Sunday, April 17, 2011

Internship Web Conference - Week 1

The web conference held on Wed., April 13, 2011 was concise and answered questions that I didn't know I had about the week's assignment and in particular the Comprehensive Exam. Dr. Mason led the conference. We had no major problems connecting to Adobe Connect and since it was held at 10:00 a.m., most of us were connecting from work. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take my school papers so I did not ask too many questions but soaked up what she was sharing and took lots of notes. One of the things that I like most about Dr. Mason is her availability. Several times she mentioned that our questions would be answered fairly quickly if we would just email her. I am sure that as we progress through the Internship, there will be a lot more questions to ask. Fortunately, Dr. Mason has set up web conferences every week. These virtual meetings are extremely helpful and clarify the Syllabus and our assignments.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology - Week 2 Reflection

There is no doubt that technology, when used with clear, well-planned learning objectives, yields successful results with students for several reasons. First, technology assists in accommodating the needs of students with different learning styles. Our student population is culturally diverse and our classrooms contain students at different educational levels. Technology provides a diversity of tools to meet their needs. For example, at-risk students or those with learning disabilities feel safe using technology because it provides immediate feedback, is motivational, and is non-threatening. Furthermore, because technology includes multimedia--sound and images--it provides a multisensory environment for students who are hearing and/or visually impaired.

Secondly, technology promotes learner-centered practices. Students feel in control of their learning. They work collaboratively using wikis, blogs, and Web 2.0 sites. When students work cooperatively, they engage with other students and learn from each other. They share responsibility for their learning and are challenged to produce at a higher level than if working alone.

Finally, digital media provides access and tools so that educators can manipulate the curriculum. By manipulating data, teachers provide the instructional material in creative ways to reach all students. Educational software exists for every subject and the development of open source software further contributes to its accessibility. Podcasting, storytelling, multimedia, video production, word processing applications, graphic design software, and other applications offer students a myriad of options to learning, working collaboratively and producing great products.

Jackson, R. & Harper, K. (n. d.) Teacher Planning and the Universal Design for Learning Environments. Retrieved from on March 2, 2011.

Pitler, H., Hubbell E., Kuhn, M., Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria: VA. Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel)

Rose, D & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved on March 1, 2011 from

Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Eugene: OR. International Society of Technology in Education.

Monday, February 28, 2011

EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology - Week 1 Reflection

The world is flat says author Thomas Friedman. Technology, along with new ways of working and doing business are 'flattening' the world. Corporations are spreading out globally to reach new markets and technology is providing them this edge. Many jobs can be done at any time of the day with simply a computer and an Internet connection.

Emerging web-based tools, i.e. Web 2.0, is furthering the flattening of education. Creative educators that hold to the Constructivist theory know that technology allows them to build connections outside the confines of their classrooms. These educators also hold to the belief that learning occurs when students are allowed to direct and manage their own learning. They modify their instructional methods and cater more directly to the learning needs of their students. They create a learner-centered classroom that encourages higher level thinking in students because it supports independent work and collaboration.

Studies done on the use of technology with at-risk students show promising results primarily because technology provides a safe environment for students to learn and students can learn at their own pace. Furthermore, interactivity, multimedia, sound, and large print accessible books engage students with learning disabilities and make them feel less isolated from other students.

Constructivism is a learning theory that considers learning a personal event. Educators that embrace constructivism demonstrate different teaching methodologies compared to 'traditional' teaching. Students are given the freedom to self-direct their learning by engaging in collaboration and small group discussion/reflection. Teaching the student how to learn now becomes the crux.


Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Eugene: OR. International Society of Technology in Education.

Pitler, H., Hubbell E., Kuhn, M., Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria: VA. Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel)

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. (1999). Learning as a Personal Event: A Brief Introduction to Constructivism. Retrieved on February 20, 2001 from

Sprague, D. & Dede C., (September 1999). Constructivism in the Classroom: If I Teach This Way, Am I Doing My Job?. Learning & Leading with Technology, Volume 27, Number 1. Retrieved on February 20, 2011 from

Saturday, December 18, 2010

EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics - Reflection

The course, Digital Graphics, Animation, and Desktop Publishing, was a general and quick overview of graphic design principles and animation. Both graphic design and animation, when done professionally, can be complex. To be able do these well a person must implement these design fundamentals.

The principles of the graphic design that we covered are contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. The acronym 'CRAP' has helped me to remember these four principles.

Contrast is one of the most important principles in graphic design. Using contrasting fonts and inks, information can be distinguished hierarchically and that most important can be read at a quick glance. In text, contrast leads the eye to the most important things. The principle of Repetition creates unity in the design and allows us to associate the similarities in the design. The third principle, Alignment, creates balance and symmetry. Visual alignment connects the visual elements in a design. Alignment helps us distinguish how these elements connect by their Proximity to one another. These four graphic design principles are foundational in good design. To learn these principles, we were asked to study the design of ancient manuscripts. In doing so, I found that these four principles can be seen in the intricate illuminations of these works of art.

Because I work as a graphic designer, reviewing these four principles made me more aware of my work. Furthermore, these four principles are also implemented and found in art through color, line, symmetry, etc.

The course also provided an introduction to animation and its use in education. When used appropriately, animation can engage learners in a way that text alone can't. Multimedia is the use of text and pictures to learn. Because we learn by processing information visually and verbally, multimedia can enhance learning when used according to researched practices.

Cummings, C. (2009). Basic Design Principles. Excerpted from EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics, Animation, and Desktop Publishing.

Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia Learning, 2nd Edition. New York: NY. Cambridge University Press.

Clark Colvin, R. & Mayer R. E. (2003). e-Learning and the Science of Instruction. Pfeiffer. San Francisco: CA.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics - Animation (The Conductor)

My inspiration for the short animation came from my husband, a classical musician. The last time he played with a local symphony, the conductor lost his hold of the stick which went flying through the air. Fortunately, the musicians ducked...and nobody got hurt.

The animation was produced with Stykz, an open source animation software. The software can be downloaded at

EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics - Animation (The Conductor)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics - Principals of Graphic Design in Early Manuscripts

On pages 17-18 of The Lisbon Hebrew Bible, the stories of Joel and Amos, two minor prophets of the Old Testament, are written. The ornamentation used by the scribe is intricately and elaborately designed.

Glancing quickly through the manuscript, I am struck by the detail and brightly colored ornamentation that contrasts with the simplicity and somewhat geometrically-shaped Hebrew alphabet. The text is inscribed using a reed and sepia-colored ink. Both the ornamentation, the colors, and the style of text is repeated throughout the manuscript.

Specifically in these two pages, the author contrasts the two borders on each page by painting one border with bold colored flowers and figures of animals and the second border with geometric figures. Although the borders contrast graphically, they complement each other in color.

The Hebrew text is aligned justified and is placed inside the ornate borders in a place of prominence. A lace-like border encircles the borders and text. This same border is repeated throughout the manuscript.

Each section is accented by a text box that is placed in close proximity to the text that it is introducing. The text box is accented with gold filigree, the same that used in other pages. Similar to the layout of our contemporary books and newspapers, this intricately-styled text box defines the beginning of the section in the same way that headlines introduce an article.

The text of the Lisbon Hebrew Bible was inscribed by Samuel ben Samuel Ibn Musa and a team of scribes drew the decorations. The bible was completed in 1482, fourteen years before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

Just as visual artists and musicians study the distinct periods in art and music history to advance their work, graphic artists study the layout of ancient manuscripts to see how their authors used contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity to make a great work of art.

The Lisbon Hebrew Bible. Downloaded from, November 21, 2010.