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Final Thoughts

For the Final blog posting for CEP 882 let’s see what I felt were the top ten items that can help to create a more compelling classroom not only for students, but for the teacher as well. So onto the list:

10: Even fashion can be used as a learning tool: Throughout the fashion section of CEP882 it became fairly apparent through both the “professionals” as well as class peers that by simply improving the manner in which a person dresses they can improve the way in which they are perceived. This of course would be beneficial as a educator needs to provide students with a positive experience that helps to instill what will be expected of them within a real world setting and dressing professionally will help to instill this in them.

9: Architecture, not just something I teach: In regards to classroom arrangement and organization the course segment dealing with architecture helped me to realize a few things that needed to happen within my previous classroom. Basically by simply changing a few aspects of the classroom an instructor can create a much more inviting experience. This can be accomplished by simply changing some of the colors and desk locations adding comfort to the room.

8: Movies can be more educational than you think: The topic of film really made me begin to realize that student mood can be altered by providing them with a learning environment that has proper lighting and environmental conditions. This topic is very much in line with the segment on architecture. Again here we find that by simply changing some lighting within the class a teacher can (excuse the terrible pun) lighten the mood and make learning more appealing.

7: Photography more than just taking picture: The ideas of presented within this segment can be applied to learning almost directly as a person needs to know what portions of a lesson needs to be brought into “focus” and which can be left in the background.

6:Creating a compelling video and commentary can even teach the person creating it: One of the first assignments involved creation of a video that was to compel the viewer. Throughout the process of creating the video I learned more about the video’s topic as well as ways that I could improve the delivery. This relates very well to the teaching experiences as a whole, as part of our job is to become more effect at dispersing information in a repeatable way.

5: Storyboarding a lesson is a big +: Through the use of a storyboard a person is able to create a much more effective experience as they have already pre organized their thoughts into a logical arrangement that can really help to find any pitfalls within a lesson or presentation. I have a new found respect for the creation of a more in depth experience through their usage.

4: The “Hook” and were not talking about fishing: I found the course segment related to the “Hook” to be very compelling to me personally as it touched on so many different aspects of teaching and provided me with a very relatable experience. The fact that we discovered that it set the tone for an entire piece really helped me to envision how it can be related to teaching. I base this on my perception that a teacher should provide students with a lesson that catches their attention and then continues to provide the students with a consistent and almost rhythmic delivery of the content.

3: Music as a lesson plan: Throughout the music segment if became very apparent that songs are written in a manner that like a good lesson plan first catches the attention and then proceeds to tell a story eliciting emotions and helping to construct imagery within the mind. If an educator were take anything away from this particular segment it was that we should build upon previous experiences and continue forward with learning through the addition of layers of content much like the development of a piece of music.

2:Work of Art Project, more than meets the eye: the process of creating the final work of art helped me to understand how many of the aspects we learned throughout the course come together to help us formulate an experience that helps a viewer both understand a topic further as well as get a feel for the presenter themselves.

1:Be Compelling: more than anything this course has begged the question how can an educator become more compelling. Overall it has helped me to see simple changed that can vastly effect outcomes of a lesson and learning as whole. My hope it to be able to harness some of these ideas in the future within my own classroom.

Lesson Plan Reflection

 Lesson Plan Description:
My lesson plan consisted of migrating students from their initial experience as a manual drafter to AutoCAD. They would be exposed to its basic functionality through a demonstration and then required to complete assignments based upon the use of AutoCAD. To facilitate this process I incorporated the use of the following technologies: LCD Projector, Moodle, and Autodesk’s AutoCAD software suite. The ideology behind the use of these technologies was based upon the requirements put forth by the state of Michigan’s curriculum requirements as well as a means to gain student attention and interaction. Once the lesson was completed students would be expected to build upon their basic understanding of AutoCAD and begin to incorporate the drafting principles previously learned in to their CAD generated prints. No major changes occurred from the draft to piloting the lesson.
 Implementation of lesson plan:
For this lesson plans implementation I chose my third period as it contained the greatest number of “exploratory” students. So out of the 20 students within the class the lesson was directed towards 14 of the students. The lesson proceed fairly well for my first run through with this combination of technology as the majority of the students were attentive to the overall process of the demonstration and follow up assignments. The vast majority was very attentive to the demonstration itself and followed along with it as they constructed a few simple items using AutoCAD. The incorporation of Moodle seemed to help their attention and comprehension of materials as they had the ability to quickly change from reference materials to the CAD package. This seemed to make for a much more seamless process than in years passed. So overall the implementation went very well.
 Reflection
The overall goals of this lesson plan were to expose students to the use and basic functions of the AutoCAD software suite in such a way that they could begin to incorporate previous topics (e.g. multi-view projection) into a CAD generated print. This was done via the incorporation of multiple technologies including the use of Moodle as a center for reference material and collaboration. In this way the students were exposed to a scaffolding strategy as they were expected to take the ideas put forth during their tenure as a board drafter and begin to use these same geometric construction techniques as a way of helping to understand how to construct prints through the use of a CAD software package. Much of the lesson relies on the overall ideals of the Constructivist learning theory, more specifically Problem Based Learning with the inclusion of the previously mentioned strategy of scaffolding. As students were expected to build upon the prior content, then in an open and collaborative environment the students set about working on the assignments associated with this lesson.
In regards to the affordances of the technology harnessed to conduct this lesson I first look to how Moodle allowed me to seamlessly integrate my reference and other class materials into the lesson itself, overall helping to supplement my already established curriculum. This saves both time and paper within my class as normally the reference materials would be printed and store within the student binders. Along these same lines a person would lose 5-10 minutes passing the materials out during the course of a class, where as Moodle simply allowed me to direct the students to the location and retrieve all the needed information. Another affordance given to me by the technology chosen was that of feedback and open communication. One of the unique roles that Moodle played was its ability to allow a forum for questions to be both presented and answered while the students worked on their individual assignments. Further adding to the reference materials available to the student and presented in a manner in which the students themselves had worded and answered the questions so that it was more understandable to them. Along these same lines the use of technology seemed to be beneficial in helping to capture and retain student attention. The combination of the new introduction to the use of AutoCAD combined with Moodle seemed to allow students of all learning styles to effectively experience the lesson as all modalities of learning were touched upon at least in one way through the use of demonstration and classroom discussion that followed via Moodle. This technology also made it very easy to submit and provide feedback to the students in a very similar situation to what they would see in a real world environment. They were directed to create PDF files of their prints and submit them for checking via Moodle. This allowed for better organization for the students and a reduction in expenditures or resources such as paper and toner within the classroom.
Looking from the outside in if another instructor was to teach such a lesson as this there would exist some caveats. One would be Moodle itself as it is not very user friendly to setup and I am still learning all the ins and outs of the interface. However, it does allow for some very neat features such as blogs, forums, and a place to control documents. The other technologies involved ranged from mundane, such as the LCD projector, to the content specific AutoCAD software so in a paper such as this somewhat out of context. Again relating back to Moodle another issue that could arise is the student’s use of such a program as if the instructor’s site is not correctly developed it could lead to confusion and possibly cause more problems than it solves. It also requires students to have some working knowledge of how to use and submit work via a web based software package so there is a bit of a learning curve involved with that as well. Several questions arose because of this fact through the print submission phase, ranging from how to create the pdf file to how to properly share the document. It seem while students are exposed to many things on the computer these days not all of them are based in productivity.
Overall, it would seem that the lesson came together fairly well as it allowed students to explore new ways to harness and interpret information through the use of the technologies involved. They seemed to respond well not only when directed by myself, but also when left to their own devises as there were many students using Moodle’s capabilities to both ask questions they would normally be somewhat shy about as well as share and collaborate information. I hope to learn from this experience and start to break down the lesson further so I might continuously improve upon it.

CEP 800 Digital Story

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CEP 800 audio interview

Wicked Problem Project

Well through out the course of the evening I have decided that I do not enjoy the use of Jing. I like its ease of use and how nicely it captures certain things, but when it comes to capturing audio I am not a fan. Mostly because of my own equipment, I typically run a laptop with a built in mic so it makes the sound quality horrific. I finally got fed up with trying to set the level just right and stepped up to Jing’s big brother Camtasia. I found this to be so much more beneficial with its built in capabilities to capture my power point presentation. Then on top of that I could directly import the voice memos I created on my iPhone that sound a 100% better than the mic on my computer. Honestly if you have the time I think you should try out Camtasia for the thirty day trial I find it to be an excellent tool.

What you will find below is my complete Wicked Problem Project, I believe to the best of my knowledge it includes the input of others as well as the information you will find through out the course of section A-D found on my blog. I thank you for any and all input. It is best viewed in full screen.

Group Leadership Project

Above you will find our group leadership project one is an overall slide show showing all of the different aspects of the Google applications. As well a shorter version covering some of the topics of interest. In them you will find each of the sections that were divided up and taken on by the group members. My own portion has to do with Google sketch up which was a nice find for a drafting instructor as it allowed me to experience some of the functionality of an actual CAD package and is a free option I may talk some of my students into pursuing.

I would say in the future it would be more beneficial to include the use of the online meeting strategies further into the process as discussion via email seems to make the overall process less efficient. It seems as though the overall process seems to languish and fail via email where as a group discussion format like that found using Vyew seems to provoke more interest and follow through from the group as a whole. Overall it was an interesting experience trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle together and next time I will have the knowledge in hand to make it better.

Professional Learning Plan

I have tried something to combine some of the ideas put forth in the class. I have created both a pdf of my learning plan document as well as a narrated PowerPoint presentation of the contents the entire paper. Please let me know if you have any issues with the embbeded audio. Thank you.

Power Point

Part D – Findings and Implications

At this point in time it would seem prudent to look at the methods one may actually try use to understand the benefit of implementing my chosen technology. As many of you realize at this point I have tasked myself with the incorporation of Moodle into my class room as a means to increase the overall efficiency of the classrooms content delivery. So what types of formative or summative assessments maybe constructed to prove a benefit of this technology?

I believe it would beneficial to use the incorporated blog/discussion capabilities of Moodle. This would allow students an open forum in which to discuss current course content and then be provided feedback in a way in which the information would be easily decimated and viewable by all students involved in the discussion. This would allow for constant updates on how curriculum content is provided to the students and help to improve the efficiency of content delivery. This would also be beneficial to my personal pedagogical approach of mastery learning as it would allow students to revisit this information at anytime and add to the discussion and content of the class in a meaningful way.


From the perspective of summative assessment it may be beneficial to make a control group for the overall implementation of this technology. By this I mean I would compare students learning progress based on the incorporation Moodle versus students who I would instruct with my current teaching strategies. I would then use testing to track progress in both group’s course progress and mastery of the subject. Once through the first trimester I would generate a data set to compare the progress of the two groups noting any gains in the control group. I believe this would help to prove me with a very good measure of overall success. As it would give me a minimum 40 students progress to construct my comparative charts. In the event that moodle failed to improve or even slowed learning further it would again be beneficial to only use one group as a pilot.

Mobile Learning Lab

In the past I have used many of the options presented in this lab. I have provided students with the option of ipod use, passed out usb drives to students to help them collaborate with one another during our assembly projects in class. However, I have never incorporated phones into my classroom. Mostly because we have a distract policy set by the school board that would prohibit there use. I know there has been some pretty heated discussions over this in the past year and I can see where both sides are coming from, but lets look at it from the positive side. As part of the performance task I was directed to use Poll Everywhere. This is a pretty cool tool actually. Its very quick and easy to use, the interface is simple. All one has to do is type in a question hit enter and your off and running. I could see where this would be a very useful tool to get students to discuss ideas from the classroom and I believe it may even benefit the “shy” students who normally don’t participate for fear of saying something wrong. I also see that there may be a down side as the anonymity of it allows a student to place some inappropriate content on the screen. This point was brought up by one of the participants in the polls I created. However, if this were to happen I would simply not allow the class to use this form of communication until they could prove themselves responsible again.

Below you will find a few screen shots of how poll anywhere works.

PART C – Implementation

Above you will find a link to my podcast dealing with the incorporation of Moodle into my classroom environment. Below I have included a link to a google presentation document that includes a few photos of the progress so far.

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