Bridgette Fincher- Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership. 2006

Terms and Classes

Summer '05

Fall Term '05

 Winter Term '06

Spring/Summer Term '06

Action Research Project


Learning Experience One


Compose an original piece of music to the best of your ability (perhaps beyond your ability). Be reflective and make notes about the learning process. Share the music in our BlackBoard forum. The music should be ready for it's world premiere on September 19th.Use any resources available to you if you require assistance or inspiration. Share with your cadre mates throughout the process. Gary Steger

Inquiry method, here I am! Primary question: How the heck do I go about writing an original song using Notepad, a new technology, given the limited song writing skills that I have? Well,attack what I know how to do. Background information was activated as I pondered what I actually knew about writing songs and note progression. Although I have sung in a band for the last five years, I always did it by ear and lyrics, rather than following sheet music. This was followed by a scrounging of resources. I had a small little song ditty I used to sing to my kids way back when in my head so coming up with an original tune was taken care of.  I hopped onto Google and hit education /reading/ to pick off the positioning notes. Then, off to write the basic tune on paper. A, B, C, C,C look at the note, confirm and record it on lined paper after thinking about the length of the note and the cadence. Process:  Then, the scary part, downloading the Notepad yet that went well. Looked over the format and dinked around with the various parts and then got serious and popped up the Tutorial. Made closer approximations to what I needed to have happen in both quality of material,  layering, and had some serendipitous things happen with chord shifts that caused a sprightly kid's ditty to change into a Halloween discordance. Product Evaluation: Success...or at least I produced something that didn't make me cringe. I enjoyed this assignment in the end. It was unknown enough to offer a challenge but not so far out for me to tear my hair out.   BAF

                                              term1_05/learner_steger/steger/Ghoulish Notions.BAK

Icebreaker Activities and Comments

Learning and Forgetting-Sensitive Periods for Understanding 9/18

This has been really interesting to watch this strand develop. My first masters is in Early Childhood with a focus on Montessori training (AMI) Only three universities in the county offer a masters that combines modern learning theorists (Piaget, Vigotsky and others) with the teachings of dear old Maria. One of the major foundations is the belief that every student has a sensitive time period for learning particular subjects. They don’t all come at the same time nor are the same from child to child although often children do reach the points within a range. Our job as educators (not that the pubic school system helps in supporting this in any which way) is to plow the ground and have it ready to plant the seeds of growth and understanding when kids are ready. From my end, when I entered college, I had all these plans to become a vet. Took all the AP biological science in high school to get ready and was hit upside the head with the chemistry in college. I flat didn’t see how it all went together. The abstraction of it was beyond where I could conceptualize it. When I went back in my early thirties to take it again to get a science certification.. Hotdamn!... atoms and covalent bonds were my friends. Thus, even as adults, we have sensitive periods for understanding. 

Gary Stager 9/18 Bridgette, My personal learning story is replete with tales of abandoning goals due to arbitrary pre-requisites. I didn't study computer science because I was told I was no good at math, despite my ability to program about as well as anyone in my high school. I stopped studying composition and arranging because I didn't want to play (and be tested on) the trumpet. Chemistry class also dashed my hopes of becoming a chemist. I can't wait for you to dig into the 100 Languages of Children book later this term.

Icebreaker Articles 9/06Just a couple of thought about technological communities being the same as joining the Rotarians or a book club. The first presupposes being able to work well in the abstract and a degree of verbal acuity to function within the written milieu. Secondly, an issue of access. Using this type of technology is far from accessible to all. Being able to choose it as a venue for community building comes with lots of entry qualifications: knowledge, skills, materials down to -darn it- a working wireless system that doesn't fry with the minute ebb and flow of electrical power. The weeding process is pretty stringent even before a person could even consider joining such a group. Finally, for me, getting a handle on the person in real time and space makes the person real. I know their body language, sense the humor in the way their eyes twinkle or even something so primitive of the smell of cologne as they walk by helps trigger a full sense of "them-ness". It is the combination of cerebral with the corporal that that brings a wholeness to each person and, by extension, to the community being built. Both types build a community, it is just that what that community constitutes, is different.       

Extreme Ideas:9/06 You know, your comments reminded me of something an Australian author, John Marsden said about the nature of boundaries and the need for limits. "Imagine you have a herd of people who are to go across the Golden Gate Bridge. Imagine that there are no side, no guard rails...just an expanse of open. What do people do? They bunch up in the middle, creeping along...scared. However, if you put up the guard rails, what happens? People trot across and more than a hearty few go right to the edge and look over to see what is there. It is all a matter of boundaries." That has stuck with me quite a bit. What I would like to do with my kids, is to allow for them to walk in the upper struts if they can...maybe with a harness but free to the winds and risk.  



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