Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Answer

True Story

Back in 2004, I decided to stop everything I was doing with my career, give back to community and teach school. At the end of my very first full day of school, I came home speechless and went straight to bed. Anyone that knows me, you know that I am never speechless. After many trails and tribulations....ups and downs....wins and losses during the school year, I walked away with the greatest education that I will ever have. I was able to see our future at this job. What our work ethic would be in the future, specifically.

How? By simply assigning students homework and then administering them test. Simple and standard enough right. 

https://flic.kr/p/8vvRZq


The Short Version

During my time at this high school in Durham, NC, I was at one point accused of making my courses too tough. Being an Analytical Scientist, I decided to run a little experiment. I decided to give my basic Earth Science students a set of "worksheets" on Monday. I would then plan out different student-centered exercises, along with one lecture day, to prepare the students for the upcoming test, usually on Fridays. This being my first year in a Public School classroom setting, I was excited to see our success.

The Results

Of course, I had a handful of students that performed well. 4 to 5 A's. 5 to 6 B's. 6 to 8 C's. However, the rest were almost always F's. Based on class-size, that was like another 15 to 20.....F's. And not just F's, we are talking about less than 50's. Some less than 10's. Really?



The Twist

I could go into a long explanation here but I figure an example will serve you better. Below, I'll give you an example of a worksheet question and then an example of what the test question would look like on Friday.

Worksheet

How many days are in a calendar year?
a. 252 days
b. 365 days
c. 180 days
d. 435 days


Test

How many days are in a calendar year?
a. 435 days
b. 180 days
c. 252 days
d. 365 days

No joke! No tricks! I just wanted them to start with basic retention of information, based on reading, listening to me give real-world examples and correlations, working in groups, and simple labs.

The Answer

I joked with the students that year telling them that I was going to write a book called The Answer. I was completely blown away that we had lost one of the most basic skills known to man....not to mention, learning. These students had very little exposure or understanding of memorization. The only thing they had become accustomed to was someone giving them the answer. 

I loved my students! We worked on it. We fought! We improved! And in some cases, not much change was made at all.

Here is what I took away from it all. Some folks will always look for you to give them the answer. They have absolutely no interest in putting forward any effort beyond what it takes for them to breath and quite frankly, exist daily. As I fast forward till today, I see that things have not progressed much in education. Many of those students are now in industry, at the corner store, or maybe just hanging around the house somewhere. Little to no effort will be made to advance.

After all of these years, I can clearly see the answer that was always there for you and me. Life's results are a measure or product of effort put in. Yes! There are many scales and different slopes and curves that, in the end, represent our individual results. Just remember.....when dealing with products in math, zero (0) times any number is always zero. If you do not put in any effort (studying, sweat, and even tears), how do you expect to get results? 



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Saturday, July 14, 2018

We Are Back!

A New Look

Mind Over Tutors, Inc. has been very busy, preparing to bring all of our clients a new look and new content. We made changes to our home page in order to focus on the new Professional Development and Soft Skills courses that we now offer. Take a look at the home page below.

Home Page for www.mindovertutors.com

Users can access both our Bronze and Workforce packages (training course libraries) directly from the homepage. 

Old and New

As you can see on our home page, Mind Over Tutors is back to bringing you informative podcast and blog posts. Many of our new post will focus on the Professional Development and Soft Skills content that we now feature on the home page. We are also excited to get back to bringing you conversations with community leaders in education, government, and emerging web and mobile technologies. 




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Take a few moments and tour our website. You will not be sorry that you did. Most importantly, try our demo. It is completely free!





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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ed Substance

Communication


Well, I am going to try something different. Of the current blogs that I am writing, this one is the most important to me. It has also been the most challenging to decide how to proceed constructing. Given that statement, I'll be brief.

I am looking for ways to get young people communicating about their experiences. I am interested in you as a whole. However, I am particularly interested in learning about your true, genuine feelings towards education and future career goals.

Through Animation

I have come up with, what I think, is a cool way to share young peoples' experiences. Animation!!! No, this is not the first time that it has been done. I do believe that this is the first time in history where we all can contribute and share our experiences through animation and in a cost effective way.

Let me show you an example! Check out this new animated series that we will be producing here at Mind Over Tutors, Inc.



Nothing overly complicated...robotic voices for sure. Look deeper though! Follow the story lines over the coming episodes. Ask yourself how your personal experience is similar to Ed's or someone else in the story?

Real Change

Real change only comes through real work. I am not going to be one of these adults that over emphasizes and over dramatizes things. Everything does not have to be hard...complicated....earned through blood sweat and tears! Sometimes, we can just talk, discuss, and share. 

Let's make a difference together and for each other.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Students, are you using emerging technologies? (Updated Post on 07/07/2018)

Between us

Students, I believe in you! I have heard you over the last twenty years and know now that less is better. Your generation can be described as brilliant. Now, we just have to get that brilliance to show up at the right time and in the right places. Are you up for the challenge?

Below is a video that I have featured in other blog post. Take a moment to see what your future classrooms could look like. We are definitely closer than you might think.


So what are the obvious questions after watching that video. I would love to get your feedback at the end of this post. Post a comment :)

Is it too much?

There has been recent push back on big companies that are driving to access student data in order to "better prepare for and differentiate material for" students. Not to go into all of the details here, but laws do exist in order to protect your information as students. Watch the video below and think about what the presenter is saying in relation to student data. Is this too much? Would you be ok with your performance data being shared with companies (Big Data), in the interest of better preparing for you down the road.



What is considered emerging in 2016?


Where you fit in today


I say to you again students....I believe in you! As we have seen in each of these videos, technology looks quite exciting in the future. In some cases, the future is already here. I challenge you to seek opportunities to use emerging and mobile technologies wherever you can within your academic programs, right now! Propose the use of new tools when submitting assignments for class. Do not be afraid to try new things. Seek assistance from others that have tried the new tools that you are interested in. Better yet, receive training from the experts with the online training that is so often provided with programs these days.

Best of luck and let us know how we may better serve you.