Audio Project

In this series, students work on a project that is cross-curricular. It requires coordination between the subjects, including appropriate timing and allow for drafts, revisions, preliminary recordings, and other necessary pre-product due dates to support the students along the way.

The focus on science is not the audio, nor the writing, but rather on the content. However, the audio is included in this Rubric in order to assure they are focusing on the important elements of the podcast aspect as well.

Below, you will find the project description, the rubric, and a sample recording of the first 30 seconds – 1 minute of a recording. They will be using their best podcast in their presentation, with the same timing.

Audio Sample can be found HERE.

 

Resources for this project might include

Non-copyright music for intro and outro

Is it legal for you to use the material in your podcast?

Published material copyright diagram

To access the interactive version of this diagram, refer to THIS website.

 

Website for classes

Here’s my website for this year.  I used Google Sites. It was very easy to set up, and very easy to add things from the Google Drive.

It’s been a journey. Gone through some iterations. And still needs a lot of help. I am trying to balance what works for me and what works for the students. Sometimes easy on my part is difficult for them.

The things that worked for me:

  • easy to use, update
  • separate into classes, all accessible in one place
  • upload videos, documents, and now know how to embedd!
  • different templates of pages ready to go, such as file storage page, blog, announcement, create your own
  • Weekly page for assignments (this did’t work for the students so I changed it to blog posts)

Things that didn’t work:

  • The design, the layout and trying to fit too much into one place
  • Not figuring out how to have the students interact with it at all
  • Sidebar and organizing
  • limited access – only those in our organization and with the link (can everyone here access it?)
  • Resources page – I didn’t do a good job of keeping up with it. And the layout for it was not organized.

Any advice or feedback welcome. I will probably have a different setup next year. I imagine much cleaner and easy to read. Definitely going to keep a file page for each class. I really don’t like the rolling blog for assignments, but the students like it. I haven’t yet thought of a way around this.

I think that overall, it comes down to design and organization. Once we are familiar with what a website does or can do, then it becomes easier to manage and make it work for us (both teachers and students). And one should have some skill in recognizing design that works.

 

 

#2 Presenting…

86H

As a teacher, it is easy to evaluate students and tell them what they need to do in order to present more effectively. Half of it has to do with the design of the presentation itself, and the other half has to do with their attitude and their approach to the presentation.

As with anything, it is easier to see outside of ourselves than to look back to how we do. But I have noticed that as I give feedback to my students, I become immediately aware that I am not being a good model for them all the time. Rather than telling them what they should do, I should do my best to show them. So, what follows is a list of how I would like to start becoming a more effective presenter.

About the presentations:

The content has to be presented brief but complete.

Images are memorable, if they are good. It is easy to select whatever image that matches, but getting images that stick, that help make a connection to the content are ideal. I am usually focused on the information, and have to yet use the funny or catchy images that can be so powerful.

Keeping design simple. I find myself more attracted to the simple screens, solid colors, something that goes along with the content and doesn’t take attention away from the content.

Creative and engaging for the audience. What I like is not necessarily what my students will like.

About the presenting:

Confidence in presenting comes from real knowledge. If I have real knowledge about the topic, then I know what is valuable to share, and what inspires students to go and find information further.

Humor always helps. Or dramatic presentations. Perhaps it is the age of my students, but I think everyone appreciates an engaging presentation. It is definitely an aspect that deserves more training on my behalf.

 

Tips on Images: https://prezi.com/9j9esxk9am4h/5-tips-for-using-images-in-presentations/

And an inspiring presentation for teachers in terms of content, and also in his method of presenting explained in the following blog: http://www.presentationzen.com/

 

 

…what was 932 for me?

imageThe main concepts that this course has helped me to incorporate into my teaching involved responsibility, digital footprint, technology as a way to enhance, and establishing professional and interesting communication with students through use of technology.

What did I do?

I have created a blog that allows me to begin my professional digital footprint and considering what elements will make a blog successful and useful for myself and other educators.

I have reformatted course syllabi to make them attractive and engaging, using technology to help me design the layout and make it easy to access.

Perhaps the most significant element has been helping me find the tools and interest to guiding my students to become more responsible in their use of copyrighted work from the internet. By becoming more educated myself, then I am able to become the example for students to follow. This course opened the door that I was already searching for, and became a catalyst for inspiration to begin these conversations in my classes.

I believe that establishing good habits in our students starts with me as a teacher; and habits are the things that we will take with us throughout our lives no matter where we go. If I can help students to develop assessment skills in the resources they use, and respecting the sources of information and media they use, then it will be a habit that they can transfer into other facets. This is the true purpose of education, to help students plant seeds that will grow into trees that give them fruit and benefit their lives and the lives of others.

#9 Concepts from EDUC932

What is a concept (not a tool) you learned in this class that you will be able to incorporate into your teaching?

  • Technology as a tool to advance learning
    • Proficiency comes with practice and bravery to explore; anyone can do it (Learning doing screencasting)
    • Improving learning using technology isn’t just about the tools, but is about the way that we can use technology to broaden the scope of our learning. (SAMR)
  • Responsibility
    • Ownership and copyrights – starts with awareness and then help others to develop skills that will help them to recognize that everything on the internet is not free for their use.
    • Maintaining your digital footprint so it is respectable and a positive reflection of who you are; a source of reference for the future
    • All your actions are not invisible – you are being watched!
  • Redefining ourselves and our teaching
    • The power is in the hands of the students already, but we just have to allow them to use it to better their own learning
    • The classroom has an impact on our learning – why not make it so that it serves as the best environment possible for developing our curiosities.
    • Questions should be the focus of learning – not the answers. If we are still looking for the answers, we might miss the questions that open up a whole new world.

all-digital-citizens_24x36

Image source: Creative Commons Digital Citizenship Posters, here.

#8 REdefining teachnology

broken glass

Ooops!

It should be “Redefining technology”, but perhaps we as teachers have just seen it as a way to take technology and use it to somehow update the teaching. What about if it were to update how the student learns instead?

According to Ruben Puentedura, “redefinition” of a lesson using technology will allow students to interact with the content in a much deeper level from the start. As I understand, it uses technology to help students create new meaning and understanding, deepening the connection to the content and allowing them to explore more and develop their own knowledge. (See his SAMR model here)

I have yet to witness a lesson that has taken technology integration to this level.

One lesson I have seen and participated in was a “modification” lesson. Normally, students in language arts classes are asked to read materials and checks the comprehension of the material through various activities, such as answering questions, or composing written reflections about the topic. In this lesson, students were using an online tool from Achieve3000, a differentiated learning tool. This particular program allows students to choose an article or topic they are interested in, read the article and then has follow-up activities. These activities for this lesson on developing their reading comprehension were an opinion poll that was rating opinions of users worldwide reading that specific article, comprehension questions in a multiple choice and short answer format, and a chance to write a longer reflection creating a personal connection with them.

This was a modification lesson because it took something students would have done before, perhaps in a newspaper or magazine or section of a book, and adapted it with technology. It was interesting for them to see the opinions of students around the world, however, it didn’t actually ask them to create new meaning for themselves using the technology.

Why isn’t this happening more? I think that we have not yet come to the point where we see the potential of connectivity in the classroom. Perhaps we have some collaborative projects happening in Google docs for example, that allow for real-time collaboration and feedback; however, overall I still see myself using technology simply in modification of my lessons. Is there inspiration to search and make those connections – yes! One foot in front of the next.

#6 Keep asking!

15H

Source: Gratisography by RYAN MCGUIRE

I asked my 6th graders if they remember asking a lot of questions when they were younger. They chimed in confirming that they had been a kid pulling on their mothers hand asking why and what about almost everything. So, what happened then? Why did it stop?

My inspiration for this post came from an article found here,  A New Culture of Learning Interview, by Steve Denning (Forbes, 2011)

The article is an interview with the authors of A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (CreateSpace, 2011), Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown. Some key elements stood out:

  • Our way of assessment focusing on the answers is backwards. The questions are as important, if not more important, than the answers that students give. Questions show the way the students are thinking, and give key insights into their understanding.
  • It is possible to learn how to ask better questions and how to create a classroom environment that fosters this skill; it is all about simply starting with asking a question, and knowing the goal is to ask better questions.
  • Passion drives learning. If there is a point, then anyone can learn. But, if there is no point, as Denning remarks, no one will want to read the rules because there is no game. Learning must be fun.

After reading the Q&A, I want to find their book. But then, I sit back and think. If I consider the wise advice I have been given many times from mentors, I would see that I already knew deep down what these authors are getting at. I think we all know, but we are stuck inside boxes of habits that we do not see out of.

And why not let our focus be on the questions! They are so much more exciting and interesting. I grind my teeth every time I have to stop students from asking questions for fear we will go off topic and won’t complete the lesson planned. It feels backwards! Truthfully, I want them to ask more questions, especially as it is the foundation of science. It is the foundation of problem solving, of management, of understanding people – understanding my students.

One story always sticks in my head when I think about asking questions. At a training, the facilitator told her story of growing up with her father. Every day he asked her not what she learned in school that day, but rather what was the best question she asked. He fostered the habit in her to focus on asking the questions, not getting the answers. I discovered in a recent activity with my students that I can tell their level of understanding by the questions they created. If their questions are all lower level, then it says a lot about what they focused on.

In order to accomplish this, I will take the words of the authors as inspiration when they said “Every good teacher knows they can learn a lot from their students if they listen to them.”