Tzveta’s reflections

How you met your goals (from your KWL and philosophy)

Students were motivated towards the topic we chose. It was related to their everyday lives, so it was accessible and useful for the audience. Surprising facts or concepts excite interest and provoke comments. Recognition for contributing stimulates the desire to contribute again (Andrew Feenberg and Cindy Xin).

And also participants were encouraged to introduce themselves to the rest of the students, so they can get to know each other. That makes the communication easier. Gilly Salmon says is the first step in her model, students get motivated when they introduce to each other, meet their new classmates, become part of the learning community.

We offered an online discussion which encourages participation and it encourages human relationships. Students had the opportunity to meet each other before, even if it was with a post, so they are not speaking to strangers.

Challenges you encountered and your solutions

Since I was in Spain, definitely the hour difference was a problem because we had to set an online chat to discuss the parts of our seminar. We finally found a time that suited everybody. And we also considered different ways of communication such as email which is asynchronous.

I had to find a website that was free and offered all the tools we needed for the seminar. It was hard to find something that really suited the course. Most of them were fine, but the blog tool was missing or just the administrators could post. We wanted to use the blog tool in the same website as the course and not to have 2 different sites. I found this Webnode site that offers free websites, with limitations, and it was useful for us. It actually did not have a blog, but the forum tool worked. So in this way the participants could post and the rest could reply to those posts.

When we did the online discussion my microphone was not working, and I had to use the keyboard. Sometimes you always have technical problems.

What surprised you?

The final assignment from our students was really good and they did a good job, they were really creative. I think the topic was interesting and motivating because it was based on their personal experience.

An outline of lessons learned

It is very important to put into practice what you are planning to do. Because you can design a course, but then you need to find the right tools to do it. And also, how you want to do it and think of every single detail.

An effective communication is necessary too. When we were working on the seminar, we constantly had to send emails.

What you would do differently if you were to do the project again

I think instead of using Blackboard we could have used Google Hangouts as the other group did. Even though I could not participate, I watched the recording and it seems useful and easy to use. The problem is if you have more than 10 participants you cannot do it.

If would another website or platform to build the seminar, however it is difficult to find something free.

References

Feenberg & Xin. Facilitation. Retrieved April 4, 2014 from http://web.archive.org/web/20080222181044/http://www.textweaver.org/facilitation.htm

Hootstein, Ed. (2002, June 1). Wearing Four Pairs of Shoes: The Roles of E-Learning Facilitators. Retrieved April 4, 2014 from http://www.astd.org/Publications/Newsletters/Learning-Circuits/Learning-Circuits-Archives/2002/Wearing-Four-Pairs-of-Shoes

Tzveta

Hi! I’m sorry I’ve missing these days, but I’ve been totally busy. Yesterday I’ve moved to a new place and today I’ve started looking for a job. I hope tomorrow I can find a couple of hours and I can read everything I’ve missed from the course.

Tzveta

Hi! These days I’ve been really busy. I’ve arrived in Vancouver yesterday after a long trip and now I’m looking for an apartment, so I haven’t got any time to check the seminar, sorry. I hope I can do something during the weekend.

Assignment — Media Exemplar Collection

You can visit the website here. I designed a unit of 4 lessons about global warming for grade 7. I used this topic because we have been working on the group assignment from EDDL5141. I included a piece of audio that is the introduction of the unit, a presentation using graphics and a video.

I introduced the unit using a piece of audio which I recorded. I gave an outline of what the unit is going to be. I added some background music to the audio, which has a lower volume than the speech. The voice principle says to use human speech rather than machine speech.

I used a collection of graphics to show students what they can do at home in order to stop the global warming. I took pictures and then added some text to explain them. Students get the information from 2 different channels. It makes it easier to remember and it is more understandable. The multimedia principle says that it is better to present words and pictures rather than words alone (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005; Pashler et al., 2007). This principle fosters generative processing, which makes students build connections between words and pictures. Another principle that fosters generative processing is the personalization, so words are in conversational style (Mayer, 2005). It is easier to understand, it is written using the second person, directed to the students.  The text I added is based on the principles that reduce extraneous processing. Coherence principle (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005), I just added necessary words to understand the picture. The signaling principle (Mayer, 2005) is used so students can focus on the key words and buy changing the color of these words they know it is more important. And the expectation principle (Halpen et al., 2007) was used before they started with the presentation; they knew the questions they would have to answer after watching it.

I produced a video in order to teach students the actions they can do in their city in order to stop the global warming. I recorded several videos, then edited them and made one piece. It is just an example, because I think I could have included more actions, but I did not have the opportunity to record them. When the students watch the video they can remember better the information and they also pay more attention than if it was just text. In this video we can also see the principles of multimedia (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005; Pashler et al., 2007) and personalization (Mayer, 2005), which foster generative processing. And also the text was designed following the principles of coherence (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005) and signaling (Mayer, 2005).

Students are required to produce an assignment which includes graphics. They have to select pictures that represent the key concepts of their unit. They have to provide a description as well, but it does not have to be very long. They need to find an appropriate picture so they do not require too many words to express what they want to say. Therefore, they have to be concise and clear.

All the lessons are important for their assessment. Students can see exactly what they have to do at each lesson and the objectives they have to accomplish. They have rubrics in 3 out of the 4 lessons. In the last assignment, they have to include what they have learned during the rest of the unit. In each lesson, they have to use the knowledge learned from the previous ones. In this way, learning is more meaningful since they are putting into practice what they have just acquired.

References

http://www.galileo.org/research/publications/rubric.pdf

Mayer, R. E. (2014). Multimedia Instruction. Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed., pp. 385-399). New York: Springer Science.

Week 11: Assignment — Student Project

The objective of this group activity is to create a video that demonstrates all you have learnt about Global Warming during this last weeks, and think which measures you are going to take to go green. You will be working in groups of 3 or 4. In the video you must include at least:

  • 3 facts you learnt about Global Warming. You can record yourselves speaking in front of camera and explaining the facts or you can use pictures including text on them with the proper explanation.
  • 3 things you are already doing to preserve the environment. You have to record yourselves doing the action and explaining why is good for the environment. If it’s not possible to record, then use pictures with text.
  • 3 new actions you are going to start doing so as not to enhance the Global Warming. If you can record them would be the best option. If you can’t, then use some pictures. In any case you have to explain why you decided to take that action and how you are going to contribute to the environment.
  • 3 things you identify that are wrong and promote the Global Warming. Walk around your neighborhood and try to identify things that happen and are wrong. Decide what’s more appropriate in each case, weather to record a video or take a picture. You will have to explain what is wrong in each situation and say what the right thing to do is.

The roles you take in this activity are up to you. You could have a camera operator or take turns. But it’s better if you all appear in the video. Once you have you movie finished, you have to upload it to YouTube and send me the link. You can choose if you want this video to be public or private. If you decide that you want it private, you will have to include the email of all the students from your class. Remember to share it with your family, they will be happy to see what you have done.

The steps recommended for this activity are:

  1. Identify the 3 things learnt about Global Warming and write the key points. Think how you are going to include it in your video. How are you going to explain it?
  2. Make a list of what you are going to preserve the environment, and think why it helps. Think how you can record it and where. What would you say to the camera?
  3. Think of the future action you are going to take. Can you record them? Why are they beneficial? If you can’t record them, can you take them pictures? Or do you have to find them online? How are you going to explain those actions?
  4. How are you going to find the actions that don’t help the Global Warming? Are you going to record them or take pictures?
  5. Watch some videos that you can find in YouTube, for example, about this topic that could inspire you. In resources, there are some videos that could help you.
  6. Make an outline of the whole video, as you can see, you can divide it in 4 parts, so it’s easier to organize. Then do not need to be in this order.
  7. Identify the roles of each of you. Who is going to record? You is going to speak? You is going to perform the actions?
  8. Start recording, taking pictures, and get all the data you need to include in the movie.
  9. Now you have to process all the information. You have to follow the outline you made for you movie.

 Resources:

 

Week 10 – Activities 3 & 4

What do plants need for living? from Tzveta Tchernokojeva Ivanov on Vimeo.

Activity 3

The topic is the plants and the learning objective is that students learn what plants need for living. It’s would be appropriate for your learners, grade 1-2. I selected the third activity, I edited a video. I’m going to describe the steps I followed and finally the problems I had.

Steps

  • I found a couple of videos related to my topic and I downloaded them. Here you can see the original videos: Green bean light experiment, Moistly, revival of a basil plant, and time lapse of plant after watering. I used the filter of Creative Commons to find them.
  • I used the Windows Movie Maker to make the video. I divide the videos into different sections.
  • Then, I removed the sections I didn’t like.
  • Once I had the all the sections of the videos that will be the new video, I added text to some scenes. And also titles, for the introduction, some during the video.
  • There was one video, from which I used just a few seconds, that I had to slow down its speed because the man was talking too fast. I put the speed of 0,80x.
  • I added 2 photos and put some text on them.
  • When everything was ready, I inserted some transition effects between the scenes.
  • One of the time lapse video had already audio, I removed that audio and inserted one for the two of them. I found it on this website.
  • Since the audio was longer than my video, I added the fade effect.
  • I saved the project as a video file and then upload it to Vimeo. I’m going to describe this process in the next part of the post.

Problems

  • I found really difficult to find videos with CC license. My idea was to find several videos related to the same topic and edit them in order to make one. But this difficult because I couldn’t find more than one on the same topic, so I had to change my topic several times until I find something I could use.
  • I wanted to upload the video directly to Vimeo from Windows Movie Maker. You can link the account to software. The problem I had is that my laptop is a bit old and it was taking too long to upload to the website until finally it shut down. So I had to save it as a video file and then upload the file to Vimeo. These are technical problems that could be solved with better hardware.

Activity 4

I preferred to post these two activities together because they are linked. I used the video I created to do the activity 4. I did the part of the online sharing. I chose to use Vimeo to upload my video. I’ve always used YouTube if I wanted a video to public. I have heard about it before and watched some videos, but I have never used it for this purpose.

There are 3 options for the account, you can have the basic one, which is free and the one I used. The next one is the Plus for 49,95€ a year and the other is PRO for 159€. I get the prices in euros because it detects I’m in Spain. The main limitations of Vimeo basic account are listed below:

  • You can store up to 500 Mb a week. It depends on the amount of videos you need to upload.
  • You can only upload 1 HD video a week.
  • In my opinion, this is the main limitation, after you upload your video you have to wait in line for the video conversion. In my case, I had to wait for more than an hour.
  • You can watch videos in HD, it’s standard quality.

There are more differences between the basic account and plus/pro, but these are the ones that would affect me. However Vimeo also has some key points that I liked:

  • The design of the website looks more professional and it’s neater than YouTube.
  • When you upload a video, you have the option to select people you want to give credits so can let people know who starred in or helped you make the video.
  • The Creative Commons license has more options than YouTube. You can choose between: Attribution; Attribution Share Alike; Attribution No Derivatives; Attribution Non-Commercial; Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike; Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives.
  • When you are using Windows Movie Maker, you can directly upload the video from the software. It’s very convenient.
I am going to continue using YouTube, but it’s good to know other options. For students I think would be better to use YouTube, not Vimeo. A good point to Vimeo is the CC license, it gives you more options also when you want to look for a video. And also when you upload a video, you can give credits to your classmates that helped you with the video. However, for creators of media, Vimeo would be more suitable. Although, they would need to have the Plus or Pro account to take the most of it. Vimeo is designed more for professionals. The whole layout is neater, it has less advertisements, and the videos are more serious. On YouTube you can find too many videos that are useless. Here you can read a review about why you should choose Vimeo instead of YouTube.

Assignment 1 – Multimedia Enhanced Lesson

I created a lesson and published it online on this website. It’s a science lesson for students who are about in 5th grade. The study the density concept and the surface tension of a liquid. The lesson consists of 3 experiments they watch on videos, they have some time to think what happens on each case and then see the solution. They have a final quiz and they are encouraged to do these experiments at home. When students have to explain what they’ve learnt to their parents, they are reinforcing their learning. It’s the self-explanation principle, people learn better when they are prompted to explain lesson elements during learning (Johnson & Mayer, 2010; Roy & Chi, 2005).

I created 2 videos, which represented 2 of the 3 experiments. And 2 graphics, one is a solution and the other one is the quiz. The multimedia principle says that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005; Pashler et al., 2007).

The 2 videos of the experiments (1 and 2), the third one is an existing video from YouTube, are created using images and video clips and then processed as a single video. First, I performed the experiments while taking photos and videos. Next, I added some text to the pictures explaining the process and asking questions for them to think. I adjusted the time of each picture allowing them to have enough time to think. Taking into account the signaling principle (Mayer, 2005), I used different colours for the text, I used big characters and bright colours so it stands out. When I made the first video I realized I could have emphasized even more the key words, but it was already finished. Although I did it in the second experiment, and in this way it’s easier for the students to focus on the important information. However, I didn’t add long sentences, just a few words so they can pay attention to the pictures as well. Besides, when there are more than one sentences on each slide, I added them step by step. So they first focus on one piece of information, and then on the next one. This is the segmenting principle (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005). I combined the video recordings with the pictures, the video shows better what happens in the experiment, rather that if there were just pictures because there are no movements. Finally I added some background music.

I created 2 graphics, one is an explanation to the experiment with the egg. I tried to make it as clear as possible. Based on the coherence principle (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005), I only included what is essential for the understanding of the concept. All the information presented is very visual and I used different colours to represent each part. The titles of what’s in each glass are in red and the explanation of each case is represented in a different colour. Instead of using words for the egg, water and salt I used images, so it’s easier to remember. I used the principle of spatial contiguity (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005 ; Pashler et al., 2007), text is placed next to what’s representing.

The last one, is a quiz where there are 5 questions. Students have to choose in each situation which object has a higher density. Instead of using words for each object, I placed a very clear image so it represents the object. They can see it and it’s easier to imagine which has higher density. The testing principle is that people learn better when they take a practice test on the material have studied (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006).

References

Mayer, R. E. (2014). Multimedia Instruction. Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed., pp. 385-399). New York: Springer Science.

Science Experiments. – Fun, Simple Experiments for Kids. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from http://www.schoolofdragons.com/how-to-train-your-dragon/science-experiments 

Steve Spangler Science. Experiments. Retrieved March 7, 2014, from https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments