The end is near SUMMARY OF LEARNING

It’s unimaginable to think that another semester has passed, and scarier yet another school year for all of us teachers. I love the flexibility and freedom that online courses have.  I will admit I don’t have a cat but being 7 months pregnant makes me want to be a home body, and I have no trouble getting cozy and doing my blogs or zooming in for class. imgresI have taken four EC&I classes, and two of which have been with Alec and Katia. Being able to interact with other Grad students through Google+ and also with our blogs has been awesome.

 

Talk about learning, signing up for the first debate was a little scary but Kayla convinced me to get it out of the way, peer pressure I tell you!  Having Steve on our side of the debatefile25508 was awesome.  When we first me up for our game plan, h mentioned being on the debate team in high school.  I figured I would post this picture in hope that someone may believe that Steve was the one holding the victory trophy. Of course Steve being way too honest admitted that he was not in the photo, but either way I had a good laugh.

Well now to sum up what I have learned over the semester

But first a flash back to last semester… Some of you may recall in EC&I 831 Kayla, Dallas and I attempted to use Nawmal to make an animated movie for our summary of learning.  For anyone who wasn’t in that class and needs a good laugh I suggest you read my summary of learning from last semester.  To make a long story short Nawmal left a bad taste in my mouth.  Kayla suggested that we give PowToon a shot.  PowToon appeared to be easier to use that the software that we had used prior. I figured we would go ahead and use it.  The software came with a 2 day free trial that allowed you to use all the customization options. If I needed to buy more time it would just cost $19.99 billed monthly.  Friday afternoon we began working on our project by selecting a some-what ready made layout .  With about 2 hours in we decided to call it a day.  Luckily we were able to save our project, I even opened it on another computer before I shut the browser window.

Saturday morning I decided to set my alarm and get up and attempt to work on it again. Little edits such as making sure the  color in each slide matched, there were 200 to choose from, and that green looks like the other 50 greens.  Another edit that took a long time was making sure the text boxes displayed in the right order. I must have spent 4 more hours just tweaking the presentation.  I did have a tough time attempting to get the spy song to loop through the whole presentation.  I fought the spy song battle for 2 days before I uploaded it to YouTube.  The 2 day trial came with a little timer that appeared in the corner of the screen that somehow just stressed me out.  Although, I was curious what 2 day trial really meant, I was going to look it up, before I got locked out and lost all our progress.  I think PowToon has many great features and would student and teacher presentations look awesome but I think the people would also feel the time crunch, if it was not a paid subscription.

Well folks for the moment you have been waiting more!!

Well I guess the time has come to thank everyone for their input, contributions and insights to my learning, and  a special thanks Alec and Katia for everything that they prepared, brought to the class, and for all of the fast paced discussions that they facilitated. Ohh yeah and I love the debate format, so much more engaging than straight forward presentations.

Summary of Learning- an unNawmal Experience

I was excited to tackle my summary of learning project! I knew after the assignment was presented to the class I wanted to make sure I incorporated some sort of technology I could also show my students.

Dallas, Kayla and I decided we would have some fun with an animated video for our summary of learning.  After we did a quick google search we came up with the product Nawmal .  Kayla downloaded the free trial of the program.  We decided that we would each speak about different thinImage result for nawmalgs that
we had taken away from the course.

After we organized our thoughts on a Google Doc we were set. I figured I would be adventurous and attempt to put our video together.  I first selected a talk show setting which I thought would allow for back and forth dialogue using an interview strategy, this was perfect as we each could share our learning.

The next part of the process was selecting the characters.  I chose four characters to allow for a host and a representation of each on of our summaries. Seating the characters on the couch was a process in itself.  The next step was adding robotin the dialogue for back and forth question and answer type exchange.  As I got a few lines in, I figured I should listen to the dialogue between my characters.  I quickly realized they all had the same voice, so I explored around and downloaded different voices for all of the characters.  Some of the voices were very robotic and others were not so bad.
The download time was extremely slow, moving at 2% per minute.  After only one voice option showed up, I had to go back and download a certain voice for each character not just download voices and assume I could choose from a list.

Image result for scriptI continued adding more dialogue for the characters until I had our script perfect.  I attempted to listen to my progress but as I typed more dialogue the buffering time increased to the point I was waiting for 3 minutes for it to playback.  I also realized that I could add gestures to the characters, making them move their hand and even look at the host.  This was sort of fun as some of the actions were bold.

I was nearing the end of my adventure and thought I should show Kayla my progress on our project, then we would have an idea about changes and the timing.  I also realized that listening to it allowed me to catch my mistakes.  Aaaahhh one final listen and we would we ready to put it on the web.  Kayla and I waited and waited and the buffering time was ridiculous, I and been saving along the way so I knew that I wouldn’t lose my work. After about 15 minutes of waiting for our animated video to play I decided yolo and exported it.  I was confident that it would be alright and I could always go back to my saved version.

20160409_152005_resizedWell was I wrong.  After I pushed that export button our stomachs quickly sunk as a pop up appeared saying we needed to purchase the full version to see our video. We thought we could go back to my saved version and worst case just record it as the trial version using a cell phone and upload it from there.  

Kayla quickly whipped out her credit sickcard as there was no other choice but to upgrade.  After deciding to buy the paid version for $9.99 US/ month we figured our problem was solved. After we attempted to open up the saved files, another popup appeared saying the version we paid for did not support the features I had used.  There was another choice in subscribing but we did not want to pay the $99.00 a month so we opted for the discounted version.  After 3 hours of creating the video and buying the subscription we still had nothing.

Kayla had the bright idea to email for support.  I pointed out that it was 4 PM on Friday, good luck with that.  Kayla tech-support-planquickly composed and email asking for help as we were sick about our project being trapped.  Within 10 minutes we received a reply.  Apparently we should have bought the expensive version.  The email offered to convert our file for us if we sent it to them.  Kayla and I were so very thankful for the quick reply from Nawmal.

I will admit that this is an unedited version of our project, and we have no choice in going back and making changes.  This Nawmal experience taught us that we should definitely have read some reviews about the program, if we would have know that many of the features were not compatible with the free trial we would have chose a different animation program.  I guess this goes on to say we are always learning, and we will make mistakes along the way!! Hope you enjoy the video.

Nawmal seems like a cool program but do not cheep out, just pay the $10.00 and you will know exactly what features you can use from the start. Some of the Nawmal videos are online look so cool, and we got stuck with such a cheesey video haha.

Thank you to Alec and Katia for facilitating my learning! And a big thanks to all my classmates and colleagues it was a pleasure to collaborate and learn from everyone.