Sunday, November 20, 2011

Media Asset Creation: Week 4 comment on Marc Hunt's blog

Marc's Post:

MAC: Week #4 - PPP

My CBR project's big idea was motivation. I am a teacher of video and sound production in a career and technical school and motivation is a main factor that determines your success in the industry. My students are interested in becoming successful in the video and sound industry which is why I choose motivation. The presentation that I choose to do was to work with my original CBR group to present how we all used motivation to change behaviors in our students and various curricula. Some of the group members and I are pursuing a group presentation at a conference for KYSTE this spring, and I have already sent an email to the ACTE magazine, Techniques, about writing an article and also submitting my literature review for their May 2012 issue that deals with the topic of "Today's Student."

Here is the link to my Week #3 PPP Blog post.

Here is the link to my Week #2 PPP Blog post.

Here is the link to our group presentation. I have also embedded the presentation as well below:

I have also included a link to my presentation notes.

My Comment:
This looks great Marc! It's unfortunate that the timing for presenting at the ACTE conference wasn't a little better. Perhaps you could present there next year. I also wanted to thank you for bringing up the webinar about Challenge Based Research by our own Dr. Holly Ludgate during your presentation. Very informative.

Media Asset Creation: Week 4 comment on Wayne Nelson's blog

Wayn'es Blog Post:

Wk 4 Publishing_Presentation Project

I have chosen Edutopia to showcase my CBR project due to the fact that they have a project-based learning component to their Website. My presentation will cover two formats, and I will be able to blog my presentation as well as use the media to accompany the written material. The written and visual data are very important to the outcome of the project; therefore, this makes the EdutopiaWebsite ideal for displaying all of the visuals with the project presentation. The project includes the use of technology in field work for conservation purposes therefore making this an excellent project-based learning experience.

Week 2 PPP:
Week 3 PPP:
Prezi Link:
Presenter notes:

My Comment:
I think your use of Edutopia is really quite brilliant. It will give you a far reaching audience. The research you have done is important and I hope you and others will continue finding ways to incorporate technology into conservation education.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Media Asset Creation: The Art of Possibility Chapters 9-12

Although the idea of reading a self-help book as the culmination of a masters program has completely tweaked me out, I decided this week to apply these 4 chapters to the next step in my life.  My robe came in the mail, the tassel is hanging on my computer, I’m contemplating the perfect shoes to wear, (so I won’t trip across the stage) but really my biggest concern is what happens when there’s not a group of people, a program, or a set of assignments to guide me and the gravitational pull of that downward spiral, that is sometimes more like a bureaucratic, educational black hole, exerts its grip.

A revenge creature!!
Remembering my initial forays into the field of education, I was na├»ve, optimistic and completely certain that I would not only light a spark but also ignite a fire.   And while some of the “no’s” I’ve heard along the way should have been an “invitation for enrollment”, many of them were completely earned due to a limited, unrealistic vision of what it takes to educate a community of children.   I hope that my re-discovered optimism is more tempered by realism, a larger picture of success tempers those manic tendencies by those on the eve of success, and my zeal is tempered by the now-glimpsed multitude of complexities that are human development.  However, I am grateful to Full Sail for re-igniting the spark.

Chapter 11 of The Art of Possibility, entitled “Creating frameworks for Possibility” stirred many options for me. Of the things I have learned in my 15 years of teaching, one of the greatest is that learning seldom, very seldom, happens in giant leaps.  It’s the daily grunt, the daily practice, the daily head banging, and the persistence (on the parts of student, teacher, parent, administrator, community members) that make it happen a little bit every day!

This past year at Full Sail has taken me from an educator who meets the challenges teaching serves up, to one who can design the stage on which her students and colleagues can learn.  Yet, for continued advancement, a framework of possibility is needed.  One that attends to those details of educating students.  One that attends to the need of perfection in the daily grind.   At the brilliant suggestion of a fellow conspirator, and the encouragement of my iPad donor, I will create a wiki as a means of charting progress and, hopefully, as a means of creating a “WE” story, for all of us who are trying to find our way through the unchartered waters of appropriately educating the next digital generation.  Here’s a link to its humble beginnings.   Care to join?

Media Asset Creation: Week 4: Publishing Presentation Project

The aim of my CBR project was to motivate third grade students to increase their literacy skills through the use of technology.   Phase 1 was a technological reexamination of my traditional first day of school, "Why do we come to school" discussion/activity.  Phase 2 gave students options of creating a digital timeline in addition to an analog one in order  to practice sequencing skills and explore Web 2.0  & software digital timeline possibilities.   A literature review was conducted about digital storytelling.
Here is our group prezi:

This is a link to my presenter notes for my part of the prezi.
Link to my First Think-Out Loud Post
Link to my Second Think-Out Loud Post

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Media Asset Creation: Week 3: The Art of Possibility Chapters 5-8

(FYI: This post should be read with a sense of humor and a southern drawl)
A book report alternative I make available to my students is to offer a gift to either a character in the book or the author, and to explain the reason for the gift.   And so, assuming this freedom, I would like to offer a trip to the Southeast to Ben Zander, one of the authors of the book, The Art of Possibility.  This gift has a dual purpose, first to recognize his extraordinary talents, but also to open him to an experience furthering his human development.

Kind Sir,

On your trip to the southeastern section of the United States, known in the western world as “The South,” you will discover people who will relish your storytelling talents and people who will challenge the way you portray yourself throughout your book, The Art of Possibility.   Prepare for the trip by packing an etiquette book.  Want a preview? You see, here in the South, when we respect a person’s skills, knowledge, or talents, yet feel it necessary to express disagreement, we present a critique in the form of a question.  Let me caution you that respect does not imply that we view said person as “omniscient”.  It merely means we respect her — or even him.  However, when said person portrays himself as omniscient and our experience argues otherwise, the respect we actually hold for that person regretfully declines.  By the by, as you seem inclined to rodomontade and thrasonical bombast, in The South you’ll find that the wise wait until they have something substantive to offer before they speak.  A conductor’s presumed status or self-regarding swagger will neither intimidate a southern audience nor elicit special consideration.  He shall only produce amused expressions. We benighted southerners have indeed a different way of viewing and greeting the world.  Just something to keep in mind, dear heart, as you plan your adventure to the South!

Too, as you brace for engaging conversations with southerners, consider that it’s not just the heads of hierarchies and large corporations who are shy to admit mistakes.  A keen observer discovers that nobody likes to admit mistakes — including store clerks, kids, housewives, the homeless, the drunken, the unemployed, and those too who work at cultural or philanthropic organizations.  It’s a common human trait, sadly, so perhaps you can tear a leaf out of your own book and bring it here with you. We’ll share favorite (that’s how we spell it here) passages, sip a Bourbon uncontaminated with water, and soon you will feel better. And better! You might gain a better balance and see things as they are. If you weep softly, we shall understand. 

Speaking of taking a leaf out of your book, bring the whole of Chapter 6 with you.  We here in the South will agreeably bless your efforts to not “take yourself so goddamn seriously.”  

Better still, bring sheet music of Stravinsky with you in your suitcase, play that most difficult violin piece, and tell the story attributed to him: “I don’t want the sound of someone playing this passage, I want the sound of someone trying to play it.”   Spontaneous humility and unpracticed sincerity might win back the respect you lost with the self-depiction of your omnipotence. 

But perhaps I err. You know we southerners have issues of our own. So if my perceptions are upside-down, like my pineapple cake, then might it be possible for me to take pupilage with you and learn the intricacies of your world-striding success and storytelling.

Still eager? Good! Now that your bags are packed, come on down, jump over your own fences, come inside, embrace southern culture. Oh, Ben. You might just realize that when we starkly see and acknowledge the layers of opinion, entitlement, pride, and inflation in ourselves, we are closer to clearing them away and being free than those who denounce and call for their eradication in others.  So we welcome you in advance to our gentle honesty and humble kitchens. You may not lose weight during your southern sojourn, given our delicious fare, but you may trim that profile. If you’re open to it, you’ll feel the connection. We look forward to saying, “Y’all come back!”

Media Asset Creation: Week 3 Comment on Rosetta Cash's blog

A giant congratulations!  Well done and well deserved!   I hope you will keep your blog going after we graduate so we can keep up with your career.  I also can completely understand that writing out speaker’s notes for a presentation when you usually present from the bullets on the slide could make for a different presenting experience.   Your attitude is, typically for you, one that will bring you success and make the Zander’s proud!  Can’t wait to see what you put together for us on Wednesday!

Rosetta's Post:
This past weekend I attended the ASCAC (Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations) Midwest Regional Conference at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The board of the international organization met during this conference and I took the opportunity to address the group. The board reviews and selects those who will present at the conference. I explained my assignment and they agreed to allow me to make a presentation of my proposal to present at the 29th Annual International ASCAC Conference, which will also be at Kent State University, March 22-25, 2012. I created a Prezi presentation to give them a brief overview of the EMDT program and the CBR project. I had the presentation of my proposal videotaped. After I concluded my presentation they voted and I was given approval to present my work at the conference in March 2012.

I will make some revisions to the proposal presentation and expand on it for the formal presentation in March. Much of the process is already laid out in the Prezi. I need to add the results of the Phases, my conclusions and reflections. What I am finding challenging is writing the speakers notes for the presentation. I usually make sure that the bullet points are listed in the PowerPoint or Prezi and then I speak to those points. I don't write out what I am going to say. Well, I love challenges, so let me get cracking and create my speakers notes. 

Media Asset Creation: Week 3 Comment on Marc Hunt's blog

Marc, I agree with you and Rosetta who found the “white sheets” to be very inventive and a great way to re-tool the “instructor-learner” relationship.   However, giving “white sheets” to my students and telling them they could write whatever they wanted on it would produce a bunch of, well, white sheets.  While perhaps a blank slate works well for accomplished and suppressed musicians, my younger students would do much better with an evaluation form with questions (like yours) which could get them thinking and evaluating.  Your form generates lots of ideas for me.  Thanks!

Marc's Post:
I have found that "The Art of Possibility" has been an interesting  read and also a fast one.
This week I enjoyed hearing about the 'White Sheets" the author would give to the orchestra as a way for them to critique him and also communicate their needs. I found this part of the book to directly relate to the ADDIE model we have studied through the EMDT program. I have always put value into the evaluation and and have began to use this method in my class as well. During the year when the students are given progress reports or final quarterly grades, I allow them to also grade me and give me ideas on how I can improve what we covered.
Here is the form I have given my students after the first 5 weeks of school:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Media Asset Creation: Week 3 Think Out-Loud Publishing/Presentation Project

Exploring the posted possible organizations at which to present my Challenge Based Research Project, there are two covering my sphere of influence.  The first is the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE), which appears to prefer presenters from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.   They do, however, open presentation applications to those outside their districts.   The theme of this conference is “Connect, Collaborate, and Change”.  Some of my research fits nicely inside this theme.   Their application asks for a 400-character synopsis of the presentation.  This made the 120-word abstract seem positively easy!    

The Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) is the other organization whose application window falls in the needed timeframe.  This larger organization interestingly divides its conference subtopics into seven categories.   Although my challenge-based research would fall into a couple of categories, the learning gleaned from this project would best place my work in the “New Roles of the Instructor and Learner” category.  This application for participation is more extensive, and is due December 12, 2011.
The Effervescent Seven
My group, The Effervescent Seven, is exploring options about presenting as a group, at least for the upcoming Wimba presentation.  Most of our research, although originally intended for increased learning from our target audience (ranging from pre-school through adults), resulted in a re-examination of the relationship between the Instructor and the Learner.  Well-used technology has that effect on teachers/trainers.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

MediaAsset Creation: Week 2 Think Out-Loud Publishing/Presentation Project: Increased Motivation via Technology

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
Used with Permission!
As Karla noted in her blog post, the clock is ticking!  The deadline for submission to present at most conferences is approaching rapidly.  If an appropriate match between my research and an organization’s interest level and a deadline submission within Full Sail’s timeline can be found, I will submit a proposal to present my research at a conference.  If the above criteria cannot be met, I will write an abstract for submission to a journal. 
Depending on the chosen organization, I imagine a group presentation would be the most beneficial.  Our CBR group targeted a wide audience spectrum, from pre-school through adults.  Yet we all worked to increase motivation through the use of technology.  Many of the tools we used were similar, if not identical.  However the way we used them differed greatly.  This variety of perspectives would tend to be a springboard for listeners to imagine the ways technology could be used, most appropriately, in their own environment. Hopefully, it would prevent listeners from leaving the presentation decrying the technology because the environment presented differed from the listener’s environment.

Media Asset Creation: Week 2 comment on Karla Thompson's blog

Being a fan of Theodore Geisel (like any good elementary school teacher!), you chose a most appropriate beginning to your post! It would also make a good beginning to a post about the book we are reading, The Art of Possibility. Your comfort level in speaking to a large group makes you leaps ahead of me. I also imagine that your topic of motivation and social networking among the early childhood community would have tendrils that touch so many groups and people. Technology offers wonderful possibilities to remove the isolation teaching professionals feel. However, educators need to see how this could work and see examples of it working.

Karla Thompson's post:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy (or gal – Karla’s note) who’ll decide where to go.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
Well…the clock is ticking and I have to make the decision soon.  Do I want to write a journal submission or presentation proposal to share my CBR project results?  I’ve found some great early childhood conferences coming late Spring that seem to be the perfect fit.  I go back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, and then wondering if its really that deep.  Presentations are something I’m used to doing, while writing is something I enjoy doing.  The essence of both is communicating my message to a new audience.  That idea is equally exciting and unnerving.  I’ve always felt some sense of control of knowing my audience for work presentations. Grant it, audience members exist on a broad spectrum with varying levels of knowledge and skills, but I’ve always felt some sense of certainty of their background experience before the presentation.

All copyright free images in this post are from Microsoft Clip Art
Yet with this upcoming project, that spectrum suddenly expanded really wide, really fast.  And that’s got me nervous.  Not about my ability to share my project results; more so does anyone want to HEAR my project’s results?  Especially outside of the virtual walls of my EMDT program. How do I effectively craft the message of my CBR project and share it’s story in a way that is relevant and meaningful?  Will it or can it make a difference for anyone?   My dad always says that nothing beats a failure but a try… here goes…everything!

Media Asset Creation: Week 2 comment on Rosetta Cash's blog

Your immersion and influence in your field is so impressive and commendable. You seem to be engaged with students, your local colleagues, regional colleagues and even with your fellow professionals on an international level. It seems difficult to be engaged on so many different levels, but important as it is the best way to keep updated in our chosen fields. Once again, you are an inspiration. Thanks.

Rosetta's Post:
MAC Week 2-BP4: Think-Out-Loud PPP
Giving some thought and consideration to this issue I am leaning strongly toward making a presentation at the International Conference of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations / ASCAC. ASCAC is an organization that has been in existence since 1985. The ASCAC Midwest Regional Conference is this weekend (November 4th-6th) at Kent State University and the international conference will also be at Kent State in March 2012. I will be presenting in the Creative Productions plenary session this weekend on Creative Technologies & Education in the 21st Century. People attend ASCAC conferences from all walks of life from around the world. There are a lot of attendees who are artists and educators seeking to improve the quality of education for people of African descent and dispel the stereotypes that have been associated with Africa and African people.

For the conference in March 2012, I plan to use my Capstone project to create a presentation that relays how incorporating web 2.0 tools and technologies with culturally relevant material can improve the motivation and engagement of African American and other students. Increasing the motivation and engagement of students will serve to create students that are life-long learners. I can begin the conversation at the regional conference this November and get more in-depth at the international conference in March.  

iPad Project: Post #2 Two for "them" & one for "us"!

My last iPad project blog post ended with the donated iPads in their inexpensive rolling cart, various apps installed, and an iPad scavenger hunt form ready for students.  As Rick foreshadowed, the next obligatory steps were wrought with difficulty.  I needed a way to send the scavenger hunt to each iPad so they could complete and submit it directly from the tablet.  I set up a gmail account for each iPad, giving the email account for each the name of a noted children’s book author.  Clever, I thought!  The following day I was foiled by the school district’s firewall that prevented access to all email accounts save the one they issue to us.   
I pressed forward, undeterred, teaching my students to connect to the school-adopted curriculum websites, where they could access additional interactive practice.  A group of very excited, logged in and ready-to-go students were crestfallen when the website wouldn’t launch on the iPad because the site utilized Flash.  Again undaunted, I asked my tech-savvy friend for assistance.  He found a browser that would allow Flash to work on the iPad: Photon, a $3.99 iTunes application.  Gloating to my naysayer colleagues (who promised that Flash could not work on an iPad), I pulled up the browser and the site, clicking on the lightning bolt, and the site opened beautifully.  The problem was that the browser was so slow, the website logged my students out before they could complete a single interactive problem.   I may have lost that battle, but certainly not the war!
Storybird was my next Web 2.0 adventure.  Creating a class set of logins, I set half of my class to create stories on this wonderful website via iPads.  They logged in, titled their story, chose their artwork and almost began writing.  However, the obligatory use of Flash again prevented us from actually writing our stories.  Utilizing the three classroom computers that run the most updated version of Flash, they were able to rotate through and write their story, but not on the iPads.  Another battle lost.  
My fifth grade student helper, who is resilient, smart, determined and really loves technology, helped me set up iCloud on each iPad, using the same username and password on each.  I emailed the iPad scavenger hunt Google form and it showed up instantly on each iPad!  (A glitch in the school district firewall?  I’m not complaining!) We put various dates in the calendar, and, lo and behold, all the iPads calendar information immediately synced without difficulty.  I fell in love with Steve Jobs all over again!  This win felt epic!

Media Asset Creation: The Art of Possibility Chapters 1-4

Image used for education purposes
After reading a book, I often have my students write a letter to the author, to encourage the relationship of reader to writer.  I therefore took the liberty to put my blog entry, regarding the reading from The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, in the form of a letter to the authors.  
Dear Roz and Ben: 
Thanks for your heartfelt stories.  I especially loved the story of Ben’s experience at the home for the elderly and the story of the 5-year-old Katrine’s experience of Mahler.   You really are an excellent storyteller.   Roz, I loved the account of your therapy session with Marianne and the effect your perfect question had on that entire family.  It truly takes expertise to position the right question at the right time to make such a perfect and radical difference in someone’s life.  I imagine you are a phenomenal therapist.  I also think “you are really talented at working with and helping others”.  
I have to apologize to you for the seeming miserable schooling experiences you have had.  As a teacher, it is slightly painful to hear how my colleagues have injured their students.   I beg you to only recall that teachers are merely humans who don’t always do or even know the right thing to do at the right time.   I would also urge you to consider that grades (even Bs, Cs, Ds and Fs,) are really the educator’s means of beginning the conversation of “Is something amiss?”  The teachers who “gave” me A’s, I have, at best, indifferent feelings towards, as I really learned very little in those classes.   Granted, those teachers who “gave” me failing grades are thought of with less affection than indifference (if such a thing exists).  But those teachers who held me accountable to high standards and let me know (by a “bad grade”) when I wasn’t performing my best, are those I hold in high esteem and those to whom I owe much gratitude.
Certainly the best, most proficient educators are those who can establish a relationship with his/her students and guide them to that “beautiful statue within” and align those “standards” to which we must teach, with the evolving soul sitting in that desk.  This master teacher is, in fact, equal, patient and unalterable in her will as she deals with students according to their nature and with things and opportunities according to the force and the truth that is in them.  While not partial, she can raise some while smiting the indifference, negligence or sloth that exists within others.  This master teacher gives the wise further wisdom, imposes consequences on the hostile and leads the ignorant or foolish according to their obscurity.   She is able to handle the different elements of a student’s nature according to the need.  This master teacher does much to abolish ignorance, being a friend to those who are in need of a friend, and being an authority to those in need of direct guidance.   This master teacher does not care for invented schemes of any kind, but works tirelessly to lead her students towards the truth of the world, the truth of themselves and the truth of the relationships between the two.    
From the stories in your book, it sounds like novice teachers dominated much of your schooling.  All I can say is that many teachers start teaching when they are 21 years old and don’t yet possess these master teacher traits.  Grades are given to teachers as a way of beginning the conversation of, “Is there anything amiss?”  Certainly, some teachers are more proficient at conducting this conversation than others.   Mastering the art of teaching is a life’s work, and the difficulties inherent in the job prevent many from ever realizing mastery.   Additionally, “giving an A”  (a.k.a. tenure) to those who don’t pre-possess intrinsic motivation results in stagnation and negligence among teachers who would benefit from some extrinsic motivation from an authority figure. 
Again, my deepest apologies for the injuries inflicted by my teaching colleagues.  It is nevertheless interesting to note that both of you are well-educated, talented, and proficient in your chosen professions.  And you both have certainly put together an interesting and enjoyable book. 
Jennifer Williams

Saturday, October 29, 2011

iPad Project: Post #1 Setting up iPads in a classroom

Due to the generosity of a private donor, I have the opportunity to experiment with the educational and academic possibilities ipads afford a third grade public school classroom.  These were privately purchased and donated, and therefore not serviced by the school district.  School and district level permission was granted to use them in the class, but support is not possible.  That being said, the technology specialist that serves our school two days a week is very knowledgeable and offers assistance and advice as time allows.   An older, 5th grade, student offers her support and help once a week after school.  Another technologically-apt friend, who is interested in seeing the advent of the better use of technology in schools, offers his time, assistance and expertise as circumstances allow.  I am grateful to all of these people for their assistance as we try to find the most appropriate means of educating the 21st century digitally native student. 

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.”
                                                -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I embark on this experiment with the hope that we will all become better teachers of the next generation!  I intend to blog about both the successes and failures, as it will take both to find our way through these ever-changing waters of educating the digital generation.  I welcome all ideas, concerns, comments, and suggestions!

My concerns in obtaining, setting up and managing ten iPads in a public school classroom were fourfold.  I needed to store, secure, charge and sync them on a routine basis.   Scouring the web for recommendations and ideas, I found this wiki website to be beneficial.

The donor would like to gift a class set of iPads, but we agreed that we should begin with 10 iPad2s, with the possibility of getting another 10 of the iPad3’s when released, and some of the initial management issues get settled.

My steps:
1.  Unboxed.  Each ipad came engraved with my name and a number 1-10 on the back.  Although it is possible for that to be removed in the event of theft, it is beneficial in classroom management.   While I am still searching for a cabinet to secure and sync the iPads, I purchased an inexpensive rolling cart with 10 trays from Office Depot.  This will serve to store the iPads.   Until a means of securing, charging and syncing the iPads is found, the iPads are not left at school overnight. 

2. itunes Account.  I set up an itunes account on my computer.  I synced all 10 ipads to this account and will have identical apps on each one.  Having one laptop, this was a time-consuming task.   Until a better solution to syncing the ipads is resolved, this will be a weekly job for my 5th grade student helper. 

3.  Select and Install Apps.  The core apps I wanted on the ipads for my students were iMovie, Garageband, Pages, Keynote, dropbox, Schoology and a typing program.   Other than that, I searched for applications that would enhance the third grade curriculum.  I download the free “lite” versions of applications that have potential for teaching academic subjects.  My 5th grade student helper tries them out and makes recommendations based on her experience. 

4.  Introduce Students to iPad:  To introduce my students to iPads, I created an “ipad scavenger hunt”.  Students work in pairs to complete this google doc.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Media Asset Creation: Week 1 Comment on Michael Dunn's blog

Michael posted this welcome and wonderful blog post about  

Hello friends! For this post I would like to share an interesting website with you. hitRECord is a website/concept developed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Members of the hitRECord community credit "Records" or pieces of art both musical and visual. From there members are allowed to use and remix another members work eventually leading to a full project. The community democratically decides on projects and crowd-sources the skills of the community. Some of the final projects are pretty amazing but the process is really at the core. I am inspired by the openness of these users to share their work and allow it to be remixed so freely. This attitude seen in the Creative Commons community really shows the spirit of collaboration and artistic exploration.

Here is an example of a hitRECord piece:

Thanks for posting this site. After listening to hours of extreme law locking erudites, this site was a welcome relief. Morgan M Morgansen's Date with Destiny lip lifted me. A wonderful example of a creative commons solution and a bridge to the future! Thanks.

Media Asset Creation: Week 1 comment on Marc Hunt's blog

Marc Hunt's blog post on copyright issues:

Copyright is a very complicated topic that really is about a very simple thing. Protecting your intellectual property or, in plain English, original ideas. I decided to make a very basic presentation that will provide basic ideas about copyright and its definitions. I hope you enjoy and that help you understand the topic a little bit more.

I have been a musician since I was a little boy and the topic of copyright always is a heated discussion. In the readings we covered this week it was apparent that most people have different ideas on what they think copyright should allow or even protect. The DJ GirlTalk made that point as he spoke about how he makes original art using already recorded music. The question of whether or not you are allowed to use copyright protected music in your productions is also answered below in the presentation I made about copyright as it relates to music and royalties or payment that are due to the copyright owner.

Marc created two prezi's about copyright.  I hope to show one of them to my students.  Follow this link to that prezi.

Media Asset Creation: Copyright Issues

Thank goodness for Ted talks.  Watching these hours worth of copyright issue videos was enough to make a teacher quit her job.  So, rather than dwell on the extremes that many of these videos did, I want to focus on the little bit of hope I found within the creative commons information and within Larry Lessig’s TED talk.   
Lessig quoted John Phillips Souza in 1906 who said that these “talking machines” referring to radios will ruin the artistic development in this country.   And, in fact, the 20th century became a culture of “read only” people.  However the 21st century seems to be assuming artistic development again.  Thanks to the $1500 computer, the tools of creativity have become tools of speech.  It is what the next generation bases its life upon.   Yet, Lessig insists, the law has not greeted this revival with very much common sense.  It prohibits to such an extreme degree that legal creativity becomes stifled, at best.  
Creative Commons offers possibilities and hope and does in fact seem to be a “bridge to the future”.  This will begin our journey to thinking more about communities and less about content.  However, in the meantime, educators have to find a way to give our students the tools and information they need to legally create, express, and use the digital technologies that are available to them.

Shutterstock image used with permission!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Prezi Pitch for Classroom Technology

As promised in my last post, here is my prezi. Circumstances changed my need from a presentation that included my presence, to one that did not, thus it was made into a video presentation. If you watch this, I would really appreciate you filling out my survey. Thanks!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Like Rosetta C, I am also using Prezi to present the RILS project to my target audience, my administration.   I am hoping that, among other things, my use of this Web 2.0 tool will excite them enough to make them interested in allowing their teachers and students to use other Web 2.0 tools and digital tools, and to be so impressed that they redirect a set of laptops to my classroom.

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation tool that is based off of a canvas rather than slides, as PowerPoint and Keynote are.  The best Prezis present a whole picture while zooming in to see the details of the project, and incorporate visual data.  Prezi allows its users to embed a video into a presentation, provided it is in the correct format.  I understand there is a free online video conversion tool called Zamzar that allows you to upload video or pull a link from the web, choosing the format you wish it to be converted into. Although cloud-based, a created prezi can be downloaded to a computer or a flash drive for an off-line presentation. 

Below is a snapshop of the title of my prezi.  Check back for a link to the entire prezi.


Searching for a way to teach my students to visually (and digitally) organize their thought process about reading texts, I came across Kidspiration 3.   It is organized into two age groups: K-2 and 3-5.  There is a sound button that enables a mechanized female voice to read any moused over word.   She is annoying enough to increase any child’s motivation to read on his/her own.  With a little practice (and pre-built templates) students can build graphic organizers by combining pictures, texts, and spoken words to represent thoughts and information.   There is a library of over 3,000 symbols and images for students to use, as well as a symbol maker that allows students to create their own.  The interface is colorful and engaging to elementary age students.   At first glance, the program appears to be very user-friendly, with written and verbal directions for each concept map's use.  However, it seems young students will still need significant demonstration and coaching to utilize this tool.   Yet, once understood, students could easily create Venn diagrams, cause and effect relationship maps, character maps, storyboards, and many other concept maps.   Although as yet unexplored by me, there is also an impressive math, science and social studies section.    The sample lessons included in the download are helpful to both spur ideas and to cut down on the time intensive task of creating the concept map you may want your students to use.

Although the program allows for some teacher editing, it is not easily done, and there is not a good system for interactive sharing with another student.   The pricing is rather high.  A single license is about $70, and a 20-computer license runs about $700.  

I am making tentative plans to use Kidspiration 3 in my classroom, although I would much prefer a program that allowed students to interact about their project with other students and the teacher.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


A commercial about Schoology. Enjoy!


Jonnie Williams (no relation) introduced me to Little Bird Tales.  Follow this link to my comment on her page.


As mentioned in earlier posts, I am following the research of Rick Osborne and hope to incorporate some aspects of his video sharing in my classroom.  Follow this link to my comment on his blog.


Finding ways to update my classroom to meet the needs of the 21st century learner is very exciting, but also presents some challenges. Although there are a myriad of ways to display and discuss videos and other student digitally created work, very few of them provide the ease of use and privacy controls needed in a primary classroom. Additionally, teachers in my school district are allowed to use only “district-sanctioned Web-based services” that are “hosted on District servers behind the District firewall.” Currently my school district provides Moodle as the internal networking site. This has not been well utilized and they are hoping to change to a different site in the near future. As a part of my research I found Schoology, a social networking tool with an incorporated learning management system for administrators, teachers, parents and students. 

Basic accounts are free and can be used on an individual teacher basis (there is a verification process). However accounts with greater design features, greater support and more extensive upload capacity (100mb available with the free service) are available for a premium paid institutional access (pricing was unavailable). The interface design is familiar (similar to facebook). 

Teachers can use Schoology to manage class blogs, upload assignments, communicate with students and create discussion boards. All course profiles have privacy settings, and there is a homework drop box. Additionally teachers can create custom tests/quizzes which students can take online. One of the features I like most about Schoology is that the program is growing to fit the needs of teachers who integrate technology into their classes, with frequent updates.  For me, use of this will depend upon district approval.
Look for a review of Blackboard here soon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The iMovie trailers will be an excellent way to introduce students to iMovie. They will need some basic preliminary information that will be easily incorporated into the first couple introductory weeks of school.

Either allowing students to collect video footage with an inexpensive or old video recorder during recess and/or taking random footage of students throughout the first days of school will provide ample opportunities for initial video capture. The first week of third grade involves, among many other things, a review of literature “genres”. Seamlessly, we can incorporate a lesson on movie genres. This introductory week also includes an introduction to writing. Incorporating “storyboarding” into these first couple introductory writing lessons will increase student motivation to write and create. Another vital part of the first week of school is to establish the reason for being in school, and in particular, third grade. In the past, I have done this in the form of a written contract, which we then refer to later in the year, when learning becomes difficult and everyone needs a reminder as to why we are in school. However, brainstorming and storyboarding our ideas as a group then allowing each student to create an iMovie trailer about their own reason for being in school will be an even better way to do this. Always modeling first, students will help me create a trailer that will serve as the class contract!’s iMovie essential training helped me understand the logistics of doing this. Garrick Chow demonstrated in the segment on “Moving a project to another Mac”, how to post an uploaded event to another hard drive, provided the hard drive is formatted correctly.

Ideally this hard drive will be connected wirelessly to all student computers. Students will then be able to choose their movie genre and begin storyboarding their reason for being in school. One of the great things about the iMovie trailers is that they are short and look impressive even with extensive user error, as is inevitable with 20 eight year olds creating movies for the first time. Posting and sharing these videos is still a dilemma, but one which I have a few months to solve. Here is an example.

Friday, April 8, 2011


A potentially time saving and helpful feature of iMovie ’11 for educators is the “rating clips”, “favorites”, and “keywords” features. Using the advanced selection-sweeping clip makes the selection and rating process quick and easy. This feature allows the unusable and potential footage to be separated easily. Additionally, educators can tag segments with subject areas, unit names or student names as footage is imported. This will help save time, keep movie clips organized and make future image ciphering and viewing a more entertaining adventure. I envision that, after a bit of training, a student helper, the “videographer” of the day, would be charge of rating and tagging clips imported to a central hard drive.