Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 6 Lesson Plan

I decided to incorporate the HP Life Learning Module on Effective Presentations into the curriculum I am already teaching in FSSE.  One of the learning outcomes in the FSSE course is for students to demonstrate appropriate communication skills and computer skills.  I think that this module can assist my students in preparing their first PowerPoint Presentation where they introduce themselves to the class.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 6 - Lesson Plan

I have attached my lesson plan to the dropbox.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Personal Safety Awareness

After much debate, (with myself), I decided to present Personal Safety Awareness as my topic.  With the world changing events happening today, it seem imperative that we educate ourselves and as well as our students to the dangers around us. My presentation will first assess the students awareness level, then address procedures to help them, in "Not Becoming a Victim".  Andy

BeachBrenda_Week 6_ Lesson Plan

My lesson plan focuses on helping students understand the relationship between their digital footprint and their overall professional presence--online and in the real world.  Part of the learning strategy is for each student to investigate his or her own digital footprint to look for potential barriers to employment.   The plan is posted in the ANGEL course platform. Check it out, if you've got time.


Week 6: Augmented Reality

Here is a link to my lesson plan in Google Drive. I love Google Drive as all of my Clarke County students have their own account already. I really like doing this as it made me focus on how I would do this in my practice.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 6: Dye Lesson Plan

I have attached the lesson plan plus resources to Angel but here is a link to my dropbox.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Oops! Finances!!

I neglected to post a blog entry for "Finances".  Maybe this is because money/finances/numbers is an area which brings me great apprehension!  I am a writer by nature and feel quite comfortable in areas such as marketing and sales and yet traditionally avoid finances.

This course forced me into an area where I definitely needed a push!  It was a user friendly course and assisted me in grasping terminology, processes, etc.

I'm optimistic!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reflections on week 5: Target Audience - Ron Gaines

The questions exercise shows the complexity of developing good questions that illicit the answers that will help you advertise your business. This looks like a simple task until you really look at the questions and consider how most people will answer them. 

The survey monkey simulation is a good introduction to a free online survey service that anybody can use.  The simulation allows the user to get comfortable with developing a survey.  After completing the simulation you realize that it is not as complicated as you think it is.

Week 5 - Effective Presentations

I LOVED this module.  I can and WILL be using this module in my FSSE course during the 7 week session I am starting in 2 weeks.  I found this to be a quick intro to giving a presentation and one that is desperately needed.  I try to tell my students to think about how their instructors are presenting material to them and mimic that but they just don't get it. I felt like this module clearly states that the purpose of the PowerPoint is to provide you a compliment your presentation not provide a 'script' for it.  I find many of my students just read from their slides.  It is very frustrating.

So the long and short of it is.... I will definitely be using this as a resource.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reflections on Communications: Your Target Audience by Stephanie Phillips

This has been a very crazy, busy week for me so I only had time to view one module. I chose the "Your Target Audience" module. I found this module very interesting. I have been wanting to learn how to create online surveys to use for my classes. I enjoyed the activity that walked me through picking the best questions to ask to find your target audience. It reinforced the point that you should have a clear objective going into the survey, to use clear and simple language, avoid leading questions, be concise, and avoid using double barreled questions. It also helped me realize that simply restating a question may appeal to my participants more and I may receive more honest answers by doing so.

My husband and I also own a small business (bookstore) here in Athens and I found it very useful for us. We will certainly use this information to help build our business. Survey Monkey seemed very user friendly. It did not discuss if there are any cost related to using the site or if it is free to create the survey. Has anyone ever used this before and if so, how did you like it and does it cost anything to use?

Week 5 - Effective Presentations

I have used PowerPoint effectively for presentations to customers/stakeholders but have never used this medium to request funding.  This module required me to think in two differing veins which was beneficial.

I appreciated this bump to my thinking model and began to assess how I might challenge students to do this, also. My desire is to challenge students to be producers rather than simply consumers.  In that I need to find ways to assist them in following this pathway.

This module will be the springboard for my culminating lesson plan.  I will challenge students to develop a product and then develop to presentations for the two varied target audiences.  I'm thinking this will be a cornerstone piece for my project and certainly an important tool for my entrepreneurs (and me, also)!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 5: Communication - Your Target Audience

I could use this entire module next semester for my hospitality marketing class.  One of their projects will be to develop a marketing plan for a restaurant, a hotel, or a bed-and-breakfast.  The "story" for this module revolved around developing a survey for a guest house (or bed-and-breakfast). The resources included tutorials in survey development and the use of Survey Monkey. I have done a fair amount of survey development myself and I like the tips about keeping it short and simple and only measuring one variable at a time.  This module was easy to navigate.

Week 5 - Effective Presentations

It drives me crazy for presenters to flood their presentations with poorly constructed slides.  Each slide should convey a point and be visibly appealing to hold the audiences attention.  Too many times the fonts are crazy and too small.  Never think that the sound options for PowerPoint are necessary for business presentations, or at least not on every click of your mouse. 

This session reinforced the simplicity of slide information and the need to make your slides relevant  and appealing.    Andy

Week 4: OOPS I Missed It...sorry

Sorry folks. I somehow let this slip through.

The most relevant of these courses for my students was the IT for Business. Lots of times I get called in to come up with solutions for businesses and my students will be also doing this. My biggest question though was where do I get a cool Fez like Tarek was wearing. I think I would look dashing in Fez, much like the Doctor from season 5 for all my Whovians out there.

Week 5: Target Audience

So far this has been the most useful one for me and my program.

One of the things I have to talk with my students about is, "Who are you talking with?" This is an important question for Emerging Technologists (ETs-and yes we phone home to talk to our Moms :) ) because we sometimes speak over the heads of our clients and supervisors. For Digital Natives technology comes easy to them. So when they have to discuss it with Digital Immigrants they sometimes skip over things because to them this should be common knowledge. When I give them scenarios to play out they often involve someone who is over 35 and has a very basic knowledge of technology. This prepares them for the type of work they will be doing in the future.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 5: Target Audience + Effective Presentations

One of the most useful things that I learned while getting my Ph.D. was to identify the target audience and then tailor the presentation for them.  At first, the constant bombardment of questions from professors during the presentation seemed, at best, downright rude.  After a while I realized that they were doing it for my benefit.  Each person always asked similar types of questions so I was able to anticipate and put extra slides at the end of my presentation just for them.  That always went over well and showed that I was prepared and knew what I was talking about.

I might add identifying target audience to my lab sections.  One of our labs is a water analysis lab.  After we do our typical report meant for chemists I could have them prepare a second report meant for elementary students.

Week #5 - Communications - Laura Bowen

Week #5 - Communication - Laura Bowen

  After looking through the Communication module, I found the section on effective business websites very useful.  Even though I couldn’t get the technology part of it to work, I thought the resources were very helpful. It was much easier to go to and work from there instead of following the tutorial on HP.  I think this would be a excellent class activity - having students set up a web-site for a fictitious business.
      In my FSSE class we have an assignment about email etiquette so I really appreciated the section on business emails.   I know that I  assume everyone should know how to write a professional email. But,  I’m sure that my fellow bootcampers and instructors are well aware this is not the case for many students.  I am continually surprised by emails I receive from students.  So, for young entrepreneurs, I think this section would be an essential lesson in professionalism!  
 The section on target audience was weak.  It discussed how to build a survey to determine your target audience but it didn’t elaborate on what to do with the information once you got it or the best ways to reach your audience.  I might be expecting too much from these tutorials, but it seems like they would give you some resources so you could continue with your goal to reach your target audience?  

BeachBrenda_Week 5_Communication: Professionalism in Email

I completed the professional email segment in this Communication module.  More than anything else, I wanted to see what issues HP has identified as the roadblocks to effective email communication. As I was working through the exercises, it occurred to me that this segment is definitely not designed for people with advanced degrees or for people who entered the professional world before emoticons, texting slang, and being overly familiar with business contacts was standard procedure among many people who are trying to start out on a career path.

It just occurred to me –I’m a slow learner—that what we’re actually supposed to do after this five week boot camp is develop a single lesson using the information we’ve gained. I was all set to develop an entire course with segments related to each of the modules I completed. Ha! As if I could do that in the time between now and next week. So, what I think I am going to do is focus on this email professionalism segment, because I have noticed that many of my ATC students could use a little coaching.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Reflections week 4: CRM - Ron Gaines

This week I completed the Customer Relationship Management module.  I have some experience with SalesForce; however, I appreciated the simple exercise emphasizing the fact that you can use Outlook as a simple and easy to use CRM tool.  Outlook is a program that most of my students already have on their computers and mobile devices. I downloaded the worksheet that outlines simple directions for using Outlook for CRM and I plan to use this in the classroom. The "plant exercise" was frustrating to complete; however, I think this was the point. The exercise was a good example of the frustration that many CSRs and Sales Reps experience when trying to keep up with contact information, appointments, and follow-up calls. The module is very similar to all of the other modules.  It is not an exhaustive study of the subject; however, it is a good introduction.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Week #4 - Operations - Laura Bowen

This week I had a chance to look through all of the sections and there seemed to be an abundant amount of information in this unit.  I found specific resources and information useful, while other applications seemed irrelevant.
   The section on inventory management had some excellent information for tracking products and supplies.  From my own experience this aspect of business can be a real headache and you have to figure out a way to protect yourself from theft.  If I were doing a business course, I would use this section for a group exercise in class. I would have students set up a inventory management plan for a fictitious business using a specific list of products and supplies.
  The section on maximizing capacity gave examples of  excel spreadsheets that could be put into  use with minimum training or work.  The examples on how to prioritize your time seemed very basic. Why would you even have a category for “tasks not to do?” I think having a daily, weekly, monthly schedule would be much more efficient for business time management.
  Hiring staff can get very complicated.  While the section covered the basics for developing applications and interviewing, there was a lot it left out including tax forms, unemployment insurance, background checks, insurance plans, benefits, workman’s comp.  These costs really add up and can make you think twice about adding employees.
  The managing contacts section was helpful.  I frequently write down people’s names and information on pieces of paper and then when I need anything I have to go through “The Pile.”
However, I was left a little unclear about what program they were using to collect the information?
  Overall, this was a useful section with resources I would go back to.


Week 4 - Managing Contacts

This section has been one of the most useful for me.  I use contact but, had not been using it fully. This section has allowed me to gain tools that I can use to better manage my many customers and networking folks.  I agree with Stephanie's post that the "note" section can also be a huge support as you record pertinent data that can assist in building bridges and supporting relationships with both new and established clientele.

With this new information, I am currently looking through my contact database, adding info, deleting outdated info, and reorganizing this pool of info.  I feel certain that it will become a more usable tool in this new light.


Reflections on inventory management and maximizing capacity

I chose to do maximizing capacity first. I totally connected with Ming. I feel like that would be me. Trying to do everything and make everyone happy and then over committing myself and not getting anything done.  I thought this was a valuable lesson because as new entrepreneurs start out they are excited to accept any and all orders.  This exercise gives them a reality check.  I could incorporate this lesson into my FSSE course by stressing that the same thing happens when we take on too many courses at a time and don't realize how much time it is going to take outside of class.

Additionally I looked at the managing inventory module.  I thought this module was very helpful in understanding how the different products for managing inventory are actually suited differently for different types of businesses. I didn't really see a way to directly relate the information to my current FSSE curriculum but I think it is a lesson that would be interesting to students.

Reflections Week 4: HIring Staff

I have hired hundreds of people as a hotel manager, and I was interested to see how this module would be presented.  I liked the way they gave candidate resumes and the interview and reference check protocols.  In my supervision and leadership class I have the students review applications and develop interview questions.   I question the need for each small business to develop its own application, though.  There are templates for these everywhere. Also, small businesses can easily make mistakes asking inappropriate questions.  The module did point out that you should check with your local laws to make sure you aren't asking inappropriate questions.  For example, in this module they asked dates of high school and college completion.  This isn't done in private industry in the U.S., because it violates the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act).  It's pretty easy to figure out someone's age based on the years they attended high school.  The ADEA protects those 40 and up.   Clearly these modules are intended for an international audience.

Reflections on Managing Contact Information by Stephanie Phillips

I did find this weeks modules much more interesting and useful. My favorite module was "Managing Contact Information" because I find myself getting lost in all of the daily operations and tasks that I need to complete. I am certainly going to use this information to help organize my schedule. I found it easy to use. I enjoyed the activity in which you record important infomation about the customer during a phone call. I also liked the idea that you could set reminders of tasks such as calling a customer back.
As a dental hygienist in private practice, I found it valuable to record certain facts about each patient in their patient file such as "just had grandchild" or "daughter just left for college" so that I could follow up with that patient at their next visit. It would always impress the patient that I actually remembered that simple fact about them and it helped build rapport. I could use this information to show my students how to keep up with each patient. It is a much better way to stay organized.

week 3-Social Media

Recently I used social media to promote a stage production that was seen as a business venture.  My daughter is a marketing rep and schooled me in using fb ads and the like. This was quite helpful since I had not yet had this course. I appreciated all of the information presented in this section and agree that social media is a powerful tool in out techno-friendly world.

I'm looking forward to the other sections of this training package.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 4_Hiring Staff_Brenda Beach

Hiring staff has always seemed like a crap shoot to me.  I have used a lot of the techniques offered in this learning module, and they certainly cut down on the likelihood of choosing the wrong candidate. But, hiring is still my least favorite aspect of being in a management position. 

A lot of my distaste for hiring has to do with an inability to predict who is really going to stay in the position long enough to actually learn the job and become able to work autonomously. Sometimes the person who is over or under qualified on paper is a good bet as someone whose credentials seem to be a perfect fit.

I will use the information from this module to help students think about how they will handle questions in an interview about their ability to fill the prospective employer’s needs. Sometimes people looking for a job don’t actually think about the skills and abilities they will need to perform in their career field. So, I think I’ll include some scenario development activities that include mock interviews with employers who ask tough questions. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 4 - Managing Contact Information

This was my favorite course so far!  Like many, I need a system to document and organize by customer contacts and their demographics.  This will also be helpful for my students in regard to contact info and assignments.  As usual, this lesson only allowed you to perform the functions, "THEIR WAY", rather than the numerous ways available to the experienced user.

A standard, at least on my computer for these lessons, is that the fonts cannot be dynamically increased, (i.e. with fingertip expansion).  This requires me to adjust my display setting in order to view the small dialogue font... arghhh!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Maximizing Capacity + tips to pass without frustration

I managed not to procrastinate and got ahead of the game.  I found the course on "Maximizing Capacity" to be my favorite so far.  Time management is a difficult task to master for instructors let alone students.  It a great skill for everyone to learn and is applicable to any field.

Tips to beat the user interface for this lesson:
1) You must pay your bills to pass.
2) Maximize the amount of money you earn per hour to meet your daily quota.  A 2 hour lamp repair for little cash won't help you.
3) For the excel merge feature you cannot simply left click on an end cell, press shift, and left click on the other end cell.  You must click each cell individually.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Reflections week 3 - Social Media Marketing - Ron Gaines

The introduction of this module talked about the time factors involved with social media marketing; however, the module did not address those factors.  A brief mention of social media coordinating software, such as Hootsuite, would be helpful. I've found that social media marketing can take a tremendous amount of your time and time is money for all of us, especially a small business owner. The planning tools are helpful because they help you develop a strategic and organized approach to social media marketing.  If you do not take this type of approach, you will spend your entire day working on social media and your business will suffer.

I found the links at the end of the module to be invaluable.  They provide more in depth information than the learning module. I will definitely utilize the links in my social media classes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week #3 - Marketing - Laura Bowen
Greetings everyone!
   This week I had a chance to go through all of the units in the marketing section. It took less time this week because I was able to figure out the flow of the units.  The first unit over social media introduced three types, Facebook, Blog, and Twitter. While I’m familiar with Facebook I have no idea how Blog or Twitter works.  This unit did not expand on the benefits or drawbacks of each type.  I would imagine that each type of social media would work better with various target groups? The technology section, for setting up a business page on Facebook, didn’t explain the most fundamental part of getting started. Without more information, I don’t think I would be using this unit on social media marketing in the classroom, other than telling students to be careful about what they put out there about themselves!  
  From my own experience, I think Facebook is a great tool to advertise a small business but it is limiting.  It is also time consuming, requiring a lot of updates and comments. One of the sections provided a Pdf list of global web-sites to advertise on - but they were mostly for hand-crafted products. One area they did not touch on was local sources for advertising, including free community newspapers or magazines.  With these medias you can often get free advertising just by holding an event or hosting local artist exhibits.  Other ideas I can think of are using emails,  Instagram, get involved with community organizations (networking), and strategic partnerships.
 On the positive side,  I enjoyed learning about the various technologies including the photo cropping, table set-ups, and brochure designing.  The information was very basic but it served as a good review because I forget how to use these tools if I don’t use then frequently.  Overall, I found this section lacking in information that was applicable.  In addition, as I was working on my reflection, I found it very frustrating to go back and review the information because even though I had already completed the unit, I still had to do everything over again to get to the information I was looking for.


Reflections Week 3 - Social Media Marketing

This week was way more easy to navigate.  I think the Facebook example was very light weight, though.  I would have preferred to practice using more criteria and to see different ways to target different customers. I still would like to see some type of closure that focuses on how these business people benefited from their experience. How did revenues change, etc.

I downloaded the instructions to use with my class next semester.  I think there will some valuable information.  I may set up a competition among my students to market a restaurant or bed-and-breakfast

Week 3 Reflections.

So the story, again, I think gets in the way of the learning. I know that you want to engage your student audience but this was a little much, again.

I really liked the Differentiation lesson. One of the things I talk about in my EMTX 1000 course is that being able to distinguish yourself in the market place is absolutely vital, especially in technology. I wish they would have used a technology example more than a B&B because it would have served my class better.

The one I really liked was the Marketing Benefits vs Features. In the EMTX 1000 class when you are promoting either your consulting business or working with your CTO understanding your strengths and marketing them are keys to being successful. I liked this particular module, even though it dealt with pottery, because it was pretty straightforward on what it is you need to do run a successful ad campaign.

Reflections on Marketing: Social Media Marketing, Unique Value Proposition, Marketing Benefits vs. Features, and Selling Online by Stephanie Phillips

This weeks module on marketing was a bit disappointing. I was looking forward to learning about social media marketing the most and felt  it was informative. They explained how to use Facebook as a marketing tool and only briefly touched on the information. I was looking forward to learning about how to use other social media sources such as Twitter and Instagram but again, was disappointed in the amount of information given. I gained the most knowledge from the Unique Value Proposition module and the Selling Online module. It was interesting to learn how to take the most effective photos of your product you are selling. The activity was entertaining and helpful, however, I do not see how this will help me in the courses I teach in Dental Hygiene.

The one module that I can see myself using in my courses is the Unique Value Proposition module. I can apply some of the information I learned to the course I teach last semester of the program. In this course I teach interviewing skills and resume writing. It is so important that they can stand out from other dental hygienist in the field since the competition for employment is so high. I would like to create an activity similar to the one I completed in the module for them to try during that semester course. This may help them identify any UVP they have.

Since the completion of the module I have discussed the possibility of creating a Facebook page for our program with other faculty members. After doing a little research, I have found that many other Dental Hygiene programs have created a page to help recruit students. A unique feature it has is the ability to use "tag" words such as "dental hygiene", "college student", etc to target our audience. I think the value in using social media is high. You can reach so many people with very little time and expense.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 3 Setting Prices

Setting prices is vital to selling your product(s).  Too high and you decrease the number of customers that you have.  Too low and customers feel that your product is inferior to someone else's that costs more.  Its a tricky balance to maintain in order to maximize sales.

For those of you that are having UI difficulties, set the price to something a little less than the highest to get correct answers.

Week 3 - Marketing - Unique Value Proposition

After completing the unique value proposition module, I could see a lot of value in using this concept in my FSSE 1000 classes.  Having students look at what their unique value proposition is, and what would give them the edge over someone else applying for the same job.  Having students REALLY think about marketing themselves for a position and investing in themselves to make them the most qualified and attractive candidate for their dream position.

So many of our students come to college with big dreams. While I don't want to be the crusher of dreams; I do want them to take a realistic look at what steps they are going to have to take and what sacrifices are going to have to be made to get to where they want to go.  I believe that the first semester of college is the place to get that realistic picture, map out that realistic path, and create that realistic plan to their success.

WEEK 3 - Marketing On-Line -- from Andy

This section of the lessons, again was a little limiting in functionality. It was, however, useful for someone who has never edited photos and/or ever composed photos for their product.  The general concept of on-line marketing was a good resource.  I use Facebook, Webpages, Email Marketing through Constant Contact, Instagram, etc.  This session has motivated me to expand to Twitter for business.

Monday, September 21, 2015

WEEK 3_Marketing_Social Media Module_Brenda Beach

The Marketing/Social Media module was a ton of fun! I think this is because I'm somewhat familiar with social media and because the stories for this scenario had interesting small businesses as examples.  I read the HINTS before I tried to complete each of the little exercises, which made the exercises in the module very simple to complete.

It is very easy to see how I can fit social media into a lesson plan on education, professionalism and entrepreneurship. Students can begin  to establish their personal brand now by changing the tone of their Facebook and other social media accounts to one of the burgeoning professional.  Some of them will even have old, ill-considered accounts that they may have to really clean up in order to change the way their digital footprint reads.

I have a very busy week ahead of me, so I had to do this early. And, this week, I will not have time to do more than the one module, although I may go back later and complete more of it.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week 2: Reflections on Sales Forecasting

Hi All,

Let me start by saying that I don't quite fit the criteria for the Bootcamp.  I cofounded a company that creates and sells molecular model kits for organic chemistry students.  Part of our sales plan is to have chemistry clubs sell kits to their own school's students.  I applied to the Bootcamp and was accepted so here we go.

I chose this topic first because it is my weakest area.  I definitely prefer quantitative to qualitative.  Part of the course was to read through HP generated discussions.  Several of the posts said that having years of your own data is very valuable to forecasting.  I agree but I am just starting my business so I have no records.  To estimate the number of students that take organic chemistry each year I went to the National Center for Education Statistics,  There is a great deal of information there if you are looking for stats in your own field.

As far as chemistry clubs go, learning about sales forecasting can help them estimate their annual budget from selling kits.  The clubs would only sell the kits twice a year; the first few weeks of Fall and Spring semesters.  The vast majority of the students would have purchased a kit by then so timing is key for the clubs if they are to sell any kits.

UMMMM....Why IDs Are Important.

I am a big fan of Instructional Designers. IDs are so very important when putting together a lesson. They come up with over-arching objectives, learning objects, script, and finally pick out media. It seems that with this particular lesson the either didn't hire an ID or the ID they used was not good.

It is my contention that the content is there but that it was not presented very well. I had a hard time identifying with the main character. I understand her struggles and wanting to have her own "handbag" line but it seems to me she is unwilling to sacrifice to make that happen. Any Entrepreneur will tell you that the key to being successful is knowing when you have to sacrifice. Here starting salary was unbelievably high and to get that from her Mother seemed a little selfish.

My chief complaint was with the learning objects. The dog gone spread sheet would not let me move forward, even when I hit under 100. I liked the matching game but was very frustrated with the MS Excel examples.

I am hoping that these will get better and that I will be able to use them with my students but with this module I will not be using it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Reflections on finance: Basics of finance and Profit& Loss by Ron Gaines

I could not reach BEP until I realized that I could lower the expected wage….  I knew this would be the case; however, I stubbornly thought that I could not change the expected wage.  This is the same mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make.  We typically have unrealistic expectations regarding the amount of money we expect.  We base the amount on what we “think” we should make or we base our expectations on what we perceive to be the salary of most entrepreneurs.  We tend to believe that small business owners make more money than they actually make.  We enter the business with those expectations and we fail.  We do not realize that we should include some of our salary in the startup costs, especially when the amount is required. This also shows me the importance of including your cost of living income in startup costs.  This gives the startup entrepreneur a more realistic picture of costs.

When completing the profit and loss module, I was made aware of the difficulty of predicting expenses for a startup.  Hidden costs do not show up when planning the business.  They typically show up after the planning process and are difficult to notice. This means that hidden costs must be continuously evaluated and revised as you manage your small business. If you do not keep up with hidden costs, your sales predictions can be met or exceeded; however, you profit will not increase and in many cases you would actually lose money.

The technology skills module is difficult to complete because it only allows for one way to complete each tasks.  This is probably the shortest way; however, I am accustomed to “right clicking” to do most tasks.  The module will also “freeze” if you do not hit “Enter” after completing the last task. 
For this week’s finance module, I completed the section on Finding Funding.  This section introduced six different possibilities for funding a small business. For each example, basic information was given about each option along with the pros and cons.  I was already aware of several resources for obtaining start-up money for new businesses including self-funding, loans from family and friends, bank funding, and government loans, all of these are pretty much self-explanatory. However, I  was introduced to one innovative idea for funding which was crowdfunding.  I have heard of crowdfunding for a means to raise money for individual’s various medical treatment or trips, but I never thought about applying it to small business start-ups.  The information in the module was limited in this section so I did some additional research in this area.  Apparently there are several different types of crowdfunding including reward based, equity, debt-based, litigation, and charity.  Several of these options might work for instituting funding for a new business? I was also somewhat familiar with microfinancing, which seemed to me, to be one of the best routes for funding  a small business, especially if you’re applying it to a student population.  
 The Finding Funding section also introduced new technology skills including advanced Google search and which is a social networking service.  I was familiar with Google advanced search but I frequently forget to use it, so this served as a good reminder. was new to me but apparently it has been around for a quite a while.  I might need to do some more exploring on this website which looks very interesting.  

     If I was going to integrate this information into the classroom, I would start by introducing the information about the different funding options.  Using the new technology skills, I would have the students meet in groups to explore funding for a fictitious business along with completing a  group discussion.  I would also ask them to consider local resources for support.  I think UGA has small business support information services.  Clark Howard, out of Atlanta,  also has some great information on his website   

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 2 - FINANCE

I was educated, frustrated, then satisfied with the course.  After several adjustments to my computer the lesson was easier to view. 

I found that the exercise helped me understand how inter-related all cost are to the bottom line.  It also showed me, through the spreadsheet, how you can make adjustment in your expenses that adjust your profit.  It was obvious, to me, that price shopping on equipment, cost of goods, and marketing strategies can directly relate to the (1) cost of the final product, and (2) the need to do business at home, rather out-sourcing.  The more we invest in our economy the stronger we are as a world leader.

I also learned that the ability to document a good business model, makes finding investors easier.  It not only gives them something the data they need to make a decision, it shows them your ability to control your cost.

Reflections on Finance: Basics of Finance; Profit and Loss; Finding Funding; Cash Flow; Sales Forecasting Brenda Beach

Hey, Everyone!

This first module in HP Life eLearning was the only education that I’ve had in finance since I took a general business course a million years ago in high school. Although I had a basic understanding of all of the materials that were covered, I did not know the key terms and was not really clear on the full meaning of the concepts. This module gave me a working knowledge of the very basic language of finance, and I think that will help me be more effective at integrating entrepreneurship into my sociology course. I think I’ll be able to speak with authority—with some practice.

In the Introduction to Sociology course, I teach a unit on work and the economy. I generally include a segment on actions that can boost a student’s professional image to make him or her more competitive in the job search.  I am working on an idea to integrate the information on profit and loss, funding, and cash flow to help students consider the full cost of finding their dream job. I am also going to develop an assignment that gets students to think about how long after they leave school it will be before they can expect to reach the break-even point.

One difficulty in integrating these topics into a sociology lesson plan is that students may be resistant to thinking about how finance and human behavior are related. A strategy to overcome that barrier is to talk about finances as a part of the larger institution of economy and work, which determine our behavior as adults who choose, train for, and work at careers.

Thanks for reading my post. I look forward to your ideas. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Reflections on Finance: All five modules by Stephanie Phillips

This weeks module over finance was very interesting. I have never personally taken a business course in college. I am terrible in math and excel is like a foreign language to me (hence the reason I became a dental hygienist since there is very little math involved!). However, now that I teach a course to my second year students that covers topics such as office management, I felt led to complete all 5 courses under the module. I tell my students all the time that the patient IS our number one priority but dentistry is a small business that needs to generate income in order to keep the door open and to pay the overhead and their salaries!  I delved into the financial aspect of the course with hesitation because I clearly struggle with many of the concepts. After taking these 5 courses, I feel better prepared to teach my students some basic information about least enough that I think they will understand what it takes to keep the doors open to the dental office. I will now be able to explain how the dentist will have fixed cost and variable cost and be able to give examples of both. I will probably implement an activity similar to the module in which my students will place examples I give them in a column labeled "fixed" or "variable". I will also discuss hidden cost and how letting dental materials expire or wasting products can increase the hidden cost.
One topic that I learned and found very interesting is that cash flow is different from profit and loss. I think my favorite activity was experimenting with the cash flow projection worksheet. One time I actually ran out of money within a few months because I was eager to buy and advertise for the business. I was able to start over and see how that affected my cash flow. I will definitely implement this in the classroom with my students even though they really don't have control over that situation, it would be good to teach them why the office is concerned with production.
The only difficulty I can think of in implementing these topics is that many of my students share the same fear about math as I do! I hope by having hands on activities similar to the modules and only giving a basic understanding will eliminate that fear in them.

Reflections on finance: general comment

2 of the modules (finding funding and sales forecasting) are not available on Android devices.  I am trying to go through all of the modules in preparation for my marketing class next semester. Frustrating!

Reflections on finance:cash flow by Jackie Wilson

This was an interesting topic that focused on making decisions about purchasing equipment and advertising, deciding whether or not to negotiate discounts and trying to stay afloat.  I think a beginning entrepreneur would find this info helpful. I was frustrated by the slow response of the module at times.  At one point the screen froze and would not unfreeze.  I had the same thing happen in the P&L module under the technology section when they asked us to delete a line. The P&L would not display. If I used a back arrow, it would flash on for a second and then revert to a black square. I also feel not enough detail is given so that the student can make a decision in some cases. For example: one of the modules displayed items used in daily operations and asked us to find the hidden costs. There was a checksheet for us to click on but no final review of the hidden costs. It was just hit or miss. The response was "you got all of the costs plus one or more too many." How is that helpful?

Week 2: Finance Discussion

Week 2: Finance: (9/6 - 9/12) 
  • Basics of finance: Learn key concepts to understand your expenses and find out when you will make a profit
  • Profit and loss: Learn to calculate profit and loss (P&L) considering all costs, including your hidden expenses.
  • Finding funding: Explore sources and strategies to obtain funding for your business.
  • Cash flow: Explore how to monitor and track your cash flow.
  • Sales forecasting: Learn why sales forecasting is important for your business and how to gather information to make a sales forecast.

Discussion Prompt:

After reading through the Finance module, discuss what you have learned from this training. Share your thoughts about how you can integrate what you’ve learned into a learning experience for your students. What are you excited and nervous about in regards to integrating this content to your course? What difficulties can you see in integrating these topics into a lesson? What can you do to help alleviate these difficulties?

Explore your classmates’ ideas and join an online conversation. In your responses to your classmates (at least 2), compare and contrast your views. Then, discuss your thoughts. Do you and your classmates share similar ideas and concerns?

Week 3: Marketing Discussion

Week 3: Marketing (9/20-9/26)
__ Complete at least one mini-course from the HP LIFE E-Learn Marketing section (Social media marketing, Unique value proposition, Selling online, Setting prices. and/or Marketing benefits vs. features)
__ Write your weekly reflection on your topic from the Marketing section focusing on application to your “pitch”
__ Participate in weekly discussion –Video Conference – WebEx
Discussion Prompt:
After reading through the Marketing module, discuss what you have learned from this training. Share your thoughts about how you can integrate social media and marketing principles in both teaching and recruiting students. What are is the value of social media and marketing to the field of education? Explore your classmates’ ideas and join an online conversation. In your responses to your classmates (at least 2), compare and contrast your views. Then, discuss your thoughts. Do you and your classmates share similar ideas and concerns?