Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
So I got done with my work a little earlier than I anticipated today and decided to throw together a video of an app that I've been enjoying for a while now, Intua's Beatmaker. I make a quick beat in this video, drop a verse, and show you another beat that I finished up on earlier. Enjoy it.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Let's talk about what SMART phones can do to help us out here. I will use the iPhone as an example just because I have one and we have been given 30 of them (thank you Apple) to carry out this pilot with the soldiers. I am playing around with the concept of using apps for learning. I firmly believe that apps can be a nice way to introduce/demonstrate/reinforce course material. Working under the assumption that this approach isn't flawed we proceed.
In learning something new there are a couple of things that always take place: (1) the new concept is defined and explained (2) the learner's knowledge of the facts around the new concept are repetitively exercised/affirmed (3) the learner's knowledge about the new concept is tested by demonstration of procedures (exams, lab experiments, etc.). So if we take a look at the iPhone at these three stages we are able to see that there are apps out there that address the needs of new learners for each stage. Let's go stage by stage and sample some apps that would help our soldiers.
STAGE 1: A new concept is defined and explained
Almost every app out there has some sort of explanation to help guide you as you use it. I play a lot of game apps and part of my ritual before playing for the first time is checking out the tutorial. This should provide a high level explanation of the major concepts of the game and visual reinforcement for the user so that the app (in general) is understood. This stage can be likened to a professor delivering a lecture to a class of students. High level concepts are described, but much of the low-level work is left out. Some examples of apps with high-level tutorials are Tic Tac Toe Ten and Bailout Wars. Tic Tac Toe Ten has a tutorial video while Bailout Wars has a couple of slides to flip through for users to understand how to play. The main point of this stage is to introduce the learner to the concept and to provide any background knowledge about the concept that would help the learner digest it easier in the stages that follow.
STAGE 2: the learner's knowledge of the facts around the new concept are repetitively exercised/affirmed
STAGE 3: the learner's knowledge about the new concept is tested by demonstration/explanation of procedures
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
So I picked up the November issue of Fast Company Magazine today and I was put up on a pretty interesting (and inspiring) method of teaching. I read about an initiative called Project K Nect, a project that helps kids learn math by infusing mobile phones (usually SMART phones) into the curriculum. You may be asking yourself, "Phones + Math . . . yeah so, what's the big deal?" I was skeptical too but here's how Qualcomm and Southwest High School (in Jacksonville, NC) boosted both student interest and proficiency in mathematics.
So Project K Nect requires each kid who is enrolled in a math class to have a cell phone. The same old dry math content that we all learned as kids is still dictated to the students. The difference is in the assignment: the kids are given the challenge of mastering the concepts and then documenting their mastery via mobile video. All mobile phones are required to have video recording capabilities in addition to the traditional voice and text capability. A free digital toy, coupled with new (more interesting) expectations seem to have done the trick for these high school students. Their proficiency scores and their interest in the subject to skyrocketed with the introduction of this new curriculum format.
This gets me to thinking, is there a link between successful mastery of an unfamiliar subject and the expectation of explanation? I thought about it and I think that if you know you will be expected to explain what you are supposed to have mastered then you will put more pressure on yourself to make sure that what you present is up to snuff. When I took math in high school, I was rarely put in a position where I had to explain myself or defend my assumed mastery of the subject. Only tests showed how good (or not good) I was for any given topic.
The video explanation component is even more pressure in this age of critiquing user generated content. But students shine under pressure when they are able to infuse their creativity on top of their mastery. This might even be more of an incentive to master a subject; kids may want to sprinkle their unique flair onto something MORE than they actually care about mastering that something. But if mastering that thing is what it takes to permit the opportunity to be creative then so be it. Just a theory but I think this is the case in these days in times where everybody wants to be witty, flashy, funny, hot, cool,
So to conclude, I would like to thank Elizabeth Svoboda for blessing me with this article. I think that this method of learn stuff --> prepare presentation --> exhibit mastery is a very powerful way to get kids to really learn and retain information. I'm gonna be playing with this for a little while and will be back with the my findings. Stay tuned.
mr. live love learn
Thursday, October 8, 2009
and that is all!!!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
So to start it off I used a couple more articles as reference: one from the New York Times and one from Chess For Education.
In the last post, I convinced myself (and you too hopefully) that a game like Tic Tac Toe Ten could do positive things for students if adopted by their school districts. I'm using the fact that Tic Tac Toe Ten parallels Chess in many ways and the fact that Chess has been tied to raised IQ, better concentration, improved critical thinking, and a number of other things for people who play (especially kids). So now that we're convinced that it can positively impact our audience what do we do?
Well the New York Times article pointed out how the state of Idaho implemented Chess education programming for their 2nd and 3rd graders state wide. The state's education budget for this particular year (2008) was $1.5 billion dollars. It was estimated that it would take $250,000 to deploy the program statewide to the 40,000 2nd and 3rd graders. First Move, a program provided by America's Foundation for Chess, was used to give instructional materials (chess boards and pieces, DVDs, online manuals and resources, etc.) and training to classroom teachers on how to deliver this to their students.
I imagine that a 1 or 2 day conference was delivered and that the necessary knowledge transfer happened pretty quickly. Classroom teachers need to know how the new information integrates with the existing objectives and also how to troubleshoot when roadblocks come up (e.g. language barriers) The materials were then handed off and the teachers were empowered to go out and change their classrooms. So for Tic Tac Toe Ten to be embedded into curriculum from a 2nd-8th grade level, I'd need to put together the board sets (board, pieces, clocks, instructions) an instructional DVD, an online manual, and a small support team. I'd have to get in touch with heads of state education departments to broker deals on the materials and trainings as well. After that it would be all about creating new goods and services on top of the existing platform to enhance the learning that was already going on.
With Idaho being such a small state, the dollars that could be made if this should get approved by larger states would be pretty big. The challenges ahead have to do with differentiating content across grades. Targeting products according to grade level would take a little more research, but should be doable. We could break into 3 categories for 2nd-8th grades (2-3, 4-5, 6-8) and work on special content that would be relevant to each of these categories in logic, math and vocabulary.
that's all for this episode but stay tuned for more soon,
I am beginning a quest to figure out how I can tie the principles of my game Tic Tac Toe Ten to education and learning. The end goal is two-fold: to encourage students to play Tic Tac Toe Ten and also to prove to their teachers that this game is contributing to their development as students. I believe that elements of the game introduce and reinforce concepts (memory, pattern recognition, decision making, etc.) that are necessary for a successful K-12 educational experience.
So today I start with the game of Chess and look at what it has to offer and why it can be (and should be) used as an educational tool and not just a game. I hope to take some of these truths and apply them to Tic Tac Toe Ten as I defend my hypothesis that Tic Tac Toe Ten should be used in schools (embedded into curriculum, used in refreshment exercises, etc.) as a learning tool to help students develop skills needed to have successful educational experiences.
The first article I looked at was called "Chess and Education" by John Artise. I was struck by a couple of things in this article.
First, the notion that chess conditions players to be extremely observant, analytical, and calculating. The importance of this is that these skills are necessary for success in everyday life. To have a concept (learned via a game) at your disposal to use in a challenging life situation is very valuable. It helps to shape and inform the decision making process, even outside of the domain of Chess. I found this very interesting.
Second, the notion of operant conditioning is a huge player. To quote the article, ". . . operant conditioning involves the learner actually doing, observing and responding to the stimuli presented to him." So the fact that you can be an active participant and learn (in real time) from your good moves and from your not so good moves is a big plus. Perhaps this is why children prefer video games as opposed to memorizing the fundamental theorem of calculus. The difference is that you can see and feel your impact immediately, you're learning by doing instead of being made to memorize something (without meaningful application).
So like Chess, Tic Tac Toe Ten has elements that would make it a perfect play for the school district who is trying to instill principles of memory improvement, logic, observation, analysis and operant conditioning in their students. This is very encouraging as I move forward with the research for this project. The next entry will continue looking at Chess and ask/answer questions about how to practically roll something like Tic Tac Toe Ten out for consumption.
stay tuned :)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I been following this brotha for a while now and his new joint, "The 2econd Coming" is out now so I thought I would throw up a little playlist for my (your) reference. On your march, Get set...
Stay tuned and encouraged y'all . . . peace out for now.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
LiveLoveLearners . . . BEHOLD MY FIRST FLASH CS4 OFFERING!!!
Monday, September 21, 2009
THIS IS PART ONE (I think):
I am taking the scientific approach on this one. My HYPOTHESIS is that if I can sample enough Social Media policies from respectable organizations, I can piece together a pretty solid document for my organization to abide by. I have been conducting a little EXPERIMENT and have been sampling the practices and experiences of some of my peers. My OBSERVATION is that without proper guidance, people will make their own rules and do their own thing. This is sometimes fine if these individuals aren't working toward a common goal. As it turns out, most organizations actually are working toward a common goal so guidance is actually needed. My CONCLUSION therefore, is this: every organization (large and small) should make making a Social Media Policies document a priority. Without one your people will make up their own rules and anarchy will ensue.
Here are some useful links on various topics around Corporate Social Media Policies . . . from some of the respectable organizations that I mentioned.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Just started a new job a couple of days ago with the Wounded Warrior Project. I came out to HQ (in Jacksonville, FL) and am here doing what I do, mostly IT-related tasks. This non-profit services seriously injured veterans of war and provides physical, mental, and vocational programming to help them get their lives back. Transitioning back into society, finding jobs, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a number of other challenges exist for these Wounded Warriors (see some of them here). I am super excited to be able to jump on board and help push this organization to the next level. The culture is pretty laid back and is reminiscent of my short days with the Army National Guard. Well it's time to get back to work . . . I'll check in a little later. Peace Out.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
It's finally here y'all . . . Thanks to ChiefMoney Designs for partnering with me to bring this all together. God bless y'all. Let's continue to help get Tic Tac Toe Ten on the map. Here's the link to the site if you want to check it out: http://www.tictactoeten.com/
Happy Independence Day everybody, have a blessed and restful holiday!!!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
A civilized society's first line of defense is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions and moral values. Behavioral norms, mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error. They include important thou-shalt-nots such as shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and cheat, but they also include all those courtesies one might call ladylike and gentlemanly conduct. The failure to fully transmit values and traditions to subsequent generations represents one of the failings of the so-called greatest generation.
Behavior accepted as the norm today would have been seen as despicable yesteryear. There are television debt relief advertisements that promise to help debtors to pay back only half of what they owe. Foul language is spoken by children in front of and sometimes to teachers and other adults. When I was a youngster, it was unthinkable to use foul language to an adult; it would have meant a smack across the face. Back then, parents and teachers didn't have child-raising "experts" to tell them that "time out" is a means of discipline. Baby showers are held for unwed mothers. Yesteryear, such an acceptance of illegitimacy would have been unthinkable.
To see men sitting whilst a woman or elderly person was standing on a crowded bus or trolley car used to be unthinkable. It was common decency for a man to give up his seat. Today, in some cities there are ordinances requiring public conveyances to set aside seats posted "Senior Citizen Seating." Laws have replaced common decency. Years ago, a young lady who allowed a guy to have his hand in her rear pocket as they strolled down the street would have been seen as a slut. Children addressing adults by first names was unacceptable.
You might be tempted to charge, "Williams, you're a prude!" I'd ask you whether high rates of illegitimacy make a positive contribution to a civilized society. If not, how would you propose that illegitimacy be controlled? In years past, it was controlled through social sanctions like disgrace and shunning. Is foul language to or in the presence of teachers conducive to an atmosphere of discipline and respect necessary for effective education? If not, how would you propose it be controlled? Years ago, simply sassing a teacher would have meant a trip to the vice principal's office for an attitude adjustment administered with a paddle. Years ago, the lowest of lowdown men would not say the kind of things often said to or in front of women today. Gentlemanly behavior protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior.
During the 1940s, my family lived in North Philadelphia's Richard Allen housing project. Many families didn't lock doors until late at night, if ever. No one ever thought of installing bars on their windows. Hot, humid summer nights found many people sleeping outside on balconies or lawn chairs. Starting in the '60s and '70s, doing the same in some neighborhoods would have been tantamount to committing suicide. Keep in mind that the 1940s and '50s were a time of gross racial discrimination, high black poverty and few opportunities compared to today. The fact that black neighborhoods were far more civilized at that time should give pause to the excuses of today that blames today's pathology on poverty and discrimination.
Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we've become.
Just some food for thought . . . until next time LIVE, LOVE, & LEARN
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I thought this was interesting, considering the fact that all of my friends are getting married these days . . .
Want to know the quickest way your kids can ruin their lives? Marrying the wrong person. You've spent two decades sacrificing so much to give your children the best. Make sure you talk to them frequently about what to look for in someone they will spend the rest of their lives with. The most important characteristic for your kids to look for? Finding someone who really means "'til death do us part" and has the commitment and character to back it up.
And the best way to judge that? Their track record. Do they have a vibrant faith? Do they keep their word? Do they believe in delayed gratification? Are they unselfish? Teach your kids what to look for in a future mate by being an inspiring example of all of these.
Let this marinate in your mind, body, and soul as you go about living loving and learning today
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
* Today in Black History - February 18 *
1688 - The first formal protest against slavery by an organized white body in the English American colonies is made by Germantown,Pennsylvania Quakers and Mennonites at a monthly meeting. When some members of the Quaker community began to buy slaves, Francis Daniel Pastorius, the founder of Germantown, was outraged. On this day, Pastorius will meet with three other Germantown Quaker men to draft a denunciation of slavery. Known as "The Germantown Protest," it is regarded as the first protest against slavery by whites in the American colonies. The reasoning of the denunciation was based on the Golden Rule: since white people did not want to be slaves themselves, they had no right to enslave black African men and women. Despite the Germantown Protest, some Quaker families continued to keep slaves. Nonetheless, by the 19th century Quakers were prominent in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States.
1865 - Confederate Troops abandon Charleston, South Carolina. The first Union troops to enter the city include the Twenty-first U.S. Colored Troops, followed by two companies of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers.
1867 - The Augusta Institute is founded in Georgia. It is established as an institution of higher learning for African American students, and moves to Atlanta in 1879. In 1913, the name is changed to Morehouse College.
1894 - Paul Revere Williams is born in Los Angeles, California. He will become one of the most famous African American architects, designer of private residences in Los Angeles, the Hollywood YMCA, the Beverly-Wiltshire Hotel, UCLA's Botany Building and many others. Among his many awards will be the NAACP's Spingarn Medal in 1953.
1931 - Toni Morrison is born in Lorain, Ohio. She will become one of the most celebrated modern novelists of the 20th century, winning the National Book Critics Award in 1978 for "Song of Solomon" and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 for "Beloved." In 1993, she will become the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
1965 - The Gambia gains its independence from Great Britain.
1973 - Palmer Hayden joins the ancestors in New York City. One of the principal artists of the Harlem Renaissance who, like Henry 0. Tanner and others, studied in Paris, his most enduring work often depicted everyday scenes of African American life.
1979 - The miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations" premiers on ABC TV.
1995 - The NAACP replaces veteran chairman William Gibson with Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, after the rank-and-file declared no confidence in Gibson's leadership.
2006 - Shani Davis, from Chicago's South Side, becomes the first Black athlete to claim an individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history, winning the 1,000-meter speedskating race in 1 min., 8.89 seconds.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
here's a track from the latest project . . .