Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Assignment 8

The lights of Denver illuminating the city at night... from space

This Is How We Dream

Richard Miller's This Is How We Dream, parts one and two both talk about the changing landscape of how we collaborate and disseminate information, in the classroom and abroad. He talks about a few different concepts - the incremental changes that are going on right now, and the fundamental changes that are also occurring.

The incremental changes that he mentions are small, step-by-step movements towards different ways of taking in or displaying data. He talks of books going from being in a tangible print version to being in a digital, easy to spread version. He also talks about how media integration into digital versions of articles and books can enrich the experience of reading and learning about various topics. I feel that if software were easy enough to use, and more teachers were willing to learn to do this, then the small steps that have already been made by pioneering teachers will grow to enormous leaps, making this type of information gathering and sharing more widespread.

He also talks of fundamental changes in how we do things. No longer must we trudge to a library and seek out information piecemeal. Now, everything needed to create accurate and interesting compositions can be found just by jumping on the internet. Ideas now have an outlet so that others may contemplate, debate, and test them to ensure they're correct. And instead of bland representations of data, we can create mind-blowingly creative and interactive displays of that data using a little creativity and tools that are already available on the internet today.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12

In Carly Pugh's 12th Blog post, she came up with an ingenious assignment for Dr. Strange - it centers on technology for learning (using a YouTube playlist to compile a list of videos that help outline your teaching philosophy), and allows for outrageous levels of creativity. Do you want to be metaphorical in how you represent what kind of teacher you want to be? Go for it! Do you want to, by using others' videos, tell it like it is? No problemo!

I feel that this encompasses what Richard Miller was talking about in his 'This Is How We Dream' videos. Simply writing things down to get a point across is boring and unimaginative, and does nothing to further the desire to learn. But this assignment bolsters creativity, responsibility, and hunger for learning in a way that no 500 word essay ever could.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies really got me thinking about what type of video I could do to describe the benefits of EDM310, as well as ways to alleviate some of the stress associated with adjusting to the modern methods employed by Dr. Strange as he takes us on a journey of intellectual gain and technological mastery.

The first idea I had centers around two students - one being taught by the old method (using lectures and testing), and one being taught through freedom of choice and creativity, self reflection, and guided (but independent) learning. They would be taught the same things, but in a different way - and the whole process would be 'documented' to show the benefits of one or the other. Initially, the student in the new process would flounder - not being told exactly what to do would lead to confusion and anxiety for the student, while the one being lectured would have no such qualms. As the 'course' progressed, the student being lectured would start to fall behind during testing - while the methodology of how to use certain programs would have been discussed, the practical application of skills wouldn't have been absorbed, and the student would become overwhelmed. At the end of the course, the student that was guided but had more influence on how he learned would have had many trial and error attempts at tasks the first student only read about, so not only would the student have a better grasp of how to complete the task, but also of how to figure out what to do if he couldn't quite figure it out initially. This video would show that by encouraging students to be self-starting learners, more skills would be imparted (such as discipline and troubleshooting skills) than for the student who was only lectured (and so only can regurgitate what's been taught, but nothing more).

My other video idea would be a practical look into how to prepare ones-self for the barrage of assignments awaiting them as they enter and progress through EDM310.

Starting off, the average college student mindset must be broken down. The student must realize that they will be given more freedom and more responsibility than they've ever had before. And while that can be daunting, to know that all their hard work will be for a reason. No busy work is given - a lesson can be learned from each and every task you're given.

Next, I'd give guidelines for organizing resources and contacts. Many, but not all students are organized - and those who are not will suffer through this class. While every person operates differently, having an efficient organizational system that works for the individual is key. Having links and pertinent information spread all over the place without rhyme or reason will lead to headaches in the future.

Lastly, have fun. If you explore your options in creating whatever it is Dr. Strange has you doing next, there's almost always a way of doing it that you will enjoy.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

In this video, many prominent figures in education speak out about where education is coming from, and where it should be going. They acknowledge that the current system is antiquated - that the jobs and careers that students will eventually have do not require 'vending machine' type learning - in that you just spit out what should be the right answer. I completely agree with their assessment that students are more engaged and interconnected outside of school than they are in it, and in order to successfully teach students, we'll have to accept that the learning done in school is only a part of the learning one does as a whole, and to help them be successful we shouldn't necessarily teach facts, but the skills to obtain, verify, and utilize facts in everyday life.

Near the end of the video, one man says that the strides that are being made to modernize the classroom herald 'the death of education, but the dawn of learning'. This is promising for the future - students of the modern classroom will go on and continue to search for knowledge long after their school years, and the world will be better for it.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

1.) For my first scavenger hunt find, I'm using Make Beliefs Comix. Here's my comic:

2.) For my second find, Animoto is a video editing tool that you can use to combine pictures, videos, and music to create an amazing video experience. It resembles iMovie in that it's simple to use, and can combine all your media into one video. It's completely free to use if you're making videos less than 30 seconds long (which doesn't quite cut it in my opinion), but for $30/year, you can create videos of any length, and upload them directly to your social networking sites. If you plan on using it frequently, it would be well worth the cost.

3.) For my third and final program from Web 2.0, I used PollEverywhere to create a poll. I'm interested to see the results, so get voting!


  1. Carly's post is indeed awesome because it will let the students be extremely creative!


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