digital footprint

Summary of Tech Savviness

 

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.

 

 

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Q & A Session with Diana Williams

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.

Exploring WeVideo

Last night I decided to explore WeVideoWeVideo is a site dedicated to making movie making very easy.  This site was mentioned during our ECMP355 class and I thought I’d give it a shot just to see how easy it really was. I was going into the whole experience fairly skeptical as I’ve had problems with making videos before on site that are “user friendly”.

I searched out the site on my laptop and signed up for an account. Sounds fairly easy right? Well then I realized that none of my videos or pictures were on my laptop. I had them all on my phone and realized, “it’s going to take forever to email all these things to myself so I can create a video on my laptop.” Well…. not to worry. There’s actually an iPhone app for WeVideo. I simply downloaded the free app on my phone and uploaded all my videos and pictures that I wanted to use through that. (This saved me a load of time).

Anyway, I then went back onto my laptop and signed back onto the site and BAM! my photos and videos were all there. I watched the short tutorial video and played around with it a bit. This is what I ended up with:

Even though it’s my first ever video, I think it turned out well. I know my children love seeing themselves as the feature actor and actress.

I would strongly encourage anybody new to movie making to try this site out. I’m a newbie making this type of video, so anybody can make this type of video. I think that this would be a great resource for students in middle to upper years to make video documentaries or projects with. It doesn’t take extensive movie making knowledge to operate.

I personally think that I will use this as a teacher to make a video of the year in review and send it to all the students and their families. It would be a nice little memento of their time in my class.

So my questions for you are:

1. Have you used this site to create a video? (because you should check it out)

2. What ways can you see this being a great resource for school? (or anything else)

 

A little more about the “Code”

Well this week I’ve been busy with catching up on and finishing the last of my assignments for this semester.  I’ll be glad to be done with writing essays for a while once this semester draws to an end.  It’s not that I don’t “like” essays, but I’m rather tired of doing so many of them. I’d like to sit back and read a book of my choice and partake in some activities that I choose, rather than focusing on school all the time. 

I’ve also been playing around with coding more. I’ve completed the 20 hours of code from code.org and found it very interesting (I’m kind of a bit of a computer geek sometimes, once I get hooked). I just seem to find it all so interesting and I want to learn more about it. I’ve decided to look a little deeper into the topic and have decided to continue with my learning on writing code with javascript using the site Codeacademy. There is also a free app from iTunes. I remember touching on this a little bit when I attended the University of Saskatchewan in 2001-2002 when I was enrolled in Commerce. Of course this was quite a while ago and computers have advanced quite a bit since then, but I’m finding that some of the information is coming back to me again. (Isn’t it funny how you forget that you know something when you don’t use that information?) It’s serving as a great refresher and I’m hoping to get a website set up sometime in the future for classroom use. 

codeacademy

Though I’m still unsure of all the possibilities of learning code in school, I’m finding it very informative for myself.  I would hope that some students would find it interesting as well and maybe strive for a career based in computer science.  After all, it’s a profession that isn’t going to be abolished any time soon. 

I’m wondering if any one has opinions on javascript or any of the other languages used to write code? Does anybody know if one is better to learn and for what reason?

It’s all in the code

This week’s ECMP355 class was mind blowing. I was very intrigued when I found out that it was all about coding. I’ve never had the opportunity, nor have I thought about pursuing it myself, to learn how to code. In fact, I’m not even sure that I really knew what it meant to ‘code’.

It’s amazing to think that it’s everywhere. How many of us play games or use technology of any sort? Answer: All of us. Whether we know it or not, code has been used in all sorts of things. I now have a new appreciation for all the apps and programs out there. I find myself asking, “how long did it take someone to figure this out?”

For this week’s Tech Task we were asked to experiment with coding. Simply play around with it a bit and see if we can make something up. I checked out a few of the options available and here is what I thought…

Espresso Education

This site requires a username and password and our instructor Dean Shareski was kind enough to get us access to this resource. I played around with the simple codes for quite a while and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I kept thinking the whole time… what’s the point of this? and is all code written the same way? do these same buttons show up for all code? Well, my answers were really never really answered and I got tired of doing the same things over, but found that if I skipped ahead I had missed some important coding information and couldn’t succeed without it. Maybe I just didn’t have enough patience for this one off the hop. I’ll check it out again when I’m ready to sit down for a while.

I also checked out a tutorial on code at code.org

I found this site very interesting. Maybe it was because it started with coding for angry birds and then zombies. I worked my way through the first hour of code and then discovered that you can signup and complete 20 hours of code that will teach you so much more about it. I signed up and plan on completing these 20 hours sometime along the way. I would strongly suggest this site. 

coding

This is a screenshot of a stick man that I coded. It took plenty of trial and error, but I felt like I had cracked the code in the end. Yaaa!

Hopscotch

This was another recommendation from Dean regarding learning to code. This is an ipad app. I have downloaded it, but haven’t had a chance to give it a fair shake. Hopefully I’ll get time in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Where am I?

I recently attended a class regarding digital footprints and the importance of ensuring that these footprints accurately portray who you are and what you believe in. During this technological age, privacy has become a big issue. Without proper instruction on how technology can shape your life, young people are susceptible to post messages, photos, and pictures on social media sites that can negatively effect the rest of their lives. I took it upon myself to do a google search on myself to see what came up. Here are some of the results:

screenshot

This is the first thing that came up for my name. (Hint: this is not me….)

I then added decided to add my home town to the search and this is what I found:

screenshot2

At least this search found me.

By taking the “bull by the horns”, and creating a page on about.me, I have started to expand my positive digital footprint that will work for me in the future. Feel free to check it out at http://about.me/ashleygrandfield/#.

I’d love to hear your opinions on digital footprints and whether people should be embracing or avoiding the digital realm.