Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We live in Collaboration-Nation, everybody!

Happy February, everybody! Here in Iowa, it's still stupidly cold. I can't wait for Spring to start. I'll be done with school in May, and I'm getting more and more excited! Until then, I'll still be trucking away with schoolwork and RA life. 

This past week I have been working on a Collaborative Research project with a few other girls in my Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments course. The project was presented to us and we were only given five minutes in class to discuss our plan... and then we had to be silent! The only way we could communicate was through some kind of technological means. It was way harder than it sounds, let me tell you.

The idea behind the project was to conduct some kind of research and then create a presentation about it that could be shared with other teachers. We came up with the question "What is your learning style?" and created a Google Form to send out to our fellow classmates. We distributed it through Twitter and Gmail, and waited for our responses to come in. Once we had some data, we created a brief PowerPoint presentation using Google Presenter and then record the presentation with a software called Jing. Jing records your voice as you talk through any presentation and shows your screen as you do it. It's great for teaching online courses, if I ever decide to do that!

Since we couldn't communicate through the process, we had to find other means. We communicated via SnapChat, Gmail, and Zoom. It was my first time using Zoom, which is a similar program to Skype, and it went well! You can have meetings online with up to twenty people for free, and you can sign in with your Google account, which is super convenient. Although my laptop is getting pretty ancient (four years old, yikes), the picture and audio were really clear with hardly any lag.

All in all, the process went really well! Our project came together pretty flawlessly. I'm lucky enough to have some great group members that are incredibly cooperative and willing to take on any task! I'm excited to see some feedback from our professor once she gets it all graded.