Thinking Technology

Monthly Archives : April, 2012

Marching Into May

Doctoral Studies

It is only fitting that the worse class I have ever taken  in my academic career should end just as sub-par. I got an A-. I know a lot of people would be satisfied with an A-.  My issue with the final grade is how it must have been selected at random with no true foundation. Nothing in the class was graded, I never got any feedback on anything I did. I was one of the only people to do the work in the discussion boards. If I truly earned an A-, I can live with that. But it sucks to have a grade selected random.

I have come to understand the  “less structured” ways of doctoral studies. This is the second instructor I’ve had that has been pretty free form, but the first instructor had specific assignments for us to do and provided actual feedback and discussion.

I won’t say I walked away with nothing, but I can’t identify what I gained from 15 weeks of suffering.  I haven’t decided what to do. Nothing is the most likely course of action. I could call the instructor out, not sure what that will yield….. We shall see.

I’m really looking forward to my next series of classes. They are all directed study and core to my Community College Leadership Program. I’m hoping to walk away with significant insight. I’m also plotting my last 10 classes. 5 are laid out, The remaining 5 will take some work to plan out. That doesn’t include the intro stats class I plan to take at PCC. I need to sharpen my skillz or the quantitative  research class will  destroy me.

My dissertation study will most likely be a quantitative study, so I need to be on top of things.

American Association of Community Colleges Conference

I left for the conference on April 21st and got back on April 24th. I was back in the classroom on April 25th. Talk about beat. A little jet lag and being on a different time zone didn’t help. The conference was enlightening, motivating and terrifying all in the same breath.

Enlightening – I met a lot of interesting people. I sat through several presentations. The topics included leadership, distance learning, women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) fields, and people of color in education. There was so much information. I’m in the process of working on the recap of the trip. I took a lot of notes. I may contact some presenters for more information and track down the original presentations.

Terrifying – There was so information to had, so many people I didn’t talk to. While learning that there will be plenty of opportunities in the future for me to ascend to leadership, I also learned how much I need to accomplish to be ready. I learned how much I don’t know.

And finally…..

Motivating – The motivation aspect comes from figuring out what I need to know and picking a path to come by those skills and abilities. My focus will remain the completion of my EdD. However, beyond that I know I will need to look at leadership training and seminars, both internal and external to PCC. I will need to look for opportunities to lead and manage. Things I have already considered.

It also heightened my awareness of how I can help all students be successful, but also students of color.  My experiences and direction can be a positive influence on others. And it should be shared.

Teaching

Spring term is very quite, very laid back in comparison to Fall and Winter.  April was a very busy month for teaching/admin work & finishing up my class. So needless to say, I’m waaaaaay behind on grading. Made some strides. I knew if I didn’t grade every day, I’d end up behind.

My admin work list is still pretty long, I’m teaching 287M Microsoft Security and there’s a major issue with the book. It’s out of stock and Unavailable. No word on a new edition or reprints. I need to get that book squared away soon.

As a full time instructor I’m also responsible for helping with the dept.’s assessment of classes. For this round I’ll be working with 140M. That takes a fair amount of time and effort.

I’m sure I’m missing something on the teaching side.

 

Quick Update

Doctoral Studies

One assignment/presentation away from putting the Intro Research class behind me. It’s been the longest 15 weeks – EVA! The last assignment is a prospectus and presentation. I have to give the presentation in class. However, that nothing major. The biggest road block is putting the finishing touches on the paper. Converting it to a PowerPoint is a non-issue. I do that all the time. There is a two week break before my next class starts. Looking forward to that. The next class is directed study (one on one with the instructor). Cyn has had this instructor before and has really enjoyed directed study with this instructor. That will be a nice change.  And the topic is Community Colleges, my focus.

Overall, my topic remains distance learning in higher education. My research into the topic has been very interesting. I’ve read several studies which combine tons of other research into a single spot. Helps get a very good grasp on the topic.

Teaching – Spring Term

I must grade every day for at least an hour or it’s gonna get silly fast. Overall the term is off to a great start, online classes are pretty quite & I’m somewhat on top of things. I think most of my students have been in a previous class of mine or a class in a similar format and so they know what to expect.

I am behind on lab proofing, I’ll have to hit it pretty hard next week as I won’t have any doctorate class stuff hanging over my head. Next week is already week 3!

Administrative work

One of the things that comes with teaching full time is administrative work. I have a few admin type things on my plate right now. Writing the course assessment for our CIS140M class. It’s part of the college’s accreditation process. I’m sure I’m missing something…..

American Association of Community College Conference  – AACC

The last thing on the radar for April is The AACC Conference in Orlando, FL. I’ll be attending with a few people from PCC. Mostly administrative types, like the president of PCC. Feeling a bit outclassed. But I’m sure I’ll get over that quick like, I hope!

It’ll be a very nice break from everything and should expose me to community colleges on a national stage.