EDM Reflections

This class has put me through a roller coaster of emotions in the best way possible.  I came into this class a little wary simply because technology has generally been one of my weak spots.  Throughout the course, however, this began to change.  I looked forward to attending class and figuring out how to tackle the next project.  As I leave the course, I still have a bit of animosity towards technology, but I will always be able to approach it with an attitude that says “I’m going to find a way to do this and make it awesome!”  All in all, I am a lot more confident with the material than ever before.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed working with my group, especially on the group video.  It was truly one of my favorite assignments from the course.  I think one of the reasons that the groups worked out so well is that we were grouped by the grade levels we wanted to teach, which has been extremely helpful.  The group has been able to help me, and I hope I’ve been able to help as well, by coming up with ways to adapt our projects for our age group when so many others needed it for a younger group.  There is one thing I was a little disappointed about and that was not being able to do the final project as a group.  I believe we could have put out a great product, but I understand why it needed to be modified.

 

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More Than Just a Power Point

Coming into this project, I was extremely worried.  Having never done anything other than a traditional powerpoint with multiple slides, I became worried just thinking about triggers, outlines, fillers, and things of that nature.  I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  After watching the help video, it was simple to set  up the triggers.  Once that anxiety was pushed out of the way, I found it exciting.  I felt a particular brand of triumph when I found the exact music that I wanted and got it to come up with the correct or incorrect answer.

If I could go back and spend more time on the project, I definitely would have fixed a few of the triggers and possibly made it on multiple slides.  I would do it on multiple slides because it became impossible to edit any of my questions once they buried under other questions and other triggers.  In other words, it simply became to messy for my inclination towards neatness.

Assisstive Technology

Assistive technology is technically defined as any device that helps a person with a disability complete an everyday task.  While many assistive technologies are quite complicated, not all have to be.  For instance, a visual timer can be counted as a piece of assistive technology.  Many students with several different disabilities can benefit from the use of a timer.  For students with autism, timers can be visual reminders of transitioning from one place or activity to another.  For students with ADHD, a timer can be extremely helpful in self-monitoring.  If a child is actively being reminded to assess what they are doing or how they are doing it, they are much more likely to stay on task.

A visual timer can also act as a way to include special needs children with their peers.  While one student may need the timer more than usual, all students can benefit from more self-monitoring.  Since these timers can also be used as a form of motivation (ie. “Only a few more minutes until lunch.  I can do this!), timers can be beneficial for all students and even for teachers.

For more information, check out this awesome article Benefits of a Visual Timer

Fixing the World’s Grammar Issues

This week, I had the opportunity to use an awesome program that allowed you to choose a video and make it your own by adding questions, comments, and audio.  My teammates watched the video and answered the questions superbly. Since everyone has watched the video without any technological issues, I think it is safe to assume that the format was easy to use with clear instructions.  Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of making the video and I think their scores show that this program would work well in my future classroom. If I had been using this video for an actual class,

If I had been using this video for an actual class,  I would follow this video up with a lesson.  In this lesson, I would ask my students to think about issues not mentioned in the video.  I would ask them why these issues needed to be fixed and help them realize the significant role that grammar plays not just in school but also online and in the workplace. Finally, I would teach my students how to fix the mistakes that they brought to the discussion.

Trophies and “Greased Lightning” Group Project

I can honestly say that woking on this group project has been my favorite activity in EDM 310 thus far.  To me, nothing is better than working with a group that consists of other hard-working students who want to do their best.  I really enjoyed that we got to choose our topics, especially since we got to talk about a huge problem in our school system today.  In addition, I appreciated the fact that there was a rubric that we could refer to throughout the process.  I know that I personally struggle when there are no parameters set for a project as I thrive on structure.

While I definitely think that this project should be continued in the coming semesters, I believe that there are a few things that should be worked out.  It would have been great if the groups could have had an extra class day to work on editing.  My group was very good about time management, but if we had fallen behind for any reason there would not have been much time to fix it.  Also, it would have been good to have a longer time frame for the video itself.  Instead of 6 minutes long, it would have been great to have 10 minutes.  If we had that time, we could have definitely shown more creativity and even added in bloopers that will sadly be unseen.  Once these things are fixed, I think this project will reach a new level and help other students use technology in creative ways.

Creativity for the Creatively Challenged

As the title of this post suggests, I had most of my issues in the creative process of making the free app trailer.  Before I even began the project, I had anxieties about making it good or interesting.  Procrastination then took place because that’s always the best way to handle a school project.  All of these anxieties melted away, however, once I actually started working on the  project.  The more I learned about the app and the more I was able to customize my video, the more I got excited about the project.  I was happy to see that I could use programs like Audacity and MovieMaker in my future classroom.  The layout of MovieMaker was easy to use once I got used to it.  I did have an issue with Audacity.  I didn’t want to choose music for the trailer until I had seen the finished project.  This was not my brightest moment, however, because then I was up against the clock to finish the project and actually had computer issues with the Audacity software.  My computer did not want to save any of the music that I had worked on in Audacity.  Luckily, I was able to save two portions of the music.  They weren’t the pieces that I had intended on using, but I made them work.  The day after completing the project, I figured out that the problem with Audacity was simply that it had downloaded incorrectly.  This was the only issue I had with Audacity,  a

The layout of MovieMaker was easy to use once I got used to it.  I did have an issue with Audacity.  I didn’t want to choose music for the trailer until I had seen the finished project.  This was not my brightest moment, however, because then I was up against the clock to finish the project and actually had computer issues with the Audacity software.  My computer did not want to save any of the music that I had worked on in Audacity.  Luckily, I was able to save two portions of the music.  They weren’t the pieces that I had intended on using, but I made them work.  The day after completing the project, I figured out that the problem with Audacity was simply that it had downloaded incorrectly.  This was the only issue I had with Audacity, but overall I had an easier time using MovieMaker rather than Audacity.

Multitasking is the Life of a Student

Today, I watched a video by Micheal Wesch called A Vision of Students Today.  Despite the fact that this video is almost a decade old, many of the concepts discussed still apply to students.   Plenty of students miss class and laptops are brought for Facebook use rather than class use.  Interestingly enough, the video also points out that students don’t have enough time to live their life and do well in school without multitasking.  One student remarks that they are a multitasker because they have to be.  This statement hit home with me as I often find myself multitasking throughout the day.  For instance, I’m eating dinner while I’m writing this post.  So, what’s the big deal if every student is already doing this and has been forever?  The big deal is that advances in technology have made it easier than ever to get work done or get distracted while multitasking.

This is why I plan to use technology in my classroom when I am a teacher.  My goal will be to teach my kids how to use their tech to get work done faster so they can spend some free time on Facebook when they get home.  Also, I want to teach my student how to use technology effectively at the college level.  Laptops are helpful, but they can also be a major source of distraction. I want my students to head into college with a good grasp on how to study and use tech effectively.