Peter’s Digital Media Project

Hi,

I am sharing with you my classmates digital media project.  Peter Parkinson created an infographic using “Piktochart” on Inquiry Based Learning “IBL”.

IBL an approach to teaching and learning in which the classroom environment is characterized by the student being the active participant while the teacher’s role is decentralized.

Here are a few of the benefits:  IBL fosters a deeper learning for the students; they are more persistent (or invested) in solving problems; and it develops thinking & problem solving skills.

Peter’s project is well laid out with his definition, how to facilitate and describes what some of the classroom expectations would be if you were considering this strategy.  Thank you Peter for sharing this strategy.

Power of Positivity

gratitute

What does gratitude mean?  According to the Oxford Dictionary it is defined as “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

What does gratitude then mean to you?  For me, it is appreciating the people in my life; noticing the little things; appreciating what I have in life and trying not to focus on what I don’t have.  Appreciating my life and accepting I am exactly where I need to be.  Random acts of kindness or expression – holding doors open, saying thank you often.  Making sure that the people who are in my life are appreciated.  I like to tell the people what the mean to me and why.  It can strengthen the power with you and the strengthen the relationships around you.

Research has shown how the power of gratitude affects your life.  In the article from Psychology Today speaks to some of these study’s The Grateful Brain.

5 Gratitude Exercises

During this Easter weekend please take a moment for a few simple tasks:

  1.  What are you grateful about yourself
  2.  What are you grateful about a relationship you have (partner, family, friend or co-worker) – why are you grateful and have you told them this lately?
  3.  When have you been grateful for something a complete stranger did for you?

How change begins

The reason I started the PID Program last summer was to work on my Plan B for life.  I needed to make some changes in my life and I felt this was a starting point.  Part of the reason for this was the lack of change that was happening in job.  I have a member with the RCMP for almost 19 years now and the working conditions have been horrible.  Further to that there was no recourse for us.  There was no voice to represent the almost 18,000 members as we were not permitted to have a union.  Several years ago court proceedings started which after several appeals went to the Supreme Court who decided in our favour.  But there were limitations that we were not able to join existing unions and we had a year to get it organized.  Of course that year goes by and little was accomplished.  The government gave us a 6 month extension.  We had 3 groups that could represent us, NPF, MPPAC, and the AMQ.  Further we were not allowed to use the RCMP email system to discuss any union business.  The set up was designed to fail us as we could not communicate and we were all divided.  Eventually someone creates a Facebook Page for RCMP members and there were about 8200 members in the group.  Unfortunately this just created a venue for arguments back and forth, people complaining about working conditions, management, delays.  We were mostly divided between the NPF and MPPAC approximately 4000 members per group.  And a year goes by – nothing happens.  We are no further ahead.  Members were tired and frustrated when they see their counterparts working in the exact same roles and years of service that had 2 officers per car; all the equipment they needed; making $20,000 / year more; no man power concerns.  The RCMP members started jumping ship and going to other police forces across Canada because there seemed like no hope.  I am overworked and there is no one to turn to help with caseloads.  Across Canada was the same thing.  Members working in Isolated Posts and not getting any relief; Watches working below their designated minimums numbers required, in Vernon for example we are 10 members to a Watch with our minimums at 5. There are shifts were 3 members would be on shift.  Then you try to call in members who are on their days off to get to minimums and people burn out quickly.  Caseloads of 50 files where 20 – 25 files are considered manageable.  Members have equipment issues or lack of kit because it’s back ordered.  Or vehicles that need to be taken out of use but because we don’t have proper staff who prep the new vehicles, there is a 2 year wait list for changing vehicles.   And the list goes on and there has been nothing we could do about it.  There have been some members who have been sitting on the fence waiting to see what the pay increase would be like.  The RCMP were told at least 15 years ago (I believe) that Canada’s national police force would be in the top 3 for pay and benefits.  We were never in that rank and over the years we have dropped further down the list to the point that we were like 76 out of 82 police agencies in Canada.  Again, we did not have a union to represent us and no way management cared – we were stuck.  The last few months were started to see more members leave for other police forces.  There were at least 86 members leave the RCMP in B.C. alone.  I had a Victim Services worker tell me that her Daughter wanted to join and asked me if I would talk to her.  My response was “Do you want her to become a member?” and she said, “yes” then I replied that she best find someone else for her daughter to talk to.  We started to make strong demands to the NPF and MPPAC to join forces so we could hold an election but at least start the process to become a union.  They refused to talk to one another for several weeks – a lot of animosity between these two groups, between members, between management and members…but we could not speak about it.  It’s been so entrenched in us as a “Military” upbringing if you will that we comply and follow orders and if you stepped out of line then you were disciplined.

Then a week ago, the government released the information about the pay increase.  And everyone was so disappointed, angry and discouraged even more – if that was at all possible.  This was a slap in the face.  The next day North Vancouver RCMP rallied together to protest by taking the yellow stripe off their pants, which is a code of conduct action.  A few weeks prior there had previously been some rumblings on the Facebook page about taking action like this but no one took action.  But last Thursday was the day.  North Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast RCMP started a movement.

jakes 1

Further the removal of the yellow stripe, Sgt Chris Backus (starts at 8 min mark) of the Sunshine Coast took further risk by speaking out to the media.  Chris was amazing.  He spoke the words of what ever member was feeling but did not have the courage to speak out to media with. He put his career on the line for the sake of the other 18,000 members.  He was very well spoken; professional and respect but also clearly spelled out the issues.   This just sent a huge wave through the members.  The Facebook Page was alive and cheering for Chris and Bryan from North Van who started this.

On Friday Chris did a second interview with media, where the final question posed to him was with respect to him possibly getting fired over speaking out to the media.  Chris’s response was: “I will die on this hill”.  Of course #Iwilldieonthishill became very popular amongst the members.  This yellow stripe movement lit a fire under members asses, gave us some form of hope.

Then… the MPPAC decided to release a letter on their website telling members the better not participate in the movement and do not take your yellow stripes off your pants and that if anyone was aware of a Commissioned Officer who was supporting the movement – that they should be reported.  It was a crazy letter.  It was the absolute worst thing anyone could have said to us at that very moment.  Everyone started to leave the MPPAC to join the NPF who quickly released their opportunity and posted supporting comments to the yellow movement.  Members who had been sitting on the fence were now joining the NPF too.   We could see the membership counter climbing – it was very exciting.  There was so much talk on the Facebook page about spreading the word.  A member was signing up for the NPF site every 30 seconds over the weekend.  There were about 4000 members Thursday and by Sunday morning the NPF climbed to 7200.  By Monday morning at around 11 am we reached 9000 members which was the magic number for the 50 + 1 for the NPF to sign up as union representation to the RCMP.

As you can see members from across Canada have joined in solidarity to protest the work conditions and pay / benefits.  Unfortunately most media coverage has been on the pay issue which is not the whole issue – it was the “straw that broke the camels back” but not the sole reason by any means.

As I am in a plan clothes position I was not able to remove the stripe off my pants as I do not wear a uniform.  So I took the yellow stripe off my work pants and made ribbons for the members in my unit to wear which is also happening across Canada.

yellow stripes

Today we have almost 10,000 members signed to the NPF which is just amazing.  It was a crazy few days for the RCMP members to which History was made in the organization.

We still have a long way to go and this is far from over.  But this past weekend saw a change occur in 4 days that we have been trying 2 years (+ 15 years) to get to this point.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.   I know not everyone will agree and fair enough.   We should never be too quick to Judge without having walked a mile in that person’s shoes.   I believe that the public should do “ride alongs” with police so they have a full understanding of what is happening in their community.  I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if people did ride alongs they would never object to a tax increase to pay for more police officers.

Again,

Thanks for reading….

 

 

 

The Hole in the Wall

 

Sugata Mitra did a presentation to the European Zeitgeist in 2011 about the experiments he did with children from different cultures who had never seen a computer before.  Mitra started by placing a computer literally in a whole in a wall in a small village in India where the children had never seen a computer before.  He came back to the village two months later and you will need to watch the video to find out where this all leads too.  He has a great sense of humour too – interesting video.

Tim Schmuland’s Digital Project

Tim did his digital project on case studies.  I particularly like this topic as I will use case studies when facilitating about risk factors in domestic violence for service providers.  We will go through a case study and determine what risk factors are present then discuss whether or not we feel the situation is higher risk.

I liked Tim’s project because the music he used was cheerful and the technique of the hand writing kept me engaged with what was being written next.

Here is a link:

Tim’s project

 

Some thoughts on problem centered learning

To further one of the discussions I participated in with the discussion forums is the concept of problem-centered learning and how it is almost a daily practice in my professional or personal life. I frequently encounter roadblocks or challenges when working with women who are victims of domestic violence. If it is not the victims, then it is the justice system. If it is not systemic issues, it is societal issues. In my personal life I use problem-centered learning regularly for even little challenges such as how to grow garlic or maintain my travel trailer. Social Workers, Probation Officers, Crown Counsel for example – all have significantly high workloads and are expected to balance their caseloads and they home lives. But at the end of the workday we are expected to just stop what we are doing and punch out, this very rarely happens because a child could be at risk; a victim could be assaulted by their spouse or a child molester could be re-offending if they are not managed appropriately in the community. In addition to that service providers are tasked with trying to keep up with new technology or new policies when there is no time to learn. Or there is the employee that has the creativity to better the systemic problems but not time or money to implement the cost effective or time management strategies. For myself, I could list five approaches to domestic violence that would have a positive impact for the victims; the offenders; the community and service providers – however as the only person in my “unit”, I do not have the time to implement these recommendations.

How does this all relate to “problem-centered learning”? In my opinion, and I understand this is likely not the foundation to which this concept was based on, however that there is no time in people’s lives any more to spend proactively seeking out learning experiences unless the necessity is there. We need a solution, we need it quickly and we need to apply it within a timely manner in order to continue or maintain the mentally of having to “do it all”. Reflecting on this concept has provided me with the insight of how I will need to approach adult learners whose lives are busy; whose workloads are heavy; and understand their work environments are stressful by giving them practical, useful tools to making their jobs easier. To do that it will be critical to demonstrate why they need to learn something and how what they learn will apply to their immediate situation (Merriam & Bierema, 2014). Using a problem-centered approach such as working groups, case studies with risk assessment models and by acting as mentor or facilitator to encourage a respectful and harassment free classroom exists which would hopefully elicit participation and self-directed learning (Nag, 2011).

Merriam, S.B. & Bierema, L.L. (2014).  Adult learning.  San Francisco, CA:  John Wiley &               Sons.

Nag, A. (2011, December 13).  3 Reasons Why Problem-centered Approach is a Better Way         of Learning.  Retrieved April 3, 2017, from http://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning-           design/problem-centered-learning

The Self-organizing computer course

I really enjoyed this Ted Talk by Shimon Schocken as he has such an intriguing background to lead into his present day concepts; it is a very amazing story. In my opinion I fully agree with the importance of developing one’s self-empowerment and confidence. Schocken’s method is very unique and can be applicable to all age groups. I cannot stress enough how one’s confidence or lack of affects a person throughout their entire life. Confidence, self-empowerment, self-exploration is a life long journey. The earlier in life that it is developed the better. However this is really just one method, there are several others out there and Schocken even stated that the people who are attracted to these courses have a ‘hackerman’ mentality. This method is not necessarily appealing for every individual.   Further I would suggest that this is amazing foundational work however, there will still need to the traditional style learning required as I believe companies are more likely going to hire the student with the masters degree in Computer Science versus the student who completed a “Nand-to-Tetris” computing device. I am not saying I agree with that statement however, I believe the reality is even though the person may be equally capable of doing the job, their resume would not likely make it past the first screening.

For my course, I feel that to reach the same levels of building confidence, self-empowerment, will be most measurable in the feedback they receive from their clients. My role would be to give them the tools to help guide them through their own decision- making processes and achieve successful outcomes. My personal job satisfaction does not come from throwing an offender in jail; it comes from the victim who I worked with 3 years ago that continues to call me to say hi and share with me the great things that are happening in their lives. My job satisfaction comes from supporting the offender with some form of treatment that impacts their life and affects a change in their behaviour. These are the types of things that reinforces why I do this job. Passion is the driving force for so much. If people are passionate about “Nand-to-Tetris” and they become a better person for it, than the world is a better place because of it. Well done Mr. Schocken.