Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wiki's hey? sounds sketchy....

Hello everyone!
On the 24th, In the Elluminate Live session, we talked about wiki's, while discussing the whole reliability factor. Considering anyone is able to edit a wiki page, how are we sure that this information is valid? Unfortunately, we are not! Ya that's right, there is information floating out there on the web that is unreliable and misleading.

I believe, however, that this issue stands true for all our recourses in life, and does not just start/end with the internet. Within the last month I read that Meg Ryan has died in a car crash, I have seen a teacher teach a music lesson and tell the student's the song was in 3/4 timing, and I heard a father tell his child the dog walking by was a bichon. Let's take a look at my sources: A journalist, a Teacher, and a Parent--all pretty reliable wouldn't you say?? Not only was this information gathered from sources other then the internet, but it was also all untrue.

My point is, we can not take everything at face-value. I believe that wiki's (such as wikipedia for example) can be an excellent resource if used in a critical manner. From a very young age we learn to analyze information and become critical thinkers, so why not apply the same skills to wiki's.

I came across an article in my RRS feed's, by Christopher Miller regarding the use of wikipedia in the classroom, and how we can use it as a teaching tool for students. The teacher developed an assignment that allowed the students to use wikkipidea as a source, by comparing it with other information. The main objective for this teacher was to "embrace Wikipedia instead of banning it, and use the experience as an educational experience" for the students.

I'm going to close with this for tonight.
Take Care--and GoodNight

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Digital Story


What should have been an easy task ended up turning into a big complication, but I suppose I asked for it. I really wanted to include a video into my digital story, which is why I didn't use photstory3.

Having said this, I downloaded the Sony Vegas Movie Maker, free of charge, which came with a great tutorial.

Overall the program was fairly user-friendly, and offered a wide range of transitions and video effects. Now for the downside. The whole time I was creating the video I was only able to preview it in a small box. I could enlarge it slightly, and then my audio timing was off?? I'm not too sure why.

Anyway, more importantly, the overall file is saved as a .VF, which I had to convert in order to post in youtube. The problem is however, I had a difficult time finding a site that converts .VF files. After reading the tutorial for this program, I realized that they convert the file for me and post it online, which worked out for the purpose of this project. From there I downloaded it, and then was able to post that on file on youtube. For those interested I well make a separate post with some tips for converting files, and what I learnt along the way.

I also knew that I wanted to use "lost in this moment" by big and rich as my background music but did not want to include the vocals…considering it was a wedding song, and would have been misleading for my video. I ended up extracting the majority of the voice (with the exception of the echo overlay). For those interested, I well describe how I did this in a separate blog.

I already know I am too picky for my own good, but two things really bother me about the outcome of this video:

1. I am curious why the quality is so poor, after it has been converted. The image is smaller then in my preview window of Vegas Movie Maker, and yet it was much clearer. If someone knows how to convert VF files, rather then having this program do it for me, let me know.
2. The voice waves do not match up with the actions, as they are delayed in the youtube version, but not in Acidplant. For now, I am posting it as-is but if you want to know it should really look and are willing to look at a much smaller screen then youtube, check out the posting on Acidplant.

OK, I’m done babbling. Enjoy my video…and more importantly

Have a good weekend!

Monday, July 23, 2007

2D Sonogram Vrs. 4D Sonogram...you decide

Insomnia seems to be a regular occurrence this past week for me. Its 3:15 and here I sit outside on the swing holding a freeze and wearing a Rambo bandanna. How’s that for a mental picture? Last Tuesday I got a tonsillectomy and my adenoids removed, so I’ve been taking a lot of Tylenol 3, and finding myself a wake most of the night. Oh, and just for the record, I swear I’m not twelve.

All in all, I ensure you this isn’t just a sympathy blog and I do have some reasoning behind my madness :). While looking up information about my tonsil surgery, I found some interesting graphic-filled video’s of what went on in the operating room, and found myself intrigued.

From there went to You Tube and started watching other surgeries and then came across a sonogram, which sparked an idea for one of my internship units in Health/Family Life. In the curriculum guide my co-op gave to me, there is a unit about God’s creations, and how we are brought into this world. A suggested idea is to show the students a picture of a sonogram: black and white fuzz, with motion lines and a possible foot—not very captivating for a grade four audience.

After watching the videos on You Tube I thought it would be incredibly engaging to show the student’s a video or two. In situations like this I love technology, because of its ability to create such a powerful experience.

What is more effective... You be the JUDGE!
This 2D B&W Sonogram

OR this 4D youtube video

Thursday, July 19, 2007


hi there everyone,

Alec Couros posted the following message on my digital internship blog, and thought it might be relivent to what we are doing in class right now....or kind of relates to digital storytelling. Bellow is the message he posted:

I found a pretty neat resource that might be useful for you. Basically, it lets you upload photos and then link voice clips to each clip. In fact, you can have many voice clips for each photos.In a classroom situation, you could (for example) take photos from a field trip or from class observation ... or even from a class photograph, and then invite some or all of your students to upload their own voice clips to the photo. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Implimentling technology into the classroom

This comment is in response to Kubat's posting entitled: Right or Wrong?


I think that teachers are often intimidated by technology, much like the arts. These are two things that many try and avoid, because they feel they have nothing to offer. The fact of the matter is that doing somehting is better then nothing.

(I made the very same comment directly in Kubat's blog and pressed the cocomment button, but am not sure how to post those comments on my blog, without creating a whole new one. Any suggestions? )


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


After watching the extreme power point makeover video by Dean, I realized there were a couple things I should take in to consideration when creating my own presentations. A lot of the tips were great, but nothing I haven't been told before. My thoughts at first were that "this was pretty self explanatory" . After listening to the end however, when Dean made the comment on how it is important to introduce these ideas to our students I realized I was taking my previous knowledge for granted. This is the exact opposite thing that I believe educators should do. I'm going to learn from this experience and try to make a point to remember how important it is to avoid getting caught up in what I already know, and start paying attention to what my students may not know.

Below is the video on extreme power point makeover:

Monday, July 16, 2007

My thoughts so far

I just wanted to make a quick comment about this weeks session. Not necessarily about the content, but rather about the delivery method. So far I am really enjoying this online class.

I like the fact that I am able to do other things, while not feeling guilty for multitasking. I find that in a typical classroom situation I often like to search for things on the internet, look up relevant topics, which ultimately keeps me engaged and focused.

I also like the fact that so far the sessions have been a collaborative effort between the instructor and students, as we have been able to contribute out imput and thoughts throughout the class.

Lastly, I wanted to comment on the chat box that appears on the size of each session. Often in class it is difficult, and commonly seen as rude to make comments while the instructor is talking. By having the chat box on the side, I feel as if it replaces "student chatting", and rather then being seen as something negative really compliments the lecture.

That’s all for now!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The power of youtube: graffiti art lesson idea

I was just thinking about what I could add to my blog that would possibly give some of you out there some ideas. I feel like I have been collecting a lot of resources lately and gather ideas, but have not been contributing.

Last semester I did a graffiti lesson with grade 9 and 12, which ended up being pretty successful. I started the lesson off by showing the class a video about graffiti as an art form. I found this on you tube, and had the person send me the file.

I kept in contact with this person, and he ended up being a great resource for me throughout this unit. He had completed his masters in education, and wrote his thesis on the art of graffiti, so there were many ideas to be shared. I thought this was incredible how i was able communicate with someone from half way around the world about something no one I personally knew was familiar with.

I believe it engaged the students and helped set up the debate between graffiti and vandalism vs. graffiti as an art form. Afterwards I showered a power point of various graffiti artist, techniques, styles, meanings, etc. (If anyone would like a copy of this PowerPoint just let me know).

To start with I had the students create tag names for themselves, but had them first use this site for inspiration and ideas: http://www.graffiticreator.net/index.htm

Anyway, that's all for now! I hope that I have gave someone out there some ideas :)

Selling Via Internet

I was browsing through some of the EDtech's blogs and happened to come across one of Couros that caught my attention: http://educationaltechnology.ca/couros/638 I too have had a similar situation like this. My friend wanted to sell a couple of her Craven tickets and was running out of time. She announced this to all her friends/co-workers/family, however, could not get rid of them. After hearing this, I changed my face book name to "TWO CRAVEN TICKETS FOR SALE: 120 each. Contact me a.s.a.p". Within minutes I received over 10 messages. This was an eye opener for me, as I realized there are much faster, more efficient ways of doing things when we are able to expand our social networks in secounds.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


MY BLOG WEEK ONE: July 11, 2007

Self Introduction:

Currently I am going into my fifth year of university and preparing for my internship this upcoming fall semester. I am in Arts Education, working on a major in Visual Arts and minor in English. I am also part of the digital internship program, which is what provoked me to take ECMP 455. I hope to develop a blog and other resources for my internship, but have a lot to learn.
I developed an interest in technology during my grade 12 year of high school after taking a multimedia class. During my pre-internship this past spring I discovered how blog’s can be in the classroom, as they offer every student the opportunity to connect and develop a relationship that may not have happened otherwise.