Artifact #1: Diamond in the Desert Book Trailer
In working on my book trailer project, I came to realize just how much time projects like this can take my fifth grade students, if they want to do it well. After the hours I spent finding the "just right" images, music and text to create this rudimentary project, I've come to realize that the value of all of that time because I really had to think about the plot line, characters and theme of the story. This project informed my instruction and has helped me to be better prepared to ask probing questions that will guide students in creating their own book trailers in response to books that they read throughout the school year. I'm thinking in the future that I will ask the students to reflect upon the creation process and provide justification for the elements in their presentation based upon text evidence and inferential thinking. The justification could be in written or audio recording form and would serve as a meaningful assessment tool for both me as the teacher and my students as the readers. In the article, "Test their Knowledge Using Student-created Videos" by Nicholas Bourke, the author provided some great suggestions in facilitating video creation in the classroom that I wish I had read in 2015 when it was published. The biggest take away for me was the time element. Students need to be provided time to brainstorm, plan, write a screenplay, film, edit and revise. Great works cannot be created in one class period. I need to be willing to invest the time and recognize that students will be engaged in learning and improving all throughout the creation process and the value placed on producing a quality project will pay off in future projects and student efficacy.
Sources Cited: “Test their knowledge using student-Created videos.” ISTE, 17 July 2015, www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=488&category=In-the-classroom&article.
Artifact #2: Creating a Screencast
In looking back over my learning throughout the past 8 weeks, I feel like if anything I've begun to realize that I need to be even more open to trying new ways of implementing new forms of technology. In doing so, I will enhance my instruction and consequently raise the level of engagement in my students. Throughout this course I've been pushed out of my comfort zone and have become more comfortable with being uncomfortable as I learn new ways of using technology. Creating an audio recording and a screencast definitely put me on edge because I feel self-conscious about listening to and critiquing myself. But in doing so, I feel that I've been able to better understand where my students are coming from when it comes to learning about new concepts or methods in solving problems. I also realized the value in self-critiquing because of the numerous times that I closely listened to what I was saying and how I was saying it. It became natural to pause and really think about what I wanted to say before I spoke it so that I was making my message more clear. Many of my students enjoy listening to themselves, (the opposite of me!) and need guidance in listening with a critical ear.
I have had very limited experiences, learning and entertainment-wise with virtual reality. I have struggled with the goggles that have accompanied my virtual reality experiences because they have triggered ocular migraines each time after I've looked through them for more than a few seconds. As far as augmented reality, again I've had almost no experiences. Last year I had the opportunity to explore a trigger image of a Mars Rover that created a 3D image of the Rover that I could "fly over" and look at from all different angles and sides. After reading the article, "How to Transform your Classroom with Augmented Reality," by Patricia Brown on edsurge.com, I realize that using an augmented reality app with my students, I could increase engagement as well as use it to assess my students understanding of concepts or topics. It would also be an engaging and fun way to work across grade levels on a variety of topics, like vocabulary. For example, older students could create videos about how to pronounce and define vocabulary words for younger students to view via trigger images that they identify as representative of the vocabulary words.
The article by Kara Pernice, "F-shaped Pattern of Reading," raised my awareness of the differences in reading behaviors between digital and paper media. To think that my students could be skipping/skimming over large parts of digital text is alarming. The awareness has helped me to realize that I need to teach specific skills on how to actively access digital media in a meaningful way to build comprehension. It has also caused me to think more critically about the digital passages that I share with my students via Canvas or Google Drive and choose passages that have a structure that provides more support with helpful and engaging text structures and features. I've come to realize that some of the passages that I shared digitally with my students in the past broke the "rules" by having too much text without supporting text structures and features to help to engage the students more readily.
All in all, I've got a long ways to go with efficiently and effectively using digital multimedia in my classroom, but at least now I understand the importance of using it. One subject that I envision pushing myself to grow in using digital multimedia is in vocabulary. Vocabulary instruction and learning has become a major focus in our building this year and I'm creating new lessons that I haven't used before so, it's an opportunity to create those new lessons and activities via new digital multimedia.