Friday, July 29, 2005
Next I checked the memory cards and two of the cameras. I kept getting different results, but basically the last picture kept being corrupted when you used the card reader to move it to the computer. I thought at first it was the card but then I would try again and get the same thing in a different number on the card. I switched to the other camera and started getting the same results so Rosemary told me where to find a different model camera that used the same memory card. Everything was fine using that camera. Rosemary asked me to type a note to put with the cameras telling them they needed to take an extra picture each time they used it because the last one would be corrupted. I then put the note with each of the cameras. These are refurbished cameras that have a tendency to have a broken battery door. Rosemary plans to ask for money to replace them since they are for preschool and are used frequently.
While Rosemary entered the new equipment into the database I checked out one of the new video camcorders to make sure it was working and labeled it with the ID numbers.
After Rosemary printed out the equipment inventory list from the query she created the other day we checked them out. I then checked the inventory for the software that Rosemary had found in the classroom.
In between times I began looking at how I could post the game online using Flash since we still can't get the other program to work. I will have to look up my books to see what they say.
Next week Rosemary wants to organize the software library in her office. Over the weekend I told Rosemary I would check out the videos over my work dialup to see how they look. I also need to photograph the last of the foods that I was unable to find a copyright free photo for online.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Rosemary and I looked at one of my project websites to see how I had embedded the video clip. She had originally posted the ESY video using Flash but found it didn't play all the way through. She took the embed command from my site and made a page using it. What we found was that the video started playing immediately and on the blog and vlog pages they would be playing before you watched them. I went online and found the command concerning autostart and she was able to set it to start on command instead of automatically.
Rosemary and I discussed the ABC game. There are several options for posting it online.
1. Post a webpage that is not a game-just the letter and video
2. Post multiple webpages to make the game-very time consuming
3. Make a flash file of the game
PowerPoint per se is not an option because movies will not play when posted on the web.
Rosemary said she saw a program that she thought would work, so we went to the sight to look at it. The company is called Impatica. The program seems like a great way to post video, so we each downloaded an evaluation copy to try. It only supports avi movies so I converted some of the Movie Maker files. Rosemary and I both found that we got an error message, when we impaticized the PowerPoint, that stated that the avi file was not found or was unreadable. I emailed support and they responded right away. Unfortunately their suggestion did not work for me. I'm not sure if it worked for Rosemary because I was in the other building at the time.
I also received an email from someone there saying they were intriqued by my website (they apparently used my email address domain name to find it.) They suggested another form of their software and sent two links to sights with sign language on them.
I spent the other half of the day working on the inventory database at the high school. I checked that the list we had compiled yesterday matched the information in the database. I was a little worried that I would mess something up since there is no save button it all happens automatically. Fortunately all went well. There are still some rooms to be checked so I may help again one day.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
The teacher came in to do the videotaping for the ABC game and I explained to her the project and what I needed her to sign. She and I went down, setup and then videotaped. Afterwards she and I reviewed the tape and she decided which she wanted to revideotape. After that I clipped the video to each segment. I still need to make most of the movies from the project files. Some of the fingerspelling was a little fast so I slowed that down in Movie Maker. For something like these projects I much prefer Movie Maker over the software that we used in class. What I learned in class was very useful-much of it follows the same concepts but Movie Maker has a simpler, more user friendly interface that I prefer for simple short projects. It is also software that is freely available and easily taught to students doing a project.
After lunch I went up to the high school to help Julie with inventory. We were checking the CPUs, monitors, and how many ports were in each room. As they are moving everyone around they need to know where they need internet access. In many of the offices the ports were hidden by furniture so we were climbing around on the floor some to find them and also serial numbers on some of the CPUs.
Shortly after we started a teacher wanted her new laptop. It took about 2 hours to explain it to her, download Instant Messenger, set up Outlook and transfer mail from her desktop, and install Blackberry software. The Blackberry software is still not working right. Julie has to research the error message that she received and troubleshoot that when the teacher comes back in the fall.
Tomorrow I will probably go up to the high school again after I talk to Rosemary about the ABC game.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
After the meeting, I worked on the PowerPoint game for the rest of the day. I made many of the required changes. I also went online searching for copyright free pictures for the final version since we can't post copyrighted work on the web. I find even at work I frequently refer to the copyright information we studied in class.
Tomorrow we will videotape for the game and afterward I will go up to the high school to help with the inventory. They have restructured the program from teams to academic departments so all of the equipment has to be reassigned.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Total # of hours worked for this week:
Total # to date of internship:
Monday, July 25
First thing today Rosemary and I discussed what we would be doing today and tentative plans for the week. Today's plan was to rework the video to post online. I spend the day working on it. Rosemary introduced me to Photo Story 3 and we decided to move all the photos into that because they looked so much better. One thing it does is ask if you want to remove the black from around the edges. It does this by cropping the pictures whenever possible. Most of my pictures were scanned and there were no real options on how to crop them. One though really struck me in terms of the rule of thirds. I started with their default suggestion but it really didn't look very good. I started moving the frame around until the main person in the picture fell into a rule of thumbs line and really became noticeable. It really made a difference.
I spent all day working on the movie. Every time I thought I had it done I would look at it and see something else to change. Rosemary also made suggestions how to change it. She suggested reordering it one way, but then when I did that neither one of us liked it, so I changed it back and just moved one small part instead. Many times I had to go back into Photo Story and make changes there. In the beginning we put the captions into the Photo Story but the picture with captions did not pan. I discovered when I moved my first set of pictures into the movie that we could still use the captions from Windows Movie Maker and have the pictures pan. It looked much better that way so we changed to that.
Rosemary pulled up the PowerPoint from one of the presentations and we decided that it would be nice to use similar captioning in the movie. One big problem with Movie Maker is that the captions that are overlays do not stay where you put them, so every time I wanted to add or remove something I had to go back through and move the captions to the right place.
When I thought I was done, I made the movie and then Rosemary previewed it. More changes were necessary.
Rosemary and I had discussed how to embed video into the webpage instead of having it pop-up. She decided to try to do it with Flash. When she first tried, it kept looping. She asked me how I had stopped the looping in the animation I had made and tried that. It didn't work, so she went to the Macromedia website. They had an instructional video about how to use a premade controller in Flash. It was not in her version but was in mine, so I put it on the flash drive for her. She is going to make a template to use and put all the videos in that way.
I finished the video tonight and made the movie but I still see changes I could have made. I don't think it will ever be finished. Someone I know once told me they never are. Tomorrow we will post it online.
Rosemary has a meeting scheduled tomorrow and on Wednesday the ASL/English teacher will be in and we will videotape for the ABC game.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
All can create a challenge to the Instructional Technologist. Handholding can be very time consuming and come at very inopportune times such as today when we really didn't have time to stop what we were doing. A lot of work is involved in planning trainings and when presented many times only a few show up when they said they wanted the classes. And for the ones who take off on their own it is a challenge to find new and different things for them to try with their students.
The first two weeks have been great. I have learned how to make a PowerPoint game. I have seen how Rosemary discusses with the students the problems that need to be fixed in the next retake, and the students are willing to try again. I had the opportunity to work with a variety of staff and saw how necessary it is to communicate with staff to make sure there are no misunderstandings about plans. Even within such a small population of staff we had a variety of technology styles-great idea, but you do it; show me how to do it and I'll try to do it myself (be there if I need you); and help I have problems.
I have learned about blogs and vlogs and been introduced to some of the better education blogs. I saw how blogs can be used in bilingual and literacy education. I have started to think in terms of that. I saw an article about clay animation online and using it with students. My first thought was sounds fun but how in the world could it be adapted to education? Then I started thinking. You have to write a script and can add captions to the movie-right there are two literacy activities.
Friday, July 22, 2005
While we were doing this, one of the teachers came in with a computer that had frozen. She was working on a PowerPoint directly from a cd and had tried to save it back there. We had to do a hard shutdown on the computer because CTRL-Alt-Del would not work. Because of that she lost all of the work she had been doing. When we opened the PowerPoint it did not ask if we wanted to restore a backup copy. Rosemary reminded her that she needed to work from the hard drive and not a cd and to save often. She said that this teacher is very willing to use technology but forgets some of the basic rules and then problems occur.
I finished my part about 12:30. Even as I was saving it to the computer as a high quality video I was thinking of changes I should have made. Fortunately it was small enough to put on my flash drive and transfer it to Rosemary's computer to be combined with her part. Flash drives are definitely great. We were swapping files back and forth all morning with it.
After I gave Rosemary the movie, she asked me to go set up for the afternoon. I wish I had thought of it myself instead of having to be told. When I got down there the teacher for Team 4-5-6 had already begun setting up. Once we finished setting up, we turned on the projector and computer. There was no problem with the projector recognizing the computer put it was broadcasting with a yellow tint. We restarted everything and it was the same. I ran upstairs and Rosemary got me a different projector-no time for troubleshooting. This one was fine.
At this point the movie was still not finished so I told them downstairs that Rosemary wanted to be last. The program began and I was taking pictures. At one point something happened and the projector was not recoginzing the computer. We restarted and I had to hit FN F8 and the computer button on the projector several times before it would work. Rosemary was finally able to come down to watch while the computer was making the movie. It finished just before the last presentation began.
Everyone seemed to enjoy it and were asking how soon it would be posted on the web. We have a few changes we have to make before that can happen though. We have a student who does not have permission for web and we will have to edit that student out.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
I have now completed the first trial.
Initially there were some problems moving the game to the computer connected to the Smartboard. I saved it as a show and moved it to a jump drive. The videos didn't transfer with the show file. I moved the videos into the same folder and reconnected the links. It still would not work. Rosemary suggested moving the file onto the other computer. That didn't work either, so I reconnected the links again. This time it worked. Rosemary had to install the school type fonts onto the computer so they would work.
After the trial I met with Rosemary to discuss the game. I'm sorry to say that I missed some of the things she spotted and/or the solutions.
1. Problem: Each letter was too long going through the cycle.-a matching slide and a reward slide, then a slide with a fingerspell handshape photo and the letter, then a card with a graphic of the fingerspell handshape that faded into a picture of a fruit or vegetable related item with a sign video.
Solution: Drop the graphic slide since it is redundant.
2. Problem: Children's heads were blocking view of the letters they were trying to match when they came up.
Solution: Raise the height of the cue letter to the center of the page.
3. Problem: Children couldn't double-click which was the setting we chose when we started the game. (We thought that because the children might point to different places accidently that it would be a better choice.)
Solution: Change to single click.
4. Problem: When I loaded the videos I was unsure whether they should start automatically or with a click. I set some as automatic and some as start with a click to see which was better.
Solution: Starting with a click is better. This way the students can see the picture, discuss it if they want and then give full attention to the video.
5. Problem: Title page font was not transferrable into the fonts folder and would not be on most peoples computers.
Solution: Create a graphic of the title page and use it instead.
6. Problem: Children did not pay attention to the next button or use it and it was awkward for me to use it since I was on the other side of the screen and had to keep leaning over to it.
Solution: Remove the button and change the slide to go to next slide on click.
7. Problem: Sometimes the slides would go to the wrong slide (not sure if it had something to do with the built in forward/backward controls or not.
Solution: Unsure at this time will need to look at it more.
8. Problem: The "I love fruit" slide was black.
Solution: Unsure at this time will need to look at it more.
9. Nice Idea-not really a problem: I had previously created an animated character in flash that I thought would be good to use as a reinforcer. The kids loved him-he did a thumbs up (the thumbs down one did not work right at the setup-I set it as a loop once and it doesn't work then-need to change that to loop continuously). Because the deaf cannot hear applause they have developed a visual way of clapping that involves raising their hands over their heads and moving them in a certain way. Rosemary suggested that it would be neat if the animated character could do that. I told her that I would try it (drawing is not my best skill.)
Although this preschool summer program ends tomorrow, there is still daycare in the building that is a combination of both deaf and hearing children. We hope to be able to do a trial with them when the revisions are made.
While finishing up the game for the trial I was asked to troubleshoot a computer/projector problem (Rosemary was setting up for the preschool.) I ran over quickly but was unable to fix it. After we finished in preschool I ran over again and tried restarting the computer and that worked.
I went to the different classes to get photos from them. Some I needed to go back to later because I couldn't get them at the time. Rosemary compiled a list of all that had happened in each team so we could see what we had available.
In the afternoon we went and photographed and videotaped the Team 6-7-8 presentations. When they were finished Rosemary and I discussed how to divide up the work for the video. We are each doing part of it and then going to combine the parts into one video. Right now I am working on the fundraising events.
Tomorrow we have to finish the video (about 15 minutes in length), and set up for the afternoon presentations.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
We also discussed Bilingual ASL/English theory in terms of making the slide. We discussed sandwiching (sign the word, fingerspell it, and sign it again) as a means to connect the English and ASL. Then I had the idea to have the teacher point as if to the picture on the slide too. Rosemary explained that was chaining (Picture, sign, fingerspell and if I can the printed word.) I will add that at the end of the video. Rosemary recommended saving the game as a show because the children can click out of the PowerPoint and end it. It's great working with Rosemary. She doesn't tell me how to do the projects-she leads, discusses, and offers possible alternative choices and lets me make the final decision.
While I was working on the PowerPoint someone from Team 1-2-3 came and asked for help setting up an ELMO and a computer to use in the morning. Rosemary was videotaping the last math story (I chose to work on the PowerPoint partly because the student she was taping was not really comfortable with me around in the classroom-he hid under the desk when I asked him a question.) While I was working on that, one of the teachers asked for help setting up an ELMO, so I said I would try to do it. I got the ELMO hooked up ok but when I hooked the computer up to the projector it would not work. In the end Rosemary had to come help and she got the computer to work but we had difficulty when we switched back to the ELMO. Once it was working we told the teacher how to change between the two. When I checked in with her later it all worked fine.
After Rosemary edited the math story she posted it and made some changes to the blog. Once again we found that if you delete a picture you have to go into the HTML to delete the coding.
In the afternoon we had the videoconference. Visuals were fine when we connected but we couldn't hear them although they could hear us. Fortunately one of the staff had taken sign language so he was able to spell the students names and then they put the written question on the screen for us to read.
Both the questions asked and the answers from our students were good. The other students had lots of questions about deafness and hearing loss. Our students were not upset or offended by any of the questions and enjoyed it so much that they are planning to do it again in the fall. Rosemary let me control the screen and camera part of the time. I had a little difficulty coordinating it but it wasn't too bad. She told me afterwards that they recommend practicing beforehand.
Tomorrow we still need to videotape the ASL/English teacher and edit it for the game, setup the Smartboard, introduce the game to the preschool and evaluate it for necessary changes (to occur at a later date), work on the ending video, and setup for the afternoon presentations. If all goes well nothing else will pop-up to do.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Prior to going to preschool Rosemary and I went down to team 6/7/8 to set up the Smartboard. I learned two things about hooking up to the internet.
1. Make sure the ethernet cable is connected on both ends.
2. Sometimes you have to wait a few seconds for the connection to occur and watch for the lights before assuming it doesn't work.
Rosemary introduced the blog to the students. Although the teachers think it is great, they are not yet comfortable with it. They do plan to use it as a writing opportunity by making comments. After introducing the blog, we asked for volunteers. Instead of four or five like we expected almost everyone wanted to participate. We spent the most of the morning making those videos. This blog is more of a vlog (video log) as discussed in Andy Carvin's blog dated July 12, 2005.
The afternoon I spent making the PowerPoint game. It's not finished yet.
I'm making an ABC matching game with a fruit and vegetable theme which they are currently studying. Between fruits and vegetables and words connected to them like "harvest" I have almost all of the letters done. I still need something for I and X.
After the child picks the correct answer, the screen will go to a page that shows the written letter and the fingerspelling handshape. For this I am photographing my hand against a dark background so it is clear. After looking at that, a button takes them to the next page which starts as the fingerspelling handshape (a drawn figure) and then fades out to a fruit or vegetable picture. We have thought about putting the American Sign Language sign in video with the picture but there will not be time this week. Maybe after ESY is finished.
Rosemary talked to someone at the school in Washington State about the conference tomorrow. It will be a video conference since both schools have the technology for it. In the morning we have one more math story to videotape. I have to finish the PowerPoint game but I am not sure what I want to do about wrong answers. I will have to discuss it with Rosemary tomorrow. We also need to work on the video about summer school. Thursday the students will begin making presentations. The teachers wanted them to show their scrapbooks and were considering scanning them and putting them in a PowerPoint. I suggested using the Elmo, that way the student can slip his book under it and show his favorite page. There just is not enough time for all it would involve.
After lunch we have to set up for the video conference. We will attempt to connect early to make sure everything is working before involving the students.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Total # of hours worked for this week=40
Total # to date for internship=80
Today we made changes to the Team 4-5 blog. Instead of clicking on word links to access the videos, we changed them to picture links.
The teacher showed the students the blog today. Rosemary sent an email inviting the staff to come see the blog so they have begun getting comments. One of the teacher's sent the link to his sister in Washington State. Her class added several comments and asked lots of questions. Later in the afternoon Rosemary had a phone call from the teacher who received the original email saying his sister's class would like to have a video communication with our students. Arrangements were made for Wednesday afternoon. We don't know yet if it will be video IM or video conferencing. I have seen a demo of videoconferencing but not video IM. While this will be really great it makes our job harder because there is not a lot of time left before summer school ends.
Today Rosemary videotaped a math story while I went up to preschool. There are still two more math stories to video. We videotaped two teachers from Team 6-7-8 today and tomorrow we will video four students. For Team 6-7-8 Rosemary setup a new blog and invited me to join so I can contribute. The video about the overall summer school also needs to be made. They originally wanted to show it Thursday afternoon. We are hoping we can postpone it until Friday to give us more time.
Tomorrow first thing we need to set up two Smartboards- one for Team 6-7-8 so the teacher can introduce their blog and one in preschool where we will try an alphabet matching computer program. While we were meeting with the preschool teacher to show her the program I commented that its a shame it does not have sign language. Rosemary and I discussed it later and thought that the concept is simple enough we should be able to do something similar in PowerPoint. I'm going to fool around with the idea and see what I can come up with.
Since the blog has begun to go public we have had to remove some pictures of one of the students whose parents would not sign permission for her picture to be put online. This presented an HTML problem when Rosemary deleted the picture. When you put the picture up Blogger does all of the coding. When you take it off it doesn't always remove all of the coding.
Friday, July 15, 2005
During the school year when the students did the math stories, they translated the ASL into written English as part of a bilingual education program that is connected to the Star Schools Program. Since there is not time for the students to caption the movies themselves, I will be doing that. After we finished videotaping we stopped by Team 6-7-8 to talk to them about doing favorite ride videos. We setup a time to videotape one of the teachers as a role model on Monday. Tuesday we will tape any students who are interested in participating. At that point we will need to concentrate on making the movie to show at the end of the week.
Next, I learned how to hook up the large ELMO. We only hooked it up to a projector although it can be hooked up to the computer and possibility the Smartboard which would let teachers capture the images. The afternoon was spent editing videos from the morning and posting them. When the previous videos were originally posted the streaming server was down. Since it was up and running today I converted the other movies to 340 to be posted.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Today the students went to Six Flags. While they were gone, we took the opportunity to go down to the preschool. Before going down we checked to see what they were learning, then we began looking for appropriate software. Rosemary told me about a site with free software-Sebran- so we started there. Although it has excellent software, it was not what we wanted. In the end we decided to load Kidspiration into their computers and use the built in Super Grouper picture of a child to match their clothes, hair and eye color. After that we put fruits and vegetables in their stomachs.
We also chose a nice game on Noggin's website that involved only clicking. We found that while they could point the mouse, clicking was more difficult and click and drag was very difficult. Focusing was also difficult on Noggin's site. They wanted to click on all of the different characters rather than complete the game. When Rosemary and I discussed it later she suggested changing the resolution of the screen so that only the game would be visible.
I spent the rest of the morning going through the preschool/toddler software they had looking for appropriate games. I had to look for games that used mouse touches or clicks to cause events to happen instead of click and drag. Because these children were deaf I also had to consider whether or not the games could be played without sound. I found that some would not work at all and some might work if you sat with them and told some of what is said.
The afternoon was spent inventorying software and equipment from the classrooms to see if anything was missing.
Tomorrow I will learn how to set up an ELMO, and videotape a math story by one of the students.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I got to thinking that the video we shot of the students included predictions of how much money they thought they would make at the fundraisers today. Maybe we should include the predictions and video telling the actual in the blog for today. I will have to talk to Rosemary and the teacher about that tomorrow.
Rosemary suggested I change some of the colors in the Inspiration web that I converted because they tend to become dull when converted to HTML. Of the three versions I made, she decided to use the one with graphics. The teacher wanted video of their fundraising activities so I spent most of the day doing that. We decided that since we were doing so much videotaping and photographing it would be nice to make a short video to show on the last day of school. This is my project. I will have to get all of the photos they have taken to use in the video.
Rosemary had given me a list of free publications that she said were good resources. Some I had heard of, but was unaware that they were free. Tonight I looked at and subscribed to:
Technology and Learning
I also finally joined ISTE.
I began looking online at the Deaf Schools in my area to see if they are hiring any IT's, but they aren't. I think I might consider looking for a teaching job in one though. Doing the kind of work I am doing now does not allow me to use technology with the students.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
After lunch we met with the teacher again to help her focus in more on what she plans to do and how. She has many ideas, but not enough time for all of them. Rosemary suggested setting up the blog to talk about what happened each day of ESY. This would be both a reminder to the students and a way to let the parents know what happened. Rosemary set the blog up and showed the teacher how to change the date so she could write about the previous days. It was also decided that from here on out the students will be videotaped (one a day). They will tell something about summer school each day. The teacher will make the first tape and post it tomorrow.
I converted a hand drawn idea web to an Inspiration document to post in the blog. Tomorrow we need to meet with the other teams to see if they want us to help them do anything.
After that we met with the high school IT. We discussed how to inventory their software and organize equipment. We also need to decide on a way for teachers to request both - probably through their helpdesk. I will have to brush up on my database skills to do this. It was decided to wait until after ESY is over before starting these projects.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Total # of hours worked for this week= 40
Total # to date for internship= 40
Monday July 11, 2005
Today was the first day. We started with a tour of the campus. There is an elementary building (where Rosemary is based and a high school building that has another IT based there.) Although the schools are both located on Gallaudet University's campus they are a separate entity. The school is currently running ESY (Extended School Year.) It is only three weeks long. but it will allow me to be involved with the staff and students. I met many of the school and tech staff. Many are deaf, so I am confronted with using my sign language skills on a regular basis.
During the morning we were asked about printer problems, borrowing an ELMO, porn on a computer, and setting up the lab for a night class. We went to check on the computer about the porn, but we didn't find anything. We did however find that there were a lot of unwanted programs (like Wild Tangent) on all the computers in the room so we deleted them. Rosemary attempted to fix the printer by clearing the queue and rebooting the computers. This didn't work so she entered it into their helpdesk. Later the tech guy was able to fix the problem by rebooting the printer. We had not thought to do that because the printer said Ready. There were two print jobs in the printer's memory and it worked after they printed. Rosemary showed the teacher requesting the Elmo and myself how to enter the request into the system and she showed another teacher how to set up the smartboard in the lab. We also discussed some of the projects that I may be involved with and looked at their online databases.
Tomorrow we will meet with the high school's IT and discuss the projects more. We will also work with Team 4/5 on setting up Blogs. This is the first time this age group has done them so they are not sure how well they will work. As a bonus I got my car washed by the students who were doing a fundraiser and also bought an ice cream sundae from them.