eLearning – Intro to Marine Biology Course Introduction

I decided to create a digital story using a platform which I have used in the past for active presentations. I was curious how several of the actions would translate to to a digital story. That platform was Prezi… originally introduced to me via students, this tool became a quick and effective way for students (and their facilitator) to present information. I have used it in multiple conferences as a means to present, and thought it may be a good tool to use for the digital story.

My story focuses on the “Why Marine Biology” part of my course… I offer a personal story about each module, as well as lay out the various components of the course. My objective was to create a bit more interactive of an overview to the various components of the class, and render them in a story based format.

Prezi to me had many advantages for a story format. You could add voice overs, aside videos, and links to content that was being discussed. It also was user driven, with each click advancing the story as the user wants it. The only issue I had was that I could not create a time delay on various parts of the story popping up… it created a bit of a glitch to the flow in my opinion.

I also had to use Audacity to create the audio files, and learned about the advantages of a OGG format versus MP3. It fits in great with the copyright unit in our course, as the Mp3 encryption is not public whereas the OGG is (and therefore was readily usable). As for content, I read through Prezi’s disclaimers and found that the images they return in their search are open for use, and since they are all linked to their original source there is no problems (or so I understood at least… this stuff is definitely a challenge to fully wrap my head around).

As part of our new exploration of the Middle School at Green School, we are exploring a way to provide ongoing qualitative reports that involve the teacher, the student, and the parents. Ideally, we would like the student to provide weekly reflections, which can then be compared to the mentor’s reflections on that student. However, this is a pretty high task to achieve. Our current reporting system is traditional, involving a summary report at the end of a term or semester.

My first concept was to build a spreadsheet that could collate the information entered by the student and teacher (maybe using a form?) and then provide a summary document to the parents. The idea here would be to have up to date comments by the relevant teachers, as well as diagnostics that show progress over time.

Following this, I explored a bit more. Here were some interesting articles on the subject:

I was in particular intrigued by this application called Freshgrade. This may be what a colleague of mine, Lucy, described as the perfect way to share learning in a Kindergarten setting. Could this work for more complex courses?