Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lesson 4

Most if not all educators would agree that the use of multimedia in education today now goes far beyond the supplemental uses of a decade ago. Students are well aware of all the exciting ways they can be introduced to information. Podcasting alone can turn teachers in fully functioning network in their field. With some many options available certainly no one person can know them all. Listed in this article by eSchool news there are 7 audio, 20 video, and 14 web articles explaining uses and trends. The non “techie” will have a difficult time determining useful technology from garbage. Factor in the fact that often students are more knowledgeable and even more experienced with technology than their teachers and disaster is possible. In “ Strategies For Keeping current” Roy tennant (2003) gives some helpful hints for teacher looking to keep pace. He begins by pointing out that with the small amount of time most people have for professional development you need to know what you don’t need to know. He breaks down technology into four categories “ Trash (not worthy of my time), Monitor (Still in distant early warning phase, can be safely ignored for now), Dabble (what’s this about?), and finally need to know (I can use it at my job now).” Next Tennant suggest using filters, “People who decide what is important.” It is always useful to have a supervisor focus you on what direction your department is moving. Another useful filter is to consult professional websites for your subject. These people according to Tennant (2003) usually know what is hot at the time. The final filter suggested is the good old coworker. It indeed may not be a bad idea to ask a trusted coworker what technology they feel is up a coming in your field. Tennant (2003) also states that it is imperative to learn by doing. Building proto-types make mistakes, and experimenting is how most of us really learn.
One of the web resources listed at the end of the eSchool articles is entitled “Dynamite Digital Photo Creations with Photoshop Elements. I this article, Linda Dickeson of Lincoln (NE) public schools acted as filter in the manner described by Tennant. Dickeson points out how may teachers are taking thousands of pictures that require small amounts of editing to make them more aesthetically pleasing. An author of multiple “ How To” books Dickeson demonstrates how to take advantage of the user- friendly software of Adobe named Photoshop Elements. “ Built-in features include wizards for creating web photo galleries complete with clickable thumbnails, PDF slideshows, digital scrapbooks, and print layouts for converting from digital to paper (Conner, K.) All of these features are very valuable to teachers looking to enhance their students learning and show off what their students are doing in class. Dickeson continues to describe several projects teachers can use to teach students how to get the most from photo- editing programs like Photoshop Elements.
Articles like these three mentioned above form a valuable system for all of us in education today. First teachers need to have reference to see what and how technology is changing the classroom. Secondly educators need to learn how to navigate the complicated changes in technology as they unfold. Authors like Tennant help teachers stay motivated and focused, believing that technology will help their students learn. Thirdly, if teachers are going to learn new programs and application they are going to need a little help and guidance. Professional like Dickeson place technology tools into the hands of the teachers and say, “ Go create”. The ability to change and grow is an indispensable tool of the successful individual. By doing this we can better serve our students, who will consequently be more able to change and grow through their academic careers.

Conner, B., (July 2006). Dynamite digital photo creations with photoshop elements. Eschools news inline.

Tennant, R. (September 2003). Strategies for keeping current. Library Journal, 28.

Multimedia instructional tools. Eschools news online.

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