Friday, May 20, 2011

Final Project

Well, here it is - my final project.

The following is description of what was expected in our written paper and technology product:

Written Paper
You will create a unit of instruction on the topic of your choice within which a technology that you have “mastered” is integrated to improve student learning. The instructional unit, which acts as the setting within which this technology is integrated, should be described with a focus on the design process. This written portion of the project should set the stage for how the technology is used. This paper should show an understanding and ability to implement the design process and include topics such as: audience, definition of the problem, goals and objectives, learning and teaching styles, implementation, assessment, etc. As with all projects completed in this course, you are asked to use correct spelling and grammar, write in a scholarly manner, and use references where necessary to strengthen and support your ideas. All references should follow APA guidelines. This paper should be no longer than ten pages in length.

Technology Products
Depending on your project choice, your technology products should include 1) all technology-related instructional products you create for use in your unit and, when appropriate 2) a model of a student project resulting from your lesson.

As mentioned previously in Week 13, my unit of instruction was a teacher training course covering the use of social bookmarking for sharing resources online. As also previously mentioned, my social bookmarking tool of choice was Diigo, primarily because of its popularity, great mix of features and ease of use. I also developed my course using a free online course authoring called Udutu. I decided to go with Udutu rather one of the mainstream course authoring tools (e.g. Adobe Captivate, Articulate Studio, etc.) for a few reasons: 1) Cost (Udutu is free), 2) Ease of use (Udutu is fairly intuitive), 3) Accessibility (Udutu courses can be accessed from any computer). Although use of Udutu isn’t so widespread, I still feel like it afforded me a valuable first experience in eLearning course development.

Aside from the tools, working on the paper was also highly beneficial. Reflecting back on all the theories we covered over the term and actually applying them in a lesson was priceless. It felt like everything we learned about finally paid off.

All in all, no doubt it was a lot of work, but an experience I will value for some time to come. I honestly never expected to learn so much in just this one introductory course. I am really excited about what other opportunities future classes in the Masters program will present.

My written paper can be found here: Final Project - Paper (
My technology product can be viewed here: Final Project - Technology Product (
The accompanying storyboard for my technology product can be found here: Final Project - Storyboard (

My presentation is here (as posted in Week 14): Final Project - Presentation (

Any comments and feedback and greatly welcomed and appreciated.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Week 15 (May 10 - 16, 2011)

Well, after a short 15 weeks, the class has finally come to a close. In general, I really enjoyed it. Not only did the class incorporate a nice mix of theoretical as well as applied aspects, but the instructor was also very knowledgeable and easy to work with.

For the final class, we had an open forum where everyone got to mention what they benefited most from the class, and what they hope to improve on for the future. It was really interesting to hear what everyone had to say. We were also asked to make one final post on our blog space discussing resource challenges and personal/internal stressors over the course of the term. My post can be read below.

As for my final project details, I will be posting them later this week.

Resource Challenges
I think one project that was a (beneficial) challenge for me was the digital storytelling project. I’ve watched so many digital stories before, but never gone through the actual process of compiling one.

At the start, it seemed like it would be easy to complete but once I started going through it, I quickly found out I really did not know what I was getting myself into. I guess it depends on the effort one wants to put into their project, but between trying to write an entertaining story, recording yourself telling it, trying to mix in background music, finding good pictures to match, incorporating transitions between pictures, dealing with the mishaps of Windows Movie Maker (or whatever software used), etc., etc.

Basically, it took me a lot of time to get my project where I wanted, and I now have a much greater appreciation for digital stories and the effort people put into creating them.

Personal/Internal Stressors
I don’t know if I really had any stressors to deal with over the semester, but one thing that was new to me which I greatly valued was the material on learning/teaching theories. I’ve been exposed to technology for awhile now and have used it before in lessons, but I’ve never been able to give an educated explanation as to why it should be used other than something like “it’s cool.”

I also appreciate doing the final paper as it gave me the chance to finally put this knowledge to use and make a case for my technology integration proposal, supported with proofs. One small suggestion I have though for the future is to possibly make these topics worth more in the grading. I know the focus was meant to be on the design process, but I feel these are also very important prerequisites to the design process.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Week 14 (May 3 - 9, 2011)

We are in the final stretch as our final projects are due next week so, as you can probably imagine, no readings again this week.

Over the past week, I mostly concentrated on completing the storyboard and developing my course. So far, I have a pretty good portion completed. This week however, I need to focus more on the paper.

In addition, we also had to make a presentation in class discussing what are project is about. The following is a brief description of what was required:

During the final days of class you will be asked to present your project to your peers for the purposes of sharing, feedback, and evaluation. This presentation should be no more than ten minutes and describe the design processes used and how the technology was integrated. This presentation should be viewed as an informal time for you to share your ideas and views on the design process and technology integration.

My presentation can be viewed below.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Week 13 (April 26 - May 2, 2011)

No readings again this week as the term is winding down now and everyone is hard at work preparing their final projects.

I will use this post to briefly talk about the final project. The following is a summary of what is expected from us:

In the final cumulative project, you will create a unit of instruction on the topic of your choice within which a technology that you have “mastered” is integrated to improve student learning. You are encouraged to take advantage of the time spent on this project to create something that would be appropriate for a current or future teaching situation (if applicable). The project contains three parts: a written paper, technology products, and a brief presentation.

This project is designed to allow you to express your understanding and experience applying the theories, concepts, and technologies taught within this course. This project should show a strong understanding of all concepts covered throughout the semester, including but not limited to proficiency with computer technologies, design techniques, and theories of learning and teaching. When designing this project, view this as your opportunity to experiment with the theories and technologies you have learned over the past semester.

For my project, I am planning to design a teacher training course on the use of Diigo (, a popular social bookmarking tool, as a means of sharing resources online. The technology tool I have decided to use in order to deliver the lesson is Udutu (, a free online course authoring tool. I am very familiar with Diigo but Udutu, and course authoring in general, is still new to me. Although, the assignment calls for us to use a technology we’ve “mastered” I discussed with my instructor my desire to get some exposure to course authoring tools, so I got the “OK”. Although I know this project will definitely be a challenge, I am highly motivated so am confident everything will work out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Photoshop Essentials Workshop #1 (April 30, 2011)

They’re offering a 3-week Photoshop workshop on campus so, being I have limited knowledge in using the software, I thought it would be beneficial to attend.

The first session was a basic introduction to the various functions found in the software. We actually created three different pieces which you can find below.

The first piece (the blue and white ship) uses a technique known as contrasting.
The second piece (London text over photo) was done using a layer masking technique. This technique is commonly used in postcard printing.
The third piece (4 London photos) uses a colorization technique. Andy Warhol ( was especially known for using this style.

At the moment, I am fairly confident as all three were pretty easy to make. However, what the instructor has planned for the future sessions may not be so simple so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.