Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Where do I go next?

I left my internship planning to look for a job in instructional technology during the coming year while I go about getting my certification. I'm now being pulled to stay in my current job. I was asked if I would be interested in managing our C-Print program next year. It blew my mind. The person who asked me has already talked to the director of special ed who thought it might be a good idea since I just finished instructional technology. It's definitely a temptation-job security for sure.

I have already been asked to familiarize myself with the C-print software and networking of the computers and my first foray into troubleshooting was a failure. At the same time the c-print captionist and I spent several hours with two of the tech people at work and they also had problems before finally getting the network going. And they are not exactly sure why it works this way either. Oh the joys of technology.

I am still interested in changing my job. I have even looked online to see if there are jobs anywhere but I haven't seen any. I can't help but wonder though if I will stay where I am just because of my comfort level. The last few summers I said I would look elsewhere at a school for the deaf for a job but I didn't do it. This year I did send my resume while I was fully involved in my internship but I never filled out the job application they sent me and they never called me. To go some place I don't know is threatening. I am worried that my tendency to doubt myself and preference to stay in my comfort level may keep me from changing.

I loved this summer. I think of all the things that can be done with kids that isn't happening now and I want to show the teachers what they can do. (one on one not in groups:) I referred to using a Smart board when showing the game to someone and much to my surprise I had to explain what it was. (She had just finished her master's in education a year ago at a university affiliated with elementary and high schools that use them so I was really surprised she had never heard about them.)

If I don't change jobs the idea of taking over the C-print management is also intimidating. The person in charge now runs meetings and while I am comfortable with technology working with groups of adults is scary. and I don't even do C-print.

On the positive side -although maybe still threatening
I showed the game to some of our preschool teachers-none of them use sign language with their students but they were impressed. They asked if I was going to show it at a staff meeting and I commented that anyone could learn to make games. They are interested in learning. Don't know where it will go yet. My supervisor was not around at the time we were discussing this so I don't know what he will say.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Day 30

The End
I finished what I could on the Qwizdom training and managed to do another software evaluation for the TecEds software review.

In the afternoon, Rosemary and I discussed my evaluation. She made a list of my strengths and weaknesses. It pretty well correlated with what I know about myself although I really don't think in depth like that unless I am forced to (I don’t appreciate it either Rosemary.)


  • Has extensive knowledge of current and cutting edge technology-thanks Rosemary for getting me more up to date than I was.

  • Able to integrate technology to educational environment

  • Is a quick learner

  • Follows through with projects-the ABC game probably required the most follow through of anything I did. It required more time than anything else did just to get it working right. We videotaped several times to get the video perfect and I felt uncomfortable part of the time doing it. The teacher was wonderful that I was working with, but how exactly do you tell the expert that you want it done different?

  • Adapts projects to meet the needs of the students or clients-this time was a starting point and I have begun thinking as I read the different blogs I now follow how things could be adapted to the student population I am working with. That’s probably one of the greatest skills I have learned during my internship. I don’t necessarily have to have new and creative ideas. There are plenty out there I just need to find them and adapt them to what will work for me.

  • Works well with teachers and staff-not hard since they were all great people

  • Has a positive attitude-this was one of the best vacations I have ever had.

  • Is very comfortable in using and learning about a range of technologies-Qwizdom was a little stressful because there was so much to it and I was trying to create a training at the same time. But Smart Boards/projectors and Elmos were great.

  • Is open to a variety of suggestions and ideas-considering who I was working with how could I not take suggestions? I went to the best so I would learn the best. If I was not open to things then it would have defeated the purpose for being there in the first place.
  • Needs more experience training adults-well I approached someone about doing training based on some of the things I was doing this summer and other things I saw when I went to the International Symposium on Instructional Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The whole concept is terrifying considering who I approached but the things I have been exposed to can be so useful for our deaf and hard of hearing kids.

  • Needs to believe in her ability to create projects and trainings-I don't think I doubt my ability to create projects as much as trainings. I have lots of ideas for projects that I don't have the skills for (mostly drawing-not very good at that) Trainings are another story. I know Rosemary-I can do it. I really have always preferred working with children but technology has pulled me in and I am having to stretch and it's not comfortable. I feel more comfortable working one on one showing someone how to do things. It's the getting up in front of a group of adults that bothers me. Doubting myself is a tendency I have-not in the concrete things-I know I can do the technology end. It's the less concrete, the things I don't see myself doing so I can't tell how well I am doing them. Maybe time and practice will build up my confidence? Writing handouts isn't hard just the standing up and thinking what to say:)

  • Needs to reflect more on the "why" as well "what" and "how"-Have I reflected enough? I know it’s not all “why” there is still a lot of “what” and “how” but it’s a start.
Oh yeah, I’m trying out the new add-in for the Word tool bar hopefully it will work. Well I had to make a few changes but it mostly worked.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Day 29

One day left :(
I found a couple more links for the curriculum resource web and then Rosemary asked me about revising the training (maybe because I told her that was a weakness of mine when she asked what I saw as my strengths and weaknesses? I hate it when people ask me that. I don't do depth and self-evaluation very well.)

Anyway we discussed the hook and decided to make a presentation using Qwizdom and then a game to check if they paid attention. I spent the rest of the day working on that. The target was 25 questions so they could play Quandary (like Jeopardy) I'm not there yet-need about 5 more. Hopefully I will be able to finish it tomorrow before I leave.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Day 28

I spent the most of the morning with Bill. He showed me some of the things he does and how he uses the Help Desk to track jobs. He also got a request while I was with him so we went to the library and installed a program on a computer. Bill also introduced me to their online IEP program. It served two purposes-one to show me and the other to refresh his memory since he will be helping with a training for it next week. I found it very interesting since we are going online with our IEPs this year and I am scheduled for training next week at home. He also showed me samples of training materials he has done.

For the rest of the day I looked for additional curriculum links while Rosemary created a website for the links.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Day 27

Well, I lived through the practice training. Once I started getting everything ready the nerves left. The handouts were fine. I should have started with a hook and explained the concept of the program before explaing the how to. Also, I thought this morning that I should have had files prepared for them to use while working but it was too late to do anything when I thought about it.

The critique afterwards pretty much said the same things I was thinking as I was going through the presentation. (Some of the thoughts came because of the questions I was asked during the training and they made me realize what I should have done different.) As per normal, things went wrong with technology and I had to work around the problems, but that really didn't bother me.

I spent the afternoon editing the video for the game. I also changed the transitions. It is done (I think) with the exception of still needing one more copyright free picture. I have a list of sources for public domain photos and I have been going through them searching. I went through the game checking links to make sure they all link to the right slide. I also fixed the problems that were noted during the last trial. Next I want to try it on another computer and make sure the fonts transferred properly, that all the videos work, and all the links are working. Then I will declare it finished and burn it to a CD.

Tomorrow I will spend time with Bill shadowing him to see what he does.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Day 26

I started the day reading through a printout of the Qwizdom training handouts. I found numerous changes that I wanted to make - some to make it more easily readable, some arrows didn't show up very well so I had to make some changes there, and I didn't like some of the wordings so I made more changes there. That's done until after the training tomorrow when I may make changes after I get feedback.

I set up to show the ABC game and made sure it was working properly. When the children came it turned out that all of them were hearing. There were 10 of them. Rosemary took notes, while I was going through it with the children, as to any problems that appeared. She made note of the videos that needed to be redone, and on the title page fruit was mispelled. I want to change the transition for moving from the fingerspelled letter to the video because it takes too long. It was a fade so I will change it to no transition.

Sometimes the slides were a little slow changing but we think it was because I was playing it from a CD. I also had to remember when talking about the slides that it was set to tap one time to go to the next slide. Using the Smart Board I had to be very careful when I pointed not to touch it or the PowerPoint would go to the next slide before I wanted it to.

After the game I began making some of the changes that were noted until it was time to videotape.

Only 7 of the videos needed to be redone. Almost all were done in only one take. We looked back through them after and decided which still needed to be redone again.

In the afternoon, there was a meeting of the three Instructional Technologists about the trainings for the fall. They decided to only do one large group training a month and then do multiple small groups that focused on the team/departments. They also plan to send out an email newsletter with interesting sites/tech ideas.

I spent the time left running through the steps for tomorrow's training to make sure I don't forget anything.

Tomorrow I have to set up for the training in the TecEds lab. Wednesday, I'll spend the morning with Bill, and Thursday Julie wants me to help her troubleshoot the sound on the video conferencing equipment. She has it working now but it doesn't sound right.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Day 25

I finished the training handouts for Tuesday's Qwizdom training. I began walking through in my head what I want to remember to mention during the training. Monday I need to hook up the base to the computer and photograph it to put into the handout.

Since the ABC game will be placed online I went online and researched video release forms and created one for the teacher who is in the videotapes to sign. She will be in on Monday to do some more taping. Rosemary also set up a session with the day care preschoolers for Monday to play the game and see how it is running.

On Monday there is a meeting to plan the fall training sessions.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Day 24

Never did get up to publishing to troubleshoot. I spent the day working on the handouts for Qwizdom. They're almost finished. Rosemary went over them and we discussed them and her suggestions for change and why. I have just a few changes to make. I still have to do the part about actually playing the games, but all the set up part is pretty well finished.

Now I have to turn my mind to the actual training. I will be presenting in their lab using the large Smart Board. Each participant will have a computer to follow along with and create some of their own slides. I have some thought about that part that I need to check out and see if it will be possible to do it that way using the software and discuss with Rosemary if it is a viable idea.

I discussed with her how the handouts should be done - exact to what we do in training or a more general version. She brought up the point that in the case of their trainings most of the workshops are presented in sign-no voice. That means that the people will basically be watching and doing along with the trainer without referencing the handout until later, so it needs to be more general. In this case the learner characteristics have a serious impact on the trainings. The learner's are visual learners. While they probably won't read the handouts word for word the screenshots will jog their visual memory. Learning how to do them has been very helpful during my internship.

The learners also come with varied computer skills and motivations. I have had to make sure that I have created a task analysis that does not miss any steps. I went through each step and wrote it down. After I typed them up and added the screenshots I went through doing the steps as I read them to make sure I didn't miss anything.

There will be no formal assessment. The results will be seen in how many teachers use Qwizdom with their students.

I finished up the afternoon doing a software evaluation and putting it into the TecEds software review. I did talk with Rosemary to make sure I was on the right track with the first one before entering it. With these not only is it important to look at the software from the standpoint of is it user friendly? is it interesting? does it run smoothly? install easily? but I also have to consider how deaf and hard of hearing students can use it. How crucial is the sound in it? What is the language level?

Tomorrow I expect to finish the handouts and think more about the training itself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Day 23

Rosemary read yesterday's blog so we started the day by discussing my stress level. I told her not to worry because one thing I regretted was that there were no training opportunities this summer. I also told her that I prefer to teach kids but I knew when I got into this that it would involve teaching adults which I have done before. I think it is probably more the fact that they are all experienced trainers that makes it more stressful. I also told her that last year when I was down for the workshop and we had to present out projects I was very nervous.

We discussed the training and decided to aim for an hour and a half so that we could go through all the parts. At this time Rosemary doesn't know if it will be a training that will be done after school, which would be full length, or during team meetings and would need to be shorter. Afterward, we can all discuss it and see what needs to be changed. We scheduled the practice training for next Tuesday morning and Rosemary emailed Julie and Bill about it. Julie said she knows some other people who may be interested in coming. I told her I would get back to her about that.

Points to consider about the training:
Will everyone have a computer? Yes
Everyone will be making a trial game-how will I handle that? Playing everyone's games? Content for the games? Bring their own? Provide materials? I will need to think about that.

I spent most of the day working on the Qwizdom training handouts. The first part is ready for Rosemary to check over. I'm putting the middle on hold for now while I think about what needs to be included. I started writing the last part and doing the screenshots.

I finished the day working on a software review for the TedEds website. It was very helpful that I had done them in class before and I was able to draw on that prior knowledge while doing the evaluation.

Tomorrow, Julie invited me to go up to publishing and troubleshoot with her. Next Wednesday morning, I will be job shadowing Bill to see what he does.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Day 22

We met with Wilson and Sydney about the databases and posting online a way for teachers to search the software available and request it. Wilson will have his part done next week. Rosemary also talked to Sydney about setting up WordPress multi user for blogging. She and the principal would like there to be a principal's blog on the first page of the school's website that will discuss what is happening in school. After discussing things with Sydney it was decided that the blog has priority over the software check out.

I started writing the Qwizdom handouts today. The first part was easy but when I got to the games it became more complicated. Rosemary said I don't want too many pages because no one will read them. I started looking at the games and almost everyone is set up different which would mean approximately 7-10 pages just to explain the games. When I started looking at how to explain them I understood why their training manual didn't go into exact details. It's overwhelming.

Rosemary told me to think from the trainers end too. She asked if they were shown it once or twice would they be able to do it. Mostly I think so. There are a few screens and comments I think should be made for each game but overall the game setup screens are self explanatory-dare I say that? They want teachers to input team names or number of students, etc. I think the teachers would be okay later if shown that during a training.

There are two things I do have a concern about and at this time I'm not sure how to address them. One is the scoring method. Some of the games ask the teacher to choose a scoring method. They provide an explanation on the choice page but it is still confusing. The other is how to show the correct answer during the game. The games do not show that and there are several different ways to do it depending upon the game. It wasn't even explained in the manual. I figured it out for myself.

Rosemary's leaving it to me to figure this out. When I am done she wants me to try it out with her and Julie and maybe Bill. That will be stressful to say the least since they are experienced trainers. Afterwards we will evaluate it and see what needs to be changed.

This will be the biggest challenge of the internship. Although I was previously confronted with deadlines on the video projects they were something that I have done extensively at work and felt quite comfortable with. Even the game while different was easy to do, just time consuming. This training is pushing my skills to a higher level. I hope I succeed.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Day 21

Week of: August 8, 2005
Total # of hours worked for this week:
Total # to date of internship:

Today I started out looking for websites to support the school curriculum. I had to evaluate them based on subject matter, grade level, and content. Anything I found appropriate I put in Jots and Scuttle.

Next I went up to the high school to pick up Qwizdom. Qwizdom is a Remote system that teachers can use to play review games with students. Rosemary and I went through the directions and set it up. While she went to a meeting I began experimenting with the games and later I showed her how to play them. We encountered some problems which will need troubleshooting.

Rosemary asked me if I could create a 45 minute training for it. I questioned whether that would be enough time. She then suggested two 45 minute sessions. I think that is a better plan. There are games built in, so I suggested for the first training show the teachers how to play the games and get them hooked. Then they will be willing to come back to learn how to make their own games.

Tomorrow we are supposed to meet about the software database and how to request software (it was postponed from today.) I will also begin looking at the games and start storyboarding the steps to play.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Day 20

Friday, August 5

First thing Rosemary and I did was go over a list she had compiled of what she hopes we will finish during my last two weeks. Then, I printed out the labels, put them on the software binders and put the binders away.

After that Bill installed Photo Editor on my computer so I would be able to make screenshots of the steps for the GIF handout I was making for Julie. I had to go through the process and create a storyboard to make sure that I was not missing any steps. Rosemary looked it over when I was finished and made a few suggestions that I went back and changed. I finished it and will send it to Julie on Monday.

While I was finishing up the handout, Rosemary compiled a list of the subjects each team will be studying this year. She wants to create a list of web sites that correlate with the subject matter that the teachers can use. I started going through all the web sites I already have in my bookmarks to see which ones would be useful for their curriculum. We initially talked about using furl to list them. Then Rosemary suggested Jots because it lists your subjects on the side. I also told her about Scuttle which is directed towards education. I checked them all out and signed up for each one to see which is the best.

Jots is nice because you can set up a group of people to access your bookmarks and it has the listings of your topics down the side. Scuttle has educational topic and grade tags built in so you don't have to create as many topics as the other two. Furl is probably the best known but it does not have index tabs on the side. All three have buttons you can add to your browser toolbar so you can easily list a site on them although Jots does not seem to work right in the Avant browser.

One of the things on the to do list is to check out Qwizdom and write a training handout for it. That should be fun. Monday we also have a meeting with the database man about the software library and updating helpdesk. There is also an online training for Smart Notebook 9 which Rosemary wants me to do so we can write a training handout for the staff.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Day 19

Thursday, August 4

We moved the shelves down from the high school and then put the rest of the software on them. Rosemary finished entering everything into the database and put the software into binders if it had no packaging, while I made labels for them.

I went with Julie to help with troubleshooting. She showed a staff member how to pull a graphic from a Pagemaker file, save it as a gif and then edit it (crop, etc.) We also checked out a MAC that was freezing when scanning a graphic. The person was using Photoshop Elements 2. Since she had Photoshop CS installed on the computer Julie tried to scan from that and it worked fine, so she sent her an email telling her to change programs.

Later I worked on a handout for the staff member working on the graphics to remind her how to do it. I had to think out all the steps involved and make screenshots to go with it.

Tomorrow morning Rosemary wants to discuss the next two weeks and plan what handouts need to be prepared and anything else needing to be done for the beginning of school. Among other things she would like to have a web page with online curriculum resources for the staff.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Day 18

I showed Rosemary the current version of the game today. She made a few design suggestions-on the title page there should be space around the print because the eye is looking for it, and the font for the one page style was too big. The font had been bothering me all along-trying to get the letters in the same place on each card. By changing the size it is a little easier to be more consistent with placement. I made the changes she suggested and it looks much better.

We also decided some of the videos should be remade-we checked with one of the preschool teachers who is deaf and she said that the preschool children did not sign some of the words the way they were in the video. I watched the movie with the teacher I was videotaping after we finished and I didn't pick up on the problems until later. Partly maybe it was that she was the expert, not me. There is also the fact that sign language can be regional and I don't know for sure what is used here as opposed to what we sign at home. Maybe I also just need more practice doing it and knowing what I should be looking for. It's frustrating though wondering when it will click and I won't have to go back and redo things. I emailed the teacher to ask if she could come in again and do some more taping. I'm still waiting to hear back.

Rosemary also suggested changing the word part of the video so that it stayed there when the video ended instead of fading out, this way the teacher can talk about the word if she/he wants before going onto the next slide.

After I made the changes, we spent most of the rest of the day cleaning more shelves and moving the software there. We still have more to do with that, but we ran out of room. Tomorrow we will get shelves from the high school to use too.

Rosemary asked me to think about how the teachers can request software to be installed to their computers. What fields would be needed from the database and then we discussed it. She would like it to be set up so that the request would be emailed to her. The database is searchable by title, publisher and keywords (i.e. addition, matching, patterns etc.) so we discussed how the teachers could make choices and then submit the request. One possibility we came up with was to use the same system that teachers are able to use to request equipment. When the database man is back from vacation we will meet with him about it.

After it is decided how to do this we will need to make a handout for the teachers explaining the procedure.

I also had the opportunity to help one of the teachers with making some changes in the formatting of her Word document.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Day 17

Rosemary and I started the day discussing the internship, how things have been going up until now and what other activities I might be able to become involved in. I may have the opportunity to write some training handouts. We also discussed grants although I don't know if we will be able to get to that.

Rosemary wanted to get all the software in one place instead of spread out to all the groups. Their network is setup so that only administrators can install software and the teachers don't think to ask to have it installed. By putting it in a central location they can send a request that will provide the software and installation so they can use it. There was also an extensive preview library in the high school that no one was accessing. We went up there and brought all age appropriate software down to the elementary school and began putting it on the shelves. We found some that did not have an ID so Rosemary had to check the database and ID/inventory them.

We still have more to organize but we ran out of room. We'll have to look around and see where else we can put it.

I started making a composite picture in Photoshop of fruits for the game. I used the wand and removed the picture to put it in a new one so there will be a variety of fruits in one picture. I'm still contemplating design-I need to think about the rules of design we studied.

Rosemary also suggested that I check out a computer game by Sherston that teaches about numbers, and counting. She thought I might want to think about another game at some point. The game is really good but very language intensive-spoken and written language. I'm going to have to think about it and see what I can think of.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Day 16

Monday, August 1

Rosemary was out today. She suggested checking in with Bill or Julie to see if I could spend the day with them. Julie was out also and Bill had just come back from vacation and never reached the point in catching up that he could show me what he does.

I worked on the ABC game. I went through the whole game checking for links, and things that needed to be tweaked. I decided to add another card at the end that will give the children the option to stop or pay again. I made the little guy that signs, sign "stop" and "more" for that page.

I still need three pictures-ugli fruit, dig and quince. I went online to Flickr to check about their copyright standards because when I was looking for ugli fruit before I found one there that had downloads. The same person also has quince. I think looking at the limited copyright that I can use them in the game. I will get Rosemary to read over it tomorrow and see if she agrees.

I started looking at Flash in terms of the game. Most of it I think I can do myself but I do have some questions. I also started looking at Dreamweaver in terms of making more of an exploratory game-click on a letter and see what fruit/vegetable you get.

In the afternoon I had the opportunity to photograph the teacher I had previously videotaped, signing the alphabet. I then spent the rest of the time using Photoshop. In class we had used the wand to remove items from one picture and put them into another. I used the same principles to isolate the hand from the background and paste it into a new picture with a transparent background.