EDLD 5366 Course Embedded Reflection


This course has included several aspects of digital graphics upon which I have gained new perspective in relationship to using them in an educational setting. The use of design elements provided a structure to a wide variety of multimedia products that both teachers and students can use in a learning situation. This structure, I have found, acts as a set of guidelines but allows creativity so a student may not feel as if they are creating the same product as everyone else in the class. I have also determined that students already use the design elements which we experienced through newsletters, logo creation, and website design. I feel that students of today implement the design elements through such tools as avatars, social media pages about themselves and sharing of information through Web 2.0 tools that allow them to be creative. In relation to the avatars, personal branding is, according to Marshall Goldsmith (2009) "is an important asset in today’s online, virtual, and individual age" (para.5). Students want to be know and our job as facilitators is to help them recognized the elements of C.R.A.P. within their own media experiences so that they represent themselves as who they really are. This, I believe will help them to refine how they represent themselves and their learning in a manner that is appealing to them to use and a format that a teacher can see as acceptable.

Working with others during the website construction was an individual and group focus. As we each chose a part of the website to develop, we were challenged to provide information in a manner that related to the other parts of the site and created a flow of information that would interest those who visited. The most important learning experience of the development of the website was the ease with which we evaluated the website as a whole as if we had individually created the entire site. Mike Rundle (2006) qualified something that we all agreed upon for the design of our website as he stated, “Quality alignment and spacing is the hallmark of good web design” (Alignment, para.1). We worked as a collective team to add, delete, change and evaluate the needs that still were to be attended. As this process occurred several times during development, I found my own perspective in how the page I created needed to evolve to fit well with the overall theme and message of the site. Using ooVoo, phone calls, text, and email provided multiple opportunities for the final product to come to fulfillment.

Learning and using the digital tools in the course helped me to gain new ways to show educators how to embed technology into their teaching and, more importantly, how to allow their students to experience knowledge and make it grow as a collaborative body of information by sharing with others and respecting their method of representation. I will be interested to see how the participating teachers view the use of animations in their teaching world when I demonstrate it to them in a workshop in May. How they react when allowed to use the tool under a constrained situation and then a situation that offers more freedom of choice will help me to judge how easily they could transform their classroom into a futuristic one.

Implementation of web sites into PK-12 classrooms is something that which our department promotes on a regular basis. This includes the search of content related websites that promote a new format for investigating information related to topics or concepts in a unit of learning. Websites can be integrated for the use of engaging students at the onset of a unit. These types of websites include interactive, exploratory, and video websites. Through these types of sites, students can be visually stimulated to delve deeper into the content presented. As a teacher observes how students navigate through these types of sites, they can learn about prior knowledge and misconceptions that may need to be clarified during the concept development. Other types of web sites can encourage students to collaborate and communicate with their peers. Implementing a blog for pertinent questions that arise during a unit can show the development of content knowledge and show relationships between that knowledge and real world situations. Some examples of these include, testing hypotheses through the use of a blog or other Web 2.0 tools, predictions can be made about historical events set in today’s context, and real-world math problems can be solved by using online databases about stocks, real estate, or shopping scenarios. Other websites can encourage second language learners to represent their acquisition of knowledge through sites that allow creation and sharing of non-linguistic products. According to Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, and Malenoski (2007), multimedia in different forms can allow students to “use movies and video for instruction and as instruction” (p.111). What a powerful way to bring websites into instruction and allow students to be both instructor and learner. In conclusion, web sites can replace expensive software and allow the learning experiences of students to expand their knowledge and encompass the current context of their world.


References:

Goldsmith, M. (2009). Authentic personal branding. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/sep2009/ca20090929_228578.htm

Rundle, M. (2006). How C.R.A.P. is your site design? Retrieved from http://thinkvitamin.com/design/how-crap-is-your-site-design/


Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development,
Chapter 5, 111.