Projec

It took a long time before I decided what I wanted to do for my final project. After many conversations with Lucas about it I finalized what I wanted to do; A three day workshop series on utilizing Photoshop. The topics discussed will be hands on, aimed at the different uses of the software for different audiences. This includes the amateur photographer, graphic designer or creative artist. After each session however, the attendants should be able to walk away with a new skill set with the program.

I decided on this project for a couple of reasons. The first and foremost being that currently, on the St. Lawrence campus, there are many training workshops available to professors who want to incorporate more technology in the classroom. However, there are none aimed at the group of students who would like to use a new program but have no idea where to start. Although it will be open to the faculty as well, the workshop is built on a “By the students, for the students” mentality. By this I mean it is not intended to be a lecture or note taking environment but more of a hands on DIY course.

Throughout my ITAP experience and working closely with Lucas I have learned the importance of being able to communicate with different groups of people effectively. Being able to convey a technique to a group which is not technically savvy is very critical and also challenging. As an Educational Technologist it is crucial to obtain the skills of effectively teaching all different groups new and useful technologies.

 

Example of a bad poster

Example of an effective poster

Instructional Design Interview

Attending St. Lawrence University has given me the opportunity to learn from many different perspectives of the Liberal Arts. For this interview I decided to talk with my Visual Cultures of Buddhism professor on his instructional processes when designing a class. Here are Professor Mark MacWilliams’ responses, summed up.

What is your process for creating instructional goals?
-Personal interest. Not teaching by fact but by trying to get students to understand why I have such an interest in the topic. Try to change perspectives.

How do you design a syllabus?
-Bricolage. Gathering the different main projects I want to explore and then filling in the gaps with relevant information aiming to make the projects better.

How did you arrive at the use of different activities and tools in class? What works and why?
-The readings for this specific class helped with the teaching of the material. I believe it is fundamental that all senses are introduced when exploring new topics. Hands on activity is just as important as reading.

How do these tools and activities support your instructional strategy, pedagogy and learning objectives?
-By looking and doing things. Visual practice is a way of doing things just as seeing the world is a way of learning. It is very critical that visual art coexists with theory.

Which activities and projects elicit intended outcomes the “best”?
-This is different for every year. Our class is made up of a wide range of years and everyone digests material differently. Finding what activity achieves the best outcome depends on the classes overall academic thought process.

How do you measure success/performance?
-Immediate responce is not valuable. Progress is, however, and if I can change a perspective or have a student see a concept in a different way, progress is made.

How do course evaluations influence your approach?
-I am a full professor, I don’t need to read them!(sarcasm) Students are all different though. If you please every single person in the class, you are doing something wrong. It is hard to teach at a basic level and this is something students don’t understand. You are here to do work which can include long readings or projects.

What is a common recommendation for change you see in the evaluations?
-Disorganization. I see a lot of students say I am disorganized in the readings and lectures, going off on many tangents. Tangents are good though. Ideas go out in different directions all the time. Follow them!!!

Module 1: Digital Media Production

The first module really helped me explore the understandings of effective digital media projects inside the classroom. Before this module, my understandings of digital media projects was just a different way to express research or an idea. After discussing this topic with the other apprentices and mentors I gained a new perspective of media projects. I learned how effective digital projects can actually be not only for the student creating them but for the entire class as well. I believe St. Lawrence can improve on their support model by providing new and different project styles to professors who might not have the know-how or understanding to assign a digital project. This causes conversation between professors to accumulate, growing the field of digital media projects.

Students can learn a lot by completing digital media projects not only about the topic they are presenting but about different ways to help their peers reach a new level of understanding. Throughout ones life, many words will be read in combination with one another. Through the newspaper, internet, magazines and many other sources, people read information that is processed in their mind. Creating a digital media project pertaining to similar topics can allow ideas to process easier, allowing viewers to come to their own conclusions of the matter much easier. This idea is huge when relating to future careers. Having the ability to reach out to people through different medias can explore untouched regions of thought and processing that others do not have the ability to do.

Welcome!

Welcome! Follow along as I will be posting about projects, experiences, thoughts and reflections of being a member in the New York Six, Instructional Technology Apprenticeship Program!