31 May 2018

Closing a Project (when finished : not before!)

The following applies only to web based paths, with printed material it is different.

Monday, I zoomed with Ann (not real name). She finished and gave her Icebreaker and did not know how to read farther. As she did not "close" her Icebreaker project, it was not marked finished, and did not let her go farther.

I had to explain, show her how to get to Self Assessment After and answer to every question then go on with Next instead of the usual Arrow right. 

When I was there first, that was the first bump I had.

Waiting for answer here 5 pages
Answered page for my "When I was a protégé"
I did answer the first question then went on "as usual" to the next page with --> instead of answering to EVERY question (as many as small circles) and after answering to the last one. After the last question and in every project it is the same question "I recognize how this project applies to my life outside Toastmasters." Click on Submit. 

The project Checklist does tell you WHEN to ASSESS your sills - After. Once you did complete all tasks and given the speech(es) required. How many of us read it carefully? print it and read it? A year ago, I did not. Or at least not understood it. Monday, it proved that Anna did not either last week.
Here are the last lines from the open Project Checklist.
Saving and getting the comparison, signaling Base Camp, and now, me "Project finished". Of course, later, I believed that the Assess your skills - Before is as important. It is, but only for us to compare. The Base Camp looks only to the AFTER. Again, the last question will be if it applies to the life outside Toastmasters. Very difficult question, for me: do I have a life outside toastmasters? Outside Pathways? Not much.
When this one is answered, the Base Camp takes it as you did finish the project. Honor. you still have to "submit" but sometimes it almost submits by itself. Opens this:

When we arrive to see this, it does mean we did signal the Base camp that we finished the Project and all its tasks. Soon, we will get a check mark near the project.

I did show to Ann and she did the before and after and finally the Icebreaker was "done" on her base camp and the next two projects of Level 1 open to read and do.
Any finished Project can be launched again. But here it is how my French path looks: I finished only the Ice Breaker so I could read the next two projects also in French. Now, Ann could also Launch either one of her next projects on Level 1 and continue.

Yesterday, I had a gentleman Ben, also not a real name, whose projects at level 1 well one signaled done, without him doing more then completing his Icebreaker. Again, I do now show his Base Camp but mine. I did complete all of them it was not a mistake.
What happened? How did it happen that someone without intention got all the Level 1 completed without doing it and realizing what he done? He was very unhappy that he got congratulations from his VPE, Base Camp Manager for the completed Level, when he just given his Icebreaker so far. What to do? How go farther? How to protest?

I was more interested to discover why it happened and how. We zoomed together for almost an hour yesterday afternoon (after in the morning he stood me up, forgot) and showing to show his screen. I show mine, he shows his. "Well, I answered it too when I was eager to read and see what arrives" and continued "and showed that nothing changed for me between Before and After!" 

Show to whom? Only we can see those questions answered and the comparison. Beside, he only read and did not do the tasks, how could he understood and changed? 

But now, we did understood both him and me, why all his projects were checked as "done". Then I could explain that he can still Launch and Read again, and do the Tasks asked. Also he can now ask the VPE of his clubs to let him speak so he could complete the speeches he did not yet do, from the Second and Third Project.

"But they put them already on my Award list" - we finally got to look and it was not there because finishing a Level in Base Camp and Getting it approved, even with Congratulations and a Letter from Toastmasters Base camp, does not mean that one of the committee members had submitted it to Club Central. It proved that it was not. How? Login to TMI then opening Welcome Ben! and looking at My Awards. Here also, I showed first mine, then he did open his through zoom to look together. 
Here what I did find, my last four awards this year offered to four different of my clubs where I was (or am) member. Three of them will be President Distinguished. Well, I hope my online club will have enough members for it. 

As much patience you got to have sometimes to help someone, we always get something from it. 

Understand better how it works, how someone could think, and even reflect of our own path through last months. We finished both happy. He knew now one bit more and could explain to others. Me, that I understood how it happened. 

And I believe now all of you reading this understand different variations of what could happen at the beginning, till we understand well how the platform works.

30 May 2018

Again? Mentor or Coach. Me as Protégée?

Perhaps still the most difficult project for me, Understanding Mentoring, remembering a time when I was protégée. I can not tell again and again the same story, and... But in fact, each time I come back to a project, I notice and remember something new.

Here is this slide: "A virtual mentor is an experienced member who shares knowledge and experience in a specific area via the internet." I believe, that is the main difference between Mentor for 3 speeches (in real it was coaching) and the new Pathways Mentor certificate. It allows, even encourage to mentor through Internet, Web, not only meeting in the same room.

 Last Sunday, I completed Active Listening, and now here I am to work through "Introduction to Toastmaster Mentoring" again. I got a great inspiration from Graham, who spoke about his father as "mentor by osmosis". 
I am not sure if I am a "successful protégé" but I did mentor many, and each time some of this ingredients were missing. I am now believing more in Coaching for a purpose.

Again, in another page, the role of a Virtual Mentor is explained, adding the difference from in-person mentor. It can provide expert information around the world.

Experts in different fields, can help indeed, many across culture, in variety of fields. That is what we try to do also on online toastmasters speciality clubs, like Witty Storytellers. With time, more ways to connect, help, get help will arrive. That is what I try to do it even if not one to one with this blog.

Here is how the role of Coach is defined now by Pathways, at least in this project. 

Responsible for one specific short-term goal and helping to aquire that skill or attain that goal. That works better for me.

Today, I hoped to help someone who did need it, through Zoom, he did not come. I waited 20 minutes, did not get even a message "I can not come now or today". That is why the nexts Mentor manuals in Pathways, make a longer discussion between the two and each determine when and how they meet or what each duty is or is not.  

I have prepared to explain "How to close or not close a project" (and a Level) and will write about it tomorrow. I realised, it is not so simple for a beginner, as I see it now. 

29 May 2018

Flashback article : today links to posts and questions for those new to Pathways

This "flashback" comes from February, when a whole huge region rolled out. Two links, explaining and linking in turn some explaining perhaps to 12 posts I have written during last year. 

All about different problems I have experienced and what I found out about dealing with them.

I begun to look, and found at least two different 12 links proposed, one from December last year, the second in February. 

The first post title is "a Horror story with 12 links.

It is bellow and even if it is not much of a horror, it is how I felt when I wrote some of them, very low. It took some time, to understand some things at the beginning. I did not become as soon Pathways Expert as short it took me to buy my Pathways tea-shirt that you see here.
It is not as much a "horror" but all the things I felt I did wrong. As chosen a Printed Path (that I never finished finally). 

How I do not mind at all beginning again and again. 

My preferred level 3 : first time I felt there as a kid in bonbon store, allowed to choose. It did happen to me once in my life.

All the different ways and reasons I did choose, not all the best specially at the beginning.

The image will not led you to the links the title will at the top. Image here just to give a hint, what you can find.

The second is 12 posts for newcomers to pathways. This title is the link.

This 24 some repeating, are not the only ones I wrote about strange things I found. I hope you can avoid some problems reading those posts. During the year I did experience lots of problems, or bizarre user interfaces. I made at the same time even more wonderful discoveries and learnings. 

As I got in Pathways with beginners eyes, I went on and on. Did not stop at first bump.

28 May 2018

Curriculum? Instructional design?

As I learned that Toastmasters has a Chief Instructional Designer, and after I got even to speak with her, last summer, I went in search of what "Instructional Designer" means.
That was the first image I liked, even if I did not understand it yet really well. Of course, "keep innovating" means also the cycle begins - if not from all the beginning again - and as Smedey said, we learn in a fun and engaging environment. But this picture as pretty it is, has not all in it. 

Then I found this three books all talking about how you create a new educational environment for adults. Going in details and describing all the different methods and means and new time's possibilities. Blending them into one "curriculum" delivered usually nowadays by more then one means.

Here they are in the order I found them, "More then Blended Learning" from Clive Shepherd in February. I wrote about it first in February. 

His book, written 7 years before that, The New Learning Architect, discovered by me in March. Both take up the same subject from different angles. He considers himself as an "Architect", putting in the broad lines of what will then be constructed by a builder: perhaps Pat did that part mostly for Pathways, even if it was experiential and team of 250 Toastmasters volunteers work and lasted through years. 

Design for the people to learn, is a relative recent book, with delightful speaking images in it, explaining me some new aspects of creating a NEW Adult Education Environment. I will show (did I not yet?) some of them in another post.

Last week I went again to web and googled, this time to discover what is "curriculum" or "curriculum design" Pat Johnson (see yesterdays video) used often. 

Selecting aims and objectives. 
Selecting a "learning experience". 
Selecting the content. 
Organizing and integrating the "experience" and "content". 
Evaluating again.

To understand the "Experience" the more then Blended Learning explain the different ways the same content could be delivered, or means blended together. In class or club, online, together or alone, top down or on-demand and so on. It also explains while how we learn (methods) did not change in thousand years, the possible methods of delivery changed with the information age.
Developing a curriculum? 
Developing a content?

Remember from Pat: deciding the Target audiences, Main Goals. Main principles. 

Then only begin thinking about the "instructional strategy", the logistics and possibilities.

How the instruction will be assessed In the case of Pathways, by oneself, as it is no Fail/Pass as already Smedley decided it. Honor system, Pat called it. 

It will take time to Evaluate Effectiveness, and then change some parts of the curriculum. Add to it, as it is projected already.

And all this is only preparing and not yet implementing the new system. A lot of work!

In Pathways, we have Peer to Peer not teacher based. 
Based on Projects and inside a club speech and evaluations. 
We have a learning platform that is the Base Camp, global connections and community based. Level 1 develops our Essential skills. Level 2 makes us reflect on our past experiences. But there is more to it. All this pictures are nice, round, but not complete. 

Remember? All of you who did begin does remember that every Self Assessment After, finishes in Pathways with "Do you recognize that this is useful outside Toastmasters?" Pathways was designed to Do, Reflect on what we did, Discuss what we found, and also to take it outside the club.

Now you understand why I have difficulty with my Research Project. I found a lot of information, and here I showed you a bit of it only. I begun to understand how Pathways was designed and why. Begun. Still a long way to go even if after listening to Pat and the answers she gave also (see yesterday video) I understood more then before.

27 May 2018

Pat Johnson Keynote with Q/A, 05 20 2018 Online

 A week ago, last Sunday, Firebirds Collective Online first meeting after pathways rollout.

As I introduced the club, and then one to one many club members to Pathways, they asked me to be the Toastmaster of the event. 

We succeeded to invite Pat Johnson, who worked for years with "REP Learning Masters" to create the Pathways foundation and content. She calls the content "curriculum". Past International President, her background was already in Education and creating new Learning Experience for adults and Learning Management System, now called Base Camp.

Here is the video of what she said to us in her keynote as well questions and answers.
I was between those 2500 Toastmasters who applied at the time, 250 were accepted, me not between them. But I did follow from then on, how the program developed, trying to know as much as we could. Later, as REP Ambassador.

I will analyze her answers and speech next time. First, I suggest you all to take time and listen. Reflect on what she is saying, as our current Pathways, even if finished by another team, was prepared and decided by them. Through discussions and testing by a team of more then 200 Toastmasters of all places and ages through her leadership.

25 May 2018

How pathways was created: introduction

Arlene, from Florida, an excellent VP PR for Firebirds Collective online club, created three different posters for every week meeting. 

She posts them in different time and different places, and at the end, adds all three one after the other. I could observe her at work when I was the Toastmaster of the Meeting, last Sunday, during the first "after Pathways launch meeting". I was offered this role, as a year ago, I was the first to introduce Pathways and later give speech from Pathways project. As well encourage toastmasters from this club to go far their way, and begin Pathways by becoming also members of an already Pathways district, remote access. 

We discussed details, she changed again and again, with an infinite patience As on one of the posters, the photo of the TMoM appears with the theme and a special saying. 
We had a very special guest, for this special meeting, Pat Johnson, past International President and leader of more then 200 Learning Masters with whom they created the new Pathways Education system.

She told us the tale of those days, when all was torn down and nothing yet sure, and how they decided to WHOM the new Education Program will be addressed. " 5 different Personas". Tomorrow, I will publish the whole speech together with questions and answer session which made us understand even better not only how Pathways was created, but what part she and the Learning Masters, different Toastmasters from all over the word, new and veterans, young and old, different professions discussing the new education program, for years.

24 May 2018

100,000 Paths registered!

100,000 paths registered, a great responsibility comes with it. And now, all regions rolled out. Many clubs have already Pathways champions!
Still a long way to go but it is a great milestone, indeed.

As for this blog, surpassed 55,000 page views.

Today, I finished my communication style project, with a story and explaining how and why we all, at Witty Storyteller ps Online, love to tell stories. Stories evoke, stitch and linger. 6th of those Path are mine, and this is not the first time I pass through this project. But so much to tell

23 May 2018

Archived by mistake? Getting rid of clutter?

Let me answer today to two different, yet related questions from the Pathways Forum.

1. "I archived my Path by mistakes, now what?"
2. "Opened too many online classes, beside my path, how I get rid of the clutter"?

Almost any way I go in, nowadays after login to TMI i get this. Then, I login as Member and get "inside the Base Camp, and see this.
There is also another "my educational transcript under it open to the last work perhaps, but best go in, opening the "My Educational Transcript".

Here, where I added an oval and not there at the burgundy with same title. 

At least if you want to change anything and have control of what you see.

After opening the "My Education Transcript" Blue tile, you can see this:
Read carefully what is written, not like me, then pay attention at the three possibilities offered below. First is for changing from Active, Completed or Archived. Sorted all by different criteria. The third is why type you want to see?

Easy way to "clean up" what you see is to choose Active and Curriculum, only your path is there then suddenly, all the online classes are not visible. Experiment with it!

Now to answer to the questions "I Archived my current path! now what"? Choose the Archived instead of active, and hold the Path title (not the launch) - even if an archived you can launch and see. But we want to retransfer it into the ACTIVE paths.
I went to my Archived Types, there are all these and I choose Curriculum. Can of course re-activate any other type too.
That is what I found in my Archived Curriculum. As I did not want to see my Printed Path any more, I went to transfer back to Active my Pathways Mentor Program. I had to choose the title, instead of Open Curriculum, or click on the square near it. 
It opened the "Transcript" and I could click on activate: I added for this post a rectangle around it, upper right corner. That is all it took, to transfer the Mentor Program (and any other I would have wanted) from Archived to Active.

Here it is now, between my Active Curriculum (paths) even if it is not a path but an equivalent. 

As you see, I have three Active Paths, now. They are at different Levels.

Dynamic Leadership, DL is at Level 5 and it will be for some time still. 

Motivational Strategies, MS is now at Level 2 and I am preparing, as I wrote yesterday, the "my communication style". Yesterday, I made a research on google, and I found a lot of conflicting material. I also found a great TED talk, that explained that what it really matters is to Reflect on our styles and how we use them.

The pathways Guide Tasks, I will have to Archive, just not yet. As to the Pathways Mentor Program, soon I will send back to where it was where it can wait for me, when I am ready to tackle or get interested in it again. For the moment, Mentoring was not much for me. In is long time, and as for now, I am preoccupied by being a Guide. And an Ambassador. And at the side, preparing some new Motivational Strategy speeches, and perhaps giving another Research and Presenting speech, best then last time. Letting settle all I read about the chosen subject. 

I hope, this post helps to answer the questions, and those who some of you may have.

22 May 2018

My communication style? Sharing through stories.

A year ago! In two days, we will have our first "after pathways rollout" in our club, the Witty storytellers online, but here is is "live on Facebook," about the our first all Pathways meeting at Witty Storytellers Online has "A special pathways discovery meeting"! By Misako Yoko.

Cherished memories! Live on Facebook, the first time, our seargeant-at-arms with passion.

I am still learning to speak on video alone, not the same when I have audience. I do love communicating, but with someone there, someone I can see. 

I have begun the nth time the project My Communication Style. Every time the same style comes on top for me: Storytelling. It is called "Initiating" style by Pathways.

So it is natural, that I love interacting with others and sharing my stories. Or the stories heard from my family. I like to have time to express my opinions, and of course feelings, too.

When in a meeting, someone from another style, let us say "Direct" tells me "Julie, get to the point" she does not understand that this is my style of communicating. The Direct style person wants short the others only Facts, but that is not how I can communicate. 

From adolescence, I learned that when I give an advice wrapped in a story it works a lot better. My best friend did not listen to my advice, till told inside a tale.

As much as I have to adopt my style of communicating, depending of the situation and whom I address, perhaps, they could understand also my style? 

Of course, it is true both ways!. In this slide, we are also suggested to go farther and research some of the other things written about Communication Styles. I will have to do it again, as last year. Perhaps, I discover yet something else. 

I am convinced that it is a good thing to make us repeat some specific projects again and again, we do understand it on another level.

21 May 2018

Pathways, designed for whom?

Different ages
Pat Johnson with the 250 Learning Masters for years studied what Learning Toastmasters need, now, with modern times. 

They did decide on 5 different Personas.
1. The new professional, student, needing new skills to cope. 
2. The mid manager, to practice and learn skills.
3. The senior retired who want to continue developing, learning.
4. The professional speaker needing feedback in a Toastmasters club.
5. The toastmasters whose English is 2nd, 3rd or 4th language.

Are you any of those? 
Different professions and mother languages
But also that it should apply for different professions, from students, workers, leaders. Different age groups and cultures around the world too.

As for me, you could put me in the 4th and 5th category. 
Different kind of work
The most important is that Pathways was not build to just one category, but with multiple different "population" or future or existing members in mind. 
Different mother languages
Most important, of course, that is for sure not only designed for one "kind" of members or group. Yes, it is easier perhaps for young, used to work almost all day with computers, or like my grand daughter to hop on to google when she is asked a questions, anytime she looks for an answer, but well, not only my case but others at my age who begun after retirement, we can learn and have a lot pleasure from it too. 

It could be we do have some problems at the beginning, my son or grand-daughter would not have, but once we understand, no problem. He had to show me how to open my window for the whole screen and tell my browser, Safari in my case, to open a new tab with every link I clicked on. Then a window would not hide another and I also did not have to stretch each time my project to see the arrows. 
Toastmasters like tomatoes come in different shapes and forms. Diversity is normal.
Whichever category we are in, we can learn how to avoid what bothers us, or, get used, look forward and enjoy the ride. 

20 May 2018

Level 2 again: Your Communication style?

Every time I take the assessment, to determine my communication style, I am a bit unhappy: we have more then one style, all of us! But each time the Initiating Style, which for me communicating through storytelling comes on the top.
But at least, this time, I succeeded to remain with two main styles: yes, I am also direct. 

This is the first time that I observed, that the questions in the assessment go right instead of going down. They do changes, alas we do not get notice of small changes. That was one of the changes I asked a year ago. Consistency matters!
You want support for what? Her is how the questions look now. Not easy to answer to this one? Support for Goals? For Ideas? for Feelings? for Thoughts? I finally said here Goals. My ideas are in the goals and my friends support my feelings. Usually.
When working on a project, I am... what? Enthusiastic, usually : yes! Purposeful, of course. Most important : I am Persistent. Do not give up easy. 

All those many many questions, helped me finally, made me think. Again. Or more. I did try to linger at each of them and not answer them too fast. 

With that done, from many many examples of communication, I have to chose a story I want to tell, and also perhaps for the first time to explain, that behind the words I still do not like "Initiating, Direct, Bureaucratic, etc" there are some important differences. And in plus, of course, all depends with whom we speak and at what occasion. 

But now, I recognize, we still have a main style and it is good to be aware of it.

19 May 2018

New technology? Voice Variety? My discoveries since yesterday.

Yesterday, I went to assist to the Emperor Online, Zaldy's not yet chartered club. May I give a speech? Yes, he said early morning. I prepared the Research and Present, as I decided it was time to move on.

This is "Diversity" the picture I did NOT use - yet.
Read three books, studied them, have to study more, yes, but I did understood the most of what I wanted from the beginning and could make a link between the New Education System Managements and Pathways. 

Of course, expressing what I learned in a few minutes was a lot more difficult. 

Finally, I got a 4th book, in fact about the Emotional Intelligence, but containing a lot how we react to what we find, and why personal photography is so important, recreating suddenly a moment in life for us. A moment, we can tell stories about, a moment where we could connect to others, share with them.

I choose one main picture, and two with shorter stories around them to explain the influence of pictures on us and how we can use them. Through it, mostly the first one, I could explain how we react to an image, a photography, through visceral reaction first, recreating the feelings we had at the time, then we can tell even the story of that time, and at the end, reflect what it mean to us and what it can mean to those seeing the picture and, listening to us.

It is true for pictures we create, as I showed yesterday three of them, and it is true for pictures we find. This morning I found a cartoon, published by George Marshal. It can of course apply to many CHANGE occasions. But for the time... we think of one specific, isn't it? What does it evoke for you?
In the Official Toastmasters Members, facebook group, it did initiate a long and healthy discussion. Now, that we are all "rolled out", Pathways allowed everywhere, what we do and how we react to it. As it was not public, each has to go to see for the discussions.

I learned this morning, that some images represent better what we mean then others.

After finishing my Presentation of my Research, too long alas as the Timekeeper did not show the time, just noted it, there was a second speech, a Reading from a Book. Usually, it is boring. This time, it did teach me the real meaning of Vocal Variety. I still have a very long way to go, if at any time I even reach some of what It was done! 

I discovered also the meaning of the Seuss book "Green eggs", a good interpretation can change so much! Got a lot modest from yesterday, good lesson for me again.
At the after party, Veronica originally from Philippines, now in Australia, explained us that at her Icebreaker she was told her vocal variety is not good enough. She decided to cultivate it.

She went slow, then fast, up and down, changed tone and pitch, played it all out for us like the best actor ever could.

She was wonderful, and we were all with her from the beginning to the end.
My own evaluator, evaluated me while driving his car from the airport to home. 

We were afraid, when he begun to use his hands to demonstrate, I hoped it was at a stop. He opened the light so we could see his face while he spoke only. Ian Along had all well planned.

Yes, and indeed, he listened also well and with attention. Given me a warm feedback.  I was about to write "too warm" but I remembered the last video I looked yesterday, Pat Johnson, whose mentor told him, "when you are appreciated, say thank you! not answer but perhaps I should have... as otherwise you tell us not believing what we say". So, thank you Ian! And waw! Assisting to an online meeting while driving a car! 

We also had two members, first time online. One was a brand new Toastmaster from China, the second coming back to Toastmasters, because Pathways and Online! 

Between those who protest for what is new and do not want to go online to read even their Path and Projects, and those who go online even from their car while driving to assist to a meeting, or return to Toastmasters because Pathways, a long range of different people!