Attributes of a good teacher

I feel that the most important attributes of a good teacher is one that can provide students with a safe learning environment so that students feel that they are able to express themselves  and that their opinions are valued. Students then feel welcomed and safe to begin their learning. Enthusiastic and caring instructors help students to keep focused during class and approachable at any time. Also, instructors that are organized and clear about expectations seem to be respected more by their students as everyone’s time is valuable.

Here’s a great article on nine characteristics of a great teacher. It sure would be great to have all of these nine characteristics.


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Week 2- 3260

I just finished reading Chapter 1 Experiencing Teaching of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher”. I found it very easy to read and couldn’t believe that the chapter was already over. I especially liked how Brookfield explained how he took away the performance-anxiety barriers for his students to encourage participation in discussion. By letting his learners know that he also feels nervous participating in discussions and do not feel you need to speak in order to gain his approval and that there will no presumption of failure if you say nothing at all. It appears it worked wonderfully. I enjoyed his metaphor “teaching as white water rafting” (p, 5). He refers to this because there are periods of calm that are interspersed with sudden turbulence. I think that we all have days we just want to quit, but we don’t. The rewarding experience of teaching outweighs these sorts of days.

The next important point in Chapter 1 was how to get teachers to learn from their experiences. Brookfield suggests that “simply having experiences does not imply that they are reflected on, understood, or analyzed critically” (2015, p.12). Instructors should be sharing their own experiences with each other, helping each other to take a critical perspective, reflecting on this and then putting this to action.

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Week 1 – 3260

A little bit about me. My name is Janice and I’ve been a Certified Dental Assistant for over 30 years and have always enjoyed my work, but decided to consider other options. I’m now a Dental Assistant Instructor @ CDI College and have been for the past 2 1/2 years. I have found this to be a very rewarding career change. I first started instructing as a part-time Clinical Assistant and have worked my way into a full-time instructing both clinic and theory. I enrolled into the PIDP course in Jan 2016 and have successfully completed 6 courses already. I’m presently enrolled in my last PIDP course 3260- Professional Practice and I should be finished this course sometime in early November. I’m planning on starting my Capstone Project early in 2017 and hope to have it all completed a few months later.

It’s all very exciting!

I’m so glad that I created this blog in PIDP 3250 – Instructional Strategies and now I’m able to adapt it to meet the criteria for PIDP 3260. I’ve had to change and update a few things, but that’s much easier than starting all over. I’m happy with the outcome of it and plan on using it throughout my learning journey through PIDP 3260 – Professional Practice.

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Last weekend I finished my PIDP-3220 Deliver of Instruction course with Bob Aitken. It was an awesome course and Bob was fantastic. It was a small class offered right here in Victoria at Camosun College for two non-consecutive weekends. We had to plan three mini-lessons, deliver them and provide feedback on ours and others. I had been waiting for this course to be offered in Victoria because it’s the only course that has to be done face-to-face in the classroom. I totally enjoyed these weekends and my learning journey continues.

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Web 2.0 Tools

I had no idea what Web 2.0 Tools were until taking this course. When researching this, I found so many. Here’s a list of a few from the discussion forum including a brief summary.

Jing– Jing is a great tool for capturing a picture or making a short video of what you see on your computer monitor. It’s great for creating video tutorials and up to 5 mins is free. I used Jing in my PIDP 3230 course for creating a video on a classroom assessment technique (CAT) and I highly suggest trying it out.

WordPressWordPress is a blogging platform and content management system. It has a variety of templates and hundreds of features to choose from when creating a blog. I created my first blog in my PIDP 3250 course and I totally recommend using WordPress. It has lots of tutorials available to answer any questions on how to create the blog of your choice. I found these tutorials great.

WizIQ– WizIQ empowers instructors to deliver and manage live and self-paced learning. It is a cloud-based learning delivery platform with integrated features such as: virtual classroom, course management, content authoring, video streaming, tests and assessments, insights and analytics and mobile learning. It is suitable for online learning and provides the student to attend live classes directly from their iPhone, iPad or Android device. It can easily be integrated with Moodle, WordPress to name just a few.

Tubechop– have you ever found yourself viewing a YOUTUBE video and in doing so you find the perfect few moments but don’t want to input the entire video. This program is posted as free and it allows you to cut YOUTUBE videos and share only the section that interests you in three easy steps.

Educreations– A great app to make digital lectures with an iPad.  You can record your voice and ipad screen to produce video lectures for students to learn at their own pace.

SlideShareSlideShare is a presentation tool to upload your powerpoint, keynote slides, infographics, documents and share them with your students or colleagues. It lets you share your presentations anytime, anywhere and with anyone you want. It’s simple and accessible and an alternative to using LMS (Learning Management System).

PreziPrezi is an alternative presentation creator to PowerPoint. Created presentations can also be shared with other educators and students.

Online StopwatchThis is a very simple but useful tool for timed tests or exams.  As the name implies, it’s a simple website that acts as a big stop watch (count up or count down).  It’s easy to use and allows all students to see how much time is left.

QuizletCheck out Quizlet for creating flash cards to help your students learn and study. Works on mobile platform so you can study on the go.

Survey Monkey– You can make a survey that asked questions on aspects of your teaching or just how the students feel about how the course is going. You would then email it to them or post it on the class message board. They could answer it when they found time and you could get some good feedback as to how everything is going.

YouTube– YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.

LinkedIn– LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 450 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet.

Zotero: Zotero is a powerful, easy-to-use research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources and then share the results of your research.

StumbleUpon– StumbleUpon is the easiest way to discover new and interesting web pages, photos and videos across the Web.

Skype– Skype is an application that provides video chat and voice call services. Users may exchange such digital documents as images, text, video and any others, and may transmit both text and video messages. Skype allows the creation of video conference calls. Skype is available for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, or Linux, as well as Android, Blackberry, and both Apple and Windows smartphones and tablets.

Powtoons Animations– Create animated videos for free. Engage, explain and sell with impact using just a short, simple PowToon. They’re proven to be more effective than any other form of video or text communications to grab attention in the workplace. I recently completed my first powtoons presentation which you can see in the page PIDP-3250. This was a fun presentation to create.

Apache OpenOffice– Apache OpenOffice is a free download that replaces Microsoft Office Tools. It’s a multilingual office suite and an open-source project that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and a drawing program. Try it out, it’s free.

UmmoPublic speaking is a necessary part of speaking, but it doesn’t come easily for everyone. Ummo is an app that analyzes your speech and provides coaching.













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Week 8- 3240

Well, it’s the final week of my PIDP 3240 Media Enhanced Learning course. Assignment #4 is due this week and this blog is my submitted assignment. It’s been another great course learning so much about technology. My learning journey will continue on.

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Barefoot Classroom-A Master Skill Instructor/learner-Learning from a Barefoot movement

The Barefoot College is an amazing college with an amazing concept. Here’s a great video explaining “Learning from a barefoot movement”.

I really enjoyed this video. The fact that his life had been all planned for him, but he wanted to go and live and work and see what a village was like. His thought of starting a Barefoot College, a college only for the poor and what the poor thought was important would be reflected in this college. You have to work with your hands to come to this college and show that you have a skill that you can offer to the community.

I think this is great, he has achieved something very phenomenal in India. A community learning from each other and giving back to the community at the same time.

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Blog Assignment

The question came up in a discussion forum about how we felt doing a blog for an assignment.

I had to create  my blog for my last PIDP online course 3250 and it was set up the same way. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and frustrated the heck out of me. I had no idea of where to even begin. We were given some website suggestions and a rubric as to the required expectations. I did a lot of research and listened to multiple tutorials before I actually started. I had a vision of how I wanted my blog to look, but it started out looking very different so I started over. It took me hours and hours to create because I had to google everything as I went. It all seemed like a foreign language to me. When I finally finished, I was so proud of myself for my accomplishment, then I had to start using it. The benefits to creating and using a blog are phenomenal. I learned so much and if I ever decide to create another blog it will be so easy. Sometimes we just need that little shove to push us out of our comfort zone and to challenge ourselves to learn new things. I have become a self-regulated learner.

I found this article on the Educational Benefits of Blogging. It explains the benefits of blogging by promoting critical and analytical thinking and promotes social interaction. All of these skills are important for us and our learners.

Have you become a self-regulated learner?


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PowerPoint vs. Prezi

This discussion forum comparing Power Point to Prezi was really interesting.

Here’s a video that compares the two instructional methods, Prezi vs. PowerPoint.

I’ve never used Prezi before, but I’m always looking for more ways to deliver content, rather than death by power point. I found that first video that compared power point to prezi really informative. It still seems that power point is the winner with not having to be concerned about the wifi or internet connections and having way more options for creating your power point content. Delivering content using Prezi would definitely be more engaging for the students and possibly a combination of both would be needed.

I found this great video that shows how to create your power point presentation to look more like Prezi.

It’s kind of a great idea to consider when setting up your slides. I usually only transition my slides in one direction or fade them out, but this video has me considering more options when creating and transitioning my slides. Making power point slides look more like Prezi while keeping all of your content on power point is a great new look for power point.

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Dictators & Mobiles

The ongoing question of cell phone usage in the classroom, “Are you a dictator?”

Cell phones are an ongoing problem. The dictator approach is one that I do not think you will ever win. As we all instruct adults, I don’t see why this is always such a controversial topic? If our adult students were aware of cellphone etiquette, no problems would exist….would they? I have to admit that I HAVE to be a cell phone dictator in the lab/ clinic setting (due to safety & asepsis). Students are well informed of this policy & generally are very abiding. However, there are usually 1 or 2 students that try to sneak it by me. I make it known that I’m aware of what they’re doing & politely ask them to put it away.  In the past 2 1/2 years of instructing I’ve only had to take 1 phone away. When I’m instructing in the classroom setting most students are respectful.

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