Week 2: What are your aims for the course?

1. I would like to do my first podcast.
2. I would like to find new ways to use IT tools in my classes.
3. I would like to use some new tools other than MacroMedia Captivate to create tutorials.
4. I would like to see some new doors open up in areas I haven’t thought of to bring IT into my classes.

I’m pretty excited about doing my first podcast. I love playing around with video and mixing it with audio. I’ve never posted a podcast before though because my video is a lot more fun for my friends and family to see. However, I have gotten into listening to podcasts this past year and I can see how they can be useful for some purposes. While I know I will have a lot of fun creating a podcast, I’m not sure how I’ll incorporate podcasts into my classes which brings me to my second aim.

I’m looking for ideas for using podcasts, blogs, wikis, video and any other tools in my class to improve the learning. Kim Cofino tries to summarize the tools out there but her summary is still rather general. Some ideas I currently have would be to have students summarize class notes into a podcast or else research a topic and create a podcast or video expalining the topic. I use the portal for all of my classes so I’m not sure how useful a wiki or a blog would be for class material. It would however be nice to get student input so I could think of using that in one of my classes. The question I have with that, though, is whether I would just be giving the students more work to do by writing a blog entry? I can see how a blog would be useful for a big project. I might have my IB students do their portfolios online next year. For everyday classes, I’m not sure how I could use them in a way which would improve learning and not just be forcing IT onto them for the sake of using IT. We are using a Ning for a big project in our literacy course. This will be my second experience of having a lot of student interaction with a social network. Mostly in the past when I’ve used blogs, they’ve just been a place to summrize the class notes and provide links to the materials, much like I’m doing with the portal.

I know there is another tool out there for creating video tutorials. I’ve forgotten the name of it and I seem to remember being told that our school network didn’t allow us to use it, so I’d like to find a tool for creating video tutorials other than Captivate.

I’m generally looking for any new ideas that others may bring up in class which I might find useful in my own classes.

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2 Comments

  1. Ståle said,

    February 26, 2009 at 1:04 am

    The screen capture tool you refer to is Jing. Apparently our firewall blocks even just downloading and installing it, as at some point there the software wants to communicate with a webserver in a way our firewall doesn’t like. We will use CamStudio, which is free and fairly simple to use. The main thing to look out for is file size.

    One useful litmus test for using technology, in my opinion, is whether the addition of a tech tool adds value in ways that you could not achieve by other, more traditional means. In the words of Mark Prensky, are you just doing old things in new ways, or are you doing new things in new ways? This is actually a more difficult concept than it might seem at first – a lot of new ways of doing old things look very impressive and may even seem quite revolutionary, and perhaps they save a lot of time as well, but are they allowing the students to learn in different (and better) ways?

  2. teachermac said,

    April 8, 2009 at 2:38 am

    The article is interesting. The line between ‘old things in old ways’ and ‘old things in new ways’ isn’t very clear to me in his article, but that’s not the most important point he makes.
    New things in new ways does sound very exciting. I would have liked to read a specific example of what he means that has been implemented in this category. I like his idea about Edutopia and basically providing connectivism in the classroom, a lot like the video we watched in class. I think we do a great injustice to students making them learn at such a slow pace because of the limitations most schools put on education by providing one teacher for every 20-40 students. Even this idea, however, isn’t very new. Student centred schools have existed for decades (and in reality they’ve exited since the beginning of time – our introduction of the 20 student classroom is what destroyed this idea and forced us to rediscover it) where the student’s can learn at their own pace and are free to use whatever resources for learning they can find. Based on his earlier examples, I think this would place his ‘new things in new ways’ example of Edutopia back into the ‘old things in new ways’ category.
    For myself, I think it’s just as great to come up with new ways for doing old things because the more ways we have to do things, the better the learning experience will be for the students because it can more easily become more differentiated. If there are many ways to do something, that also suggests that it’s probably a ‘big idea’ according to UBD and these other paths should be explored.
    I’d love to see a great example of doing new things in new ways, but I have a feeling that most ideas presented in this category could be shown to be old things with some example from somewhere in the world.


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