Innovative Learning Blog
Blog: Reflect on your process of building your website.
I've really enjoyed building the website. I feel that the courses prior helped me design the website and provided confidence that I can do it. Now that I have been immersed in Web 2.0 technology, I don't feel intimidated to try something technologically challenging.
I also feel supported. If I didn't have the support of professors, Cohort members, and others like Dr. Redmond, the Touro librarian, and Marie Zorn who have helped me along the way, I wouldn't have completed this graduate program and website. I also have to give a huge shout out to my wife Jennifer, who allowed me to spend endless hours troubleshooting my way through this graduate program and Capstone project.
Building this website is one of the things that intrigued me about enrolling in the Innovative Learning graduate program. I knew that to graduate, I would have to create a website, which has always been an interest of mine.
Creating this website feels like creating digital stories via Animoto and Powtoon. I love the experience, and wish I could use this template to create more websites, however, I am inspired to create my own website from scratch much like creating a digital story from scratch with tools like WeVideo.
I also hope that learning tools like WeVideo will help me to learn more advanced technological tools such as products put out by Adobe. This program has guided me to learn tools to utilize in the classroom and in my own personal hobbies of creating videos and using technology to connect lives.
I look forward to publishing the website to showcase all that I have learned to Touro, NapaLearns, NVUSD, cohort members, family and friends. The website is representative of all the hard work that I have put into this program and project as well as the support of family members who made it all possible. My parents laid the foundation for my education and my passion for it, and Jennifer and my two children were my kindred inspiration for completing this journey to help make better lives for our family.
Please share final thoughts and sighs of relief on this last blog.
It is amazing that in less than a year I will have graduated from a master's program. More amazing is all the technological tools that I learned, which I've already been able to apply to teaching and personal life. In addition, I've learned pedagogical models, such as TPACK and SAMR, that I will use as a basis to launch the incorporation of tech tools into the classroom.
I am still not a tech expert, and I still have a lot to learn about how to best utilize the tech tools that I've learned from the program. However, I felt like this program not only got my feet wet using technology in the classroom, but it forced me to swim in the Web 2.0 ocean.
Prior to this program, I felt that as an educator I had gotten my feet wet using technology in the classroom. After graduating the program, I feel that prior I wasn't even at the ocean. I was complacently comfort in my teaching zone. This program brought me to the technology beach and now I am an avid swimmer.
I am thankful to have found a program that reinvigorated my passion for teaching and provided me confidence to pursue avenues of technology to utilize in the classroom. I appreciate the dedicated cohort who offered fresh ideas, opinions, and thoughts that helped me grow as a professional and as a person.
The professors of this program brought positive energy and insight to each class. They fostered a friendly and supportive environment. The assignments were rigorous and purposeful. I enjoyed the challenge of the assignments, and the connectedness of the assignments to the Capstone and to our teaching. I was thankful for support in completing the assignments from Cohort members and professors.
In the end, I am very satisfied with my enrollment and completion of this master's program. I now feel that I have transformed from a passionate teacher to a passionate and innovative teacher. I look forward to the upcoming year and beyond.
I also look forward to crossing paths with cohort members and professors. They are colleagues and friends of mine. We all share a commonality in that we all chose a career that values citizenship, global awareness, helping others, and the connection among people (students,staff,friends,family) that help to create our life stories. This master's program, this cohort, is now part of my life story.
Please continue blogging around your journey from rough to final cut and any challenges or successes you can share with the group.
I really enjoyed the journey of creating my first video from scratch. Now, I feel like I can use WeVideo to create other videos and perhaps teach 2nd grade students how to use this program.
One of the main challenges of creating the 90 second video was to be precise with the script and images because the video had to fit a certain time frame. I enjoyed working within the time frame because it made me use a lot of editing tools. Since this was my first WeVideo I ever created, all the editing tools were new tools that I was learning to use.
The main success was the video itself. It's not perfect nor will it win any 90 second video awards. However, it is original in it's design and I'm proud to have learned a new tech tool that I could apply to the creation of something. I enjoyed working with audio, graphics, images, and video to create a digital story.
The tech expert at my school uses WeVideo and IMovie, and knowing that a lot of people in my cohort are also using IMovie makes me want to learn how to use it as well. When the graduate program is over and I have more free time I would love to explore WeVideo in greater depth and learn how to use IMovie.
I look forward to the coming year and beyond to start creating professional videos for school and personal hobby. I've already thought of ideas such as creating a video for Back to School Night to show to the parents that would be informative and engaging with images and screencasts of their children starting the school year.
The process of building the website has been technologically engaging and frustrating. I have always wanted to create my own website, and it's fun to work with a pre-made website much like using animoto for pre-made videos.
I realize many people end up writing a very long thesis paper for their master's project. I am so glad to have the opportunity to do a Capstone project instead, where I get to learn new digital tools and apply them to the project and to my own teaching. I look forward to the new year in applying all the tech tools I have learned from this master's program and incorporate them into my teaching.
My Macbook is five years old, which in the "tech world" means it is outdated. My outdated computer has encountered many glitches while working on my Capstone project. I lost 2 hours of work one day, and an hour worth or work another day. I finally contacted Gould and Redmond and had Marie meet with me one on one. In the end, there is nothing I can do unless I want to buy a new computer. I have to work around the glitches.
Working around the glitches has caused me to spend a significant amount of more time put into creating the site. I have to work on a Word doc, paste it to the site, quickly save it and then immediately exit Weebly. I can't just work directly on the site or Weebly will automatically refresh the page to when I first started using it. At least one other student, Suzeth Baker, is having the same problem. Other students have had this problem in the past.
All in all, I enjoy working on the site to showcase all that I have learned, all that I applied to my teaching, and all that I plan on incorporating into my teaching.
Give us an honest appraisal (venting?) of your next journey steps around trying to produce your Capstone Project video. What problems did you encounter? How did you solve them? The intent is open a useful discussion that can help raise the bar for everyone. Please respond to three others’ posts by July 4.
I have enjoyed the journey of making a video from scratch, despite the fact that I barely have anything ready to present for tomorrow's class. Hopefully, I will find some time to get more of a rough draft video. However, I have enjoyed the process of learning how to create a video using an editing program like WeVideo.
Since I am still trying my best to learn all that I can do using WeVideo, I haven't had time to check out other editing software programs such as IMovie. I was really impressed what Kelley created using IMovie, and I haven't figured out to make that style of movie using WeVideo.
One of the main problems I have encountered is being able to add text. I would love to learn how to write text so that it appears at the bottom of the screen besides using the "Movie title" templates. So far, to solve the problem, I have been using the Movie title templates for when I want to do text, but I would like to figure out a different way.
The main problem is just finding the time to learn how to use all the editing tools, utilize the program's resources to it's max potential, and manipulate all the images, sound, and video embedded to create the project. I'm also having a hard time nailing down my script, but again, I think with time I will get there.
Give us an honest appraisal (venting?) of your journey around trying to produce your Capstone Project video script. How did you decide what editor (see Explore below) you might use? What problems did you encounter? How did you solve them? The intent is open a useful discussion that can help raise the bar for everyone.
I like templates such as the ones that I filled out for the Capstone Project video script. I think guidelines and templates are important. They serve as a scaffolding tool as well as jump starting device to get the project started and running in the right direction. They also help to clarify ambiguity and help make sure we don't veer off course. The ones that I filled out for the Capstone Project helped me define a clearer picture of what and how I want my video to presented.
I chose to use WeVideo because at my school the tech expert, Mr. Vargas, makes all the school videos using WeVideo and/or IMovie, and I feel that either application will help me get the job done. One feature I like about WeVideo is that it is a Web based tool, meaning that I can access it via the web, do a free trial, subscribe yearly or monthly and quit any time. I am also a little familiar with WeVideo and completely unfamiliar with IMovie.
At my school, I have seen quality, professional videos created by Mr. Vargas using WeVideo and I look forward to learning how to do it as well. To learn how to do a professional video using WeVideo is the most exciting project for me during this graduate program. Using video editing software such as IMovie and WeVideo have the potential to be a significant step up the SAMR latter from using premade video programs like Animoto or Powtoon.
The only problem that I encountered filling out the templates was understanding the heading "Dramatic Question". I just looked at how other people came up with dramatic questions for their Capstone and then I understood what to do.
Besides being time consuming, I didn't encounter other problems filling out the video script template. Despite the effort of time put forth in completing it, it was worth it because now I have a strong outline of how I want my video to look.
What does being a good critical friend mean to you? What do you expect or would you like from others? Assuming you’ve had meetings with at least two critical friends, comment on how the process went and the benefits you received.
A good critical friend constructively critiques. They give purposeful and useful feedback that can be applied to improve something, such as our Capstone Projects. I expect there are many suggestions cohort members can provide to improve my Capstone.
I expect that my cohort members will take the time to read what I wrote on my website and let me know if something doesn't make sense, something doesn't read clearly, or if there are grammatical errors. I also expect them to critique the fluidity and intuitiveness of the website.
I foresee that my critical study buddies will give me advice on how to improve the design of the website. I will seek feedback on the design of each page. I want each page to be critiqued from the user standpoint. I want them to view my website not from the perspective of a cohort member, but from the perspective of an educator interested in learning about digital storytelling.
I want my study buddy to ask themselves as they read through each website page:
1.)"Is the textual information explicit, interesting, succinct, approachable, useful, and meaningful?"
2.)"Are the graphics the right size and organized neatly? Does a page have to many graphics or does a page lack graphics? How can the graphics be reduced, deleted, or infused to improve the website page?"
3.) "How can the logo, slogan, and name of the Capstone be improved?"
4.) "Will my target audience find this website useful and informative?"
5.)" If you were my target audience would you use this website? How could it improve to be more useful?"
6.)"To improve the efficacy of the website, Is there any information that needs to be added or deleted?"
7.)"Any suggestions, comments, ideas, opinions, thoughts, doubts, or concerns are all welcomed!"
I don't expect my cohort buddies to be tech experts that will troubleshoot all my problems, however, I do expect them to help me troubleshoot if they know how to solve the problem.
I don't expect my critical critiquers to give me life changing advice that will take my Capstone website from being a graduate project to a billion dollar enterprise.
I critique my own work all the time. Sometimes I give myself suggestions, try them out, and realize I need to go back to the drawing board. I realize there will be some advice that will just make total sense and can be applied right away. Other advice may end up being more of a brainstorming idea rather than an obvious critique.
In the end, I expect the feedback process to be positive, friendly, helpful, and sincere. I expect nothing less from a cohort I know well enough to know that these expectations will be met.
educ 792-Session 3-Blog -"reflect"-School's technological mission statement/ school's mission statement/ How do they relate to my practice
As a member of this Master’s program, you are helping shape the future of your school with regards to its 21st Century technology practices.
Please research what your school’s educational technology mission statement is. Is there one? Is technology mentioned at all?
In your blog, please write your school’s mission statement that incorporates technology and comment on it. How does their statement align with your personal practice? Does it meet the goals for your capstone?
I am a second grade teacher at Napa Valley Language Academy, NVLA, which is a bilingual elementary school in Napa.
NVLA does not have an "Educational Technology Mission Statement"
Below is NVLA's Mission statement. Highlighted in red are the words "technology" and "21st century" and below is one line where it says "use technology effectively as a tool for research, compose and communicate information and ideas;"
NVLA's School Mission/Vision Statement
Napa Valley Language Academy (NVLA) is a K-6 Dual Immersion Charter School in the Napa Valley Unified School District. At NVLA, our vision is that all students will acquire the academic, critical thinking, and communication skills necessary to become self-motivated and competent, lifelong learners. We will provide a positive, safe and supportive family environment where teachers and students focus on learning, take risks and grow. Our program will place the highest value on authentic educational experiences emphasizing the acquisition of a second language, visual and performing arts, science and technology. Students learn respect for themselves; their community; and the larger, diverse world in which they live while developing a moral consciousness that will help them build integrity into their lives.
Exit outcomes inherent in NVLA’s educational philosophy for the 21st century include:
I think after finding out that my school doesn't have a technological mission statement, and that there is only one phrase that vaguely mentions technology in the school's mission statement, I think my school needs to put more emphasis on technology in their statements. I know at my school we are doing a lot of innovative things, but it is not reflected on our website page nor our mission statements. I would love to be part of a committee that would enhance and define our school's technological mission statement and to embed that statement into our school's overall mission statement.
Obviously, my school's mission statement and lack of technological mission statement do not align with my own practices nor my Capstone. I take solace knowing that my school just needs to dust off the old mission statement and infuse it with modern day technological mission statements. My school, the administration, and the direction of my school in terms of technology DOES ALIGN with my teaching practices and Capstone.
I know I don't live in a perfect world, where every student of mine gets a computer device, which would be amazing, however, at my school, starting next year, every 4th grade teacher will have a computer device. Perhaps, down the line, my students will have more computer devices. Another technological practice at my school that aligns with my teaching is that starting in kindergarten, digital skills and digital citizenship is taught to all students via the Common Sense website and is taught by our full time computer specialist.
This was the second time I have ever created a Google Forms document. Since I teach lower primary grades (second grade), certain technological tools, such as Google Forms, are hard to incorporate into teaching. For example, at my school, k-6, starting next year every 4th, 5th, and 6th grader will have a one to one ratio of students to computer devices. However, in my second grade classroom, next year I MAY receive 3 Chromebooks to be used among 25 students. At least two months of the year, any computer devices in my classroom are yanked away and given to upper grade levels for Statewide testing. Also, during testing, all teachers are told to turn off their cell phones and any Internet housing devices.
In an era of education trying to transcend literacy via technology, it seems counterintuitive to provide very little technology for lower primary grade levels, yank it away from them when there are upper grade level testing, and tell the teachers to not use an Internet device for periods of 2-3 hours during testing, which could last up to months.
When technology catches up with lower grade classes, I think tools such as Google Forms and their Add Ons will become more relevant.
I enjoy creating tests with Google Forms, however, my experience with Add Ons is very frustrating. I feel that middle school and high school teachers of this cohort, and tech savvy cohort members have had much more experience with Google Forms and Add Ons.
I feel that this master's program has to do a better job at teaching Google Forms and the Add Ons. I used three Add Ons: Form Notifications, Survey Monkey, and Ultradox Trigger. Yet, I have know idea what an Add On is, how it is helpful, and if I actually used the three Ad Ons correctly.
For future cohorts, I strongly recommend that there is a tutorial session for those that have had no experience with Google Add Ons and other Google Features that will enhance our Capstone and enhance our teaching.
educ 792-Session 2-Blog -"reflect"-who will be capstone audience (why?) and what content will be in your learn more pages?
Having explored several capstone websites, write a blog about who you think the audience of your capstone is going to be and why? Also, really start thinking about your Learn More pages. What content do you think you will need to have on your website in order to engage and teach your audience about your research?
Who will be the audience for my Capstone?
The audience will be every grade level teacher and parent. My target will specifically be lower primary teachers and parents.
The reason I want to target lower primary teachers and parents is because they are the most reluctant to incorporate digital technology, such as digital storytelling, into their teaching/parenting. There is so much focus on literacy in the lower primary grades, many educators/parents feel that digital literacy takes away from literacy. Many educators/parents also feel threatened from the social media outside world. They may concerns for cyber-bullying, and inappropriate research/interaction with the outside world via the Internet. They also feel threatened by technology, whereas a student at any grade level intuitively embraces technology.
The Capstone will prove how digital literacy will transcend a student's/child's literacy skills and how digital citizenship classes will ensure/promote/advocate technological student safety. The website will provide scaffolding so that any teacher/parent can transcend from a Word doc user to an Animoto/Powtoon/Wevideo/Spark/Edpuzzle/Screencast-o-matic user.
The Capstone will explicitly explain the importance of digital storytelling and/or other digital exposure and how the digital exposure will benefit each student academically, socially, and in their future careers.
The website will serve as a Transliteracy Bridge for lower primary parents and educators to cross at an early age so they don't feel frightened for their children entering the Web 4.0 world and instead feel invigorated that their children are getting a head start in real world applications compared to most other elementary schools.
A lot of primary parents/educators haven't dived into technology as much as upper grade levels, so it is important for them to have an inviting and informative place to transcend from Word doc parent/teacher to Animoto/Powtoon/Edpuzzle/Wevideo parent/teacher. The website will assure parents/teachers that while they are on the path of learning and creating a path for their students/children, that the technological path is legitimately safe and accessible.
The reason I don't want to target students, is because they don't need any convincing to try technological tools. They also don't need guides to help them because usually within minutes the student has surpassed the teacher's technological intelligence after exposing them to applications such as Animoto.
Learn More Pages:
The Capstone will be simple. The interface will be Google friendly, with the least amount of text needed. It will be explicitly clear that my website was built for my audience. To lower my audience's anxiety the website will be designed with intention and efficiency. For the website to be useful, it will be engaging, succinct, practical, and meaningful.
I will have two types of How to Videos and How to Textual Instructions. One will be for the teacher and one will be for the parent. The aim will be to inform how to create a safe/educational digital learning environment at home for the parent and at school for the educator.
The lessons that I showcase will be applicable not only for Room 26/NVLA/Mr. Hall's class but for any parent/educator who have the desire to teach their child/student digital skills, digital literacy, and digital citizenship.
The assessments will be set up for teachers but applicable for those parents that are eager to assess their child's engagement with digital literacy skills.