Archives For Reflection

**Updated January 4 2017 with information about artsy.net and seeing more Miro art.**

This blog post includes a 5 minute video, a lesson plan and examples of student that show integration of visual art curriculum and Computational Thinking in my grade 3 classroom.

Thank you to Bea Leiderman, Carolyn Skibba, Douglas Kian and my experience at the Apple Institute in Berlin for this idea.  Using Keynote and Kandinsky is Bea’s idea. It’s brilliant. Bea, Carolyn and I went to the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin where we saw Kandinsky’s work. We also had in depth workshops on Keynote. The combination of these experiences at the Apple Institute in Berlin lead to this idea and a project. Bea, Douglas and I are currently working on a project where we are investigating how these ideas of art, coding, and Computational Thinking might fit together. This is the early stage of this team project.

This video gives an overview of the lesson and a chance to peak inside my grade 3 classroom:

Visual Arts Expectations

These are the expectations from the Ontario Arts Curriculum that apply to this lesson:

Elements of Design:

• line: variety of line (e.g., thick, thin, dotted)

• shape and form: composite shapes; symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes and forms in both the human-made environment and the natural world

Principles of Design:

• variety: slight variations on a major theme; strong contrasts (e.g., use of different lines, shapes, values, and colours to create interest)

Creating and Presenting:

D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional works of art that express personal feelings and ideas inspired by the environment or that have the community as their subject

D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of compo – sition, using principles of design to create narrative art works or art works on a theme or topic

D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges

Reflecting Responding and Analysing:

D2.2 explain how elements and principles of design are used to communicate meaning or understanding in their own and others’ art work

Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts:

D3.2 demonstrate an awareness of a variety of works of art and artistic traditions from diverse communities, times, and places

Computational Thinking Goals

Karen Brennan and Mitch Resnick published a paper in 2012 describing a framework for teaching and assessing Computational Thinking (CT). I learned about this paper from a presentation by Julie Mueller at a CT event for teachers in August 2016.  Based on this framework, these are the CT goals of this lesson:

Coding Concepts (actual computer science concepts): Sequencing and Debugging.

Practices (thinking habits): Being incremental and iterative, testing and debugging, reusing and remixing.

Perspective (beliefs about self): Using technology to express oneself.

Materials:

ios10-960x960_swift-playgrounds-icon_us-enscreen-shot-2016-12-04-at-11-51-01-amimovieseesaw

Source: Wassily Kandinsky [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

the-smile-of-the-flamboyant-wings

Source: The Smile of the Flamboyant Wings, 1953 by Joan Miro

For more information on Joan Miro, check out this artsy.net site here. Thank you Louise L. for letting me know about this site.The page I have linked “provides visitors with Miró’s bio, over 400 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Miró exhibition listings. The page also includes related artists and categories, allowing viewers to discover art beyond our Miró page.”  The rest of artsy.net is very much worth looking at also.

Teacher Prior Knowledge/Experience:

Student Prior Knowledge/Experience:

  • Time to play with Keynote

Lesson Part 1:

Bell-work and Minds On:

As students enter the classroom, give them the option of taking either a Miro or Kandinsky colouring sheet. While the students settle and the teacher takes attendance, students colour the colouring sheets anyway they like.

Introducing the Project and Meeting Miro and Kandinsky:

Introduce the project by showing an example. This was created by Bea:

Next, show examples of Kandinsky and Miro works. Ideally show the same art work as the colouring pages and several more.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-12-41-25-pm

Explain how the art is abstract. Show how the example has movement that happens with just a single click.

Go over the success criteria:

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-11-47-07-am

Teach Art Concepts:

Have students compare their colouring pages to the actual artists’ works. Notice the main differences. Miro uses curved lines and primary colours whereas Kandinsky uses many different colours but has more geometric shapes and straight lines.

Teach Coding Concepts:

Introduce the coding concepts of sequence and debugging.

Working On It:

Now it’s up to students to create their own Kandinsky or Miro style art, or a mixture of both.  You should model how to find shapes, lines, and how to add animation. There are two ways to animate and they are shown in the screenshots below.

First, tap on the More button (…) and then select “Transitions and Builds.”
img_0485

Or, tap on the object you want to animate and tap on “Animate.”

img_0484

Warning: Many students will figure out how to add the animations but won’t be able to link them together.   I skip telling them this step so they are confronted with having to problem solve and debug.  Once they have a need for this information, I show them how, though many figured it out on their own.  The screenshot below shows how to link the animation. To sequence the animation tap on the object, then tap Animate, then tap the heading to get the options you see in the screenshot.  Notice that you have to change “Start Build” from “On Tap” to “With Previous Build” or “After Previous Build.”img_0486

Once students have completed their projects ask them to share the Keynote files with you.  You could do this by using Airdrop or having them save the Keynote file to Google Drive.

This is the end of the first part of the lesson. Now you will need some time to convert those Keynote files on your Mac to mP4. This part was time consuming.  I wish I could export keynote files to iMovie on iPad. But, at this point you can only send a copy As Keynote, PDF, or PowerPoint.

Teacher’s Homework Prior to Part 2:

This part is not fun.

  1. Open each file in Keynote on a Mac and export the file as a Quicktime. (File>Export To>QuickTime…)
  2. Then, open each file in iMovie and export as MP4.
  3. Share these files with students. I used Google Drive.

Lesson Part 2:

Bell-work and Housekeeping:

Give students instructions to retrieve the MP4 file you created with the Keynote files.  Ask students to open the file in iMovie. Review the success criteria.

Teach Art Concepts ~ Reflection:

Students use iMovie to create a voice over audio recording explaining why Miro or Kandinsky would like their art work.  Review the key elements and principles of design for each artist. Give students time to do their reflection and upload videos to Seesaw.

Teach Coding Concepts:

When students are finished uploading their art reflection, have students use Apple Swift Playgrounds Learn to Code 1 to reinforce coding concepts. Have students work on the Command puzzles.

Examples of Student Work:

Here are examples of the animations prior to students adding reflections.

Here are examples including the reflection:

Ontario has a renewed vision for education with four main goals.  But, People for Education is kicking it up a notch!

Ontario has goals and targets.  These goals will be measured and yes, EQAO data is part of the picture.  I am cheerful to see from the Achieving Excellence document that there will be a broader focus on gathering data beyond reading, writing and math (through EQAO).  There is a breeze of change and freshness as I see that the government will be looking at broader indicators of success.

Then, there is an even bigger gust of wind from People For Education.

People For Education, and their tireless, no-nonsense and brilliant Executive Director Annie Kidder, are looking at even broader goals and other measures of success that are “publicly understandable, educationally useful, and that reflect the range of skills that students will need to live happy, healthy, economically secure, civically engaged lives.”  On many occasions, Kidder has made the point that EQAO tends to narrow down the purpose of education.  If we only measure reading, writing and math, then that becomes the focus for improvement.

The initiative to achieve this is called Measuring What Matters Most: A New Way of Thinking about Skills and is best described as:

“a multi-year initiative to support the development of educational goals and measures of success which reflect the broad and essential range of skills that graduates—and our society—really need.”

and also,

”The initiative will establish a set of broader goals and measures of success in education that are publicly understandable, educationally useful, and that reflect the range of skills that students will need to live happy, healthy, economically secure, civically engaged lives.”

I think this complements and extends the mission statement from the Achieving Excellence document:

“Ontario is committed to the success and well-being of every student and child. Learners in the province’s education system will develop the knowledge, skills and characteristics that will lead them to become personally successful, economically productive and actively engaged citizens.”

I also think it goes much further than Achieving Excellence.  While the renewed vision mentions innovation, creativity and critical thinking, Measuring What Matters: A New Way of Thinking about Skills explicitly describes what these important skills actually look like and mean.

For example, here are the skills and competencies for creativity:

Skills and Competencies are clearly outlined for:

  • creativity
  • citizenship
  • social-emotional development
  • health

Thereis also a connection made between creativity and critical thinking:

“Creativity and innovation skills allow students to learn more effectively in all academic disciplines and subjects. Critical thinking—a “sister skill” to creativity—involves a process of conceptualizing, seeking accuracy and clarity, resisting impulsive solutions, being responsive to feedback, planning and being aware of one’s own thinking.”

The Measuring What Matters initiative is a multi-year plan with national reach.  I see a lot of discussion and hear a lot of talk of creativity and citizenship in particular, I wonder if the skills and competencies will help administrators and teachers across Ontario and Canada start to bring these ideas down from the conceptual and into the practical application of the classroom.

There are some ideas that I just keep coming back to.  Innovation is one of those ideas. I hear it everywhere, and I think people confuse it with improvement.  Andy Hargreaves spoke about the tension between innovation and improvement and asks the question:

What kind of horse are you?

I recommend watching from 29:10-35:02

He presents a similar matrix to the one I have here:

If you are not improving or innovating, you’re a dead horse.

If you are only improving, you are a race horse.

If you are only innovating, you are a unicorn or pegasus. You are a mythical creature that does not exist.

If you are improving and innovating, you are the iron horse. You have horsepower, but are no longer a horse. You are something greater and more impressive than any other horse.

Andy goes on to point fingers at which education systems are which horse:

  • The dead horse:  USA (although things are looking up)
  • The race horse: Ontario
  • The Unicorn and Winged Horse: Superficial use of Technology (that’s us #edtech)
  • The iron horse:  We don’t know yet.  Will it be Ontario?

Do you agree? Where would you put Ontario’s education system on the innovation/improvement horse matrix?

Could the Iron Horse of Education Change be here?

I think educators and leaders in education ought to remember that innovation is a priority, even when things are tough.  Innovation is not dessert, that thing you get to have when you are done improving.  It’s essential to do simultaneously alongside of improvement.

And a note to my #edtech friends –  don’t be the unicorn.  Innovate and improve or else you are a magical creature that doesn’t really exist.

Note: This blog was revised thanks to Dr. Marc Joanisse who gave me some great feedback about the graphic.

I blame Jonathan So and his blog post as well as Adele Stanfield for this post.  Both of whom tapped me for Aviva Dunsiger‘s thought provoking #MakeSchoolDifferent game.

Here are 5 things I think we should stop pretending.  Now.

My 5 things:

1) That school = the building.  And I don’t mean in that cute 21st century talk about moving beyond the walls to the Internet, I mean outside. The yard, the pond, the forest.  Kids see school as building + yard + community. Teachers see school as the building. I am deeply inspired by my husband Greg Marshall and his almost forest FDK program.  He has opened my eyes to how children see the space. He has helped me see a new way to engage children. Give them SPACE. Elevate them as learners with trust and exploration outside.

2) Take the word “digital” away from anything and everything.  Example: Digital portfolios and digital citizenship. Make portfolios. Teach citizenship.  Find a smoother interface and interplay between bit-space and meat-space. Kids-these-days don’t see such a harsh divide between online and offline. Adults go offline, kids are just AFK (Away From Keyboard). And thank you to Alec Couros for this idea from his recent keynote at #ETFOT4T.

3) Well-being can’t wait. We need to elevate the status of learners, teachers, ECEs, EAs, principals, parents, custodians, admin assistants.  Everyone should just be a bit nicer at school.  I would like to see a deeper respect between individuals throughout the community.

4) Stop Platform wars.  Really? We are still debating Apple vs Google vs Microsoft vs Linux?  Enough.  Get online. Spend money on good wifi and technology that doesn’t suck…anyone’s time.  I thought platform wars were over after Netscape and Nintendo vs Sega.

5) Stop pretending that teachers can’t be leaders unless they become a principal or a learning coordinator. (Now this is getting personal). Teachers can be leaders.  People in a position of power/authority/promotion aren’t always leaders. Teachers can influence change without climbing the ladder. And for those that climb the ladder, great! LEAD! Be a renegade not a robot.  As a teacher, I make my voice heard. I lead. I follow. I join. In the great words of Miley Cirus: I can’t stop. I won’t stop.

So. There.Outside with my class

Make better Movies

Thanks to Jose Martinez, my students and I will make better movies. We might even feel brave enough to call them films! His session (description here) was called “Lights, Cameras, Action!” and you can find all the key information, with examples, on his blog.

Key Learning:

  1. Plan! Story board first. Don’t pick up the camera until you have your shots planned out.
  2. Have kids name camera angles in their work. Great idea for being consciously skilled and assessing media literacy conventions.
  3. To get students to make watchable videos, give them a theme and keep it short. As in 20 seconds!

Thank you also to Ernest Agbuya and Daniella Marchese for their session called Storytelling with the Moving Image. I learned that there are professional development opportunities through TIFF and there is an Kids Film Festival through TIFF too! Imagine!

Passion and Compassion

Colleen Rose might be one of the kindest people I’ve met.  She’s brilliant, smart and incredibly tender and responsive to her students’ needs.  Her session about Personalized Learning through Assessment was a poignant reminder of how we can reach out to kids while working through the curriculum and the school day. All her resources from her session can be found here.

A New Tool

Thanks to Tim Hawes I walked away from Bring IT Together with a great new tool!  His session New Ministry Licensed Web-Based Graphic Organizer focused on a rad new tool Mindomo. Think Mind Mapping software + Popplet + Padlet and more.  Fab!

Scratch and nkwry

Thank you to Brian Aspinall and for the great session on Coding in Math. Learning about algebra and variables? Get kids using Scratch to apply these concepts in a practical setting that is fun too! He’s a clever lad and a programmer in his own right. He has developed a Pinterest type web-based app for helping students curate information, check out nkwry – amazing stuff!

Bringing people together

This is what it’s really about!  My PLN is so amazing. Thank you to all of you, and big thank you to my new pal Brian Smith for making this wonderful picture of friendship and collaboration!

Photo by Brian Smith

Photo by Brian Smith

November 5-7 was the Bring IT Together Conference in Niagara Falls.  Here are some of the most discussed key words.  This graph shows how many times these words appeared in presentation write ups.  For what it is worth, innovation came up only 18 times at 7% of key words found in session titles and descriptions.

Key Words at BIT

I attended 6 totally different sessions on Inquiry

I attended six sessions on inquiry and they were all different.  In fact, if you were to get all these people and put them in the same room but ban them from using the word inquiry, I bet they would have no idea that they were interested in the same topic.

What is counter-intuitive, perhaps, is that each of the sessions was excellent and compelling.

But, if each group had a different take on inquiry, then, what is inquiry?

I am unsettled by how differently each presenter perceived inquiry.  What does it mean that each of these sessions was so completely different? Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? What is inquiry in Ontario schooling today?

What is inquiry?

According to a paper in the Journal of Science Teacher Education by Barrow (2006) and another article in ZDM Mathematics Education by Artigue and Blomhøj (2013)  inquiry can be any of the following:

  • a teaching strategy (teacher posing questions for inquiry)
  • a set of student skills
  • knowing about inquiry
  • being inquisitive and taking action
  • engaging students
  • hands on and minds on
  • manipulating materials
  • stimulating questions by students
  • learning to act like professionals in the field

Why is inquiry important?

From the same articles, the purpose of inquiry can be:

  • helping students prepare for a world of work and careers
  • fulfilling a personal need
  • fulfilling a societal need (critical thinkers)
  • helping prepare students academically
  • generating greater awareness
  • experiencing the discipline like real mathematicians, scientists, sociologist etc.

Inquiry as hands on investigations

Louise Robitaille and Peter Douglas presented on their classroom work about inquiry-based learning. They have compiled lots of resources here. Peter described spending a couple of weeks going deep into one theme or building project such as go carts. While he keeps his math separate, he lets the students engage in extended periods of creating, building and hands on learning.  From what was shared at the session, these two take the perspective that inquiry is about hands on to get the minds on.  It seemed like the purpose for inquiry was to engage and fulfill a personal need.  Here learning is a bi-product of a busy, unstructured and bustling with activity classroom.  The advice was to relax, let go and embrace where the students take you once you have provided a guiding question or a bunch of materials to inspire.

Read their session description here.

Fabulous session. Lots of honest talk about Peter’s classroom and the wonderful opportunities he provides.

Inquiry as a teaching strategy and a mindset

Aviva Dunsiger and Jo-Ann Corbin-Harper presented a half day session on inquiry.  What a great opportunity to go deep! They brought tonnes of examples of teacher work and student work.

They curated resources here and invited participants to crowd source even more information in the documents!  Their session was called Inquiry into Action and the description can be found here.

With a focus on the new social studies curriculum in Ontario, Aviva and Jo-Ann took inquiry to be a teaching approach that would leave students into thinking and taking action.  They saw their role to prompt and provoke. Next, they would guide students to ask their own questions and seek to find answers. They were comfortable with letting students ask questions they did not know the answer to and then made it their mission to support the students in finding out. I love that their was an emphasis on taking action and social awareness.  Another impressive session. But, a totally different take on inquiry.

Engaging Students

It is clear to many, including the thoughtful and nuanced thinker and educator Brandon Grasley, that engaging students can be achieved by inviting and supporting students own questions. His thoughtful blog post on engagement is also, as a side note, another write up on how challenging it is to grapple with these hot words of the day.

Then there was Inquiry Based Learning and E-Portfolios in FDK  (session description here) by passionate teacher-librarian Ray Mercer.  Students dressed up as astronauts and told stories of their learning journeys with the use of technology.

His presentation can be found here.  He has just received technology to augment inquiry learning with FDK students.  I wonder how that might change his approach to inquiry?

Hands on technology to inquire

Learning to act like professionals in the field

Inquiry Science Incorporating Technology was a session by secondary teacher Colin Jagoe.  The session description is here. Among other things, his students used Minecraft to do investigations to measure force of gravity in a Minecraft world by having Steve jump off towers. Here is an example I found online.  Colin presented his student’s work and shared how it was important that he let go and allow students to conduct investigations in contexts that were personally meaningful and interesting, like real scientists!  Did he plan the minecraft thing? Apparently not. But did he support it? Yes!

Amazingly, his students had done the same thing as a legitimate physics researcher. The only difference? The physics researcher has a PhD and published his findings in a peer-reviewed journal, here.

Impressive. Also, another totally different take on inquiry.

Inquiry in Ontario?

How important is inquiry in Ontario? Below is a chart representing the number of times the word appears in each of the most recent curriculum documents.

Inquiry Word Count

 

The mathematics curriculum word count is low. So, I checked problem solving (28 times) and solve problems (83 times). It would seem that problem solving and inquiry are perhaps synonymous.  Are they?

In closing, I am uncertain about what inquiry is and what it should look like in Ontario.

 

 

iOS 8 is a bit of a bummer.

September 20, 2014 — 6 Comments

iOS 8: A total bummer, but not for the reasons you might expect.  (This blog post was updated 10 minutes after posting thanks to Greg Garner and John Shoemaker. Thanks guys).

Short/TLDR version of this blog post.

Girl buys new iPad and expensive case.

Girl realizes that new iPad doesn’t have enough space for iOS8.

Girl feels old when she realizes that 16G used to be massive, but is now tiny.

Girl thinks she should refer to herself as lady or woman, now that she knows she is old.

Woman decides to refer to self as womyn.

Womyn spends hours getting new iPad 36G from Apple Store, updating 16G iPhone to iOS8 and. then. it. happens.

Womyn realizes that she is going to have to update 50 iPads at school on bad wifi.

Womyn realizes she may only have one more good year with her current set of iPad devices.

Panic. Heartache. Frustration. Fear. Sadness. Realization-of-first-world-problems. Dinner. Hope.

Womyn writes blog post.

I am not going to write here about new features. I did that this morning on Twitter.  Read Tony Vincent and TechChef4U for her blog post and Listly on features and articles.

The day 16 G became teeny tiny.

On September 8, twelve days ago at the time of this writing, I purchased a new iPad Air. I spent the extra money to go for the Air and not the Retina display. But, I couldn’t bring myself to spend another $100 for the 32G, so I settled for 16G. Plenty, yes, plenty of space. I splurged on a gorgeous case from Grovemade instead of getting a 32G. Life’s all about choices.

I only partially regret that decision.

Today, Saturday, September 20 rolls along and I go to update my new iPad to the biggest iOS release ever and I see:

ios-8-installation-requirement

 

When did 16 G get to be so small? Realizing 16G is small is about the same thing as realizing that I may need reading glasses or longer arms. This is not a happy moment.

And. It. Gets. Worse.

This is the complaining part of the post, you’ve been warned. It took me bits and pieces of a perfectly good Saturday to update my devices. After pleading with the Apple store people to let me exchange for a 32G, I had to figure out how to update my 16G phone.

How to Install iOS8 on your teeny-tiny-eensie-weensie 16G iOS device OTA.

OTA = Over the air.

Step 1: Backup your iDevice Settings>iCloud>Backup to iCloud

Step 2: Reset your device to factory settings Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings

Step 3: Set up your iPad as if new (do not back up from iCloud) and Install iOS8 Settings>General>Software Update>Download (let it download for 30 mins – 1hour)> Install

Step 4: Reset your device to factory settings *Again* Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings

Step 5: Set up your iPad as if new and restore from iCloud backup

Why the tedious process?

Well, iOS8, if you haven’t heard is a *big* update. It takes over 5G to install, but once installed only requires about 1G. It’s like an incredible-shrinking-iOS. It’s acting a bit like Alice might.

alice04aalice06a

What this means for my classroom.

This is my third year of running a one to one iPad program. Each student in my class has an iPad assigned to them for the year. They do not take them home, but they access the device throughout the day. I speculated that I would get 5 good years out of the devices before I would no longer be 1:1. I expected that some would be damaged so I wouldn’t have the ratio. Or, I expected that after 5 years I would no longer be able to update to the new operating system. Like a hole in your favourite sweater, I expected things would unravel from there. Old technology doesn’t feel cozy like ripped jeans. Old tech feels heavy and cumbersome like storing a friend’s furniture or pet sitting for your parents. Old tech isn’t terrible, it’s just that it starts getting in the way instead of enabling. Five years. I thought I would have 5 years to deploy and innovate. But, I feel like for two I have deployed and wrestled with the devices and now at the beginning of year 3 it’s going to take a massive amount of work to update 23 devices and the new 23 I just purchased. And what happens next year when iOS9 comes out? I suspect that I will not be able to update the 23 iPad (iPad 3, 30 pin). And then, how long after that will the devices still be powerful? How long after that will they feel like an enhancement instead of a burden? Will future version of Apps I love be backwards compatible?

Update:  Maybe it’s not all that bad.  Greg Garner suggests:

“Plug one into an Apple computer and back up to computer choosing “download only” for the update. Once backed up, update the iOS. For each subsequent device: plug in, back up, click update. It won’t need to re-download the OS, since it is already on your computer.”

Am I telling you not to buy iPad tablets? No, that is not the point.

I still think iPad is the best tablet. This is not an Apple problem, this is a problem for every tablet. Actually, I suspect iPad and Apple devices will have the longest life of any of the tablets out there. I do know that Apple products are the most eco-friendly and environmentally conscious technology products available. I promise the same will happen with other tablets too, even less expensive tablets that have an operating system that largely based online.

The solution

The solution is not to stop buying iPad devices, or to stop buying tablets altogether. That would be like Alice leaving Wonderland before she had an adventure and learned the true meaning of her life and place in the world. No, we who have jumped down the rabbit hole don’t get to jump right out. And, AND, we must continue to encourage others to jump down into edtech with us to make sense of this mess. Teachers especially have to be engaged. If not, powerful companies and uninformed district personnel will decide our tech fate for us.

The solution is to, more than ever before, really honestly drink from the cup of pedagogy-before-technology. We must push ourselves to be more than our devices. We must push the technology to it’s edge, to the point where it will break and then go one step further. Then, we must write honestly and openly and publicly about our trials and tribulations.

Anyone who is writing about how Edtech is easy is lying. They are (or should I say “we are”) not lying in the sense of telling untruths, but the simplicity of the message is a lie by omission. And, it’s not helping anyone.

Womyn goes to bed. Decides to post without editing. Why bother checking my post over for spelling? (I hear your collective gasp you English teachers who actually read entire blog posts).  Predictive text should be better soon, editing is so iOS7.

Creativity and storytelling are very important to many technology educators, and especially important to most Apple Distinguished Educators. Many ADEs share their learning, their story and document growth, through photography and videography using iPhone, iPad and many iOS and OS X features and tools. During the Apple Institute July 13th-19th I was a double camera slinging photographer with my Canon Rebel t3i and iPhone by my side. I took every opportunity to ask people questions about the tools, the gear and the art of picture making. Also, we were very fortunate that Bill Frakes and Laura Heald were present at the institute both to caputre the event but also to share some of their wisdom with the group. This blog post is about lessons learned about photography and picture making throughout the 2014 Global Apple Institute.

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I am feeling inspired by Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work and so I thought it would be fun to post some pictures from the making of my Google Teacher Academy application video.

Here is the video:

1st Shot: White background and desk.

This is taken in my basement with a white screen I often use in my class for video and for teaching about light to my grade 4s in our photography/light unit.  The slider for my camera made all the difference in each shot. The cam slider was much more effective then your regular Ken Burns effects within iMovie.  Though this was the last shot that I filmed, I wanted to start with just the desk to be sure it popped in each picture.  I want to create a continuous story with this visual as my anchor.

white screen

2nd shot: Jet Aircraft Museum

Thanks to my partner, Greg Marshall, we got access to the Jet Aircarft Museum here in London. Greg is learning to fly a plane so he was a natural at approaching the very kind and generous staff.

JAM Jet Aircraft Museum

3nd shot: Grand Bend, Lake Huron

This shot was taken in early May just after the Google Teacher Academy opened applications. It was really, really cold! I am wearing a full on puffy liner and parka!  I like the images that contrast nature with technology to remind us of the bigger picture.  It was funny to lug around the desk and all the stuff inside the desk. Each time I tried to make sure that the contents of the desk were in the same position.

beach Grand Bend

6th shot: The ARTS Project

After being turned down by Museum London, we turned to the friendly folks at The ARTS project who were more than happy to support the project.

Art Project

4th and 9th shots: Komoka Provincial Park, Thames River

One of my favourite places to run and play.

Komoka Park

10th shot: Fanshawe Pioneer Village

I love the old school compared to new school. It’s funny to think about continuity and change in education. Has it really changed that much from the days of the one room school house?

Pioneer Village

11th shot: Museum Of Ontario Archaeology

This is really my favourite shot.  The way the light comes in from the far door feels like magic to me. Plus, it was fun to climb up high to nab a shot from a different perspective. Can you spot me in the photo?

Long House

Reflections

I loved this process. I learned that when you tell a story, you tell it to yourself too.  This is a message I believe with my entire heart, and it took making the video to really let the message come out.  I loved telling a story and creating something beautiful.  I am very proud that I was able to give my perspective while still meeting the condition of the application (talking about innovation and positive change).  Next, I want to create another video that is unrelated to any application process.

Thanks

Thank you to Mark Hammons @mhammons for the most specific and honest feedback. For being so positive too.

Thank you to team Voxer and PLC friends for discussions and for being in the video: Greg Garner @classroom_tech, Jaime Vandergrift @JaimeVanderG, Tracy Clark @TracyClark08, Jon Samuelson @ipadsammy, Megan Valois @MsValois

Thank you to staff and students at my school.

Thank you to epic BMX riding of Kevin Gauci and his friends.

Thank you David Malone @dwmalone, Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth, and Tanya Avrith @edtechschools for leading the way and checking in with me throughout the process.

Thank you, most of all to Greg Marshall @mr_marshall grip and most inspiring human I know.

This is the fifth of 5 blog posts where 5 education technology leaders share their thoughts on 5 questions. For the final blog post in the series, all thinkers are from TVDSB.

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