My name is Tashmyra. Some of you know me from last semester when I was in the Amazon in Ecuador. Since then, I have been back in BC where I have been running my own outdoor experiential programs for homeschooled kids for the past 12 years.
For most of this semester I will be in Houston, Texas studying at a Montessori teacher training program. My vision is to redesign the middle school program that I am presently running along Montessori principals with an online homestudy component and to design a highschool homestudy program based on outdoor experiential learning that can be accredited towards highschool graduation.
The technical side of online programing is all very new for me but it really seems like the way of the future. I have been working with a group of middle school age kids over the past several months with a prototype of the online program that I designed in Keith’s last course, and by the middle of June, hope to have some results to share. They are participating in a storytelling project of their learning throughout the semester. (I also attempted to set up my Kichwa students in the Amazon with the same program but their access to technology is too sporadic and it will have to wait until I go back down there again next winter).
I am looking forward to this course and to interacting with everyone!
An example of a self-produced educational graphic, an audio piece and a video can be found within the 8 day program embedded below.
All materials used in my course are based on programing used by about 100 affiliated schools using the 8 Shields Model designed by Jon Young of the Wilderness Awareness School in Washington State. It reflects 15 yrs of my own experience mentoring in this way as well as 30 yrs of others’. Sitspot is a concept adapted from an indigenous paradigm and along with the concept of thanksgiving, constitutes what are considered to be part of the ‘core’ routines of all learning. I have synthesized this into my own version for this introductory course.
Creating a group activity that requires my students to create a multimedia product (two from: text, image, sound or video) that demonstrates their achievement of a learning objective.
I have attached the link below to my 8 day program that has as its ultimate goal, creating a multimedia product that demonstrates their achievement in the lessons throughout the course.
The purpose of the 8 day lesson is really about the daily activities, and the feedback or assignments are the blog postings. Setting up the student blogs and learning how to upload text, photos and video is part of the learning as well as part of the overall assignment.
Instructions for how to upload media onto student blogs as well as setting up the student blogs can be found on the ‘getting started’ page of the 8 day program. I used Edublogs to host both student and teacher blogs.
I am all for sharing resources. I don’t use the more public venues like TeacherTube or Flickr but I have sourced a lot of my materials from youtube, mostly from affiliated schools but also from TED talks. A lot of the video I use, however, is from footage of my own programs and therefore of my students. I don’t know how I would feel about others remixing those videos for other purposes. I would say yes to reuse, but no to remix.
Here again is the link to the 8 day program that I have created as an introductory course for year-long programs.
I have created both live-action video and screen-casting within this program to deliver specific lessons.
For the live-action videos, I used old footage of students in the field with a voice over approach to highlight the teaching goals, using both my voice and the voice of another instructor. The picture editing program I used was Sony Vegas Pro, and the sound program was Sound Forge Pro, using both boom and lapel mikes. I used several cameras over the years but mostly HD.
Examples of these videos are: day 1- hazards, day 4- painting, day 5- tracking.
For the screen-cast, I prepared two tutorials- found on the ‘getting started page’- which walk the students through setting up a blog account and how to navigate, as well as teaching them how to add text, images and video.
The steps I used to produce the screen-casting was first of all, to research on youtube, other videos explaining the same processes, and then to adapt the different elements to the needs of my students. The program I used to produce the screen-cast was screencast-o-aumatic.com.
I found overall, especially going through the process twice, and especially since the whole lesson had to happen in one take, that it was much easier to work out everything I needed to say in advance and then work from a script. This was a little bit challenging with the co-ordination of the mouse but resulted in a better screen-cast overall.
I had originally planned on using the explain-everything program but the learning curve was too great for me, so although I plan on attempting it again in the future, I opted, at this time for a simpler version of the screencast-o-aumatic.com program.
Here is the link to the 8 day course that I created as an introductory course for students interested in my programs.
Why multimedia in this lesson represents a pedagogically sound approach:
In the combination of face-to-face and online learning that I am experimenting with, the online component is mostly about hearing stories, being inspired and gathering information. The real learning happens outside.
Therefore, the medium that I like to work with- video, works for several reasons; kids love listening to stories, watching video and interacting with the cyber world. Creating an online element that is inspiring and interactive is the best way, I feel, to motivate kids to participate in the learning. Some of the video I have produced myself, and others by educators from affiliated schools. It is also the tool I hope to inspire my students with to tell their own multimedia stories at the end of the 8 day program.