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.
I see both TPACK and SAMR as important and valuable but SAMR has already been happening for most of us I think. I mean who among us hasn’t been doing SAMR just to be able to deliver some semblance of our curriculum? I know I have and I also know that along the way I’ve been augmenting and modifying. I must say, it’s largely been good! I think my best example is my Fallen Stars project which I’ve been doing for years now. Back when life was real prior to COVID, when a significant actor passed away I would hit their iMDB site and make a sign-up sheet. Every movie or TV project they did could be chosen and signed up for by students, also 1 student could sign-up for biography. Then students were given a bullet point list of items to research on iMDB and elsewhere. This whole thing would culminate with each student standing up in front of class and presenting the film/tv show (or biography) that they researched. Now, started with the tragic and untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman and the not untimely but tragic passing of Sir Sean Connery, we took the same approach except, SAMR happened. Now students all create slides to do their presentation; a collaborative Google slide deck. Criteria has been added that asks them decorate their slides with artwork from the TV show or film they’ve researched. Then during a class session, I scroll through the slides – the students unmute and present their slides when they come up. It’s worked out GREAT and now there is an artifact as a product that I’ll be saving and perhaps using in the future. I think this is a prime example of SAMR and once again I was already doing it before I learned about it. TPACK is clearly valuable as a concept and framework too, but feels more design based than re-design based, so my takeaway from this blog is SAMR for sure.
So I guess the overriding things I’d like to say to my pre 624 self are not all that dissimilar to Chris (blue robe guy in “Polar Express”). I’d say to myself believe…take a deep breath…don’t let the tech part make you crazy…BELIEVE. As it has come to pass, I’ve found that the things we’re discovering in this program, at least some of them, I’ve already been doing instinctively. Even with 628, I’ve set up the whole semester to be super UbD and UDL friendly including students grading themselves and choosing their own semester long SDP (Student Driven Project). I gained the confidence to take this approach from 624 and 625. In those courses I both learned brand new, ultra-stimulating things – or I discovered that I’m already doing it and I just didn’t know the correct nomenclature all this time. So, again, I’d say to my pre 624 self, chill….trust Dr. K….invest in her vision…all good. As for prompt 2, I’m primarily excited that I have a safe place to f*** up. I have an opportunity here to reach for the stars and potentially grab a lot of muck, but….I can do it here safely! I can count on my peers to give authentic feedback that is honest a well-intended! I can trust that my professor will give me feedback that is ultra insightful and beneficial, she really sees and understand me! Honestly, in 624 and 625 I played it safe – I did the do. In 628, with my peer students and Dr. K, I’m feeling safe taking a chance… I’m accustomed to being excellent, above par in my higher ed pursuits, that’s just how I roll, but here and now, I think I’m feeling safe to really go beyond my comfort zone. Wish me luck!! As for “Where do you see the greatest potential for your continued growth and why that (those) area(s)?” – for me I think it’s in feedback. I want to put more depth in my feedback – funny I feel safe saying that now, in 628. But it’s real now in a different way, so, ya – I was so struck by Dr. K giving individual, video feedback in 624 – each with our very own sign and prop. WOW. That blew me away – she missed nobody…. I understand the time that takes – but holy cow, does it make a difference! I actually delivered a mid-term project based on a Dr. K idea – and I held it over until this semester, in terms of scoring, because I want to give super meaningful feedback to every student. I’ll admit I’m still providing some of that feedback via typing text, but that’s just a technology issue. I’m thinking Canvas might just help me do that. I know we’re supposed to set up a fake sort of Canvas thing, but I think I want to incorporate it NOW! If nothing else, for the threaded conversation component. 628 – 628…bring it!!!!!
So our final blog for Eduu625 is a self-reflection. We are reflecting on our own practice in terms of how compliant we are to the 5 iNACOL standards we focused on in this class. So each of the 5 iNACOL standards appears below along with a 1-2 point score for each. Here’s how I’ve assigned point to myself: 2 points for Yes, I get this and do (or will do this); 1 point for I kind of get this and might do it (or I do this infrequently); and 0 for I don’t get this, I don’t plan on doing this (or I don’t do this now).
iNACOL Standards for EDUU 625:
Standard E My self-score= 2
The online teacher models, guides, and encourages legal, ethical, and safe behavior related to technology use. I am feverishly committed to quelling plagiarism but I also am careful to maintain student safety since so much of what we do in Drama is collaborative.
Standard F My self-score= 2
The online teacher is cognizant of the diversity of student academic needs and incorporates accommodations into the online environment. I’m no perfect teacher, but I have always worked hard to honor and incorporate each student’s diversity and I have been pretty good about accommodating online activities for those students who need it.
Standard G My self-score= 2
The online teacher demonstrates competencies in creating and implementing assessments in online learning environments in ways that ensure validity and reliability of the instruments and procedures. I used to be not so good in this area, but of late, I’ve been embracing 21st century tools such as flipping my classroom and making explanatory videos. I’ve also improved the way I make rubrics – I blatantly “borrowed” the rubric format that has been used for us in these classes.
Standard H My self-score= 2
The online teacher develops and delivers assessments, projects, and assignments that meet standards-based learning goals and assesses learning progress by measuring student achievement of the learning goals. I have always been very standards aligned – I was trained to do that! I also employ a variety of formal and informal, formative and summative assessments per assignment. Students receive the benefit of my feedback, but also their peer’s feedback.
Standard I My self-score= 2
The online teacher demonstrates competency in using data from assessments and other data sources to modify content and to guide student learning. I have many times thrown assignments out because the majority of students didn’t do well. When that happens it’s not their fault, it’s mine and I’m very open about mistakes both mine and those committed by my students
I thought about it after the fact and realized that the problems I joked about following the link to the article we were supposed to read actually led me to being a 21st Century Learner! I ran into a problem, determined a solution, executed the solution and completed the assignment. This is EXACTLY a skillset we want our 21st Century learners to acquire and master! Funny how things work sometimes isn't it?
Though the link that was provided to access and read “Designing Curation for Student Engagement” (2019) never worked no matter how much time I devoted to waiting for it connect forcing me to search the internet myself for this article causing much wasted time, there was a payoff once I got to it. The prompt for this blog entry begins by asking “Is there a difference between curating and collecting?” and I believe that yes, there is absolutely a difference! The article, once I finally got to it, stated “studies suggest that curation can be more effective as a means to engage students in processes of assessment and feedback than almost any other activity (McDowell et al 2006).” Curating in my frame of mind, suggests thoughtfully assembling materials to support a curricular goal. Collecting in my frame of mind suggests, gathering materials not necessarily to support a curricular goal or even an overarching goal of any kind. One curates a collection of images to make a certain point, all the entries of a curated collection work together to express the curator’s intent. One creates a collection of materials for the fun of it, or perhaps to keep those materials in one place for their own use. The bottom line point is, a collection doesn’t have an agenda, a curated collection does. This is how I would explain it were I to be mentoring a teacher who is focusing on meaningful forms of assessment and multiple tools that may be of value to us and our students. A student curated group of artifacts can be very much similar to a portfolio or could even be a part of said portfolio. A curated group of artifacts that is student generated and curated over time with formative feedback from us as learning facilitators, is great for students because it allows them to express their learning in their way, and it’s great for us because it gives us insight into the mastery our students have gained (or not). The article, that my browser is STILL as I write this trying to access LOL, states “curating is an exceptionally powerful way to engage students. “it forces you to commit to your work’, asserts a PhD student at UCL, describing her experience of arranging and showing paintings.” The next part of the prompt asks “How can curating be an authentic assessment tool or is this an inappropriate use of a digital activity?” This a powerful question actually. Is it ok for us to ask and/or require our students to put their personal learning experiences online? Does that violate their privacy? I can say very honestly that my jury is still out on this question! I’m very interested in asking students, over the next semester, to curate a Pinterest board about Drama 1, but then again, I am concerned about student privacy. I feel like some students will shy away from genuine, authentic engagement in a curation activity due to privacy concerns, but I also feel like it’s not really a privacy violation because nobody really knows the identity of the curator. Maybe the ticket is in the criteria we provide for such a curation. Maybe if we’re mindful and careful in what we ask students to curate publically, we can overcome student concerns. I haven’t come to an absolute position on this yet. But again, I am feeling VERY interested in asking students to curate. We were asked to include “3 specific concepts or comments” from this course which included the ability to reference a video that didn’t work. So, I decided to do some research above and beyond the materials provided in this course and came across a fantastic article called “To Boost Higher Order Thinking, Try Curation” (2017) by Jennifer Gonzalez. This article, which I HIGHLY recommend, states (among other gems including how curation fits into Bloom’s Taxonomy and specific examples of how you can ask students to curate) that ”The process can be applied to all kinds of content: A person could curate a collection of articles, images, videos, audio clips, essays, or a mixture of items that all share some common attribute or theme.“ This helps me address the final component of this prompt which is “One last thing to consider in this post: what kinds of legal and ethical issues could be an issue in curating? If you believe there are none, please state that and explain why you feel this way. If you feel there are or could be legal or ethical issues, please explain your thinking.” I think there for sure could be ethical issues if a student curates plagiarized material in any way, shape or form. But if we as part of our formative work with curating students stay on top of our students’ work, this can be averted. Other than that, a curated group of materials could include materials that are already public, as described in the afore mentioned article, so as long as our student curators credit people properly, ethical and legal issues should be averted. As I conclude this blog post, my browser is STILL trying to access the provided resource. Sometimes you just gotta solve problems for yourself!
Gonzalez, Jennifer (2017 April 15) To Boost Higher Order Thinking, Try Curation [Website] CultofPedagogy.com, https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/curation/
Hallett, R., Grindle, N. Designing Curation for Student Engagement (2019 November) [Journal] Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal Vol 2, Issue 3, https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085668/7/Grindle_Designing%20curation%20for%20student%20engagement_VoR.pdf
McDowell, L., Sambell, K., Bazin, V., Penlington, R., Wakelin, D., Wickes, H., & Smailes, J. (2006). Assessment for Learning: Current Practice Exemplars from the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning [Website] www.academia.edu, https://www.academia.edu/23651832/Assessment_for_Learning_Current_practice_exemplars_from_the_Centre_for_Excellence_in_Teaching_and_Learning
The data being gathered by students in these immersive simulations, primarily, is real time feedback on how they’re doing. This is integral to the 21st century learner as we learned in the Brown video we saw in 624 (2013). On a completely off-topic side note, John Seely Brown is a hero to me! 21st Century learners want immediate feedback like they’re used to getting from video games and the like. They want to, as soon as possible, understand clearly what is needed for them to level up in their learning! In my world, the world of drama, it’s hard to imagine how to use an immersive situation as shown in the video we watched, but I suppose such an environment could potentially be used to facilitate certain kinds of learning in the drama world. Specifically, set, sound, light, prop and costume design. They could conceivably actually create designs for a virtual performance to be given on a virtual stage. I could guide students through how to make design choices based on information from the script and have them journal their experience experimenting with design choices. I could serve as director of the virtual production and give notes on their design choices, send them back to the drawing board, and receive updated design concepts. Production design paperwork could be included that could be altered as the design process happens, then at the very end they could present their designs explaining how they came to their final design choices. I would also, for sure, have a reflective element so they can reflect on their experience and share insights on their own learning. On top of all that, I would provide feedback on things I had seen in their process, so they’d get a variety of feedback; from peers, from themselves and from me! Ya, I think that could work. I would likely take quite a bit of time to set up, but once set up, could be a very valuable medium for student learning that would encourage engagement, reflection and mastery of design concepts and the creative/design process in general.