I recently did a webinar for the Sloan Consortium (in partnership with Academic Partnerships). I'm not necessarily a pro-MOOC person, but I thought that the description of a program that was being offered was really interesting and right up my alley as far as how technology can be used to make learning more personal instead of simply more efficient.
The session was titled "Human Element: Tools for humanizing your online course." I basically gave an overview of Explain Everything to as an example of the types of media authoring tools that are now much more ubiquitous. I then shared some use case examples of the app and how it gives students a different type of voice or way to communicate their understanding. I also quickly shared some findings from my recently completed research project on screencasting and formative assessment.
I definitely was not trying to say that Explain Everything is going to change the world or make online instruction better. Instead, my intent was to share ideas for how student articulation of learning (and teacher's ongoing assessment) has many more entry points than it did even 4 or 5 years ago. Instructors who conduct online courses can look to emerging tools to bridge distance and time and make the relationship between an online instructor and his or her students more personal (and human), and not simply just settle the relationship being a manageable one that gets everyone through a semester.
Link is here: http://sloanconsortium.org/webinar_recordings — it is a bit of a process to download/update Java and then if you have a Mac you have to install some separate app, but once you get it all sorted out....enjoy!
The videos I refer to in my Global STEMx13 Conference presentation are below. The videos will be taken down after the presentation ends.Example 1Example 2Example 3
During the past few weeks I have had the honor to be one the guests on some terrific podcasts about education and technology. I am including screenshots from each that when clicked go to each show's homepage. I think that it's always nice to those who work so hard to put together these shows to link back to their original sites.
The #ladygeeks (@kateiregan88
) produced a vodcast about Explain Everything and the Flipped Classroom. They shared a bunch of great resources, tools, and ideas, and then provided me, Michelle Cordy, Kristi Meeuwse
, and Shelagh Lim
each with an opportunity to talk about how student screencasting is a powerful approach for demonstrating understanding. Click the image below to visit the #ladygeeks website and watch the vodcast.
and Tanya Avrith
have been working with educators around the world to produce brief videos that share a tip, trick, or idea for the classroom. There are a ton of great ideas shared on their website already, and more are to come. I shared an idea about an iPad workflow using Evernote, Email, and Postach.io to store and share content from iPads (in a shared or 1:1 model). I also used Explain Everything in the video. Check it out!
Jeff Bradbury (aka @TeacherCast
) produced a show titled 'What is an Apple Distinguished Educator?' Jenny Grabiec
invited me, David Malone,
and Kristi Meeuwse
to join her in this episode to share our experiences working in schools with Apple products, applying for the ADE program, and participating in the summer ADE institute.Note: the link goes to Jeff's YouTube channel, not his TeacherCast podcast page since it doesn't look like he has posted the video there yet.
I have submitted a proposal for SXSWedu 2014. I am hoping to share more in detail about an idea that I touched upon at a couple of conferences/presentations in the Spring. The idea is that the word assessment doesn't mean grades, and that grades are generally insufficient or artificial. You can learn more about this by visiting my proposal page at this link.
There is voting period over the next few weeks. I am going to try and limit the amount of Tweets about it to only two a day. Crowd-sourced voting accounts for something like 30% of the overall decision making (you can read more about the process here
Thanks in advance for any votes, shares, likes, and retweets!
I continue to be busy plugging away at writing my dissertation chapters. I have almost completed chapter 4 (Results), giving me about 10 days to finish chapter 5 and stay on my schedule. I met with my advisor two days ago to talk about my progress and I told her that I think I have found an opening sentence for when I do my defense in November:
Recent investigations on emerging educational technology too often try to prove "what is better" before uncovering "what it is and can be."
...that made screencasting as a qualitative formative assessment tool successful. Though some of things may seem obvious, I'm proud to say that these findings are actually research-based. I'll share external elements and factors in a separate post, and a third category of findings about teacher's changed beliefs on formative assessment when using screencasting with students.
This is the most exciting finding for me. Students who were engaged in the process of creating screencast representations of understanding played back recordings, listened to and watched themselves, and made revisions and adjustments without the teachers ever prompting them to engage in this reflective and revisionary task.
Guided Independent Work
When students were planning, designing, recording, or listening to their screencast artifacts, the teachers were free to move about the classrooms or workspaces, and check in and provide individual guidance for every student. Some students needed more face-to-face time than others, but the media artifacts allowed the teacher to see where all student were, regardless of having a face-to-face check in or not in a given class.
Diminishing Novelty, Continued Engagement
The use of any screenacsting software and hardware brings a certain amount of novelty to any learning environment. However, when students were using the technology over a extended period of time (2-3) weeks, the novelty diminished but the observable engagement and enthusiasm did not. The teachers gave students authentic tasks and timely feedback, and they also permitted students to vary how they used the tool for their work.
Desire to Make it Work
This probably falls the most under the category of 'Obviously,' but in all of the cases the participating teachers' professionalism, constructivist learning tendencies, and genuine care for the students played a role in making screencasting a formative assessment tool.
That was an incredible week. Usually when I go to a conference I meet like 5 people with whom I immediately feel common energy, purpose, and interest and know that I am going to stay in touch with them from the first hello. Now imagine that those 5 people from every conference all over North America were gathered for an entire week in one room. That's how it felt. I don't think I can articulate it in a way that people who weren't there would understand, especially after reading @KristiMeeuwse's post (http://iteachwithipads.net/2013/07/19/reflection-on-the-apple-distinguished-educator-institute/
) which captures the essence so well.
So what I will do is share a cool trick from each tool-oriented session I attended.
iBooks Author - Full page photo gallery widget
If you make a photo gallery widget the full size of the page (or slightly bigger) it will disable the full screen popout and hide the navigation dots. Doing this allows you to create the illusion of turning a page when you are actually just swiping through pictures. WIth the right combination of locked background images and transparent PNG's, you can create amazing effects. Download Andrew Kim's 90 Degrees Multi-Touch book (http://www.minimallyminimal.com/blog/90degrees) which is a bargain a $1.99 and will provide a ton of great ideas for elegant design using iBooks Author.
Andrew Kim's 90 Degrees - a book about 'Knolling'
iAD Widgets - available for iBooks Author
When you sign up for an iTunes Connect account and are taken to the screen to download iTunes Producer, you can also download iAd producer. iAd was originally designed to allow advertisements using widgets. Those widgets can now be used in iBooks Author and published in the books. There are some really nice tools that extend beyond what is in the Widgets menus in IBA.
iTunesU Course Manager - Save documents as .ePub
Instead of uploading .doc, .pdf, or .pages files to an iTunesU course, save the file as an .ePub (Pages allows you to easily do this) and upload it to the course. This will allow you to leverage the note taking and aggregating features that are already integrated into iTunesU.
Final Cut Pro X - Keyboard shortcuts help a lot
I am new to using Final Cut Pro and one thing that was reinforced during a session which is really valuable are all the little keyboard shortcuts that make workflow more efficient. Some of these work in other media editing apps, but I never bothered to internalize them before.
Fn + LEFT Arrow - rewind to start of playback
Shift + Z - fit the timeline to fill the viewable space
Q - connect a clip
N - snap the clips
There were lots more that were shared and you can find great resources on @ajmanx's FCPX delicious page (https://delicious.com/ajmanx/fcpx).
Like Final Cut Pro X, Motion is not a cheap piece of software. However, when you see videos like the one below you can understand why it is an industry standard for professional video editors. My goal for the next few weeks is to figure out 1/100th of what is going on in this ADE video below (this doesn't look like it was shared by Apple so when they make theirs official I'll replace it).
Thanks to FontSnob (www.fontsnob.com
) for offering some helpful ideas about layouts, fonts, and colors for this site. I'm going to continue to find the right green and serif font for the headers.
On Sunday I am heading down to Austin, TX to participate in an event put together by Apple for members of its Apple Distinguished Educators program. I am really looking forward to it. I am going to attempt to capture the week using Evernote
and Explain Everything
as my create tools, Evernote as my curation tool, and Postach.io as my publishing platform
. I used Postach.io a few weeks ago to document some PD events I helped coordinate at my school and loved it. I'll still plan to summarize the whole experience as a post here when I get back. Stay tuned...
This weekend I am focusing on tightening up Chapter 3: Methods. One of the challenges with doing exploratory qualitative research that uses emergent themes to develop contextual theories is that you don't want to skew the coding or interpretation of data using already existing frameworks. However you also want to ground the perspective in theories that are grounded, researched, or at least familiar with future audiences.
This is how I describe my using three versions of a similar approach to understanding technology integration or adoption:
The coding indicators, both emergent and specific in this research, derived from several general research bases. Orr and Mrazek (2008) shared a simplified table (see Table 3.2) describing The Levels of Use of the Innovation (Hall, Loucks, Rutherford, & Newlove, 1975; Loucks, 1977). These levels form a continuum on which an aspect of teaching can be matched with an indicator for where one is on the integration spectrum.
Prensky (2005) shared a similar continuum for describing teachers’ technology adoption practices. He described the four steps as dabbling, doing old things in old ways, doing old things in new ways, and doing new things in new ways. Similar to Prensky’s work and the Levels of Use paradigm, Puentedura’s recent SAMR framework (2013) suggests a continuum ranging from technology as a substitute to technology as a redefining catalyst (see Figure 3.1). These three perspectives are not used in this research to judge or evaluate the participating teacher. Instead, they provide a common lexicon for describing what may be happening as a teacher is integrating technology in the classroom.
It is amazing that Susan Louck's framework, developed almost 40 years ago, still has complete relevance today. If you have access to academic journals, look for some of Loucks' and her colleague's work on this area. It is really amazing and they go much deeper into each described level. It is easy to see how this work has influenced both Prensky
Levels of Use of the Innovation (Hall, Loucks et al, 1975; Loucks, 1977)
Screenshot lifted from one of Puentedura's slides - http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/2013/06/06/PathsToTransformation.pdf