Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Engaging Generation Y(ouTube)

Creating Video for Instruction

Ben Archer, Linda Zehr, and Mary McGlasson from Chandler Gilbert Community College created a web page for their session that includes sample videos.

A faculty colleague, Matt Fisher, has filmed YouTube accounting lecture videos shot with a Flip video camera. They have tested video quality using a range of basic and more advanced Flip cameras and haven't noticed a large difference. They advised buying the least expensive Flip model.

Archer uses Camtasia to create instructional videos for online classes and discovered students have responded better to these than the narrated PowerPoints he previously used. Why? He includes an inset video of himself talking in the upper right corner of the videos. It establishes a human connection. Camtasia allows the scripts for lectures to be imported and converted into closed captions. This supports the college's goal to make online courses accessible.

Mary, aka mjmfoodie on YouTube, writes scripts, creates storyboards, and draws pictures on large index cards. She scans the cards in a receipt scanner and then uses MovieMaker to create her movies. Washington State University has asked permission to use her videos and agreed that their Open Course Library Project would create closed captioned versions.

Mesa Community College's video library is compiled at video.mesacc.edu. They used an OpenSource system provided by MediaCore.

Mary has assigned students to create video posters with Pluster. She shows them how to access Creative Commons-licensed videos on Flickr for these projects.

Mary's Delicious site with links to resources she has bookmarked is here.

OER (Open Resources)-- What, Where, Why and How

Donna Gaudet and Roberto Ribas, mathematics instructors from Scottsdale Community College, introduced Open Educational Resources (OERs) using a Mindomo mind map Donna has been compiling. Most of the resources -- including textbooks, labs, videos, animations, learning resources, graphics -- are licensed so they can be redistributed and repackaged.

Another good source for OERs is the OER Commons.

Gaudet's and Ribas' motivation was to find free resources so students would not need to purchase expensive textbooks. SCC is starting to note courses that don't require a textbook in the schedule of classes as are other colleges.

Ears and Hands-On Learning

The Library iTour for Developmental Education Students

Candace Komlodi, a GateWay Community College reading instructor in Phoenix, Arizona, and GateWay librarian Lili Kang use Sansa Fuze media players with developmental education students. They have designed the iTour, an interactive library tour to introduce the library and build information literacy skills through hands-on activities. The tour is preloaded on the player and is used in combination with a printed worksheet.

The iTour offers an alternative, self-paced delivery method. A key goal is to reduce research anxiety. The worksheet incorporates basic reading and critical thinking components beyond information literacy. Some of the activities require summarization.

The iTour has been used with students in a number of classes, including ESL classes.

As the program was in the planning process, a couple of students volunteered to be recorded for the iTour and offered to contribute their sound editing skills.

The project was funded with an Innovation Grants mini-grant from the Title V Grant Administration. Lili developed the goal and objectives for the project, researched the players, collaborated with faculty, IT staff, and the students and staff who did the recording and editing.

iTours began during fall semester in 2010. Ten classes participated in the pilot -- six RDG, one CPD150, and two ENG091 classes were involved in the iTour as an outside classroom assignment. An ENG071 class comprised predominantly of ESL students completed the iTour during class time with the instructor and librarian to help.

The iTour offered a solution to the frustration students experienced when more than one of their developmental class instructors scheduled library introductions. Instructors agreed the iTour would take the place of a traditional introduction.

Lili visited classes during the final ten minutes to introduce the iTour using a Prezi presentation to minimize student anxiety about the assignment. Lili also has created an iTour page on the library's website. One student provided feedback saying he would have liked the tour to be more difficult. There were several positive comments.

Circulation staff at the library resisted this program because it added to their workload. Equipment needs to be checked out and in and charged to be ready for the next student.

Lessons learned:
  • Add a library jargon glossary.
  • Have two versions of the worksheet available to accommodate different student reading levels.
  • Order enough earbud covers. They are replaced for sanitary concerns. Students are encouraged to use their own earphones.
  • Increase communication with library colleagues to discuss the extra workload.
  • Offer handheld equipment assistance to ESL students.
In the future, Lili wants to expand the iTour to CPD/AAA students by collaborating with the counseling faculty. When the new library at GateWay opens, a video tour will be added.

Image: Amazon.com

Keynote 2011 Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference

EdTech Transmissions: We Control the Vertical and Horizontal

Jim Groom, Instructional Technologist and Adjunct Professor at the University of Mary Washington, introduced blogging at UMW. Now there are 5109 UMW Wordpress blogs posted by 6656 users at this small university in Virginia. It's a community of students and faculty working together.

They used a blog to distribute student research on Civil War markers and realized how the community could be reached with this approach. They didn't dictate how students could use their blogs and Groom appreciates the creativity and the ability to capture and aggregate what has been happening at his institution. It's important to give students their own space -- "a domain of one's own" -- that they can take with them when they graduate.

Examples include an online exhibit, History of American Technology, has aggregated student research blogs on different aspects of the topic. Other blogs include documentation of the struggle to offer a women's studies program at UMW. Student travel blogs are aggregated in Study Abroad Blogs because over 35 students responded to the invitation to add their travel blogs' URLs to the site. Art students have used blogs as portfolios of their work. Some students are using their blogs to document all of their academic work. They post their research, writing, resumes, etc. The blog is a consistent space that can then be transferred to a post-graduation domain. Faculty who move to other institutions do this as well.

UMW analytics track visits, page views, and average time spent on the site. It's obvious from this data that the content the UMW community has created is generating hits.

Groom challenges MCCCD not to invest in Blackboard but rather to invest in people. It's a bigger institution and could really control the vertical and the horizontal!

The great Wikipedia project involved a faculty member whose students did library research to improve Wikipedia articles. The FA.team got involved.

An Asian American literature class started using the UMW Wiki to share resources for the class. Blog content can be moved into wikis to serve as an ongoing resource.

How are we thinking of the classroom itself as a space for revolution?

#ds106 is a digital storytelling course Groom has taught for three semesters. The last class was completely open. Anyone could submit assignments. It was available as an open online noncredit class. 150 people who were not students participated. He wanted to put students in a position of power. Students were told to obtain their own domains. They added their work to a central site. MOOC Students could submit their own assignments. Over 800 students submitted work. An assignment regarding iTunes playlists was permutated and appeared in various places online.

Take iconic media images from a movie or TV show. This became a dynamic repository to which many contributed.

DS106 Radio was an attempt to get away from Elluminate, which was dismissed as follows: "It's a box." They used a Nicecast server to broadcast from computers and used it to tell stories and play music. People from around the world could participate.

The next step was DS106TV for live broadcasting. Old media can be used in new ways. We need to imagine new uses for old tools that can be changed and reimagined.

Twitter offered a way for former students to participate in the class.

No one dropped the class. "They were in for life." This is a class about consistent engagement over time, not just a couple of papers and a final exam.

Minecraft, an online sandbox building video game, also was utilized.

This summer he'll teach the class as a character. When the instructor and students are all playing characters isn't that the ultimate digital storytelling class?

#4life - DS106 isn't necessarily a class. It's an experience, a way to share. Education is packaged but it should be a process, an experience.

You can listen to Jim Groom's keynote here.