Posts Tagged ‘IT 780’

This table of contents chronicles the reflections on various projects and assignments of IT 860, Emerging Technology in Instructional Technology.


I.    Introduction to Blogfolio

II.  Reflection on Assignments

III. Reflection on Readings

IV.  Overall Reflection on IT 860


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In the short span of around 100 years, motion picture technology has moved from it’s infancy with silent films all the way to streaming high definition videos on mobile devices. The evolution of motion pictures has seen a dramatic turn in the last decade with the advent of Web-based video. The following discussion will focus on understanding the historical development of motion pictures in education, the current setting of videos and learning, and future possibilities within education.

Historical Development of Motion Pictures in Education

Around 1910, the Rochester, New York school system became the first educational organization to use educational video. A few years later, in the late 1920s, sound was introduced in motion pictures, which greatly expanded the technological capabilities of video. The addition of sound with video sparked a great deal of interests as researchers sought to study these dual processes of learning (e.g. dual coding theory).

This evolution continued over the next several decades. Schools primarily employed the film reel and projector technology from the beginning (i.e., 1910) until the 1950s. This technology was soon replaced by videotapes in the 1960s. The next step of development came in the 1980s and 1990s with the advent of several videodisc formats.

While this progress greatly improved motion pictures, the exponential growth in the late 20th century and early 21st century has become an issue. Educational organization have a limited amount of funds. Therefore, staying relevant and up-to-date has become increasingly hard as improvements come at a more rapid pace. For this reason, schools are now forced to move beyond mere considerations of technological superiority to also consider the shelf life of a new video format.

Current Setting of Videos and Learning

Web 2.0 videos are the most recent and fastest growing advent in the evolution of video. The author of the article, Chareen Snelson, discussed several facets of this new technology by focusing on one of the most popular providers of Web-based videos, YouTube. YouTube allows users to view videos through Web browsers such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. Users may upload videos in a variety of formats, but once on YouTube’s site, the videos are converted to Flash video. The advantage of Flash is that it is ubiquitous, free and cross platform (e.g., Windows and MacIntosh).

Creating and editing videos has become easy, affordable and accessible. Most camcorders and a growing number of mobile devices (e.g., smartphones) can be synced with a computer, and users can edit videos on their computer and upload the videos to the Web. Several of the recently developed smartphones can actually edit and upload the video within the phone itself (e.g., iPhone 4). Another option to capture video is a Webcam, which is connected directly to a computer. In addition, Adobe Premiere Express (http://www.adobe.com/products/premiereexpress) is a Web 2.0 technology that represents a new Web-based option in video editing.

Once individuals become a member of YouTube, they can create a customized Web page with a playlist, which is called a YouTube channel. The channel and playlist offers users the ability to share a collection of videos with others. Users can share videos by employing the HTML embed code, distributing the hyperlink or using one of the share options found on YouTube. Members are also able to track statistics on various aspects of uploaded videos (e.g., number of views).

After a video is uploaded and converted to Flash, three functions are automatically generated for that video: 1) Web page, 2) HTML embed code, and 3) a player. Basic changes can be made to videos after they are uploaded. For example, the video tags, description and title can be altered with the Info & Settings tool, and background audio files can be added with the Audio Swap tool.

Some Web-based video sites do allow users to download videos. However, YouTube does not allow videos to be downloaded, and this policiy is outlined in their terms of use. However, a number of third party applications give users the ability to capture and download online videos, including YouTube (e.g., Zamzar). If legality is in question, then users can look to The Center for Social Media (http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org) for clarification.

In the classroom, videos can be used to show historical events, depict the real world, visualize concepts, motivate learners or take virtual field trips. A limited amount of research has been conducted on using YouTube in the classroom, but studies about multimedia learning can be considered. Video is a powerful learning tool because it can portray processes, events and ideas.

Learners control the video (e.g., pace or position) on YouTube in an interactive manner. Additional videos are also available to YouTube users through branched and basic interactivity. Branched interactivity links similar videos so that users have the ability to skip from one video to the next and expand learning. Basic interactivity places a series of videos in specific sequence to help learners progress through material. Another facet of interactivity is the ability of respondents to give comments through posts or videoposts.

Precautions and Barriers

As teachers begin to embrace Web-based videos, a number of concerns should be considered. YouTube contains some videos that are inappopriate for educational use, but these videos are usually quickly identified and removed from their site. Another concern is the quality of videos on YouTube. There are a number of instructional videos that contain wonderful substance, but teachers should filter out bad videos and point students to the best media. In some cases, the quality of the videos is so poor that it might interfere with or prevent learning from taking place. Fortunately, some websites can actually help to “fix” poor quality videos, such as FixMyMovie (http://www.fixmymovie.com).

Suggestions for Teachers

Technical support, teacher training and adequate equipment are a vital compenent to using online videos. Technical support should be readily available to help troubleshoot any issues that arise. Professional development is necessary to prepare teachers to create, upload and use videos in the context of a class. Both of these efforts are undermined if adequate equipment is not in place. Ecucational organizations must develop a strong insfrastructure to handle the demands of uploading, streaming and downloading videos. Similarly, students and teachers must have computers and equipment that facilitate the use of videos.

Teachers can take preventative measures to ensure high quality videos. Educators should limit text and use large fonts to help viewers clearly see content. When performing a screen capture, zooming in on text can often help learners see the content more clearly. Finally, creators of video should employ captions and annotations to help meet the needs of all learners.

Future Possibilities Within Education

A huge repository of videos already exists on the Web. Fair use laws need to be clarified in coming years so that the public understands what is acceptable. This situation is compounded by the fact that technology is changing so quickly.

In the near future, users may be able to complete all video related needs through the Web. This technology already exists, but editing is still primarily done on laptops and desktops. As bandwidth continues to expand and new Web 2.0 technologies are created, the Internet will probably become a free, easy and preferred method to edit videos. In fact, a growing number of these videos will probably be filmed, edited and uploaded on a mobile device.

If educational funding continues to be slashed, then institutions will have to turn to online learning to help fill the gap. Whether or not this happens, videos will probably assume a more influential role in e-learning over the next few years. As teachers learn video technology, they will begin posting more videos. As technology continues to develop, viewing videos will become even more accessible and portable. Video is meaningful part of society and might assume a similar position in education.

Snelson, C. (2010). Web-based video for e-Learning: Tapping into the YouTube ™ Phenomenon. In Yang, H. H., & Yuen, S. C. (Eds.), Collective intelligence and e-Learning 2.0: Implications of Web-based communities and networking (pp. 147-166). Hershey, Pennsylvania: Information Science Reference.

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This table of contents chronicles the reflections on various projects and assignments of IT 780, Seminar in Instructional Technology.


I.    Introduction to Blogfolio

II.  Reflection on Assignments

III. Reflection on Readings

IV.  Overall Reflection on IT 780

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Web 2.0 has only been on the technology scene for a few years, since around 2004. However, this new body of Web applications has transformed the way people interact with the Internet and each other. The focus of IT 780, Seminar in Instructional Technology was to expose students to current Web 2.0 applications. In addition, Dr. Yuen insured that students were immersed in the practical employment of these tools rather than just studying about them.

Content within the first generation of the Web was developed for communication and information sharing, and usually an individual or group created these Web sites.  Web 2.0 differs in that it is based on interactivity and collaboration, and users develop these new applications. The genesis of Web 2.0 has given rise to the popularity of social media, which I will discuss in five broad categories: communication, collaboration, multimedia, reviews, and entertainment.

Communication tools (e.g., blogs, microblogs and social networking systems) have garnered the most attention among all Web 2.0 tools. Most notably, social networking systems (SNS) are immensely popular. For example, Facebook would be the third most populated country in the world if compared to existing countries. Dr. Yuen covered communication tools in four ways. First, the IT 780 class was primarily taught through Ning, which is a SNS. Second, we had reading assignments that presented research on SNS, and each member of the class had to create a Ning Web site designed to teach a class. Third, going a step beyond normal Web site creation, Dr. Yuen assigned a project that asked each student to generate an original mobile Web site. Fourth, the blogfolio that you are now reading serves as an example of a Web 2.0 communication tool, and this blog represents the final project for the IT 780 class.

Collaborative tools allow groups of people to accomplish projects together and include such items as social bookmarking, wikis and news. Social bookmarking allows users to bookmark Web sites, tag each site with keywords and save the bookmarks to a public Web site. A wiki is simply a Web page that can be edited and viewed by anyone with an Internet connection and a Web browser. One of the reading assignments for IT 780 focused on social bookmarking. Also, the IT 780 class was divided into small groups, and each group was responsible for creating and designing a wiki. The development of the wiki was informed by two reading assignments on wikis that were given by Dr. Yuen.

A myriad of Web 2.0 applications have been produced for multimedia, which includes photos, videos, audio, livecasts and presentations. Flickr and Picasa represent Web 2.0 tools designed for photos and graphics, and podcasting represents an example of an audio application. In fact, one of the reading assignments and a project for IT 780 focused on podcasting, including the creation of an RSS feed. Dr. Yuen also assigned a project that employed the use of an online presentation tool, Slideshare. This presentation tool allowed each student to upload and share Adobe PDFs, Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. I underestimated how many individuals would view this site. For example, I uploaded two presentations, and both of them have over 700 views in just a couple months. Obviously, the potential of such devices is enormous.

Dr. Yuen also asked the class to read an article that gave a general overview of Web 2.0 technologies. This article addressed many of the applications mentioned above. The focus of the IT 780 class was to expose students to Web 2.0 tools, specifically as it related to education. In light of this exposure to Web 2.0 technologies, Dr. Yuen asked each member of the class to make a presentation on a Web 2.0 technology that he or she found useful. Therefore, we did not spend a great deal of time on Web 2.0 applications designed for reviews (e.g., products, business or community) or entertainment (games, platforms or virtual worlds). However, these tools were mentioned in various class discussions.

IT 780 has been an incredible adventure of discovery in the Web 2.0 world. As Dr. Yuen says, many technologists read or talk about these applications but never immerse themselves in the tools. This class forced students to gain a functional knowledge of Web 2.0 tools. As a result, I feel prepared to discuss current Web 2.0 technologies with authority. In addition, exposure to these technologies has been a catalyst for personal and professional change. For example, I will certainly change several approaches in teaching and learning as a result of this course. When a class motivates one to make life changes and challenges previously held beliefs, then I would argue that it has been a great success. IT 780 is certainly in this mold.

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Web 2.0 was designed to encourage social collaboration, user-centered design and interoperability. An overwhelming number of applications have been developed in association with Web 2.0. In the midst of this social media, individuals can become overwhelmed with the options and inundation of information. This technological flood can, at times, send users into overload. Prioritizing what is important and urgent is an essential skill in using Web 2.0.

Interestingly, Web 2.0 enthusiasts have recognized this issue and created applications that assist users in filtering and prioritizing information. Aggregators represent a genre of Web 2.0 tools that accomplish this task. There are a number of aggregators available, but I would like to discuss Netvibes as a representative example from this group. In addition, one of the assignments from IT 780 was to present on a Web 2.0 tool, and I chose Netvibes as the tool on which I would present.

The term “aggregate” simply means to gather into a whole. Web 2.0 aggregation, therefore, can be seen as an application that gathers pertinent information from various sources into one place (i.e., Web site). An analogy to aggregation can be illustrated by the evolution of sandwich making. Before 1916, if someone wanted to make a normal sandwich, then they would need to go to the baker for bread, butcher for meat and, perhaps, a number of farmers to get fresh vegetables (e.g., lettuce or tomatoes). However, Piggly Wiggly became the first self-service grocery store in 1916, and sandwich connoisseurs could gather all the needed ingredients for a sandwich in one location. Similarly, aggregators allow users to gather all desired Web-based content in one location.

Netvibes offers a number of widgets and tools to facilitate this gathering of information. First, users create a custom home page with widgets that can be accessed from any location with Internet access. This allows users to always have access to their Netvibes home page. The application centralizes content. Live data can be added to the home page, such as stocks, email, weather or headlines. Social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook or Twitter, can also be added to the home page. RSS and Atom feeds are also supported by Netvibes. In fact, users can embed another website within their Netvibes home page.

As mentioned earlier, a number of aggregators exist, but Netvibes offers several competitive features. SNS integration is a crucial component of Netvibes. In addition, Netvibes updates in real-time, so information is always current. There is a great deal of flexibility within Netvibes, including multiple page and tab creation. Bloglines, Google reader plus iGoogle, My Yahoo! and Pageflakes are additional aggregators. In my opinion, Netvibes, Pagefalkes and iGoogle are the three best aggregators currently on the market.

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Traditionally, Instructional Design (ID) models have assumed a framework that was well structured and linear. Therefore, these ID models (e.g., ADDIE) were able to spell out each sequential step in the learning process. The nature of Web 2.0 is non-linear and ill-structured because it is created by users, and Zheng argues that traditional ID models do not meet the needs of Web 2.0 learners. He argues that Web 2.0 forces learners to negotiate ideas, and the final product of such negotiations can serve as posteri goals.

Is information gathered and presented differently in Web 2.0 versus traditional approaches?
Most ID models assume that learners consume content. Web 2.0 applications help learners move from a role of content consumers to that of content creators. Traditional ID models worked with the first generation of the Web because information was presented for consumption on a series of individual pages. However, Web 2.0 technologies are driven through a variety of collaboration, discussion and idea sharing.

A group or an individual, often the instructor, created content in the first generation of the Web. In juxtaposition, Web 2.0 serves as an ideal platform for learning accomplished through social constructivism. There is a sense of shared ownership, and all users have the opportunity to contribute to the online community.

Another major adaptation in Web 2.0 is the ownership of content. Traditional models assume that content is concrete and developed by an author or group of experts. Contrastingly, social negotiation plays a primary role in forming dynamic content in Web 2.0. Through discussions, the learners help to define the ever-evolving content.

The number of simultaneous domains found in Web 2.0 provides another contrast between Web 2.0 and traditional environments. Books, articles and traditional Web pages present information through one medium at a time, such as a series of different Web pages. In order to get a different view, one needs to access a different Web page, article or book. However, Web 2.0 allows users to experience a smorgasbord of media on any given topic within one Web page. A single page might include a discussion forum, video, music, blog and wiki.

Obviously, this variety of content can lead to cognitive overload. Supporters of Web 2.0 should only select those strategies that enhance learning and jettison distractions. Zheng held that Web 2.0 users learn through schemas-of-the-moment, rather than predefined schema construction and automation. Learning in Web 2.0 is by nature responsive and active, rather than simply being receptive. This new approach helps to facilitate learning that can be integrated across multiple domains. That is, the variety of ways information is presented through a schemas-of-the-moment approach encourages connections between concepts, ideas and fields of study.

Why don’t existing Instructional Design models work in Web 2.0?
Zheng’s argument for the need of a new ID model was predicated upon the premise that existing ID models are not appropriate for Web 2.0 environments. Early models of ID were based on the ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) model. This model and similar ones (e.g., Gagne’s) are examples of linear system instructional design (SID). These approaches were created for goal-based, well-structured learning, which doesn’t work in the ill-structured Web 2.0 framework. Notions of constructivism in learning challenged these linear models.

The next generation of ID focused on non-linear SID. In essence, these models were very similar to earlier linear SID, but non-linear models were not restricted by a specific sequence of steps. The non-linear method took a more holistic approach, which encouraged learners to relate different events and access several events simultaneously. However, the non-linear method does not work well in the ill-structured Web 2.0 environment because goals in the non-linear approach are predefined.

Instructional designers have realized a disconnect between online learning and these two SID models (i.e., linear and non-linear). As a result, three new models have emerged to fit the unique needs of online learners, but these new approaches still do not fully meet the needs of Web 2.0 learners. The WisCom (Wisdom Community) design model aims to harness the collective wisdom of members through knowledge creation and social negotiation. However, the WisCom model still positions learners in the role of consumer and does not allow for user-generated content. The T5 (Tasks, Tools, Tutorials, Topics and Teamwork) design model promotes creative thinking and helps teachers use learning management systems (LMS) in an effective manner. Nevertheless, the T5 model does not account for learner’s knowledge creation in the online environment. Lastly, the 3PD (Three-Phase Design) model helps create a productive online learning environment, modifies content according to the needs of learners and maintains a quality environment. While the 3PD design is learner-oriented, this approach does not coordinate the various elements of the design process.

What theories serve as the basis for Zheng’s new Web 2.0 design model?
Five theories serve as the basis for Zheng’s new design model. First, emergence theory holds that highly complex and intelligent behavior can emerge from the interaction of elements without hierarchical or centralized control. Second, functional contextualism emphasizes goals that are developed as a result of initial learning (posteri goals) as opposed to priori goals that are formulated before learning begins. Third, the individual differences of each learner were considered in the formulation of this model. Fourth, metacognition was deemed a central component of this Web 2.0 design model. Last, the self-regulation of each learner was emphasized in the formation of the new model.

What does Zheng’s new Web 2.0 design model look like?
First, the Web 2.0 design model was characterized by a learner-centered approach in which users could simultaneously access a variety of knowledge domains. Second, the goals of the new approach would be defined by learners after the initial stage of social negotiation occurred through discussion on a topic (posteri goals). Third, schemas-of-the-moment would help to unravel ill-structured problems and issues that emerged in the learning process. Fourth, the collaboration of the teacher and learners would promote a dynamic learning environment. Last, this environment would encourage learners to adjust their metacognitive thinking skills and self-regulation.

The primary difference between the three new ID models and Zheng’s approach can be found in posteri goals and schemas-of-the-moment. The implementation of Zheng’s approach requires teachers to consider what learning activity will best elicit a desired behavior. This approach holds that complex learning is derived from open-ended learning, which incorporates posteri objectives and goals. The author also argues that open-ended learning promotes metacognitive thinking and self-regulatory behavior.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of this chapter?
The strengths of this chapter can be found in the literature review. The summary of theoretical models was solid, and the author made an excellent case for the need of a new design model. However, the major weakness of the chapter was the author’s presentation of his own model. He did not clearly define exactly what his model entailed, especially how it might be implemented.

How could teachers use the ideas presented in this chapter? What is the future?
I agree that ID should always be a central focus of teaching. I am not sure if traditional models are completely irrelevant to new learning environments. Perhaps traditional models could be tweaked to fit the Web 2.0 environment instead of completely scrapping approaches that are tried and true.

This chapter provided a very rich and concise overview of the evolution of ID. I now understand this development more clearly. Particularly, I thought the author did an excellent job of explaining why instructional designers moved from a linear to a non-linear approach. I will be interested to see what models will develop in the coming years to address the needs of learners in complex learning environments. The evolution of ID will never end in this regard because technology is ever-evolving. As content presentation changes so too will learning to some degree.

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The mobile revolution has swept across the United States, and most of the world, in the last decade. From senior adults to children, every demographic has been influenced by this technological wave. The seemingly omnipresent penetration of mobile devices is evidenced by rising use and sales of cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, laptops, PDAs (personal digital assistants), and other handheld devices.

The forces involved with this mobile revolution have infiltrated business, personal life and education. Businesses are now using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in order to manage supply chains and inventory. A large part of the population owns a cell phone and GPS (Global Positioning System) devices can be found in many cars. Instant messaging (IM) permits real-time communication between individuals, and personal area networks (PAN) are now commonplace because of Bluetooth technology, which allows for communication between devices that are physically proximate. In fact, a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicated that many experts believe that by 2020 mobile devices will serve as “the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world.” This mobile insurgency is increasingly appearing in a number of educational institutions, offering student services and classes online.

A few years ago (i.e., 2008), a new generation of mobile devices appeared in the market. These new devices have shifted the way in which individuals interact with and think about mobile technology. These new devices can react to orientation and motion using accelerometers, access the Internet at high speeds, and offer multi-touch displays. Further enhancing these mobile units, manufacturers of the devices are allowing third parties to develop applications that can be implemented on the mobile instruments. This allowance has facilitated the development of thousands of apps for devices such as the iPhone and Android. Interestingly, these new applications are not related to placing a phone call; instead, these tools allow individual to participate in activities and access information anytime, anywhere.

These recent changes have encouraged a plethora of mobile services to be developed for students. Several of the major learning management systems (LMS) have created mobile versions. For example, Blackboard, Desire2Learn and Moodle all have mobile versions. Mobile class offerings are no longer an anomaly in education.

One of the class assignments for IT 780 was to create and design a mobile Web site using mobiSiteGalore. This project was fun to develop, and I learned a great deal. There are a number of Web 2.0 tools that facilitate the creation of mobile websites. While mobiSiteGalore may not be the most robust of these tools, it was easy to use and created a clean and efficient final product. Below you can view the mobile website that I created for this project, and I have provided a link to the original website upon which the mobile website was based.

Editing the mobile website using mobiSiteGalore was simple and straightforward. The editor uses the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode to make changes. This allows users to instantly see what the final product will look like and how it will operate. Also, this eliminates the need for advanced technical knowledge or programming skills. In addition, each website created in mobiSiteGalore is by default 100% compliant with the Worldwide Web Consortium’s (W3C) mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0. This qualification helps to insure that mobile websites are efficient, usable and consistent across mobile phone platforms.

The most challenging part of this assignment was creating a mobile Website that served as a feasible representation of a normal website. Matching the color, graphics and “feel” in a way that resembled the original Website was challenging. In the end, the product was adequate and efficient, though not robust.

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