Archive | October 2012

Michelle Morley’s Presentation

The main message I got out of Michelle’s presentation was that educators need to keep in mind are the four C’s (Create, Collaborate, Communicate, and Critical Thinking Skills).  When I think of being a Math teacher, my mind keeps going back to how I was taught which was basically only through direct instruction, but what Michelle was telling us is that we need to get our students involved in the classroom (using these four C’s and technology).

Some of the technology discussed that I’ve heard of included skype, wiki, Edmodo, YouTube, pinterest, twitter, and Google +.  A few of these, including pinterest and Google + , I have never thought of using in the classroom and I think these are technologies that I would like to look into to use in my classroom.

There were quite a few technologies that Michelle brought up that I have never heard of before and would like to look into: stixy,, and snapguide.

I really liked how we could have a presenter without them actually being there.  I did like Adobe Pro, although I wish that the webcam was hooked up.  This is because I find I can pay attention better and focus on what the presenter is trying to say when I can see their face and the body language their using rather than just watching screen shots.  Other than that, I really liked Adobe Pro and would definitely use it in my classroom say for example if it was a snow day, I was sick, or needed to provide a tutorial session for my students outside of class.

Cyber Safety Guidelines Article

Here is an article called “Guidelines and Resources for Internet Safety in Schools” by the Virginia Department of Education.  Specifically for teachers, read pages 13 – 15.  If interested, this does provide a lot of general information for others including parents, administrators, and school boards.  It also discusses integrating internet safety into curriculum content instruction.  You can find all the page numbers for these under the table of contents.

Photo Story 3

As promised, here is a blog about Photo Story 3.

So first off, if you want to know what Photo Story is, it is a Microsoft program that turns a number of photos into a movie, where you can edit the photo and add your own voice or music.

Some of the features are:

  • easy to use
  • step by step (well organized I guess you could say)
  • edit photos (limited to changing colour of photo though)
  • text on photos
  • add animations
  • preset time for photos or you can custom set the timing for the photos
  • change order of photos
  • once the story is saved, you can go back and edit it
  • can have more than one story being created at a time

A downfall that I found with this is that editing the photo is really limited.  With the program that my laptop came with to take photos using the webcam, you can add silly effects like mustaches or hats to it, I would have liked to use this on some of the photos to make them a little silly.  Another downfall is that there is no place to directly upload it to (unlike screencast-o-matic, which I used to show how I made one of my photo stories).  It wasn’t hard to figure out though (at least for me), I tried using Google docs and it worked, so simple alternative to that downfall (also I don’t have the video upgrade for my blog).

A good question for me would be: Where would I use this in my teaching?  Being a math major, business minor, I don’t think I’d use this in my classroom (maybe if I’m giving a quick presentation on a person in math/business, but other than that I can’t really think of anything).  I think this could be great for a English class where the teacher/student could create a presentation/movie on a book or poem that they read.  Also, this could be used in a social/history class on a presentation on a topic/event that they covered, like WWII.

Here is the screencast-o-matic where I am showing how to use Photostory.

Here is the final result of the Photo Story I made in the screencast-o-matic video.

If you want to add anything, comment, etc feel free to do so below in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!

P.s. if anyone is looking for a good laugh, I just noticed a feature with screencast-o-matic where you can slow down and speed up the video.  I found it hilarious so if you’re bored, click on my link and put your mouse over the video and a pop up with appear and you can slow down the video or make it faster.  I know it’s poking fun at me but I’m okay with it! 😛

No Limits

The article No Limits, by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, discusses how teachers need to find newer and more ways to integrate technology in such a way that is more meaningful to students.  A study has shown that “one quarter of today’s students agree that school is meaningful or their courses are interesting.”  The student’s that are in school now and that will be entering our schools are digital learners, so we as teachers need to find newer and more engaging ways to teach using technology.  I thought she was spot on with this point because I remember back in my high school, my teacher had a smart board but the only way that she used it was to write on the handout she gave us so she could do it with us, which is almost exactly how she had taught her lessons beforehand which she just put on an overhead projector and filled it in with a marker.  So really, she wasn’t really using the technology to improve her lessons any differently or in a more engaging way.  So, I think teachers need to be investing more time into finding different ways to teach their lessons with technology and attend workshops or professional development events that can help achieve this.

I don’t completely agree with the author’s statement: “If you expose students to technology, they are much more ready to do these things that we think.”  I don’t agree with this statement mainly because exposure is not the problem, kids are being exposed and learning at a very young age how to use technology.  For example, Dr. Couros talked about in one of his presentations how his daughter, who I believe he said was 3 or 4, was able to make and edit a video.  Also, nowadays, if you go on YouTube, you can find young people who can edit and create videos that are up to par with the film makers who make millions doing celebrities music videos.  An example is of a 16 year old boy who dances to Beyonce’s song “Countdown.”  This boy is able to create and edit videos just as professional as famous film editors can who have had years of experience.  So, unless maybe I just misinterpreted the statement, I don’t believe that students need to be exposed, I think that teachers are the ones that need to be exposed.

One thing that the author mentioned was how a class used Photostory.  I have honestly never heard of this before and I am very interested in learning about it.  Perhaps this will be the focus of my next blog…


Here’s a link to the reading!