Wednesday, January 25, 2006

DACUM-final reflections

Gloria and I returned home early Saturday morning after what we shall call an interesting adventure. The details are unimportant, but let's just say that no good deed goes without punishment. It was on our trip home from the airport that we learned that being the good Samaritan isn't always good.

Once home, I was able to reflect on my past week's experiences and determine what I took away from the DACUM facilitator training. Here is the abbreviated list:
1. Meeting and working with new people is always a great experience.
2. DACUM is a valuable process to know and use
3. The college should be able to utilize our training in many ways
4. Ohio is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there
5. Learning by doing is always better
6. Going to the experts enables us to tell our students that what we are teaching, they will be using

Overall, I see DACUM as a valuable training that I will use to ensure that the curriculum being taught includes the input of the industry experts. The experts know it and do it, so their opinions are imperative in the revision process. But does the revision end there? DACUM panels need to be conducted, at least, every 5 years. For those programs that really change with technology, at least every 3 years. I am stronger for having the training, and Cloud County Community College is stronger because Gloria and I have the training and plan to use it!

Signing off- until my next Title III adventure-

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Pictures: Above-Jenny facilitates the gathering of task statements while working with a panel of experts from McGraw-Hill Company.
Left - Jenny and Gloria enjoy the night life outside of Schmitz, a German restaurant in the German Village of downtown Columbus.

Thursday: Wow! What an exhausting day. Today we were given the chance to apply what we've learned and observed this week by working with a real life panel of experts. I worked with Returns Processors from McGraw-Hill. The day went really well and I was really comfortable with the situation. It was really much easier doing it than I had anticipated. At the end of the day, my panel had accomplished 3/4 of the process, so Friday promises to be a breeze. Gloria's group went well too - and we are both ready to go home.

Our after-workshop activities were the best. We went down to German Village and ate authentic German food. Gloria said that the apple strudle was the best, and I really enjoyed my chocolate cream puff. After the supper had a chance to be driven through the OSU campus. What amazing facilities they have - my husband would have drooled at the size of the indoor practice facility.

What else to say? We are both dreading our long day tomorrow and our many hours of sitting in airports waiting for a plane. While our experience has been valuable here, I miss my babies and husband and just want to go home. This will probably conclude my daily debriefing - I'll wrap up the DACUM experience when we return home and I've had a day or two to reflect.

Signing off -

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Pictures: All work and no play! Gloria and Jenny managed to find some time on Wednesday evening to attend the#19 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #13 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes won! and proved to be a great break from the DACUM training.

Wednesday: We woke up to two inches of snow on the ground and still coming down. Many of the area schools were delayed for 2 hours and trucks were jack-knifed on the highway. Although, I don't know if that was because of the snow because every morning on the news I've heard about trucks jack-knifed and there was no snow. Today was also the coldest it has been since we arrived on Sunday. Tomorrow they say it is supposed to be back in the 50 degree range.

In DACUM training we began to practice what we've been learning about and observing by participating in role playing activities. Being the excellent students that we are, Gloria and I both volunteered to go first in our small groups. Tomorrow we begin actual facilitation of an expert panel. I will be working with Returns Processing Operators from McGraw-Hill and Gloria will be working with Customer Service Reps from McGraw-Hill. We both are a little nervous and apprehensive about doing this process for real with a "real" panel, but looking forward to it at the same time. Thursday and Friday will probably prove to be the most valuable days of this workshop.

Our plans for tomorrow are to go to the German Village in downtown Columbus to see a bit of the culture. I'll blog about that tomorrow night.

Signing off-

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Picture: Facilitator Bob Norton leads ODE educational consultants through the DACUM process. Gloria and Jenny were observers of this process that they will be facilitating on Thursday and Friday.


Today we awoke to soggy weather and the rain continued throughout the day. Today was a valuable day at our training because we spent the better part of the day observing a panel of educational consultants from the Ohio Department of Education going through the DACUM process to create a job description. Through this we were able to see everything we were told about yesterday. After observing, we moved to a conference room where we began some role playing as facilitators. Gloria and I did not get a chance to go, so tomorrow we will have a turn. We will also be put into teams tomorrow to facilitate an actual DACUM panel on Thursday and Friday. We have selected to work with McGraw-Hill Publishing Company.

We are supposed to get 2 inches of snow tonight, so we will see if we wake up to white cover in the morning. It's in the plan for tomorrow to go to the Ohio State vs. Wisconsin men's basketball game. We purchased our tickets tonight. Both of us are really excited - they say it's going to be a GREAT game. Go Buckeyes!

Signing off,
Get the update on our time at the game Wednesday!

Monday, January 16, 2006


Photo: Jenny and Gloria look through some task analysis charts during the first day of DACUM Facilitator Training on the campus of Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.


Today was a cognitive day-as our trainer Bob Norton put it. We absorbed a large amount of information. It seemed like the longer it went, the more confused we got. We did find ourselves discussing how we see this process as being very beneficial on campus, not just for Title III purposes.

We met some very interesting people. A few of the other attendees are from educational area. There is a doctoral student at Southern Illinois attending- she is originally from Trinidad.

We did receive some homework for this evening - working on analyzing task statements. At this point that seems to be the most difficult part of the process-determining what is a duty, task, and step for a job.

Tonight we went to Lennox Shopping Center to shop a little and eat at Champs Restaurant. I think we are both tired. As I write this, Gloria is asleep in the bed across the room. Tomorrow promises to be more valuable as we observe a demonstration DACUM panel and begin some situational role playing. We're on our way to being DACUM facilitators.

More on Tuesday!



Gloria and I left Sunday morning for Kansas City. Our plane was scheduled to depart around 3:20. We arrived around 2 p.m. with plenty of time. After grabbing a bagel sandwich for $8.50 we decided to enter the gate area. Ten minutes later, following the ceremonial passing through the guards-shoeless and possessionless and me being accosted by a female security office with a wand, we took a seat near our gate. Looking up to the flight board we learned that our flight would be delayed until 3:38. Minutes later we were on the plane and ready to depart. Flight to Cleveland was smooth and we enjoyed our complimentary snack basket and soda. (I wanted a margarita, but thought it over and decided against it-they were $5.00)

Cleveland: We landed around 6:30, departed the plane and went to find a place to eat. Two escalators later and a mile of moving walkway we found ourselves at a little place called Max and Erma's, where hooting fans were watching the Carolina Panthers and someone. Gloria and I weren't that interested. Our flight was scheduled to begin boarding at 8:05, so we finished eating and headed back to our gate. We arrived and noticed that our flight was delayed to 9:00. So, we sat and sat and sat and sat. Next to our gate a flight to South Bend was loading, so we were able to see many Notre Dame students on their way back to school. Finally loaded the plane and waited for the pilots - they were late on a flight from Syracuse. Once in the air, at around 9:15, we were up and down in 30 minutes.

Columbus: We arrived at our destination - 20 minutes later than scheduled. After claiming our luggage we called out hotel and asked for a shuttle. No shuttle, they said, after 10 p.m. So, we managed to find a cab and take a 25 minute ride to the hotel. Once in our rooms, we unpacked, called home, and settled in for the night.

Signing off- More on Monday.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My Vision

The new year is upon us, and it's time to reflect on our accomplishments to this point and the path we need to follow for the upcoming semester.

One could literally spend all day on the web finding innovative ways that schools and business are utilizing technology in their realm. Whether we feel comfortable with this or not, technology doesn't stand still. There will always be new and improved ways of doing things. The version of the software program you've finally mastered will change! (Here we go again!!) Unlike those cozy worn out pajamas that you refuse to give up, we must cater to change and be flexible enough to lead us down the path that we know we must follow.

Until you force yourself to spend time seeking what's new in the world, you do yourself an injustice. You don't miss what you don't know. You can't enjoy that which you don't know is out there.

As a former business/computer teacher, I knew my subjects well. Behind the piles of homework to grade and curriculum to write, it does become very difficult to add another thing onto the mound!

In my role here, as Instructional Technology Specialist, my hope is that faculty will feel free to use me as a resource. If I'm aware of the needs of the teacher, I can be the "gopher" to mine for nuggets of information or look for ways to enhance technology into their curriculum. Need a short inservice or a tutorial to become familiar with a software program? Perhaps I can help.

This institution has been given an opportunity (through the Title III grant) to help it's faculty gain staff development.

Don't let it pass you by.

Click on the link below to read an interesting article about technology in education.

So What's Different