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Oct 4 / Camille Maydonik

The History of Educational Technology

This week in ETEC 511, we are discussing the History of Educational Technology.  DLG5 has put together an impressive wiki designed to lead us through the module.  We have been asked to reflect on a sound recording “The Magic Box”.  Here are my reflections and a Wordle showcasing the keywords that came to mind as I listened to the sound recording:

Which of the following stages were you first exposed to as a student or later as a professional? Did this change how you operated? In what ways?

My first exposure to technology was in the 1980’s.  Thinking back, I remember Macintosh computers and a little later on the Apple 11e.  I love the picture you have included on the wiki of the Macintosh computer; that is the model I remember quite clearly!  At the time, I don’t think the introduction of computers changed the way I operated.  I think I was too young to really “get” computers.  In grade 7, we learned how to type on them (the class was called Typing 7), just as we would have learned on a typewriter, so I didn’t really understand other uses.  A few years later, we were introduced to LOGO (which I mentioned a few weeks ago) and I found that difficult and frustrating.  My true love for computers started in High School.  Maybe I was mature enough to realize how computers could assist me.  Later as a professional, and as a grad student I am pretty much stuck to my computer; the computer has changed the way I operate.  Using the computer is my main mode of communication with colleagues and classmates and it is the way I keep up with trends, news and research.

Did Apple’s idea in the 1970s hold true for you? Have you continued to be loyal to the first computer you were exposed to? If not, why do you think this is?

I have come full circle as I now use a Mac and will never go back to a PC.  That being said, I did use PC’s for a long time, however, that was pretty much out of my control.  In High School, that is what we were provided with and that is what my family had at home.  Even the first computer that I bought on my own was a PC, probably because that was what I was used to.  Now that I am back to Apple, I can say that I am loyal to this brand and it is the brand that I use not only for personal use, but also for work as well as my school is completely “Apple’ed” out!  I think that Apple has the right product for education.  I can see how other industries are loyal PC users.

Thanks for the discussion questions!

Camille

"The Magic Box"

Keywords from "The Magic Box"

Sep 27 / Camille Maydonik

animoto in grade one

19 school days have flown by and my students have been learning 3 different colour poems: “Rouge”, “Bleu”, and “Jaune”.  Learning these poems are the first steps to reading.  The repetitive nature of the poems combined with the beginnings of our sight word vocabulary (la, est) set the stage for the rest of the year.  Learning the colour words is also an objective in the grade one science curriculum.

After learning the “Rouge” poem, we recorded ourselves reading the poem out loud using GarageBand.  Once we had our recording, we exported the file (.mp3) into iTunes.  My students love to move around, so we took a “detective” walk around the school searching for objects that were red and used our digital camera to take photographs.  I uploaded the photos using iPhoto, and  from there, I used Animoto for Educators to upload our photos and voice recording to put it all together!

Rouge

Rouge, rouge

La pomme est rouge.

Rouge, rouge

La fraise est rouge.

Rouge, rouge, rouge, rouge.

Sep 26 / Camille Maydonik

What is a Mash-up?

ETEC 511: Assignment #1: Defining Keywords in Educational Technology

Defining Mash-up

A mash-up may refer to video, music, web application hybrid, or digital creations:

Mash-up

A mash-up involves the reuse, or remixing, of works of art, of content, and/or of data for purposes that usually were not intended or even imagined by the original creators.  It is a derivative work consisting of two or more pieces of (generally digital) media conjoined together, such as a video clip with a different soundtrack applied for humorous effect, or a digital map overlaid with user-supplied data.  Mash-ups can be created using different web services or software tools that combine two or more tools to create a whole new service. The term is also used to describe user generated remixes of content from different sources.  Mash-ups combine elements from many potential sources, and in the process, open up both creative and legal frontiers that educators and students need to increasingly negotiate.

The creative potential of mash-ups is astounding.  Educators must understand the reality of copyright and privacy issues, which may have an impact on what they can create, or have students create.  That being said, there is an increasingly enormous amount of material freely available to creators of mash-ups.  One such resource is the Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that increases sharing and improves collaboration.  The Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use legal tools that give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.  By searching the Creative Commons, people can find licensed works that can be shared, remixed or reused without penalty.  In the domain of Education, there is the Open Educational Resources Commons.

Great examples of mash-ups exist at Open Source Cinema, where you create your own videos online, remix media that you have on your computer, as well as remix other people’s media from places like YouTube and Flickr. You can also connect with others by sending personal messages, commenting on remixes, or even joining projects that others have created.

Jul 30 / Camille Maydonik

Wordle – Beautiful Word Clouds

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

You can even create a Wordle with your delicious tags! I started using delicious in the Fall of 2008 when I took ETEC 512. This was my first introduction to social bookmarking. Therefore, I have aptly named this Wordle “3 courses later” as it is a word cloud of tags pertaining to my studies thus far.

I will be using Wordle with my grade one students next year. As a first idea, we will brainstorm words that either start with the same letter or have a common sound in them (I teach French Immersion). We will be able to do this with the SMART Board in my classroom. What I would like to do is print off our Wordles and make a classroom book. I can see many uses for this application and am excited to share it with the rest of the teaching staff at my school!

Wordle: 3 courses later...

Here is another Wordle! This one is created using the RSS feed of my ETEC 565 blog. John, can you find your name? :)

Wordle: MET - ETEC 565

Jul 28 / Camille Maydonik

cREaTivItY


July 28, 2009

Originally uploaded by Camille Maydonik

Day 3 of my new project. So far, so good…  I’m not too sure what inspired this impromptu collage… won’t my mom be surprised when she tries to read the newspaper tonight!

Jul 26 / Camille Maydonik

8 o'clock

July 26, 2009

Originally uploaded by Camille Maydonik

Today is the start of a new project of mine. Each day, at 8 o’clock in the evening, I am going to take a photograph, wherever I am, whether I am alone or with people. My camera is always with me as I keep it in my hand bag at all times. I hope to continue this project for as long as possible, creating a record of my days…

To kick things off, my first photo was taken in the garden of my parents home in Kelowna, BC. Being a teacher, I am lucky to have summers off and spend most of my holiday time here in the Okanagan. Follow this set of photos on my flickr page.

I would like to try a similar project with my grade one students next year.  Everyday, I have a “special helper” who takes the attendance down to the office and prepares the calendar activity.  My idea at the moment is to have the helper take one digital photograph of an activity we do on their day.  At the end of the school year, our classroom would have a record, a digital story, of each and everyday in grade one!  Each student would end up contributing 7-8 photographs to the collection and would gain valuable skills by using the digital camera.

Jul 23 / Camille Maydonik

E-learning Toolkit Activity: Accessibility

E- learning Toolkit – Accessibility

Instructions:

Take a look at your LMS (Vista or Moodle) site, including images, multimedia, links, tables and frame. Check the “Quick Tips” on WAI and check your work at Markup Validation Service.  See updated Web Accessibility Quick Tips based on WCAG 2 at a glance. What did you find? How accessible is your site? What sorts of things might you need to do to ensure it is accessible to all of your students?

Reflection:

This toolkit activity has been very eye opening.  I took a look at my moodle site and used the Web Accessibility Quick Tips to reflect on the overall accessibility of my site.

Here is a summary of the points that I took into consideration:

1.    Images & animations:

I used the alt attribute to describe the function of each visual.

2.    Multimedia:

This is an area where I could improve.  The checklist recommends providing captioning and transcripts of audio, and descriptions of video.  The next time I embed a video, I would also include a written text of the audio and a short description of the video.  That being said, I was able to include audio files using Audacity to support students with the reading components of the course.  For more information about multimedia used in my course site, please visit my Multimedia Inventory.

3.    Hypertext links:

Throughout my course, I endeavored to use text that makes sense when read out of context.  I avoided “click here” and generally used text that described the activity.  For example, on my splash page, instead of saying “astronaut”, I say “Start Here”.

4.    Page organization:

I have used headings, lists, and consistent structure.  My course is organized around three (3) modules, A, B and C.

5.    Check your work:

I validated my site at the Markup Validation Service and it found 4 errors.  All 4 of them were a XML Parsing Error where I had an opening and ending tag mismatch.  The report tells you where the error has occurred; however, I am not sure how to find the specific lines and columns.  More learning is required in this area!

Overall, because my site is to be used with teacher support and the SMART Board, I believe that my site is accessible.  At my school, we are very focused on Universal Design for Learning; therefore accessibility and differentiation are forefront in my mind when planning lessons to meet learning outcomes.

Jul 21 / Camille Maydonik

Multimedia Reflection

Think about an example of how multimedia has been used effectively to enhance your learning. Feel free to reflect on your MET experiences, or any other.

Over my first year and three courses in the MET program, the multimedia which I feel has been used effectively to enhance my learning has been screen casting.  A screen cast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration.

It wasn’t until my third course, ETEC 565A, that I was introduced to this technology.  Now that I have been exposed to it, I believe that I would have benefitted from other professors using this multimedia to convey some of the course materials.  Here is an example of a screen cast that my instructor in 565A put together towards the beginning of our LMS projects.  Thanks John!  :)   This was an effective method of showing ETEC 565A participants how to set up their course shell and, as was mentioned in the screen cast by John, saved him about a day and a half of work time!

There are many screen casts available on the web, such as this one on YouTube, which explains how to export and resize a photo using Picasa.  This particular screen cast helped me to be able to resize a photo quickly, without having to spend time fiddling around with the program.  In the end, this gave me time to focus on other aspects of the E-learning toolkit.

Having been exposed to screen casting, I have created a screen cast with ScreenToaster for my moodle course.  My main goal in creating this screen cast is to identify the different components we are being assessed on and to highlight some interesting features of my course.

Screen casting is a multimedia tool that I will continue to use in my teaching practice, with students and colleagues.  I often do short educational technology presentations at staff meetings, and presenting a screen cast, which can be archived for reviewing, will be very beneficial and appreciated.

Enjoy!