Archive for 3.1 Media Utilization

EDTECH 506 Learning by Design

Visual representation plays a vital role in my life. I remember putting on my first set of glasses and realizing for the first time what a difference detail makes in our world view. That impression gave way to a lifelong study of detail that impacts every aspect of my life. The past weeks in this course are no exception as I considered what is universal design, what would be a useful unit of instruction, and how might I best represent myself through visual clues. After submitting the project plan, I nearly changed topics when reading the typography assignment. How might I create what I might consider illustrated text that conveys meaning. I was surprised to find that the exercise, though challenging, was a pleasant task.

Four Words

Vital words for bleeding control and shock management unit of instruction.


When referring to Mayer’s (2001) research, Lohr emphasizes that “visuals be designed so that they support cognitive processes of selection, organization, and integration” to maximize learning (2008 p.63). Using that formula, I hope to create a unit of instruction that will be easily remembered, and easily implemented when conditions call for it. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Reference
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: lessons in visual literacy (2 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill. Retrieved 2012

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EDTECH597 Squeak & Buzz

Moles and Apps have two things in common – they can be found just about anywhere and they are always popping up in new places. This week’s design project is a spin-off of the classic children’s arcade game where the player tries to keep rodents from popping up in a given area. After putting together the initial game, I put it to the test with my resident expert – my teenage daughter. She picked up the phone, clicked on a mole, and got a runtime error. “That’s strange, let me reload it.” Again it threw the same error. “Let me know when you get the bugs out” she said as she left the room. Much searching revealed that a block had inadvertently been slid over to the far reaches of the Blocks Editor window. Calling my daughter back, she assessed, tried, and mastered it in 8 seconds. “What did you think?” “BORing” After interrogating her, she admitted the “hit” vibration was okay, but complained catching the mole was too easy, and she lost interest with the plain background and lack of sounds.

Try to stop the moles from overtaking the prairie


Sounds were easy. I quickly found a few .mp3s that I liked at Sound FX Now and quickly incorporated them. I decided to let the user choose the difficulty level with star-ranked buttons. My mental design was progressing quickly toward reality, but I knew I was out of my league. I felt like a middle school student looking at a spreadsheet for the first time. APPrehension struck. How would I add the faster sprites without affecting the original? I am a problem solver. Using my experience with web design, I decided to create duplicate screens – each having successively complex images to distract the player, and each having a faster image sprite. Two hours later, I could not figure out how to get the star buttons to navigate to their respective screens. I consulted the text/tutorial again. This was not going to work. I reluctantly removed the Screens and the time they represented. Back to the blocks editor and the answer was there…all along.
My time spent developing screens 2 and 3 reinforced developing concepts. Figuring out how to get the levels I wanted on my own was victorious. Hearing my daughter’s “That’s cool, mom”…priceless.

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ED TECH 597 – Stop&Go

App development might have seemed easy, but tonight Faith and Buffy knocked me out of my complacent attitude and geared me for a whole new paradigm of what is considered progress. The green light is on to proceed in this class and extend the tutorials to create apps with educational or instructional purposes. This past week I spent little time constructing and publishing my app. I feel hesitant of and clumsy with my new Android while I learn to navigate the basic functions of the device. The blocks editor refused to launch and I would turn my attention to another class or household chore. Finally, I could put off the task no longer. and I worked with the developer tools until I got the blocks editor running. From that point it only took about an hour to follow the tutorial and modify the app for my own purpose. I don’t use a lot of apps, so I am not creative in developing them yet. But thanks to these two pioneers, I do recognize that I am on the threshold of discovery.

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EDTECH501: APA 1.6 using Zotero and Google Scholar

I have found the best thing since EndNote in a combo punch, and I am shamelessly endorsing them for the scholarly as well as those who are, well..less drawn to scholarly activities.

I eagerly partnered with Zotero for the software’s ability to organize my myriad wanderings and ponderings on the world wide web.  Google Scholar is another lens that brings to focus the articles I need to extract the information I am looking for – in this case, mobile learning. I am including five correct APA citations as examples of the genius of Zotero. For a quick look at the FireFox plug-in, I chose to embed Arial’s tutorial. She has a few distracting “ums” and “uhs,” but her style captured my interest.

References

Adkins, S. S. (2008). Ambient Insight. The US Market for Mobile Learning Products and Services: 2008-2013 Forecast and Analysis (p. pp. 5). Retrieved from http://www.ambientinsight.com/Resources/Documents/AmbientInsight_2008-2013_US_MobileLearning_Forecast_ExecutiveOverview.pdf

Enabling Mobile Learning (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2011, from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume40/EnablingMobileLearning/157976

Masters, K. (2005). Seeing, Understanding, Learning in the Mobile Age. Low-key m-learning: a realistic introduction of m-learning to developing countries. Budapest, Hungary, April 2005. Retrieved from http://www.fil.hu/mobil/2005/Masters_final.pdf

Mobile Learning History. (2010).Mobile Learning Community. Retrieved from http://trainandgo.blogspot.com/2010/01/mobile-learning-in-cortina.html

Moore, J. (2009). Proceedings of IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning. A portable document search engine to support off-line mobile learning. Barcelona, Spain. Retrieved from http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/17441/

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EDTECH 501: Digital Equality?

Online learning seems to be the pathway to enlightenment for some and the pathway to, well….disenchantment for others. Still others may never know because they don’t have the opportunity to–or choose not to–pursue the experience. After spending several weeks trying to collaborate with my virtual team across time zones and amidst the normalcy of chaos at work and at home, I realized that online learning is far more difficult than face-to-face learning. This coming from a veteran digi-learner, no less, who lives in a society whose core values lie in industry and growth.  All this collaborating and near-instantaneous global publishing is made possible by technology that was unavailable to me after graduating from high school in the early 80’s. However, not knowing your peers and instructors impersonalizes the learning experience in a way that creates a digital divide of its own. 

The primary digital divide I noticed when researching this project is that of those who use technology and those who don’t (by choice or by circumstance is irrelevant). To what future are our digital natives (Prensky, 2001) embarking? What of our society’s values will they retain, and what values will they relinquish as the digital nature of information seeps into every aspect of their lives. Will they be more comfortable collaborating with virtual peers, or will they long for the person to person interaction that only a traditional course can offer?

After completing this assignment with four highly competent digi-partners, I am of the opinion that there is less a digital divide than a digital inequality. The inequality stems from those who know how to, and have a desire to, manipulate the myriad venues of information to gain new understanding and knowledge and those who mainly use the speed and accessibility for social pursuits.

Because I prefer balance, I felt that our final choice would address the needs of the inequality,  yet bridge the gap left by the digital divide.  Watch our VoiceThread presentation, and let me know what you think.

REFERENCES
Prensky, M. (2001, October 5). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrents. On the Horizon. University Press. Boston Retrieved September 25, 2011 from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

 

 

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EDTECH 541: Will the Wall Come Down?

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA, 1999 (106th Congress (Senate), 1999)) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. Unfortunatelty, Web 2.0 venues demand something that private and public sectors alike share; walled gardens. The Children’s Internet Protection Act mandates public schools have in place a filter to prevent predators from accessing impressionable children, or from children accessing the wealth of pornography and other harmful content.  According to the Pew Internet and American Life project,  learners are connected while not in school, with more than 80% of participants reporting they sleep with a cellphone by the bed. Today’s typical teen sends approximatelly 1500 text messages monthly. Mobile devices are closing the gap in the digital divide by giving less priviledged members of society access to the Internet. The rising popularity of social networking sites emphasizes that today’s students are social learners (Bull, 2010, pg 28-29).

Rather than pushing against the tide, schools can embrace the benefits of social networking technology in a safe and controlled environment designed specifically for the unique needs of K-12 education. These tools help support diversity and the development of communities through safe user friendly platforms that encourage dialogue and the sharing of perspectives, ideas and events.  Such environments can be found with educational vendors such as Gaggle.net. (2011)

A brief skim or an in-depth review of any day’s current events quickly reminds us of the myriad ways we share our home planet with others who–despite our differences in culture, ethnicity, and demographics–are likely to share foundational values of stewardship, spirituality, democracy, diversity, and language. Niel Postman (1995) identifies those values as “the five inclusive human narratives” (pg 144). 

Great and simple minds struggle to answer the ethical dilemmas which confront us at every angle, giving rise to questions such as those that Walter Parker, Akira Ninomya, and John Cogan (1999) framed in regard to societal equity and fairness; balancing privacy with open access to information; meeting human needs in the face of a fragile environment; coping with issues relating to the growing population, genetic engineering, and poverty; keeping local values while developing shared global values; and making ethics-based decisions on the issues?

In their Learning and Leading with Technolgoy article “Save the World with Web 2.0” Lauren Cifuentes, Zahira Merchant, and Omer Faruk Vural (November, 2010) maintain that human narratives merge well with the ethical questions to form an “activity framework for preparing students for global citizenship (pg 34).” Sample activities include having learners research the importance and impact of an issue prior to promoting their cause on social networks, blogs, wikis, global networking, and other Web 2.0 venues to raise awareness and save the world.(Lauren Cifuentes, 2010). When browsing for content enrichment, teachers find similar activities, but are stifled by policies and procedures that prohibit most Web 2.0 applcations.  When will the wall come down?

 

RESOURCES:

106th Congress (Senate). (1999, January 19). S.97.AS. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:S.97.IS:

Bull, G. (2010). The Always-Connected Generation. (K. Conley, Ed.) Learning & Leading with Technology , 38 (3), 28-29.

Lauren Cifuentes, Z. M. (2010). Save the World with Web 2.0. Learning & Leading with Technology , 34-35.

Social Learning. (2011). Retrieved June 28, 2011, from Gaggle.net: https://gaggle.net/home/gaggle-apps/social-learning/#features

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