Thursday, December 18, 2008

Description of learners: social background, experiential background, developmental level, motivation, knowledge level, and learning style

Through my four years of working with children from the ages of 10-16, I have conducted many formal and non-formal interviews with them about education and life in general. My findings show that the discussions varied as much as the individual. I found one truth to be highly self-evident: everyone likes to learn something new, especially if it is presented in a non intimidating fashion such as through the arts, multimedia displays or humor. No matter what the situation, everyone wants a little better for themselves, particularly if the source of dissemination of guiding ascension is trusted. Who better to trust than themselves with their own education, and that is what college is all about.

The students targeted for this presentation are all grades 6-12th. More specifically, these students are minority groups that include all races and ethnicities predominantly those who are placed at risk. This video will still be highly beneficial to all students any age or category notwithstanding. These learners are placed at risk by any of these factors that are mutually non exclusive: lower S.E.S., lower parental academic achievement and or low standardized test scores in reading, writing, math and science. They all also share in common their humanity: with the same level of fear and hate as well as love and compassion found in the rainbow that is human experience and as such, this video will explore artistically these diverse avenues for them.

After two years of careful observation (my main needs analysis tool) I have concluded that many placed at risk children generally view college as “not for them” either because of some association with their current socio-economic status, possibly in relation to their parent’s education, or through adverse social interactions. Also, possible achievement gaps may affect their own personal interest in continuing education. Many students feel that they don’t study anything interesting in secondary school, so “why keep wasting their time?” Many students have also shown very little knowledge about college and the process of getting into a college or university, as well as financing this life development. The majority know about scholarships, but not about grants, subsidies, funds and other investment tools that exist in society to foster and develop education for everyone, regardless of grades, economic status, social paradigms or any other factor.

Many placed at risk students also come from an environment that not only lacks fostering of educational ambitions4, but in fact and deed, castigates those who show ambition. These students nonetheless are bright, capable and enthusiastic about their futures and with proper guidance and understanding, can in fact not be relegated to a proverbial backseat in life, but to become the captains of their own vessels, in deed admirals of the scholarly seas.

Rationale for Goals

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT

This video project is designed to give all children (age 10-16) that are placed at risk (whether from low S.E.S., lesser parental education, lower standardized test scores) a different view of the collegiate experience in order that they may increase their collective attendance in higher learning institutions as well as to acquaint them with higher learning in general, particularly in nontraditional ways. Many children of this generation learn through a visual or tactile intelligence modality and providing them with an alternative to college brochures (which they do not access) will benefit them and our community. I believe higher learning is often the missing step in upward social mobility and therefore is crucial to social and class integration. This demographic (varied in race, gender, language, ethnicity and culture though often African American in southern states, particularly here in Alachua County, Florida) of students has been, for whatever reason, shown to have lower numbers of college attendees than other groups with higher S.E.S. The goal of this video is to ‘show’ these children the range of positive experiences that can be garnered from a higher education and allow them to re-“think about college”. This video will be an informative introduction into college life and will share the real life experiences of those that are in college (of varied backgrounds) with middle school children.

Summary of Materials

I. Pre-instructional Materials THESE FOLLOW IN POSTS
BELOW


A. Parent Teacher letter

B. Video waiver form

C. Proper communication and acquisition of approval for project with relevant administrators, teachers, parents and support staff. Due to the nature of my relationship with Lincoln Middle School, this is being conducted on the phone.


II. Instruments for Small Group Evaluations


A. Pre/Post Test Questionnaire for measuring behavioral growth and conceptual growth also known as a reactional evaluation and a learning evaluation. Assesses the level of knowledge gained by learner as well as measuring behavioral changes learner has experienced.

B. Small Group Evaluation: this evaluation measures reactions to each segment of the video/field trip portion of the experience.

III. Materials Needed for Actualization of
Project
1. CROP (Collegiate Reach Out Program) VAN: CROP has a 14 person van used for transporting children from middle schools to the University for their CROP program. I have worked for and spoken with the Director of CROP (Bobby Welch) for access to this van.
2. ALLIANCE VAN: The alliance van has similar access for use by Faculty and their staff, for transportation. Vicky Vallence is the Director of Alliance. they have a 8 person van for use by UF members.
3. VIDEO EQUIPMENT: The University's College of Education provides labtops, cameras, video recording equipment, microphones, cases, lights, editing software and hardware for use by any student.
4. ACCESS TO UF FACILITIES: The Reitz Union, the recreation center, the Gyms and Computer Rooms will be contacted on field trip days in case any special arrangments need to be made. Also: the University's Main Colleges will be contacted in the events that they may provide tours and/or other unique opportunities for our learners.
5. ACCESS TO STUDENTS: Contact with local middle schools will be a priority in order to garner support for this endeavor. Lincoln Middle School will be our model school and we shall expand from there.



This video will be shown in a wide array of classrooms, lecture halls, auditoriums offices and non-formal settings with an even wider diversity of physical, social and resource elements. One thing can be said of all of these various locations and their resources: educators, parents and children recognize that they are not enough. Our educational facilities, particularly for placed at risk youth, are inadequate, a factor that will not impede dissemination of this video, as most facilities do have a T.V. in each classroom, if not in the media center.

One setting that will be constant will be that of the University of Florida. Hopefully, as a part of any college field trip, the students visiting can get a different feel for the University through this video presentation, hopefully, before touring the campus themselves (as it may prove energizing and comforting). The material resources at the University easily outdo those of any high school found within Alachua County.

Summary of strategies

Summary of Strategies:

Modeling positive and open behavior on the field trip is key to providing proper guidance for this activity. The students will be engaged in experiential learning, providing the most authentic and hands on type of activity available in learning strategies. This project uses a mPBL (Modified Project Based Learning Strategy) to enhance learning. Critical analysis comes in the form of self guided analysis on their thoughts, feelings and attitudes about college. The students will also be engaged in overt practice and guided role playing while they are in visiting college. Motivational guidance for acclimation as well as openess to the collegiate experience will be paramount to successfully implementing this strategy to meet our objectives.

UNIT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Goals Statement


The mission statement of this project is to use video and audio media to showcase the diversity of experiences that collegiate life has to offer. Non-formal and traditional college experiences will be showcased in order to more accurately reflect what it means to be a higher learner.
The ins and outs of the college application process and financial opportunities for funding of an education must also be addressed in an easy to follow, exciting (really) and invigorating way. In the end, the goal of this project is to positively equate education with a successful life (in terms of quality not quantity).

I. Our primary goal is to encourage, through self induced motivation, active participation in the collegiate experience. Any gains in knowledge of and appreciation for the higher learning process are components of the desired results.

II. Students will understand the application process for college enrollment.

III. Student’s knowledge of non-academic institutions and facilities including Lake Wahburg, sporting facilities (volleyball, basketball, racquetball and tennis courts; gymnasiums, recreation centers and pools), sky labs, computer labs and centers like the Reitz Union will increase in relation to their exposure to such facilities.

IV. Students will gain an appreciation for authentic collegiate experiences, primarily those involving non-academic characteristics.

V. Students will gain knowledge about financial options that are available to finance their academic future.



Task Analysis Tied to the Goals


I. Content and Skills Assessment

A. Content
This project gives a general overview of the college application process, the non-academic collegiate experience and the benefits that these two endeavors embody. Initially the content will include footage of students from Lincoln Middle School on a campus visit to the University of Florida. The trip includes visits to Criser Hall, the education computer lab (for applying to the University), Reitz Union, campus pools and recreation as well as sporting centers. Other montage footage will include students of the University (past and present) being interviewed about their collegiate experience. The students will fill out a pre and post fieldtrip and video questionnaire about their level of knowledge pertaining to college.

B. Skills Assessment

The beauty of delivering instruction in either an experiential format or through video imagery is that the skill set needed by the learning population becomes very limited. Basic English proficiency is the only skill needed by the student though a bit of optimism, enthusiasm and curiosity can only beneficially impact student achievement in terms of knowledge growth.

II. Instructional Strategy Delivery

In use for education since its inception, video for instructional delivery has been proven time and again. Since its ascension from World War II the use of video has increasingly predominated instructional strategy delivery methods because of its relative inexpensiveness, ease of application and capacity for motivating learners.[1] Modified Project Based Learning has been effectively and efficiently used in a variety of different settings ranging from medical instruction to computer assisted learning. The active participation of students involved in the fieldtrip models certain of the key elements involved in mPBL principally the student centered approach to discovery and the highly motivational characteristics of hands on learning, and participating with technology (film) in an interactive, authentic and fully submersive way.


III. Instructional Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Instructional
Objective Details.


1st Instructional Objectives: Given a video presentation students motivational attitudes towards college, as measured by them, will shift in a positive direction towards greater desire to integrate themselves in the college environment.
Instructional Goal: Our primary goal is to encourage, through self induced motivation, active participation in the collegiate experience. Any gains in knowledge of and appreciation for the higher learning process are components of the desired results.
Instructional Strategy: Experiential learning. Modified Project Based Learning and critical analysis (self analysis). Overt practice. Motivational guidance.

2nd Instructional Objectives: Given a video presentation and submersion in the application process through online submission, student will be able to show growth in their understanding of the application process through self assessment using a pre and post test.
Instructional Goal: Students will understand the application process for college enrollment.
Instructional Strategy: Modeling behavior. Experiential learning. Modified Project Based Learning and critical analysis (self analysis). Overt practice. Motivational guidance.


3rd Instructional Objectives: Given a video presentation, students will show growth using self assessment and a pre and post test, in their understanding of non-academic institutions, sports and recreational facilities and other centers for experiential growth.
Instructional Goal: Student’s knowledge of non-academic institutions and facilities including Lake Wahburg, sporting facilities (volleyball, basketball, racquetball and tennis courts; gymnasiums, recreation centers and pools), sky labs, computer labs and centers like the Reitz Union will increase in relation to their exposure to such facilities.
Instructional Strategy: Experiential learning. Modified Project Based Learning and critical analysis (self analysis). Overt practice. Motivational guidance.


4th Instructional Objectives: Given a video presentation and authentic submersion in collegiate experiences, students will be able to measure, through personal introspection, their shift in appreciation for what college really offers a student on a non academic level.
Instructional Goal: Students will gain an appreciation for authentic collegiate experiences, primarily those involving non-academic characteristics.
Instructional Strategy: Experiential learning. Modified Project Based Learning and critical analysis (self analysis). Overt practice. Motivational guidance.


5th Instructional Objectives: Given a video presentation and authentic submersion in collegiate experiences, students, through a pre and post test will show knowledge gains in their understanding of financial options for schooling.
Instructional Goal: Students will gain knowledge about financial options that are available to finance their academic future.
Instructional Strategy: Experiential learning. Modified Project Based Learning and critical analysis (self analysis). Overt practice. Motivational guidance.


6th Instructional Objectives: Given a forum for using computer technology, students will increase their familiarity with technology tools including online applications and will measure their success through real life feedback and personal assessment.
Instructional goal: Students will increase their skills with computer technologies through the online application process.
Instructional Strategy: Experiential learning. Modified Project Based Learning and critical analysis (self analysis). Overt practice. Motivational guidance.

IV. Instructional Objective Details and Student Practice Material


A. Instructional objective details: Video production and editing equipment will be needed for montage of documentary. Parental field trip forms as well as student waivers for film inclusion will be provided. Pre- and post- test evaluation forms will be used to evaluate student learning. Critical analysis questions will guide the cognitive relations being associated with the experience. In the final stages of the project, the video itself will be providing motivational material to facilitate student openness to instruction.

PARENTAL FIELD TRIP PERMISSION FORM

Dear Lincoln Middle School Family,

Hello Again! I hope that this year finds you well in health, mind and spirit. I dearly miss the community at Lincoln and am pleased to have this opportunity. It is in this spirit that I have decided to sponsor a University of Florida Field Trip.
I am back at school getting my Master’s in Educational Technology and am pursuing an independent course of study in film production in which I will bring middle school students to the University and highlight the true essence of collegiate life, allowing them to get a hands on, personal and practical feel for what college is really like. We will visit student centers for study, recreation, sports activity, leisure (museums) and other facilities of the student’s choice. This Field Trip is designed to be a fun, hands on experience that role plays what navigating through the college application process is like. Your child will actually fill out an application for the University, find out about scholarships, grants, student loans and other pertinent information in the application process. Computers will be available for them to enhance their technological abilities.
As part of this project, I will be filming the experience to showcase it to Lincoln Middle School and other middle schools in the region. Your child will also be filming part of their experience to acquaint them with current technology applications and to provide a learner centric component to this experience. Please sign the waiver below to confirm that you are aware of video taping during the field trip. I hope that you find the potential for successful growth within this opportunity beneficial and authentic. I hand selected your child because I believe in their ability to succeed and I want to provide them with an additional opportunity for growth.


Field Trip Permission Form


Dear Parent or Guardian,
Your child is invited on a field trip. Please read the information at the top of this form, then sign and return the permission slip at the bottom of this form by ____________________.

Field Trip Information:

Date: ______________________________________________________________________________

Location: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Purpose: Acclimatization to University Life: A Journey into Higher Education
Cost: None

Means of Transportation: University Sponsored Transportation

Leave school: __9:00______ Arrive back at school: _____5:00__

Special Instructions: A small school meal (sandwich and a drink) will be provided. Please make sure your child has had a thorough meal before the field trip. We will be visiting all of the University’s facilities, so any spare cash may be useful to your child.



Sign this part of the form and return it to your child's teacher.



_____________________________________________________ has permission to attend a field trip to _________________________________________ on________________ from ____________________ to _______________________.


I give my permission for ________________________________________ to receive emergency medical treatment. In an emergency, please contact:

Name: __________________________ Phone: ______________________________


Parent/Guardian Signature: ___________________________________
Date: ___________________________________________________


Please inform me of any special medical needs your child may have.




© 2003 by Education World®. Education World grants users permission to reproduce this page for educational purposes.

College Information Pretest/Post Test/Questionnaire

1. How old are you?

2.Please list All relevant facts that you know about college?

3.Please list methods that you know for getting financial assistance for college?

4.Share with yourself: What are your general feelings about college?

5.How do you apply to college?

Via mail (snail mail)- postal mail
Via internet
Via a short packet that you turn into the front office
Via ‘connections’
You can only go if you have good grades.

6.What are alternative methods to applying to a university if you didn’t get in the one you wanted?

7.What are different activities that school provides, free of additional charges for you once you are enrolled?

8.What are your attitudes towards college?

9.How much due you value and appreciate a college experience?


10.What do you know about computers and their use?


11. Do you want to go to college?


Post Test additional questions

1. How have your perceptions of college changed?


2.Does college seem more fun to you?


3.Would you like to go to college?



4. Did this video change your perception about college?



Questionnaire


1. What have you learned so far during this trip?
What have you learned as a result of this video presentation?

2. What stood out to you the most about being on campus today?
What stood out to you the most about this video?

3. What was your favorite activity that you saw?

4. Is there anything in today’s activity that has changed your understanding of the college experience?

Short Rough Draft of Film

video

Lake Wahburg Interview

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lake Wahburg Staff Interview

Tiffany was nice enough to volunteer for this project and outline for us some of the many activities that are found at Lake Wahburg.

Clips of Recreatonal College Activities, Un-edited version

Hey everyone:

I went to Lake Wahburg, south of Paynes Prairie, where the University of Florida has an entire 200 acre plus facility dedicated to outdoor recreational activities that include:

Swimming, Skiing, Sail Boating, Canoeing, Kayaking, Fishing, Rock Climbing, Ropes Courses, Disc Golf, Volleyball, Diving, Bird Watching, Exploring, Natural Setting for Relaxation, Hiking, Baseball, Soccer, Football fields, BBQ Grills and so on. All of these activities are free for University of Florida students and faculty.

Here are some short clips:

And for some reason they are not coming on for me!!!!




video

What this project aims to do

The mission statement of this project is to use video and audio media to showcase the diversity of experiences that collegiate life has to offer and asks the question, why college? Non-formal and traditional college experiences will be showcased in order to more accurately reflect what it means to be a higher learner.
The ins and outs of the college application process and financial opportunities for funding of an education must also be addressed in an easy to follow, exciting (really) and invigorating way. In the end, the goal of this project is to positively equate education with a successful life (in terms of quality not quantity).

I. Our primary goal is to encourage and motivate towards, active participation in the collegiate experience. Any gains in knowledge of and appreciation for the higher learning process are components of the desired results.

II. Students will understand the application process for college enrollment.

III. Students knowledge of non-academic institutions and facilities including Lake Wahburg, sporting facilities (volleyball, basketball, racquetball and tennis courts; gymnasiums, recreation centers and pools), sky labs, computer labs and centers like the Reitz Union will increase in relation to their exposure to such facilities.

IV. Students will gain an appreciation for authentic collegiate experiences, primarily those involving non-academic characteristics.

V. Students will gain knowledge about funding options that are available to finance their academic future.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So, You've come.....Good for you

This is the first entry in this project. I am thrilled.....

Why College? Most people I've been asking say:

1. More Money
2. Better education
3. Building intellectual capital for advanced opportunities
a. In jobs
b. In social networks
c. In relationships with partners
4. For their future
a. kids
b. all of the above
5. That's just what you do
6. My Parents wouldn't give me money otherwise
7. Educate myself to foster Social Justice in my neighborhoods


And so forth...Truth be told, for most of us it is a combination of all of these elements that have guided us towards higher education....

Nonetheless, I have seen a trend, though one I can not, as of yet, empirically qualify, that I find alarming ( I know, I feel commatose too). That last one: #7. I've asked a good 20-30 people in personal interviews "Why College", and not one of them gave me this last reason as their motus operandi. The growing disconnect in today's college applicants seeing education as a means of enhancing others upwards mobility instead of their own is most certainly, as Robert Putnam would argue, a grave loss of social capital of the bridging and bonding kind.

It is one this note that I then say: well man, that's what I want to be here for. Why college? I want to open the door for Social Justice to come into this big room full of elephants and take them all where they belong: outside of big rooms getting in the way of people having fun helping people.