Friday, December 7, 2012

Group Leadership Project

For the MSU MAET Program we were asked to work in small groups to create a stand alone PD course for teachers who wish to implement technology into their classroom. Our goal was to make a PD that was relative to today's teachers, short enough for teachers to complete, and would provide a take away that can be used by the teacher.

In today's teaching there are a lot of buzz words; flipping, workshops, differentiation, etc. In the end, we need to find multiple ways to reach students at their individual needs and level. Technology, such as flip cameras, smart phones, laptops, and apps assist teachers in their attempt to accomplish this. Educreations is an app that falls within this category. Educreations, although limited compared to powerful editing programs like Camtasia, it is a tool that can be used on the laptop or Ipad to create and edit short lessons quickly. These lesson then can be shared via the internet using a "class" feature, shared link, social media, or email. Our team created the PD using Educreations so that teachers could see the simplicity of it. 

We created a PD that a teacher could receive in a short period allowing them time to apply what they learned. So in making our final product we tried to keep it around 10 minutes. This was a challenge becasue we had to show how to get started and how to use it, what it could be used for and provide a classroom example. The other challenge was merging the three parts into one lesson. Educreation has many strengths but lacks a collaboration piece that allowed each of us, working at a distance from one another, to edit the same lesson. To overcome this, we created three separate lessons and them merged them using Camtasia. Although this was an extra step, Camtasia provided some tools that Educreations does not, allowing us to create a more enhanced PD. 

It is important to point out that Educreation has limitations if you are  making a high quality production, but it is excellent for making quick web based lessons. I hope to use it to create an audio/visual instructions to go along with the written instructions for each of my assignments. This will address UDL needs for ELL students and others who struggle with reading comprehension.
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If we were to do this project again, I would like to have each of us do voice-overs periodically throughout the lesson. As it is now, Melissa talks during the first third, Mark the second third, and I wrap it up. I think the quality of the video may improve if we mixed it up more. This was an oversight when making the storyboard, but it is also part of the issue with distant collaboration. Even with Camtasia we would not have been able to collaborate at the same time but instead we would had to mail projects or audio recordings back and forth. 

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