Student Work – Winter 2012

As I’ve done previously (see 20092010 and 2011), I wanted to share some of the best examples of student work from my ECMP 355 (Technology in Education) undergraduate course. These students are all preservice teachers and they range from being in the first to the fourth (final) year of our program. If you have any questions about the work featured here, please comment below or email me. I hope that you will find these projects valuable.

Final Projects: The goal of these projects varied – essentially, they were either of the ‘build a learning resource’ or ‘learn something of significance using the Internet’ variety.

Blogfolios: Students were tasked to create blogfolios in the class as a means to strengthen their digital identities, and experience an important form of alternative assessment.
Summaries of Learning: These summaries of learning are typically a 3-5 minutes reflection/presentation/celebration of what students learned throughout the course.

Student Work – Fall 2011

For the third year in a row (see 2009 and 2010), I wanted to use the last post of the year to share a few examples of the great work that is being done by my graduate and undergraduate students. I am so very fortunate to have creative & hard-working students who are committed to improving their knowledge of teaching and learning in light of our new digital landscape. I hope that some of these examples will inspire you to take up new challenges in your own context.

From EC&I 831 (Open graduate course, Social Media & Open Education):

 Summaries of Learning:

  • Leslie – used stop-motion technique.
  • Tannis – used Glogster, an interactive, digital poster-making tool.
  • Shauna – used Freemind (free & open source mind-mapping tool) & video-editing.
  • Laura – used Xtranormal, a freemium “type-to-create-movies” tool.
  • Gail – used Screenr, a free and easy screencasting tool.
  • Kelley – used Jing, another free screencasting tool.
  • Lorena – used Voicethread, a group conversation and presentation tool.
  • Katy – used TikaTok (a tool for creating books) and Jing.
  • Alison – used Prezi, an less-linear Powerpoint alternative.
  • Kevin – used Knovio, a video-enhanced presentation tool.

Final Projects:

From ECMP 355 (An Undergraduate Technology Integration Course):

Summaries of Learning:

Electronic Portfolios:

There were many other good projects to share, but this represents a good sample of the student work from the semester. I’m looking forward to one more great semester before a 16 months hiatus from teaching as I move toward my sabbatical planning.

Happy New Year everyone!

Student Work – Fall 2010

Exactly one year ago, I shared some of the great work my students created in the Fall 2009 semester. This past year was another amazing year in that I was fortunate to have had some incredibly creative and hard-working students in my classes. So, with the possibility of creating a New Year’s Eve tradition, here again are two very short lists of notable work from my graduate and undergraduate students from the previous (Fall 2010) semester.

Projects & Portfolios
There was a wide-range of possibilities for portfolios and projects in these classes. In some cases, you will only be seeing a small portion of what was actually assessed. However, these pieces may be valuable to others.

Final Reflections
Both undergrad and graduate students were asked to produce or perform short final reflections of what they learned in their class. It should also be mentioned that a few of the best examples aren’t shown here, as they were done in ways that were difficult to record digitally.

So, that’s a bit of what my students did this past semester. Many of these students had very limited technical ability coming into the class, and I feel very happy to know how much many of them learned through the process.

Oh, and Happy New Year everyone!

Student Work – Fall 2009

I truly enjoyed teaching both my graduate and undergraduate courses this past semester. There were a number of really hard-working students who produced some very meaningful work, and overall, I can say that I am increasingly excited by the quality of students I am encountering both in schools (my graduate students) and soon to be teachers (my preservice groups).

I thought I would quickly share a few of my favorite student reflections and projects over the past semester. These represent various forms of digital expression, and will help provide inspiration to my students in future semesters.

I hope these are useful and/or entertaining to you.

Oh, and seeing that it is New Year’s Eve, Happy New Year to all of you, and all the best in 2010! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit this space, and for connecting with me in other meaningful ways. I am truly a lucky person to be tied to such a caring and passionate network of individuals.

The Personal in PLNs

I will teaching two open online courses next semester, and I have been brainstorming a number of ways to do things a bit differently. In both courses, students will go through the process of forming their own personal learning networking. “Their own” is key here and is something I have been struggling with. In the past, I have just given students a list of people from within my network, but I am beginning to think that this practice may be problematic. First, is this not a bit contrived? Or is it? Is this an accurate way of representing how learning networks form? Maybe. I am not sure. Second, does this not just lead to replicating well-formed, existing networks? Or, does this contribute to the dreaded “echo chamber” effect?

Sure, I know that if I give a short list of network contacts to my students, they are not by any means going to form the same exact network that I have, but I would bet these would be very similar. And I am not by any means trying to criticize the members of my own PLN. In fact, I wouldn’t be connected to you if I did not feel that it was a positive connection. But I am curious of what I am missing. I want to understand personal learning networks not only by the connections that form, but also by those that are absent.

So, help me out here. What if I gave each of my students a single point on the the network, a single individual (probably via a blog address), and made all attempts to keep these points as unrelated as possible (yes, quite difficult in our x degrees of separation world). What networks would students form? How similar would these PLNs be? And what could we learn about how educational PLNs form?

Most importantly, if I used this approach with my students, would this in any way disadvantage their learning opportunities?

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Student Project in Common Craft Style

One of my students, Veronique, has just completed a mini-project for a first-year undergraduate course I teach. She used the Common Craft format to produce a neat little video on the Angel Hair for Kids program.

We didn’t allot much class time to work on this, but I’m really happy with what she was able to produce in a short period of time. Certainly it’s not perfect, but I particularly appreciate her adoption of this instructional format. I think there is so much potential here.

Dean Shareski On Educational Design

Dean Shareski, educational technology guru and fellow Saskatchewanite, recently prepared a digital keynote for the Flat Classroom Project.

In the keynote, Dean touts the importance of design in education, especially that related to the creation of multimedia. Key points covered include planning, imagery, simplicity, constraints and significance, and Dean borrows from Dan Pink’s “Whole New Mind”, one of my favorite new reads.

The content is great, but the most important piece here is how Dean pulled it off. He walks the talk. I see so many faculty members and teachers talking about one thing, but doing another (e.g., Direct teaching about how to create a constructivist classroom). Dean has developed a well designed, well-articulated, informative, humourous and personal presentation here. For my students in ECMP 355 or involved in the Digital Internship Project, be sure to pay attention.

Moodle Glossary Tool for Creating Rich Student Profiles

I’m still really liking Moodle. I’ve set up my own installation and I love the freedom this gives me to set up courses quickly and experiment with functionality.

However, the one feature that I think needs improvement is user profiles. I was hoping that I could have my students put together a fairly rich profile (bio, photos, links, etc.) and have this accessible to other students. Basically, I wanted a way for students to get to know each other, and an easy way for me to get to know the students.

So, here’s my story story and how I found a decent solution. I’ll keep the explanation simple.
1) I twit my problem.
2) Durff mentions that Jim Gates will speaking about Moodle on It’s Elementary Live (EdTechTalk).
3) I forget about it for a few days.
4) Luckily, I see a reminder from Durff.
5) I listen online pretty much at the exact moment I need. Jim talks about how he uses the Glossary tool in Moodle to accomplish something very similar.

So this was the solution. Basically, all I did was add the glossary tool to Moodle. If you are familiar with Moodle, this takes about 5 seconds to do. Just go to “add an activity”, choose glossary. So students in my class each filled out this “student glossary” with their profile information. They can include links, photos and other multimedia. Nice feature.

Then, a nice touch is to add a “Random Glossary Item” block to the side bar. So, everytime you go to the Moodle main page, you will see a random student profile featured. Overall, this fix will do a nice job of accomplishing my original goal. I just introduced it to my students today, but I it’s been well-received so far. Now, I’m waiting for their input.

Here’s a quick Jing video to better illustrate what it looks like.

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