Friday, April 5, 2019

Summary of Learning

Well folks, looks like we made it...

cold jim carrey GIF

We're THERE!

Time to see what we learned!
I won't delay mine anymore:

I realized after almost completing my video that Powtoon only allows the free videos to be five minutes.  I could have made more than one, but I tried to condense it and keep it all together.  

I would also like to apologize for my voice - if it sounds like I am trying to be raspy, it's only because of my cold and to avoiding coughing...

As I say in my last slide, thanks to Alec and my fantastic classmates, you made it a great semester!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

See you in the future...

back to the future goodbye GIF

I like this better than goodbye.  Chances are, I will see you in the future! I've had classes with some of you, so maybe that will happen again, or I will see you at work, or maybe just in the Twitter-verse, but I will see you again!

These next couple of months are bringing big changes for me.  I will be going off work soon and I will be having a baby, I will be passing this class (hopefully!) getting another credit towards my Master's...
I won't see the same faces on a regular basis, but I will get to see a new one everyday!

Now, onto synthesizing my thoughts on this class and blended learning!

After taking this class and having the in class discussions - my views on what can be blended learning has expanded immensely.  I hadn't thought of programming such as drama classes being offered online, until we went through some of the online options.

Even with our own programming and my classmates projects-- I was surprised to see such a range.  Last week I was reading about some online counselling content.  What innovative and neat ways to reach our students.

will ferrell yes GIF

Plus doesn't it feel great to be surrounded with like minded professionals? I think tech is helping reach our students like we've never been able to before, and yet, there are definitely a lot of wary individuals.  Not to mention the lack of tech support and funding... but here we are- making these projects work in our classes.

I've had some positive feedback as of late with grade 10 tours coming through our school. They were some of my former grade 8 rotations.  Their looks of recognition of the classroom, as well as remembering what I had taught them made me very optimistic of the future. They remembered their five day rotation with me (and technology) and enjoyed it. 

chatting napoleon dynamite GIF

In conclusion, this semester has given me some great resources, a hopeful attitude, some new blended lessons for my students, and another great group of colleagues with the same goals.

I hope to see you in the future! (Online, or IRL)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Walk Through & Course Prototype

Hi and welcome to my course walk through!

Welp, we are getting closer to the end, which means two things. One -- time to finish up our projects and two -- another semester has flown by!

Before I get too far, I will link my module one:

Module #1

I also will link my course profile blog:

Course Profile

If you are following (or have been following) you may notice I didn't achieve all of my goals, such as Adobe Animate, but I am still happy with the results of my course modules!

lost john locke GIF

I was hoping for a John Locke giphy about him going on his walk about, to connect to my walk through, but this will have to do...

I also don't want to give too many spoilers (or repeat myself too much) to my walk through video so I will post it below:

Walk Through

Hopefully I have summarized my course modules in that video, but I just want to add that I feel they were successful.  I set out to ultimately make learning easier in my five day rotation for the grade 8's. I also wanted an additional tool they could use to reference while going through the rotation, and I believe I did that.

This is my module two:

Module #2

I hope this is an organized & succinct list of all the things you need to understand what I have worked on this semester.  Please let me know classmates if I can make anything more clear!

pee wee herman innuendo GIF

Thanks everyone for following in this learning journey!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Online Interactions

Remember the days of MSN Messenger?

Photo Credit

Some of you will, some of you won't, but for those of us who used it, it's probably where we first learned to type.

Now that I am looking back, it reminds me of Facebook statuses. That's probably where they got the status idea! Typical Mark, always ripping people off...

sipping mark zuckerberg GIF

Anyway! Let's talk online collaborative learning! Let's talk student-instructor implemented interactions!

Since the beginning of these modules, I have started using Google Classroom, as part of my tech implementation in the classroom.  I was just thinking (while marking) how convenient the mark entry on Google Classroom is.  I can send them their mark and ALSO write a comment, if I like. This has been especially helpful since with some of the art that gets submitted to me, I can tell them where they lost marks.  I used to print it off, write it on there, but often it wouldn't make its way back to the student. Now, they will see it next time they open Google Classroom - or more likely - will get an email notification.  I have been really enjoying the usability of Google Classroom. I like that it prompts me when I get assignments turned in & they are in stable place. No more "Ms. Wells, my paper assignment has been misplaced!"
Now they either have a digital copy, or they don't. Definitely less "lost" work.

I liked in our reading when they said:

"Another important factor is that in the OCL model, discussion forums are not an addition or supplement to core teaching materials, such as textbooks, recorded lectures, or text in an LMS, but are the core component of the teaching. Textbooks, readings and other resources are chosen to support the discussion, not the other way round."

Although, I don't use Google Classroom as a forum exclusively, students use it in support of the other materials I bring into class, and we can use it to discuss together.

This week I also asked my students a question through Google Classroom, and instead of having it private, as it usually is set, students could add to one another's answers. I believe this helped scaffold the lesson for some of the students. 

Just like when we used to have important MSN conversations, or convos, as I called them, and we could add more than one person in.  #oldschoolcollaboration 

After taking this class, I am definitely open and looking forward to using more of these type of programs in my class.   Padlet, or comparable programs, seem like a good way to get your students discussing, even on days where they are feeling shy or quiet. 

Well, gtg!  Ttyl!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

These Are The Days Of Our Lives

Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives...

…and these are the days of our lives.

Is anyone else feeling like we're running out of time??! For this semester, or perhaps year, or maybe just today?

Also, isn't sand plural? Something else to add to the list of looking into…

So, getting on to this week's focus… Feedback from our module one!

Overall, it seemed positive, so that is good news. Sometimes, something seems clear to us, only to find out others maybe don't feel the same… However, this time, it doesn't seem that was the case. So, phewf, that is one thing to cross off the list.

crossing season 17 GIF

I got some very helpful feedback suggested adding notes or captioning to my module, which I think is a great idea!  Last semester I had two deaf & hard of hearing students in my class and finding videos with no captioning was always a bummer, so what an excellent idea.

Another idea that was mentioned was tying it into an ELA class.  That is what I would do for an older grade, such as grade 11 & 12, but with such a short amount of time with the grade 8's, it's virtually impossible. Which made me think of Days of our Lives and the intro.  

I used to watch a lot of Days of our Lives when I was growing up and as a kid, the summer seemed to stretch on forever. Now, I get the intro video.  Moments are fleeting, people! 

I had one question about access, and how only RBE members can see it.  That works fine in class, because my students are in grade 8, in the system.  I actually prefer it that way, as I have their photos on the site for 5 days, and so I like to limit the access for their privacy.  I won't need to demonstrate that in the modules, as it just applies to when I actually teach the course. 

Anyway, looking forward to continue working on modules and getting more items crossed off my to-do list.  

Coding For Dummies

When I was around ten years old, I was lucky enough to have a computer, with internet, in my room! This meant I played a lot of computer games, (such as The Sims) and explored an early and mostly ugly internet. By ugly, I mean webpages were pretty ugly looking for the most part, and nothing like today's. I also played checkers against people around the world, and I tried my hand at creating a website.  My website was also ugly, and the theme or focus of my website was Pembroke Welsh Corgis! I had my own particularly sweet one named Buddy, and obviously not a great imagination. 

Why didn't I think of Facebook or something cooler or more profitable?!

This is Buddy and me, the day we brought him home.  Note: my super cool jelly shoes.

Anyway, this is where I first ran into coding.  I could figure out enough code, copied and pasted, and some guess work to align paragraphs, change colours of the background, and text.  As I mentioned, it was not a great looking website. Mostly had stolen photos of Corgis, probably some weird background colour and not a ton of content (from what I remember.)  Unfortunately, I have no idea what my domain name was, and although I tried a quick internet archive (something I learnt about in this class), no luck in finding it.  It's probably for the best. 

Fast forward to today, when I teach a Graphic Arts class and would love to have a coding component in my class.  Unfortunately, I don't know where to start, and although it's not in the curriculum, I think introducing it to my students is likely critical for their future graphic design jobs. (Depending on what kind of graphic design they end up doing.) 

I would also like to get my own kids into coding, so I figured I should learn something about it first.  I don't remember much from my Corgi webpage days, and so the sites I've been introduced to in the last week seemed like a great place to start. seemed like a good place to explore for this blog post!

I started exploring the middle to older grades content and really enjoyed the layout of the content. I like that they have lessons that are "unplugged".  I know some teachers and parents in our class are sometimes concerned with how much screen time kids are getting, so having paper and pen activities seems like a great way to curb some of these concerns. 

Here is one I found that I would like to use in my class:

Unplugged Graph Paper Assignment

Not only do they have loads of lessons and games for the students, they also list things like  "Cross Curricular Opportunities", and since my Graphic Arts is paired with an English course, these are the kinds of things I like to see!

The course I focused on had journal entry options for each step of the way. This is also useful as my students have a journal for class. I really like the look of this website and the usability.  I am hoping to try out some of these express lessons and get to at least lesson six:

Creating Art with Code

I look forward to reporting back with how the lessons are going over with my students.  I have implemented 15 minutes on proper typing in my class, called "Typing Tuesday" and the students are really responding. I am hoping to do the same with the coding, spending 20-40 minutes a week on these lessons to get students introduced and maybe even comfortable. I just need to come up with a clever alliteration, and I will be ready with all of these already planned lessons!

Webpage coding Wednesdays?

Please let me know if you have any good ideas, clever classmates!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Digital Instruction... Put on your hard hats.

This week I decided to try out option two! I chose to look at an online course, review it, and see if it has value for my class.

This week was also exciting for another reason, we started semester two, and I am teaching a class called TV/Radio.  I have taught this course before, but it has been a couple of years.

I've decided to review the YouTube channel called Film Riot. It seems to potentially have a lot of videos I could show in my TV/Radio course.

The first video I watched was titled "iPhone Filmmaking: Your Camera Doesn't Matter"...

This is something my teaching partner and I have been thinking about.  Should we send students off to make videos using only their devices? We have a few cameras, but certainly not one for everyone.  

This particular video was informative and I think the students would enjoy watching it. I immediately sent it to my teaching partner.

This is quite a popular YouTube channel, with close to a half a million views on most videos I clicked on.  The host is a fast talker, something I appreciate, and does a great job of making content interesting.  I also like that they have a range of different videos for all things film making. I could definitely see myself showing certain clips in class, or allowing the students to pick and explore on their own. 

The production value is good, they have a sponsor and lots of views which tells me this is likely their full time job(s).  This was actually recommended to me by a student, so I know that students would enjoy this kind of channel. 

I would say overall, it will definitely positively impact my class and I don't see any downsides to having this as a resource in my class. Having said that, it will be used occasionally, and not as a replacement for me or my teaching partner... It will be used as a tool... (please keep reading...)

As for this weeks reading and implementation of technology in the class, whether it be audio, video, or BOOKS... I think of them all like tools. You should experiment, mix it up, use all kinds of tools in your classroom. If I may make an analogy for a moment, no construction company is building a house with just a hammer. We, as classroom teachers should be the same.

fun construction GIF

Woo hoo!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Course Profile - Photoshop Lessons

Weird Science... Probably hasn't aged well... but I am going to try to make the connection anyway...

film GIF

Soooo does anyone else remember movies from their childhood, only to go back to them as adults and be like really, parents? That's what I was watching?

Anyway, like the main characters in Weird Science, my students who use Photoshop can conjure up ideas, and create them using the computer.  So far, no one has been able to recreate Lisa, like the movie, but they are usually highly impressed with their results.

For my outline of my course profile, I am going to give you the run down on what I will be attempting to build.

Course ProfileAudience & Course format and tools:

A ROBOT TEACHER... So I can put my feet up.
Okay, kind of... more like, me as a robot, to aid students through their Photoshop journeys.

I will be using/exploring a new program to me, Adobe Animate.  I am hoping to create the character in that program, and then demonstrating steps and lessons in other Adobe programs.
I believe the easiest way for students to access this will be to post it on YouTube.

Course framework & learning objectives with course content:

My first module will be based around introducing Photoshop to new users.  I currently have a lesson, but I am always tweaking and changing things so that students get the most amount of information in the least amount of time.  This allows more time for them to experiment and create.

As I mentioned, I will be now putting that into a video format, hopefully with a character I have created.

The next thing I'd like to explore is Google Classroom. I use the student Google accounts for saving all of the work, but I've never tried the Classroom aspect.  I think that might be a good way for students to hand in their newly created assignments.

This set of videos will be created for grade 8 students, and my grade 11 & 12 when they are first starting out in the Adobe products.

Where does this fit in the Curriculum?

Demonstrate a working understanding of the elements and principles of design as a means of visual communication.
Indicators for this outcome
Investigate, identify, and compare the elements and principles of design.
Critique an existing composition using the elements and principles of design.
Discuss statements regarding design such as, "The elements and principles of design always have been the same, regardless of the medium"; "Design is about making the correct element and principle choices" , or "The principles of design govern how we use the elements".

Demonstrate a basic understanding of layout as an effective aspect of visual communication.
Indicators for this outcome
Investigate and identify the components of layout for a variety of applications such as brochures, posters, business cards, and web pages.
Critique existing applications of layout from commonly found media using the above components.

Develop a basic knowledge of the tools used to create graphic designs.
Indicators for this outcome
Identify traditional and contemporary tools used in graphic design and their purposes.
Explore historic and contemporary artists and how they use(d) various tools.

Compare a variety of design software including file management capability.
Indicators for this outcome
Assess the available software (e.g., purchased, web-based, open source) and its capability to create a graphic design including features and usability.
Create a graphic design to demonstrate both utility of software and effectiveness of communication.
Justify personal software selection through application of agreed upon criteria.
Effectively utilize file management systems of the selected software.

Course modules:

Photoshop Tutorial #1

So students will download the following file from my website, but this time, they will be accompanied by me and the YouTube video.

My Website

(Unfortunately, you can only access with an RBE account.  I post photos of the students, so I try to keep the circle small. There is a quick peek above.)

From there, they launch Photoshop, and will be guided by YouTube as well as myself to learn some of the Photoshop tools & functions.  The lesson usually runs about an hour, or just over.

As far as a finished product, they will submit their "liquified celebrity" to my newly set up Google Classroom.  It's their favourite part of the tutorial and usually ends up looking something like this:

Illustrator Tutorial #2

The next module will be an introduction to Adobe Illustrator.  They are lead through a tutorial where they design a monster.  This will be done by me and the YouTube video I will create. 
Here, they learn the different between raster and vector images, and the importance of a program like this for graphic designers.

Here is an example of a monster they will create in Adobe Illustrator:

Then, the students choose a backdrop for their monster, and will submit that via Google Classroom.

So that is my plan for now! There may need to be some tweaks made and I am interested to see what people think.  I am also hoping that it fits the project... Alec, please let me know if I am way off base!

I am looking forward to trying the new programs and eventually building assignments like these, in them.

Can't wait to hear from you, EC&I 834!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Will It Blend?

Did anyone else watch these videos from almost a decade ago?

Will It Blend?

Well, in case you aren't one of the 18,749,163 views, and you don't have one minute and forty
seconds, the Blendtec gentleman, Tom Dickson blends an iPad.

Yes, a functioning (it seems) iPad.

I know what you're thinking, I could have used that iPad in my classroom.
Or perhaps, you thought, GOOD riddance! Also, what a fantastic blender that must be.

You might be right in either case. We've all had our good technology classroom days, and the days we'd like to put the technology in the Blendtec.

I feel at this point in my blog I should also mention I am not being sponsored by Blendtec.

Now onto Alec's question:

What are your experiences and perceptions related to your own use of blended learning and/or technology integration in your professional context? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced?

I work in a computer lab style classroom, so I would say my lessons are immersed in technology.

I have both kinds of days…

Most days are the days I love technology! I am so pumped to teach students who have never or rarely use computers and maybe get to see it in a new light. I have students say "this is the BEST CLASS EVER!" on a regular basis and that's not about me and my teaching. That is solely the programs they are learning. I am not sure there are a lot of teachers that get to hear that.

I had a student this semester write a journal entry that was quite moving.  It was about how he loves graphic design but didn't realize he could ACTUALLY be a graphic designer until we went on a field trip and he met REAL people that do the job.  He said he felt like a kid who said they wanted to be an astronaut and people would say "oh, that's nice" but never actually believed he could do it. His life changed on the field trip (his words, not mine) and so those are the days that I am shocked and appalled someone would think to (let alone, actually) blend a functioning piece of technology.

As for the other days… when I wonder if I could charge a Blendtec to my school master-card and if the office would notice…

Are the days when you've done a lesson over and over, but then when you go to present, something has gone wrong and you can't finish the lesson so the kids are just staring at you.

Or, the internet is down.

Or, the programs are crashing.

Or, tech support is not supporting you, and you feel they should change their name to tech sabotage, because it feels more like their mission statement.

So anytime you are using technology, my advice is over-plan. Just as you would normally.

Power's out? Well, onto plan b.

Which makes me think of the readings this week. Tony Bates mentions:
"As with all teaching, distance education can be done well or badly."
As with all teaching! If you aren't planned, or you haven't gone through something a few times, it can be disastrous, whether or not tech is involved.

I also liked that the reading talked about costs. The cost to run a face-to-face class vs. an online or distance style classroom. Now that I think of it, online learning likely has a smaller carbon foot print too. Less printed texts, less cars driving to one building… (but I haven't researched or even Googled that, so please don't hold me to it.)

Lastly, I liked that Bates mentioned blended learning is good for students because if they go onto further their educations, they will likely do some kind of online or distance ed.
We are setting students up for the future.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

At the end of my semester, I have the students teach the other students some kind of tutorial

related to our class. It is one of my all time favourite projects. The students get to see what

it's like to be me, they always find cool tutorials, hopefully the other students learn something, and I always learn something.

So I am in the happy tech camp. The non-blending camp. I think technology is here to stay, and we need to adapt. We need to support our students, teachers, and technology in the schools.

Even though, there are days I think about this scene from Office Space and smile…

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Semester, New Beginning, New Life!

New Semester, New Beginning, New Life!

January is a good month to start a new semester.  People feel optimistic about goal setting, and their lives! Plus, going outside seems like a cold, bad, idea.

I am optimistic for this semester and class! This January also feels new for me because I am in my 5th month of pregnancy.  People tell me this is the good part, when I no longer feel pukey, but not too huge yet. I agree... for the most part.

For those of you who I haven't taken a class with before, my name is Anne, and I'm in my 9th year of teaching with Regina Public Schools.  I teach a five day rotation of grade 8's, and Graphic Art to grade 11 & 12's.

As for life outside of work, I love to read and watch TV.  I have an adorable family, pictured below:

We did a Star Wars themed Halloween this year…

So speaking of a new semester and goal setting… My goals for this class are to try to get as much as I can out of it, use my time wisely, make something I will use in my future, and help out any classmates on the way!

I really enjoy creating new lessons. I realized that this morning while I was getting ready for work.  Lesson creation is one of my favourite parts of teaching.  Third only to summers off, and the pay, obviously.

Amy Ranford and I are still in talks as to if we should partner up for this project, or go it solo, but either way, I am looking forward to creating and really making something useful.

I have been thinking about what online content I want to create.  Something for my classes would be useful, so some kind of Photoshop tutorials, but I also have some other hobbies I wouldn't mind exploring.

Maybe some kind of vegetarian how to's? I often get asked "what do you eat during a day, or week?"  I have wanted to make some kind of cook book or list of meals, for a while.

Amy and I have also talked about creating some kind of employability how-to's... We think that would be really useful for our school.

Lastly, I was thinking something to do with TV/Radio.  I will be teaching a TV/Radio course next semester, so some kind of modules to do with that. I love watching TV so that would be both up my alley, and useful!

The good news is that I have a few more days to mull it over...

Excited to get started!

There's me and the bump: