Showing posts from June, 2009

What I Learned - Part 2

There were several specific things I learned in relation to my media project this month. My intention was to find out as much as I could about displaying videos and video segments on a web page and add some sort of interactivity. Some of the things I learned:embed video (from another site) in a blog or other websiteembed a portion of a video (from another site) using begin and end pointsusing a program called embedr, I can set up a display list of videos segmentsa website on Wetpaint is easy to set up, looks nice, and incorporates video nicelyWetpaint only incorporates video from YouTube, Google video, and Hulu, which rules out my hopes to use embedr!Animoto may be a good presentation tool for parts of my project, keeping things interesting and varied.taking a clip from a DVD and incorporating it directly into a web page While these are some of the specifics, I did get a much better overall sense of what I want this media project to be. Through my experiments and exploration, I have id…

What I Learned - Part 1

I thought that this final project for the Media Asset Creation course as part of my Education Media Design and Technology masters program at Full Sail University was going to be easier than the "Show me what you know" project from week #1 because it only covered this month while that project covered eight months. I was slightly mistaken! In looking back, there has been plenty that I have learned, discovered, and explored. Between looking for relevant tools, reading for my thesis, writing blogs posts, and going on MANY tangents, I feel that I have learned much and hopefully become better prepared for my students come this fall.

Caution - Wetpaint (Wk 4 #5 EDM613)

One of the programs suggested to me for development of my media project was Wetpaint ( It is a wiki that has more functionality and design options than pbworks, which has been the wiki of choice for my classes. The reason Wetpaint was mentioned is my need to incorporate video and it did not disappoint. It is easy to update text and add video, as long as the video links are to YouTube, Hulu, or Google video. I typically use Safari but Wetpaint works better with Firefox, allowing more functionality.

The "practice" project I am developing using Wetpaint is actually a real site for the faculty at my school. I have started a summer technology institute for faculty and hope to create a page that corresponds to each of the sessions. My hope is create an organized, easy to use, and non-overwhelming site for faculty to reference. I have found that many of those teachers not using these technologies need a gentle nudge as to WHY, WHAT, and then HOW. I want the site t…

Outside Outside Reading (Wk 4 #4 EDM613)

I began reading Daniel Willingham's Why Don't Students Like School? last week (while I should have been writing my thesis) but I thought that I could justify the outside reading for a few reasons. I came across the book through one of my feeds as part of an online discussion forum with teachers from all over the world. I had never participated in a discussion of this sort and thought it would be great to learn and share with teachers in this way. The second justification is that the book probably contains something I could use in my thesis so it would not be a total detour. And finally, I figured I was learning some new ideas about teaching and the classroom and it sounded like it would work well with Zander's The Art of Possibility. All was not a total loss.

After having read just the first two chapters, I have come across several ideas and practices that will be very useful as I think about my teaching for next year. An idea that Willingham discusses concerning engagemen…

Adding a chat window to my site (Wk4 #3 EDM613)

I have been attempting to find a good chat window to use with my class blog and wiki but the gadgets that came with the programs were not very useful for my purposes. I may have found the solution with a program called Yaplet. Students click an icon, type in their name, and begin chatting real-time. The chat is saved and continued when a new session is begun. Now my students not only have the ability to read and respond in the comment section but in a chat window as well. And both are saved for further study and review.

Be the Board (Wk4 #2 EDM613)

This scene from The Karate Kid (1984) clearly conveys what Zander is saying in The Art of Possibility when describing the idea of Being the Board. The example Zander gives is when the boss of someone does not listen to his advice. Instead of blaming the boss, he looks at the situation and decides to "design a conversation that matters to him," enrolling him in his idea.

Once again, this is another example of a paradigm shift in looking at the student who is totally disinterested. I have found myself too often quick to blame the student in this situation. The student may be upset not with the content itself, but with the fact that he is not engaged with the content. On some level that student desires to be engaged with the material. As a teacher, how do I engage him? A "good" teacher, like Miyagi, will find a way. I will have to be like "Daniel-san" in this instance and become a good student in order to strive to be that "good" teacher. Wax on, w…

Sparks of possibility (Wk 4 #1 EDM613)

Rosamund Zander, in The Art of Possibility, defines the term "enrollment" as "the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share" (p. 125). I am not sure there is a better term or definition to describe the art of teaching as this one does. While I know that I do not actually light the sparks in my students as much as I would like, I am pretty sure that they appreciate the energy and enthusiasm necessary to generate those sparks nonetheless.

Image from, accessed June 22, 2009.

Life Imitates Art (Wk3 #5 EDM613)

I received a link to the following video through Twitter and have been following the messages that have come out of Iran with the #iranelection hashtag. As I was watching this video, I could not help but think of "Horton Hears a Who" and parallels that can be drawn to the voices and calls for help coming out of that country. Who will be their Horton?

Wk3 - Scratch tutorial

Both Scratch and Alice peeked my interest because I teach a computer programming course. I have worked with the Alice program in the past and although it looks very interesting and powerful, it seemed to have a steep learning curve. I had seen the Scratch program and realized that I had actually already downloaded but had never worked through it.

The Scratch tutorial was a limited but well done introduction to the program. It walks the viewer through the basics and was enough to get me started. I am almost certain that my background in programming helped me understand it more so than a student new to programming would, so I think that I will need to work with students beyond this tutorial to get them up and running. Once they have done so, I think this program is a great introduction to the basics of program and will give them the background needed to understand the concepts as we cover them in class. It is fun, easy, and educational. What more could you ask for?

Ron Smith interview in segments

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Video copyright Full Sail University 2009.

I broke the interview up into several sections based on the Dr. Ludgate questions. The questions I created are associated with each segment but I need to figure out how to display those. Can I access them while playing, that is the question.
Here are the questions, by segment, to be answered in the comment section.
1. Hollywood High
How is Hollywood High different from most high schools in terms of goals for its students?
A: Most are on a career path to Hollywood jobs.
2. Current media trends for HH students
What is the "hot" media with students at Hollywood High?
A: animation, and in particular, Flash
3. Ron Smith teaching style.
What technologies did Ron Smith try in his classroom before most teachers?
A: podcast and texting
How are Ron Smith's assignments different than those assigned in a "traditional" class?
A: Students have several options as to the format of what they turn …

Week 3 Reading (EDM613)

What I have appreciated most about The Art of Possibility is that it is written by educators and they give an overview perspective as opposed to a content one. In "It's All Invented," I wonder if the example given is where "think outside the box" comes from? My thought is that if we think outside the box, what does that say about our head?

"Stepping into a Universe of Possibility" started the question of measurement and really set me up for the next chapter, "Giving an A." I really wrestled with the idea of measurement in the classroom and how I view my grades for students. Are my grading scale and the standards I hold my students to invented? It was only when he gave the approach he has in the classroom about giving an A and then having students write in past tense on how they earned it that I saw the power of this approach. Stephen Covey, in 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, has readers "Begin with the End in Mind" in the same…

Video clips clipped (EDM613 Wk3 #2)

Video clips will be a key component to my thesis media project. One of the things I think I will need to do is to present a portion of a video clip that may be located on YouTube. My hope was to create an embed link that allowed me to add a code to the end to designate the start time and end time (or length) of the clip to display. That way, if a video was 5 minutes long but I only wanted to examine 25 seconds, that is all that would display.

I was able to find the code needed to display a clip beginning at a certain point (add #t=##m##s to the end of the URL) but was not able to find how to end the clip presentation. I experimented with many different and logical (at least I thought anyway) possibilities but to no avail. I was able to find two sites (TubeChop and Splicd) that gave me the option of putting in the URL and the start and end time and it created the URL. The one that worked the best for me was TubeChop because it allowed me to embed the code to the video clip in my blog w…

Online notes using presentation tools and Flickr (EDM613 Wk3 #1)

I am planning to have students put notes online each day next year and I thought presentation tools may be a much more interesting format to use. Students can create the slides and save each as an image. Those images can then be placed on a Flickr account and organized by topic. Using a presentation tool such as Animoto they can present the notes for viewing by other students. I tested the process using cell phone pictures my kids took on our first "Mystery Ride Monday" trip of the summer. The pictures were emailed to me and then I created a "set" in my Flickr account for the pictures. Animoto will go to the set and grab all the pictures in the order I have arranged them. It is a quick and simple process to create a 30-second "review" of the material from a class, for a test, or even field trip.

Wk2 #5 - Reading (EDM613)

I was very excited to read Jenkins' statement, "For a growing number of young Americans, images may represent as important a set of rhetorical resources as texts" (p. 233). That may seem contradictory for a literature teacher to be saying, but my excitement was in the fact that my thesis work is in finding media (images and movies) examples of literary terms and this helps support my belief that it is important for students to see the literary terms as well as read about them. I have also been reading "Reading in the Dark" by John Golden and he has seen marked improvement in his students' ability to analyze and critique literature by learning to do the same with film. By making students more aware of the images they see everyday online and in the media, they will learn how to judge content and read what is presented to them with better understanding. (photo from

What Harry Potter can teach us about writing (EDM613 Wk2 #4)

In Henry Jenkins' "Convergence Culture," he discusses the way students have been inspired to write about the Harry Potter novels as interpreters and creators. I thought about how much writing I have my students do and I am determined to give them more opportunities to write next year. This chapter solidified that for me because I can approach the writing using the Harry Potter method and be confident of success in student engagement. 
This method is simply this: begin by having the students write about something they are interested in or about which they have a working knowledge. Jenkins makes several points that support this approach:Because they are already familiar with the topic, they can spend time mastering the writing craft and working on how to communicate their intended message.
When they are writing about fictional characters it provides a distance between them and the character, allowing them the freedom to reflect and then express.They will develop a relevant v…

Finding Podcasts in iTunes (EDM613 Wk2 #3)

I have found the MacMost tutorials very well done and helpful. The tutorial on using iTunes to find podcasts was no exception. I have not used iTunes very much at all so this gave me a chance to see how useful it can be. The tutorial cleared up a possible confusion initially as to where to find the podcasts, explaining that the podcast option in the menu is actually your own podcasts and not a place to search. In working my way through the different layers I found those podcasts dealing with education and can now search for a few to use in my discussion board entries. This is helpful on several fronts!

Several tutorials - iMovie '09 (EDM613 Wk2 #2)

Even though I do not own iMovie '09, I decided to work my through some of the tutorials to see what is available on the newer version that I may be interested in using. "Enjoying and Organizing Your Videos" was a good overview of how the videos are organized when they are created (not new to me) and how to rename or even combine (new to me) events. There was a noticeable difference between the way audio is handled in "Trimming Edits between Video Clips" in that it can be overlapped and changed. This was a powerful effect that I can take advantage of when I would like to keep an original soundtrack but lay different video on top. "Cropping and Rotating" was not new in the cropping sense but was in the rotating ability. I see that as something that may get annoying if used indiscriminately. Themes are something new that we mentioned in "Adding Themes and Titles" and I definitely think I would use those. Finally, "Add Animated Travel Maps&…

Show Me What You Know

The video is a sampling of the many things I have learned as part of the Education Media Design and Technology Masters program at Full Sail University. In working on this assignment, I had an opportunity to examine and review eight months of effort and learning. The video above uploaded to the class YouTube page, a process that was much easier than the one needed for the Viddler account.

Adding video embed to a blog (EDM613 Wk2 #1)

I have set up an account on in an attempt to upload videos links to my blog. One of the reasons I choose Viddler is its ability to allow the user to make comments during the course of the film, which is something I may want students to be able to do in my thesis media project. This particular video is one that I created in an early class. There were several problems initially in uploading the video as it gave me error messages but did not explain what the error was. After several attempts it worked! I then attempted to post to my blog from viddler but had no success. This was posted by hand using cut and paste of the link.

Week 1 in a flash (EDM613 Wk1 #5)

Looking ahead at week one for the course I had expected loads of extra time to complete projects as my school year wound down and I only had to proctor and give exams. It's amazing how much I was wrong. That extra time filled up so fast it was Sunday night before I knew it. I guess after eight months I should be used to that by now.One of the most productive parts of the week was examining everything I had done so far in the Education Media Design and Technology Masters program at Full Sail University. It gave me chance to appreciate how far I have come. And yet, how far I have to go. To my habits I am adding something new: blogging. It is something I had planned to do more of and this is my opportunity to develop a voice and rhythm. I have found the reading extremely relevant and I wonder if part of the reason is because I am just getting better at it through practice in this program. I have found the tutorials somewhat helpful but I have issues when the person works through the …

CS Bridge introduction (EDM613 Wk1 #4)

I have partially watched several of the tutorials given in the list and the one I have found most useful so far was the introduction to Adobe Bridge ("Why use CS Bridge?"). I had never heard of Bridge and that is one of the reasons I chose to watch. While it is probably longer than it needs to be for an introductory video, it is well presented and the speaker seemed prepared for what he was going to say. I have had some difficulties working with the Adobe Suite programs and this should make things a little easier to navigate, if nothing else.

Twitter can be useful to teachers (EDM613 Wk1 #3)

A few months ago I found out about Twitter and created an account. My wife did the same thing at that time and after about 15 minutes of exploration neither of us was convinced that there was anything worthwhile in it. She said "Let me know when you find something useful to do with it" and was done. It has taken a while and although I still haven't found a reason for her to use it, it has become a valuable tool in my learning as an educator.

The list of those I follow has taken time to build. It began with people I knew (not many Twitters!) and through online real-time discussion forums such as educhat and Classroom 2.0 has grown to include teachers throughout the world. The people I follow generally have suggestions and ideas of web tools to use in the classroom (and beyond) with my students. I recently received a tweet about a kindergarden teacher sending tweets during the school day keeping the parents in the loop and encouraging them to ask their children about the s…

A product placement idea (EDM613 Wk1 #2)

I don't think I could ever have been convinced that there was some educational value to be gleaned from American Idol or Survivor. But that was before reading Henry Jenkins' (2006) "Convergence Culture." In my previous post I mentioned a connection I saw between Survivor "spoilers" and student collaboration. In literature, a "spoiler" can be the student who finishes the book on his own and can't help but share the information with classmates. They love to know a secret and have a tough time keeping it to themselves. In teaching literature, I need to learn something from these "secret sharers" and do more of it myself. But in this case, it connects to the practice of product placement on American Idol which I have to admit, albeit very reluctantly, may contain some educational merit. 
With product placement in mind, I need to start working on "idea" placement.  Too often I have my students read something and expect them to se…

Survivor Spoilers in education (EDM613 Wk1 #1)

I am currently reading Henry Jenkins' "Convergence Culture" and was struck how the idea of collective intelligence applies to Survivor "spoilers" and also transfers to the classroom.  The idea of collective intelligence centers on virtual communities who rely on the combined expertise of the members to accomplish something collectively. In the case of Survivor, they pool their resources in an attempt to figure out what, where, and who about the show before each airing. An undergraduate in history likened the skills of spoiling to that of cultivating skills as a student. 

That is where there is much to be learned from the process of spoiling. What enthuses the spoilers is not the possession of knowledge, but the process of acquiring that knowledge. They work together from all over the world with a common purpose and goal. This same process happens in the classroom at times (I wish I were able to facilitate it much more often in mine) and can also happen online. T…