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.
Last night I decided to explore WeVideo. WeVideo 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)
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.
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.
As part of this week’s tech task we were asked to explore some of the resources that were give to us by Adam Bellow and Steve Dembo during our ECMP355 class. Right off the bat, we were introduced to an amazing site called Padlet. This site is essential a bulletin board. You make different “bulletin boards” where you can store all sorts of different information. It’s possible to link websites, videos, pictures, or documents and each “bulletin board” can be customized by using different backgrounds and choosing the method to sort your posts. Padlet has so many different uses for the classroom. I chose to make a board that has all sorts of different brain breaks available to me at a moments notice because we all know that when students need a brain break, they need it now! I figured that if they were all ready and waiting for me to grab, I’d be more likely to use them. I love how it’s easy to add, delete, and rearrange the board as well. Here is a screenshot of my first board:
This will be a work in progress that I can add to anytime I find a good resource. I can see the value in having a central location for all your information when developing lesson plans and units as well.
During our class it was also mentioned that this resource could be used as a sorting activity for kids as it’s easy to drag and drop photos to different areas of the screen and “in a sense” sort them out.
A great big thanks goes out to Steve and Adam. This is a great resource that I will certainly be putting to use.
Does anyone else have any ideas how this resource could be used in the classroom?
I thought I’d write a post about the maker movement. We recently had one of our ECMP355 classes focus on this topic. It might not be what you think… I know I certainly thought that the maker movement was geared towards the technology that is currently over running our lives, but I was wrong (to some extent). It’s all about making things. Whether it’s a cardboard sleigh, a computer program, or how to build a robot. With society changing and therefore schools changing, as teachers we are faced with helping our students be prepared for an unknown future. Our students have to be ready to adapt and have to have the knowledge and skills to survive in an ever changing world. The maker movement helps students achieve this by giving them the opportunity to build something that is interesting and challenging to them. It proves as an outlet for students to problem solve and collaborate with one another. They have the opportunity to develop new relationships with people who have the same interests. The thing with the maker movement is that we’re all a part of it without even realizing it.
My daughter is actively involved in the maker movement, and I didn’t even realize it. I always knew that she was crafty and liked to sing and dance. I never really thought much about this until after this class. She’s always looking up how to do something on you tube and is currently fascinated with hair and nails. Like I said, I never really thought much about this… she is a young girl after all. But these are skills that interest her that she will have for the rest of her life. Even though the things that she’s interested in aren’t technology based, she does use technology to do research and study up on these topics. Here is a photo of a pen that she made into a flower using duct tape:
I thought this was so cool. What a neat way for her to express herself. It probably cost me more in duct tape than it would have been to buy this up town, but it’s the fact that she thought of the idea, researched it, and made it herself that intrigues me. I’m very proud of her.
So this week I decided I was going to become part of the maker movement and make something that didn’t involve technology. Well, that’s a little bit of a lie because I got the idea from Pinterest and researched how to do it. This is the original post. But I really did make the rest of it myself. It’s a work in progress, but I am thoroughly pleased with how this turned out.
(Don’t mind my missing paint. That is thanks to the Hot Wheels Wall Track that wasn’t supposed to rip off paint. Oh well.)
How do you feel about the maker movement? Does it make you want to try something new? As a teacher, how can you incorporate this into your classroom?
And to top it all off… I challenge you all to make something without using technology. (Or as little as possible).
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…
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.
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!
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!
Well everyone! This is my first project from the DS 106 site. I have to say that I was quite unsure of how I was going to do this with so little knowledge in this field, but the internet is amazing and there are so many different ways to figure out your problems. (I had quite a few of them). This project was called Draw It! under the visual assignments section of the web page. I downloaded the Gimp program which is a photo editing type program, and followed along with the help section. Of course there was plenty of trial and error, but I think it turned out pretty good. If I were to do this again, I’d probably pick a picture with less going on and maybe just one item to focus on.
I’m really amazed all the different types of projects that are on the DS 106 site. There are so many that I never even thought were do-able by someone without professional training.
The ease of the program Gimp is amazing. There are a lot of different tools to use to make the picture the way you want it, and it will take some practice. But as with anything new, practice makes better right? I think that this type of a project would be really neat for upper year students to learn. It’s a guided learning practice. Students, like myself, need to figure it out, but not by themselves. There are many resources to help them, they just need to look.
On a side note, this photo is taken of my two children on their first day of school this year. We always go outside and get a picture in one of the trees. (Actually, it’s more like a billion pictures, it must be a mom thing)
I wonder how many people wish that they could make a difference in the lives of children? I would have to guess that there would be a lot. Now, how many people would like to make a difference in the lives of children by changing themselves? I would have to presume that there would be more people leery about this one. As an educator, would you think that you should change or that the students just need to learn the material that is presented to them, in the method that you choose?
Tonight I had the opportunity to attend a presentation at my local elementary school that was put on by Don Rempel, the superintendent of the North East School Division. This presentation really made me think about the way we educate. Don had the opportunity to go to New Zealand to learn about the initiatives that were being pursued there in regards to education and the Maori people.
The Maori people are native to New Zealand and have a similar history to those of First Nations students in Saskatchewan. Our First Nations students have low graduation rates and high drop out rates which results in low employment rates and poverty, which is very similar to those of the Maori people in New Zealand. In New Zealand, the initiative is to change the way teachers teach students with the focus being on the Maori students. This was a 5 year plan and it has just come a close this year. The results are amazing. Not only for Maori students, but for all students regardless of race or ethnicity. By focusing on the Maori students, New Zealand schools have changed the way teachers react and interact with students by focusing first on the student and his/her needs, and secondly on the curriculum. Don’t get me wrong, these teachers still expect students to perform and achieve standards, but rather than striving for the final goal of mastering a subject or concept, there are frequent check points, allowing the student to develop a proper knowledge base before continuing to the next item. Rather than having the teacher focus on the class as a whole for the majority of the time, the concepts are given to the class and then the students are divided into groups or given individual instruction to achieve understanding. There is constant feedback and support given to students to give them the extra assurance. I have included a link below to some information regarding the Maori initiative.
Something that really stuck out to me was “Don’t just think that all students can learn. Believe it.” By focusing on the minority students and making them feel accepted, culture and all, we can make a difference in the lives of these children. These children see teachers as the main support in educational accomplishment; not family or community support; not the educational structures; but the teachers. So give yourself a pat on the shoulder and make a difference in the life of a child by focusing on them as children, rather than the “unfortunate” ones who have been born and raised in hardship. They are all children with the same wonder and curiosity. They need us, let’s make a difference.
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:
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:
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.
This post is a continuation of my last post were I listed 5 new connections that I have made through Twitter or blogs. All week I have been searching out the wonderful web and have found 5 more blogs that I have chosen to follow.
This blog belongs to the class that I’ve been paired up with in Surrey, B.C. By adding this site to my Feedly account and on my Dashboard of my blog, I will be easily able to keep up with what is going on in their classroom.
This site is a must for anybody who is interested in teaching science to middle school children. There are great video examples of experiments that look like fun. What better way to teach than through visual and hands on experience.
This blog site really intrigued me because of all the free stuff. That’s right. I said “FREE”. It is geared towards elementary education.
This blog has all sorts of interesting activities and ideas for lessons, but what really got my attention were the activities and lessons ideas for the Olympics as the class I have been partnered with is following the athletes and the event quite closely.
This blog has some really interesting posts regarding education but the posts that stuck out to me the most were based on what makes a person smarter than someone else (Find the Numbers Object Lesson), and her post on cellphone usage in the classroom. Definitely gave me some things mull over.
Thanks for checking out this post and I hope these blogs are of interest to you as well.