Friday, August 7, 2015

EDUC 7730 - My Digital Portfolio

I am not sure where to begin with this reflection.
It was important work, sorting through the material I have learned over the past two years in the IT&DML program. I am the only one from the first cohort that has completed the work over two years. It was interesting starting with one group, and ending with an entirely new group. I feel like it was valuable for me to learn with twice as many talented educators.

First, Google Sites is not simple. It is not flashy. I really (really, REALLY) like the way some of my colleagues' Wix sites look. I chose to stick with Google Sites because we are a Google school and I want to be familiar with the tools Google offers. I am also a glutton for punishment.

I have worked on website content for 15 years, first with simple HTML at a public library, then as the Website Content Coordinator at Abbott Tech. Content is one thing. Constructing a website from scratch is completely different. I had to make decisions about my tabs and subheadings. I had to create buttons and insert gadgets. It was a true learning experience.

I used blue, white and gray because our school colors are blue and white, and blue always feels professional to me. It was tricky finding a background picture. When I was working in my air conditioned library at school over the summer, I found a photo of a display in my library on my computer. It worked! I will change the main page photo when I have a more dressy picture. I happen to be wearing a Relay for Life T-shirt, but it is cropped out.

The "Top Ten" websites in the G+ stream were interesting, but spare in their design. I felt like an outsider looking at them. Maybe it was because they were career-specific. Looking at my classmates' designs was most helpful. When I provided feedback for my group, I used the rubric to look at their design, and I did the same with mine. Someone separated out the video and non-video tutorials. It was simpler looking than the labels I had used, so I used that idea.

I had the most trouble with my blog page. I researched all over Google trying to find a way to make my Blogger (Google product) appear on my Site (Google product) when I was in Chrome (Google product.) I tried it 5 different ways and it would only show up in a non-Chrome browser. I gave up and provided only a link. Next, I tried to make picture links of uniform size for specific blog posts. That was incredibly frustrating. I did research and rediscovered Canva for making buttons. When I got the five step process figured out, I was able to finish. (Clipular to Downloads to Canva to Sites - then put in the link)

Sadly, I missed our final class and I had only one classmate give feedback online. It was wonderful and helpful feedback! Although I do not spell out the purpose of my site, I don't think people will search it out unless they would like to know more about me professionally. In the last couple of weeks, I added some more helpful websites to Pearltrees (my curation site) and to my website. I feel like this site will be a dynamic display of my professional self.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

COMM 7728 Video Ethnography project

Video Ethnography project:

Our goal was to create a lesson for our students that incorporates the creation of a video ethnography. Our next step was to become a student and create our own video ethnography.

Students at Abbott Tech create a digital portfolio for graduation.
For the project, they are to answer the following questions:
- What events in your life led you to Abbott Tech?
- What caused you to choose your trade?
- Because of your trade choice, what have you learned about yourself?
- Where do you think you will go from here?

Here is a link to my Video Ethnography:   Becoming a School Librarian
If you prefer YouTube:

Here is a link to my lesson plan on Google Docs. Why I Chose My Trade

I used Audible to create the "soundtrack" for my presentation. My first recorded draft was just shy of 8 minutes. My goal was to make the presentation no longer than 5 minutes, so I started cutting and substituting audio. I wanted to keep in the non-essential but fun fact about the Bicentennial House Tour, so the voice-over ended up being 6 1/2 mintues long. That's a lot of slides!

The music that kept spinning in my head was "Marian the Librarian" from the Music Man. I ended up performing in The Music Man twice during high school. We did it my Sophomore year at Masuk and my junior year when I was an exchange student in Fremont, Ohio. I looked for a Karaoke version online and recorded it on a completely seperate Audible project, then cut and pasted it below the voice track.

That was the easy part.

I don't have Microsoft Movie Maker or iMovie, so I needed to find a free tool to make my video/slideshow. I tried a couple and finally settled on Kizoa. It was intuitive, I could preview as I went along, and it allowed me to time the slides. I also discovered that I could create "collages" which are slides that can be words, pictures and shapes from the Kizoa files.

I looked through old scrapbooks and on Facebook (You are Probably from Monroe If...) to find photos of myself growing up. I looked on Google to find images that are safe to re-use. It was tricky figuring out where and how to give credit. I discovered how to create my own word slides during the last... three... hours of working on the project. It simplified things quite a bit! Overall, from starting to write the script to hitting "Publish," it took me 16 hours to create the presentation (I did a marathon one day, which helped!)

If I was to truly assign this project, I would ask that the video be 3 to 5 minutes long. It is difficult finding enough images to flesh out a project and make it interesting and personal. I also think, although the project is pretty fun, most students at my school would not take the time to work on it at home, so they would need at least 15 class periods worth of focused computer time. That won't happen!