I don't care that PLNs don't come naturally to teachers. I'm just grateful that great teachers know they need a community to strengthen their practice and to inspire us to be better teachers. Yesterday I attended the first Chicago Education Festival held at the Francis W. Parker School. The very first speaker asked us to join communities using twitter with #ThinkingInPublic and #HalfBakedIdeas. I was jumping up and down inside thinking? PLN!! I exchanged cards with speakers and participants and I couldn't help thinking that these progressive educators and concerned citizens are going to help me educate our children better, prepare them for jobs that don't even exist yet. The inspired me and reminded me why I want to make education my final career. It reminded me that education is the best hope to improve people's lot in life and break the cycle of poverty and low wage jobs. A progressive education is what can create life long learners who can prepare themselves for industries that don't exist yet and fields not yet imagined. I want to help make that happen. Learning about the "Maker Movement" and the "Leap Year project" and learning spaces and the Global Education Conference will help me build my network of people just like me, out to move the world through our teaching practice. The final speaker of the day was the teacher who had the idea of putting together this event. He had the thought last year and shared that idea with others and teams formed and people stepped up and the festival happened. He closed with a quote from Dewey that is my new favorite quote. If I had it during our first assignment... it's what i would have used...
"Education should not prepare you for life. Education is life." - John Dewey
In your blog, describe the Personalization Principle. How do you plan on incorporating this principle into your teaching? Do you plan on using other Web 2.0 tools in your teaching? Why or why not?
Even before reading about the personalization principle, I was using it. Perhaps it is my theater training or my preferred learning style, but using a conversational speaking style and using 1st and 2nd person instead of 3rd person impersonal draws you in and connects to maximize your learning experience (see how I'm using it right now?) This week we experimented with several tools that could generate online coaches to embed into presentations and learning moduals. I decided on Blabberize and set about choosing the perfect picture to add "Clutch Cargo" type mouth movements. The avatar shown above would have been perfect. I created it as part of my yahoo account. When I first imported it I saw that it was too small. I spent over two hours searching the yahoo site for the page to edit to enlarge the picture. It seems that Yahoo discontinued support April 1 of this year. On two occasions the audio played in preview but not after the file had been saved. I could not find a help page nor instructions on what the different dots meant and how they should be placed to mark mouth movement. I started to created an avatar in Zwinky. Then I remembered voki and that it had all the features I was looking for so... I abandoned Blabberize and tried my hand at Voki. I tried several other pictures and found that that I could not get the mouth to move in a realistic manner. In Voki I was able to create an avatar, although there weren't many choices. I recorded my voice on my smartphone and emailed it to myself. After converting the file to MP3 from 3GPP, I was able to add the my voice, or so I thought. I found out there was a time limit to the audio file. My original file was just under 2 minutes. Free Voki only allows for 1 minute of audio so I cret easier over timeated new copy. All-in-all I'm sure that it is a tool I will use and it will ge
Chrome has become my browser of choice and I find that some Weebly and Brainshark features work better with Firefox. I found myself having to listen and watch the tutorial repeatedly to accomplish the tasks set before me. I couldn't find where to register nor find a way to add animation to the slide. In the future I will be using Powerpoint instead of Google Presentation. Adding narration to presentations was easy. I also tried adding a question but could not see how to rearrange the order of the slide so that the question came at just the right time in the presentation.
I recently came across a paper on the concept of "inside-out teaching" (http://www.ctl.calpoly.edu/sites/ctl/files/Accessibility/InsideOutPaper.pdf). Students access the traditional lecture materials at their own pace and in a medium of their choosing. Student then come to class prepared to complete excises, work on teams to solve problems, complete hands-on activities with the support of classmates and the teacher. No more struggling to do homework with no one to help. I see my most recent presentation " Math - Probability" as a good choice for this inside-out model. I could see using Brainshark to create a whole curriculum of lessons that can be accessed when the learner is ready. In a traditional class room, the modules could be used to aid parents and homework supervisors in successful homework completion. Using Brainshark, students could also create their own content to demonstrate their proficiency in an area.
The different principle used to guide the creation of online learning were all jumbled up in my head. After reading and re-reading them, they boil down to: Don't have unnecessary pictures and information in a presentation (the coherence principle), it can be a distraction and confuse the learners. While narration and pictures together improve learning (modality Principle); narration, on-screen text, and pictures is overkill (Redundancy Principle). The final principle, contiguity states that pictures should be placed near the text describing them. In the future I will use the principles to inform my presentation design.
How many times have you been to a work or school presentation and the speaker faced the board and read the slides to you? I can't help thinking, "They should have just sent me the presentation. I could have been doing something else right now. This is a huge waste of my time." By using words that compliment what is seen on the slides, viewers grasp the message at a deeper level. Two sense are involved. This is the Redundancy Principle in simple terms, introducing the same information in several different ways. I always try to elaborate on the words and images on a slide. I also encourage viewers to take notes in their own words. That gives learners three different modalitys or pathways in which to receive information. They see the slides, they hear my narration and comments and they take notes in their own words. When I give a presentation I always give out the note pages and encourage viewers to jot down notes. I try to have just enough words to spark their questions and comments. They have to pay attention and listen because the words on the slide taken out of context won't teach them anything.
I have been thinking about various learning modalities ever since I attended a NASA presentation on gender, handedness, math, and learning.
I found this weeks reading unnerving. The explanation of learning styles or modalities made sense to me. All is right with the world. Now I'm finding that the problem complex. How can we as teachers account for all the variables for "Why Johnny can't Read"? Giving students the option to choose the way they demonstrate proficiency will build their confidence and their excitement about learning.
Today I was introduced to a new presentation tool called Google Presentation. And it is free! As a person training the use of presentation tools for over 20 years, I can say that it is feature rich and easy to use. Because it is integrated with the Chrome platform, information from Goolgle searches including images can be pulled into the slides with the click of a button. This feature is called research and appears as a search window to the right of the slide. The only feature I needed but couldn't find was the crop feature.
I am so excited to be using this for my students next semester and plan to give them all the option of presenting their information to the class via media other than the written report. I see endless possibilities for group projects and review before test. I also see this as a my way to have parents and homework supervisors "on the same page" with assignments, homework and extra projects. I've always know that reaching the students is the first priority. Before now my tool bag was close to empty. Now I feel it has some weight to it. I might even be able to build that arc.
I used wordle.net to create a word cloud.
The contiguity principle states that students learn better when the information is presented via text and pictures. The text must be located near the pictures in presentations. The pictures should also complement the text. Since reading is my least effective way of learning new information, pictures demonstratiing the words I'm reading go a long way towards my understanding. By starting the audio with words that paint pictures, student learning is enhanced. Auditory learners and turn their cars into libraries and listen to books while the drive.
Multimedia is the use of various forms of media to convey thoughts and ideas. It is our best chance to create content that can reach students with different learning styles. Teachers become facilitators helping students find the information in a format that works for them. With students grasping the information at a deeper level, teachers are able to have more success in helping students develop the critical thinking and analytic skills needed to solve problems. For what is multimedia but the varied methods by which we obtain information? I believe that it is imperative to use multimedia to reach all students with all learning styles. Giving students the choice as to how to demonstrate their mastery of the course material will help them build confidence in their ability to achieve. Challenging them to use multiple ways to express themselves make them stronger, more flexible, thinkers.
As the world shirks, we will need to find ways to recognize the contributions of artist and content providers alike. People's willingness to share information is a sacred trust we must guard if it is to flourish.
The image below is meaningful to me as i think about information traveling across the globe and the many different ways we can access information as the world shrinks.
Hi, I'm Lois and teaching is my final career. It is a privilege to help students to close the achievement gap. Too many learners, young and old alike, need new skills and new ways of learning to meet the demands and challenges of the information age.