Below you will find various products I created to contribute to my Multimedia 605 final project portfolio. My artifacts include a Blended Learning PD I created for my teachers, a self reflection I made on my thoughts about blended learning, a social media edcanvas training to help teachers who are new to this area, a collection of visual literacy tools for teachers to use in their classroom, two videos about open source and it's benefits to educators, and my Twitter feed showcasing some of my own microblogging. Below these links is the first part of our course and our course rubric (which I created).
There is more to media than just online audio and video. Access to information through media (as well as the ability to create with media) changes who can be the teacher and what the student can learn. When you allow the internet into your classroom, you can help teach children how to harness this power of information to benefit them. There is no reason why a child should ever have to wait for the teacher to answer a question if they have a computer or smartphone at the their desk. Unfortunately our schools work hard to block and filter access to the internet, to "protect" students from the vast amount of good, bad, and false information that exists on the web. This effort generally results in rules that prohibit exploration of content online or restriction of technology access in the classroom altogether. A student on their phone playing games is obviously a distraction from the learning that is taking place. Instead of restricting this information access to everyone in the class however, educators should adapt to incorporate technology tools as learning so kids can see that technology does more than entertain us.
A big start for use technology comes in the form of blended learning. This type of classroom structure blends brick and mortar learning with online learning. There are many models but essentially any teacher with a few devices in their classroom can embark on the blended journey. Teachers thus, in combination with open source tools like CK-12, organize online learning modules that contain various medias like screencasts, audio recordings, videos, games, or other Web 2.0 tools. Students learn how to responsibly navigate online content to pick and choose what is reliable and what is not. So as students learn content they are also learning information literacy skills, allowing them to become their own internet filter for good information. Ultimately the possibilities of blended learning are endless as long as educators are willing to embrace technology and put it in the hands of students.
Finally a key piece of media is the recent boom of social media networks. Educators really have no excuse to not be a part of these massive online learning communities. As teachers we should always be reflecting on our practice, sharing our experiences with others, and allowing ourselves to be pushed out of our comfort zone by these social communities. By tapping into social media as a reflective process, teachers will naturally trend towards best practice within their communities as bad practice is challenged and good practice is accepted and praised. It is in my opinion that all teachers should find themselves participating weekly in social media networks.
Below you'll find some of my artifacts from Media 1. At this point in my program I was really getting into the idea of blending online and in brick and mortar learning, commonly referred to as Blended Learning. Since I was out of the classroom and instead focused on working with teachers, I decided to develop a professional development on blended learning, using a blended format. I felt it was important for teachers to experience the same kind of learning I would expect them to use in their own classrooms with their students.
Creating this PD took an incredible amount of time and was definitely more work than creating a simple PowerPoint. This PD required the participants to do the most of the work through watching some videos, conducting research, and participating in discussion and note taking. It was this focus on having the learners do all the work that really enhanced the process for my teachers as they could see how the teacher took a smaller role. When teachers can step back, and allow students to be the ones who choose the pace, learning is given back to the children.
It's because of media, and specifically the internet, that has allowed teachers to create their own blended curriculums. This is a huge shift as we think about how money should best be spent in school districts. As we continue to fight for a more authentic education for our children, we can use media to croudsource our own curriculums, where students control their learning. With the money we save we can say goodbye to textbooks and standardized testing while embracing anytime anywhere learning by purchasing a device for each child.
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
d. Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments
2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
c. Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies
3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning
d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
a. Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
a. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning