Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Public Service Announcement Review

As a teacher viewing these videos, I felt sad for the state of technology integration in some schools.  These videos had clear messages supporting technology and it is a shame that we still need to convince educators to use it in their classrooms.

In reality though, I'm sure viewpoints are similar to those when the first car, t.v., or personal computer were invented.  There were people that embraced it and others that did not.  It took a little convincing before everyone was on board with the new technology.  

My Interpretation
This video had a powerful message.  I believe people thought the young girl was crazy for the ideas presented in her essay.  The students laughed, the teacher took her to the principal who called the parents, they took her to the doctor, and then to the psychologist.  People couldn't even imagine anything like that being true and the girl was quite proud of her ideas.  

Video 2 - Role:  Teacher
As a teacher viewing this video, I thought the message being delivered by the student gave it that much more of an impact.  Our teaching should be student centered.  We should embrace creativity and originality from our students and encourage them to dream.  Sometimes the ideas that seem crazy, are the ones that matter most.  As educators we should not be shaming our students for thinking outside of the box, but rather learning from them.  Our world revolves around creativity and design.  They are the reason each brand exists.  Their products have been designed slightly different and that is why people purchase them.  We are creating innovators, not robots.  Times have changed and our practices in the classroom need to change as well.  The scenery and costumes in the video made the viewers feel as if they had gone back in time.  This helps us remember that we are in the 21st century and the future is now.  

My Interpretation
This video I did not find quite as powerful as The Essay.  I found the music to be very distracting and almost daunting.  The message seemed exciting and the music didn't seem to fit.  While watching this video, I felt as though I was watching a movie with subtitles.  It became tiresome and lost my interest quickly.  This is a shame, because it had a great message that I think people would benefit from.  

Video 3 - Role:  Teacher
As a teacher viewing this video, I thought the message was excellent.  With technology these days, the people have the power.  We have the ability to discuss any topic with people from all over the world.  I believe the graphics used provided perfect symbolism.  For example, the bowl of spaghetti representing the confusion that comes with all of the various components of the internet.  I also loved how they used overlapping boxes, almost like a venn diagram repeatedly throughout the piece.  This represents how we are all connected now and we can use that to our advantage.  Everyone may be talking at the same time on the internet, but that is how ideas become reality.  Talking leads to innovating.  Teachers should be communicating with each other and also giving our students opportunities to communicate with other classes that have similar interests or even with experts in the field.  The illustrations were a wonderful way to express the main points throughout the film, however I believe a stationary infographic would have been an easier to follow representation rather than a moving infographic such as this.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Infographics In The Classroom

Infographics appear to be the "poster" of the 21st century.  It is a highly effective way for students to display their learning while incorporating a variety of technology and artistic skills.
Due to the fact that I teach first grade, I am not sure I would use this in my classroom.  First graders have a difficult time reading and writing independently.  That combined with the extensive number of computer skills (clicking, dragging, rotating shapes, recoloring, etc.) could lead to a very frustrated class.  
If I taught an older grade, I could absolutely see the value of this assignment.  Students could work on their infographic anywhere without carrying around a variety of supplies.  Each student would have the ability to create their infographic in a creative way that represents themselves as a graphic designer.  This would be a great way for students to summarize their learning across the subject areas.  I feel that students would enjoy making a polished graphic such as these. Language arts teachers could use this to compare and contrast novels, science teachers could have their students summarize their learning about the various topics, social studies teachers could use them to create a timeline.  I feel as though, the possibilities are endless and infographics enable students to try out something other than the basic Google or Microsoft products.  Students could also include the use of a QR code that could take viewers to a video or audio recording to accompany their infographic.
I created two infographics for my current class and one for a previous class.  I have to say the one for my previous class is my favorite.  For this class I used Canva which did not allow me to lengthen my graphic without joining.  I simply had to add a page to the graphic.


Piktochart was used for my previous class and it was a little more user friendly and I was able to lengthen my infographic as much as I needed.



Of the three, the statistical infographic was probably my least favorite.  It seems like it is slightly better than a poster, but not nearly as polished as a full infographic using Canva or Piktochart.  I felt it was difficult to find a picture that would make sense when you sliced it into the various data points.  

All in all though, I think infographics will continue to build in popularity in schools and will enable students to feel a sense of ownership in their work while expressing their creativity and making the project uniquely theirs.