Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Class - EDIT 435

I started a new class today called Computer Systems in Schools - EDIT 435. We have one project due by the end of the Quarter. There are several possibilities for my choice in projects. I could learn a new program and present that at the end of the quarter or I could try out a new piece of equipment like a digital camera or HD video camera. So many possibilities... My school needs grant money for technology since most money is not allocated for that purpose. I could work on a grant or two as my project.

One thing we did tonight was work with Google Docs. Though I had heard about it before, I was not aware of its capabilities. It's like having the Microsoft Office Suite for free. It would be a great way for kids to create projects at home or at the library and then send them to me. I think my colleagues at work would want to know about what Google Docs can do, too.

Instead of a book which usually costs $70 or more, we are subscribing to Smart Computing (www.smartcomputing.com) for a year at a meager price of $29. In these economic times, I am glad we don't have to buy a book. I need to finish the other books that I had started several months ago. Luckily, spring break is coming up, so I should have time to finish at least one of them before I begin reading the articles from Smart Computing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Media Debate Video Clip

Overall, I enjoyed the experience because I got to try out the new features of the newest iMovie. After finishing the project, I still like the older version of iMovie better. I had trouble editing the sound clips and music that I wanted to attach to the project. At first I was going to use the new song by Depeche Mode called "Wrong" because I thought it would add some silliness to a more cut and dry video clip.

The video details a response to specific arguments the Kozma team made. Read my other posts to see those particular arguments. I used my talking points to help prepare for the debate. You can decide how effective I was.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Media Debate Video Editing

What a daunting task! I know the ins and outs of using the old version of iMovie, but my new computer has the newest version. I am slowly getting the hang of using the new controls. As always with the software already installed on the computer, there is not a manual to accompany it. I can see why some people don't like the new version of iMovie; however, one great function is extending the media clip as it is in your project. The old version, you had to split the clip at the playhead and the excess clip went to the iMovie trash. Although you could retrieve the clip in the trash, you had to put the clip back together. Now all you have to do is grab the end of the clip and extend it as much or as little as you want. It actually saves you time. I am used to cutting the clip using the spacebar and the longer view of the clip so I can get really tight edits. I am sure with time I will grow to like this version. The sound and sound effect capabilities are better and easier to use.

Right now, I am about 30 seconds into the 3 minute clip I will be posting on my blog and my electronic portfolio. I am happy with what I have done so far, though I am beginning to dislike the sound of my own voice after repeatedly listening and fine tuning the media clips. The next step is to finish editing all of the clips I want to use in the project. Later, I will add transitions, titles, and end credits. Music will be the last thing I add if I decide to use music or sound effects. It will all depend on if it is appropriate for the project.

One of my future tasks is to figure out how to use the clip I got from my flash drive. It is in Mpeg format though iMovie will not allow me to import it. There must be some sort of conversion process it has to go through before it is able to be imported. I can view the clip in Toast, but not using Quicktime. Very odd! Maybe during spring break I can figure out how to use it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Clark vs. Kozma Debate Reflection

I believe the Clark side did an excellent job of conveying the points we wanted to get across in the debate. Even the judges said it was hard to put aside their biases and prejudices. Richard Clark was right, it was definitely an "uphill slog". I was part of rebuttal team with Deanne and Joseph. Each one of us covered certain aspects of the debate. I chose to address the examples that were given in the debate. The areas I covered were the truck analogy, the brother who learned from television, and the special education angle. I ended by quoting the response I got from Richard Clark in response to my blog about the upcoming debate.

The truck analogy was changed into a refrigerated truck that broke down and what was inside began to rot. The argument was for media does influence learning. I countered with it is the delivery system that can change for the desired learning or learner, but it still doesn't prove that media influences learning. Though not enough information was given about the brother who learned English from television, I countered with it was the inherent instructional method taught to the brother in his primary language. Not having all of the information about the brother made my argument weak. The third point was the special education angle as it pertained specifically for a blind student. I argued that the media used was necessary for that learner. Clark was not against using technology or media to use with instructional methods.

My whole focus was rebutting the the breaking apart of the media and the instructional method. In that instance, I don't believe I was effective because I was not able to sway the judges. As the Clark team, we were hamstrung by the fact that there really wasn't any current research to back up what Clark's position is. The judges were looking for quantity of research cited and how current it was. We were only able to cite two studies to support our argument and they were not current studies.

The Kozma team did a great job of giving examples at the end of the debate about future technologies. We were not able to rebut these claims that these new technologies influence learning. There wasn't any evidence saying that it did influence. There was a semantic argument put forth at the end of the debate that changed "influence" to "enhance". Enhance means to make better and influence means to affect. They are not the same. Dictionary.com refers to enhance as "[t]o provide with improved, advanced, or sophisticated features" and influence as " the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others". I would, however, agree that media does enhance learning, but not influence it. Enhance only proves the media attribute argument that Clark has put forth in the debate with Kozma.

So, in my opinion, it was not proven without a doubt that media influences learning. The argument which started as a debate about influence changed to enhanced. The debate continues...