Sunday, April 17, 2011

Final Project Progress Report

Some of Facebook's gifts, as displayed in the ...Image via WikipediaThis is the project we've been working towards all semester, and surprisingly enough, it's finally almost here. It feels like just yesterday (to use a cliche) that I was timidly and excitedly embarking on my journey into classroom technology. Amazing how the time flies, isn't it? Anyway, as to the status of my final project, I have to admit that it isn't quite formulated yet. It's hard to decide what to do. It's even harder to find something that will encompass all of what we've learned and put it into a form that will hopefully be used to further the educational journeys of other would-be teachers like us.

I've toyed with the idea for a while of making a video with the lab techs making cameos (cue Jamie Lynn's dancing) and showing incoming EDM310 students that the lab isn't a scary place. No matter what Dr. Strange may think, he isn't that scary. And I wanted to make a video with me and my group mates breaking down the initial barriers of hesitant students. It would be cool. But I was talking to another group and they had already started planning something like that, so I tossed it out since they seemed to have a better "handle" on the situation than I did. I didn't have anything set in stone.

Then I got the wild idea to create a Facebook page for EDM310. There are already a few, but this one is going to be for ALL of EDM310 not just a single class or year. I want to make Dr. Strange a moderator and have some admins that of course will change according to who the lab techs are. That way, students can keep up with what's going on in the class on the their phones (admit it, you have the Facebook app and you check it every hour. We all do.) Especially if we can somehow connect the class blog RSS feed to the page. That way when Dr. Strange posts one of his random blog posts about our lack of metaphorical grasp or a special assignment and we aren't near our computers, we will get the update when we check the statuses of our friends. Easy peasy.

Now, I know the idea isn't too revolutionary, and it's bound to be tweaked and maybe even changed between now and the due date, but I like it. I think it will have some place in the future of this class. It's just another addition to our PLNs. And isn't that the entire point?

So there you have it. My progress report on my final project. It's not pretty and neat yet, but it's a start. And we all have to start somewhere.

Another idea that just randomly popped into my head was to sing a song (like that rap Dr. Strange played for us the first day. Or was it the second day?) I have some talent writing things and I like to think that I'm a good singer, but odds are I'm not. That's your cue to say I sing like an angel even though you've never heard me before. Now, I only mention this idea because I like to keep an open mind and lay everything on the table from the start. It's most likely going to be scrapped in favor of the Facebook page idea. I like that one better since it doesn't involve me singing in front of other people. And then recording it. And having it played over and over and over again. Forever.

Let's forget I even mentioned that idea. Now I'm going to do some research and see if Facebook is the right kind of media connectivity thingy that I want to use. We're already required to use Twitter, but often it's easy to forget to check that since it's new. Facebook is fairly well-ingrained in us by now. But I foresee Twitter booming in the next few years. It's only a matter of time. And then it will get it's own movie. Haha.

To sum it up:
Idea: Facebook Page
Purpose: To provide a unified method of checking on the class blog, to provide a forum for students to ask questions, to provide a thread for students to connect outside of class and collaborate.
Implementation: Will be created within the week. Will have lab assistants as admins. Dr. Strange will have admin power also. The group will be open or set to semi-private so that members must be invited. This could be included as a requirement at the beginning of class, or either a massive invite could be sent out via class gmails so that those with Facebook accounts can join the page.
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