June 2017 archive

Social Media Learning Design

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I am continuing with my professional development. This week’s topic is learning design. Here is a draft of an activity that I would like to implement using the social media tool VoiceThread.

Course Name: School Librarianship

Audience: Graduate Students

Course Type: Online

Social Media Tool:

  • VoiceThread: A tool that will allow students have conversations in the cloud.

Activity Description:

  • In the activity, students will discuss trends in school librarianship.

Assessment:

  • The instructor will provide the students with a rubric that will be used to grade the assignment.
  • Peer review will be included to provide each student with feedback on their comments.
  • The student will be asked to provide a self-assessment of their performance on the activity.

Learning Objective:

  • At the end of this activity, students should be able to identify current trends in school librarianship.

Situational Factors:

  • 20 students
  • Students will need to set up an account.
  • The tool is fairly easy to use.
  • Prior knowledge needs include how to use a microphone or webcam.

Course Goal/Outcome:

  • Voicethread affords the opportunity for an asynchronous discussion with an audio conversation. Students will be able to leave messages for each other and hear their classmate’s voices. This will make the conversation seem more authentic for the students.
  • This activity will support course goals by encouraging discussion on trends, facilitating the development of communication skills, and helping students to use a variety of formats to communicate information.

Materials/Resources:

  • This assignment requires Internet access, a VoiceThread account and a web camera or microphone.
  • The link will be embedded in the course website. However, an app is available if students wish to download it.

Instructional Strategy:

  • Direct instruction will be used at the beginning of the VoiceThread presentation to provide students of an example of a topic that is a current trend and to let them see the expectations for the assignment.
  • A discussion format will be used. Each student will answer individually.
  • This activity meets all learning styles. Based on their learning style, students may decide to choose the type of resource that they share with the class during the discussion.

Implementation:

  • While the instructor will set up the initial VoiceThread, the students will be responsible for adding content to the presentation and discussion.
  • Beyond the instructor’s initial comments on the first slide, students will provife the content. Students will be responsible for identifying a trend, sharing a resource, and making a comment about why the identified trend is relevant.

Support/Technical:

  • VoiceThread works with all operating systems for computers and tablets.
  • The content will reside on the VoiceThread website until it is complete. A link will be added to the course and the VoiceThread presentation will be embedded in the course so that students can easily find it.
  • When the discussion is over, the VoiceThread presentation will be shared on the course website. Students will be able to download the presentation using a private Vimeo.

 

Using Social Media for Course Design

Guess what! Today I am doing more professional development. I am supposed to share two ideas that I have for using social media for teaching or course design.

Idea 1:  I learned about List.Ly and I think I love it. I made a list quickly. I will be able to use this tool for sharing lists. I can create lists of articles, websites, and more. I am always finding materials online that I need to share with my students. Here is the list I made for free online meeting rooms. This will come in handy for the group projects that I assign for class. Normally, I would make the list private. However, since I am practicing, I will share this one. I am still trying to figure out how may lists I can make for free.  I think it is 3.

Idea 2: I like for my class chats to be interactive. I don’t like it when I am presenting and I don’t get a response. I think Padlet.com is an excellent way to remedy this situation. I can post questions and materials on the Padlet and have students respond. I can also have students to share their questions on a Padlet during chats. I like the way Padlet can be used for crowdsourcing resources. Most importantly, the results can be saved and distributed. I will be using Padlet during my chats within the next week.

That’s it for now.

Cooking Up Communication with Smore.com

This is another post for my professional development. Today, I am reviewing Smore.com. I rather like Smore.com because it is a quick way for me to create virtual handouts for my presentations. When a handout is requested, I post a draft. Then I continue to edit it if needed. The link does not change.

I think Smore.com is a great way to quickly share information. For example, it is easy to email a poster (or newsletter) to a group of people. A link can be embedded on a website or the poster can embedded. If you are teaching online, Smore.com provides an alternative format for providing information.

Access: There are free and paid versions of Smore.com.  It is accessible for Windows and Mac users. It works with various tablet browsers. The time that a Smore poster takes to load depends on how much information is embedded in it. Text loads quickly. Videos and extensive graphics may take longer.

Usability: An account is needed to create a poster.  However, once the account is created, it is easy to make a poster. Software does not need to be downloaded. In fact, I switched from another poster maker to this one because I can create posters quicker with Smore.com. The time needed to create a polished product is important to me. While the site is primarily self-explanatory, there is a help section built into the website. I have been able to view, edit, and publish posters with my tablet without downloading an App.

Privacy and Intellectual Property: If a poster is made with a  paid account, it can be downloaded as an image or a PDF. Posters can be made public or private. If they are private, one must share the link for them to be viewed. If an educator uses the classroom setting, student posters are private and only shared with the instructor. Because the classroom setting is primarily for K-12 students, this means that posters created with student accounts cannot be shared on social media.

I always add a copyright statement to the work that I want to retain the rights to. Information about intellectual property rights and terms of service are on this page: https://www.smore.com/93z8-terms-of-service. The agreement includes the following statements. “Our service is designed to give you as much control and ownership over what goes on your flyers as possible and encourage you to express yourself freely.” “By submitting Content to Fireplace for inclusion on your Website, you grant Fireplace a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your flyer.”

Workload and Time Management: Smore posters can be embedded in a course management system website such as Blackboard. On the contrary, the tool itself exists outside of the course management system. I was not able to find evidence of a RSS feed option. Readers can decide to subscribe to updates.

Fun Factor: If one finds curating and sharing information fun, they are likely to enjoy using Smore. Individuals with advanced graphic design skills might prefer using an infographics tool instead. Smore allows subscribers to embed various elements such as videos, graphics, and text. Social media buttons and contact information can be shared as well.

Overall, I believe that Smore.com offers a great tool. I don’t have criticisms. The website does what it states it will do. This activity prompted me to think about ways to use Smore to increase collaboration in class.  Although students should have separate accounts, collaboration can be achieved by having students to work together to decide about the elements that can be placed on a poster.

I think that students enjoy being able to access a poster created by the instructor that can be printed later. They can also share the information quickly with a link. Here is an example of a poster that I created for a presentation: https://www.smore.com/fhgg4 .  Enjoy!