Friday, 5 July 2013

Edtech Challenges

This was a tricky one; go safe with a website I have used before or go for a new tech and maybe make a mess of it! Why bother playing it safe when I am on this course to learn new stuff?- Muvizu it will be. After four failed download attempts I finally got it to work. I watched the tutorials and thought, "hey this is pretty cool". The thing is, I've seen applications like this before and there is no way I would master it in 4 days, especially when my computer is overheating trying to run the 3D graphics! I tried to replicate the tutorials and couldn't make my character move! I decided there that the application deserved more time than I could afford to give it in this instance and I promptly uninstalled it!

Since I have used Goanimate before, I decided to try Powtoon. I like this. A web app that permits the upload of .swf files; I'll be able to use that later! Pretty straight forward app right up until I realized that the voice-over had to be one continuous file; the slides don't accept separate audio files. I had to rethink how I was going to work. I downloaded Audacity and the Lame add-on to permit the export of mp3 files. It took a fair bit of creative editing but I think I managed to sync the slides reasonably well.

I chose element 6 of the significant challenges because it is a challenge I am actually facing at the moment. Every character in my animation is real at my school. The pastoral team are looking for a dynamic solution to target setting that links with the eportfolio and reflective writing the Sixth Form students have to do for the AQA Baccalaureate. Unfortunately, as a librarian colleague of mine pointed out in a paper he is about to publish, the British education system isn't very good at assessing 21st Century Skills.

I did some brief research but found this is an area my school definitely needs to look at. The International Baccalaureate (IB) seems to have this kind of assessment of the the students activities away from the classroom done rather well with the Creativity, Action, Service elements of their course. As a Duke of Edinburgh facilitator I am aware of IB schools employing the Duke of Edinburgh as part of their CAS offerings. This makes a lot of sense. Interestingly, we have this programme at our school but the skills of planning, organizing and leadership are not developed further in the school. I think I might try to change this, and with it, implement a more rounded assessment of the students skills and abilities; perhaps we should just do IB!

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