multimedia musings

thoughts on technology & education

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Blog #1, Revisited

Vintage Palmolive Commercial

 1) Analysis. What is the purpose of this video? What version of reality is it selling?

This video’s purpose is to sell Palmolive dish detergent as a mild alternative to other detergents that contain more harsh chemicals.  It is definitely selling a reality version of middle-class women who have time and money to get their nails done and are interested in keeping up appearances.


2) Audience. Who is the intended audience of this video? Through whose eyes or perspective is information conveyed? Why?

This video is clearly marketed to women whose lives revolve around domestic duties (washing dishes and going food shopping) and service-jobs (nail technician and nurse), as seen through two women who represent these archetypes.


3) Representation. How are the people/figures in this video portrayed? Why do you believe they have been singled out? Whose voices are not being represented in this text?

The women here are seen as ones who care about beauty, as Madge’s client is not only getting a manicure, but is choosing Palmolive because it makes her skin soft.  It seems intentional that males are not represented in this commercial…especially when Madge’s friend playfully scolds her when Madge asks her if her husband knows about the detergent.  I mean really, why would a MAN be interested in such domestic nonsense?  He has more important things to do, like hunting wild boar and chopping firewood!


4) Design. From the perspective of a video producer, discuss what you think are some of the most important design decisions used in creating this ad. Why do you think this specific medium was used to market this product?

It looks like videos were used because back in the 1970s, television was a popular medium for advertisers since TV could reach a wide audience.  I noticed that the green color of Palmolive was a talking point in the commercial and was even zoomed-in on a few times.  I don’t know much about the color of dish detergent at that time, but I’m thinking that the green color was pretty unique that made Palmolive identifiable at the store.

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Carolyn King’s Response to “Learning Element - Teacher”

Learning Element-Teacher

Sheila- I really enjoyed how you brought the “experiencing the known” section of the learning processes into the lives of your students.  It’s clear to me that your lesson “grabber” (incorporating the reality TV shows) is going to be a big hit.  There are so many shades and nuances of learning that take place is your lesson, and I think that by incorporating reality shows into your lesson, you’re really going to get your students invested and take advantage of their every-day knowledge.  I also like that your lesson incorporates so many different elements of learning from 21st century communication skills to multi-media overviews to critiques.  Your students are going to come away with this lesson with so many helpful literary abilities!

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Blog #8 - Technology Toolkit

One of my responsibilities as a Reading Specialist is to provide teachers with monthly professional development on a variety of topics.  The main focus for next school year will be integrating technology into the curriculum.  The teachers I work with are ready to take their instruction and their students’ learning to the next level but have expressed that they feel frustrated with actually having the kids use technology in meaningful ways.  One hurdle that we have recently overcome having is up-to-date computers.  The ones in our classrooms and media center were at least seven years old with little RAM, thus making time on-task minimal.  Luckily, the entire school just received new computers last week, so that is step one. 

As such, I put resources into my technology toolkit that outlined practical ways that teachers could use technology in their classrooms.  For example, the toolkit includes some great resources from ReadWriteThink.org, like the BioCube and Character Cards.  These two interactive graphic organizers serve as simple bridges from what teachers are doing with pencil and paper to literary practices that are more engaging. 

My school principal is well versed in the pedagogical benefits of using technology in the classroom so I wouldn’t necessary change the resources in the toolkit if I were sharing it with her.  She is a proactive leader who would prefer to know about resources that teachers could use in their classrooms. 

If I encounter a teacher who does not want to hear about technology, I honestly would not share the toolkit just yet…or I would share it with him/her but I would not expect him/her to use it just yet (due to the “Fear of the Unknown,” as shared by adult education expert, Stephen D. Brookfield).  Change is a difficult thing to enact so I would begin with the “converted” and then move toward those who are more resistant. Over time, I would assist all staff members in making steady progress toward technology integration using various resources such as those in the technology toolkit.

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Blog # 8: Learning Element (Student)

This Learning Element is for one of the collaborative project choices for my MMP titled, “Conflict Confessionals,” based on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

The Book Thief is a novel that is riddled with conflicts, including human vs. human, human vs. self, human vs. society, human vs. supernatural, and human vs. destiny.  Because of that, the students in this group have to deeply explore this literary element tied to their essential questions by creating a series of videos titled, “Conflict Confessionals.”  These videos are to be made in the fashion of contemporary reality shows, where the “characters” sit in front of the camera and record themselves discussing the problems going on in their lives and the action they will (or will not) take to combat those conflicts. 

With this project, students will take on the roles of specific characters in the book, responding to each of the essential questions.  Using scripts written by the group, students will use the Webcam built into the school’s laptops to film the confessionals.  They will have to dress up as the chosen characters and record themselves talking, confessional style, into the camera with the appropriate backdrop, props, and clothing reminiscent of that time.  Each conflict confessional will be about two minutes in length and edited by the group using the movie software program iMovie.  This software affords student editors access to appropriate title slides, captions, transitions, and music to mirror the mood of each conflict.

 

 Student Resource

 1.) Learning Focus: “Conflict Confessionals” for The Book Thief (Project Choice # 2).

•    Knowledge Domain: Reading and Writing

•    Scope of Learning: Novel Study and Literary Elements

•    Learning Level: 8th Grade

•    Prior Knowledge: Basic knowledge of literary conflicts, the history of WWII, and iMovie software

•    Mode of Meaning: short films

2.) Knowledge Objectives

   Students will be able to read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

   Students will be able to analyze how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

   Students will be able to write scripts to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

   Students will be able to use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

 

3.) Knowledge Processes

a) Experiencing the known: What reality shows, if any, do you watch?  Look at the video clips from TV reality shows that demonstrate confessional discussions about conflicts.  When the viewing is over, discuss your reactions and opinions in your small group, focusing on the conflict in each.

b) Experiencing the new: Start with one Topic Wheel graphic organizer.  Working in pairs, choose one of the major characters from the novel and, in each section of the wheel, take on the perspective of the given character.  Record:

   Things I know about the conflict

   How I feel about the conflict

   Things I would like to find out about the conflict

   Ways I could solve the conflict

   Other

Repeat for at least three more characters using a different Topic Wheel organizer.

 

c) Conceptualizing by naming: With a partner, use the interactive webbing tool and write down the five types of literary conflicts.  Provide an example of each from the novel with the page numbers.

d) Conceptualizing with theory: Using Doodle Splash, illustrate and write about at least one of the conflicts from your interactive web. 

e) Analyzing functionally:  In your small group, create a script and storyboard for each conflict confessional.  This will have to be approved by the teacher before you begin filming.

f) Analyzing critically: Using the class website, respond to the blog prompt for this week.

g) Applying appropriately: Once your script and storyboard are apporive, use the WebCam in the laptop to film each conflict confessional.  Remember that you have to dress up as the chosen characters and record yourself talking, confessional style, into the camera with the appropriate backdrop, props, and clothing reminiscent of that time. 

Each conflict confessional will be about two minutes in length and edited by the group using the movie software program iMovie.  Be sure to include appropriate title slides, captions, transitions, and music to mirror the mood of each conflict.

h) Applying creatively:  See above.

 

 4.) Knowledge Outcomes

As a result of completing this Learning Element, you will show that you can:

   Understand literacy conflicts, as demonstrated through the Topic Wheel, Web activity, Doodle Splash, and five conflict confessional videos.

   Engage in weekly blog posts will enable you to demonstrate their understanding of the literacy conflicts as well as respond to the novel as a whole.

   Use multimedia with almost every one of the knowledge processes as well as the overarching project (Conflict Confessionals).

   Self-monitor your progress with the project rubric that accompanies the final project.  This will emphasize literary skills as well as “new literacies” such as multimodal expression, collaboration skills, and creativity.

 

5.) Learning Pathways

Following this novel study, you will go on to explore various literary criticisms.

 

6.) About this Learning Element

Through a novel study of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, you will explore issues of social justice as a result of various types of conflicts.  In this multimedia project, you will collaborate to build knowledge and demonstrate understanding of literary conflicts and, consequently, social justice during World War II, as illustrated through the characters in The Book Thief.

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Blog #7 - Learning Element (Teacher)

This Learning Element is for one of the collaborative project choices for my MMP titled, “Conflict Confessionals,” based on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

The Book Thief is a novel that is riddled with conflicts, including human vs. human, human vs. self, human vs. society, human vs. supernatural, and human vs. destiny.  Because of that, the students in this group have to deeply explore this literary element tied to their essential questions by creating a series of videos titled, “Conflict Confessionals.”  These videos are to be made in the fashion of contemporary reality shows, where the “characters” sit in front of the camera and record themselves discussing the problems going on in their lives and the action they will (or will not) take to combat those conflicts. 

With this project, students will take on the roles of specific characters in the book, responding to each of the essential questions.  Using scripts written by the group, students will use the Webcam built into the school’s laptops to film the confessionals.  They will have to dress up as the chosen characters and record themselves talking, confessional style, into the camera with the appropriate backdrop, props, and clothing reminiscent of that time.  Each conflict confessional will be about two minutes in length and edited by the group using the movie software program iMovie.  This software affords student editors access to appropriate title slides, captions, transitions, and music to mirror the mood of each conflict.


 Teacher Resource

 1.) Learning Focus: “Conflict Confessionals” for The Book Thief (Project Choice # 2).

    Knowledge Domain: Reading and Writing

    Scope of Learning: Novel Study and Literary Elements

    Learning Level: 8th Grade

    Prior Knowledge: Basic knowledge of literary conflicts, the history of WWII, and iMovie software

    Mode of Meaning: short films

2.) Knowledge Objectives

  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
  • Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

3.) Knowledge Processes

a) Experiencing the known: This project is designed to connect the learning in students’ lives to the classroom through a popular mode of televised media.  As such, students will work collaboratively to explore edited samples of confessionals from various age-appropriate reality shows, particularly those demonstrating discussions about conflicts, and discuss the elements of each.

b) Experiencing the new: Students will create a Topic Wheel to explore the internal workings of various characters in light of literary conflicts.  Students are given several graphic organizers that have a wheel with five spokes (one wheel per character). In each section of the wheel, students take on the perspective of the given character and record:

  • Things I know about the conflict
  • How I feel about the conflict
  • Things I would like to find out about the conflict
  • Ways I could solve the conflict
  • Other

c) Conceptualizing by naming: Here, students will collaboratively use an online, interactive webbing tool to list the five types of literary conflicts (human vs. human, human vs. self, human vs. society, human vs. supernatural, and human vs. destiny) and provide an example of each from the novel.

d) Conceptualizing with theory: Students will create graphics to illustrate and write about at least one of the conflicts that from the text using Doodle Splash, an interactive tool that combines the process of drawing with analytical thinking about a text.  Students use this online drawing space with prompts to make connections between their visual designs and the text.

e) Analyzing functionally:  Students will collaborative to create a script and storyboard for each conflict confessional prior to filming.

f) Analyzing critically: A self-reflection tool allows students to be metacognitive about their learning.  For this knowledge process, each student will be given a weekly online blog prompt to reflect on the process of the group project (conflict confessionals).  These self-reflection blog posts will provide students with the opportunity to keep track of their progress, highlight any achievements or challenges throughout the process, and support them in learning from this experience in an online community.

g) Applying appropriately: Students will be given a chance to pull it all together and demonstrate their understanding of literacy conflicts as seen in The Book Thief through their final project, “Conflict Confessionals.”  In this collaborative project, students will take on the roles of specific characters in the book, responding to each of the essential questions.  Using scripts written by the group, students will use the Webcam built into the school’s laptops to film the confessionals.  They will have to dress up as the chosen characters and record themselves talking, confessional style, into the camera with the appropriate backdrop, props, and clothing reminiscent of that time.  Each conflict confessional will be about two minutes in length and edited by the group using the movie software program iMovie.  This software affords student editors access to appropriate title slides, captions, transitions, and music to mirror the mood of each conflict.

h) Applying creatively:  See above.


 4.) Knowledge Outcomes

  • Understanding of literacy conflicts will be demonstrated through the Topic Wheel, Web activity, Doodle Splash, and five conflict confessional videos.
  • Weekly blog posts will enable students to demonstrate their understanding of the literacy conflicts as well as respond to the novel as a whole.
  • Students will use multimedia with almost every one of the knowledge processes as well as the overarching project (Conflict Confessionals).
  • A project rubric will accompany the final project, which will emphasize literary skills as well as “new literacies” such as multimodal expression, collaboration skills, and creativity.

5.) Learning Pathways

This is a good lead into learning about literary criticisms, as students are asked to take on the perspective of an “other” when analyzing text.

6.) About this Learning Element

Through a novel study of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, students explore issues of social justice as a result of various types of conflicts.  In this multimedia project students collaborate to build knowledge and demonstrate understanding of literary conflicts and, consequently, social justice during World War II, as illustrated through the characters in The Book Thief.

 

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“I’m always looking for new ways to get kids interested in their learning,” Ms Leung said.

“Students are already very familiar with games like Angry Birds and so it connects with their everyday life and makes them more engaged and more interested.”

She beat colleagues from around the nation for implementing games-based learning and leadership of the school’s technology- rich curriculum.

Ms Leung believes educational games are boring and said commercial games are far more effective.

How Angry Birds make science tons of fun

Click through for a few more of Ms. Leung’s teaching ideas!

(via world-shaker)

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)

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I have to say at first I was frustrated with this assignment.  I couldn’t figure out how I was going to shoot video of things (what things?!) to explain multimedia and multimodal learning.  I have used iMovie before with recorded videos and loved it, but this was a little different because there wasn’t supposed to be any audio directly connected to the visuals.  

Then my husband told me that I could make a movie out of still pics and my whole attitude changed.

I decided to use Getty Images since I knew they were safe.  I quickly found images for my project and began to work.  It was easy!  With the Oscars on this weekend, I know I’m no Martin Scorsese…but it was a lot of fun!  The best part of it was adding the music.  I chose to do that at the last minute, but I think it added a much-needed dimension to the final cut.

Now I know the potential of using images within iMovie in the classroom since my school doesn’t have webcams and only a limited number of handheld video cameras!

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Melissa McKenna’s Response

Hi Sheila!
 
I love your story board. Did you just post the pictures on the blog or did you format it on another template? I was thinking that before students use the iMovie or flip camera to edit, maybe they can create a story board so they know exactly what they are editing and how they are going to edit either options. I like how you actually included people in your storyboard pieces to show how your project involves student collaboration and interaction. This seems like a really great project and there are many ways students can use multimedia throughout your project. Good luck, it seems like it will be really effective!
 
Melissa

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Part 2 (see Part 1 above)
*************
Maybe I’m cranky this week, but I didn’t enjoy this exercise.  I didn’t get much out of storyboarding my project, but that could have been because I planned it all out before this post  (or I did it wrong).  Perhaps if this was the first step in designing the project then I’d feel that it was useful, but…meh.

Part 2 (see Part 1 above)

*************

Maybe I’m cranky this week, but I didn’t enjoy this exercise.  I didn’t get much out of storyboarding my project, but that could have been because I planned it all out before this post  (or I did it wrong).  Perhaps if this was the first step in designing the project then I’d feel that it was useful, but…meh.

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Response from Johanna Cella

Sheila, I really enjoyed your blog post. I was inspired to try a few typefaces/words, using three of the words from your exercise: Shred, Lightly, Pillow. I really like the fonts that you used, I think they conveyed the appropriate “mood” and feeling, especially the bricks. I completely understand your frustration in having to copy, paste, and rotate the little image over and over, but it was very effective. Also, the atom font, with the actual atoms was awesome. I’m curious, did you add the yellow glow to your “lightly” font? What program did you use to create your “brick” font? Was it iphoto again? Perhaps a still image editor would be more useful? Do you see any advantages to playing around with different fonts? Would you use them in your power points or websites?

Another font site that I recommend is dafont.com. It’s awesome, no registration necessary. It looked like you had to register for the site you used (unless that was for something else?).

My favorite font that you created has to be the bricks, though. It actually elicits a feeling of nostalgia. It reminds me of the old Sesame Street video clips, where it showed someone drawing a picture, then scrapping it, and maybe a drawing coming to life on the piece of paper … the old school, rough animation that we just don’t see anymore.

Great job!

Johanna

Ps. Here is a link to a few of the fonts I fooled around with: http://i44.tinypic.com/2f0gj1c.jpg

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Mini-Art School Blog #5
Typographic Conveyance Exercise – Design Basics Index; Page 299 
Task: Come up with a few typographic conveyances of your own using these six words: shred, lightly, atom, brick, pillow, xxl.

This was a lot of fun!  To make most of the words, I used a website called fontspace.com.  It’s a site that lets you download various fonts for free.  For the word “brick,” I found a picture of a brick and pasted it multiple times.  (There must be an easier way, but I haven’t found it yet.)  
P.S. Here’s a fun project that plays with type.

 

Mini-Art School Blog #5

Typographic Conveyance Exercise – Design Basics Index; Page 299 

TaskCome up with a few typographic conveyances of your own using these six words: shred, lightly, atom, brick, pillow, xxl.

This was a lot of fun!  To make most of the words, I used a website called fontspace.com.  It’s a site that lets you download various fonts for free.  For the word “brick,” I found a picture of a brick and pasted it multiple times.  (There must be an easier way, but I haven’t found it yet.)  

P.S. Here’s a fun project that plays with type.