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.

Week 3 respons to Rosetta's post

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MAC Week 3-BP1: Art of Possibility 5-8

A good leader takes advantage of the expertise of the people whom he /she is leading. The information Zander & Zander wrote in these chapters reminds me of a piece of ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) literature, “The Instructions of Ptah Hotep” that speaks to the very concepts they relay. Ptah Hotep stated, “No one is born wise…. Don’t be proud of your knowledge, Consult the ignorant and the wise; The limits of art are not reached, No artist’s skills are perfect; Good speech is as rare as precious stones, Yet may be found among the girls who grind the grain.” Wisdom does not know status and there are times when we must deflate our egos to make room for knowledge. I thought the “White Sheets” was an excellent move to help get those you lead to know that their opinions matter and that they can contribute even more to make sure the overall project is successful. Allowing others to take the leadership role on occasion also works to increase moral and job satisfaction. It's another way to acknowledge their expertise.

I love “Rule Number 6.” It has been my experience that people not being able to keep their egos in check have caused viable organizations, groups, teams, etc., to go down in flames. Sometimes we tend to get overly dramatic and make things catastrophic when all we really have to do is take a deep breath and watch things work themselves out.

The phrase that got my attention in chapter 7, “…being present without resistance; being present to what is happening and present to your reactions, no matter how intense. “ I think this is the most difficult for many of us to incorporate. We have been programed to conceal emotion, not to let our feeling show, but what we have really done is hide /bury them deep to the extent that we forget that it’s alright to have these feelings and reactions. I think this flows directly into ”giving way to passion” as it speaks to one being able to allow oneself to go for it, to follow that path that will allow us to contribute something of substance to the world. 


Charles T. Chojnacki said...
Rosetta, I must say, I find the way you are able to tie in other knowledge to the readings to be inspirational. I find it interesting that the truly great man knows he is limited. He is humble and thus respects the fact that greatness can be found in any walk of life. “Wisdom does not know status and there are times when we must deflate our egos to make room for knowledge.” Should be taught to ever child and adult as there is always someone with a different perspective and even a “great” man can make mistakes. I enjoy reading your blog!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 3 reading Post

Once again, I am finding this book to be both timely and inspirational.  As I read the chapters I try to think how this applies to my life and me.  The chapter “Any Chair” discusses how you can lead the way no matter what position you hold. 

Last Sunday my son played in the All Star soccer game.  He was the only one from his school who got to try out.  As a high school soccer player he had never even won a game.  (His school is only a few years old so they have not yet developed a team.  Many of the players never played before) 

Many of the players on his team were known to each other.  During the game my son played center defense.  He was the only kid on the team taking control of the game and giving verbal instructions and yelling “MAN ON MAN ON.”  My point is, he led from any chair.  His team scored one goal, which gave my son, as his last high school game, a win. 

I think sometimes I take rule # 6 too seriously.  Or maybe not enough…???  I tend to try to make light of many things.  I am not above acting a certain way if it brings a smile to someone.  But on the other hand, I tend to let things build up and build up to a point where I burst because of the problem.  I need to work on this one…

Chapter No. 7 talks about the way things are.  I feel you should always try to improve the conditions in your life.  But I also realize that I do not have all of the information nor do I have all of the say in many situations.  What better way to avoid stress then to accept things they way they are. 

Chapter No. 8 deals with passion.  Giving way to passion is one of the best ways to loose yourself.  Passion for a lover, a child, a job or even a game can take over your world and make you forget everything.  Passion is everything!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 2 Think Out Loud Post-Publication or Presentation

I have always tried to convey my messages in writing.  I have been told that I am a good writer as long as I have someone to check my grammar etc.  While getting my Bachelors degree in Business I took a creative writing class.  The instructor encouraged me to take out a novel I started some twenty years ago.  After she read some it she told me it reminded her of the movie “Rosemary’s Baby”.  I took this as a compliment.

I believe I will be going for a presentation to reflect the work I have done at Full Sail University.  The information and knowledge I have gained this past year will serve me well in this endeavor.  Getting up and speaking at a conference would surely get me out of any shell I may still have. 

I am looking at the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education conference held in Denver Co, June 26 to June 29, 2012

Week 2 Comments on Michelle Brillouet Reading Reflection

Wk 2 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 1-4

The Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) has so far been a very inspirational book. The first chapter asks us to look at our selves and our perspectives. One part was about the two shoe salesman. How one saw a business opportunity and the other didn’t, when on a trip to Africa. I’m sure we can all relate to that. This reminded me of something my Reiki teacher spoke about. Think of a time when you were listening to someone talk or moan about an issue they have and in an effort to turn their thinking around we start the sentence with “no but.” This in itself just goes to reinforce the polarity of the situation. The words we choose can seem so meaningless yet can shape our whole world. In times when I may not agree I try my best to say nothing, even if the person I’m speaking with is fishing for more. A great quote that I try to live by is:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

I find this quote extremely powerful, since far to often we say things like “I am angry” and so be it, angry you are, as opposed to just having a feeling of anger in that moment. Once we can see past the anger, frustration and pain and see how beautiful life is. How everything we have been through, the good, the bad, the ugly, has led us to this very moment in time. Here and now, and how magical is that. We could not be here, a simple twist of fate and poof all change. That it is about being thankful for the challenges as well as the blessings in our lives. Also reflecting on the impact we have had on other’s lives. One of the most memorable moments in my education career was when one of my co-workers, who used to be a student, was telling me about their studies at University. I was really happy to hear that she was doing so well. She responded that she was just following me, doing what I did. I was completely taken a back. I had never thought about it that way. Since then I have been mindful of the impact I have and we have on each other. We are all co-creators in this beautiful musical score of life.

Charles T. Chojnacki said...
Michelle, I enjoyed your reflection on this weeks reading. I feel strongly that you become what you think and try hard to keep the right thoughts in my own head. I once read a book that told me that if I was having a horrible day to walk like I was having a great day. I tried it, and soon with some effort my day seemed to magically turn around. We as human beings tend to accept what ever it is we think. If we think we can do it we will, if we think we cannot do it we wont. Someone out there is looking at us right now and trying to mirror what we are doing. We can at the end of the day be proud for what we have done or we can try to hide. Hopefully I will make my family and friends proud.

Week 2 Comments on Shawn McKeown Reading Reflection

Week 2 Reading Reflection

 Reading  "The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander was enlightening, yet a repeat of ideas that teachers should base their classes on. Maybe I've been spoiled by 10 months of interaction with teachers and students in the EMDT program, but the ideas presented so far in this book seem like no-brainers to me.

Image from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery
In the section about Giving an A, the authors discuss the need to remove measurement from the equation, and thus take the fear out of failure in the students. While this type of idea is not well supported by our current education system, due to everything being based on graded outcome, this idea should be at the heart of all educators: Allow your students to flourish, teach them that mistakes are part of the process, and allow them to concentrate on the person that they become through the knowledge that is gained, not the grade on the test.

Edit: Sorry, apparently in my "copy/paste" I somehow only grabbed only the first two paragraphs, so here is the rest:

I love the idea of "line up with her students in their efforts to produce the outcome, rather than lining up with the standards against these students." In my lighting course, my final project allows the students to choose a song, and create a lighting design for that song using the technical programming skills that they have learned in my course up to that point. For years I struggled with this project, as it could very easily become a grade based on my expectations, rather than the students' efforts and growth in their abilities. About 4 years ago, I introduced the idea of "concept" into this project, where the students must submit their overall vision for the project, as well as what they hope to accomplish through this, prior to them beginning work on the actual show. I use this concept, much like the authors used the "Why did I get an A" assignment, to establish the expected outcomes from my project, and see which students push themselves to reach and possibly exceed their own expectations. This really has taken me out of the picture, removing any preconceived notions that I may have as to what the final design should look like, and allows me to grade students based on their progress and accomplishment of their goals.

"House Lights...Go"


Charles T. Chojnacki said...
Shawn, While I agree with you on some of your comments regarding “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, I feel that sometimes it is the obvious that needs to be stated. The way in which we put students and people in general into categories based on the grade or the job they do is wrong. People do things for two reasons, one is to avoid pain and the other is to gain pleasure. I look at my two children; one is currently working on her second Bachelors degree and has spent her life in study. In high school she would spend an average of 3 hours a night on homework. My son on the other hand does what he needs to get by. His grades are low 90’s without much extra effort. I myself always lived in the shadow of my older brother. He was a year ahead of me in school and the fact that I did not get the same grades he did haunted me. I think the removal of grades and having them be replaced with “can the student demonstrate the material” is the way to go. The way students learn, just to mindlessly repeat the material is not working.

Friday, November 4, 2011

“Week 2 Blog Post 1 Great Reading”

First of all I would like to say that Ted is one of the greatest inventions.  Being able to go to the web site and watch and listen to great people helps to put the day in perspective

The video of Benjamin Zander was entertaining and his last few seconds of his story hit home.  “I will not say something that will not stand as my last words” are words to live by.

I am at a crossroads at this time in my life.  School will hopefully be ending soon and I will be looking for a new position.  I would like to stay with the company I currently work for but I do not think I will.   I went into work this morning with the hope of ironing out some issues that my immediate boss and I are having.  I was told that she still needed time to “build her case against me” and that we would be talking on Monday. 

Why do I tell you this?  Because, I finished the required reading of the book “The Art of Possibility” after this discussion.  I do not know what Monday will bring, but hopefully the peace the reading has brought will last until the situation is handled. 

I have always found it interesting as to why some people fail while others win.  People with no benefits make the most out of life while those who have everything do not.  Why??

Chapter 1, “Its All Invented” makes the point that we allow ourselves to be put into boxes based on others.  If you are not happy with an aspect of your life you must think outside the box to become happy.  I have always been a heavy guy.  I have allowed the words of others to make me overweight.  My parents thought they were doing the best they could but in reality, they taught me that I was a big kid and will always be heave.  I have allowed this to stay with me.  No More!

Chapter 2 “Stepping into a Universe of Possibility” basically said to me.  “What would you accomplish today if you knew you would not fail?”  If I had a magic wand and could do anything—what would I do?  I do not have a magic wand, and I will fail, but that should not stop me from trying.  It is better to fail 100 times than not to try at all.  Change the way you look at a situation and you may just change the outcome.  

Chapter 3 “Giving an A:  Giving Yourself an A.”  All too often we see people and ourselves as not being the most we can be.  Giving an A to yourself makes you realize that you are worthy of that grade.  It does not matter if you are a brain surgeon or the guy that cleans up the mess in the operating room.  They both make a solid contribution to life.  We often look at ways we do not measure up and compare ourselves to someone else.  This is not the way God intended us to live.  It is not ok to look at someone who is doing a job lesser than ours, and think they are not worthy of an A.  This chapter really hit home for me.

Chapter 4 “Being a Contribution” To me this chapter means that we all have the ability to change one person.  Giving a smile to someone we do not know may make that person have a better day.  Each thing we do can have an effect on someone.  Yes, we may not be able to save all of the starfish, but to the one we toss back into the water we made all the difference.  This chapter illustrated how even little contributions can make a big difference. 

Good reading, can wait to my changes in my web site are done so I can continue.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Media Asset Creating Week 1 Blog post 4: Random Thoughts on Sunday Night

I’m sitting at my dining room table thinking about the information on Copyright that we “read” this week.  I often listen to music while I am doing my homework, which in this case is my “Lincoln Park” channel on Pandora Radio.

When was the last time I actually bought a new CD?  When I went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra a few years ago.  Before that, I get media for Christmas, usually a box set from one of my favorite bands.

My 17-year-old son could not tell me the last time he bought music.  My 22-year-old daughter buys music all of the time. 

My point is this, the world continues to get smaller with the use of technology and entertainment is part of this.  I can go to almost any corner and purchase bootleg movies.  Some of them are pretty good quality.  Why would I pay $10.00 to $12.00 a ticket to see a movie once when I can own it for $5.00?  Why purchase a CD when I can get free music from Pandora radio? 

I like killing Zombies with my son on Call of Duty and I enjoy “Walking Dead” on A&E.  I wanted to name my daughter Claudia and my son Lestat.  I did not.  (Any one know who they are?) 

Media Asset Creation: Week 1 Comment on Vasili Giannoutsos’ Blog

Wk 1 Reading: Copyright Issues pt.1-3: What's it all for?
Welcome to my first blog post for the Media Asset Creation course. In this post I will discuss copyrighting issues in this day and age. I watched a few different videos and read a few different articles. What I was surprised to notice was that there was little to no mention of the issue of moral rights in the USA. According to The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (UK) there are a number of different rights associated with work creations. Moral rights, which is one of them, is the right to object to the derogatory use of works. For example, if a piece of music was is in a pornographic movie, the owner can contest the use of the material on moral grounds. Though there are in fact many differences between UK and US rights, I’m afraid that it may take days to comb through them.

Why is it that more often than not it is these giant companies that want to sue the smaller party over copyright infringements. Have they really paid their dues? How many legendary jazz artists were just paid as session musicians? These musicians who never see pennies worth of royalties . . . I ponder. As the Swedish gentlemen said in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy, what gives the big US Corporations the right to enforce their ideals and laws on other territories yet so unabashedly disregard those of other territories?

We are in an age where the World is at our fingertips. Even though the USA is the biggest exporter of popular culture it is by no means the ruler of the world. More and more we are expanding, experimenting, creating and remixing. And so the beauty of Creative Commons licensing allows us to safely share our creations without the big bad wolf coming after us. I just hope that great works of art, film and music do not become lost in the memory of days gone by because of licensing. A funny point here was that the company I worked for actually tried to get copyright permission to use the MLK speech in the course books but couldn’t get permission. Why would they deny the use for educational purposes? Should we then think about where the priorities lie for these licensers? Is it to better society or better their profits?

If you want to know a bit more about UK IP issues please follow the link below.

I liked the fact that Vasili discussed the moral issue involved with copyrighted material. Music has the ability to transport you to a time in the past what you were doing while listening to a song comes right back to you. Someone who has original material may not want to be associated with questionable music or movies.

One of my favorite bands seems to be sampled all the time. (Queen) Sometimes I wonder what are they thinking when I hear the end result. It is almost funny; when a band is starting out they do everything they can to get heard. Play for free, post music on the web and hand out CD’s. Once a band acquires a certain amount of popularity they want to get paid for everything.

I also found the comment interesting about the United States enforcing our laws all over the world. I understand that we most likely export more “media” than other countries but do we really have the right to enforce our laws? The producers of this media want to send the product overseas to collect the dollars, but they do not like the fact that their laws may not be the same.

Media Asset Creation: Week 1 Comment on Jennifer Williams’ Blog

Media Asset Creation: Copyright Issues
Thank goodness for Ted talks.  Watching these hours worth of copyright issue videos was enough to make a teacher quit her job.  So, rather than dwell on the extremes that many of these videos did, I want to focus on the little bit of hope I found within the creative commons information and within Larry Lessig’s TED talk.   
Lessig quoted John Phillips Souza in 1906 who said that these “talking machines” referring to radios will ruin the artistic development in this country.   And, in fact, the 20th century became a culture of “read only” people.  However the 21st century seems to be assuming artistic development again.  Thanks to the $1500 computer, the tools of creativity have become tools of speech.  It is what the next generation bases its life upon.   Yet, Lessig insists, the law has not greeted this revival with very much common sense.  It prohibits to such an extreme degree that legal creativity becomes stifled, at best.  
Creative Commons offers possibilities and hope and does in fact seem to be a “bridge to the future”.  This will begin our journey to thinking more about communities and less about content.  However, in the meantime, educators have to find a way to give our students the tools and information they need to legally create, express, and use the digital technologies that are available to them.

Media Asset Creation: Week 1 Comment on Jennifer Williams’ Blog

The reason I picked Jennifer’s blog to comment on is I am a huge fan of Ted talks. I have it on my Mac as well as my iPhone. I also find it interesting how history is repeating itself. I say that as she noted in 1906 how John Phillips Souza thought radio was going to be the death of artistic development.

People thought television would ruin our society, Elvis was evil and what the $%*l was the band KISS about. (Yes my father repeatedly asked my mother why she bought me my first KISS album.)

The point I am trying to make is this. With each new age, technology has changed and what was once taboo is now not only acceptable but also welcomed. With technology today, it is possible for a small group of people to have a weekly “TV” show on You Tube. You can create your own music and other media. Everyone can be a rock star.

This does lead to copyright issues. With the large number of performers who are sampling others work it is only natural for others to do the same. Yes, I have the technology why can’t I create my own music taking small samples from many people?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Week 1 Reading Copyright Issues Information Overload

I found this week’s “reading” to be extremely interesting.  Copyright laws are something that I know little about.  I found the documentary “Good Copy/Bad Copy” to be eye opening for a number of reasons.

There has been such uproar over file sharing in the music industry and the mass production of knock-off movies. 

I believe the entertainment industry needs to embrace the use of the Internet as a distribution point for the media.  I do not believe in downloading music or movies that I have not paid for.  Having said that, I collect concert DVD’s and every once in a while someone will ask me for my Cheap Trick at Budokan DVD.  No, I do not give that out.  I would however make a copy to give out… 

I guess my point is, I understand why people need to have copyright protection, and I understand that when I buy media it is mine to use as I see fit, as long as I do not make a profit or display it in a way that it is not intended.

During the movie they discussed the digital movie making industry in Nigeria.  As someone who has some ability to produce video digitally I thought this was awesome.  I can, with little equipment, produce a video, post it on the web, have millions of people see it, and still make no money.  I can also use the Internet to introduce myself to the world. 

I am careful when making video for home.  I would love to put some of my favorite songs to a homemade video to enhance the viewing.  I won’t.  I have paid for all of the music in my iTunes and I respect the artists who have given me pleasure my whole life.  If everyone in the world did not pay for the music they listen to, no one will make music.  And that, my friend, would be a sad, sad day!