Sunday, October 30, 2011

Misa Presentations

This week for my Technology, Culture and Learning Class, we worked on our online presentations using various visual learning tools such as Pixlr, iMovie, screencast and YouTube.  Our presentation was on chapter two of Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present. By Thomas J. Misa.  For our team presentation we primarily used iMovie and posted it via YouTube.    
It was interesting to get more background history on Leonardo Da Vinci.  I am familiar with his work but did not realize he started out as apprentice to Andrea de Verrocchio and worked with Nicollo Machevilla.  Also, he was well connected with the famous families during that time such as the Medicis, Borgias, and Sforzas.  I was most surprised to find out that Leonardo’s first job was to work on military weapons and defense.  I was less familiar with Gutenberg and was interested to learn about his contributions to technology, metal casting and printing press.
In chapter two the focus was on the Dutch Golden Age and the rise of era of the Renaissance.  The advancement in ship building was prominent in this decade and the Dutch lead the way.  Also, herring and tulips became popular commodities during this era.  Unfortunately, another aspect of this era was the slave trade.
It was interesting to find in Chapter three that the industrial revolution and changes begin in London with the steam engine.  It was interesting to note that Misa discussed beer as part of Britain’s industrial revolution.   With the rise of the second industrial revolution in 1870-1930 science and systems, chemistry was used to change technology and the creation of synthetic dye was one of the innovations of this decade.   
I thought one of the most intriguing chapters was chapter 7, which was the destruction era.  The chapter talked about the advancement of Military technology, weapons and the Manhattan Project.  Misa discussion of how McDonald’s is an innovative technological system and global commerce as a fast food chain was interesting.  Misa’s final chapter discusses his thoughts on some of the technological problems we face today.  Especially, in regards to issues technology creates with privacy and the environment.  I enjoyed all the chapter presentations and enjoyed being able to see different applications used in team presentations.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Visual Learning

This week for my Technology, Culture and Learning Class, we learned how to use visual learning tools.  We used several different visual learning applications such as Pixlr, iMovie, screencast and YouTube. 
The Pixlr application is a photo editor, similar to Photoshop.  There are several ways to fix, adjust and edit photos and images.  You can edit photos from your photo library or take a photo on your webcam.   This online application is free to use and the best part is you do not have to sign up a username and password.  You can filter a photo, lighten or darken and put different frames on photos.  I used the brightness and contrast option on one of my vacation photo.  In the photo I was unable to see my friend in the lower corner, but I applied the brightness and contrast option I could see everything that was previous in a shadow.  I was able to also rotate, flip and crop all my photos.  You can also assign some interesting effects to your photos.  The only thing I was unable to do was remove a glare in the photo.  I really enjoyed working with Pixlr and have continued to use this program.   
Screencast and IMovie are both video editors.  In screencast you are able to upload or create your video and use the application to edit your video.  In Screencast you are able to record yourself explaining how to do something.  Screencast records you viewing other websites, which is a great tool if you are trying to teach someone how to do something online.  This is perfect for trying. I use a number of different software programs at work.  If we could up videos as tutorials to use these software programs, it would allow someone to use this tool as needed.  For example, I get a lot of questions on how to use the new version of excel.  If I were able to set up different tutorials, I could direct co-workers to these videos.  IMovie allows you to import video footage and edit these videos.  You can add music, titles and different frames to the video clips.  You can create transitions, color correction, and fade in and fade out screens.
Prior to this class the only reason I used YouTube for, was to view videos posted by other users.  I never thought I would be one of those people posting videos on YouTube.  Posting videos on YouTube was much easier to use than I thought.  This could be a great application to use when you want to post educational videos.
All of these applications are great tools to use to explain how to use different programs.  However, they should not be the only tool used.   I do believe that these visual learning applications could be a great supplement for teaching. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Social Networking and Bookmarking Tools

This week for my Technology, Culture and Learning Class, we worked on social booking and social networks sites.  I was able to create an account for Diigo and Twitter.  I added friends, groups and interests to these sites.  I have never used either of the sites before and it was a little difficult to navigate.  I found myself going back and forth between the class website for instructions and the actually Diigo or Twitter page.  It took me a little longer than I expected to create my pages and get them working correctly.  Also, every time I tried adding my name and user ID to the class page I kept getting a “denied access” message which was a little frustrating. 

The Diigo website was very interesting. I have never heard of Diigo or social bookmarking before this assignment.  As I previously mentioned creating my page was a little stressful due to the fact that I had no idea such a site existed.  Once I was able to understand and navigate through the site it went a little smoother.  I really enjoyed working on Diigo.  I was able to add classmates to follow and also joined groups.  The most interesting part of this website was creating and saving bookmarks.  This is a great way to communicate information to students, co-workers, family and friends.   Also, you can meet other users who are interested in the same topics and bookmarks and create open discussions with them.  This will be a great resource to discuss and learn about current education trends and best practices in education and training.  I was also able to add the Diigo offline reader app to my iPhone and have already begun using it.

Some other social bookmarking site I looked into was and  Both of these sites were very informative and I could see using them as a well to get provide important or relevant information to students and co-workers.

The second part of this week’s assignments was social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Before this course I decided that I had no use for a twitter account.  I already had a Facebook account that I was barely utilizing and I figured I had no need for another social networking site!  Well, thanks to Technology, Culture and Learning 755 I have a twitter account and begin “tweeting”.  I will probably use my twitter account, much like I use my Facebook account, just to communicate with a group of friends and family.  Keep my groups updated and following them on their accounts.  This type of account would be prefect for a college advisor or teacher to communicate important information with to their students.  Also, they can create a group to discuss relevant topics just like we have on our message boards in D2L.