Digital Media Final Project: Tah-da! a GLOG!

SCAN THIS:

or click to here: http://msleah.edu.glogster.com/basquiatcollagraphlesson7thgrade/

or CLICK HERE.

I set out to make a tool that teaches Middle School Art educators how to teach the unit I created for 7th grade. I wanted an online multimedia tool that not only gave my audience instruction but also examples of real studio work. I have found in my own teaching that having examples is helpful in envisioning the final project outcome, so I wanted to do the same with my tool. I also wanted to tool to be engaging and exciting in order to encourage more educators to use it. So often we are pulling up the same boring Lesson Plan formats, and I wanted something with a bit more depth and visual appeal to an art educator. The tool also may be presented to the classroom as an introduction to the lesson and for more in-depth examples if the teacher chooses, but it’s mainly a resource for them.

Being fairly naive when it comes to creating technology, I was looking for a way to create a website or webpage that wasn’t just another blog. I came across several options for teachers who want an online presence. Lots of free sites offer teachers the opportunity to create their own pages with the option to allow access to their students and even parents. I found SchoolRack.com to be the easiest to setup. I started a page for my student teaching experience and future classroom and uploaded lessons, photos, and files. The service also allows teachers to hold discussions online, report grades and private message with users. As always with freeware, there is limited service available for free, and much, much more for only $5.95 per month! Seeing as I don’t need full services yet, I’m just experimented with the free version. But the more I worked with it, the site just wasn’t the right forum to create a teaching tool for other teachers, a resource maybe, but not a tool. So I searched on.

In going over notes in my notebook one night I came across the word “GLOG” with a star next to it in the margins. A star always means “IMPORTANT, LOOK THIS UP!” in my notations, so I googled “glogs”. I came across Glogster.com and found it to be advertised as “a collaborative online learning platform for teachers, educators and schools.” This sounded more like the tool I was looking for. A Glog is described as an interactive poster which drew me in because I am very familiar with posters, having completed every project in grade school with the best, most beautiful and creative poster ever, every time. So this seemed like a technology I could get used to. Looking through the samples, I loved the endless possibilities in the visuals and that the arrangement of medias could take on many creative forms. Glogs can hold images, videos, audio, links and file attachments, animations, drawings, and a discussion wall, right on the page. Plus, alongside the free version available to anyone, they offer teachers a trial of the Premium platform free for 30 days! So I signed up and got to experimenting with the functionality and tools available.

This Glog format seemed to fit my purpose perfectly. I could outline my unit plan, class by class, and alongside provide multimedia tips, tricks and hints for my audience. I included links to helpful webpages with further info, video and audio of actual student work, as well as a link that directs the user to purchase the same equipment I use and recommend for the lesson.

My Glog details a 6-Class Unit on printmaking, specifically collagraphs, connecting in a modern artist for inspiration and further content knowledge. I provide the  image which can be clicked to enlarge for better viewing and close-up inspection. There is also a Materials Needed List including a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone or tablet that links to a webpage where the user can instantly purchase the specific equipment listed. There is a video slideshow presentation of photos which visually takes the user through the hands-on process of the unit plan, starting with my demo pieces and ending with the students’ final matted drafts. Each lesson is written out with setup tips, demo instructions and discussion points. The Worksheets I mention in the lessons are attached at the bottom of the Glog where the user finds the small PaperClip icon. There are two links that highlight themselves on the Glog to let the user know about an embedded hyperlinks: one takes you to an in-depth presentation of the artist on a museum website, the other to a YouTube video advertising the documentary I suggest using alongside the Unit Plan. There are two audio files where the user can click the PLAY button and listen to real students reciting the poetry they created through this Unit Plan. And finally there is a box of “optional” tips to help the educator round out the experience for the students.

I really enjoyed getting to use the Glog format for my tool. Alongside learning this new technology, I also had to figure out how to format the multimedia links within to best fit the Glog. My slideshow of photos was originally going to be another Document Attachment, but I felt the slideshow was much more dynamic and covered more content than even a short video demo could provide. I created the slideshow in Keynote and played around with transition timing. I learned how to record my students using my iPhone microphone application, which was a great experience to learn, both for them and for me. The students practiced reciting out loud, then it took us a couple takes to get a clear, smooth recording. I was able to easily upload those files to my computer as Mp4 files and upload them to the Glog and create a “player” format for them to display. The QR code was a VERY recent introduction in our digital media class, and I loved the idea of incorporating that into my tool since they are seen everywhere these days and can be very functional.

I plan to use Glogs again in the future as I think I can find many applications for them. One thing I plan to figure out is how to link to other pages I can create, and the easiest solution I can find right now with my limited skill, is to create a blog post and then link directly to that blog post. I also plan to make them possibly more interactive to use with my students in the place of worksheets. With Teacher Premium Package, over 200 students can access your Glog which would be a great opportunity to integrate this digital media into the classroom. I also think it’s a great new way to replace boring presentation slideshows!

You can sign up to create your GLOG here —> http://edu.glogster.com/

AND check out SCHOOL RACK

Lesson Plan with Online Partner

Please find Lesson Plan (partner: Jeff Herrity) along with a sample of our digital communication and my response to the experience, below:

Lesson Plan:

Photos of Student Work, using Photoshop (high school digital art)

Goal: To teach students the basic tasks within Photoshop in regards to photo post-production techniques- students will learn to make basic edits to the photos of their work.

Big Idea: Students will gain an understanding of why images of their work need to be as professional looking as possible in order to properly promote their work as artists and to use the images in portfolios.

Objectives/Outcomes: The Students will:

1. Understand basic mechanics of taking high quality digital photographs of 2D and 3D artwork

2. Learn how to transport digital photos from camera to computer

3. Identify basic tools within Photoshop program

4. Understand how to utilize key tools in Photoshop to apply edits to digital photos.

Teaching Procedure: (pre-work and previous lessons that we are building on: have students make work, and then have a unit where we teach them to shoot the work. They come to class with the images to use for Lesson)

CLASS ONE:

Photo Selection: students will come to class with 50 images. Discuss what makes a good photo of work (lighting, angles, distance)

Based on criteria discussed, students spend 10 minutes selecting 5 images to tweak. Open images into photoshop (2 minutes). Basic tweaks, five minutes per image (exposure, cropping, clarity, noise, sharpness, contrast, how to save/apply same changes to all images). Save image (various formats for web and print).

CLASS TWO:

More advanced image tweaks: masking, modifying specific areas of photograph (backgrounds/shadows), erase tool for skin imperfections, content aware fill, edit group shots to fix blinking

Assign out of class homework to turn in 5 edited images.

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Our correspondence via email:

Jeffery Herrity jeff.herrity@mac.com
Dec 6 (13 days ago)
to me
hi virtual partner.did you have any ideas for what we are to do for our distance learning project?  I was thinking about a simple lesson with photoshop and how to make minor tweaks to images of student (or your own) work.

but it could also be something else, but I was trying to think of what we could do that could be done in a 45 minute class period for older students that are NOT photo students, but fine art students.

we could cover:

1. how to take good pictures (just lecture and bulet points)
2. take pictures of student work (they would have to come to class with an object they made.)
our examples would be pictures we have taken (at my studio at flux) a good one and the retouched one
3. download to computer
4. open photoshop or other photo software (perhaps talk about different options out there from the expensive to the freeware)
5. make simple tweaks
6. save the file in multiple formats
7. end.

thoughts?

Leah Carpenter
Dec 6 (13 days ago)
to Jeffery
I like where you are going with this…

but please note- I SUCK AT PHOTOSHOP. haha. my skills are limited to resizing and messing with colors. I can do a bit with the lasso tool… haha. so this may take some learning on my part too? But I’m totally willing to learn and work on it!
What if instead of taking pics of student work, we talked about how to take photos of students to utilize for various portraiture projects? just an idea. i feel like there are plenty of tools on Photoshop to mess with with a portraits that are useful for students/teachers
???
talk soon,
-L
Leah Carpenter
Dec 14 (5 days ago)
to Jeffery
Ok so this lesson…So I don’t believe that we have to present in class, correct? Just write out a lesson plan to post to our blog. So why don’t we throw this back and forth add/make tweaks.

LESSON PLAN:
Lesson: Photos of Student Work with tips on Using Photoshop
Goal: ?
Big Idea: ?
Objectives/Outcomes:
       The Student Will:
        1. Understand basic mechanics of taking high quality digital photographs of 2D and 3D artwork
        2. Learn how to transport digital photos from camera to computer
        3.Identify basic tools within Photoshop program
        3. Understand how to utilize key tools in Photoshop to apply edits to digital photos
Teaching Procedure:
Class One: Set up back drop and lighting for taking photographs. Layout artwork. Show examples of successful photos and unsuccessful photos to point out what makes a great photo. Walk students through buttons and features on camera and allow them to practice a few shots. Then let them photograph the artwork, 3 angles, 9 photos total.
Class Two: Demo how to attach camera to computer (or insert Flash discs, depending on your model) and open up the folder containing photos. Move these files to a New Folder on Desktop and Name Folder. Have students look through photos to pick out the best 2 photos they took.
Class Three: Open up Photoshop Program and first give brief lecture on program and its uses. Show simple layout and common uses and tools that students will be focusing on. (pick out a limited number of tools that students will be able to use, in order to eliminate overwhelming amount of tools the program offers). Have students drag one photo into the Photoshop program. Walk them through applying tools they have as an option as an example
Class Four: allow students time to tweak photos. Save in multiple formats and print.
What do you think? Please add/subtract info and ideas. Just wanted to get this off the ground.
Talk soon! Hope you are having a great week!
Jeffery Herrity jeff.herrity@mac.com
Dec 14 (5 days ago)
to me
hey – this looks good, but I think we need to pare it down some…didn’t selila say that the ‘lesson’ should one lesson, this is more than one lesson… perhaps we really go minimal – let me think on this, but we have to trim it back a good bit…or am i misunderstanding what she wants? my lesson would look like:

(pre-work and previous lessons that we are building upon:   have students make work, and then have a unit where we teach them to shoot the work, they come to class with images to use)
1. Photo selection – students will come to class with, say 50 images
– discuss what makes a good photo of work (let’s use sculpture as an example)
– lighting, angles, distance
2. Based on criteria above, students spend 10 minutes selecting five images to tweak
3. Open images into photoshop (2 minutes)
4. Basic tweaks (five minutes per image) (25 minutes)
– exposure
– cropping
– clarity (noise, sharpness, contrast)
– how to save or apply same changes to all images
5. Saving image
– what formats to save them in
– print
– web
6. Prep for next lesson, more advanced image tweaks
– masking
– edit image more drastically
7. Homework assigning…
thoughts?
-Jeff
——————————————–

My Response to the Experience:

I have a crazy schedule between normal grad classes, student teaching 3 days a week, plus working at a restaurant on the weekend, so group projects always give me a headache because scheduling  a time when everyone is available is nearly impossible. So being able to completely handle this online was very helpful. We were tempted to get together in person to work on the project since we have classes together and live nearby each other, but we kept it strictly to email correspondence. I think we could’ve utilized a few more things to make it even easier, especially if the project had been more involved, like Skype or Google Docs. I think that this type of collaborative group work would take some getting used to. I felt that both Jeff and I were a bit hesitant to completely do this all online and maybe felt the need to work on it with each other in the way that we are used to, with writing things down and giving/getting that instant feedback that you have face to face. Currently in my student teaching experience, my mentor teacher and I correspond via email about a lot of what we do and have planned for the classes we teach. We just simply don’t have the planning time to go over it together in person, so there is a lot of catching up with each other, assigning tasks, and sharing ideas over emails. We plan to do that a lot over winter break as well so that we can transition as smoothly into the next semester as possible. So I guess this digital correspondence has real-world uses and possibilities for those who need to collaborate but have a tight schedule. This could also be a huge help to those who are not geographically near each other.

Face-to-Face vs Online learning

I’ve only taken an online course once, and it was in my undergraduate studies, a requird class that was meant to introduce freshman students into campus and college academic life, and mostly considered to be a joke by most students. Needless to say, I didn’t give the class much priority and often forgot about assignments/tests/quizzes until about 15 minutes before their due date. Once or twice, I may have forgotten completely about an assignment! So even though the class was not difficult in content, my grade reflected a student that struggled.

I blame the online format and the lack of routine. I  know that I am a person who needs that classtime, I need the meetings to keep me on track and focused on the class. So I can’t imagine being successful in an online degree program. Even just last week, I stated in my class that I felt it was unfair that they offer my same masters degree at other universities as a completely online degree program. I feel almost offended that someone would think that they could learn as much and be as successful as I would be with  just an education through a computer.

But my teacher really challenged me to think about my feelings and re-think what the possibilities of an online course or degree could encompass. So I’ve been trying to take another look at online learning to see if I might come around to seeing the value or if my original thought would be confirmed- that online learning is inferior learning.

First off, I recognize that just by utilizing the internet daily- I do already learn online. I search for answers and information all the time for both personal use and academic use. So right away I can acknowledge that our generation is spending a lot of time online, on the computer, so it is a very comfortable and convenient venue for a lot of people today.

I found a report of research from the Department of Education which conducted research on the possible benefits or downfalls of online education for students, including the age group of K-12. I am surprised to see research for this age group, because I mostly think of online education geared towards college and beyond, maybe even some high school level classes. The report ultimately says that a blend of face-to-face and online education is the best learning scenario for those they studied. But more surprising I found that there are entirely virtual high schools! Florida has a the Florida Virtual School which serviced over 60,000 students between the 2007-2008 school year!  I personally, just can’t imagine having had my high school years spent online, but then again I realize that I’m taking only my personal experience into account.

I have to think about those who have lives different than my own. For those who have learning differences, or physical disabilities, online learning may be the easiest option for them. Bottom line most positive argument for online education is the availability of content anywhere, anytime. So for those who have inflexible schedules or attention spans, online content has got to be a great alternative for them.

But the human connection is what is lost for me. The availability of immediate call and response, the heated discussion or the burning question answered. Those in-person reflexes are what makes a classroom lively and stimulates thought and discussion. I find those moments valuable to both the learner, the teacher and the rest of the classroom as well. Body language, eye contact, and even talking with your hands are these great interactive human languages we speak with one another.

So in conclusion, I can see that complete online learning may be beneficial to those who otherwise can’t work out a situation to be in a physical, brick-and-mortor classroom, and I can also say that I think it is helpful blended with a face-to-face class. But I can’t yet say that I believe a total online education would top an in-person program.

References:

US Dept of Education Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learrning: A Meta Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies.