Below is a video reflection I made at #InnEdCO15. Enjoy!
This week in my graduate course, I was given an assignment to create a podcast. I was given the following guidance:
"Topic: "A Color" - Record a 5-10 minute audio podcast about a color. This topic is vague on purpose. Think about your content delivery since you are going to talk about something that is typically visual. A technique, popular during the golden age of radio, called "theatre of the mind" uses audio to paint a picture in the listeners head. Ultimately be creative and have fun."
Inspired by my love of podcasts with an NPR style, I decided to create something more than a reading of poetry into a microphone. This is my This American Life inspired podcast titled, Nobody Likes the Color Brown. I tried to put on my best Ira Glass for my narration.
I created the episode using Audacity on my Mac with music I downloaded from the Free Music Archive. Any time I got stuck, I went to YouTube to look for tutorials. For the phone-call interviews, I used an app called Call Recorder (I had to pay for some recording time). After creating the episode, I normalized the audio file using a program called Levelator and then posted to Sound Cloud. While it took me some work lining up the audio tracks, the entire process was relatively easy and I am very happy with the results.
The next question becomes - When I make my own podcast, do I stick with a similar style? Let me know your thoughts below on how your think I should use my creativity toward a more informative podcast.
This week, I had the pleasure of presenting a few sessions at the Digital Educator and Personalized Learning Academy through Denver Public Schools. For the technology skills portion of the event, I presented a session on building Google Sites to extend the walls of your classroom. The presentation can be found below.
I also presented a session on video reflection to support the initiative through DPS called Project Cam Opener. As a part of the project, teachers are encouraged to post video reflections. Sometimes, this can be an intimidating process - the goal of the session was to make sure it feels manageable to teachers so they can instead focus on the benefits of reflection. Jessica Raleigh did an amazing job to support me with building this session.
Lastly, I collaborated with Maria Anglade on a session about Google Hangouts. This encompassed Google Hangouts messaging, video, and Hangouts on Air.
After teaching all of these sessions, it was hard for me not to come to the following conclusion: all of these skills and applications would be made even easier if the participant was fluent in Chrome. For example, the simple task of logging in and out of the myriad of Google products (Sites, Drive, YouTube, Google +, etc) took way more time without the setup of the Chrome browser. While I had many extensions that automated processes, I had to guide participants through the site version of many of the tools. I found myself wanting to teach them how to use Chrome to make everything streamlined.
For example, my Google Sites class participants asked me how to shorten their site url for students. My immediate thought was, "just push the Google url shortener extension on your browser". What takes me seconds, would require someone else several minutes to complete - go to the Google url shortener site, copy your link, paste your link, copy your new link, etc.
Because of this experience, I would like to thank Nicolette Vander Velde for her presentation on Google Chrome at InnEd CO last year. I am realizing what a crucial component Chrome has played in my role as an educator and believe that it is one of the key essential tech skills educators in a Google Apps For Education district should master. It is probably the single most important tool that has made my role as a teacher and edtech enthusiast completely manageable. I hope to pass on my learning to others, along with the many other skills I learned from the Colorado Educator Network. I look forward to seeing everyone again and learning even more at InnEd CO 2015 later this month!
The end of the school year is finally here! The end of this week marks the completion of my 5th year of teaching. The question now becomes what do I work on this summer? Frequently, I find myself creating ambitious task lists with far more to accomplish than I realistically have time to complete. This year, I plan to keep my professional development goals focused on three distinct areas:
What do you think? Is this list still too ambitious? Just right? What are you doing this summer to prepare for next year? Please feel free to respond in the comments section below. I hope everyone is shortly off to a wonderful summer!
Mattea Garcia is a passionate creative educator dedicated to improving the student experience. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.