Saturday, August 16, 2014

Final Blog Post for IT&DML with Ignite Talk

It is hard to believe that I am coming to the end of my journey through the Instructional Technology and Digital Media Literacy program.  It was such as amazing experience and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the first year of the program.  Not only did I learn more than I ever thought I would about instructional technology and digital media literacy, but I met a group of amazing individuals who I respect both as educators and individuals.

I would like to thank my professors and classmates.  Their support, expertise and guidance allowed me to not only further my education, but also pursue a career in the field of instructional technology.  I look forward to continuing my relationship with the University of New Haven and the members of the IT&DML programs in the future.

Due to my new position, I will be unable to attend the final class on August 19th.  I gave my ignite talk yesterday at EdCamp as an introduction to the discussion session I held.  Unfortunately I did not record myself presenting it, so I recorded the narrative over the slide show for everyone to view.  For those who attended the session yesterday, it may not sound exactly the same since it was not a scripted speech.

Please never hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.  I hope to stay in touch with everyone from the program.  Good luck with this school year and thank you again for everything!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Video Ethnography COMM 7728 - Elizabeth Ferry

I was assigned to complete a video ethnography for one of my final projects of my IT&DML classes.  It was a very interesting process for me to complete this assignment.  I had a chance to reflect back on my entire life and figure out a way to use technology to allow others to see who I am as an individual and as a professional.

Although there a good number of programs that I could have used to create my ethnography, I decided to try a program recommended by our professor called Sound Slides.  I had never worked with the program before, but it did not take me long to figure out how to import photos and order them for the presentation.  The only difficult part I had was figuring out which photos to use and scanning the photos that were taken before digital photographs existed.  It was fun to look through old photos and reminisce on my life!

I wanted to include both music and a narrative with my ethnography.  One of the examples our professor provided us with had this feature and I liked how the presentation flowed.  There were a few bumps along the way for me though when completing this part of the project.  First, I needed to make sure that the music I selected could be used by others under the Creative Commons License.  I used the website Free Music Archive to find instrumental music for my ethnography.  There were a variety of genres and options to choose from, but I finally decided on a piece created by Josh Woodward titled "Once Tomorrow".

After I selected the music it was very easy to import it into my slide show.  The biggest bump I faced was when I attempted to put my narrative in the presentation while the music was playing.  I used Screencast-o-matic to record my screen while the presentation was playing so I could narrate for each picture.  Initially I had awful feedback when I attempted to use only my laptop microphone to complete the narration.  Since I wanted this to include this project in my digital portfolio, I wanted to make sure the sound was as good as it could possibly be therefore, I decided to invest in an external microphone for my computer.  Once I purchased the microphone I was then able to complete the narration of the presentation.  Unfortunately it did take me a few attempts to complete the narration, due to my barking dog and laughing son!  In the end though it was a great learning experience and I am very pleased with the final product.

The following is my video ethnography for COMM 7728, I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

COMM 7728 Remix Project - Math Rap

When our professor informed us that we had to create a remix project with a partner for our content area, I knew exactly what I wanted to and who I wanted to work with.  +Amy Paskov and I have worked together on previous projects.  As math teachers, we love our subject area and we know what our students would like to use in class to help them with math.

Our professor referenced School House Rock as an example of what she wanted us to create.  My 8th graders actually love School House Rock, but they also like the YouTube videos created by Westerville High School in Ohio that feature math raps.  I knew Amy would go along with my idea and help me create a math rap animated video.

We both attempted to download apps that took our voices or text and converted them to a rap.  I even attempted to do the rap myself, but boy was it awful!  Thankfully we found that Go Animate provided a text to voice feature and although it wasn't Tupac or JayZ sounding, it didn't turn out so bad in the end.

Honestly one of the best parts of completing the project was collaborating with Amy through a Google Doc on the lyrics.  We should consider copyrighting the lyrics to ensure no one else tries to use it as their own creation!  This was another example of how we can use the tools and resources that we learned about during our IT&DML courses to create online material that our students can use.

The following is a link to the Go Animate video we created together:  Solving Two Step Equations Go Animate Rap Video.  Thank you +Amy Paskov for purchasing an account which allowed us to make a video over 30 seconds.  If we were to ever incorporate this type of activity in class, a free 30 second video would be perfect for our students!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

COMM 7728 - Teaching Online Content Tools: Poll Everywhere

When I saw that we were assigned to complete a lesson for teachers on an online content tool, I wanted to focus mine on a free resource available for teachers that they could use for assessment purposes.  I recently interviewed for a position as a digital instruction specialist for a school district.  During the interview they talked about data collection and what resources I could introduce to the teachers that they could use to collect data.  Poll Everywhere is a free resource that teachers can use to create assessments and have their students text or submit their results using their mobile devices.  The data is displayed on the screen to provide immediate feedback to the students and the teacher.

Many school districts are beginning to implement bring your own device (BYOD) policies.  This would allow teachers to engage their students with classroom activities by using their devices.  The following is a link to my video tutorial on Poll Everywhere:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Creating my E-Portfolio ED 7730

This week I used a site map to layout my E-Portfolio.  As I was thinking about what I wanted to include in my portfolio, I thought about what I would want to learn about a person who would be instructing either myself or my child with the integration of technology in their classroom.  I plan to refer people to my portfolio when they ask what I have completed in my IT&DML coursework.  In addition, I want to make sure there is a place in my portfolio where others can use to access resources for them to use in their classroom.  This will be used to sell myself as a digital instruction specialist or media/technology integration specialist to potential school districts.

Here is the image that I created on MindMeister to help me organize my thoughts on my E-Portfolio:

I know that I will be expanding on this site map to help me when I construct and update my E-Portfolio.  I also plan on purchasing a domain for my E-Portfolio.  This will allow me to have a professional looking site that others can access and see me as a professional in the field of Instruction Technology and Digital Media Literacy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Technology in Education Philosophy ED 7730

Throughout my teaching career I have written my educational philosophy multiple times.  The most recent was last summer when I began my 6th year program in Instructional Technology and Digital Media Literacy (IT&DML).  As I looked back on my previous philosophies, I realized that I never addressed the use of technology in classrooms.  The materials in my IT&DML courses have opened my eyes for the need to address the use of technology in today’s classroom.  Therefore, I am again rewriting my philosophy with a primary focus of technology in education.
Elizabeth Ferry’s Technology in Education Philosophy
According to John Dewey, education is acquired through the experience of the learner and the teacher.  If the teacher has experiences that can enhance the students' learning, they should use those experiences in their classroom.  In addition, teachers should provide students with tools that are available for them to have new experiences.
Technology allows teachers to introduce students to experiences otherwise not possible in a traditional classroom.  There are skills which students should master in order to be competitive in the 21st Century workforce, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.  These skills can be introduced by teachers with the use of technology in and outside of the classroom.  
Advances in technology allow students today to receive information quicker than ever before.  Technology can be used to differentiate instruction, conduct assessments, and provide feedback to students and teachers almost immediately.  With the use of technology, teachers can give their students a learning experience which will prepare them for the 21st Century while giving them skills that they can use in the real world.
Teachers are responsible for preparing their students for the future.  Technology is one aspect of society that continually changes and improves.  Teachers need to be on the forefront of these changes in order to effectively prepare their students to be successful citizens and contributors to the 21st Century.

The following video was created by Daniel Nemroff for the 2014 White House Film Festival. It provides a glimpse into what a future classroom might look like with the use of technology. The video demonstrates the need for teachers to begin thinking about what role technology will play in their classrooms.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

ED 7730 E-Portfolios Part II: My Own E-Portfolio

I was asked to write a blog post about what I think my e-portfolio should include for my IT&DML course.  As I read through the materials provided that gave me an overview on e-portfolios, I began thinking about the purpose of my e-portfolio.  Would I want the e-portfolio to demonstrate growth over the course or would I want to demonstrate my mastery on a variety of topics?

The coordinator of the IT&DML program, Ian O'Byrne has constantly stated that we are the experts now in the field by completing these courses.  With that in mind, I think it would be more beneficial for me to demonstrate how I am an expert in the field by creating an e-portfolio that provides examples of my projects and work I completed in the area of instructional technology and digital media literacy.  It would allow me to demonstrate what I can do, while promoting the IT&DML course at UNH.

To take it a step further, I can look at the different 21st century learning skills that I want my students to be proficient in prior to graduating high school.  I could create an e-portfolio that has artifacts from each of the learning skills that I completed.  In addition, I could use my e-portfolio as a example that my students could reference when they create their own e-portfolios.  Modeling is an instructional strategy that many students benefit from and my e-portfolio could be used as a model.

As I begin to apply for position as digital integration and instructional technology specialist positions, I realize how beneficial it would be for me to have an e-portfolio to present to an interview board.  I have answered many questions on application forms about projects and work I have completed in the field.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I wish there was one link I could send out that would provide all the information.  My e-portfolio could be just that, a reference for future employers to see what I can do and what I can bring to their school district to teach the staff and the students.