Archive of ‘Technology 6’ category

Teachers of the Future Create Reflection

Just before spring break, we finished our final tutorials in tech class. During the process, we had to use unstructured work time, so we had to organize when we were going to do different steps. I’m quite happy that we’re done with it because there was a lot of hard work involved, but it was also really fun to make. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my tutorial is about how to multiply and divide fractions. I made it to help people that want to learn how to, because if my tutorial wasn’t useful, there wouldn’t be any point in making it. Now that we finished, I am happy with my final tutorial, because I know I put a lot of effort into it, and did the best that I can. I also think that it turned out pretty well, and I think (at least I hope) that someone, somewhere will think that it’s useful.

This is my finished tutorial:

Throughout the process of making my tutorial, I learned a lot of things. First of all, it’s very important to plan out your time and the different steps you have to go through to get to your final product, because if you don’t know what to do, you can’t get anywhere. I was planning to practice, but ended up just recording each section separately using voiceover on iMovie. That way, if I just recorded two or three times, it would work out fine. Of course I also learned how to make a good tutorial in general, using the class criteria we made at the beginning of the year.

One thing that was quite difficult for me was when all of my audio went wrong. For some reason it looked like everything was there, but I couldn’t hear it (and no, I didn’t have the mute button on). I could easily replace the music, but all of my voiceover clips were gone too, which would almost be like starting all over. Luckily, I noticed that on one of the voiceover files, there was a little yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside it. I just deleted that one file, and everything went back to normal, I just had to re-record that one part.

Most of the other things were easy to do, especially adding titles, and transitions, and cropping the image. I added a simple title that had the name of each step in the top-left corner of the video, and used the same transition to connect clips, so that was quite simple. I also cropped each video a little bit, so that I only included the part of the screen that I needed. (I had recorded by filming my screen while I kept clicking the undo button on Doozla – that way each step showed up with one click.) It sounds kind of complicated, but it’s really simple once you know what to do.

One of the 3 main criteria that my tutorial meets is having clear directions. I think that in my tutorial all of the instructions are clear, and easy to understand. Whenever I needed to, I went over a step again, and I didn’t go too fast. Before I filmed my tutorial, I asked a few friends if the directions were clear, and they said they were, so I went on from there. The second criteria is good quality. The quality of my video was good, so that the audience would be able to see clearly what to do. I also think that the quality of the voiceover clips I used was clear, so people could also hear what to do. The last criteria I think my tutorial meets is being on topic. The whole time I was talking about how to multiply and divide fractions, and I didn’t stray into other subjects. Having your video on topic is a good thing, because otherwise people might get bored or confused and find a different tutorial.

There was one other step in between that we had to do: the analyze step. We had to look at at least two tutorials that other people in the grade made. I looked at Helen’s and Marina’s. From Helen’s I learned how to make a splatter painting correctly. Before I watched it, I didn’t know that you were supposed to tap the brush, which is a lot cleaner than just flicking it everywhere. I thought it was really good how she put parts of the video in slow motion, which is a really good technique, because it shows the audience exactly what it should look like. I learned about how important repetition is from Marina’s, especially when you’re teaching a language, which she was. Her tutorial was about how ‘J’ in spanish sounds like ‘H’. She repeated how to say different words several times, which was really helpful, because it emphasizes the correct way to say things.

I think that there are some other things I could learn how to do to make my tutorial even better. Originally, I was going to film myself drawing with a pencil and paper instead of on Doozla, but I couldn’t figure out how to film it. I think it might be good if we could learn an easy way to do that in class, not necessarily for me, but maybe in the years to come. Some things are really hard to do or show on Doozla or other computer applications, so as long as we can film the paper, it would be good. Otherwise I think that my tutorial turned out great, it was just that the process did take quite a while, but at the same time, there was a lot of effort put into it.

Now that our whole tutorial unit is finished, I feel a bit sad, but really proud of everything I’ve accomplished over the time. I really learned a lot from this whole process, because we had four sections, with four stages, which makes you really learn a lot. I’m very proud of my finished tutorial, and I think it will help lots of people, with learning how to multiply and divide fractions, and how to make a good tutorial.

Teachers of the Future Plan Reflection

Recently in tech class we’ve been planning our tutorials. My tutorial is going to explain how to multiply and divide fractions. We had to do three different things in this unit: our tutorial storyboard, our tutorial plan, and how to use iMovie. The first thing we did was our storyboard, which was where we made a rough draft of our final tutorial. We had to include an introductory clip and a credits clip, along with one for each step. The credits clip had to mention any music used, anyone that helped us, and images or things that were not produced by us. For each clip we had to draw a little picture at the top of what it will look like, and then write about it in the boxes below. For each clip we had to write the step in that clip, the length of the clip, the script, titles, transitions, and optional background audio. While we made it we had to remember that an excellent tutorial can be understood by anyone, uses techniques to make a theme in the video, has appropriate music for the theme, and has clear transitions.

My Storyboard

The second thing we did in the unit was make our tutorial plan. We had to write the name, description, deadline and priority of each task. I wrote down the eight things I have left to do: editing my storyboard, following my storyboard when I create the final product, make sure the steps make sense, gather all the materials, film the actual tutorial and import it to iMovie, edit the video, and do the final touch-ups. We had to decide the deadlines for ourselves (except for the final tutorial), so it was kind of hard to judge at first, but I figured it out in the end. The last thing we did was learn new iMovie skills, like picture in picture, audio ducking, and simple things like adding music. We got into groups of two or three, learned one of the skills, and at the end taught it to the rest of the class. I had to teach everyone about audio ducking, which is basically where you make music fade out while there is other sound. At first I didn’t get it, but in the end I understood how to do it.

My Tutorial Plan

I think that my plan demonstrates excellent tutorial design, because my instructions are clear and simple, and I stay on topic the whole time. I think that having clear steps, having spoken instructions, and staying on topic are the most important things to have in a good tutorial. That way you can follow the steps easily, listen to the instructions instead of having to read them, and you won’t be distracted by anything else the creator talks about. I can do all these things through my storyboard design by having pictures for each step, simple language, and specifically writing down the script for every step.

My plan ensures that the viewer of my tutorial will learn how to multiply and divide fractions, because I explain in detail what you have to do. I also used some examples to help the viewer learn how to do it in different situations, not just one. I think my instructions are clear and simple, but also detailed enough. If I didn’t use detail the viewer wouldn’t know what to do, but if I made it too complicated, they would just get confused. In my storyboard I made the drawings clear, and wrote down exactly what to say, which I think will help the viewer learn, because it makes a lot more sense than if I had just written in bullet points.

I think that we’ve learned all we need to know in class for this tutorial, but if there are some other skills that are easier, or better, I hope that we’ll learn them soon. I think that when we finish the unit each one of us will know more about tutorials than what all of us combined knew. I think that my final tutorial is going to be great!

Teachers of the Future Investigate Reflection

In class recently we have been learning about how to make a good tutorial. The first thing we did was watch three to five tutorials about anything, and reflect on them in our tutorial research sheet. We had to answer three main questions about each tutorial: What helped you in the tutorial?, What did the creator do well? Why was it good?, and What was hard to understand? Why wasn’t it helpful? After we reflected and chose which tutorial was our favorite, we had to write a blog post reflection about it.

The next thing we did was look at two people’s tutorial blog posts from 6A or 6C and write a comment about it. We had to answer three questions in the comment, that were similar to the ones we had to answer about our own. They were: What could you learn from this tutorial? Why?, What makes it a good tutorial? Why?, and What would be difficult to learn from this tutorial? Why? I commented on Aruna’s blog, and Mihaela’s blog. By watching those tutorials (and my own), I learned all the different ways to make a good tutorial, and how to use them.

The last thing we did was make a mini tutorial on Google Presentations about something we know how to do on the computer. I decided to make my tutorial about making a custom header on pages, because that’s how I made the one on my blog. We had to include one step per slide, a specific screen shot for each step, and clear and simple directions for each step. Ms Cofino also taught us how to use the drawing tool to make arrows and circle things.

The differences between my mini tutorial and the tutorial I chose to put on my blog are that mine is in Google Presentations and the other one is a video, and they’re about completely different subjects. Our class also made a table about the different things that make great tutorials. I think that if I use everything I’ve learned about tutorials so far, I’ll be able to make a great one.

My Favorite Tutorial: How to Draw a Cartoon Monkey

We’ve been researching tutorials in Tech class to find out what’s good about them, and what’s bad. I watched three different tutorials, and if I wanted to use one of them, it would probably be my first tutorial about drawing cartoon monkeys. I would choose that one, because the creator shows you how you can change the first drawing around to show the monkey in different positions. I wouldn’t use the 2nd tutorial, because it’s hard to understand, and I wouldn’t use the third, because it only shows you how to paint the ocean on a calm day with no waves, so it wouldn’t be helpful if you wanted to paint the ocean in a storm. The first tutorial doesn’t do either of those things, so I would choose that instead of the others.

Becoming A Blogger Create Reflection

Since we finished designing and planning our blogs, we had to create them. The first step was to make an about me page, which is just a page with a short introduction to ourselves on it. We had to include a good title, the correct formatting, at least two forms of media (I used two pictures), and several embedded links to other websites. My ‘All About Alina‘ page is probably the thing I’m the most proud of on my blog, because at first I had no idea what to write on it, but after looking at some of my friends’ blogs, I had some good ideas. I wrote about where I come from, my family, and my hobbies. In the end I think I put quite a bit of effort into it. One of the other things I’m really proud of is my Becoming A Blogger reflections, because I’ve put a lot of effort into them so far.

When everyone had finished their about me pages, we had to put them in our navigation menus, which was quite complicated, so we did it with the whole class. When everyone was finished with that, we had to add certain widgets to our sidebars: search, links, pages, categories, archives and meta.

We had already chosen our blog themes, but we all had to customize them to make them look more like our original designs. For the people whose themes had a custom header, we got to change the header image, so I decided to create my own design on pages. The first thing I did was take a screenshot of the YIS logo from the YIS website, and then I wrote the title and tagline of my blog around it. The last thing I had to do was take a screenshot of that and upload it as my header image. Even though at first I thought my blog theme was a bit boring, I really like it now, because there are lots of things you can change about it.

If we follow the design cycle, it goes investigate, design/ plan, create, and evaluate, so that’s probably what we’re going to do next. I’m not exactly sure though, because we’ve been evaluating the whole time. Whatever we learn next, I’m sure it’s going to make me (and everyone else) an even better blogger.

Design Cycle

Becoming A Blogger Design / Plan Reflection

When we finished brainstorming our blog, we started to plan and design it in class. The first thing we did was draw three different possible blog designs, each on an A4 paper. We had to use everything we learned about good blogs on our designs. During one of the lessons, we got into partners and decided which design was best to use. We were looking for three things: a design that was clear and easy to read, a design that represented the person, and a design that could be made using one of the themes offered by WordPress.

This is the blog design I chose:

It took me a long time to find a theme that was the most similar to my design, but I eventually found something good enough. In the end I chose a theme called Benevolence, by Theron Parlin. I have to change some things to make the theme look like my design, because the original theme doesn’t look anything like my design, except for a few things, like the sidebar.

The next thing we did was fill out a document called how to grow a blog. There were three sections: the goal, habits and commitment, and the right habitat. First, we wrote down our ideas as a class, and then we filled out the page by ourselves. In the goal section we wrote about what we wanted our blog to look like at the end of the school year. In the habits and commitment box we wrote the things that we’re going to do to keep our blogs up to date, like how often we’ll write posts. In the right habitat box we wrote about how we’ll improve our blog. For example, asking different people for feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In class we’ll probably learn even more ways to improve our blogs, but one thing I’d like to know is how to get the widgets that show how many viewers there are, and where they are. So far I’ve really enjoyed learning all about blogs, and I can’t wait to learn more!

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