Saturday, 25 June 2016

Part 2 of Film Interview Creation: Accepting when done is done!

As explained in my last blog post, we have been creating an MDTA interview movie. In this movie, I explain my experiences (so far) of being a beginning teacher in the MDTA. This movie (which is only 3 minutes long) took hours of planning, filming, and editing!

I was very keen to create my own backing music using garage band, however I had to put this idea to the side for this project. I decided I need to experiment with garage band a bit more before creating a whole backing track! I have therefore used an iMovie track for the music. I am not eliminating the possibility of adapting this movie by using my own garage band creation at some point - it just may take longer than originally thought!

My biggest challenge to overcome during this creation was accepting when done was done! I could have kept tweaking this movie for weeks, however I had to draw the line! This realisation is something my learners constantly have to overcome when they create and share work on their blogs. They have to accept that the best use of their time may not be to keep dwelling on little things, but rather reflect on the process and their learning, be proud of what they have created and then keep learning new things!

Here it is: the final product!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Day 1 of Film Interview Creation (Filming at Pt England Beach)

We have started creating 'interview' style videos to explain our experience to date as part of the MDTA.  Our first task was to create a script of what we wanted to include in our video. After this, Steph and I went down to Pt England beach to record our spoken part of the video. We wanted to film ourselves down at the beach (just across the fence from school) to share the beautiful area of Auckland where we work.

(Here I am helping Steph prepare for her filming)

We had great fun problem solving the set up of our equipment to record ourselves speak. Interesting disruptions included a range of wildlife as well as a plane and a jet boat noisily cutting into our filming.

(Preparing for my filming)

(Steph preparing for her filming)

The next step will be to edit this footage as well as a range of footage from around school to create our final videos. I also plan to create my backing music using garageband so I also need to start experimenting with this in order to make this possible!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Screencast Part 2: Screencast of class site navigation

Following on from my previous post, in this screencast I explain how learners access their learning in maths by navigating through the class site.

Through the process of creating screencasts as well as through discussion with colleagues, I have come to realise the value of screencasts in learning. Screencasts could be used to clearly explain instructions for learners on the site, alongside the written instructions.

Screencast Part 1: Screencast explaining collaborative problem solving in maths

Today we created screencasts using quicktime. This was a long process which I was expecting after my first attempt at creating a screencast last week! Some challenges I had to overcome included:

1. Finding a place which was quiet and without interruptions.
2. Being able to consistently use accurate language and explain concepts correctly in one go. For example, to explain the learn-create-share pedagogy, I wanted to ensure I was consistent in using the word 'create' instead of 'do' and 'learn' instead of 'work'.
3. Playing my screencast back to myself and realising I did not explain concepts as clearly as I could have.

This screencast demonstrates the process my learners follow to learn-create-share in maths by collaboratively problem-solving.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Google Class OnAir & Apple tools

Today, we had a focus on Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir. Matt Goodwin, one of the teachers who has a class OnAir, joined us. Matt brought along the equipment which he uses in the class to film. The equipment included a microphone, as well as a camera which could be remotely controlled to pan and zoom, and which included a wide lens to capture a lesson in the classroom. After exploring a range of the Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir sites (which you can access from the link above), we held our own OnAir discussion around what we had explored. This was a great opportunity to experience what it could feel like for the learners taking part in this, as well as for the teachers who are taking the classes.

I enjoyed setting up my own google hangout On Air and reflecting on ways I could use this in my classroom. Here is a photo from the hangout of me giving it a go:

One idea was to use this with my learners so they can then access rewindable learning, as well as reflect on their ability to discuss and collaborate in group learning. The concept of navigating within, and editing the recording through youtube was a new concept for me too. I quickly realised the differences and challenges between editing on YouTube compared to in iMovie. I also realised how strange it felt being filmed while talking about an aspect of teaching. I can imagine that this is something that would take time to get used to. I look forward to using this tool in the classroom and having a go at creating a Class OnAir in the future.

We were lucky enough to have Meredith Bean, from google, join us to share some great tips for using Apple products. I found it really interesting to learn about some of the accessibility functions which Apple has created to make the products accessible by everyone. There are tools which would be great to explore in more detail as possibilities for differentiating learning for learners. An example of these tools is dictation. Dictation can be used as another way of getting ideas onto the digital device. However, it is not always accurate. Therefore, I would not be confident using this dictation tool in the classroom with my learners. Another aspect of dictation which I feel could be more useful for my learners is the computerised speech which can read back what you have written. I have created a google hangout OnAir to demonstrate how to use this tool:

I feel this could be useful for encouraging learners to proof-read their writing before publishing it onto their blogs. A tool like this could be useful to draw attention to omitted punctuation, words, letters, and incorrect grammar.

Today has given me a huge number of new tools which are going to be extremely useful in the classroom. I am really excited about the prospect of using google hangouts OnAir in the class to make learning rewindable, and to encourage learners to reflect on their learning when with a group and what they can improve.