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Sunday, November 30, 2008

(My) Learning Networks: (CCK08 Final Paper)


This project has given me an opportunity to reflect on my learning networks and also given me a focus to experiment with new technology. My initial conception was to interleave Webcam clips of myself speaking with Camtasia Studio captured interactions
of myself using CMap software. This approach has been good as i have improved my knowledge and understanding of both CMap and Camtasia, making me much better equipped in the future to use both these products much more fluently. I still used this approach in my presentation, but my initial strategy was superceded, once i found out how useful and easy Windows Moviemaker 2 is. Windows Moviemaker 2 is a revelation and with video clips prepared in advance it is easy to add titles, extra narrations and transitions to create a finished product within hours (that is for anyone, who has not even used the package before).

Webcam clips are saved in WMV format, as can Camtasia screen recordings (although this is not automatically available, but easy enough to create a new format based on WMV). Afterr importing all clips into Windows Moviemaker 2, The Final output in WMV format can then be uploaded to Youtube for easy access. The youtube video can can be also embedded directly into blogger. (the file is 25mb Large and the uploading and subsequent processing for both youtube and blogger may take 30-45 mins before the video is available to embed in a blogpost.

[NOTE: Prior to realizING i could achieve all that i needed to in the WMV format, AVS Video Converter 2.6 was used to convert the WMV file to a flash format (9mb), using the following conversion option – SWF best quality and to MPEG 1 format using Create ZEN Vision - Normal Quality (34mb)]

The final output views fine, but is not as polished as I would like. I have had a few retakes on my shots to camera, as I was not at all happy with the way I screwed my mouth up and my general shots to camera demeanour. It will do for now, but I look forward to learning how to speak and deliver better to camera in the future. My presentation now follows on ‘My learning Networks’. Forgive the prologue at the end. I was getting tired at this point and I know really the prologue should be at the beginning. What I wanted to do as a final final word was to expand on a main point in my presentation. Enough talk… On with the show.

Outstanding Questions
I am already a convert to connectivist principles. My outstanding concerns are how best I can convince other teachers that adoption of connectivist principles and attitudes will enhance their teaching and their students learning.

Approaches to adopting Connectivist principles

Once again I am a convert. I need to make sure I d on not get lazy and that I do explore new ideas and new technologies. I am most interested in encouraging other teachers to adopt connectivist principles. I believe this is best done under the umbrella of a course and I have found the formula used in the CCK08 a worthwhile and effective approach. I have also outlined previously the SCORE 2.0 approach which i have used successfully, which I need to expand, develop and improve upon. By running these professional development courses, this will aid my own professional development. Perhaps I learn well in both roles, so I shall look at further courses as a student, as well as teacher. But over the last 2 years I have learnt the value of blogging and this course has reinforced that, so I shall continue to blog also, with renewed enthusiasm to nourish my connectivist learning.

Final Word
I like groups for learning with loose connections feeding in and out as appropriate

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