Monday, November 13, 2017

Videos for Better Course Design


As an educational technologist I am always on the look out for interesting resources to add to my YouTube Playlist or Pinterest Pinboard, resources that spark reflection and thinking about 21st century teaching.  I recently added two videos that may do just that. 

It is often said that androgodgy should always come first and supportive technology (aka tools) come last.  This first video entitled This Will Revolutionize Education (7:22 Min.) by Derek Muller supports that view.  Derek, explains many subtle details in technology trends  and concludes by saying what will revolutionize education is the social, learning process and a caring teacher (with supporting technology). 

The second video entitled The Myth of Average (18:26 Min.) by Todd Rose will make you re-think the idea that you can reach the most students by designing learning environments (down the middle) for the average student.  It builds a strong case for designing flexible learning environments (ex. Differentiated instruction, Universal Design for Learning).  The video made a strong case to "Ban Average and Design for the Edges." 




Highlights:
Full: This Will Revolutionize Education (https://youtu.be/GEmuEWjHr5c) (7:22 Min.)



Highlights:
Full: The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDx Sonoma County (https://youtu.be/4eBmyttcfU4)(18:26 Min.)



Average Size
In the 1952 the United States Air Force faced a flight performance problem, through research it was determined that cockpits should not be designed for average pilot dimensions (0:23 - 1:49).
  • Performance depends on the fit between pilot and cockpit (1:12 - 1:32)
  • Researcher Gilbert Daniels studied 4000+ pilots and found 0 pilots fit the average profile, each pilot had jagged profiles (2:04 - 3:39)
  • Making simple adjustments improve performance, expand diversity, nurture individual talents
There is no such thing as an average pilot. If you design for the average person you actually design for nobody. Everyone has a jagged profile. Ban the average and design for edges (3:50).


Average Learner
If we design learning environments (lessons activities and assessments) for the average learner we are missing opportunities to nurture individual talents (5:24).
  • Losing Gifted kids (6:35)
  • How much of this problem is bad course design (7:05)
  • Designing textbooks for average student “age appropriate” (7:10 - 8:26).
  • Student Jagged Learning profile (8:04)  
  • Average Destroys Talent (8:45)
    • Makes talent a liability. Can’t challenge students, they get bored.
    • Makes you weakness harder to see so it can’t nurture.
  • Leverage technology. (10:27)
  • Impact of addressing an individuals jagged learning profile - Billy (11:58 - 15:30)
  • Ban the average and design for the edges. (15:31)


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

iPad vs. Swivl Mount a Side-by-Side Comparison


 

As a follow up to my earlier post on Swivl C5 IΚ»ve captured a real world comparison of a Swivl C5 a stationary iPad and a stationary video camera for capturing teaching. The following excerpts came from a training session I facilitated on Nearpod engagement tool. Each device recorded simultaneously and are presented without enhancements to video or audio. The three devices and setups that I used to record content for this comparison were:
  1. Swivl C5 auto-tracker with iPad (1280x720)
  2. Stationary iPad (640x480)
  3. Stationary Camera (1920x1080)

"Clip 3 Observations" (2:25)

This clip features instructor movement through class space, student questions and commentary. Swivl wins for audio quality (Video 1 vs. Video 3), video quality and composition. Statonary iPad is definitely not the way to go since it canΚ»t  follow the instructor (Video 2).
Video 1: Swivl Auto-tracker 😊
  • Auto-tracker camera follows instructor. 
  • Student and instructor voice quality using Swivl wireless microphones.
Video 2: iPad Stationary 😩
  • Instructor off screen, camera faces wall, no visible action occurring in video, viewer loose interest.
  • Audio soft as instructor moves away from device.  No additional microphones.
Video 3: Video Cam Stationary 😐
  • Instructor off screen for a portion of the video. The left half of the room did not fit in the wide shot.
  • Audio sounds hollow.  Picks up ambient room buzz.


 

"Clip 4 Observations" (1:25)

Traditional lecture position with no movement.  Swivl wins for audio quality and for video quality because it is a closer shot of the instructor (Video 1 vs. Video 3). 
Video 1: Swivl Auto-tracker 😊
  •  Student and instructor voice quality using Swivl wireless microphones.
Video 2: iPad Stationary 😐
  • Video quality is a little fuzzy, but that is primarily because of the iPads resolution
  • Audio a little soft.
Video 3: Video Cam Stationary 😐
  • Audio sounds hollow.  Picks up ambient room buzz.




"Clip 5 Observations" (2:45)

Instructor starts off in the front of the room and moves to the back of the room.  In the beginning of the video the Swivl did take a few seconds to keep up but overall got the job done. Swivl wins for audio and video quality and composition.
Video 1: Swivl Auto-tracker 😐
  • Auto-tracker camera follows instructor.  As I was walking my body shielded the lanyard from view which resulted in the Swivl taking a few seconds to find me.
  • As I was engaging with the students I was able to ask questions and receive answers. Student and instructor voice quality using Swivl wireless microphones.
Video 2: iPad Stationary 😩
  • Instructor off screen, no visible action occurring in video, viewers will loose interest.
  • Audio soft as instructor moves away from device.  No additional microphones.
Video 3: Video Cam Stationary 😐

  •  Instructor off screen for a portion of the video. The left half of the room did not fit in the wide shot.
  • Audio sounds hollow.  Picks up ambient room buzz.


 

"Clip 6 Observations" (00:45)

This shot features the audio of student helping student while instructor converses with other students. With the Swivl student microphones you can notice the difference (Check out Video 1 vs. Video 2).  While Video 3 picks up student conversation the video composition is poor.
Video 1: Swivl Auto-tracker 😊
  • Student helping student audio captured with Swivl wireless student microphones.
Video 2: iPad Stationary 😩
  • Instructor off screen, no visible action occurring in video, viewers will loose interest.
  • Audio soft as because of distance from device.  No additional microphones.
Video 3: Video Cam Stationary 😐
  • The left half of the room did not fit in the wide shot.  Instructor interactions with other students in the room not captured.
  • Audio picks up student to student conversation but also picks up ambient room buzz.




"Clip 7 Observations" (4:43)

This clip features instructor movement from the front of the room to the student area.  Swivl wireless microphones for instructor and student does a good job of capturing instructor and student audio.  Stationary cameras (Video 2 and Video 3) failed to capture full class in the view that Swivl (Video 1) did.

Video 1: Swivl Auto-tracker 😊
  • Auto-tracker camera follows instructor.  As I was walking my body shielded the lanyard from view which resulted in the Swivl taking a few seconds to find me.
  • Student and facilitator voice quality using Swivl wireless microphones.
Video 2: iPad Stationary 😩
  • Instructor off screen, no visible action occurring in video, viewers will loose interest.
  • Audio soft as instructor moves away from device.  No additional microphones.
Video 3: Video Cam Stationary 😩
  • The left half of the room did not fit in the wide shot.  Instructor interactions with other students in the room not captured.
  • Audio sounds hollow.  Picks up ambient room buzz.



Summary

I hope that these side by side comparisons helped to illustrate the benefits for using the right device in your workflow to capture your instruction. I found the stationary iPad was severely limited once the instructor move away from the front of the room.  In addition the audio was soft because there was only one microphone.  Alternatively I found the stationary video camera in the back of the room captured half of the room and the audio was noisy due to ambient noise.  I found the Swivl C5 successfully captured the session.  There were a few instances where body movement blocked the Swivl from seeing the transmitter, but that can be fixe with proper technique.  I appreciated that Swivl C5 balances close up video shots and entire classroom shots. In addition the audio with student and instructor wireless microphones was cleaner than the other cameras captured.




Monday, September 18, 2017

Nearpod - A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Have you ever stared into the engine compartment of a vehicle and been fascinated by all those moving parts?   Now imagine being a student in the automotive field, building your professional knowledge of parts and terminology is an important first step toward being successful.  This week we are featuring Nolan Miyahara an Instructor of Automotive Technology here at Leeward Community College who recently conducted a Nearpod activity with his students to review and reinforce their learning of basic parts.





Activity
Nearpod is a formative assessment tool for delivering engaging presentations. It does require an internet connection but does not require a Smart Classroom projector.  Each student sees the presentation on their own mobile device (phone, table, laptop) and the pace is controlled by the instructor.  Students’ interactions can be shared with their peers for class discussion or captured for easy reporting.  Nolan’s activity used Nearpod’s draw slide feature to allow individual students to match terms with images (engine parts) he provided.  Nolan thought the Nearpod draw activity worked well, he also took time to build a few Nearpod slides following a more traditional yes/no format.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Following the activity Nolan thought “the variety of ways you can put up questions and how the students can answer in different ways” was a strength.   Student feedback seemed to infer that students “didn’t feel challenged because there was no timer”, a problem which can be addressed in the future by simply having the instructor implement a time limit for each slide.
In Summary
Overall Nolan felt the Nearpod review activity went well based on learning and engagement.  When asked for tips or advice for other instructors interested in using Nearpod, Nolan said “I would recommend it.”