Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 9:00AM
Hey Guys, John Here: Back in May, Professor Brent Hallock, Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo, informed his sophomore ERSC 202 Soil Erosion and Water Quality class that he was going to see me the following week. The students proceeded to send me a quick Dirt Time "howdy" on a hastily-provided file folder.
These "notes" or endorsements, if you will, really moved me. Being an instructor myself, these mean a lot. This is "what gets me up in the morning" if you know what I mean. Reading the comments was some great immediate proof that Dirt Time works - especially in a class room setting.
For a few years now Dirt Time has been a favorite among Brent's Cal Poly students - ever since the Dirt Time Videos have premiered and ever since Brent has used them as an Instructional Aide.
Brent and I have been colleagues for about 15 yrs now, developing and teaching curriculum for Caltrans "back in the day" and of course we meet every year at IECA. Most years he wrangles up his students to give a presentation on some research study they have conducted - the Cal Poly presentations are legendary.
His graduating Cal Poly students are generally exemplary and they are eminently prepared for work in this Erosion Control / Watershed Management field. I myself hired one of his students right out of school (some of you remember Kaila Dettman) and another graduate, Misty Scharff, is the project coordinator (URS) and co-instructor for the big newCaltrans 2-day Key Concepts of Sustainable Erosion Control the Office of Landscape Architecture has been rolling out statewide.
When I asked Brent how he used the videos he informed me "There is a lecture, which I use Power Points to go through the principles for 3 hours per week and an Activity for 2 hours a week. We go on field trips, work on RUSLE, RUSLE2, soil health, etc., and show Dirt Time Episodes. I can use ppts and show them what it looks like, but to watch it from beginning to end in real time with you speaking is awesome. Besides they believe you more than me."
Upcoming Dirt Time Packages:
Hearing this from Brett was great, and especially validating for an upcoming Dirt Time project we have in the works. In the near future, we are going to be offering some Dirt Time Instructor Packages - Video clips specifically edited to fit into class curriculum and be embedded in Power Point.
Most Dirt Time episodes are 20-45 minutes long; sometimes too long for a classroom setting. The upcoming Dirt Time offerings will be a LARGE collection of small focused, topic-based clips that are perfect for inserting into lectures. Reinforcing and clarifying the rest of the class material.
We're really excited about this new opportunity. Dirt Time in the classroom seems to be working well at Cal Poly - maybe we can do the same for you and your trainings!