Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Digital Story

After a suggestion from classmate Gillian, I converted my video using Vimeo. It was absolutely easy breezy! Thanks so much Gillian!
So here is my Digital Story.

Always Someone to Help...

After fiddling around with the music for my Digital PhotoStory for over 3 and a half hours, I am finally done! For some unknown reason, my downloaded song from Limewire would not be recognized by the program. I tried, my husband tried and my friend and fellow classmate Ronda tried.
Then through a connection, such as the professional connections that fellow classmate Gillian talks about in her "Celebrate" blog entry, Ronda had one of her coworkers use their digital magic and convert the song so that it would be recognized. All through email. Simply amazing!!! What I wasted many hours trying to figure out, someone did for me in minutes all at the touch of fingertips. I LOVE IT!!!
Now...more trouble! I am unable to upload the video onto YouTube. I need to convert it and do not have a clue how. Any takers???
Sometimes I swear technology can be so frustrating when you can't get it to do what you want it to.
But then...when it does work! I swear the grin on my face was ear to ear when I could watch my Digital Photostory to the music of Shaggy's "In the Summer time".
Thanks again Ronda!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pride of Ownership

I was reflecting on a blog that I was reading, and in response to the writer's question in which they asked, "What is the specific value of expression that engages students? How can we capitalize on it in our classrooms?, I was thinking that...
Even though we can provide our learners with all the "bells and whistles" that are available to teachers who choose to use technology in the classroom, the bottom line is that our learners are instilled with a "pride of ownership" attitude, or not... There will always be those learners who are engaged in learning, thrive to excel, who express themselves the best they can, and come back repeatedly for more inspiration. At the other end of the spectrum, there will also be those learners who choose not to.
Knowing that their work will be just a fingertip away for all to see, definitely inspires a learner to put forth their best effort. As teachers it is up to us to try and draw out the "pride of ownership" qualities that lay within our learners, but sometimes no matter how engaging we try to make things (whether it is technology related or not), there will always be those that choose not to come back for more no matter how hard we try.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Adventure's Begun

Well, I am home from the lake for an evening to sit down and start composing my digital story. I began by reading through David Jake's tutorial on Photostory 3 and decided that this was perhaps the easiest tool for me to use, as I am a beginner at this! I found the site very easy to use with the help of the tutorial.
Then I used technorati.com to search digital stories and long behold I came across one of our classmates blog and their newly composed video. I find it fascinating that with a search of the whole world wide web I come across a classmates blog. Pretty cool!

Anyways...so far so good. I think that I have pulled the story I want to tell out of my pictures, and now I will begin the fun of composing. I will let all know how it turns out...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Technology In Early Childhood

Yes, I know that I said I am on my way to the lake to start my digital story telling adventure, but I let my family go ahead and I will catch up after this blog.
I want to reflect on what a fellow student believes about technology and learners in kindergarten and grade one. Here is Ronda's blog. Make sure to read the comments on her last blog too...she is getting some great feedback from others.

In response to her blog, I want to share and reflect upon an expereince in my ELNG 325 The Teaching of Writing University Class at the University of Regina. A component of the class was to blog on a regular basis with Kathy Cassidy and her grade one and two class. If you go to her Blogmeister Blog , you will find blogs about the expereince such as the initial blog that I cut and pasted that introduces the expereince:

We're back and hard at work. For the next few months, we're going to have some special people reading and commenting on our blogs. The students in Patrick Lewis's "learning how to teach writing" class at the University of Regina will all be paired with one of my children for the next few months. This seems like an ideal match. The students get to see the actual development of a child's writing skills and to contribute to that development. My students get to have someone regularly reading their blogs and leaving comments for them. Today when I told the students about it there was a corporate intake of breath and a "yay!".

Welcome. I'm excited about the possibilites of this pairing.
Article posted # January 8, 2007 at 05:06 PM • comment (5) • Reads 1211.

These are the dates of the entries Kathy made in regards to the on going expereience:
February 12, 2007, when our fabulous professor Patrick Lewis made a story telling guest appearance; Februaru 21, 2007, when our class connected with Kathy's class using Skype; March 9, 2007, when we Skyped again; March 26, 2007, when Patrick visited the class again and on April 4, 2007, when our class visited Kathy's for a wrap up.

Going through her blog is testament enough to the benefits her learners had through the expereince! If nothing else was gained, I am sure their expereinces were widely expanded!

So as a future teacher, I believe that providing learners with technological expereinces is crucial to "broadening their horizons". It is all in how a "master" teacher uses her imagination to incorporate technology into the curriculum (as I said in an earlier blog) and how they choose to balance it! The age of the learner does not diminish the endless possibilities!

OK...must get to the lake!

Digital Storytelling

After a very innovative ECMP 455 class last night with special guest speaker's David Jakes and Wes Fryer, two men who are the "guru's" of digital storytelling, I am left both inspired and challenged!
I learned that digital storytelling is a powerful tool for not only all of the fundamental components of literacy, but also it acts as a portal for the composer to, as Wes Fryer said, "unleash the power and passion witin the student" and "write for a global audience". I believe that both of these components are imperative to literacy and writing. As David Jakes said, students need a "competitive voice", a way for their voice to be heard by others, "an extension of their experience" and they also can find that their digital storytelling can be "therapeutic".

Our assignment this week for the class is:
Weekly Assignment:
Choose one of the following:

Using the suggestions from the workshop wiki, create a digital story using PhotoStory 3. Be sure to include music. Narration is optional but perhaps might be good to try for a slide or two.
Take a powerpoint you've already done. Redo it using the principles described in the Extreme PowerPoint Makeover video.
Try out VoiceThread.com....create a story..embed it in your blog and invite others to contribute.

So...I am planning to embark on composing a digital story after viewing Digital Sorytelling Workshop Wiki , Digital Storytelling by David Jakes , Advanced Thinking by Jon Orech and Makin Movies by Joe Brennan . I have decided to use my own photos and try to compose a story on "What Summer Means to Me".

Keep reading to hear my trials and tribulations on this experience...I am off to Sun Valley to capture the essence of summer...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Making Curriculum Connections Through Blogging

After our last ECMP 455 online class that we participated in on Elluminate, I really started to ponder how teachers can use blogging to not only enrich their own professional learning, but also their learners. I was reading a teachers blog:
http://autotechreviews.blogspot.com/2007/07/techno-klutz-meets-blog.html and I liked how she said that, "Ways to incorporate blogging into the curriculum are only as endless as your imagination". I think that this is so true, just as with any lesson plan! She also offers links to some other sites in which teachers have made the blogging connection to the curriculum. I really found this site interesting:
http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/. Here one can review books, multimedia and technology for teens and children. I believe that this site would be a great resource for teachers! It offers curriculum connections and links to over a hundred educational blogs. This one is defintely worth checking out!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Did You Know

Did you know that there are ten million bricks in the Empire State Building or that dirty snow melts faster than clean snow because it is darker and and absorbs more heat, and finally...did you know that Mars moon, Phobus, is spiralling downwards, and will eventually crash into Mars in 100 million years time? These were some of the facts I learnt when my world wide web serendipity brought me to this interesting website:
http://brainfoodpodcast.libsyn.com/. I was exploring this site:
http://www.edugadget.com/ when long behold a piece of information caught my attention and all I had to do was "click" on a link and at my fingertips was an amazing site offering podcasts in which the creator of the site says, "I seek ways to explain simple logic I seek to take everyday mysteries and explain them using powerful analogies and simple logic in a way that everyone scientific and non-scientific alike can appreciate".
As Stephen Downes said, in his video titled, "Stephen Downes Talk on Web 2.0", we are redefining our learning. The traditional classroom learning is quickly becoming a way of the past.
I think that it is amazing that with some quick and painless searching I am able to find exciting and new approaches to learning. Educators love to share their knowledge and because of this my future life as a teacher has been made so much easier. I think I said in one of my blogs from ECMP 355, but I will say again, I feel so much more "ahead" of the game graduating with both of the Ed Computer classes. The classes should be requirements for education. Web learning is definitely becoming the new traditional learning...and I will be able to implement it into my classroom with confidence after having both of the Ed Computer classes!
Enough said for now...time to go see where my wolrd wide web serendipity takes me!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Welcome to ECMP 455

Hi there everyone! I am back...ECMP 455 started this week and one of the components is to blog. The idea is to share our learning. What a great idea! I always find that other's ideas open up a while new world of learning. Here is the link to our prof's "take" on blogging:
http://shareski.wikispaces.com/blogs. I am a little apprehensive about sharing my ideas and reflections with the whole wide web. I don't want to end up like Hank from Corner Gas who had to pretty much guilt others into reading his blog! Here is the link to his blog, it is good for a laugh:
So for now, that is all I want to share. I am off to hunt down some great educational feeds to share with my classmates!