Author Archives: kathryn truant

About kathryn truant

Dental assistant and educator!

🎬Me & My Survey Monkey®

Making an instructional video is challenging and time consuming. It is also a lot of fun! However, the content of the film almost becomes secondary to its production. The video is part of a digital assignment in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program at Vancouver Community College. The criteria was to highlight a strategy used to solicit student feedback on the instructional process. I chose to feature online instructor feedback forms with the help of Survey Monkey. I made the video using  QuickTime® on my 2011 MacBook Air® and iMovie®. I uploaded the video to YouTube©. I guess EMI® isn’t happy with me using a Beatles’ song because YouTube instantly sent me a warning and threatened to block my video! I am disputing YouTube’s decision under the ‘fair dealing exception’ in the Copyright Act because my video is for educational purposes only. I hope my dispute holds, and I hope you enjoy my amateur production. Please keep in mind that I’m a dental assistant and a fledgling educator, and not a film maker.

Wait for it . . .

I’ve learned a lot about making a movie since my last post, and have probably spent way too much time playing around with software, but I’m in my happy place because I’m very comfortable around technology. I wish my movies reflected my drive. None-the-less, my ‘soon to be released’ instructional video has its own trailer! I know what you’re thinking: I should be working on actual course work. I can justify this diversion because I am still learning. I just hope my forthcoming video lives up to all the ‘hype’. Enjoy the preview 🙂

 

🎵 A special thank to the late and great Chuck Berry for his contribution to the world (and my movie trailer)

Semi Pro🎥

PIDP 3260 Assignment 5 is a digital project showcasing a feedback strategy designed to assess instruction. I can assure you from experience that the digital project will take longer to create than my feedback instrument, and my project will look amateur, unless I step up my game!

In the Mid-Course Formative Questionnaire, I complained about relying on student exemplars in the form of amateur videos for direction throughout the PIDP. My goal in Assignment 5 is to feature a digital instructor feedback instrument that will improve my instruction, AND to learn how to create a professional looking tutorial video, that will also improve my instruction.

For previous PIDP digital assignments, I relied on the Faculty Focus website for direction. 10 Tips for Creating Effective Instructional Videos is great resource, and I especially love the ‘bonus tip’ (Smedshammer, 2017).

While ‘surfing the net’ for more tips on making tutorial videos, I stumbled upon this DIY video on how to make a DIY video. Very entertaining and informative🍹 (Pull My Focus, 2017).

Stay tuned for my video 🐵 : I plan on ‘releasing’ it sometime this coming weekend!

References:

Pull My Focus. (2017, June 6). Make Your Videos Look Professional: 6 Editing Tips to Create Great How To Videos . YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haOe_yqciEc

Smedshammer, M. (2017, March 31). 10 Tips for Creating Effective Instructional Videos. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from
https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/10-tips-creating-effective-instructional-videos/

Walking the Talk

My previous post discusses the importance of lecturing creatively. Stephen Brookfield argues that lecturing can maximum student engagement. This can only happen if you know your subject well, and you are prepared. I just wrote a reflection based on a quote from Brookfield on instructors who ‘walk the talk’ (2015, p. 49). Brookfield suggests that instructors need to be authentic. If you’re an expert in your field and can easily convey this to learners, you are a walker and a talker! But what if your material is relatively new to you? Can you still appear like you’re authentic? What if you know your material but you’re nervous? Can you still ‘engage’ your crowd? Can you ‘fake it ‘til you make it’? This parody of a Ted Talk featuring comedian Will Stephen and created by Ted staffers is brilliant and inspiring! Enjoy!

 

References:

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher (3rded.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Stephen, W. (2015, January 15). How to Sound Smart in Your TEDx Talk . TEDx. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S0FDjFBj8o

 

Creative Lecturing

Lecturing Creatively

3260 Professional Practice Blog (Week 7): Brookfield, Chapter 6

In my line of work, lecturing is an important component of theory introduction. I can assign readings, have learners watch videos, enact demonstrations, and stimulate discussion, but ultimately I need to spend time describing content to my learners in the form of a lecture. This is not to say that a combination of the above cannot be combined with a good lecture. Stephen Brookfield (2015) writes that, “the challenge is to make our lectures as helpful, enlivening, and critically stimulating as possible” (p. 70): I want to add memorable to this list.

I recently taught a class for the first time on a topic that is critical to healthcare: Preventing Healthcare Associated Infections. I talked about the pathogens that can survive on hard surfaces in the dental office, and the importance of a proper sterile technique. Brookfield outlines the reasons for lecturing (2015) and unbeknownst to me at the time, I followed his directives:

– introduce material (aka: objective and goal of lecture)

– explain difficult or abstract concepts (pathogens are microscopic!)

– introduce alternative interpretations (acknowledge diverse learning styles)

– model intellectual attitudes and expectations (place value on the topic)

– encourage learners’ interest (keep them entertained!)

The entertainment portion of my lecture consisted of student volunteers blowing whistles every time I contaminated something (touched something that I wasn’t supposed to touch) in a mock operatory. I managed to stump the students once, and they also ‘blew the whistle’ on me numerous times. Brookfield argues that deconstructing what an instructor has previously communicated is key to understanding; I also hope my demonstration was memorable and engaging.

Brookfield states that “varying the communication styles and modalities you use in a lecture has long been argued as an essential component of good practice” (2015, p. 73). I agree. I came across this fantastic website on how to engage learners during PIDP 3250 (Instructional Strategies): Tecknologic – Learn. Try. Share. It is a fantastic resource with free downloads for many virtual games that can supplement a lecture. The latest download is a Power Point spinning wheel that can be customized. A vocabulary review is one suggestion, and it looks like fun! And, what a great way for learners to remember terminology! Brookfield’s final statement in Chapter 6 will encourage me to continue to incorporate a variety of elements into my future lectures, “Well-situated presentations can be crucial to students’ development as learners” (2015, p. 82).

References:

Brookfield, S. (2015). The Skillful Teacher (3rd ed.).  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

tecknologic. (2018, April 30). The Spinning Wheel 2018. technologic.wordpress.com. Retrieved from https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/the-spinning-wheel-2018/

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM Brookfield forgot to mention how much fun creative lecturing can be for the instructor 🙂

Recharge

 

No books were cracked this weekend; I went camping with my family. I brought my laptop and my textbooks, however, I simply chose to photograph my school supplies against a natural backdrop instead of doing coursework. I intended to write a brilliant reflection on being an authentic instructor, I needed to write an assigned blog post on lecturing creatively (stay tuned folks!), and I was supposed to be working on an ethics assignment with a classmate: NONE of this happened. I literally spend the weekend sitting around the campfire in my lawn chair. I barely moved more than a kilometre for 2 whole days! I should mention that I have limited Wi-Fi at camp, and I used what data I could afford learning how to make photo galleries on my blog!

I guess you could say that I recharged my batteries. I found an online article on the 27 ways that one can recharge themselves. I won’t mention all 27 but I did accomplish three items in the top 5!

  1. Do a tech detox: ✅
  2. Drink a little too much wine with your friends: ✅ ✅
  3. Get out in nature: ✅ ✅ ✅

This post marks the halfway point in the last course of my diploma. I feel refreshed and ready to ‘crack the books’ once more.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The photos in my gallery were all taken in Christina Lake, BC

A Mother’s Love

IMG_9769

I am going to use a prose that would indicate my first mom is still alive for two reasons: It will make this post more readable, and most important: she is alive and well in my heart. I can see her face and hear her voice and this is so comforting. I’ve posted previously on my adoption and reunion, but I’ve yet to set the record straight as to how much my first mom meant to me and the reasons why. I’m going to call her mom #1 simply because she is the first mom that I can recall, and I know that mom #2 will be okay with this because she is eternally grateful to my first mom for loving me and looking after me when she was not afforded the opportunity to do so. I wish they could have met. They are both so funny and beautiful, and they love life and love their children. I am so blessed.

I want to begin by saying that without a doubt, there is no one on earth, not even your spouse or your children, who love you as much as your mom. I am not minimizing the love of another family member, I am just stating that a mother’s love for her children is unsurpassed as an instinctual and absolute reflection of unconditional love.

Doreen was the was the last of six children in her family born in the small mining town of Haileybury, Ontario during the Great Depression. Her parents both died of tuberculosis when she was a child. Mom was raised by her sister, and left for the big city after high school to pursue a teaching certificate from Toronto Teachers’ College. She finished her career with a degree in Canadian History and an education degree (BA, BEd). Not bad for a girl from Northern Ontario! She spent most of her career teaching Grade Two. I’m talking about teaching six and seven year olds how to read, write, calculate numbers, zip up their own snow suits, tie their own shoes, be kind to others, etc., etc. She loved her students and her job, and she never came home stressed out. She’d be exhausted, but always had time to let my brother Mike and I know how much she loved us: THIS IS WHAT MOMS DO, AND SHE WAS REALLY, REALLY GOOD AT! Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease shortly after she retired from teaching, but as the above photo depicts, she never forgot how much she loved me. So, thank you mom #1 for loving me 🙂

Considering all that I’ve shared about a mother’s love, it should not have been a surprise to discover how much mom #2 loves me. Catherine loved me for decades, without knowing where I was, or knowing who I was. When I was reunited with her we bonded immediately; maybe it’s because I was missing my first mom so much but I don’t think so. I was very protective initially of the relationship that I had with Doreen, and I did not want anyone to replace her. Catherine did not replace her at all, she simply loved me in that unconditional and proud way that moms do. Thank you mom #2 for loving me.

I just hope that my children know how much I love them. It will be hard for them to fathom this until they have children of their own. This is when I truly discovered how much my moms love me.