Final Discussion

While I watched my classmates present their multimedia projects, I was amazed at the unique ideas and immense creativity of each of them. You could really tell who had put a lot of effort into their project, who had been innovative with technology, and who struggled with the use of technology and who excelled. I was able to see how different apps could be applied in different class settings, and I was able to get a few new ideas for how to incorporate technology into my own class.

I really enjoyed Nichole’s presentation. It was a simple yet effective way to present information that avoided lecturing in front of the class. The little cartoon character talking about Pavlov was really enjoyable to watch, and I think it is a great idea to use in my own history or English classrom.

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Final Assignment

Looking at my first Venn Diagram, not much has changed in my use of technology. I still primarily use technology for entertainment, for my classes, and for work. I do not use technology for creation, really at all. The only thing that is different from my previous Venn diagram is that I now have learned how to use several more multimedia tools to incorporate into my lessons when I am finally an educator. However, these tools will allow me to create more innovative and engaging lessons for my students that will hopefully have a positive impact on the learning process.

I found PBL unit planning to be extremely tedious, especially because I did not have any sort of guidelines for where my hypothetical students were in the semester (like what they were supposed to be learning based on district and state guidelines), so the “free reign” wasn’t so much liberating as it was debilitating because I literally had to start from scratch, which I guess I will have to do a lot of when I student-teach.

As for PBLs, I do see the importance of incorporating them into my lessons, and I certainly will, but I also think that working with a partner or individually is still immensely beneficial to the students. I was always (and still am) that student that absolutely despised working in a group. I would get irritated when others were not pulling their weight and when my peers would not take the task seriously. I preferred to work alone because I got the job done on time, and it was done well. Although a great deal of this drive has slipped through my fingers this past semester, I still dislike group work. I have, however, read several articles about the benefits of working with peers and how students can learn and grow by working with one another. Thus, my personal feelings about group work will have to be set aside so that my students can benefit from this research. Furthermore, the practical technology integration framework was beneficial in that it gave me a “cheat sheet” of sorts for great ways to include technology.

As research continues to on the impact of integrating technology into the learning process, my evolution as an educator will continue to grow. I do not want to “fall behind the times” and be unable to fulfill my duties as an educator. For instance, I want to ensure that I am always giving my students my very best, and being up-to-date with technology and research will greatly benefit both me and my students. As new apps, programs, and personal electronic devices continue to be created, I will be continuously trying to incorporate the ever-changing technology into my curriculum so that my students can become proficient with the use of technology and will be able to have the best learning experience possible.

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Assignment 8

  1. Digital storytelling can be a powerful tool for learning, as it allows students to be creative, utilize technology, and demonstrate learning. Using digital storytelling, students can make a movie that involves script writing and ‘acting,’ create a movie using images, add audio of one’s own voice or another’s, create a storyboard, etc. Digital storytelling causes students to organize their time and plan effectively what they want their story to convey. If students are making a movie with a script, then they must take the time to write an engaging and proper script, film themselves acting, and then use their media tools to edit the video and create special effects. I believe that digital storytelling can be powerful in that it fully engages students and allows for freedom of creativity and expression. I also think that presenting a digital story may be more “comfortable” for those students that hate public speaking, as it is all prerecorded.
  2. I used Windows Movie Maker to create my digital story. I, like many of my generation, love to travel and experience new places and cultures. I decided to be a bit self-centered and create a digital story with images from my travels and then attach cheesy, sentimental music to it. At first, with all of the pictures that I chose, my “movie” was about ten minutes long. Realizing that I had to present this to the class, and I did not want to subject my colleagues to boredom, I deleted several pictures (it was very tough to choose) and cut the time of each image down to about 3 seconds. I am not a photographer by any means, so I figured three seconds was enough time to view each image. I then chose my song. The issue with this was that I only use web apps such as Spotify to listen to music. Thus, I had to find an online app that converts YouTube videos to mp3 downloads, and from there I was able to attach music to my digital story. Next I chose to add a simple fade and pan to each of my images so that my digital story would not be quite so dry.
  3. I believe that when students are supplied with a myriad of options to present themselves or their learning, then they will be more engaged in what they are doing. Digital storytelling allows for students to be as creative as they wish. Students that are proficient and interested in technology will flourish using digital stories, and students who are not quite so handy with technology can use the media resources to guide them and still express their creativity. I feel as though digital storytelling allows for each student to put their own “spin” on their project, which allows for them to be more engaged than if they were constantly being confined to the five paragraph essay (which is still important, but also very boring).
  4. I cannot figure out how to upload my video from here, so I will just present it in class.
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Discussion 6

1. These tools allow students to create and invent their own unique work. For example, students can make visuals that are entirely their own, create their own applications that are unique to them, and even write their own online novel. Additionally, students can edit, modify, and reconstruct images or work to make it into something that is their own. Using tools that are similar to photoshop, students can make a statement by redesigning other’s or even their own images.

2. I actually really struggled with this module. I could not find a tool that created the visual images that I wanted. I wanted something that would allow for students to make their own graphic-like novel, and Storybird was the closest I could find to that; however, Storybird didn’t exactly come with directions on how to use it. I got frustrated and sought after a story board like application, which is how I found Storyboard That.

  1. Storyboard That allows students to create cartoon-like story boards. Here’s the link:
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Assignment 7

Teacher Use: The teacher will instruct students on how to use Storythat. Next, students are to use Storybird to create two visuals of scenes/parts of the novel that the students perceive to be pivotal moments for Sam Rock and the River. For example, a scene that pushes Sam towards joining the Black Panthers (there are several instances). This will be done using the Gas Pedal model. The Gas Pedal model is simply a T-chart in which students write on one side moments where Sam is being “accelerated” towards the Black Panthers, and moments when Sam is being slowed down, or braked, from joining the Black Panthers. This will be done so that students will have visual images of scenes of the novel. Some issues that I may encounter are students having difficulties using the technology, getting students engaged in using the technology, and monitoring proper use of technology.

Student Use: My hope is that by using Storythat, students will be able to have a visual to connect with the model. I feel as though students are becoming more and more visual due to the increase in technology use. By using Storythat, students are going to make the words on the paper come alive. I hope that students will take the details in the novel into account to create their own graphic novel.

Content Connections: 12)  Reading/Media Literacy. Students use comprehension skills to analyze how words, images, graphics, and sounds work together in various forms to impact meaning. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth in increasingly more complex texts.

My example:

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Discussion 5

1. This assignment was all about technological communication. Technology has the ability to collect or share a vast amount of information with countless people. Whether the information being shared is always factual or useful is an entirely different argument. However, students should learn how to access and utilize technology for educational gains rather than just sharing pictures of their face (selfies) or food. The tools in this weeks assignment were all about communicating (whether it be in real-time or asynchronously) and sharing information. Some of these tools are: Twitter, WordPress, Skype, VoiceThread, Google Moderator, and SurveyMonkey.

2. I have spent a lot of glass talking about the negative stereotypes of race and how that impacts society. Lately, there have been several ads by JC Penney, Ikea, Cheerios, and even Honey Maid that have challenged societal norms that break the ideal of the white-bread family with their white picket fence. This inspired me to have my own fake students create their own counter discourses to break societal norms.

3. I also think that Pinterest is a good tool for communicating with others and sharing information.

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Assignment 6

    1. Teacher Use (worth 2 points): My fictional class has spent a great deal of time discussing issues such as racism. What comes from racism are the discourses associated with it. For example, portraying black males as violent, criminals, and uneducated. There are several other discourses today that cause a negative impact from those who do not fit into the dominant culture–white society. For example, there are discourses associated with lesbians and gays, gender identity and roles, Hispanics, blacks, Muslims, Asians, etc. After we have a class discussion about these discourses that we see in today’s society, I will show the class this video about counter discourse Then, I want my students is to create a counter discourse of their own. This can be painting a picture, making a movie, taking a picture, writing a children’s book, writing a poem, or anything else that portrays this counter discourse. Then the students will post this to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media site to collect feedback and reactions to the counter discourse, and then they will present this information to the class, which will hopefully lead to a discussion.
      1. This will probably take three to four class days to collect the information and to present it. If the students do not have access to technology at home, then they can post it at the city library or use the classroom computer. I think I will have minimal issues with classroom management because high school students love social media and enjoy getting a reaction out of people.
    2. Student Use (worth 2 points): The students are going to use their knowledge about society and discourses today and challenge the societal norms. These students are more or less creating a sort of social experiment. I am hoping to make my fictional students aware of these negative discourses and encourage students to “see beyond the label.” That is, to analyze things, people, media, or whatever else beyond the surface–to not judge a book by its cover.
    3. Content Connections (worth 2 points): (23)  Research/Organizing and Presenting Ideas. Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience. Students are expected to synthesize the research into a written or an oral presentation.
      1. The students will be conducting (mini) original research and presenting their findings to class in a formal setting (using PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.). The students will learn that research can go beyond using academic sources and textbooks.
  1. Create an example artifact using the chosen tool to serve as exemplar (worth 2 points).
    1. Here is the link to the YouTube video that I will use to show a counter discourse:
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Discussion 4

  1. There are two categories of presentation and remixing tools. For example, there is the “Demonstrate Understanding,” which includes tools such as Haiiku Deck, Google Docs, Prezi, PowerPoint, Glogster, and Bubble.Us. These tools are used for applying. That is, these tools are great for getting students to implement, outline, or execute an assigned task. These tools are basically used to present the final product.
  2. I used Google Docs for the first time last semester, and let me tell you, it was a lifesaver! My group all lived in random parts of Austin and San Antonio, so it was nearly impossible for us to be in the same place at the same time because we all had such hectic school and work schedules. Google Docs helped us complete our assignment virtually and at our own pace, but we still could collaborate. Furthermore, I currently have a sister in tenth grade. She is always complaining about how she doesn’t have time to complete her assignments or meet up with a group. Thus, if group work outside of the class is needed, Google Docs could be the answer to ensuring that students work together to complete the assignment.
  3. Prezi allows for the creator to present information in a much more exciting way than using a PowerPoint presentation. For instance, Prezi has fun designs and graphics to engage the audience.
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Presentation and Remixing Tools

  1. For this lesson, I will use Google Docs as a means for students to work in groups of three to compile a 3-4 page research paper based on the information students have been collecting with their Diigo accounts. Students will be grouped depending on whether or not they believe that everyone has an opportunity for equal education in the U.S. Students will write a three point thesis (which I am usually against in college writing, but I feel it is a good starting point for high school students), and based on the three points, each student will be responsible for using their evidence for their designated point. Together, students will write their introduction and conclusion. Students will follow the formula of using a topic sentence to introduce their point, illustrate that point with a quote or paraphrase, and then explaining the point in their own words. Students are also expected to make connections back to the book, The Rock and the River. I will demonstrate how to properly develop the paragraphs using the previously mentioned method using direct instruction. Additionally, students are expected to cite their sources using MLA formatting; this will be reviewed in class, and students will receive handouts to refer back to. I will have students fill out peer evaluations at the end of the assignment to determine whether or not everyone has done their part.
  2. Teacher Use: Google Docs is a great way for teachers to make presentations that they can continuously add to and that students can access and immediately see the updates. Additionally, the teacher can monitor students’ progress as they write their papers and make comments on the paper as a means of scaffolding and ensuring that students are on task and understanding the assignment.
  3. Student Use: I like Google Docs for students because it allows for them to collaborate outside of the classroom. High school students are busier than many of us realize (I have a sister who is a junior), so it may not always be practical for students to work together outside of school. This allows students to be able to collaborate and communicate in real time from their home or library or wherever else that they may be.
  4. TEKS: 23) Research/Organizing and Presenting Ideas. Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience. Students are expected to synthesize the research into a written or an oral presentation that:

(A)  marshals evidence in support of a clear thesis statement and related claims;

(B)  provides an analysis for the audience that reflects a logical progression of ideas and a clearly stated point of view;

(E)  uses a style manual (e.g., Modern Language Association, Chicago Manual of Style) to document sources and format written materials.

Link to my example:

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A&I Discussion

In A&I, there are two main categories for the tools: capturing and collecting. The tools that capture information simply take a picture of snapshot of whatever resource you have discovered. These kinds of tools include cameras, screenshots, Jing, or a smartphone. These can all be associated with Bloom’s Taxonomy’s “remembering” or “recalling” stage because these tools are used to “remember” a brief moment from a much larger moment. The next category of these tools is collecting. The collecting category is not a mere image of information, rather many of these tools are used to hold a vast array of resources. For example, YouTube, Diigo, and Google Art Project are all examples of tools that are used to hold a wide variety of information for students. This connects to the HOTS of Bloom’s because these tools are not used for simply recalling information; they are used to deepen students’ understanding of the material.

I did not have an “aha” moment while working on this learning module. I am really starting to struggle with coming up with PBL lessons. I especially had a hard time trying to incorporate one of these tools. I have a difficult time with fully accepting PBLs as being the “best” method of teaching because I, personally, absolutely hate group work. I am always the person to take on the majority of the task while the rest of my group gets credit for my work, so as a future educator, I will incorporate some PBLs into my lessons, but I will not have a solely or even majority PBL classroom.

Another tool that I have found to be extremely helpful in group work is Google Docs. Google Docs allows for students to collaborate on a document from their personal computer at any time of the day. Students can make comments about what their group has said or ask questions about what they have wrote. It’s a great tool to use when students have busy schedules. Unfortunately, when I try to link to Google Docs, it takes you right to my account, and if I am logged off, it still shows my email. Since this blog is public, I suggest that if you’re interested in Google Docs to simply Google it 🙂

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