Artifact #2: Screencast
How to use Canva to create an infographic.
I chose the screencast on how to use the website Canva to create an infographic because it was one of the assignments that made me grow as an educator. I had never created a screencast before this class. I think part of that is my age. I have been teaching for 21 years. When I was in college, I used a word processor to type out my papers. The concept of multimedia tools was unheard of. I have tried to stay informed of new technology so that I can keep up with my students and my own children. Creating a screencast just seemed too time consuming, and I hate listening to my own voice. It took a number of tries to create the screencast, and I was still uncomfortable listening to it but I am glad I did it. I can definitely see the benefits to creating screencasts, and it is always good to push myself outside of my comfort zone.
I look forward to creating more screencasts this school year. It would be great for lessons that are used throughout the school year. Instead of taking class time to reteach a lesson each time, I can assign the screencast as homework the night before to refresh their memory. I could even take the screencast and turn it into an Edpuzzle.
Artifact #1: Edpuzzle
Unit Introduction for 7th grade Studysync Unit 2
This unit focuses on people who have fought for justice to be served. As a unit introduction, students will view an Edpuzzle created from a documentary about The Little Rock Nine. The video will be used to spark a discussion about how people can fight against injustice.
Little Rock Nine Interview: https://edpuzzle.com/media/5d0671c3ca409c407efbb306
I chose to include this artifact because of the importance of using audio and video in the classroom. It will be a great way to spark my students interest in the unit. It will also help them to see that they can make a difference even though they are still in school. Creating the Edpuzzle was really easy. By using Edpuzzle, I get to control the video by pausing it and having students answer questions before continuing. It also allows me to see if they actually watched the video or not. The course was a great reminder of the value that audio and video clips play in the education of my students. I had used Edpuzzle once before a few years ago, but I will now make a habit of using it.
The course, Multimedia Tools in Education, has been both a reminder of the importance of using multimedia tools and a step outside of my comfort zone as I had to create some forms of multimedia that I normally would not choose to use in the classroom. Module 2 was a favorite of mine because it was a great reminder of the importance of using bellringers and incorporating audio and video into my bellringers. The Youtube channel CriticalPast is definitely a resource that I will be using during my social studies class. My favorite resource was in module 8 and it was about augmented reality. I found the TedTalk by Meron Gribetz to be fascinating. The video was about the Meta 2, an augmented reality headset. The headset makes it possible for users to see, grab and move holograms just like physical objects. I can see this becoming our future both in education and in our jobs.
How I have grown as a connected educator is through the use of screencasts. Creating the screencasts made me step outside of my comfort zone. Being forced to create a screencast showed me how easy they actually are and how they can actually make my life easier. Certain lessons that I tend to repeat throughout the year can easily be made using a screencast that students watch as a review. This would save valuable class time.
After teaching for 21 year, I have seen a shift in how students learn and the importance of keeping up with new technology. Having my students use multimedia tools to create book trailers, infographics, screencasts, and podcasts to name a few will help my students to become 21st century learners who can be successful in the workplace. I have now completed half of the classes necessary for my technology endorsement, and I plan on continuing this school year.
Incorporating graphic design into my 7th grade ELA and Social Studies classroom can be very valuable. According to the article by Jonna Mae Magno, “Middle school students are of the age where it is hard to keep their attention. But with visual tools, complex data and difficult lessons can now be compressed in an engaging way”. I completely agree that it is very difficult to keep a seventh graders attention. This past year, I began incorporating more graphic designs into my lessons with great success. In Social Studies, my students had to create an infographic for the Bill of Rights. They were engaged, connected, and motivated throughout the entire assignment. They enjoyed using Canva to create their infographic and overall their tests scores on the Bill of Rights were very high. Then later in the year, I had my class partner up with another Social Studies class for an inventors research assignment. They had to create an infographic for their inventor. My students did a fantastic job teaching their partners how to use Canva, and their presentations were very engaging. Jonna Mae Magno also mentioned in her article, “Middle schoolers’ minds are creative, impulsive, moody and easily bummed out. They want to be engaged, connected, motivated and independent”. By using graphic design in the classroom, I was able to engage their minds by connecting to their creative desire to share information in a different way than just a written essay.
Students absorb information is a multitude of ways. Students can gain information from what they see, hear, do to name a few. By incorporating graphic designs into my lessons, I can engage and support more types of learners in my lessons. A lesson that would benefit from incorporating some of the design principles is our World’s Fair project. At the end of the past school year, my colleagues and I decided to try a new project for social studies. We had our students watch part of a documentary on the Chicago World’s Fair and then they had to create their own world’s fair. One part of the project was a map of their fair. Some of their maps were great but a lot of them were lacking in many areas. To make their maps better for next year, we will need to incorporate some of the design principles on font, color, layout, shape, alignment, and proximity into a mini-lesson that is taught before they begin their maps. This would reduce the amount of time I spent with each individual group as they struggled to create a visually appealing map.
Magno, Jonna Mae. “8 Examples of How to Incorporate Infographics in the Classroom.”
Venngage, 17 Apr. 2015, venngage.com/blog/8-examples-on-using-infographics-
in-middle-school-classrooms/. Accessed 4 July 2019.
The class Assessing and Improving Student Achievement with Technology has introduced me to many new tools and ideas for my classroom. It has also been a much-needed reminder of some crucial components that I have been lacking in the past few years. Being reminded of the importance and benefits of formative assessments has been very beneficial for my students and me. I am making a more conscious effort to incorporate formative assessments into my weekly routine. I am then using these assessments to help drive my curriculum.
Some of the new tech tools that I learned about during the past weeks, I have begun to incorporate into my classroom. For example, my social studies class created their own infographics for a lesson on The Bill of Rights, and they look amazing. When I first had to create my own infographic, I was unsure of their benefits, but I now can see the benefits of taking information and structuring it differently. Also, in my ELA class, we are using a new rubric that I created using Rubistar for a storyboard assignment. The assignment is much clearer and well defined with the new rubric. I really liked how the website Rubistar made creating rubrics simple and the amount of options for premade rubrics is fantastic. The student goal sheet that I created is ready to go for our next MAP test in January, and I am trying to find a way to add a genius hour to either the third or fourth quarter.
Every new class is a reminder that I need to be open to changes. Education is constantly changing. As an educator, it is my job to be as informed as possible about all of the new and exciting opportunities for student assessment and achievement. I look forward to continuing my journey towards my technology endorsement next semester.
The idea of adding Genius Hour to the school curriculum is very exciting. According to Kimberly Crouch, “Genius Hour (also known as 20% Time) is an inquiry-based learning project in which students work on individual projects focused on their passion.” The idea that students have a say in what they are learning in school is very different from the traditional format. It seems that every year I am required to give more standardized tests to my students, and the curriculum becomes more rigid and structured. I feel that students are losing their love of learning because of this set-up. Giving students the ability to have some say in what they are learning, could bring back their love for learning.
I tried out a mini-genius hour today. Over the past few years, I have undertaken some DIY projects around my house. Each project was a learning experience. For the past few months, I have been thinking about trying a new DIY project. I have some mason jars that I wanted to paint and fill with some sort of flowers. Today I decided to take my passion for home decorating and complete the project. The project required chalky spray paint, mason jars, and flowers. I researched by reading some blogs about the best way to complete the project. When I had the necessary items, I added the first coat of paint to my clean mason jars. I was mostly worried about paint streaks. The struggle I had with the project was that I wasn’t sure how far to stand away from the jar. It turned out that I was too close and the first coat had some streaks on the first jar. I readjusted my distance and the outcome was much better. I am happy with both jars after applying 4 coats of paint but I would definitely do the project outside next time. The paint smell was too strong. The final project looks great on my floating wood shelf.
Genius Hour could become a part of my teaching this year. I have book presentations that are due every 6 weeks, and I could replace a book presentation with a Genius Hour project. I devote Wednesday’s to our book projects so switching that time to the Genius Hour project would be easy. I am thinking that after the holidays would be a great time to start to get my students motivated and excited about learning. The concept of Genius Hour is already a part of my learning. I am constantly reading and researching about ELA and Social Studies topics that I can bring back and apply in my classroom.
Implementing Genius Hour in Your Classroom – Minds in Bloom [Web log post]. (2018,
April 19). Retrieved from https://minds-in-bloom.com/implementing-genius-hour- classroom/
After completing the course Foundations of Educational Technology, I find myself eager to continue my journey towards obtaining my technology endorsement. I was excited to try some new collaborative web technology such as Popplet and Padlet as well as Google Groups. I loved changing some of my assignments to multimedia presentations that included The 4C’s: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Collaboration. My students were thrilled to try out the virtual reality app Expeditions.
The biggest impact this class has made on me is my view of how technology should be used in my classroom. Earlier this year, I was asked to be part of my district technology committee, and after completing this course I feel that I have a lot to offer. By using the SAMR and RAT frameworks, I can help my district adopt a technology curriculum that will help to transform and redefine how our students are learning.