My Intermediate Web Design class guidelines included lengthy discussions on the rules regarding copyrighted material, and it’s something I’ve had to consider for my own podcast. When I built my site for the class, I wanted to address one of my favorite topics, retro gaming. I also carefully considered on how to build the site and respect both Copyright protections and Fair Use. I built my site to reflect this, including images and sounds of the materials involved.
As mentioned, my experience with St. Monica’s Parish School of Religion has been on the lower end of technology when it comes to teaching. I have continually sought innovative solutions bringing technology towards a normally lower technology environment.
During the years I taught their seventh grade class, one of the requirements were for students to generate a report on a Catholic saint as part of the study process. While the report was a traditional pen and paper assignment, in the buildup, we had multiple collaborative days where students would research with books of saints we had available, with readymade information sheets that could help them look up details on line at home. I made part of the assignment for students to make a reproduction Facebook, Twitter or other social media page for the saint in question, based on their saint’s respective history.
One of the projects I learned in Action Research was how to reconsider tried and true technologies that even most teachers had taken for granted. To that end, I developed a research plan for use in my PSR class that involved a “low-tech” platform, based on the recent popular phenomenon of adult coloring books. I made a plan to implement coloring books as a tool to help students focus before the start of class.
During my Instructional Design class, I worked with classmates on a team to develop an education plan for fellow educators based on four different technologies, with Microsoft PowerPoint as my assigned technology. We proposed using a Weebly site that any teacher could use to study at their own pace, and using both formative and summative evaluations to make sure that our colleagues were absorbing the lessons well. This included both in-person interviews as well as virtual surveys.
The other major tool I use in this same low tech classroom is testing students by the use of trivia games. It lets me judge student retention of the data and entertain students at the same time. There can be unofficial versions of this, but I also plan for an official version that involves parents as well, where we play Jeopardy at the end of the Second Trimester at St. Monica’s PSR. Students and Parents alike tend to get competitive in the exchange, and I use a simple buzzer system from Amazon to assist in the game.
One of the things I helped support during my time at Christian Brothers College High School was their new streaming service called the Cadet Student Network. This was a service provided by the school to allow students, parents, alumni and friends of the school to watch sports games and theater productions while on the internet. We had to invest in streaming equipment and have particular setups, but partnering with YouTube served us well.
During my Instructual Design Class, we were working from multiple points across the country and different time zones. One of the tools we used to collaborate was Google Hangouts. Similar to other Voice of Internet Protocol programs, Google Hangouts allows audio and video communication across distances. We found it useful in order to create virtual meetings in order to keep us all on track as we coordinated our development.
The other major tool that I used in that same project, was the use of Google Drive. While hardly the only collaborative software out there, Google Drive was signuraily useful, as it let us implement the changes directly into the documents while we were communicating on Google Hangouts. Most of the other services have one benefit or another, but rarely both.