important, but “as work orients towards information and knowledge, as the number of inputs and distractions increases, controlling our own attention becomes an essential skill to master” (2016). Please check out his full article on mindful.org

Thank you, Dr. Hunter! I’ve got some reading to do 🙂

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the above photo (from the passenger seat) on the Coquihalla Highway enroute from Kelowna to Vancouver.