Smartphone App Evaluation: Video Editing

Cyberlink_videoApp

Power Director is a video editing software for mobile devices. Users can import videos, images, music, and use the built in tools to create a video using their smartphones. I would recommend this app. It was easy to use with nice in-app tools for making videos. A comparison review coming soon.

Strengths:

  • Free to download and use
  • built in video tutorials that shows how to start using tools
  • nice editing tools
  • easy to use

Weakness: only available for Android devices

Learning objectives that are best met: 

  • Develop and use multimedia features and skills on smartphone: audio, video, images
  • collect information outside the class environment
  • explain, show, analyze

How can it enhance cognitive, social, instructor presence:

  • Cognitive: Information presented through both the visual and audio channels deepens understanding; experiential learning for user
  • Social: students can share and critique eachother’s work; possibly collaborate as a group assignment: pool resources, discuss through storyboarding, each responsible for particular section
  • Instructor: video introductions for class assignments and information; improves social presence for async online classes; video demonstration of an example

Challenges in Blended Learning

Notes

Kineo, The Oxford Group. (2013). Blended learning–Current use, challenges, and best practices. Retrieved from http://www.kineo.com/m/0/blended-learning-report-202013.pdf

  • Designing and developing is difficult; companies have less than 50% people who have expertise in blended learning to properly manage this kind of learning (p. 4).

 

http://issues.org/29-4/the-online-challenge-to-higher-education/

Key component of online educational world are MOOCs; Talks about the history of MOOCs; problem is that high quality are are expensive to produce but offer as free service; likely that they need to charge to cover development costs; talked about “pixar” branch?? kid version of established university??

Moocs and educational reform: State legisation is pushing for higher education online; giving credit for online courses ; univ as place of researach led to high cost we know today.

Some things better suited for online such as manipulation and visualization of data; other things still better in class such as speaking and presenations; still need humans to evaluate writing; big bulk of research still in person because learning needs to be hands on.

Blending for success: near future best education will combine the online and offline; Clay christenson said there is possibility that blending learning will eventually lead to completely online education.

In the beginning: they talked about flipped classes; useonline for lecture and first order learning, use in class for higher order learning; facutty development in online, offline, and blended learning will be key to its success.

From credentials to speedier degrees: colleges may use online for introductory courses; this would reduce time to finish; class time could be used for discussions and advanced research; things that online does not do well: discussion seminars, research, writing, and student faculty interactions; big challenge/uncertainty is going to be what’s going to happend to traditional f2f universities.

Evolving business model: online courses expensive to develop; require interactivity; textbook publishers also entering online education; online is good at providing content and information, making assessment; offline good at discussion, mentoring, research

 

Edtech 522 Module 6 Reflection

In EDTECH 522 there were three aspects of technology that I found to be particularly helpful in my development as an educational technologist. One was evaluating online tools. The exercise provided a systematic method for evaluating the effectiveness of an online tool, which included examining how the tool could satisfy instructor, cognitive, and social presence. I found it to be helpful because it’s an exercise that I will utilize regularly in this field as I will encounter many learning and teaching tools.

Number two was evaluating an online course. The process was similar to evaluating online tools but more in-depth in the number of criteria used for measuring quality and structure of an online course. This is an essential skill that I need in order to make new developments in online education because it will help to understand what online courses currently do and how and where to make improvements.

The third tool that I found to be helpful was Moodle. It was a tool that I was familiar with but from a student’s perspective taking courses in the EDTECH program. In module 4 of this course, I developed a lesson, which allowed me to explore a number of different tools to manage and deliver content. I found the workflow to be intuitive and easy to build content. I even reintroduced myself to HTML and CSS, a topic that I hadn’t touched since EDTECH 502. It was good to refresh memory and learned two new things as a result of the process: creating an inline styles and the rules for making a responsive YouTube video. If you ever want to do exercise for your brain, try some HTML exercises.

In addition to the technology, the principles for how adults learn were central to this course. These principles provided evidence for best ways to advance and accommodate adult learners. The key for an instructional designer is to develop activities that includes these principles. One principle was that adults want learning that’s relevant and useful for their professional goals. Allowing them to direct and control their learning, will satisfy this principle. For example, letting them choose the tools that they want to learn or apply skills in a manner most useful for them. Teachers can also take an active role by asking questions that connects the new knowledge and skills with their professional background and experience.

The skills and knowledge that I learned from this course will be valuable for both my short term and long term goals. My short term future plans will begin as an instructional designer at a designated university somewhere in the south west after graduating this December. I believe that some of the most exciting educational developments occur in this region. This will provide the right environment to further develop my skills in instructional design and course building to reach my long term goal, which is to make exciting developments in online learning. I feel that it’s going to have something to do simulated learning and/or global online experience. Because I don’t have the exact details on how this is going to work it will be essential that I meet other instructors, technologists, and state administrators. Collaboration with other like-minded people is the only way that this plan will materialize. Things that are clear are the topics we covered in this course: teaching skills for online and blended environments, evaluating and using learning tools, activities embedded with learning principles, and a detailed understanding of how courses are developed and the learning experiences that they create.

Edtech 522 Module 6 Discussions

Research has shown that students are engaged and receive better achievements in blended learning. A good portion of this is due to the online component. It allows to self-direct learning, allowing them to control their pace, preferences, and learning path. Because the internet has so many resources, it can almost literally accommodate every learner’s preference, level, and pace. I liked the way Jen Jonson (2014) explained how a teacher can apply blended learning: students research assignments online and demonstrate and document their learning through an online activity such as a discussion board. Teachers can then review this and use class time for remediation or do more advanced work related to the topic. A key to blended learning is combining the online activities with the offline to add depth to students’ learning. Some may argue that if students research a topic online that would be considered the online aspect of it. Yes it is, except that teachers should require students to take it a step further and apply that learning to practice and demonstrate it to show to someone else (Jonson). That medium is usually through a learning management system.

Thought from this perspective, the process of blended learning would be easy for a faculty member to grasp but the difficulty they have is putting it into practice; they have trouble connecting the online with the offline activities (Kaleta, Garnham, & Aycock, 2006). One reason is the lack of experience in learning technologies. This was evident from the number of the websites that discuss topics on professional development for teachers. Also the classmates who took EDTECH 522 was further evidence of this need.  All (including myself) were teachers, instructional designers, and technology integration specialist taking a course on how to teach online. One article stated that the biggest difficulty was getting teachers to commit to learn and use new technology (Intentional futures, 2016). For instructors new to technology, a simple model would be the best approach to gradually develop their skills. Based on attending courses as a student, the model used by Boise State is simple yet effective. They use a few tools consistently in many of their classes to allow students to become very familiar with the learning process. From a teacher’s perspective it allows them to regularly practice the tools to build their comfort level, which could then lead to using the tool in more creative ways. Understanding the tools will be an essential important step. This will likely take some time and so this will likely mean setting up a program to monitor technology use and to provide regular support. The technology will be critical because without technology and online presence, it will be impossible for them to connect the online with the offline activities.

This also means that faculty should understand the online learning environment. Part of this will occur as they practice using the tool. But I recall reading one article that said many of the teachers use the online environment to post announcements and to store and manage student data. This would indicate that the F2F is their primary method for instructions and the online is somewhat a secondary option. So the key is get them to change this belief and practice. One way to do this would be to get them to teach online as their primary mode and use the F2F as the secondary mode—perhaps have them test it out for two weeks out of a month. This was how I learned the potential and the benefits for teaching online. There were times when there was some discomfort and unfamiliarity but with proper training and preparations a teacher could reduce many of these bumps.

 

Intentionalfuturescom. (2016). Instructional design in higher education. Retrieved 11 August, 2016, from http://intentionalfutures.com/reports/instructional_design/

Jonson, J. (2014). Blended learning and technology integration. Retrieved 11 August, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD8AUfGsCKg

Kaleta, R., Garnham, C., & Aycock, A. (2006). Hybrid courses: Obstacles and solutions for faculty and students. 19th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning.  Retrieved 11 August, 2016, from http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/resource_library/proceedings/03_72.pdf

Edtech for Faculty Development

This is a course that I created to help faculty develop the skills needed to teach in a blended environment. These are some of skills that the course covers: learning theories and principles, evaulation of online tools, creating a screencast video, developing a rubric to measure quality for a blended lesson, and creating a lesson that utilizes the skills from the previous modules. Link: http://edtechdev.mrooms2.net/course/view.php?id=717

Edtech 522 Module 5 Reflection

Designing the lessons in module 4 for the course instructional technology for faculty focused on using two principles from Andragogy. The first was self-concept meaning that a mature adult knows who he/she is and thus can self-direct their learning.  The second principle was orientation to learning meaning that an adult needs to have learning that is contextualized with the ability to apply immediately into their profession. I envisioned the faculty in my course to be new to technology but having expertise in their subject area and serving as leaders in their fields. It was important to provide guidance but also the flexibility for them to direct their own learning. One way that I incorporated this principle was the list of resources provided in the module. It covered specific categories of information that I felt were essential to understand blended learning (definition of blended learning, best practices, examples, and rubric to measure quality), but I didn’t require all materials to be read or in any specific order. The reason was that I expected them to use the resources as the starting point to develop ideas for exploring their own path to achieve understanding. In reference to contextualized learning, the activity of developing a personal rubric was used. It allowed students to create a personal rubric that would be practical because they could use it as a guide whenever they created a blended lesson.

An instructional strategy that I used in creating a module was a discussion board. It’s effective for developing cognitive, social, and instructor presence, and works well in a blended environment to support in class activities. It requires the student to analyze and synthesize different resources and then to summarize and apply them into a practical situation. Students make their writings available for others to read and comment, and so learning becomes a social experience. The instructor has a key role in setting up good questions to get students to use higher order thinking and provide the guidelines so that students make comments that add new insights into the discussions. The second strategy was critical thinking in creating a personal rubric. Students had to analyze different rubrics and consider each of the criteria to measure the quality of a blended course. They then had to evaluate the ones they felt were most essential by considering their background and experience in teaching.  Both of these activities take into account experiential learning. Students are asked to acquire information and knowledge and apply them into authentic tasks. I talked about two, but other authentic tasks include designing a lesson to teach, evaluating and reporting an online tool or course, and using small groups to collaborate and construct a learning product.

I think most challenging but also interesting about developing an online course is the amount of preparation and analytical thinking that goes into creating an instructional product. To provide an example of the process, when creating a lesson you have to write learning outcomes and objectives that are clear and measurable, consider methods for assessments thinking about their advantages, and then create activities that are sequenced and aligned to both the objectives and the assessments. If a module has an outcome with multiple objectives with each of them connected to learning objectives, the process can quickly become complex, if in addition to that, we consider different strategies, theories, and learning principles into the mix. I think any instructional designer will find this work stimulating because it’s like solving a puzzle. The goal is to create the perfect instruction that accurately achieves the desired result but layered in a ocean of variables that can change the direction of the outcome. In essence we try to map how the mind works through research, theories, instructional best practices, continuously modifying instructions, analyzing outcomes to determine its effectiveness, and more. Based on the complexity of how the mind works we still have a long way. I feel good knowing this because new developments are waiting to be discovered.

Interactive Video Platforms

Interactive video platform refers synchronous lessons as mentioned in the article from eLearning Industries. They do have advantages as mentioned in the article and from my experience teaching online for four years but they put time constraints on the learner. I felt that my asynchronous graduate courses at Boise State provided plenty of interactions. This was usually done once a week through a discussion board but with many opportunities to view classmates’ comments and share thoughts. After participating for about a month you do get a sense of what that person is like. Sometimes VoiceThread was used instead of a dicussion board and I find this be an effective to personalize the discussion because it allows users to integrate images, audio, and video to communicate ideas.

If online learning is to occur on a global scale I don’t see how live interactions can support people living in different time zones. I see the future being based around asynchronous learning environments that includes different methods of interactions and a community established in their local area where they’ll have opportunities to connect with like-minded people in-person or through live video platforms, for example like an association.