As I realized this week that I had finished the video, poster, and executive summary I breathed a huge sigh of relief. It might actually all get done! I still need to make the presentation video and finish up some of the pages on my website, but it all seems much more doable now. While becoming a better teacher was obviously the main reason I decided to get a masters I have gained something else, unexpected from this program. I learned that I can figure out how to do things that seem intimidating or beyond my skill set. Before I started this program I would have never thought I could make and edit a video, or write a research paper, or design a logo, or create a website! But looking back on this year I realized that with some frustration and an ample amount of google searches starting with, "How do I..." I can figure out how to do a lot more than I thought possible. This not only gives me increased confidence in my profession, but in my general life as well.
Luckily, there was not a whole lot that I needed to change about my video this week. I had some awkward spots where the screen was black for too long, but those problems are pretty easy to fix on WeVideo. One good tip I did pick up from my cousin, who is a video editor, was to never have a still image. He told me that most of the time still images in a video will be zooming in or out very slightly. This gives the video a sense of movement, but it needs to be so slight that the viewer hardly notices it. I added this effect to my video and it really did help it to all come together.
For as frustrated as I was with the script writing process, I found the actual video creation process to be really fun. I ended up using the upgraded version of WeVideo and it's great! I decided to bite the bullet and pay the $23 for a month so that I would have access to all of their videos, images, and music, as well as not have a water mark on my video. I found the WeVideo interface a little intimidating at first, but once I got started I found that it was pretty easy to use.
I found that I ended up re-writing my script as I created the video. My original script was way too long, so I decided to just introduce my topic, and not really try to explain the results of my research in the video. Hopefully this is not confusing and makes the viewer want to learn more about my topic. In relation to the time length, I did find it difficult to keep my video to 90 seconds but I also realize after watching it back a couple hundred times that we would not want them to be any longer.
Finally, I am pretty happy with the quality of my video so far. I haven't finished cleaning it up yet, but I wanted to get feedback from my cohort before I invested more time into polishing it up. Overall this was a much better experience than I expected and I am excited to know that I can now make videos!
Not going to lie, I had a hard time with this one! I like to start with a very general idea and then become increasingly more specific as I sort through my ideas. Starting with the specifics of storyboarding and script writing seemed backwards from my usual thought process. I looked at the storyboarding templates and felt totally overwhelmed by the amount of detail they were asking for, I don't know what transitions I want to use, I barely know what this video is about! So I decided to just write my script on a Google Doc where I am nice and comfy. It was pretty challenging boiling down my research to 200 words, but I enjoyed trying to think of ways to make my video comical. Then I thought about just breaking my script into two columns and writing storyboarding notes on the right side of the page.
Thinking back on this process I realized that sometimes its good just to stick to what you know and are comfortable with. I have been pushing myself so hard this year to try new things, I think I hit my limit. Sometimes there's nothing better than a good, old, simple, Google Doc.
I have to say I was very relieved to find out that logo design websites exist! The entire time we have been discussing our logos I have been quietly terrified that we would have to hand-draw (*gasp) them or something like that, so my review might be positively skewed due to my relief! I used two different programs, logomakr.com and canva.com, this week to work on the first rough drafts of my logo.
The first website I used was logomakr, which I found to be really easy to use and has a TON of images to choose from when making your design. I did find it difficult to rotate the images which made designing my overall logo a little more time consuming. Logomakr also asks users to purchase their design in order to download it without a watermark. Other than that I really enjoyed using this website. I wanted to create something pretty simple that transferred the message I wanted to send and this website was perfect for that.
After looking at some of my amazing classmates' logo designs I thought I should make another draft of my logo which uses text. For this I used the website canva.com. I found this website to be also very easy to use. I did notice that canva has a lot pre-done for you, which is good if you don' t really have a solid idea of what you want to make, but it does make it more difficult if you want to build you logo from scratch. I decided not to fight the system and edited a premade logo that was available on the website. In comparison to logomakr, canva was just as easy to use, its images were easier to rotate, but it had fewer free images to use than logomakr.
Overall I was very pleased with both of these websites and enjoyed playing around with them on my first attempt to create a logo.
This past year I found that using different modes of communication with my students helped them to learn better and to be more engaged with the content they were learning. For example, I began making screencasts for my students to use for their math notes. I found this provided an excellent solution to several problems. First it fixed the problem of students writing at different speeds. The next problem the screencasts helped with was students who need explanations many times. Students began to watch the screencast as they were doing their assignments to help them through more complicated problems. This lead to the last problem I was having, which was the quality of our classroom discussions. I found that the students were had already learned quite a bit from the screencast so their questions had more to do with how this skill connected with other skills they have, and how to determine if their answers are reasonable.
This year, through what I learned in this course I introduced powtoons, google slides, and adobe spark to my students. The most popular by far were powtoon presentations! I was surprised by this because that website can be hard to use, but through some trial and error and coaching each other my students were able to make really great presentation on it. Whenever we did a research project and I would tell them they could make a screencast, poster, presentation, or online presentation their engagement level would definitely raise. This shows that transliteracy in the classroom not only helps students to learn more efficiently, but also enables students to enjoy the learning process more. I'm sold.