Here you will find all the components of my final project for EDTC including my Learning Object, "Hacking Around" Badges, File Sharing System, Android App, Webcast, and Final Reflection.
Coming in to Advanced Web I was really hoping to gain more insight and understanding into the world of HTML and CSS editing. I wanted to feel like I had a good grasp of the skills needed to have complete control over my website. Through this course I feel I have become more proficient at understanding code, including Java Script as I was able to build my own Android App. What I didn’t realize, was that my learning experience, reflected an environment I desire for my students, and what I learned was less important than how I learned.
At first class felt somewhat “chaotic” in the sense that Mr. Wacker didn’t assign specific weekly tasks for me to jump through. Instead resources were given to us (Code Academy, Team Treehouse, etc) and we were asked, “what do you want to learn?” It’s not very often that I’m asked this kind of question and at first I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Our first project was to create a Learning Object that would teach either kids or adults “something.” I decided I wanted to show teachers how to use YouTube as a Self-Paced Learning and Assessment Tool. This to me was a chance to break away from traditional LMS systems and utilize a Google Doc as an LMS. I had seen examples of this done from both our Professor and from a Google+ community I joined called Using Google Apps as a LMS and I was eager to try out my own. I remember grabbing my computer and heading down to Starbucks where I built out the first part of my project, using annotations to “jump around” a video. My idea was that videos should have “chapters” that the viewer could use to jump ahead and/or back depending on the information they were seeking (just like a book or a website). I didn’t research anything about YouTube Annotations but instead took a “tinkerer” approach and taught myself through trial and error. I ran into a major obstacle as I attempted to insert questions into my YouTube video. Immediately I began searching the internet in various forums to find a solution to my error. I spent about an hour troubleshooting on my own before I finally reached out to Professor Wacker for help via Google+ chat. We spent some time discussing the issue and he gave me some ideas as alternatives. Eventually I decided to use an application that was recommended by Richard O’Byrne (an educator who I follow on Twitter) called Blubbr to build out the assessment. Looking back now I realize the process in which I was able to build my learning object was more important than the object itself.
Years from now who knows how the internet will look. Will Google even exist? Many tools I used as a kid (i.e. Super Nintendo Entertainment System) don’t exist today and learning how that specific system worked (like blowing the game cartridge to fix it) isn’t applicable today. What we have to take away is the process for learning (how I get help or how I help myself) and not the tool used in that process.
I continued to increase my knowledge on the site by learning HTML, CSS, Java Script. Code Academy made it extremely easy to learn at my own pace and “anytime and anywhere” assuming I had access to a computer and the internet. I was able to change the pace of my learning depending on the time I had or what I wanted to learn. As we were assigned a project to build something (I chose to build an Android App) I was still able to keep to my own self-paced studies based and change my focus depending on what I need for my main project (focused on some specific Java Script coding). Once again what I learned wasn’t as important as how I learned it. I began reflecting on the kind of online learning environment I want to create for my students at McGlone. I began to see that having both whole class projects and self-paced learning for students via technology through a blend of direct, small group, and personal instruction. Via badges and projects (including remixed content like my Crystal Ball app) students will demonstrate understanding through what they create and take pride in the process and not in the memorization of answers.
Although I felt that the learning experience was the most important thing I took away from this class, I can’t deny how much I’ve enjoyed learning CSS, HTML, and Java Script. Although I have much still to learn, understanding basic code has allowed me to manipulate and “remix” others work like WordPress themes. I don’t think that my role in this world will be to create things from scratch but to modify work that has already been done to tweak it to my needs. Through my career of selling and using technology I’ve found that most technology fits most of your needs but is generally lacking in a particular feature that you would like. Having a “hacker” mentality certainly has served me well although I’m sure that not everyone needs to understand how to hack. As mentioned before learning how to use specific coding systems like Java only serve as as long as Java is used (many mobile browsers don’t support Java and are moving to HTML 5) thus understanding how to “hack” and learning how to teach yourself to code is more important than the tools themselves.
Overall I found this course pushed me in both my knowledge of coding and in my understanding of online learning as pedagogy. Through these experiences I have a framework for how I want to design online learning at the Elementary School level. In learning code I enjoy the ability to hack and remix content to serve my purposes and I wish to share this knowledge with my students by creating an online coding course at my school. I close another chapter on my journey in learning to learn.
Here are a few artifacts including the Crystal Ball App I made for Android devices. I loved learning about the programing aspect of technology and realized how powerful it is to be an educator who can manipulate and make programs do what you want them to do. Let me know what you think about my artifacts.
Another artifact on this page is my YouTube as a Self-Paced Learning Tool document. In this document I help teachers understand how they could potentially leverage YouTube as a blended tool through self-pacing. In the flipped classroom many teachers use YouTube videos as their direct instruction tool. Many times however, these videos cover a lot of content and are very long. By following my document, teachers could break videos up into segments, allowing students to easily jump ahead or go back instead of guessing where certain pieces of content were in the video.
File Sharing System
21st Century Framework
Bolkan, J. (2012, Dec 18). Tennessee districts adopts new lms for online learning.
Mott, J. (2009, May 7th). A post-lms manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.jonmott.com/blog/2009/05/a-post-lms-manifesto/
Sun, L. and Williams, S. (2004) An instructional design model for constructivist learning. In: Cantoni, L. and McLoughlin, C. (eds.)
ED-MEDIA 2004: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Vols. 1-7. Assoc
Advancement Computing Education, Norfolk, pp. 2476-2483. ISBN 1880094533