In Week 1 of this course, we were tasked with creating a Multimedia Learner Profile. In this profile, we were asked “What are your goals (for yourself) for this course?” I responded by stating that “My goal is to learn how to incorporate multimedia into the training programs I currently have to develop for my job. Also, I want to learn innovative ways to incorporate technology into my lesson plan when I become a teacher.” The task at hand is to reflect on these last 10 weeks in order to determine whether or not I have met my goals.
I received my first Master’s Degree in 2007. At that time, the only educational technology of which I was aware was a Blackboard-type program that I used to post to discussion boards. Since that time, I have not experienced teaching in a traditional classroom; my only experience with “teaching” has been designing and delivering training workshops to my fellow coworkers using PowerPoint. Therefore, my experience with multimedia tools for educational purposes has been severely limited.
What stood out the most for me in this course was the various websites available for teachers to make lesson plans innovative. These tools stood out because I feel that my last 12 years as a government employee - rather than as a classroom teacher – has caused me to lose touch with the changing times. Multimedia that positively impacts students in the classroom may have the same effect in the workplace. With this in mind, I began the course excited to learn what tools are out there.
This course did not disappoint when exposing students to a variety of multimedia tools. I’d like to share some of the tools that I’ve enjoyed the most during this course:
VoiceThread is a discussion board that allows users to interact via media elements. A voice post can be added to a slideshow presentation; a video can be added to a comment; etc. This has made discussions more interesting and interactive. During this course, I used VoiceThread to post my introduction, to comment on lectures, and to present our group project.
Audacity is a program that creates voice files. I used Audacity to create an audio element to enhance our group lesson plan. The lesson, which focused on fables, allowed room for the group members to record famous fables and incorporate them throughout the different activities. In my future classroom, this type of program could be used to record lectures for a flipped classroom approach to learning.
GoAnimate allowed me to create my own cartoon, which I thoroughly enjoyed. For the related assignment, I wrote my own fable and then illustrated it using GoAnimate. Although I was unable to share the cartoon without purchasing a subscription, I was able to use another program called Screencast-O-Matic to record and submit the cartoon for free. In my future classroom, I’d prefer to purchase a subscription to GoAnimate, as the quality of this program is superior.
Generally, I’ve learned during the last 10 weeks that it is important to stay current with technological advances so that I can relate to my students. In the discussion boards, classmates spoke of incorporating social media tools (such as Facebook and Instagram), YouTube, and other popular programs into lesson planning in order to engage students. I plan to do the same. Furthermore, I plan to make sure students remain familiar with the basics, such as PowerPoint and the projector system, as these tools are still widely used. My goal would be to make sure my students are well-rounded in their knowledge and skills.
As stated previously, I would like to explore the use of the flipped classroom model for teaching and learning. In this model, the students listen to the classroom lectures at home and then come to class ready to discuss the content and do more hands-on activities. This approach allows students to have more interaction with the teacher and with one another in an attempt to strengthen the learning process. I plan to use multimedia tools to create the classroom lectures for my students so that they can listen to those lectures at home. For example, I can use Audacity to record a lecture. I can also use GoAnimate to illustrate the lesson. If using VoiceThread, I can task the students with commenting on particular slides in a presentation to ensure that they are completing their lessons at home.
My goals for this course were met, as I have discovered many interesting tools to enhance the teaching and training process. As a government employee, I may be slightly limited in my ability to use these tools when developing training workshops, as security measures are very strict. However, I am excited to become a teacher so that I can allow these tools to enhance the learning process for my future students.