Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A very personal presentation!

This week our assignment in my Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments class was to create some kind of presentation to introduce ourselves to the class. We were encouraged to step outside of the box, so I made a video about myself. I tried to use some fun edits to make it more interesting for the class to watch. You can check it out below! I used WeVideo to create it and filmed it with a FlipCam. I wanted to create a video because I get nervous presenting about myself in front of large groups. I can present about academic topics, but when it comes to talking about myself, I panic. I chose to film my video in my own room because I am much more comfortable there!

 I wanted to present myself as a young professional with some spunky quirks. I included some personal facts about my life and my family to give myself a "real-person" vibe, rather than only professional. In class we watched everyone present their introductions, which was a really interesting way to get to know all of my classmates--not a typical thing you get to do at a university level. I took notes as people presented about where they were from and things we had in common. I noticed that a few people were from the same hometown as some of my close friends, and my friends ended up knowing some of them! Weird!

The following project for my Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments is centered around reflecting on and critiquing our presentation to help us think about what we would add or take away. I created an animated video using PowToon, which you can watch below. It was my first time using PowToon but I really liked how user-friendly it was! It's free to sign up for an account, but you don't get all of the cool features that you would if you paid for the upgraded account. I stuck with the free account because, as you know, I'm a broke college kid. It was a struggle to get used to at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was a piece of cake. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A new semester, a new Educational Technology course...

Photo retrieved from UNI DOR Facebook
I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus for a little over a month because I'm one of those lucky college students that still gets a fairly long Winter Break! I'm glad to be back in classes though, for my very last semester at UNI! It's pretty crazy how the time flies. Everyone is asking what my plans are after graduation, and I've finally established some! After graduation I'm staying on campus for the summer to work for the Department of Residence and in the fall I'll be student teaching somewhere in the Cedar Falls area (PS, that's me on the right in the photo for the UNI Department of Residence!). It's very relieving to have some of my post-graduation life planned!

This semester I'm enrolled in a few Educational Technology courses to fulfill my minor: Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments (say that five times fast!), Technology & Human Communications, and Multi-Media Planning & Production. I'll be blogging about most of these courses throughout the semester, so if you've got any interest in what I'm learning, make sure to subscribe to my blog!

I'm excited to be surrounded with technology this semester! It's going to be wonderful. I'm most excited about our Problem-Based Learning unit in my Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments course (CTELE) because I think our education system is trying to make the shift from factual-based learning to problem-based learning. Our students need to learn how to critically think and evaluate--they don't need to be wasting time with recall questions and memorizing information you can look up on Google in three seconds. Problem-Based Learning is self-directed, collaborative, and very active learning. It's the future of education! Our PBL unit takes a up a huge chunk of our semester in CTELE, so I'm very excited to get started on it.