Monday, October 24, 2011

CEDO 530 Week 2

I hate writing and have always hated writing. I've gotten much better at it since I started out hating it. Practice makes perfect. Practice makes better. Perfect practice makes perfect. I haven't gotten to the perfect part yet. Though I'm excited about  digital storytelling, I think the excitement is more of the digital and less of the storytelling.

I was glad reading chapter 4 in Digitales because like all so many of our students who stare at the paper  with a broken pencil or play with all the possible fonts on the title, I need help with ideas. Chapter 4 gave a lot of ideas and I thought with many, "Hey! I could do that. This won't be THAT hard."

Going analog? I like to play acoustic guitar once in a while but prefer my electric. As for digital projects, I do a mix but the greater percentage is digital within the medium(s). I guess I'm no different from the moaning students, "What? We have to hand in pencil notes too?"

As for presentations? I don't have any. I've never given any. Never used a slide show and projector for teaching. My school had a projector but it's gone AWOL.  I'm taking a look at this whole presentation thing as something I'll be better prepared for when time comes for actually making and doing one. In the meantime, I'm gathering in the tips, tricks and suggestions and will also be generalizing them to be used in other media and presentation venues such as project website design and even my training website design.  

I think we need a few definitions of what presentations are in order for us to get this all right. I understand why we should take the time and think through a presentation that may bring in a few million start-up dollars from investors. Teachers making a dozen slides with bulleted highlights for a civil war lesson will never go away and I don't they they ought to if they serve the purpose well. Realistically, teachers aren't going to take the extra 30-40 minutes for tomorrow's class to go to the coffee shop and think analog, then another 30-40 minutes to get it all right with the sticky graphics, text & layout. They might do this occasionally but not for every day stuff. I do think that it is possible and recommended to take some of this in and make some changes that may end up with something more effective than bullets for those that use slides/presentations regularly.

What kind of presentations are we talking about here for teachers to make? Who is the audience? What are the presentations about? What is their purpose?

Question?: Does any one know of an accessible/downloadable database of the Wisconsin State Standards or Common Core Standards. I hate looking through all the individual documents and wish I could access it easily. I know many proprietary programs like Build your Own Curriculum have it built in as a feature but can us common folk get it some where?

Monday, October 17, 2011

CEDO 530 Week 1

I'm looking forward to getting into the meat of this course. Anything with design... I'm there. Learning how to create great stories and using new tools to create them - something I just haven't had the time to do before but now will have to and will enjoy.

I've never thought of myself as a great storyteller. I've told lots of people about my experiences, episodes and traveling but I've never approached them in the context of "storytelling" as I think we will learn about.

About presentations. I know there has been/is much ballyhoo about bad presentations and agree for the most part. Here are some thoughts I wrote while looking at some of the readings:

Powerpoint is Evil: I think the author is just ranting, not even showing what a great presentation should be. Though I know his rants have merits, his presentation lost my regard. Anti-Kudos back to you.

Research Points a Finger at PowerPoint: Yes, a slide should focus attention on the topic, not be a redundant visual echo. I’d have to disagree with speaking/listening and reading at the same time at least to some extent. How do children learn to read? They follow along as you read aloud to them. Duh! but I guess that wasn't the focus of this argument. Showing students a solution is called giving an example, something I think teachers do all the time. I don't think giving solutions to students and not having them come up with their own is a great idea. Maybe I missed something there???

Here is a freebie for you. Found it while looking for copyright/usable media. An new on-line video editor that seems to work pretty well. 1GB storage with free account Early adopters get "Plus" account benefits (10GB and more). Not too many bells and whistles, but enough for learning and students. I haven't been to a lot of other on-line video editors lately so I'm not sure how it stacks up but it worked fine for me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 6 - Final Thoughts on CEDO 525

For me, somewhere during this course everything just clicked with me. I got it. Though we've been talking about, reviewing and using a lot of these technology tools for a while and even longer, connecting them to the learning strategies in the way presented in the book just made sense. In retrospect, I feel that this course and text should be switched with CEDO 515 with its useful, but dry text. I think that a lot of the material in that text would have made a lot more sense after reading and using the text for this course. The short and simple suggestions and examples in this text were just enough to get started and understand how technology can enhance and support learning. The text for 515 got into a lot of detail and revisions of lessons, which s where this course ended.

I am making it a point to include both the learning strategies and the technology to support it part of my training program for my teachers so they have intimate examples of how this all works. I feel this could be done more in this program as well. Our instructors could use more of the technology tools paired with relevant instructional strategies for us to use and see firsthand. While building my teacher training course, I can see that this takes a while to find just the right tool that makes it as painless as possible for the teachers being trained. As an example; finding a collaborative app that doesn't require participant login or account sign up to make it as easy as possible to use.

Looking forward to the digital story telling coming up next.