Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wk 4 Publishing/Presentation Post

I will be submitting my CBR project for publishing.  Links are noted below…

Chuck’s response to Marc Hunt

MAC: Week #4 - Reaction to Reading

This book for this course in previous weeks was a real quick read however, this week it seemed a bit drawn out with the examples the author used. I agree with him that they were necessary but I found myself hoping the concert with the young students would come and also end.

On a positive note, I thought the idea of avoiding the "downward spiral" by the use of enrollment was really quite good and also relatable. My job depends on how many students want to take the video/sound production course so this chapter gave me a sense of urgency for sure. I try to find the spark in the students and also those who come by to either shadow the class or even just drop in for a visit. I also try to look back at what my curriculum map has and be sure to update that each year in order to keep current with industry trends and also try to point those trends into the students interests. I can see how easy it is for people, teachers, and students can get into that downward spiral by saying no and not having a solution or even asking for a solution like the author did when he asked for the two quarters.

The other take away from the reading I had was "becoming the board." This was very interesting. Imagine how many of us could take some stress out of projects and life if we take ourselves out of the equations and figure out what the "player" was looking for. Cool idea and way of thinking. First I was a bit confused and list but when the conversation between yourself on how to get your boss to hear the ideas you have then made sense. For educators I am sure we are told too many times "no" on certain classroom ideas, but, if we find a way to bring up those ideas where we can show how it relates to the current school agenda or even state's changing standards then those conversation might actually gain more approvals.

Charles T. Chojnacki said...
I find your comments on the “downward spiral” to be right on. The more people you can get people to buy into your project or goals the more able you will be able to succeed. All to often people say no or don’t do what is required because it is something new. When you have a problem the best way to get it solved is to have people buy into what the solution may be.

Chuck’s response to Rosetta Cash

Monday, November 14, 2011

MAC Week 4-BP1: Art of Possibility Chpts. 9-12

Zander and Zander stated, “Certain things are better done in person.” I love this line! I agree with its premise. There are times when a face-to-face is the best method to convey your true sentiment. “Enrollment,” that spark of possibility that you generate with your passion and being in the present. I am a firm believer in never being afraid to ask for what you want. The “worst” response you can get is a “no” but there is always that possibility of getting a “yes.” I know that this is the age of technology and that we have email, Skype, iChat, a variety of ways to communicate. But the turning point can be achieved in the way you present yourself in person. This can persuade and get a person to agree to do something that they had not even considered until you raised the point. A “no” may be an invitation to enrollment if new possibilities can be introduced that will spark a different way of doing things. Zander asking for the two quarters when they did not have change for the $10 bill.  Turned the “no” into a “yes.”

Cover: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional 
and Personal Life by Zander & Zander 2000.
Zander and Zander also stated, “…the practice of enrollment is about giving yourself as a possibility to others and being ready, in turn, to catch their spark.” I really like this quote as well.
On a trip to New Jersey for a conference we checked into the hotel in the late afternoon. The hotel manager checked me into the hotel. He was visibly a bit irritated and a little weary. I chatted with him, got him to smile, and eventually laugh. I thanked him for his very courteous service and how welcoming he had been. The next morning in the hotel restaurant I was seated at the table about five of my friends, one of whom was short on funds so he was only having coffee. Well, the manager stopped by the table and greeted us. I smiled and asked why he was still working since he worked so late the evening before. He smiled and said he wanted to make sure our group was well taken care of before he went home. (He had been on duty all night.) I thanked him for his consideration. He then asked if there was anything he could do for me and I jokingly responded, “You can buy breakfast.” Much to our surprise, he smiled called our waitress over and told her that there would be no bill for our table. We all thanked him for his generosity. My friend who only had coffee was overjoyed and got to eat a full meal.

The story of “Anthony” the ten-year old who energetically conducted the orchestra bought tears to my eyes. I love it when we can give our children the opportunity to operate outside of the boxes in which society has placed them. They quite often exceed even their own the expectations if given positive encouragement.

The concept of “being the board” was interesting in that you can change your circumstances by changing your perspective and the way you handle the situation. Not taking the blame or assigning blame to someone else but looking within to change yourself and how you view things. Developing the “vision” that opens up the “sparks for possibilities” results in creating the environments that generate certain conversations. And of course relinquishing the “I” mentality and incorporating the “WE” mentality that looks at what is best for the whole and not just the individual. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Week 4 blog post on The Art of Possibility

Chapter 9, Lighting a Spark was an interesting read, it discussed the possibility of generating a spark in someone else.  It may be to do something you want them to do, or it may be something that they should do.  In any event, it is the art of planting a seed, of lighting the first candle; of taking and having others take with you the first step.  A “no” may be a “no” but it should never extinguish your spark.  If someone does not want to participate with what you want him or her to do, you need to go onto the next.  

Chapter 10 dealt with “Being the Board”.  This chapter was somewhat confusing to me.  I understand the concept of wanting to take control over your life, but I found it confusing.  I will read it again and hopefully it will mean more to me.

Creating Frameworks for Possibility that is chapter 11 discusses great people who had a vision of the future and was willing to put all at risk.  People who are not willing to accept anything other then the best from themselves and the world.  They inspire people with passion instead of moving them with fear.  I found the story of the little girl and the teacher to be inspiring.  That teacher was not willing to let the little girl get harmed because of her lack of hair, so she changed the whole story in one night.

Telling the “We” story (chapter 12) is a great read, it discusses changing the story from me or I to us or we.  I may be the leader of the group, but we all share in the good and the bad.  All too often people spend their time trying to make themselves look good, stepping on people to get ahead.  People need to understand that if they bring everyone up, everyone moves up.  I had a boss 25 years ago, who inspired people to be the best they could be by using this type of thinking.  He was a master and a great man.  I recently spoke with him and it was great.  To this day, if I had a chance to work with him again, I would move to Los Angeles to work by his side.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ChojnackiChuckPubPresent Project doc.

Using Technology to Increase Productivity at the Work Place
Charles T. Chojnacki

Technology is changing at such a fast pace that things that are brand new today will be outdated tomorrow.  How can technology be used to educate those who should be using it, but do not?  I have spent the last year trying to increase the efficiency of the department I work in through technology.  This document will attempt to convey the efforts, triumphs, and failures of this work. 

I work for a small hospital located in Kenmore, New York.  The department in question has one department head with four supervisors.  Each supervisor has their own responsibilities all of which, while using the technology that is already available, would save time and money for the hospital while making the workday easier.  All the supervisors have various levels of computer knowledge from having a good idea on how to use Excel and to make spreadsheets to typing with two fingers and not knowing how to turn the computer on. 

My first challenge was to introduce some basic Excel documents that could immediately be used by all and show how they can make life easier.  The first document created was a log used for the supervisors to communicate.  Prior to this the department used a spiral notebook and hand wrote the entries.  This was a challenge due to poor penmanship.  With little effort I was able to get all to start using the Excel document.  This was followed up with a chronological record for each associate to keep tract of the highs and lows that we all have.  This document became popular not only with my department but with the Human Resource Department as well.  It was easy to read and could be printed in a moment’s notice.

During this initial stage, I asked each supervisor what type of reporting he or she was responsible for.  I found some common elements that all were responsible for and went to the department head to make some suggestions as to how we could increase efficiencies.  The department head gave me a limited amount of time each week in order to start my program.  Each supervisor was met with and my plan of action was put into place. 

We started with meeting as a group one hour a week, with follow up on an individual basis.   It was during this time that I introduced the basics of Excel.  The various supervisors all had some accounting function that was required.  One had to breakdown the various types of sales in the CafĂ©.  They had sales for staff, clergy, volunteers, and visitors.  The cash register gave a breakdown of each sale but he was responsible for giving that information on a by-weekly and monthly basis.  We immediately developed a spreadsheet that he could complete on a daily basis to keep a running total of each type of sale.  This document alone cut a minimum of one to two hours a week.

The literature review process taught me about some of the barriers to technology in education that include insufficient internet access, outdated equipment, as well as inadequately trained instructors.  All of the above hinder the use of technology.  Advantages and disadvantages to e-learning was also discussed, as well as the use of games in education.

The methodology used for this capstone project was mirrored after the ADDIE Model used by instructional designers.  The initial phase was the analysis phase.  During this part of the project I observed the various supervisors doing their regular work and asked questions as to what they were doing, when the work was due, and where they obtained their information.  We went over the various reports, and discovered that much of the information could be centralized and distributed to the correct person.  This fact alone caused the department to increase its efficiency alone.

The design phase of this project included the development of one central location for information to be stored that could be transferred to each supervisor for use.  Weekly meetings were established to allow for constant feedback from the users in regard to what information was required.  This identification of specific needs became crucial as we continued the process.
The development phase included detailed plans on what was to be taught and when.  As each supervisor had different needs, as far as computer training and the information they were responsible for, this was a fluid plan that changed as we went along. 

During the implementation phase we all discussed our goals and projected outcomes for the project.  The department head expected a certain amount of improvement in the department to allow us to meet on a regular basis.  The supervisors who were already challenged for time were looking for immediate results in order to keep their attention.  And I was required to not only develop the coursework but to also keep up with my daily requirements as a supervisor. 

Evaluation of the project was done on a constant basis.  Summative evaluation happened on a weekly basis as a short quiz was given to the staff or they were expected to demonstrate the knowledge they had learned.  The ultimate feedback was when the students started to develop their own spreadsheets that made life easier for them. 

The result of the project was that the department did increase their knowledge of Excel.  Each individual supervisor will be discussed in detail.  The department head became involved as a student to increase her knowledge and use of Excel and the computer overall.  She started to look at the old way information was presented to her versus the new way and she liked what she saw.  Almost immediately she started to ask if I could design spreadsheets for her.  I was more than happy to do so, but I requested that she first start with the end in mind and we could design the sheet backwards.  I instructed all to view various You Tube video’s, as well as Woopid Tutorials to help with the process.  The biggest problem I have with the various tutorials available is most people know what they want the sheet to do, but they don’t know what it is called.  This can be frustrating.  The department head is a woman in her mid 50s and has been in her field most of her adult life.

The next supervisor is a woman in her mid 40s.  She has the most computer knowledge of all the supervisors with the exception of me.  While she has been integrated into using the various forms that all the supervisors use, she is reluctant to change from her old ways.  This may be due to the fact that she and I have a personality conflict that we cannot get over.   Her largest responsibilities include purchasing, payroll, and making the production sheets.  The production sheets are sheets that come out each week with instructions for the various associates to do.  My feeling is they should be made once and cut and pasted to provide this week’s sheets.  Some of the information would have to be changed on a weekly basis but I feel that once the “master” sheet is done it would be easier.  Due to the complexity of payroll and the current computer system used by Catholic Health, the only type of sheet I think could be developed to make the process easier is a sheet that would calculate the “manual” part of payroll.  For example, if I call an employee into work on short notice they get a certain amount of “extra” pay.  This can be from $3.00 per hour to $6.00 per hour, depending on the shift.  I feel I can develop a sheet for this but have not had an opportunity to try because I cannot convince the department head that it would make life easier.  I also do not know all of the fine details of payroll at this time.  This individual presents me with my toughest challenge.  Again, she has the most knowledge in regard to computers but due to personal issues between us, she will not use what I was trying to teach.  Perhaps if I was a paid consultant for the hospital she would.

The third supervisor is a man who is in his late 40s.  He is my two-finger typist and my greatest accomplishment for this project.  He is still typing with two-fingers but his speed has increased.  He is responsible for turning the financial information over to the department head.  As I mentioned earlier, he saved a substantial amount of time after we started using Excel.  Prior, he would go over each cash register tape once a week and keep a log of the various numbers.  The largest problem with this is that it is usually done at the end of the night and his handwriting is less than good.  He can type the numbers into Excel, this helps to insure accuracy and it can be read by anyone at any time.  Also, this action can be done each day, adding a few minutes additional to his job, but cuts down on the amount of time spent each week. 
He has since learned how to do simple calculations on his spreadsheets and he has even developed a spreadsheet to use for other information.  We discussed a sheet that he could use for the development of the schedule.  We are a union hospital and he is required to give the associates the correct amount of hours each week.  If they are short it can be a problem or if they are over it can also be a problem. We went into “Google Docs” and found a spreadsheet that was developed for a schedule.  With some work we were able to get the document to do what we needed it to do and we changed the names.  This document is now being used for the initial stages of the associate schedule.  It is not uncommon for me to arrive at work and check my e-mail to have an attachment and a question from this supervisor as he was trying to create a document. 

The fourth supervisor is a man in his mid 40s.  He is part time and works five days every two weeks.  Computers and Excel are not new to him and he has been a help in this process. 

Towards the end of this process, other supervisors from other departments became involved.  They had heard what we were doing and wanted to increase their knowledge.  It is a great compliment to have other departments sending people to the class.  It is my ultimate goal to obtain employment in corporate training and I believe this may help with this goal. 

At the end result of this exercise we were able to increase efficiencies in the department by utilizing the technology that was already available.  Microsoft Office is installed on every computer in the hospital.  I have developed a number of instructional videos for some of the forms I have created for the department.  Each supervisor has been given the links to use if they have a question and I am not available.  As the process will be ongoing, as long as I am employed at the hospital, I feel that the group as a whole will continue to grow.  Some of the supervisors have started to first look on line for solutions to their questions while others will wait for me to answer questions.  It is not uncommon for me to be paged over the system to go to another department to answer questions or to help out. 

The largest hurdle to overcome was trying to motivate the individual supervisors to learn something new.  Two out of the four people involved were open to learning new things as it directly related to their employment.  One of the supervisors was reluctant to learn new programs and this may have been based on a personal situation between her and I.  The third supervisor is open to learning what he can about the hospital.  Three out of the four people involved are looking at new ways to use the knowledge. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Publishing/Presentation Project Think-Out Loud Part 2 Post

After much thought, it appears I will be taking the route of trying to get my work published.  I am not 100% positive at this time but I believe I have more opportunity as a Corporate Trainer to have a paper published then presenting at a conference.  I am still researching this.

I also feel that it would be better on a resume to say

Published the article “Teaching Teachers Technology” in the Teaching Teachers Technology Journal December 2011”

Then to say…”Featured presenter at Teaching Teachers Technology Word Symposium”

I don’t fully have it all worked out yet.  I will be finalizing my plans in the next two days and who knows…

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 3 Response to Lara's Post

Friday, November 11, 2011

MAC blog post #10- The Art of Possibility

I found the chapter on "The Way Things Are" to resonate with me. I pride myself on being a very creative, "out-of-the-box" thinker who can find new solutions for many of life's challenges and obstacles. I am also very determined and persistent about getting what I want. These qualities create a variety of effects; I often (but do not always) get what I want. When I don't get what I want I react in 1 of 3 ways; I find a new angle as a means to that end and try again, or I find a replacement goal and pursue that, or very rarely, I become angry and spiral into a black hole of loss of control. Being so adept at "controlling" my world also can have its backlashes; I have a tendency to WAY over-think things and second-guess myself into paralysis. Drives my mother crazy. I create too many options for myself which results in a condition I like to call FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). This is a Rule #6 moment; I am lol-ing at myself here... So I would say I have some difficulty with the practice of being with "The Way Things Are" (frequent yoga notwithstanding). Although the one exception to this for me is when it comes to other people and relationships in my life; I do not attempt to control people, I do not hold grudges, I do not often allow myself to be hurt by other peoples actions. This is another Rule #6 moment; people do not think about you nearly as often as you think they do, so don't imagine that their actions have anything to do with you.
However the sum of these parts may actually be aligned with the practice of "The Way Things Are". The result is that I consider myself to be in complete ownership of all of my choices; that I have been lucky enough to have made every choice and had all of the control, which has landed me exactly where I am today. And I am not built for regret.