Well… this is it. My final summary of learning for ECMP355: Introduction to Computers in the Classroom through the University of Regina. This has been one of the most useful and overall most awesome classes I have ever taken. It could be because I actually really want to be friends with technology, even though sometimes we seem to glitch and not get along.
It was suggested that we create a video of some sort to tell a story of how and what we learned this semester in this class. Dean Shareski, my prof, suggested making an RSA animate style video. I thought this would be a challenge and fun, so I took it on. He gave us a link to a blog that proved to be quite helpful, but there was still a lot of experimentation and problem solving that was involved in making this video.
I started out with making the story line and deciding what pictures to draw for each section of the story. I then had to talk nice to my daughter to borrow her white board and markers. (It worked). Then came the recording. I thought it would be easiest to record the drawings of the pictures using my iPhone so I set it up so that the camera eye was hanging over the edge of the table and I drew the pictures onto the white board that was on the floor. The original film was just over 15 minutes long. This is where I ran into a problem… I couldn’t figure out how to get my video from my iPhone to my laptop for editing. The video file was too large to upload to youtube and emailing it to myself wasn’t working either. I decided to try and upload the file using Vimeo. So after contemplating and trying various methods for a day and a half, this last option worked like a charm.
I then took my video from my vimeo account on my laptop and opened it in movie maker for editing. After speeding it up 3x and inserting audio and narration I had finally completed my project. I then saved it as an MP4 file to upload it to youtube so that I could embed it into my wordpress blog.
After rereading this post, it sounds a whole lot easier than it actually was. Trust me, a lot of time was put into this one. I believe that it is a great example of how tech savvy somebody can become over the course of one semester. After all, before I started, I didn’t have a youtube account, a Vimeo account or know what movie maker was. I’m looking forward to seeing my classmates finally summaries of learning too.
I had the opportunity to have a questions and answers period with my mentor teacher Diana Williams today. It’s been one busy day, as I had a Google Hangout with her class this morning where I taught them a lesson on friendship and then the interview this afternoon.
It was great to have the chance to connect with a teacher who is using technology in the classroom and to see what it’s like to tackle that terrifying task. Technology can be daunting and down right terrifying, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned by taking my ECMP355 class, it’s to not be afraid of it. After all, if it works it works, and if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.
Building my PLN (Personal Learning Network) has been such a great experience and as teacher Diana said during our interview, “somebody will know somebody that can help.” It all comes down to knowing people and how to connect to the right people for the job. (Dean… you were given the kudos in knowing so many people. I may be calling upon you someday to find someone or maybe as a possible presenter.)
Diana talked about how technology offers students from lower socio-economic status’ the opportunity to see the world and gain those experiences that might not otherwise be possible. This is a great point of view, and a great sense of motivation for all educators to embrace technology and use it to its full potential.
A great big thanks to teacher Diana for the wonderful opportunity and the great feedback. It’s been a slice.
Today has been awesome! I got to finally meet my mentor class in Surrey, B.C. via Google Hangout. The more things I learn about Google, the more I like it.
Teacher Diana and I agreed that this Wednesday would be a good time for me to Hangout with the class and present a lesson on friendship. I felt like I already knew some of the students through their blog posts that I have been reading and commenting on, but this was a great opportunity to put faces to the names. Diana’s grade 4/5 class called me this morning first thing at 9:00 a.m. and we chatted it up. I introduced myself and talked about how important friendship was. I read them the story “Ribbon Rescue” by Robert Munsch to give them a base of what good friendship was about. I also drew some pretty rocking pictures depicting being a good and bad friend for them to distinguish. The students had a good discussion about what being a good friend was and how to not be a bad friend. We talked about feelings and how being a good friend makes everyone involved feel good.
These are the pictures I drew… I admit, I googled “cartoon drawings of …” and found and attempted to reproduce them here. I’m not that great of an artist but I can reproduce if I have to.
I gave them a little project to complete on top of it all. I’ve asked them to write a story about a ‘good friend’ and post it to their blogs so that I can read them and comment on them. I can’t wait to see what they will come up with. As an added challenge to the students I asked that they try and incorporate at least 8 ‘ly’ words into their stories as their class is currently learning how to use ‘ly’ words to enhance writing. We’ll see what they can come up with. Let the imagination run wild.
At the end of our session I asked if the kids had any questions for me. Of course they did. They were all random questions, but it gave me a chance to get to know them and for them to get to know me. It makes it fun and a little more memorable that way. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.