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Showing posts from 2014

Professional Development: Lomilomi

On Nov. 11, I took a Lomilomi workshop with Kamaka Jingao, who is a practitioner from Hui Mauli Ola, an organization of native Hawaiian healing practitioners. In this hands-on (literally!) workshop, Kamaka shared with us his personal journey, some thoughts about the Hawaiian cosmology and world view, and how to give a seated massage. Two things that stuck with me particularly are the idea of connection between mind, body, and spirit--and that true health is balance between the three. Also, that lomilomi is one of the most fundamental ways to show aloha and build pilina with others. Hui Mauli Ola offers talks with health practitioners, as well as workshops. More information can be found at

The Power of Images

At the Schools of the Future Conference I attended a session titled, “The Power of Images”. Having a background in photography, I have always been trained to notice the significance of imagery in everyday life. From billboards to magazines to posters and websites, pictures play an important role in developing a sense of emotion and delivering messages.  During the session, Alison Beste brought up the concept of visual literacy, “the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, extending the meaning of literacy, which commonly signifies interpretation of a written or printed text.” So how to we feel when we look at imagery? Here are some prompts to consider: -Describe what is in the photograph. -What do you like about the image? Dislike? -How does the image make you feel? -What is happening in the image? -What questions do you have? -What do you think the image is about? -What is

Schools of the Future 2014

This was the fourth year attending Schools of the Future, and I have to admit I didn't find it as fulfilling as in past years. Instead of complaining of the parts I didn't like, I will list the relevant and inspirational bits I was able to glean from the conference: -Jane McGonigal, head advocate for gamification, shared an interesting project she did with the NYC Library System, wherein students found artifacts strewn around the library, learned more about them via QR code, and then wrote their own pieces. These pieces were then printed out and hand bound into a huge book: I liked these ideas for our program: a f2f element, a curated scavenger hunt, students' work that creates an actual product. -Changing your Practice with Game Dynamics: featured an interesting and inspirational real-world, problem-solving video: Yellow Boat of Hope -In The Neuroscience of Inquiry, I learned how pathways of the brain can be retrained and remapped. -The next day, Milto

Professional Development Opportunity: Hawaiian Media Makers Conference

On Oct. 29, I attended the first annual Hawaiian Media Makers Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel, put on by Pacific Islanders in Communication. Some highlights: -The first session I attended was about indigenous property and intellectual rights. This panel talked about the rights and responsibilities we have to original works and their creators. Music created prior to 1974 doesn't have the same rights protection as later works, and can be used widespread, without compensation (think of all the wonderful music by Aunty Genoa Keawe, or older hapa haole music). To indigenize the law, creators can work into their contracts terms that protect their rights and reflect their culture (such as requesting the ho'oponopono process, instead of arbitration and litigation). My take away, for KSDL: as intermediaries between an artist, SME, or other content creator, KSDL can indigenize their process by making sure the rights of the artists are both clear and fair, and that we receive permissio

Hawai'i Education Leadership Summit

This is the first year I have attended the Hawaii Education Leadership Summit, which focused on best practice strategies for integrating technology and online resources.   Summit attendees were from public and private K-12 schools around the state and it was a good networking opportunity to share technology and distance learning needs with one another.   The highlight of the summit was our leadership team having the time to discuss and formalize actionable outcomes to progress distance learning at KS.   Here are our outcomes. Outcome #1 Identify strategies to make KSDL a “one-stop” area for Hawaiian culture and language. Outcome #2 Strategize different online learning models that will ensure quality while being sustainable over time (e.g. development time, revenue generating, etc.) Outcome #3 Identify strategies to have more learner-focused KS online programs through building in hands-on learning. Outcome #3 Identify strategies to incorporate Response t

2014 Hawaiʻi Education Leadership Summit Top 3 Highlights

Attending my first Hawaiʻi Education Leadership Summit was an engaging and meaningful experience for me. Having time with my leadership team to discuss tactical next steps to move distance learning forward at Kamehameha Schools (KS) was productive. Here are my top 3 highlights: Agreeing on desired outcomes and next steps for distance learning at KS. Commitment  to...publicly showcasing KS distance learners' work (hō`ike + pilina + `ike) [showcasing authentic learning + building relationships + share & continually seek knowledge].  Reflecting on where we are in distance learning, but also KS as an organization based upon Steven Edwards' suggested educational models. These models affirmed that we're headed in the right direction. Quotes that struck a chord for me. "Move at the pace of the fastest."  Steven Edwards "To do disruptive innovation, you have to be willing to be misunderstood for a very long time."  Jeff Bezos, Innova

Online Courses Look for a Business Model

As we think about how we can make our own Distance Learning courses sustainable and revenue generating in the future, I'd like to share this Wall Street Journal article titled " Online Courses Look for a Business Model ."  Just as we find challenges with a sustainable, revenue generating and profitable online course model, so does the business sector.  The article focuses on unlocking the potential profitability of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)  by finding a successful business model(s). MOOC providers such as Udacity, Coursera and edX are still figuring out how to keep basic course access free while generating revenue.  Some business models that are being tested include: matching students to employers licensing content to schools charging for proctored exams At this point, it is still unclear if any of these models will be successful in the long term to generate sustainable revenue and profits.  However, investors and increasingly higher education recogni

DISCover Your Communication Style

Your DISC Personality Profile - Understanding & Improving Your Communication Style October 7, 2014 Cheri Matsuwaka & Alt Kagesa Since all of us at Distance Learning have taken our DiSC profile through Wiley, I was curious to find out more about DISC profile with this workshop. I found that Wiley’s Everything DiSC Workplace to be very accurate on my S style at work. I wanted to further my investigation on my DiSC profile to make the most out of my preferred communication style for both my professional and personal life. A week before the workshop, I took another DISC profile assessment through DISCert which which was different from the assessment I took from Wiley a few months back. As it turns out, the assessment gave me a very thorough report that also features two different graphs. The first graph is known as my natural DISC graph which represents my communication style 24/7 in both home and work settings. The second graph is known as my adaptive DISC graph which repres
***BREAKING NEWS***BREAKING NEWS***                    Follow up from iNACOL Webinar introducing new Competency Framework HOT OFF THE PRESS! Read All About It! The beauty of the profession we are in is that we are seeing blended and online learning being built from the ground up. We are truly pioneers in this industry! As I have been researching what it takes to be a competent blended and online educator, I have come across varied theoretical frameworks, methodologies, pedagogy, and pathways. iNACOL , international Association for K-12 Online Learning, has compiled all the research mentioned above as well as in the field experience to give us tools that outline national standards for online: Courses Teaching Programs NOW ,….. drum roll please …….after observing classrooms and communicating directly with practitioners in the field, they have addressed the need of identifying the skills and requirements  for a quality blended learning platform…..and have released the:

A different perspective of the Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders Workshop

At first glance upon observing the room for the Donna Ching’s workshop, I saw the following:   Hand written agenda with markers on about 3-4 pieces of flip chart paper from ceiling to floor   More flip chart paper posted along the front of the room with writing and pictures.   Markers on the table.   A notebook at my seat.   As I began to acclimate myself and settle into my environment I started to wonder:   Where is the projector with the PowerPoint for this training?   These tools I see around the room appear to be dated. Does she really carry all of this stuff    around with her?   I love that I have a tangible notebook to reference instead of just a link to an e-book. The workshop begins with introductions from every participant, expectations, and legitimizing! As each of us shared and discussed from the beginning of the workshop to the end, effort was made to legitimize to ensure each person felt valued. From the onset, the climate/temperature in the

My Personal Experience With Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders Workshop

When you attend Donna Ching’s Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders workshop, be prepared for an intense, practical and fun filled two days session. Since Simon has done an excellent job writing about the workshop and what was covered , I will reflect on my experience going through the workshop, my two takeaways and how I will plan to use the skills I learned at KSDL. When we arrived at the, Donna purposely covered the walls with flip charts with colorful text. There were six tables for all of us to sit in and naturally most of us in class tend sit with people we were familiar with or work with. At the table, Donna left each of us materials for us to go through during the workshop. The materials included a newly published book that Donna was very excited to share with us. The workshop promptly started at 8:30 and Donna emphasized starting on time. After her introduction, we went around and introduced ourselves with our name, affiliation and our expectations from the worksho

Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders

Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders Donna Ching, Ph.D. September 22nd - 23rd, 2014 Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders was two full days of exploring the philosophy, psychology and science of facilitation with Donna Ching.  We were given tools and templates to generate agendas, promote collaborative meetings, and organize the group’s memory.  We then practiced techniques for focusing group members on the tasks needed to develop the solutions they came together to find.   We role-played to practice the language of an artful facilitator as we tried to “legitimize early and often” every person in the group.  This is the most important role of a facilitator.  Groups, especially ones not inclined to work together, need to have every person feel a part of the solution.  If someone doesn’t feel their voice is part of the solution there will mostly like not be a lasting one. The two day training ended with a mock town meeting to resolve a real life situation.

Performance Management in Success Factors

Performance Management in Success Factors with Alt Kagesa September 9th, 2014 Alt Kagesa draws from the everyday and pop culture to bring life to the process and considerations needed to write clear and measurable goals. An example was a funny story from his life about the right tool for the job. You'll have to take the workshop to hear the story, but the lesson was, "Don’t use a wrench when you need a hammer." It’s often not the tool's fault it’s just not being used the way it was designed.  A goal is only useful it is has clear meaning and can gives guidance on ways to reach it.  This approach to goal writing has come to be know as SMARTgoal setting.   A guide for writing quality SMART Goals ( S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime limited) is to use “ 2 BY WHEN “.  It’s simple to remember and easy to use, but takes practice to master so be patient and get feedback.   Here is an  example: “ 2 BY WHEN “ To decrease the t

Artists' reflections on art & life

My very favorite quote by an artist is from Claude Monet. He says: "I would like to paint the way a bird sings." Monet's simple, poetic comment accurately and beautifully speaks to my own aspirations as an artist. During our KSDL meeting on Tuesday, September 16th, I will offer a short presentation that shares various artists' reflections on their art and life. Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, it's my hope that you will find inspiration in their words that touches you in some meaningful way.

Challenge yourself

If you have been surfing the web you might have come across the "Ice Bucket Challenge" for ALS awareness. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has lit social media on fire, raising both money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. About 30,000 Americans now have the disease, which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis. List of 30 top challenges so far...   image from So I have been thinking about the idea of a challenge.  So my Owau blog today is about challenging yourself.  Do one thing, whether it is small or large that you would not normally do and challenge yourself to do it for one day. It can be something really small and simple, for example, you could chal