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Within the course Introduction to Educational Video Production, as an assignment we had to produce an educational video. This is my attempt. It is a Reflective video which demonstrates the process during the production.

I loved the process.. and I am on my way for the second..

Waiting for comments :)

Twitter is based to the idea of micro-blogging. As blogs are used a lot in the educational subject the past few years, the idea of using twitter within the educational concept is discussed more and more. Within the idea of Mobile learning Twitter seems to be a potential tool for discussion, sharing ideas in a particular subject, live transmission of lectures or seminars, reflection etc.

See more here.

The truth is that Twitter was supposed to be an Educational tool. However many other technologies that are currently used in Education weren’t designed for educational purposes in the first place. Although within the research on educational technology many technologies were tested and and researched for their use in classes, in higher education, in administration.. etc.

Last week during the course “Teaching & Learning with Emerging Technologies” in the University of Manchester we had the chance to experience the use of Twitter as part of a Mobile-Learning class.

How?

The students were provided with tablets or ipads, although they could you their own devices for example smartphones and they were asked to go around the campus and find the educational resources that the University of Manchester provides and how students are using those resources for learning. A hashtag (#emtechmobile) in twitter was set by the course tutor in order to have a connection between our tweets.

What happened?

Students in pairs or bigger teams went to different places through the campus and were tweeting the things they saw or did, they shared photos and videos of the resources that they explored and how they could be used for learning. Interestingly students went not only to typical university places like the library or lecture theaters, but also they explored the learning aspects of social places, museums, churches and other areas beyond the university campus, supporting the fact that learning can happen everywhere.

The Problems faced

Of course the experience gave us food for thoughts because many problems raised. A technical problem that many students faced was the Internet connection. For the purpose of the course, students connected their mobile devices with the university wi-fi connection, which caused a lot of connection problems because of signal issues. According to many students the signal was lost in many places within the university campus. Another problem was that many students didn’t have a twitter account and didn’t want to set up an account only for the purpose of just one class. There was no other option in order to share their thoughts and experiences during the mobile-class. Those students, just took photos and discussed what they did in the end of the class, when we met in the lecture room. Last but not least was the students’ familiarity with the mobile devices that were provided. For many students it was their first time to deal with this kind of devices and it was really difficult for them to express everything that they wanted.

The overall experience was more than interesting, although there are a lot to think about and be critical with within the educational context.

What is it about blogs that make them so popular?

What do people write or talk about in their personal blogs genarally?

Are you thinking about starting a blog and don’t know what to talk about? What can you write in your blog?

The thing about blogs is that gave the opportunity to people to forget about the design and create the content. As an easy way for Computer Mediated Communication, blogging is the tool that provides individuals with a particular space that each one can share their thoughts and interests, participate in discussions and contribute or even create the news. That is the amazing about blogs.

In their personal blogs people talk about their profession, hobbies, interests, daily life, children, creations, social media, their thoughts about social life (politics etc) and link their thoughts with others’ thoughts.

  • Write about your Profession/Job/ Skills

What is your job about? Was that your first plan for employment? What do you find interesting? How can your job can be recognised? What skills are required for this profession? Recommendations about the people that want to follow similar carrier. Write about what you think you’ve done wrong or right and why? Discuss with people in the same profession about problems raised and how can you deal with. What kind of technologies to you use?

  • Write about your Hobbies

What do you like to do in your spare time? How do you do it? Is it music? painting? writing? photography? reading books? volunteering? Do you have an obsession about technology for example? singing? collecting? All of those and of course many more are things that people love to talk about and share their knowledge and gain more. New techniques in painting or in video editing.. That is how blogs can create communities with people that have something in common.

Blogs have opened the horizons to people and give the opportunity to share experiences which we can reflect on, discuss further gain or/and give knowledge and thoughts. Generally, people are writing in their personal blogs what it’s valiable for them and they want to find more about it.

Do you want to get it started? Think about your passions, interests and you will be surprised how many things you have to say!

A few days before Michael O’Donoghue (Tutor in Video Production course) announced that he needs volunteers for a 5 minutes video production. I was already excited about the Video Production course.. so, I was more than ready to see the process on action!

Today at about 12:30 o’oclock in the afternoon, Voula, Danai, Stefanie, Katerina, Irene, Karrenne, Terry & I met Michael in the entrance area of the Ellen Wilkinson building. Michael came with heavy equipment and gathered us to the multimedia studio in order to inform us about the video production activity.

Everything was planned to the last detail. He gave us a production sheet with all the details that were important for the production process: The background, the objective of the activity, the schedule, the roles of the partcipants, the location, the framing, the equipment and some extra notes.

After discussing the details and the action.. It was about time to do a small rehearsal. Michael took the role of the reporter and started asking the students about the value for money for the university fees. During the rehearsal Michael pointed a lot of useful points not only about how we are going to stand or look at the camera, but also about the spontaneous responces and the importance of the facial reactions.

When we finished the rehearsal, it was time for us to experience live our first video production! It was a really fun experience! Michael have given us the basic knowledge and principles he was open to suggestions and more importantly he was guiding us to the right direction by reminding us what is the objectives of the video. I thought it was a Learning by Design experience that was really entertaining as well.

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Some of Michael O’Donoghue’s Videos:

And many other short films, videos and interviews on his Youtube Channel.

I have just started using iGoogle.

iGoogle was launched for the first time in 2005 and many people started using this new service since then. (more info)

I started exploring the environment and I couldn’t help but wonder:

What “i” stands for??

In other applications, software and hardware the use of  the same letter in front of the device usually stands for the word “internet”. I couldn’t think the same about iGoogle because as all the services that Google has launched are based on the internet.

Looking at the environment, I could see with one glance all the things that I always check when I first turn on my computer.. always in more than three or four tabs. Email, weather, RSS feed, calendar, the news,  my to-do-list.. etc.

So, in my mind came the word integration! In one page all the things that I want to look first, all the things that I are valiable for the rest of my day intergated in a single, in my opinion, user-friendly environment with all the sevrices that google already provides! Easy, simple, useful, amazing!

In that case, “i” for me stands for integration, where the services that are valiable to the user with many more options to add, are combined together in a very customisable environment.

By definition Emerging Technologies are new technologies that are developed and will continue to involve for at least some years.

But is this statement accurate for all circumstances?

Facebook for example, is a social network that was launched in 2004. Eight years now, we hear a lot about facebook as a social network. Is it an emerging technology?

My answer would be that facebook is not an emerging technology in the context of social networking. On the other hand I believe that facebook is an emerging technology from a marketing aspect and may be in the future an emerging technolgy for education.

A more clear example would be the MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) Technology. Here, we can agree that MMS is not a new technolgy.. at least from the aspect of communication. Imagine though MMS Technology used in a different concept for example in medicine. In 2007 MMS Technology was used as an exchange tool for X-Rays in order to save valuable time in transfer and diagnosis[1]. In that case I believe that MMS is an emerging techynology, because even if the technology itself is the same the use is different and new.

What I mean from these examples is that it is difficult to define emerging technologies without further background information. Chronologically is easy to say that is new or this is old. But everything changes when it comes to a different framework.

[1] T. A. Syed , Z. Sadiq, Y. R. Shah, M. Al-Saeed & M. H. Wetherill (2007) Role of Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) in Trauma & Orphopaedic Telediagnosis. European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology, Vol. 17, No.6, pp. 603-607.

You can find the article here.

My first winter in England. My first winter in Manchester!

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Web 2.0

Web 2.0.. Web 2.0.. Web 2.0..Everywhere!!

What is this “special” that makes everyone talking about the second version of Web? Web 2.0 is a fairly old but is still a killer Application’ version!! Why is that?

First, we started looking at the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Many things mentioned.. The most powerful though was: interaction! Web 1.0 was based in static pages that their purpose was simply informative. On the other hand Web 2.0 from the beggining had features that allowed people to comment, share, critisise, express their feelings and opinions in many different ways. These features are not static as well. Many additional features for interaction are coming up every hour!! Is that why Web 2.0 is known as “Perpetual Beta“?? I mean, that there are too many new features generated every day, every moment that maybe is impossible to release a new version every minute or every hour!

You can find more information about the differences of web 1.0 and web 2.0 here.

What comes to mind when we say Web 2.0?

The first thing that came to my mind was participation that automatically leads to social networking: facebook, myspace, twitter, blogging, youtube, Scribd, flickr, wikis.. etc.. etc.. etc..

The fact is that Web 2.0 is user-centered and user-generated. Each user has the power not only to interfere in everything in so many ways that automatically produces flexibility and autonomy! Isn’t that enough? As we manage our life, socialising, discussing the news, making friends, meet new people, share our knowledge and gaining new, almost exactly like that we behave now in the web.. Isn’t that right?

So, of course Web 2.0 is and will be in a “Perpetual Beta” mode. Because it will never stop generate new features because is not based on a simple coding but on human’s needs that will never stop growing! Is like a life that there is no development: Simply Impossible!

One month anniversary in UK. The end of week 2 in University Calendar. The weather is cold and it rains all day.

For four days I didn’t went out. I had a lot of reading to do and the weather doesn’t help for a walk. It’ s difficult. My room is really small and I feel like a lion in the cage. The rain makes me feel blue..

However, yesterday at lunch break between the classes, me and some classmates went for a coffee. Five different people, five different personalities,  four different nationalities and cultures came together. We discussed about the degree, our expectations and our concerns. To tell the truth, I was relieved when I realised that I wasn’ t the only one that feel nervous and presured. It was really nice to share my difficulties related to the course. I felt I wasn’t alone. I hope everyone else felt the same. Five different backgrounds gave me the opportunity to see things from five different aspects.

Finally, when we all understood the fact that we can learn so many things from each other, we thought it would be a really good idea to get together some other time and talk about our differences.. Show pictures from our country, our home, try different food and learn about each others’ traditions and cultures.

I was excited by the idea! I have so many things to share and even more things to learn! We are so different but we have one thing in common.. I feel that it will be great experience.. And by the time we get together.. I am sure I will have a lot to share with you!

 

 

One of my first days in manchester I went out for a walk to explore my new city. My new neighbourhood. Just me and my camera. Right accross the road Withworth Park was exactly what I needed..

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