Naïve Art for Educational Media

Media Easy Wins – Part one

In painting, “fine art” involves formal training, skillful technique, and the use of perspective, refined colour palette and subtle representations. Naive art might lack many or all of these qualities, and has been judged as “technologically primitive” by Western academia. It is also recognized as authentic, simple and honest. And it can be impactful. Consider the work of Henri Rousseau, a particularly influential naive artist.

Gypsy-dream

By Henri Rousseau – La zingara addormentata, Public Domain, Created: Dec 31 1896

What does painting have to do with educational media?

The analogy draws attention to the value of video and audio educational media created by amateurs. Many instructors I have met do not have formal training, or the resources to get formal training in creating video and audio learning objects. Help from professional media experts may be difficult to obtain. Subject matter experts are often challenged to create multiple ways to represent their knowledge to students.

In the recording industry, a fair amount of recorded creative work is not used in the final product. In education, unused video or audio recorded content may represent poor planning at best and wasted time and resources in the worst case. Time and budget-constrained educators have to be creative, competent and efficient to make the best use of opportunities to communicate their knowledge to others via video or audio recordings.

Instructors are also in a position to use multiple means of representation (the first principle of Universal Design for Learning) to convey meaning to students, and to allow the same for student assignment submission. Adopting an on-the-ground, essential approach to media production can be an effective way to encourage alternate modes of expression.

The next post in this series offers a few ideas from our recent experience to support the creation of simple, artful, and impactful recordings for educational purposes.

Douglas College’s new EdMedia Program for faculty and staff

Media creation (videos for class instruction or promotional activities, podcasts, etc.) is everywhere these days. Think YouTube, Lynda.com, the Khan Academy. This is the new way of acquiring knowledge and delivering your message to large audiences.                                                         

Creating video and audio recordings can serve to humanize the online environment, convey deeper meaning, and provide a catalyst for social and instructional presence. Some of the uses for educational media include:

  • short instructional/promotional videos or audio recordings
  • just-in-time tutorials
  • collaborative peer assignments
  • formative assessments
  • digital storytelling projects

At Douglas College, we just rolled out our new EdMedia Program, which,  once completed, will provide participants with the skills to create their own educational media designed for their specific purpose, whether that means producing a video or launching a podcast, and ultimately, reaching your desired audience. Graduates leave with a deeper understanding of the creative process and assets that can be used in the classroom, in online courses, or for promotional purposes.

Now for the details. The program consists of six workshops held over a six-week period. Enrollment is limited to ensure a meaningful hands-on experience. Participants have the opportunity to work in recording/editing studios alongside like-minded colleagues and creative professionals from Academic Technology Services. A certificate will be awarded to participants who complete the following courses; however, courses can be taken individually and accumulate towards the certificate.

  1. Recording Foundations: Pre-production and planning
    Thursday, May 25, NW MousePad (room N3142) 9:00-11:00 am
  2. Video Recording Techniques: Lights, camera, action
    Monday, May 29, Studio (room N3272V) 9:00am-12:00pm
  3. Guerrilla Filmmaking: Portable device techniques
    Thursday, June 8, Dance studio (room N3260) 9:00am-12:00pm
  4. Camtasia Desktop Editing: Producing professional-looking videos
    Monday, June 12, NW MousePad (room N3142) 9:00am-12:00pm
  5. Audio Recording: Editing with Audacity/Podcasting
    Thursday, June 15, Studio (room N3272V) 9:00am-12:00pm
  6. Showcase and Next Steps. Next steps to integrate recordings into courses (e.g., Blackboard tools, WordPress sites)
    Monday, June 19, NW MousePad (room N3142) 9:00am-12:00pm

If you’re a member of the DC community and are interested in registering, click here.

An ISW-Collaboration Classroom-Blackboard Mash Up!

The three-day version of the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) has mixed blessings: although time efficient for busy instructors, it doesn’t allow as much time as longer versions for transmitting information and developing familiarity with the lesson-planning resources provided. Instructors get going on Day 1 delivering their mini-lesson to peers.Two affordances proved beneficial in helping develop a convivial environment without feeling rushed in the process. We used a Blackboard course to provide advance knowledge of the lesson-planning model, the feedback process and some foundational theory for the workshop. An “Introduce Yourself” discussion forum helped participants learn a bit about each other, and get to a deeper engagement level right away.This was the first ISW in the new flexible learning space, the Collaboration Room (S0620 at the New Westminster campus). The ability to reconfigure the room helped us easily set up several learning environments:

  • The eClassroom setting for conventional lecture mode (with the added feature of being able to see the presentation on a rear monitors if desired).
  • A central round table for shared discussion.
  • Two areas to demonstrate content, concepts, and tools.
  • Three interactive monitor areas for participants to present their lessons, and allow participants to shift smoothly between stations.
  • A library: a resource and book area.

Continue reading “An ISW-Collaboration Classroom-Blackboard Mash Up!”

Serendipity Strikes

Open-GroundHave you ever started going in a direction, and something completely unexpected, valuable and delightful popped up? This can be a transformative experience.

It started when a few faculty and staff were in a lively conversation about student interest (or lack of interest) in innovative learning environments. The discussion was mostly opinion, with some research references thrown in. We needed something more to sustain our inquiry into “what students want”.

And then we discovered an article that changed our direction. In What Learners Want , Ross Laird, Ph.D. writes about his experience spending a full day with 20 diverse university learners at different stages along their educational paths “…talking about the kinds of learning environments and experiences that work best for them. With great candor and enthusiasm, the learners worked together to craft their vision of a contemporary learning environment.”

We started meeting people who were familiar with his book Grain of Truth. We became more aware of his work with indigenous groups, addiction issues (including technology addiction), and the Amazon Field School. We learned about his interests, accomplishments, and educational contributions. A new direction took shape, and interest in bringing Ross to Douglas College grew.

Each time we’ve met with Ross, we have been inspired, entertained, and stimulated to hear more. With support from individual faculty members, the Learning Technology Steering Committee, Academic Technology Services, and funding from the College Wide Faculty Development fund, we’re thrilled that Ross facilitated a series of well-attended sessions at Douglas College. We’re excited about the emerging community of practice that has met several times since those sessions, around the educational themes Ross brought to us with his work, including:

  • Emotional safety
  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Character development
  • Facilitation skills
  • Mentorship

Related content: Storming the Ivory Tower: A Workshop on Transforming Post-Secondary Education (notes, slides and recordings from the Ross Laird sessions at Douglas College)

to be continued…

ETUG Spring Jam 2017!

Education-by-Design[Post from ETUG Stewardship Committee]

We invite you to join us at the Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) “Education by Design: ETUG Spring Jam!,” co-hosted with the Centre for Teaching and Learning, UBC Okanagan, in beautiful Kelowna, BC. This year, we’re bringing participants together to share innovative approaches and processes used in designing for education and to work on real-world, wicked design problems, challenges, and opportunities.

The two-day event, held June 1 & 2, 2017, will feature brainstorming and problem-solving sessions, as well as more intensive focused creating sessions such as sprints and hackathons.

Save $50 with the early bird rate! This early bird savings will be available until April 16! Visit the ETUG website for all event information and registration details.

Please encourage your colleagues, peers, and community members to attend and kindly share information about this event across distribution lists, social media channels, and networks. We have attached a handy poster to promote the ETUG Spring Jam, please click here to downloadshare, print, and display.

We hope to see you on June 1 & 2 at “Education by Design: ETUG Spring Jam!”.

If you have any questions about the event, please send an email to contactus@etug.ca.

All the best,

Jason Toal, SFU, Chair, Stewardship Committee
Janine Hirtz, UBC Okanagan, Vice-Chair, Stewardship Committee
Leva Lee, BCcampus, Community Steward for ETUG