Monthly Archives: July 2014

New ideas for Fall…

we’re a few short weeks away from the beginning of the fall 2014 semester. we have a few questions for you:

how will your class be different than the last time you taught it?

what changes are you making in your teaching?

what was the impetus for those changes?

drop us a comment below and share your thoughts!



Psychology research finds perspiration more important than inspiration

Turns out Edison was pretty close to the mark! Researchers determined that eureka! moments do happen but diligence and hard work prepare engineers for those leaps.

what do you think? how is persistence important in your field? how can impress its importance on our students?


Trying New Instructional Strategies

In designing the EDTC 5113 Digital Media Production course for June, I posed the question to a group of creative thinkers in an Un-Meeting Monday of how to do a better job of differentiating instruction when students came into a course with varying levels of knowledge and skill. What resulted from that group brainstorming was a course featuring assignments constructed as menus, and it worked fabulously!

The Introduction Assignment required students to post what they considered to be their best digital media product created to date and evaluate using a standard evaluation guide. This gave me the opportunity 1) to get a general idea of each student’s experience and knowledge level, 2) introduce them to a framework to be used throughout the course for best practices of digital media production, and 3) facilitate class introductions. 

The Menu 1 Assignment featured a variety of different activities to choose from that covered the same basic content: video annotation with VideoANT, text with video examples, website with annotations in Scrible, response to text with a podcast. I noticed that even though only one completed activity was required, many students did more than one! 

The Menu 2 Assignment began with content on “learning to learn any technology” for everyone, but then they selected three projects from a menu including augmented reality, digital storytelling, web-based video delivery, interactive web via HTML5, geospatial annotation and visualization, digital animation, digital game development, and transmedia books. Again, I noticed students trying out more than just the required three once they saw others’ posts. 

The Menu 3 Assignment description I gave them is copied below along with the link to what they created as a class: an online learning community open to anyone where they can continue to learn, share and collaborate! 

EDTC 5113 Digital Media Production Menu 3 Assignment

sunrise from my front porch June 25, 2014

sunrise from my front porch June 25, 2014

Sunrises and sunsets have been sort of a metaphor for me through these three weeks of class — could be because I do love teaching online from my front porch hammock swing and this month has been gorgeous! Plus, all the shades of colors both bright and dark certainly represent for me moments of epiphany and success blended artfully with moments of doubt and struggle with digital media production. Learning is gorgeous. 

Also, many in this class are graduating this summer with a well-earned M.S. in Educational Technology, and many others are taking this as their first class in the program. As we hope both groups (and those in between) see, Ed Tech @ OSU has a family feel to it that will be important to you as you continue your professional journeys. I graduated from this M.S. program in 1991 and all these years later, four of my main “go to” people in the field were fellow learners in my masters coursework. 

In this spirit, I’d like to try something a bit new and different for this assignment. As learners in general, we tend to want to share what we’ve learned with others, particularly when its something we’re proud of or passionate about. For this assignment, I’d like to take the professional learning community we’ve built and open it up to others we’d like to share with. We (our class) represent a focus on improving formal and informal learning across business, industry, and education. We all have fellow learners (I’m lumping groups like work colleagues and students into the broad category of learners because I hope we all get to experience a true “learning organization) who look to us at times to gain knowledge and skills. With these fellow learners in mind, think about what you’ve learned in this class that you would like to share with them to extend their own learning experience. 

Their product: Okstate EdTech Digital Media Production PLC community in Google+ 

Lessons Learned Trying to Increase Engagement in June Class

In designing EDTC 5113 Digital Media Production for the June summer session, I knew I wanted to model the use of many different digital tools, so it became a whole month of trying new things! Interestingly, I set out to try new tools but ended up trying new instructional strategies as well (I’ll talk about that in another post). First, though, here are some tools I tried and wanted to share: 

GroupMe – This is the one tool I will definitely use again! It improved communication greatly in all forms (teacher-to-student(s), student(s)-to-student(s), and student(s)-to-teacher)! It is shared group text (including multimedia messages), but what I really appreciated was that it is very device-agnostic. If someone wanted to use an old Nokia candy bar phone, the latest smart phone, the browser on their desktop, etc., it worked just fine! It also masked actual phone numbers, so those weren’t actually shared across all participants (I don’t feel particularly comfortable asking students for their cell phone #’s, so this worked great for me). It was also a tool that class participants felt they could turn around and use in their jobs. Check it out! 

PowToons – Ed Harris told me about this presentation tool, so I tried it with a brief course introduction: The thing I found interesting about this is that my habit is to build a presentation starting with visuals first, and this tool forced me to write a script first and then create visuals (30 seconds per slide). I think the result was less rambling from me, which is always good! 

VideoANT – This video annotation tool from University of Minnesota is one of my favorites due to its clean, simple interface. Basically, you paste the URL of a video you want students to watch, and then you can add discussion questions as annotations to pop up at certain points in the video and then students can respond in typical asynchronous discussion board format. Or, students can post questions/comments directly. 

Scrible – This is a website annotation/bookmark tool. I had them read a specific web-based text and make annotations to share. I’m not sure this was the right activity for this tool, as we struggled with sharing to others. 

Pod-o-matic – Quickest, easiest way to create a podcast for students or for students to send audio. I had them read an article and post their analysis via podcast. 

Google+ – Because I wanted the knowledge and skills shared and developed in this course to “live” beyond the time frame, we used a Google+ community for all content and activities (grades were kept in D2L). Some positives and negatives to this, which I will expand on in the following post. On our face-to-face meeting days in the TECH Playground (great place to have class, BTW!), the class members who happened to be farther than 2 hours away joined us via Google Hangouts: 

Students in EDTC 5113 Digital Media Production doing group collaboration  with a mix of f2f and video conference.

Students in EDTC 5113 Digital Media Production doing group collaboration with a mix of f2f and video conference

Always fun to try something new in your teaching! What did you try new lately? 

3D printing

we’ve been seeing an upswing of stories about applications of 3d printing in medicine, lately.

here are a few links to the cooler stories:

the National Institute of Health is opening access to bioinformatic data:

organ transplants may now be fast-tracked with 3d printers:


and, a bit closer to home…

we also ran across a pretty cool mod that we could do to our printer here in the TECH Playground…3d chocolate, anyone?


what could we do with a 3d printer for your research area? Stop by the TECH Playground, 326 willard, and chat with us about it!



STCL Graduate Student Britn’i Stein visited the Playground and asked: how can we facilitate RTI (Response To Intervention) through technology? does it give us increased response opportunities?