Summary of Learning, Part 2

Our last day of class, we gathered together with ECMP355 class and shared our learning journeys. We did not have enough time to watch all of our summary of learning, but there were some new programs that I wanted to try in my future classrooms.

Carmelle had shared her Summary of Learning! created using StoryJumper: a digital storybook creator. I have used Storybird, another digital storybook creator, with my Gr. 5 ELA during my internship. My students were very excited about publishing their stories online at first, but soon they expressed their frustrations with this program. Although the artworks on Storybird are beautiful and inspiring, you can only choose one set of artworks. You cannot switch the set of artworks, and you face the limited selections, which I did not know about. Some students wanted to add their own drawings but they couldn’t because I did not know how to become the contributor. However, StoryJumper allows users to add their own photos, graphics, and artworks; moreover, voice recording!! This program looked much more exciting and appropriate for elementary schools for sure!

Although I have been enthusiastic about #Edtech and new online learning tools and opportunities to try out in classrooms, I often thought about the digital divide that persists in my own community in one corner of my head. I started to realize that it is not about the availability of devices among families anymore, but rather it is the lack of digital literacy for school purpose (and confidence) among teachers. The devices and programs available are not being utilized to full potential.

At the end of our class, Alec and Katia shared three videos of the summary of learning from ECI834. These three videos blew my mind and I just cannot stop thinking about ‘blended learning/classroom model.’ In schools, desktop computers have been replaced with laptops or iPads (mobile carts); thus, it enables us to foster this model. We should be incorporating available technologies and devices to differentiate students’ learnings and assessments.

To end this post, I just wanted to share the videos from ECI834 class.

First, from Andres

Then, from Graham

Finally, from Logan

Khan Academy is awesome. I found resources for blended learning

https://www.khanacademy.org/resources/using-technology-in-the-classroom/four-different-blended-learning-models/v/sscc-blended-station

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Yousician guitar lesson progress

I have talked about some positives of using Yousician in the past, and I want to add a couple more things I learned about this app.

  1. E-mail progress report: it will provide you a snapshot of your progress. As you can see, I have been working on my fretting positions.
    Screenshots of Yousician email report, edited using Paint

    2. Weekly Challenge: it was 2 songs practicing 2 ways: frets and chords. I did try fret exercises, but I found that the beat for ‘Funk’ was not in my body. I just couldn’t get it. I need to get used to the Funky beats.

    Weekly Challenge Email

    3. Certificate: PDF downloadable certificate was sent to my mailbox. I am not going to print it out, but it did give me a little bit of tickle in my heart.

    Screenshot – certificate of completion

    I am not sure if these features would motivate you, but it did for me a little bit. The weekly report reminded me when I did not practice much in a week and I did try practice more in following week.

Tablature vs. Chords

As I continue my guitar lessons, I quickly realized that I don’t have a good strength needed to play chords well. I know if I keep practicing it I will be able to do so, but meanwhile, it is painful. So I decided to discuss tablature vs. chords today.

Screenshot from Andrew’s Kids Guitar Zone (https://www.youtube.com/user/Kidsguitarzone/)

I have been using Andrew’s Kids Guitar Zone YouTube channel, and he uses ‘tablature.’ It is simple because it shows which string and frets I need to use. I think I forgot to explain about the guitar anatomy I learned, so please check my resource. Anyways, it shows similar to how I read music when I learned to play the piano. It makes more sense to me because I actually did not learn about chords when I was taking piano lessons (well over 30 years ago…), and guitar chords really do not make sense to me yet. I hope I get there, but meanwhile, I am sticking to my path to the Fret Master since Yousician lets me practice in three ways: The Lead Guitar Path (frets), Knowledge, and The Rhythm Guitar Path (Chords). I did try working on the Knowledge lesson which was to work out my ear, listen to the sound and then to play it. I am terrible at it right now, I don’t have the guitar sounds in me yet.

I just started to try the Rhythm Guitar Path a couple weeks ago, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is tough. I am pressing down the strings so hard, and I am usually focusing on it, so my strumming becomes weak. I tried E, Em, and Am. Em is my favorite so far because I can make this sound easily. E and Am are a bit tough for me because I cannot use my pointer finger well enough due to the awkward positioning.

But I would love to be able to master the chords eventually because guitar chords are the basics for playing songs that I want to learn. I just keep trying until my fingers toughen up.

  
Chords from http://www.fastguitartechniques.com/

I found this website https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/ that shares over a million songs with guitar tabs and chords. I got myself a chord for Do-Re-Mi I wanted to master as I talked about it in my first post. I don’t think I will get there right now but I am hoping that I can post a video of me singing and playing Do-Re-Mi with my daughter in near future.

do_re_mi

Screenshot from https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/j/julie_andrews/do_re_mi_crd.htm 

Smoke on The Water (Green Screen edition)

As I have promised, I created a video of me playing guitar with the Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water live video. And I am going to explain my process of setting up this video.

 

Screen shot from my YouTube account
  1. I recorded myself playing guitar in front of my green screen studio (one corner of my office) using iPad.
  2. Upload the video to my YouYube account, set as private. It took about 20-30 minutes to upload.
  3. Download my video from YouTube account into my PC. I was able to download from Video Manager in Creator Studio.
  4. Searched for the song and downloaded it using https://www.onlinevideoconverter.com/ into my PC.
  5. Open Movavi and started my movie editing.
  6. Fiddling around with a little bit at first, but it was a simple operation to add media and using green screen effect.
  7. A tough part of editing was to match up the tempo of my guitar and the original Deep Purple song. I learned that I should have played guitar while listening to this song instead of trying to adjust it later. I had to speed up my guitar up to 120%, but still, it did not match up quite right.
  8. Added ‘opening’ and ‘end’ using the text tool.
  9. Export it to my PC and YouTube. It took about 45 minutes to export the video. And YouTube needed more time to process my video as well.
Screenshot of my desktop

I do like this program. Beautiful and straightforward. I may consider for purchasing activation key after my 7-day-trial.

And now presenting my performance with Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water.

FYI: don’t forget to press ‘PUBLISH’ after uploading your video onto YouTube. I had to re-do it because I forgot to do so last time…

Frustrated with Video Editing

Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt (2006) http://quotes.yourdictionary.com/author/douglas-adams/592123#technology 

The thing is that I do enjoy the technology available to me, but I am FRUGLE! I don’t want to pay big bucks. So I Google here and there between my projects to find suitable programs for free. That means I really need to be critical and skim read information necessary for my needs.

But my frustration level is getting higher and higher as I started to enjoy creating animation on iPad and then to edit them more. iPad apps are made to make money, I know that. So I need to pay for it if I want to get the full service such as video editing and green screen effect. But I did not want to sucked into this in-app purchase. And besides, I really need to work with a small budget for both my personal use and school use.

But it is getting to be much more complicated when you really like the program using a free version, then telling me that I don’t have enough space to upload videos now and need to upgrade = pay for it. I talked about how easy it was to use WeVideo, and I loved it. Well, I do love it, but now I have to pay if I want to do more video editing. I created a short claymation to learn about green screen technique in February. I did not take my time to blog about it, so I wanted to create a tutorial video.

Screen shot WeVideo pricing for School

But, now I cannot use WeVideo!! FRUSTRATED!! Perhaps it is worth paying for it… would you? I guess I can switch to the personal use which is much more cheaper $60 or $96 /yr. But I am going to use enough after this class?

 

Once again, I googled for other option, free green screen editing. I came across few options.

Adobe Video Spark has a great visual appearance on their website. It sounds like I can create a video in no time and able to share it. But it does not tell me if I can use green screen editing. But I can use this on my iPad and PC seamlessly, and that sounds great to me. I think I will give it a try.

I searched video editor specific to the green screen feature, but it seems like WeVideo is the only one I can use online (without downloading the program) and rest of them are available for download for free or free trial. I decide Movavi video editor a try (7-day trial).

 

My green screen ‘studio.’

I downloaded the program, and I recorded myself in front of the green screen. I knew the microphone on my laptop is not great so I decide to record using iPad. Well, the recording was easy enough but how can I transfer the videos to my PC? I have been struggling with this sharing videos on iPad with PC for a while now.

 

First, I tried plugging the iPad into PC with USB cord, and I thought the PC will recognize it as a new device and I can access iPad like a camera. Wrong. Then I decided to upload videos to YouTube account and then download them to PC. It does work, but there should be more easy way to share files between devices… I feel like I am spending so much time figuring out the best/easy ways to do things and not getting things done, which is to showcase my guitar lessons…

Here is one of my recordings in front of the green screen without editing and I will share it again after my editing session.

Guitar Lesson Progress Report

So I have been using Yousician (my last post of guitar lesson) for a while, and I wanted to share how this app works. I had the Yousician app downloaded on my laptop, and I thought I can screencast it. But, this app did not run smoothly on my laptop. The screen froze, and I could not actually use it.

Then, I thought about screen-share my iPad screen while I practice.  Alec showed us how easy it is to screen-share his iPhone using Quicktime. However, it only works on Mac. I didn’t realize that until I tried it. Then, I google how to screen-share iPad screen on PC. I found an easy way to record iOS screen: Apowersoft Phone Manager. The tutorial of this program looked pretty simple, so I downloaded this program. I can connect my iPad by tapping “AirPlay” on my iPad and then open the “Mirroring” function. In a matter of a second, my iPad screen was on my PC screen, and I clicked record.

My laptop screen shot

And here is my first recording.

Well, the recording was easy enough, but the video feed on my PC was delayed, and although the sound on iPad was recorded it was off from the recorded screen… on top of being off timing, my guitar sound was not being recorded. Oh, Peach FUZZ!! (a phrase from my daughter’s favorite cartoon Paw Patrol.)

Now, I needed another way to document my progress, and I chose Screencastify (Chrome extension) to record both screen and my voice and guitar sound. I was kind of pumped about problem-solving this issue by myself (meaning did not need to Google to come up with this idea) but it did not work, again!

I did not consider the fact that the iOS recorder was still recording off timing meaning my laptop capacity for video recording (or something heavy duty) is terrible. My 10 years old PC just cannot handle it. Moreover, my voice and guitar sound were not audible (PC microphone did not catch the sound) and there was ringing due to having two devices too close by. Can I salvage this video? Should I try recording a voice-over and edit it? I am actually spending more time problem solving this recording issue over my guitar practice… But if I overcome this, I will be able to screencast the iPad screen to create tutorials or just share it with my colleagues and students.

I am seriously considering purchasing Mac… if I had Mac, I wouldn’t have this issue.

App Reviews – Summary of Personal Learning

ECMP455 has been the most practical, applicable course I have taken ever. I had something new I tried or wanted to try with students each week. I was very fortunate to have this after school program coordinator job, and I was able to try different apps or techniques.

StopMotion is the easiest app that anybody can use. Especially for elementary school students or beginners, the free version offers simple navigation to create movies. Take series of photos, record, etc. For students who are tech savvy, the free version is not enough and will want to upgrade.

I tried using Scratch Jr. with my Gr. 3 STEM program. I just let students explore first then showed them what coding can do. Some students really got into it but not all. I was frustrated with not being able to screencast iPad onto Smartboard to walk through the program. I have used Scratch with older students, and I like it better than the app.
LEGO is AWESOME! I borrowed Lego Mindstorms kits from the division library and started the program with it. Once again not all students liked it, but the possibilities of Lego in the classrooms are limitless. We did not get into the coding portion for this robotics yet, but I am looking forward trying it out.

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WeVideo is a great online video editing tool. I have been using the free version, and it served me well, but now I need an upgrade so because I need more storage.  Chroma Key feature was very easy to use, please read this if you are interested.

Touch Cast Studio is a free app for iPads, you can create videos using templates: annotating web pages, images, maps or file, or different styles of video casts such as News Studio, Talk Show, Business, Sports, How-to videos or Reviews, or simply create your own. I chose this app for my final summary. I was trying to create a talk show like, but I really do not like being on camera… This is something that I need to practice and become more confident in. But, I can see this app work for upper elementary students. I am thinking about organizing a group of students to broadcast the school announcements or the school newscast with this app in future. It will be FUN!

Initially, I planned to create a talk show with 2 characters and wrote a script for it. I did film it as I was switching the characters. I did not like it, so I changed it to the one above. Maybe I should have kept my first one too, but I erased it for my iPad’s storage space. Oh, yes, you do need a good storage space to do the TouchCast recording.

AppleSchools

I have been working on Amination projects with upper elementary students for past 5 months. Students are using StopMotion app on iPads and exploring the world of claymation. It has been so much fun for them and me. But there has been a big problem, transporting files between devices: Mac and PC. IT service tells us to use cloud space, but it was not easy to upload video files to ownCloud that the school division set up did not work for me. So my choices were to save to the Camera Roll on iPad, upload videos to YouTube or other editing programs such as iMovie or WeVideo. I tried YouTube video editor too, which was quite snazzy.

Well, complaints of not having a smooth transfer of files and documents between devices from other teachers in upper grades (and me) were heard and the division set up the pilot program: Apple Classroom. Now students and teachers must log in to use this service of saving documents and files in own cloud space, then to access them on any device they can connect to. Teachers also can have more control over what students use (apps) or block the access if necessary.

I am excited to give it a try, but I know there are some resistances from primary teachers. Setting up the login password for each student will take time and need to provide many coaching in the beginning of this process. Say they have 30 minutes booked for iPads but students may take 5-8 minutes just to log in first. Then they need to log-off, so teach that process and students may take 5-8 minutes. So how many minutes students actually spend on iPad? 15-20 minutes. But I know that primary teachers haven’t been using the iPads in ways that can be utilized in the school I work. They have been using iPads for Mathletics and Reading or as a reward (educational games) instead of fostering creativity. I know that Seesaw is known as a powerful tool to share students learning with parents. This can be a great way for the primary grades to start empowering their own learning.

What role will online learning play in the future of education?

K-12 Online Conference 2013: Transforming Learning//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
The advancement of technology and availability of online learning opportunities in past 10 years are significant. It is almost leading us to the future of uncertainty: both scary and exciting. I would never think about taking distance education online like we do now ten years ago. My first long distance class from Athabasca U used some web resources but there was no face-to-face online meeting or no discussion. I emailed instructor when I had questions and made a couple phone calls. It was the style of work at your own pace, no classmates to talk to, and I felt like I was working in isolation. The instructor did not check-in with me for progress unless I contacted her, so I fell behind the study and I had to extend my learning and to pay for it. However, I did like the convenience of learning at home.

Especially in Saskatchewan where the choice of post-secondary education is very slim. Attending the university is a big commitment for people who lives in rural areas. You have to consider relocating or commuting long distance on top of tuitions and fees. I picked several online courses through my 4.5 years because of the convenience. Most of the online courses at the U of R use Moodle and I appreciated that students had to follow weekly module. It provided me the schedule to follow and I did not feel isolated in my learning. Some instructors used discussion forum very effectively and I enjoyed it very much. I definitely recommend online classes from Craig Melhoff (English) and Rob Nester (Sociology). I found that having a sense of learning community online is essential for my learning experience for both enjoyment and knowledge attainment. Using online meeting program such as Zoom, we can meet online and have conversations/discussions with each other at ease, creating a learning community.

 

Let’s answer some of the questions from our weekly schedule.

Are there limits to what can be taught online?
– So many things you can learn from YouTube tutorial videos, but you really cannot learn something physical such as Yoga or Pilates. I can tell this from my own experiences because I learned Yoga and Pilates using videos but I learned it wrong. A trained instructor can watch you and make corrections. One small shift in body positioning/placement makes a BIG difference, so it is WORTH going to class for physical exercises. 

I am also learning how to play guitar using YouTube videos and Yousician app. I am kind of doing okay, I think, but I wonder if a real instructor can provide more tips on how to position better on strings.
I am not sure if social skills, empathy, or personal connections can be taught online. Perhaps we will learn the ‘online’ version of these skills but it is in virtual reality. But then, that will be a reality for many people in future like in Disney movie, Walle (Human Dystopia)? Scary…

How does online teaching affect pedagogy? Is pedagogy tied to content or to a mode of delivery?
Flipped classroom is a good example of the shift in pedagogy. Teachers are no longer knowledge keeper and source of information. Students are self-directed for their learning and teachers are there to guide students. It sounds wonderful and utopian, but I cannot see this flipped classroom works in the schools in low socio-economic neighborhoods.  A few years ago, I have read an article about two locations of library computer usage. In the library in middle-class neighbourhood, children’s’ parents spend time with them on computer guiding how the use of the computer for researching or using educational programs. On the other hand, in the library in low-income neighbourhood, most children did not have much of guidance from adults when spending time on library computers. They clicked on icons randomly and switching programs, or play video games. The digital divide is not only about the access to the devices, but to have sufficient skills or guidance/help to develop those skills necessary to maneuver the demands of technology. 

Is it ethical/sound pedagogy to offer online learning at every age level?
Can I imagine my daughter entering in Kindergarten class online? NO!! The purpose of Kindergarten, in my opinion, is to be socialized into the school culture. Learning from each other, older students and different teachers and staff. If I wanted her to be educated in only the school subjects, I will homeschool and teach curriculum contents. But I cannot to teacher her how to navigate through friends and people in the community only at home. I will be busy arranging to have play-dates with different age groups, field trips to here and there… But if I had a daughter who cannot attend school physically due to illness or geological location, I may want her to have online learning option. Perhaps it can be a short skype session with classroom or video cast of some sort. If she can have a sense of community and able to develop relationships with other students, I would like to have her this option.

I have been writing and re-writing this post for a week now. I just cannot stop wondering if the government kept cutting the budget for education, MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) might be an alternative choice of higher education for many. But then, would people get the same level of credentials or degrees? I wonder…