Todd’s Blog


Final Reflection of My Digital Project
April 9, 2008, 11:31 am
Filed under: ECI 831

My major digital project was a collaborative wiki developed as an independent unit for a Visual Arts 30 class for another teacher in my school. The collaborative part of this project was the development of the materials. Though my colleague had a few of the materials prepared in paper form, many of the resources, assignments, instructions, and evaluation rubrics were created from ideas we brainstormed together. We would talk about what she would like to see then I would create them, bring them back to her for proofing and possible revisions.

 

On the technological side, my contribution started with the development of the wiki. I started with the creation of the home page and added pages and links as the project started to take form. Some of the assignments would be needed by the students so I used my ftp account to store these files. I also created a worksheet for my colleague that required me to use Frontpage 2003 to make a single web page. One final piece to the resources was the creation of tutorials using Jing so that students could see how to add to the wiki, or use the required software which they need for the project.

 

As the wiki started to take form, I often asked my colleague to view it, getting her opinion on feel, flow, and whether her students would be able to use it independently. There were times I was not happy with the layout, and her opinion helped make the wiki navigate more smoothly. Once the unit goes into use I will act as an assistant to help students when they questions or need help. I will also be using the time to show my colleague the technological side of this project so that she will be able to modify it on her own and possibly create her own project some day.

 

Though I feel I am comfortable with computers and using software, I believe that I had a high degree of learning. The building of websites is not something I am familiar with or have done much. The learning of and use of a wiki was excellent for me. It opens the door to creating web pages and having others use and add to it without knowing html. Being able to create pages, link pages, add files, hyperlinks, images, etc was something I hadn’t done much, and it gave me some ideas that I can use with my students. Using an ftp account and creating a single web page, though creating a little more grief for me, was a good experience as it created a more comfortable feeling using them. I also learned how to use PhotoStory 3 and Windows Movie Maker more extensively. Though I had ‘played’ with them, this was my first experience really using them as a teaching tool. Along with that I learned about and used the program Jing. This was extremely important to me as I feel this is a tool I will use continually. What better way to help students learn to use the computer, software, and create things than through a step by step tutorial that they can see. Putting this project together has given me excitement to do more than I ever have before.

 

Fortunately the barriers were few and less significant in the grand scheme of things. One disadvantage to using a wiki is that it does limit what you can do, especially if you do not know html or css. It does peak my interest to learn more so that I can enhance what I am doing. Some examples of restrictions are: pictures don’t always go exactly where you want them, themes are limited (unless I want to pay for it), what can be added to the page is limited in how it is added and how it appears/acts, styles and formatting of fonts are limited. Also working with someone else has it downside. Much as two heads are better than one, being tied to someone else’s schedule can be limiting. Overall my colleague was quite cooperative. Lastly, I wish a blog could be integrated into the wiki. There is a journal writing part to the assignment and though it does have a discussion section, it isn’t exactly what I want. I thought that setting up an external blog was unnecessary so I settled. Who knows, as the assignment gets used and grows, the need for an external blog may be necessary.

 

I believe this is an excellent resource for Visual Arts and welcome any others that want to share it. My colleague is quite excited to use it, and it feels good to do something constructive for someone else to make their job a little more creative and easier.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Todd, I shared your wiki with a friend of mine that is in arts ed and she was super impressed and excited because she wants to start using technology, but didn’t know where to start. You are an inspiration 🙂

Comment by ccossar

Thanks Connie. I appreciate your kind words. I am glad my work has helped someone else. This is what our profession should be about (besides the kids of course!). We need to help each other and inspire each other. I’m glad I can do that for your friend. 🙂

Comment by Todd Volk




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: