How do I feel I “did” thus far in my “first stab” at instructional design in relation to UDL? Well, I feel this is not my first stab at instructional design in general, it is however my first stab at instructional design that digs this deeply into the preparation steps. I’ve designed lots of units but I’ve never gone through this process before, so in that respect I think I did pretty good. I have multiple elements to my summative assessment, I have tons of formative assessments, students have many opportunities to make choices about the work, there is SLT going on in multiple ways, I have tons of student reflection and I have feedback coming to students in multiple ways. I also think my unit scaffolds pretty well; it gives students lots of background information and build skillsets that culminate in the final artifact they produce. All the activities are UDL friendly and there is room for assistive technology to be utilized with little to no modification. UDL was definitely on my mind when designing this unit in a way it never has been before and I believe that’s a good thing! As for what elements that we’ve learned about so far will I bring with me into the next and final course, SAMR (which really should be RMAS according to the graphic hehe) is an area where I think I’ve made lot of growth and I have a new ease of mind when considering how to bring tech into my practice. Even now I’m using MOTE to give feedback to my students as they navigate their SDP projects (student driven project) and I’ve added the creation of a collaborative slide deck into my existing Fallen Stars activity which has made it MUCH better, MUCH more interesting, MUCH more UDL friendly and much more engaging. These things will be sticking around and I’m pretty confident that I’ll continue to seek out and experiment with technology in my practice. All in all what I’ve learned in these courses has made me a much better facilitator of learning experiences and has awaken my mind in a way that has been very transformative. Ed.D. I’m comin’ for ya!
628 Week #6 - Canvas!
Well I must say I was intimidated by Canvas as I am with any new technology but it is something I want to use not only to satisfy requirements for 628 and 629 but for my practice in general. If for nothing else, I very much want to start using threaded conversations with my students. I’m happy to report that I was able to get everything done rather quickly – Canvas is indeed very easy to navigate and operate which helps me not feel intimidated by the huge amount of things it can do. I did approach the sample stuff tonight with humor which always makes things easier for me, but I was able to do so quickly and with ease as I do when creating a PowerPoint – that makes me a happy camper! I really do want to dive in and start using Canvas with my students but I also think it would be wise to not jump into it prematurely. I think using Canvas is something I can bring into my classes next year, regardless of what the model is at that time. I do have a Chrome cart in my room since I teach APEX, so I’m lucky that I’ll be able to incorporate technology into my Drama classes in a MUCH more significant way than I have previously. This program in general has really opened me up to embracing new technology. Just tonight I came across a new technology called “Kritik” which sets out to be “transforming students into critical thinkers through peer assessment.” Peer assessment is such a huge part of my demo unit and my practice in general, I hope to be able to find some time to dig into this a little and see what it’s all about. As for Canvas, I really was left in a good place after playing (and I really was playing hehe). While it has such a vastly huge array of functions, I’m not scared because everything I’ve played with so far has gone very smoothly and I feel like I have a high degree of confidence that if I get stuck either Canvas itself will help me, or I can track down help. Canvas is working out to be one of the big takeaways of this program!
Now having received feedback on my summative assessment, I began to think deeper than I has originally. I found Susan’s feedback to be interesting, that is the idea of doing a podcast. I hadn’t considered asking students to do a podcast which is a much bigger part of their world than old radio shows. Still mulling that one over. My only concern is the live performance aspect that would be lost and I really want them to experience that part of it. The demo build this week also got me to think a tad more specifically about things. All in all – it’s been good! As for how it felt to record myself talking about something still in progress, it felt ok. Explaining something gives one a pretty intimate insight into one’s work! I liked making the video – I enjoy making Screencast O Matic videos! I’ve been using that tool with my current students as well and making the video actually gave me some inspirations, real time! I’ve had the experience when I’ve made videos for my students as well, as I’m going over the written instructions I’ve given them in the video, I’ve often heard myself saying things and sharing perspectives that I hadn’t in the written form! Bingo!!!
I chose to work with Screencast-O-Matic. I bought an account and have already been using it, but I haven’t been utilizing it to its fullest potential and I haven’t made my videos fully accessible yet. I learned that captions can be added to videos, but so far it appears they have to be typed in manually in the editing room. I really wish it could just record voice to text. There appears to be a way I can do that by using Google voice – but apparently it requires Google creating that after the fact, then presumably I’d have to add the file to the Screencast-O-Matic video after the fact in the editing mode. I haven’t yet mastered that yet. I also learned that I can do a green screen and put anything I want behind me. I can also include music played from my computer, during recording as well as adding sound effects. Most of the accessibility features I learned about have to be done after the video has been recorded in the editing process. This creates an extra chore and doubles if not triples the time I’d have to spend making the video. I wish it was easier and that I could at least have the captions record, voice to text, right in the recording process – that would make things so much easier. Just the ability to make videos while going over written instructions is tremendously helpful and really is all about accessibility in and of itself I suppose. It’s been a GREAT tool and has allowed me to flip my class room which has been hugely beneficial because it’s allowed me to have more time actually working with my students. I will continue to play with Screencast-O-Matic, but I’m allowing myself to take my time so I don’t become overwhelmed. The videos I make may not be pretty yet and they don’t have closed captioning, yet, but eventually they will!
Some of the more than 2-3 takeaways I got from the reading this week that I didn't realize were hiding in plain sight within good old Word, Excel, and or PowerPoint were:
As for what simple, non-flashy tool or resource I go back to time and time again because it empowers me to accomplish your task or goal, I revert back to PowerPoint once again. I just love that program, I love making PowerPoints and I create strong presentations! I feel like it gives me a vehicle for my teaching voice. It allows me to incorporate my creative side but also my humor side. I use a lot of humor in my practice you see and PowerPoint supports and aids that.
As for “why do we tend to overlook the simple, everyday things for something sleeker or more polished?” I think it’s just the nature of the human beast. My arrows are better than yours because I made them snazzy. Both arrows work just the same, but the appearance of mine makes me better. It’s that same yearning, in my view, that keeps technology and gaming moving forward so rapidly. We yearn to, and please pardon the cliché, keep up with the Jones’ if not surpass them! It goes beyond practicality to vanity really. But again, I believe it’s part of being a human animal – the nature of the beast.