Week 11 Digital Storytelling With Gingerbob

I am beginning this blog with this digital story about Gingerbob – because though it is the newest one it also includes background info about the older digital stories about his character.  As part of the assignment for this weekly blog – I felt I should create a “new” digital story- and since Gingerbob was nearby – I asked him to perform one more time for my camera….

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_Hidt-6MdUaWDVHRERlQlRkTDg

I had created the first story about Gingerbob several years ago.  It was an assignment to build a multimedia presentation that had an educational focus.  My goal was to create an entertaining and interactive experience for children that would allow them to explore the process of decision making.  I was not completely successful at getting the slides to transition smoothly with the resources available to me at the time.  So, when the assignment for this weekly blog included a digital story creation – I eagerly pulled out the old files and started cleaning them up and loading them into a newer version of PowerPoint.

Gingerbob’s story evolved from a combination of concern over copyright – and fond memories of  playing the Candyland game. I remembered its sugary scenery and playful theme.  We had a tradition of decorating gingerbread houses each holiday season –  so I had a wealth of images that worked for some of the scenes.  Gingerbob was a pillow-like toy that had found his way into our seasonal decorations.  He was perfect for the main role.  I started with PowerPoint by building the slides with the pictures and text.  Once the slides were ready – I inserted links on each page that allowed the user to move through the story at their own rate of speed.  Some of the pages had choices that allowed the reader to decide about an issue.  If the choice was incorrect – then they could go back and try again.  I then saved all of the slides as images in PowerPoint.  Then came the tedious job of getting them in some format that would work on the internet.

This original project took many – many hours – and it was a little quirky – and fairly successful.   – But, when I had a chance to try some of the new technology available in Google sites and Google docs – I found the experience much more rewarding!  And since I had the content ready to go – I was able to concentrate on the action and presentation of the story.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xQth8pev5NnPDWgTPddfC0TD4i-sRyDZQcsnqibrE5I/edit

This above was the interactive presentation – but, also there is a link to a short video that flips through the slides and gives an overview of the presentation.  This was done in PhotoStory.  I found the music on musopen.org.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_Hidt-6MdUacWtBMS1MTDJOVGs

Gingerbob’s second epic feature was about his darker side.  I worked on “Gingerbob’s Life” while I tried to avoid doing my research paper for a course several semesters ago.  I eventually got the research paper done – and, the story was fun.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_Hidt-6MdUadTdHMzNRbW5ja2M

There are so many great things about digital storytelling and its role in education. Events come alive and there is a richness that engages the senses of a learner in a different way then reading text.  Here is a video that tells the story of the “Orphan Trains” that I made for a course – thank goodness we had a train garden in our back yard –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v11lWqeBy0&feature=plcp

Transformative Enough?

Last spring I had a chance to watch a video of Renee Hobbs’ session on copyright. It was quite an eye opener and incredibly empowering.

So when I needed to create a multimodal assignment for a class I took over summer session – I approached my selection of images and video with a slightly different focus then I would have before.  I enthusiastically worked with a variety of medium and submitted the following link:

https://sites.google.com/a/udel.edu/a-very-deceiving-night/

I cited, and quoted, and referenced diligently – but, I am to this moment still a little uneasy about all of the images and video I used to create it. Even after reviewing the resources for this week’s session (and that includes re-watching Renee) – I still am not sure I shouldn’t go back and revisit the work I did on this project.

My goal was to be “creative, innovative and to spread knowledge” – but, was I “transformative” enough?

I would like to be comfortable using copyrighted materials – but, it’s hard to get past the anxiety of breaking copyright law.  A recent post by Tanya Roscorla, “Why Schools Aren’t Safe Harbors for Copyright Infringement” seems to give just cause for my fears.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/policy/Why-Schools-Arent-Safe-Harbors-for-Copyright-Infringement.html

I hope to spend time reviewing what my classmates contribute to this session’s topic –

A Very Deceiving Night

When I was in middle school – we were shown a movie about Donald Duck and fractions.  From that entire year of school, that Disney film is the only memory I have retained.  I always wondered what it was about that experience that made it stay in my memory – even decades later – while everything else that occurred in those months was forgotten.

That question played a major role in my decision to start graduate school.  I wanted to find out how people learn.  I wanted to understand how technology can support that learning?

http://www.upsidelearning.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/18/the-return-of-video-to-elearning/

I think that videos can introduce a student to a topic at a different level than a lecture or reading text.

For example – I saw a documentary on the National Geographic Channel – Called “A Very Deceiving Night”.  It was about the Titanic – but, it was centered around the research by Tim Maltin and his work to solve the ultimate mystery of the tragedy.

http://youtu.be/bJS39fA9V0o

For a hundred years the world has asked how this ship, a magnificent creation of the most technologically advanced design and construction of its time, could end up torn and scattered at the bottom of the sea on its maiden voyage.  The loss of life was unimaginable.  1500 people died that night.

The video was so well crafted that I was immediately part of the drama and mystery of the event.  I wanted to know how this could have occurred.  And so I read Tim Maltin’s book.  I don’t generally spend time reading books that are about the sea, the Gulf Stream, or how light bends across the horizon – but, I was drawn into it, and immediately read every page.  I was fascinated with the roles of refraction and temperature.

I could not resist the enthusiasm and focus of this Researcher, Tim Maltin.  I was inspired by his determination to find the scientific answers to these questions.

The fact is that the video impressed me so much – I wanted to learn more –  and so I read the book on my own.  I continued to seek out more documentaries and writings about the topic.  This for me is an example of how video can engage a student in a topic, and inspire the student to continue to explore and learn on their own.  I feel that this represents an example of how technology can facilitate learning in an authentic way.

Week 7 – I Have Always Wanted to Learn How to Make a Video Game

I have always wanted to learn how to make a video game.  I don’t have a deadline – but, I would like to make consistent progress towards that goal.

I have quite a collection of books on this topic – including What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning and literacy by James Gee, Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling by Chris Crawford, Digital Storytelling: a creator’s guide to interactive entertainment by Carolyn Miller, and the Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based methods and strategies for training and education by Karl Kapp.  I have many others.  I want to read these books – but, with school, and work, and life – I am lucky if I get to read a few chapters in them before they end up back on my shelf.

I have read about it online – in articles such as “5 Teaching Tips for Professors—From Video Games” by Jeffrey R. Young featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

http://chronicle.com/article/5-Lessons-Professors-Can-Learn/63708/

I spent time exploring sites whose focus is on how the creation of video games supports learning at sites such as Globaloria and the World Wide Workshop.

http://www.globaloria.org/

From sites like this I found people that I wanted to hear more from such as Idet Harel Caperton who founded the World Wide Workshop for Children’s Media Technology & Learning.

I am interested in Kurt Squire’s work and writings on this topic and his web page has links to many of his activities that connect video games to learning.

http://website.education.wisc.edu/kdsquire/

Mark Overmars developed software that allows someone like me to create games that are really neat.  It is called Game Maker and you can really learn a lot by using his book, The Game Maker’s Apprentice that he wrote with Jacob Habgood.  This walks you through tutorials that are awesome and fun. I was able to complete a couple of chapters before life took over once more and – I dearly want to go back and try some more.

http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~overm101/

The Game Maker is showcased and at this site and has quite a community of enthusiasts. It is located at:

http://www.yoyogames.com/

I sometimes feel discouraged that this interest must always be put aside while I rush through my day barely meeting my obligations to work, studies, and the realities of daily living.  But, someday – I would like to commit time to learning more about video games and how they can facilitate learning.  I want to read these books, follow the communities that these people are involved with, and learn how to make video games.

Week 8 – Movers and Shakers

There are some things I like about an LMS.  It’s predictable – mostly stable and dependable – and it can support the administrative tasks pretty well.  It’s convenient.  It does a job.

In order to thrive or even just survive, institutions of higher learning need to gain the ranking and stamp of approval of key organizations. They must document that their curriculum are tieds to concepts that are listed and to prove that they are meeting certain standards.  How better to collect and organize this kind of information then with data based platforms that track everything.

Technology continues to present new opportunities for students to become creators of content rather than just consumers.  Advances in social media resources allow the development of communities of learners – and now all of these resources are available 24/7 on our cell phones.

I think that the way that our Instructor for this Social Networking course has set up the three web-based sites to support the learning goals is the way to go.  The right tool for the right job seems to be the answer – If you need security and/or statistics use the LMS.  If you are trying to get your students to create and explore – open a site in wordpress.

http://www.tedcurran.net/2011/10/lms-disruption/

http://www.jarche.com/2010/05/identifying-a-collaboration-platform/

What are the implications of “going Edupunk” with learners?

Learners who “go Edupunk” – are life wide and lifelong learners.  They are autonomous. These learners are destined to be active in learning communities and actively create content to share with the world.  They are the “movers and shakers”.

http://www.shareable.net/blog/interview-with-anya-kamentz

Week 6 – What Is Showing…

When I first put my About.me page up I used a picture of a flower that  I had snapped in my garden on my way to work one day. The rose filled the card.  There was a spikey green part of the flower that went right through the middle of the image. The image dominated the screen and I feel like it was distracting and too busy.

First Image

I put the image into powerpoint and played around with the angle and placement on the slide.  I tried to lose the spikey green thing in the middle of the screen.

Working in PowerPoint

I then used some of the options on the tool bar to blur the background to make the image softer and hopefully fade into the background.

I worked a little with the font size and ended up with a different look.

My Aboutme page

I think I need to do something different with my picture too – but, haven’t come up with any new ideas.

http://about.me/tina.trimble

I went to my wordpress site made a similar switch out with the same image. But, I used the stage before I blurred the background. This made it a little crisper and I thought this would work as the image is only a strip across the top.  I liked the feature that let me choose the portion of the picture that I wanted to show.

Using the same image in blog site

https://tinatrimble.wordpress.com/

Week 5 – Getting The Party Started!

I started to look around for a professional association to examine for the week five assignment.  I am very interested in the area of  Instructional Design – so I found the Association for Instructional Design site:

http://www.industrial-design-schools.org/instructional-design-blogs

It seemed a little intense – but, I found the link where they recommend a list of their favorite blogs.  They include what the blogger’s main interest is and why they like the site.  I cruised through the list of 50 or more and pulled out five of them that I found most interesting.  They are listed below.  I went to each blog and lurked around reading and checking out links on the pages.  If I got a good feeling about the conversations – I kept them on the list.  In cases where the link was dead – or the person’s direction did not feel like a good match for my interests – I deleted them from my list and went back to pick out another one form the Association’s recommendations.  I ended up with the five here and subscribed to receive each of their blogs via email.

Meanwhile – I had wandered onto a blog that was not listed on this Association’s favorite blog list – but, I was so fascinated by the topics that were covered – that I found myself spending hours reading through all the stuff the author, “Tom Kulhmann” had put forward about being an Instructional Designer.  He had a seemingly endless array of tricks and tips, and links to instructions and videos on how he had done things.  Some of the posts went back quite a few years – so there was a lot to choose from.

After awhile I started reading what his followers were talking about – and I began to feel excitement about the conversations they were having with each other.  It reminds me of the class discussions we have in the forums of our classes at UD.  It made me think about how I felt when after watching the video of Mat’s chat with Laura Gibbs – I had sent a Thank you comment to her – and was stunned when she answered me!  It occurred to me that we could actually have a conversation at some point.

I guess when I started this week’s assignment – I was finding the links and the conversations – but, it was like being at a party where you don’t really know anyone and they aren’t talking about stuff you feel you can contribute to.  But, when I stumbled upon “Tom Kuhlmann’s” blog:

http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/about-tom/

I felt engaged with the topics.  I became more and more eager to read the next post.  I found myself interested in what the conversation was and look forward to joining in.  I guess this is what social networking is all about!  It’s got to be a party that you want to be at to be truly rewarding.

Sorry it took all these words to get to this point – I guess sometimes it’s that kind of a journey.  I look forward to reading the other sites’ blogs as they come in – and hope that some of them prove to be as interesting as the one I am following.

#1  http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/

What the Association said about it:

“eLearning Technology: eLearning Technology is written by Tony Karrer, an expert on the subject of eLearning and how technology can affect education. The blog contains information on topics such as low-cost quiz tools and how to hold effective web conferences.    Why We Love It: The blog’s posts are detailed, and the information in them is highly useful. The blog is also updated frequently.

    Favorite Post: Low-Cost Test and Quiz Tool Comparison: eLearning Technology”

#2  http://usablelearning.wordpress.com/

What the Association said about it:

“The Usable Learning Blog: The Usable Learning Blog is a great resource for instructional designers. It has a very clean and readable format, and it includes posts ranging from how learning games relate to movies and sports to how there is a pay gap in e-learning.     Why We Love It: The blog is fun to read—besides being extremely instructive, the posts are written well and formatted nicely, and are often accompanied by great pictures and illustrations.     Favorite Post: Fraught Decisions”

#3  http://blog.thewritersgateway.com/

What the Association said about it:

“The Writers Gateway: This informative blog packs a wealth of information into its posts, covering everything from how to use software tutorials effectively to how augmented reality games are the future of learning. It is a great resource for instructional designers.     Why We Love It: The blog doesn’t have a fancy format, but it utilizes its simplicity to great effect and has a great variety of useful advice and information.     Favorite Post:Introduction to the Instructor Led Training Toolkit”

#4  http://angelaathomas.com/

What the Association said about it:

“Angela A Thomas: This blog, written by a lecturer in English & arts education, includes fascinating posts on how virtual worlds affect learning and literature. It is a great read for anybody interested in instructional design.”

#5  http://blog.avantgame.com/

What the Association said about it:

“Avant Game: This blog, written by a game designer and researcher, looks at how gaming and game technologies are shaping education, learning, and society in general.”

This adventure took me to : Gameful

http://gameful.org

It looks like a lot of fun – but, it does not look like my niche.  I do like the focus – on games for good.