Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Google Teacher Academy Application Video

Below you'll find the video that I created as a requirement of the application process for the Summer '09 Google Teacher Academy which is taking place in Boulder, CO in early August. Applicants for the GTA are required to submit a 60 second video either on the topic of "Motivation and Learning" or "Classroom Innovation." My video is on "Motivation and Learning." I really enjoyed the process of building up this piece and found it extraordinarily challenging to convey my message in this mixed media format in only 60 seconds of time. This has consumed my last couple of days...now it is time to step away from the computer and go into full summer teacher-bum-mode ;-) Project notes on how this video was created are included at the end of this post.

-All images used in this project are licensed in the Creative Commons and posted at flickr (a great big thank you to everyone who posts their content in the Creative Commons)

-The audio track is from an artist that goes by "Tryad" over at jamendo. This is the same audio track that was used in Michael Wesch's viral "A Vision of Students Today" video. Thank you for posting this song with a Creative Commons license, Tryad. Teacher geeks like me truly appreciate this.

-The slides were all assembed in the Google Docs Presentation tool. This is a web based slide authoring tool that I've really come to appreciate. I love how this platform faciliates collaboration and sharing. The Google Docs slides are posted online over here if you'd like to see them.

-After the slides were assembled, I started doing a few screen recordings with Jing Pro and then posting to YouTube. I probably posted 3-4 rough cuts in this manner. I struggled, though, with editing and timing of the video so ultimately I switched over to Screenflow. After recording in screenflow I adjusted the duration for the various slides and dropped in the audio track. This video was extremely helpful in optimizing the settings out of screenflow for posting in YouTube's HD format.

-The word cloud at the beginning of the video was created with wordle.

-There were many, many pieces and ideas that I had to leave out of this video. For example, I wanted to do a series of slides on, "What if...students could connect and collaborate with other students around the world...to solve complex probles, improve cultural sensitivity/awareness, etc." I'll have to save this for "What If 2.0" I guess!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summercore Professional Development Experience Reflections

We just wrapped up an intense week of professional development on all things relating to educational technology. See my previous post to view a Michael Wesch inspired video that we created at the end of the week. All-in-all, I thought it really was an excellent experience with a total of 26 faculty members going through Summercore together. Below are a few questions and reflections I have

1. How can we share out our work from this week? We can do this virtually by making our Moodle site public and I think we could possibly do some sharing at a faculty meeting in August/September when we get back to school. What else can we do??

2. How can we make learning experiences like this a more regular part of our culture? While this was a fantastic week, it was only a single week. Can we make this type of learning a regular part of what we do without it becoming another add-on?

3. The cross pollination between teachers of different departments and divisions was immensely valuable. How can we extend the non-traditional groupings of faculty throughout the school year? Perhaps faculty could self form groups based upon professional learning interests.

4. Everyone was a teacher and a learner over the course of the week. Many thanks to Heather, Bear, Sarah and Doris for serving as faculty assistant instructors. The model of teachers teaching teachers is a good one and quite worthy of expanding.

5. The morning discussions where each person shared their thoughts on the previous evening's readings were fantastic. I only wish that some of these discussions took place virtually in moodle forums so that our faculty members would've had this experience as well.

6. I think the 8:30-5:30 days were about an hour or two too long. I think the days could've been shortened up to allow for more asynchronous reflection work in forums/blogs.

7. Did we focus too much on the tools in not enough on the concepts? For example, should it be, "iMovie and Voicethread," or rather, "Conveying a message through a mixed media narrative?"

A special thanks to Steve Bergen and Lynne Schalman of Summercore. This was our second year of working with them and they really have helped us progress in our thinking about the role of digital technology in learning. The "Olive Tree and the Lexus" metaphor is one that we'll all be grappling with as we move forward.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Castilleja Faculty - "A Vision of Learning Today"

Upon completion of an intense, week-long professional development experience on all things relating to "Learning 2.0" and digital learning, we created this short video response to Michael Wesch's "A Vision of Students Today." Be sure to watch Wesch's "A Vision of Students Today" if you haven't seen it yet.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

I gotta go to garage sales more often...

I picked up this sweet little office ornament today from a neighbor's garage sale. He is a Google employee and is relocating to NYC. This is one of my best garage sale purchases...ever! Kind of fitting as my school just fully transitioned to Google Apps/Mail services this weekend!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Are We Ready for...Government 2.0??

I picked this one up from the Remote Access blog last night as I was surfing my reader. At 60 minutes, this is quite a long video, but it is worth a look to gain more familiarity with how online communities work. Folks who are skeptical of online communities as being "real" places where people develop relationships, collaborate, and empathize with one another will most likely struggle with this piece. Nevertheless, it is worth a look...

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Jen Wagner - Wordle in the Classroom

Jen Wagner always seems to be in the business of doing good deeds...here is a slideshare that she created recently that presents some tips and hints on using wordle in the classroom: