Sunday, November 7, 2010

Look Out, Oscars! Here I come!

Okay, maybe I won't win an Oscar, YET, but a girl can dream, right?!  Unfortunately for now I'll have to settle for the Golden Raspberry Award (aka Razzie). Learning should count for something though, don't you agree? And learn, I did. 

Check this out for starters...

Voki, Memoov, GoAnimate, Prezi, Animoto, Jing, Mindmeister... the list goes on and on. It's not surprising that multimedia sites are growing on the web and expanding their place in the lives of students, both in and out of the classroom. Multimedia is the new writing, after all.  As Kist says, "New literacies classrooms feature daily work in multiple forms of representation " (p. 8).   Unfortunately, most classrooms still have a long way to go before they fit Kist's vision of the new literacies classroom.  And before I can get there... I have some learning to do.

Of course with so many web-based multimedia and presentation sites to explore, the challenge was keeping track of all these sites and then sharing all the information with you, the reader of my blog.  To facilitate this process, I put the WWW to work for me. Instead of putting all the details on this blog, I decided to keep a web journal of my learning on Jog the Web.  As I learned I added important comments to the Jog about the tool, its strengths and weaknesses and of course, educational extras. I hope you will enjoy all my learning... Web 2.0 Presentation and Multimedia Tools (*Please note, for ease of viewing, please right click on the link and open the JogTheWeb tour in a new window).

Multimedia and Presentation Tools: T'week'ed first for me

As you likely guessed from my Jog, I absolutely loved exploring all the tools this week. I found tools I will use for me, personally, as a graduate student in Mindmeister where I have set up a thinking map to organize my ideas, links and references for my capping paper. I created a story with Storybird to reconnect with friends.   Most of all, I found a little entertainment in creating animation videos with GoAnimate and Voki.  I even took some risk and posted this terribly, ghastly Halloween animation video on my Facebook. My favourite show by YDenomy

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

The highlight... My 15 year old son thought my video was "so bad that it was almost the greatest thing ever" (It's not that bad, is it? I did get some 'likes' from my friends).  Anyways, I guess it was so bad that he was actually proud of me and asked if he could post it in on his own Facebook account.  Imagine that! His friends even commented on it.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), it seems that they all agreed with him. Yes, I suppose I should be sad but it made my week!

As I posted and shared along the week (and saw the response from my son's account), I noticed something interesting. There is certainly a different level of collaboration, feedback and online participation between my generation and that of my son.  He couldn't believe that my friends didn't comment on my video in the same way as his did.  It really made me think about my own experiences in sharing and publishing online over these past two months. I understood more fully the importance of my participation in the Read/Write web. This brought me back to a quote by Will Richardson, "To truly take advantage of the Read/Write Web, we must be literate in the ways of publishing... We must teach and model the ways in which ideas and products can be brought online" (p. 149).  This is the new literacy, after all.

The Golden Apple Awards
Photograph from

So how do we teach and model these tools as teachers?  First of all, I would suggest you do what I did.  Take time to explore the sites for yourself! As you are exploring, ask yourself... "What worked for me, as a teacher, parent etc.? What do the students need/want to share? How much time do I want to dedicate to the task?"  Then, think about the right tool for the job.

Until then, I decided to present a few awards for myself. In making my decisions, I wanted to think about what teachers might look for in good presentation and multimedia tools so I established the following critera:
  1. Ease of set-up
  2. Organization
  3. Differentiation
  4. Engagement
  5. Assessment
  6. Safety
Of course, keeping with online presenting and multimedia this week, I have decided to use an online tool to share details of the critera. (Mindmeister). 

(Of course, please feel free to suggest feedback!  What do you want to see in an online multimedia or presentation tool?)

Given the criteria I have selected... the winners are:
1. For ease of set up. The winner is Wallwisher.  It will take you less than a minute or two set up your wall. Students don't need to sign in. Anyone can leave a post it!
2. For organization... the winner is StoryBird.  This site allows you to set up your account and manage your entire classroom in minutes.
3. For differentiation... the Golden Apple goes to Glogster.  I love how this site could really support students who need audio (but don't demand that everyone use it).
4. For engagement... the winner is GoAnimate.  Although I think this tool would require some thoughtful task design to allow for high-level thinking, it was fun, original and demanded some skill (but not too much).
5.  For assessment... the Golden Apple goes to none other than Voicethread.  I selected this tool because of the ease of leaving comments and providing feedback.
6. For safety... I choose Screencast-O-Matic.  NO downloads, no accounts required and no faces needed to produce an effective and quality videorecording.

Feel free to agree or disagree. Let me know... leave a comment, if you please.

For further exploration of multimedia tools and schools, be sure to visit:
T'week'ed for Professional Development

I hope that we are all practicing what we preach! As instructional leaders, we should be modeling new ways of publishing and presenting online.  Try a Prezi, Sliderocket, or Voicethread.  Why not create an avatar for yourself and share a story in GoAnimate or publish on StoryBird.

For myself, as a staff developer, I have always tried to stay up on new tools and model them in my work with teachers.  However, this past week, I realized that I had certainly fallen behind.  Yet despite new tools, Prezi still remains my favourite.  I know I have used this tool over and over (and still love it!)  Here is an example of a Prezi used in professional development session some colleagues and I facilitated last year.

Give Prezi a try... if you haven't already!

One new discovery for me was Glogster. A fellow student had used Glogster in her presentation this past summer and I was excited. Unfortunately, I never got around to completing my Glog until this past week (and I am thrilled with the PWIM example included in my Jog the Web tour).  For me, this type of application is perfect for the classroom.  I hadn't given it much thought, however, as a professional development tool until stumbling on this link last week. 

I loved that the teacher above had gone away from the workshop and set up a Glog depicting her understanding of Text Features.  Smart thinking!  It made me think that perhaps time at the end of a session would be well spent on completing a 'What did you take away from today?" technology application such as this.  As well, WallWisher is a great "Exit Pass" tool for providing feedback about the session (just not with large numbers of participants, I recently heard).

All in all, a great two weeks of learning.  Before I leave for the week, I want to take you to where I see the future of Multimedia, but it's already here.  My son showed me a video by one of his favourite bands, Arcade Fire, called The Wilderness Downtown.  By entering your childhood address, you are taken on a nostalgic journey through the suburbs of your own life.  Take a trip for yourself.  Think about where multimedia has already gone... and imagine the possibilities in the future.

Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Yvonne, I've nominated you for an oscar, you'd better get a dress! A fun to read and informative post. Love how you compared the various tools - very helpful for those of us who haven't used them with our kids yet and are looking for a place to start. Thanks for all the info!