Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

EDLD 5363 – Course Reflection

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Before I began this course I thought we would spend time learning how to use a variety of tools and how they are used.  I imaged creating several small projects and covering a wide variety of tools.  However the course ended up being the opposite of that. I had the oppertunity to learn a few tools, What we were taught consisted of looking over open source video editing tools, using tools we may have already known, and understanding audacity in more depth.  Did I get the oppertunity to achieve what I had envisioned for the course? Yes and no. I was able to dive into programs that I had already and use them for creating a public service announcement, however I do wish that I had the oppertunity to be taught specific tools such as Adobe Premier, or even Premier Elements.  I do wonder how many of the students have the background to handle many of these projects.

From what I achieved they are very relavent to the work I do at my school. Since I teach video production and multimedia, much of what I have learned in this course will be taught to my students. While we have very limited text on the subject of video production I found that the information provided I can use to help create a better curriculum for the students who take the video production class.  Next six weeks I will actually begin using much of what I learn by having students create many of these same projects.  I will have them create the video using still pictures, a short lesson making a video tutorial of making something in class (sandwich, washing hands, etc.).  We will then end the six weeks where the students make a public service announcement.  If all goes well I will give a tutorial to teachers to give them ideas for their classes as well.

I feel that there are certain things that I did not achieve. I did not really learn much more about software or hardware than what I knew going into the course. I wish that the Lamar program was teamed up with Adobe, or Atomic Learning, or Lynda.com.  This would encourage students to buy the Adobe software, and use the additional online learning sites to learn much of the software that is being used in the industry.  I understand that it is hard for schools to come up with money for funding, but when we utilize open source software and encourage students to go into an industry where they will be required to have an understanding of industry level tools is unfair for the students.  Pushing open source is great for the pocket, and it does meet the TEKS, but it will never allow students to be closely prepared for life in the real world.  So in my final result I did not achieve learning more about using the software itself, other than reading some topics and looking at some web resources.

The assignments were well put together, even though I believe there were times when there was some confusion as to what was required.  The best lesson was where we created a public service announcement. This project got my mind really thinking about unique ways we could present our public service announcement. I felt from the first week we might have problems getting people to go out and get some of the shots for our original idea for the psa project.  Our second idea was to do a rap for our public service announcement and I thought it would be cool to screen capture some second life characters singing on the computer.  Then I thought it would even be better to have a character dancing on a desk.  I first created a green screen stage in second life, used my avatar to move on it and used camtasia software to do a screen capture.  I then ran the character on the green screen through Adobe after Effects and placed the character over a video of a beach. This was a test run that I presented to the group.  I think some were still hesitant, but thought it was a neat idea so we began working more with the rap. I got an oppertunity to meet online with some of the group and get some video of them dancing as well.  In the end I think the final result turned out very well.

In the end I learned about public service announcements, and how to put one together. For myself, I learned to rely on myself to dive into learning more about software.  I learned a little more about my leadership skills. I still can’t say I want to be a leader any more than when I started the course. I have been there in the technology field by being an IT manager, and project leader. I can’t say it suites me very well.  However if something needs to get done, I will push to get the work done and put it out there for people to say what changes need to be made.  In a way I lead from behind my computer, where I do not have to be seen, and feel more comfortable doing what needs to be done in order to help the team.

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