EEND 677 Artifact 2 – Video Book Trailer

I have chosen to include my video book trailer as my second artifact for this class.  I’ve included this because I’m extremely proud of what I have created using WeVideo.  This was probably the most challenging part of the class for me.  Before putting this project together, I had very little experience using WeVideo.  I had used it for recording myself, but never for a project like this where I had to use so many different effects and themes.  While it took me quite a while to complete, and it is far from perfect, I’m very happy with how it turned out.

The biggest challenge for me during this project was finding the animation I wanted to use.  I wanted something that would capture people’s attention and keep them interested in the video.  I thought about creating my own animation for the project, but I ended up using already available images.  It was also difficult getting the audio to sync up with the animations the way I wanted, but after some work I was able to figure it out well enough to make it work.  Again, the video is far from perfect, but I think it works well for my first try.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to get my students interested in science, and I want to “create a story in a way that entertains, evokes emotion, and connects them with a wider audience” (Wylie, 2017).  I think making book trailers accomplishes this and is something I could definitely use now that I have some experience with it.  I have a wide variety of science books and stories I’m always trying to get my students to pick up and read, but it is hard to get them interested just by talking about it.  I think making a few video book trailers could really do the trick with some of my students. If they can see what I see when I’m talking about a book, I know some of them will buy in.  I can make the videos and easily post them to my school website. If I can get some of my students to read the books related to topics we’re learning about, I would be thrilled.

Before I took this class, I had never heard of a video book trailer.  I am very happy that I was able to learn something that can be very useful in my classroom.  I’m also very happy that I was forced out of my comfort zone and was exposed to trying something new and different.  I feel like it has really been helping me grow as a teacher. This project in particular has given me the confidence to try to make more videos like this for my students.  Hopefully, it will get my students more interested in the topics I teach. I can’t wait to create another one very soon.

References:

Tell your story. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.wevideo.com/

Wylie, J. (2017, April 29). Getting Creative With Video in the Classroom. Retrieved from https://jonathanwylie.com/2017/02/26/getting-creative-with-video-in-the-classroom/

EEND 677 Artifact 1 – Parent Newsletter

I’ve chosen to include the parent newsletter I developed during the 677 class.  “Everyone knows that maintaining effective communication between parents and teachers is the key to student success” (Effective Communication, n.d.).  I took this opportunity to learn to use an online newsletter creator, Smore, in order to try a new way of communicating with my parents.  I was very pleased with how easy the program was to use and I was very happy with my final product.  I think it does a great job of updating my parents about what is going on in my classroom, and what they should be expecting their child to be working on.

Creating a Smore newsletter was actually much easier and faster than I expected.  They have many different templates that you can choose from and then it’s just a matter of putting in your own content.  One of the challenging parts of creating this newsletter for me was making something that parents would actually want to look at and read.  I didn’t want my newsletter to be disregarded right away as just more junk. It was difficult to chose something that was catchy and informative all at the same time.  I think that by the end though, my final newsletter hit the mark pretty well.

Now that I’m familiar with making and using online newsletters, it is something I will definitely use more in my classroom.  I can create them and then share them with parents through social media or email very easily. Because Smore offers me the ability to look at who has viewed my newsletter, I can check to see how many people are reading my updates.  I can judge the effectiveness of my newsletters and adjust if needed.

While working through this class, I’ve learned quite a bit about effective parent-teacher communication.  Learning to create my own online newsletter is something that I would never have done on my own. It is such a powerful tool to use for communication with parents that I am extremely grateful that I was exposed to it, and had an opportunity to try it out.   Now, I’m looking forward to figuring out what to include in my next newsletter.

References:

Beautiful and easy to use newsletters. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.smore.com/app

Effective Communication via a Classroom Newsletter. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/effective-communication-classroom-newsletter

 

EEND 677 Class Reflection

This was really an interesting class for me.  Much of what we worked on in this class are things I have not really done before.  Sure, I use videos and graphics, but I’ve never thought about just using audio, or creating my own videos.  It was fun for me to do some of these things and figure out how I can use them in my class. I would say that the topic that will stick with me the most is screencasting.  It is something that I thought very little about before, but now that I have learned more about it and have tried it out, it is definitely something I’m going to pursue in my classroom.  I think it is such a great way to get students learning in a different way, and it gives me an opportunity to redesign how I do things in my classroom. I really can’t say enough about the benefits of using screencasting in the classroom, and without enrolling in this program I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Throughout this entire learning experience, the one thing that I appreciated the most was being able to connect with and learn from my peers.  It was truly an invaluable tool being able to discuss topics and get ideas from other teachers just like me. Many of them were in similar situations as I am, but they still have new and different experiences as well.  I felt that everyone was able to bring something new and different to the discussions, and all of them were able to teach me and help me at some point along the way. I will be using many of the new ideas and techniques that I’ve learned from them, and I’m really grateful to have made these meaningful connections in this class.

I think that I have grown quite a bit as a teacher throughout this experience.  I have tried and done things in this class that I don’t think I would have attempted otherwise.  I’ve already mentioned screencasting. That was quite the experience for me. I’m not too keen on videotaping myself, but it was something I can see the benefits of doing for my students.  If I wasn’t forced to try it in this class, I’m not sure I would have attempted it on my own. Another project that stands out to me was the video book trailer.  I’ve never done anything like this before and it is another topic I probably wouldn’t have given much thought to without being in this class.  Now I can see the benefits of implementing things like this in my class, and I have much more confidence in trying it now than I did when we first started discussing it.  

I will continue to use much of what I’ve learned in this class as I move forward in the program.   I want to develop more multimedia activities for my students to help capture their attention and get them interested in learning.  Overall, I’m very pleased with my experience in this class. I have learned a great deal about many different topics that I will take with me as I progress through the program here at St. Francis.  I hope to build on the foundation I have received in this class, and look forward to incorporating many of the new ideas and strategies in my own classroom.

References:

Penn, J., Harper, M. I., Pray, C., Pearl, A., Sousa, I., Nazzal, S., . . . Simpson-Urrutia, J. (2016, July 26). Book Trailers and Using Video for Book Marketing. Retrieved from https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2015/03/02/book-trailers/

Screencasting to Engage Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/11/screencasting-to-engage-learning

EEND 677 Graphic Design

Using graphic design in the classroom is a powerful tool because it allows students to visualize information rather than just reading it or hearing it.  Studies have shown that people tend to remember an impressive 80% of what they see and do compared to only 20% if they just read it and 10% if they just hear it (The Power of Visual, 2017).  Graphic design is also a great way to keep students engaged in the lesson and focused on the important information, not be distracted by all the extra information that often goes with it. Having students make the graphics themselves takes it even one step further and forces them to use their own creativity.  Student creativity fosters both self-motivation and flexible thinking which are very important to student learning (Inspire Student, n.d.).

In order to support more visual learners in the classroom, teachers should try to use a wide variety of graphic design ideas.  Simple ideas such as which type of font should be used, which pictures or graphics, which graphs or charts can all lead to students absorbing and remembering the information better.  Instead of simply talking about the different types of volcanoes, have the students create an infographic explaining the differences. This forces the students not only to learn the information, but makes them create something unique and show it off in a way that they understand.  Many of my IEP students have accommodations stating that they be allowed to use graphic organizers. These could be great for that as well. There really is no limit to what can be done in the classroom with graphic design for both regular ed and special ed students, as long as the teacher is willing to experiment and try new ideas and tools.

I have a unit coming up in my Earth Science class where we learn about star life-cycles and the classification of stars.  In the past I have had my students take notes and make outlines on paper and pencil to show the path different stars take during their lifetimes.  I have had students look at H-R diagrams and answer questions about them. Now that I have learned more about infographics, I’m thinking that this will be a perfect unit for my students to create their own infographics about this topic.  I can have them show me in their own infographics why different stars go through different stages, and how they end up where they do on the H-R diagrams. Instead of just regurgitating what they see in a textbook, this will make them condense the important information and create something that is unique.  This type of assignment also leaves them a lot of freedom to choose how they want to represent the information which should lead to self-motivation and engagement.

References:

Inspire Student Learning & Creativity (n.d.) [Digital lecture]. Retrieved from https://learn.stfrancis.edu/courses/1135000/pages/facilitating-creativity-and-innovation-in-a-digital-world-readings-and-resources?module_item_id=11209008

The Power of Visual Communication Infographic. (2017, August 31). Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://blog.wyzowl.com/power-visual-communication-infographic/

 

Introduction

Hi, my name is Adam Wason.  I work in District 205 at Lockport East High School.  I just finished my 12th year teaching, all of them spent at Lockport.  I also graduated from Lockport, so all together I’ve been at the school for 16 years.  I am currently teaching sophomore level Physical Science and junior/senior level Earth Science.  I’ve taught Physical Science for all of my 12 years, and I’ve taught Earth Science for the last 9 years.

I really do like using technology in the classroom.  I think it’s something that all students today should be exposed to as often as possible.  We currently are 1:1 here at Lockport with the students all having chromebooks that they use every day.  I would say that I’m probably one of the teachers here that uses the chromebooks most often.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve printed off a single piece of paper in the last 2 months.  Almost everything the kids work on in my class is set up through our school’s PowerSchool Learning LMS.  They have their notes there, videos, practice problems, quizzes, tests, pretty much everything.

Some of my favorite tech tools I use are things like Kahoot and Quizlet.  Those are two that I use all the time in my class for review games to make it fun for the kids.  EdPuzzle and PearDeck are others I like to use for certain topics.  They also do a great job keeping the kids involved in the lessons.

As great as all this is, I do run into trouble using technology in class the way I do.  I have many students who don’t like online tests, don’t like taking notes on google docs, don’t like digital flashcards, etc.  As great as I think these technologies are, I still have to keep in mind that sometimes these may not be so great for all my students.

Overall though, it has been fun trying to come up with new and innovative ways to incorporate more technology into my classroom.  It has been really nice teaching in a district that seems to be ahead of the curve for many of these technologies and has a lot of support for the teaching staff.  With this class, I hope to learn more about the hardware aspects of Technology Education.  I would say that this would probably be my weakest area, because I have the least experience with it.  I really am looking forward to learning more about this throughout the program here at St. Francis and to round out my learning.