Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Zen Story

A Zen Master had a disciple who was perpetually unhappy and dissatisfied. One day the disciple approached the Master and said, "Master, bless me too with your wisdom and help me find happiness."

The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and drink it. "How does it taste?" the Master asked.
"Awful", spat the young man.

The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the young man swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the Master said, "Now drink from the lake."

As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the Master asked, "How does it taste?"
"Good!" remarked the young man.
"Do you taste the salt?" asked the Master.
"No", said the young man.

The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, "The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the 'pain' depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Be a lake!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wk4 Publishing/Presentation Project

After 11 months of studying it has finally come down to this. It's good that we can condense such a large amount of experience and share it so easily. It has been an amazing journey that has lifted a veil to reveal such amazing possibilities for myself and those who have been a part of this journey. Below is just the beginning of the end, I'm not sure it will sink in as the end until well after I'm done.
I will be submitting my presention to a conference taking place in the UK. As mentioned before I wanted to give back to where I started this journey.
Only time and application can tell if Web 2.0 tools can do the job, but it looks as if they can help.

Wk 2 Think Out Loud Post – Publication and Presentation

Wk 3 Think Out Loud Post – Publication and Presentation

Link to my Presentation

Wk 4 Peer Comments: Marc Hunt

MAC: Week #4 - Reaction to Reading
This book for this course in previous weeks was a real quick read however, this week it seemed a bit drawn out with the examples the author used. I agree with him that they were necessary but I found myself hoping the concert with the young students would come and also end.

On a positive note, I thought the idea of avoiding the "downward spiral" by the use of enrollment was really quite good and also relatable. My job depends on how many students want to take the video/sound production course so this chapter gave me a sense of urgency for sure. I try to find the spark in the students and also those who come by to either shadow the class or even just drop in for a visit. I also try to look back at what my curriculum map has and be sure to update that each year in order to keep current with industry trends and also try to point those trends into the students interests. I can see how easy it is for people, teachers, and students can get into that downward spiral by saying no and not having a solution or even asking for a solution like the author did when he asked for the two quarters.

The other take away from the reading I had was "becoming the board." This was very interesting. Imagine how many of us could take some stress out of projects and life if we take ourselves out of the equations and figure out what the "player" was looking for. Cool idea and way of thinking. First I was a bit confused and list but when the conversation between yourself on how to get your boss to hear the ideas you have then made sense. For educators I am sure we are told too many times "no" on certain classroom ideas, but, if we find a way to bring up those ideas where we can show how it relates to the current school agenda or even state's changing standards then those conversation might actually gain more approvals.
Posted by Mr. Marc Hunt at 12:56 PM

Meesh Capeesh said...
Marc, I agree with you, it's imperative that we keep up with trends so as to relate to our learners. Imagine populating a course full of films from the 50's and asking a group of 18 year olds to write a review about them. What's the probability of success in that scenario as opposed to movies from the 00's. Becoming the board and being mindful of the players on the board. Great take away.
November 19, 2011 2:40 PM

Wk 4 Peer Comments: Rosetta Cash

MAC Week 4-BP1: Art of Possibility Chpts. 9-12
Zander and Zander stated, “Certain things are better done in person.” I love this line! I agree with its premise. There are times when a face-to-face is the best method to convey your true sentiment. “Enrollment,” that spark of possibility that you generate with your passion and being in the present. I am a firm believer in never being afraid to ask for what you want. The “worst” response you can get is a “no” but there is always that possibility of getting a “yes.” I know that this is the age of technology and that we have email, Skype, iChat, a variety of ways to communicate. But the turning point can be achieved in the way you present yourself in person. This can persuade and get a person to agree to do something that they had not even considered until you raised the point. A “no” may be an invitation to enrollment if new possibilities can be introduced that will spark a different way of doing things. Zander asking for the two quarters when they did not have change for the $10 bill. Turned the “no” into a “yes.”

Cover: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional
and Personal Life by Zander & Zander 2000.
Zander and Zander also stated, “…the practice of enrollment is about giving yourself as a possibility to others and being ready, in turn, to catch their spark.” I really like this quote as well.
On a trip to New Jersey for a conference we checked into the hotel in the late afternoon. The hotel manager checked me into the hotel. He was visibly a bit irritated and a little weary. I chatted with him, got him to smile, and eventually laugh. I thanked him for his very courteous service and how welcoming he had been. The next morning in the hotel restaurant I was seated at the table about five of my friends, one of whom was short on funds so he was only having coffee. Well, the manager stopped by the table and greeted us. I smiled and asked why he was still working since he worked so late the evening before. He smiled and said he wanted to make sure our group was well taken care of before he went home. (He had been on duty all night.) I thanked him for his consideration. He then asked if there was anything he could do for me and I jokingly responded, “You can buy breakfast.” Much to our surprise, he smiled called our waitress over and told her that there would be no bill for our table. We all thanked him for his generosity. My friend who only had coffee was overjoyed and got to eat a full meal.

The story of “Anthony” the ten-year old who energetically conducted the orchestra bought tears to my eyes. I love it when we can give our children the opportunity to operate outside of the boxes in which society has placed them. They quite often exceed even their own the expectations if given positive encouragement.

The concept of “being the board” was interesting in that you can change your circumstances by changing your perspective and the way you handle the situation. Not taking the blame or assigning blame to someone else but looking within to change yourself and how you view things. Developing the “vision” that opens up the “sparks for possibilities” results in creating the environments that generate certain conversations. And of course relinquishing the “I” mentality and incorporating the “WE” mentality that looks at what is best for the whole and not just the individual.
Posted by Rosetta Cash at 9:26 PM
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Meesh Capeesh said...
Thank you for your reflections Rosetta. How interesting that the art of face to face is still so touching even in this age of symbianism. I loved your story of the Jersey trip, a great example of fueling that spark. You also inherently employed being 'we' instead of I. Had you just been an 'I' you wouldn't have concerned yourself so much about your friends. What a gift. Also, the story of Anthony you point out here. He not only has the chance to fully express himself but also reminds us be in tune with our inner child.
November 19, 2011 3:04 PM

Wk 4 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 9-12

So here is the last blog post for the Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) and I must say that it has been a very good read. It’s definitely going to be in a few Christmas stockings this year. I was particularly inspired in chapter 9 when the author spoke about working in the inner city schools. Newham is actually the first local authority I worked for and where I got started on the road of education. As a teacher it is almost a per-requisite to inspire, not only those we instruct but also those I work with. Empowering those around us in life to allow them to find their inner flame, facilitating a safe space to radiate their gift to the world, which is their individuality! How poignant, we are all co-creating the reality we experience around us! It’s never really just you or me. Just think about how dependent we are on electricity. Could we harness that power without someone turning that switch on? Another point to be mindful of is the choice we have over the quality of our experience. Once we take responsibility for our lives in this manner, we are then master of circumstance rather than victim. One thing I try to remember is this; imagine you start your life as a cup filled with water. After a while you need change the water. Putting in what you choose, dirty water or clean water. All of these fundamental truths have so nicely been put together in this book. It is easy to read, not too abstract and can strike a chord with so many different people. A Wonderful song for life.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wk 3 Peer Comments: Shawn McKeown

Week 3 Reading Reflection

The reading this week, once again, was a big reinforcement for me on some quality issues. As a teacher, I love the idea of students teaching other students, as was explained during the anecdote about the student symphony orchestra that visited Cuba. It’s not only “teachers” who can teach, and sometimes the message gets lost when the connection is not there. Lessons can be more valuable from peers who are viewed to be in the same situation.

I must say, though ,that Rule #6 – Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously, is so simple it’s brilliant. On a daily basis, I need to remind myself of this. I need to hang this sign on my front door, my office door, and my classroom door. There’s so many ways to go with this, but I’ll use my personal life. I have two sons, and 8 year old and a 5 year old. After dealing with the stresses of work all day, I come home to my family, and forget that it’s not always about the structure of a daily routine, that sometimes we just need to laugh and have fun. After the homework is done, the dinner is over, and dishes are cleaned, there is little time left to have fun. Some of the most amazing nights are when we, as a family, just say “forget it”, and figure out how to let go and have fun. Eat a simple meal, leave the dishes go, and have some fun.

In the seventh chapter entitled “The Way”, the authors tell us to “Include mistakes in our definition of performance.” As a lighting designer for live productions, I can only think back on a few memorable productions over my years that have been A+. In my mind, for a production to be flawless, it has to include everyone and everything- The artist performance, the sound, lights, even the audience enthusiasm plays a role. Many times I’ve finished a show, and out of the thousands of lighting cues that I triggered that night, I walk away thinking “I was late on cue 5 in the verse of the third song”. It amazes me that one bad cue can ruin my night, and the view of the production that night in my mind, but it does. While I strive for perfection on a nightly basis, I must also realize that one missed cue did not destroy the show for the thousands of people in attendance that night. It’s tough, because we want to be perfect, but it is such an unattainable goal, that we must not make that the only criteria for success.

"House Lights...Go"

Meesh Capeesh said...

Shawn I totally understand that feeling of wanting to get it perfect. It can be very challenging to be able to let go of that ideal. The funny thing is that I'm sure the audience didn't even notice. Being part of the performing arts I remember countless times of trying to get something right over and over again and it was only in that moment of throwing caution to the wind, of being able to transcend the mind and we allow ourselves to get lost in the feeling does that magic happen. That's a lot easier said than done though ;p

Wk 3 Peer Comments: Jeff's Learning Blog

Think Out-Loud - Part 2

Okay, so now that I have had much more time to think about this and do some more research, I have realized that I need to apply to present at a conference that is much more suited for my specialty - foreign languages and technology. I found a fantastic conference that is actually located near me in Austin, TX at the University of Texas. It is the Texas Foreign Language Education Conference. The theme is the classroom of tomorrow....using technology in the classroom. I am pleased to have found this conference as I think I will have a much better chance of being accepted and it is exactly based around the subject of foreign languages and technology -- two of my favorite subjects.

In preparation for a proposal, I reviewed the submission requirements. Two things that I saw really pleased me. First, there are two types of presentations that they like to see: one is discussion based with the presenter leading the discussion. But, the other is project based (my CBR project came readily to mind). First I would present for 20 minutes about the research, then steps of and conclusion of the project. Later, a Q/A session would take place. I like this format and it fits in well with what I hoped to do. Secondly, part of the submission process includes an abstract! The information they want in the abstract is exactly what will be due for the abstract to be completed this week for this month's class. Killing two birds with one stone is always wonderful. :)

Meesh Capeesh said...
Jeff, isn't it wonderful to find these conferences for language teachers. This field is so broad and abstract as with other field it deserves its own space. It seems you have a real sense of self accomplishment with all the wonderful work you have done thus far. Keep it up!

Wk 3 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 5-8

In this blog post I will be talking about some of the key points that were stimulated in me whilst ready these chapters. What I would like to share first is this wonderful bit of wisdom I got from a friend over the weekend.
“Always see the good in people first. . . Because if you don’t, you’ll always see the bad and the opportunity of that moment will be lost.”
This had been playing on my mind I a totally felt it more due to the reading. Remembering the chapters, which talk about the calculating self and the central self. How the balance of action and reaction are so delicate. When we are faced with a situation oftentimes our (re) actions are based from the calculating self who is trying to avoid pain, thus making fear based decisions from pride and ego etc. One way to connect with the central being of not only yourself and others is through acting from a place of love and compassion. Seeing the good in every interaction we have before marring the picture with judgments and should, seeing things the way they are. It is challenging to BE in the present moment and remain objective especially in such an abstract world.

But by being able to stay present and take things in following rule number 6 opens up so many possibilities! At a recent rehearsal I noticed how band members were talking about what the drummer 'should' do in 4rd person without addressing the drummer himself. Upon noticing this I was instantly reminded of the ‘Leading from any chair’ chapter of the book. I was instantly inspired to ask the drummer what he thought about what should be done. This instantly allowed us to carry on with the practice. As a teacher I try my best to be mindful of getting the learners involved in the process. I have experienced being in a classroom and not once asked for my thought process and being rather un-stimulated. I also hold on to a truth that if I’m bored as a teacher, so are my learners. We must be able to break down the strife of perfection and remember to play and find the passion in just the experience itself. Allowing ‘it’ to be ‘its’ own natural expression, and allowing us to be the instrument we play to life.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wk 3 Think Out Loud Post – Publication and Presentation

Following on from week 2 I have been researching ESL conferences in the UK and other locations. I have been very interested in what the British Council offers as they are a forerunner in British English instruction. Unfortunately They aren’t taking submissions. Upon further research I found 4th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference at King’s College London, UK. This conference is about developing and promoting multidisciplinary practices in the field of Cognitive Linguistics. I am also excited about this opportunity back in the UK because I really want to make a contribution to my home. In the days of globalization I feel it only natural.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wk 2 Peer Comments: Marc Hunt

MAC wk. #2: Reading Reaction

As I read the book, "The Art of Possibility," the second chapter of giving an "A" really spoke to me and also let me know that I actually am on the right track. The chapter begins with the story of Michelangelo talking about how a sculpture is hidden in a piece of rock, and you need to chip away the excess parts to reveal the art. The author compares this in education where the student needs to drop the "excess" to gain mastery and self-expression.
I have an assignment at the beginning ofd the year where my students study themselves and really think about who they want to be and what their Artistic Identity is. I have found that giving this assignment to the students helps them to let go of barriers and also gets to feel more comfortable to their self-expression in my class. They really respond positively to the assignment and I think it helps to set the tone for the year and also get them excited about who they are as an artist. I wanted to share my assignment and also give you all permission to use it if you would like.

Meesh Capeesh said...
Ooo I really like this! How wonderful. I had little moment with my students during the week when we did an improve exercise in creating a mini-movie. As the students started the activity, one pair was completely stoic, void of any creativity. I always wonder how that can be. I have always had such a vivid imagination that I find it hard to understand when students say, "I have no imagination." So maybe something like this can help them find their inner creator.

Wk 2 Peer Comments: Lara Large

MAC blog post #5: week 2 reading
The book The Art of Possibility is an interesting approach to changing one's thinking to create positivity in one's life. So far, I am most struck by the chapter on the "invented-ness" of our reality. I enjoy the idea that by understanding the nature of our perception, we can change it to be free from the limitations we impose and the judgements of others. Several very simple analogies and illustrations are given on these points. I am interested to discover how one frees oneself from some of the more concrete pressures associated with limitations, such as inadequate income. The idea of "contributing" rather than "achieving" is liberating in and of itself.

Meesh Capeesh said...

How interesting it is that the concept of reprogramming our mind is so abstract. When in reality that is exactly what we have been doing form day dot. We can if we really want, do anything we want and believe anything we want. This reminds me of something my father told me. His first wife was German and she was taught in school that Hitler was a good man that he did good by his country . . . Yet to us on the outside our programming of reality paints a very different picture.

Wk 2 Think Out Loud Post – Publication and Presentation

So here I am the big decider, do I want to publish my work or present my work? I think I would like to do a presentation. After all I have been spending the last year talking about blended learning styles and Multiple Intelligence theory, so why not put it to use. Plus I have never really enjoyed writing that much. The words go blurry and the lines move around on the page after a while. In fact I am rather excited at the prospect of doing a presentation. I would have loved to have applied to SxSW but the deadline has passed so maybe next year. I also think a presentation would be more accessible to a more global audience. Things such as language barriers and accessibility may not be so prominent. Now I just have to choose were I want to present my work. I wonder if I can apply to a conference back in England? That would be ideal as it’s home I guess and I would love to share and blend perspectives between UK and US. Let’s see how it unfolds.

Wk 2 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 1-4

The Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) has so far been a very inspirational book. The first chapter asks us to look at our selves and our perspectives. One part was about the two shoe salesman. How one saw a business opportunity and the other didn’t, when on a trip to Africa. I’m sure we can all relate to that. This reminded me of something my Reiki teacher spoke about. Think of a time when you were listening to someone talk or moan about an issue they have and in an effort to turn their thinking around we start the sentence with “no but.” This in itself just goes to reinforce the polarity of the situation. The words we choose can seem so meaningless yet can shape our whole world. In times when I may not agree I try my best to say nothing, even if the person I’m speaking with is fishing for more. A great quote that I try to live by is:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

I find this quote extremely powerful, since far to often we say things like “I am angry” and so be it, angry you are, as opposed to just having a feeling of anger in that moment. Once we can see past the anger, frustration and pain and see how beautiful life is. How everything we have been through, the good, the bad, the ugly, has led us to this very moment in time. Here and now, and how magical is that. We could not be here, a simple twist of fate and poof all change. That it is about being thankful for the challenges as well as the blessings in our lives. Also reflecting on the impact we have had on other’s lives. One of the most memorable moments in my education career was when one of my co-workers, who used to be a student, was telling me about their studies at University. I was really happy to hear that she was doing so well. She responded that she was just following me, doing what I did. I was completely taken a back. I had never thought about it that way. Since then I have been mindful of the impact I have and we have on each other. We are all co-creators in this beautiful musical score of life.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wk 1 Peer Comments: Rosetta Cash

MAC Week 1-BP1: CopyRight or Wrong
Copyright law seemed very straightforward. But then I watched Good Copy / Bad Copy and discovered that it truly depends on your perspective and literally where you are in the world. We tend to think of things as being applicable universally and then we step outside of our borders and see that others have a different take on what is legal and what is not.

The words “pirate” and “piracy” popped up a lot in the documentary. When I hear the word “pirate” I immediately think of poor, oppressed people trying to finds ways outside of the designated norm to improve their conditions. Looking at the producers of remixed music in Brazil and how they don’t really make any money from the remixed CDs they create, the artist don’t make any money but they have these huge parties where their remixes are played. I found the aspect of remixing fascinating and the perspectives of the people who are involved is that they see what they do as an art form and creative expression.

Fair Use makes an attempt to find a solution by setting parameters on minimal use of copyrighted materials under specific circumstances. But they make it clear that legally it is a “defensible position” and not a “right.” Some saw the need to create the “Fair Use Best Practices Document.”

Larry Lessig and Creative Commons seem to have found a better solution to the copyright issues. Especially the copyright infringement issues that are encountered by the multitudes of young people who remix music. Creative Commons attempts to forge a balance between artists whose works are protected by copyright laws and the youth who creatively use copyrighted works to remix them using digital technologies. CC allows the artist to determine how his product can be used by others and allows those digitally creators to legally operate within those parameters. A step beyond Fair Use.

As I consider myself an artist and a talented, creative person, I want my intellectual property protected by copyright in every way possible. I think the Creative Commons solution is a viable and equitable solution for those who want to share their creations but still have some control over how they are used.

Meesh Capeesh said...

Rosetta, glad your feeling the wonderful possibilities of Creative Commons licensing! It has truly been one of the best work a rounds of protecting yourself and commercializing your work if need be. Have fun with it!!

Wk 1 peer comments: Mike Dunn

MAC BP_01 - Copyright Issues
While reviewing copyright issues for Media Asset Creation I was reminded of my first experience with copywriting. I have been a songwriter since my teens but I never thought of copyrighting my work until I started making money with music. After I released my first record I joined the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers. I started learning the bones of music copyright out of necessity. Copyrighting is certainly a large topic and introducing the myths of copyright can provide a solid base to what can and cannot be copyrighted.

Media industries have changed extensively in the past decade along with attitudes towards ownership. While we can all agree that media creators should be compensated fairly for their work many users have abused or ignored this concept with the availability of illegally acquired media. Publishers who have grown with the technology have found success. One significant example would be the subscription model used by Netflix and Spotify. The artist has to make the choice regarding how their work can be used, we have seen growth in this realm by the Creative Commons license.

In the Good Copy/Bad Copy I was immediately taken by the mention of Girl Talk. I have been a fan of Girl Talk for a couple years and I consider what he does to be artistic and original while he uses its and pieces of copyrighted works. As Sir Isaac Newton said we are "Standing on the shoulders of giants". Perhaps this is just a new way to take a creation to "the next level". I was also reminded of the work of Shepard Fairey and his famous HOPE creation for the Obama campaign. I still have much to learn about this minefield of legality called copyright law but these videos have certainly brought me closer to a workable understanding.
Posted by Michael P. Dunn at 10:58 AM

Meesh Capeesh said...

Mike, copyright can be an absolute mine field but really it could all be so simple. For musicians our work in trying to police the commercial product from mechanicals has shifted. Fans now want to feel a real bond with the artists, with the consumers and the creators.

Take a look at the link below, I think you'll find it interesting.

Wk1 Wimba

The first Wimba session of the Media Asset Creation was very enlightening. The fruits of our labour are finally coming to ripen! Though the prospect is a little daunting I am ready to fly the coop. The thought of actually submitting the CBR project was not one I had actually taken seriously till now. Even though the deadline for SxSW EDU has passed I am still eager to participate in the conference and get prepared for next year. In the meantime I am very excited to share my ideas not only in the USA but to take what I have learnt back home to the UK.

Wk 1 Reading: Copyright Issues pt.1-3: What's it all for?

Welcome to my first blog post for the Media Asset Creation course. In this post I will discuss copyrighting issues in this day and age. I watched a few different videos and read a few different articles. What I was surprised to notice was that there was little to no mention of the issue of moral rights in the USA. According to The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (UK) there are a number of different rights associated with work creations. Moral rights, which is one of them, is the right to object to the derogatory use of works. For example, if a piece of music was is in a pornographic movie, the owner can contest the use of the material on moral grounds. Though there are in fact many differences between UK and US rights, I’m afraid that it may take days to comb through them.

Why is it that more often than not it is these giant companies that want to sue the smaller party over copyright infringements. Have they really paid their dues? How many legendary jazz artists were just paid as session musicians? These musicians who never see pennies worth of royalties . . . I ponder. As the Swedish gentlemen said in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy, what gives the big US Corporations the right to enforce their ideals and laws on other territories yet so unabashedly disregard those of other territories?

We are in an age where the World is at our fingertips. Even though the USA is the biggest exporter of popular culture it is by no means the ruler of the world. More and more we are expanding, experimenting, creating and remixing. And so the beauty of Creative Commons licensing allows us to safely share our creations without the big bad wolf coming after us. I just hope that great works of art, film and music do not become lost in the memory of days gone by because of licensing. A funny point here was that the company I worked for actually tried to get copyright permission to use the MLK speech in the course books but couldn’t get permission. Why would they deny the use for educational purposes? Should we then think about where the priorities lie for these licensers? Is it to better society or better their profits?

If you want to know a bit more about UK IP issues please follow the link below.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ETC_Final Project

Relevant and Innovative Learning Scenarios Planning

In this post I will be sharing my lesson plan for integrating voicethread in the learning environment.

Target Audience

My target audience will be learners of English as a second language. They will be between the ages of 17-30. Mainly from Europe, Central/South America and Asia. The learners will either be 1) General students, who are here for a short period of time or 2) Academic year students attending for 6/9 months.


1. A computer for each student.
2. Internet connection.

Objectives– At the end of this scenario the learner will be able to:

1. Create a collaborative voicethread with their classmates.
2. Share their research and ideas with each other.
3. Critique on what fellow class mates have found.
4. Discuss their thoughts and feelings as a whole class.

Procedure– Steps to the process

Pre-requisites – Ensure that you have created a Voicethread account and template voicethread prepared prior to following the steps below. This can be set-up on a previous activity. Be familiar with how to upload files and where to save them.

➢ Have class as a whole brainstorm a particular topic. For this example I will use the idea of researching the pacific islands.
➢ Elicit the different topics which may be researched e.g. tribes and languages. Have enough topics to be divided up amongst the group
o Spend about 15-20 mins on these two activities.
➢ Divide the subtopics between the group.
➢ Give the group 10-15 minutes to decide on the areas of research and roles.
➢ Bring the class back and direct them to the voicethread link.
➢ Over a course of a week students will research their given topic.
➢ Check with students how the research is going and ensure they are adding content to the voicethread.
o Ensure that any files, which are to be added to the voicethread, are PDF’s, DOCs or JPGs.
➢ At the end of the week direct them to the link and user log in details.
➢ Give the students 5-10mins to upload any final findings to the voicethread.
➢ Once this has been done, play the discussion.
➢ Each learner must add at least 5 comments to the voicethread. Ideally a comment on each slide.
➢ At the end of the voicethread, ask the students to answer the following questions
o Name 2 things which you learnt.
o What were you most surprised about?
o What is your overall impression of the voicethread and why?

Web 2.0 Tool

The tool to be used is Voicethread. This is a collaborative multimedia slideshow tool. Voicethread is web based and it allows users to upload different media. Users can then comment on the media via voice, text or drawing.

• Social Participation/Social Learning–The way social learning and participation will take place in this environment is that students will be able to:

➢ Seek out information on their own terms.
➢ Share information with a group.
➢ Talk about what they have found.
➢ Share their learning experience.
➢ Respond to each other’s comments on the slides.

• Making Connections

In a previous lesson the group was asked to give a presentation on different regions of the world. They then gave a presentation. In this whole class collaborative project, they will be refining their collaborative skills. The learners will also be using pre taught vocabulary and colloquial terminology.

• Create/Produce

The product to be shared is a completed voicethread where all the participants have left the required 3 comments. This will then be shared in the voicethread community as well as posted onto the learner’s individual blog.

• Assessment

➢ Review the voicethread and ensure that each student has left 3 relevant comments.
➢ Review the feedback left at the end of the voicethread.

• Reflection

Learner’s reflections

• Learners will be able to reflect on their experience by posting on their personal blog. The following questions are suggested.
• What was the best thing about using Voicethread?
• What was the worst thing about using Voicethread?
• Would you use it again?
• What would you use it for?

Teacher’s Reflection

• Take the opportunity to reflect on the overall process, suggested questions:

• Evaluate the success of the RILS use the critique left on the student’s blog.
• Review the implementation and make any reflective changes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BP7_One minute Voicethread video

After exploring the possibilities of using Voicethread, the last deliverable for this assignment was to create a 1minute pitch video for the tool. Here is mine below. . .

PE5_Voicethread Continued

After spending some time in Voicethread and thinking about how I could use this in class, I came up with the following ideas. One could use voice thread to do collaborative research, collaborative critique on a movie and even a photo slide show sharing experience. I decided to create a voicethread about a Japanese book called The Boy Who Drew Cats. I found it in the NY Public Library gallery. I chose this as it would allow me to do reading comprehension exercises with my ESL learners as well as critique on the artwork and story content itself.

I had a few hiccups getting the voice thread together. I wasn’t sure about which order the slides went in when I selected it from the gallery.  Another challenge I came across was that it took me a a while to figure out how to create multiple identities and get the identities collaborating on the same voicethread. Luckily the support of voicethread is amazing. The tutorials are really helpful and easy to navigate.

In the end though, it is really simple and easy to use. Being able to watch the collaborative comments as a movie was really enjoyable.  I really look forward to be able to use this in class and really use it collaboratively. I would make sure that proper directions are given to the students so that time isn't wasted on trying to create an identity or trying to draw on the screen. This could be done in a previous class.

Other good functionalities were being able to moderate the comments before they were published or not if you decide. One can also add comments to individual slides and the voicethread as a whole. The examples of how voicethread can be used are diverse and transcend all groups and environments. Here is a link to my first voice thread. Get Involved!


In this post I will be sharing my practical experience and a new Web 2.0 tool named Voicethread. 

After watching the tutorial I was rather excited to get started, it looked like a super efficient product to use and I jumped right in. The initial signup is easy, due to the use of flash it takes a little while to navigate efficiently around the program. I did have initial reservations as to how I could implement this in class as one of the feedback comments was that they didn’t want to sign up to all these platforms. Luckily with Voicethread, you can create multiple identities under the same account.

What does this mean? Take for example the following scenario. A group of students get together and do research, rather than wasting time on creating an individual log in for each student, you can use the generic login for the class. Once logged in, you can create multiple identities under the same user. In case you were wondering, learners can still personalize their identity by adding a picture and a name.

The different media that can be uploaded is phenomenal I was really impressed by the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery. Being able to view through all this amazing art is definitely an amazing tool to be utilized in the classroom.  You can also add input from facebook, flickr and even your other voicethreads. I experimented with using input from the NY Public Library gallery. I did have to watch some tutorials to figure out how to doodle on the screen (drawing on the media playing). Luckily the tutorial voicethreads allow you to practice the directions right then and there. 

BP6_Rosetta's typing tool

Ah another wonderful new tool discovered! EDMT cohort Rosetta Cash shares this wonderful review about I wont spill the beans here, follow the link.

BP5_Shawn and Wiki

Here is a link to my fellow class mate Shawn McKeown. He ever so nicely did this great piece on using Wiki in the learning environment.


The Web 2.0 product I would like to review this week is Voicethread. Voicethread is this wonderful collaborative tool. It can be used in a variety of ways. Essentially Voicethread is a collaborative multimedia slideshow. So how does Voicethread work?

First, create the Voicethread, this is done very easily by following the prompts on the screen. You can upload images, documents and even videos straight from your computer or your Facebook account.
 While the Voicethread plays, collaborators can pause the video and leave comments. Now the kind of comments you can leave are what make this tool special! You can leave a voice comment through a microphone, text boxes, audio files and even telephone. Collaborators are also free to edit and delete their comments at any time. 

One of my favourite features is the doodling option. Doodling allows you to draw on the media which is currently being shown. I like this tool since sometimes it can be challenging to accurately describe what precise part of an image you might be critiquing, for example.
Voicethread can also be embedded into a variety of platforms and you can export it as a widescreen movie with comments and all. This would be wonderful as a reflection tool and even a presentation of sorts. 

Lastly, Voicethread also gives you great privacy controls. You can choose to moderate the comments left, decide who to share your Voicethread with as well as have multiple identities which eliminates the issue of having to sign-up if your just using the platform as a one off. Voicethread is a wonderful application that gives you an immense amount of flexibility all without having to download any software. Check it out for yourself!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The last installment of my week 2 practical experience. All in all it has been a pleasurable one.
After changing my settings and setting up my learning environment my Lynda experience was a lot more enjoyable.  I completed the course and got my certificate of completion (fancy).

Overall I learnt a lot of good little tips and was able to personalise my iMovie tutorial videos to fit my level of experience more.  I would have liked it if Garrick Chow (the instructor) had a little tips and tricks tutorial. I am a big advocate of work-flow optimization and I feel that more of that could have been addressed in the tutorial. Also in practice the iMovie, audio marker functionality is not as smooth as made out to be in the tutorial. I had a few lags when I was putting together my piece simply because I didn't follow the laid out order. 

If possible I highly suggest having a second screen to watch as you follow along in the application in the other screen. It makes for a much more interactive experience. Before, I would have to revisit the application, then the tutorial a few times to access the correct tool menus and such.


Huzzah! A miracle has happened!! I just found out about changing the speed preferences on thanks to my fellow student Rick. I was on the verge of throwing the machine out the window! Ok not really but I was getting annoyed. 

This wonderful little feature allows me to watch the videos at up to double the speed! This is fantastic as I can still get my skimming experience, pause, take notes and continue at my leisure. A sigh of joy and relief. As I had mentioned in the previous post I was finding it challenging sitting through the videos. This was exasperated due to the speed of the tutorials. Low and behold had already resolved this issue with the use of Quicktime when watching the tutorial.

This is fairly easy to do and doesn’t disrupt the work flow. Also I managed to get an external monitor so now I have 2 screens to work from. This makes the Lynda experience even more enjoyable as I can watch the tutorial on 1 screen and follow along in the application on the other.

Now I’m well into the meat and gravy of the tutorials, I am totally loving the beat markers facility on the program when syncing music and pictures. Garrick Chow continues to deliver a nice fluid tutorial and even shares a good workflow to follow. If it hadn’t been for the ability to turn on advanced features I may have thrown in the towel. I have made peace with my issue of not having the freedom of Final Cut Pro at my finger tips.


In this Practical Experience assignment we had was to complete the iMovie 11 training on Lynda is an amazing tutorial site, which I highly recommend for everyone. It covers tutorials from beginner to advanced levels, from Adobe Pro applications to Windows 7.

When I first looked at the tutorial my initial thoughts were "do I really have to sit through all of this?" It was hard for me to follow the linear fashion, as I normally jump from video to video, picking out the bits I like.  This wasn’t the only reason though.

Having used iMovie already, going over the basics was challenging, I just wanted to skip over the parts I already knew how to do but I just kept telling myself I would learn something new, which I did.

So far the instructor, Garrick Chow, has done a really good job of running you through it, though maybe a little too well for people who have a bit of experience with the program.  Already I have a page full of notes and some nice little tricks like enabling the advance options, under my belt.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Discovering Web 2.0 Tools

For this blog post I will be discussing the use of a Web 2.0 tool called is an online music engine based on a massive collection of Music Profiles uploaded by other users. Each music profile belongs to somebody, and describes his or her taste in music. uses the user music profiles to make personalized recommendations and generate custom radio stations for each person.

The reason why I use is that it allows me to promote the music I like with the push of one button. It can also be synced up to iTunes to create a playlist, which allows me to advertise, as an artist, and share a playlist to an audience. Not to mention it introduces me to new artists and music. You can also find out where they would be playing next. can also boost sales as it generates a link once the track is liked by another user to where my music would be available to be bought.

For example, if my track is on my profile and it turns up on someone else’s playlist, when the press love, they will then be directed to the Amazon or iTunes store for example. It can also become part of an automated stream for SEO content, timely content and real time streaming, always available music.

Lastly, Poptooco can be linked to Poptooco is a mobile application that allows you to share your playlist with other people in the area via your iPhone or other compatible mobile device.

To summarise, is uber easy to use, you get to listen to music you like and be exposed to new music. Try it! You might like it.


For this 3rd blog post, I was asked to modify and take screen shots of my iGoggle page.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BP1_Welcome to my blog

So here I am month 3 of my Masters degree and I'm creating a blog. It's always a joy to be able to do these kinds of assignments. It's also super interesting hearing my friends and peers' responses when I tell them what my assignments are.
So far I have created iMovies, Podcasts and Prezi presentations as deliverables and learnt a whole load about Multiple Intelligence theories and Brain based learning. Has is been worth it? Without a doubt it has! As one of those so called problem children in school, I was never able to fully engage and blossom in conventional school. I would often be found in the performing arts or graphics department exercising my other intelligences, which was not part of the national curriculum I’m sure.

That is why it is such a relief to be involved in a course such as this. The EMDT post graduate program finally gives me an opportunity to utilize my skills and interests in a meaningful way.  The time of change has always been here, it is just that the old constructs are starting to disintegrate, making way for the blossoming of the new.
I have been in education as a teacher, youth worker and facilitator for over 10 years I have seen different changes occur with the statutory and charity based sectors. It is a breath of fresh air to be able to experience what I've always known as a practitioner in my personal learning. After this course I hope to be able to share what I have learnt with my peers and hopefully make a significant change in the way material is delivered.

Image © Michelle Brillouet 2011