My Final Project

April 8, 2009

For my final project I created a story that I am also using for my ELNG 325 class (the teaching of writing) Our assignment in that class was to create a book about ourselves that we could use in the classroom to share with our students. Our professor gave us some different focuses that we should choose from and the one that I picked was: our hopes and dreams (future intentions). I chose this topic because I wanted to do a story about how I ended up in the faculty of education. Being a teacher was never something I even considered when I was younger and it has been a fun journey getting here so I thought I would share it. I tried to use each different career that I thought about in the story as a way to tell my students a little bit more about me. I also hoped to get the point across that it is okay to not always have all the answers and that as long as you follow your heart and mind you will end up where you are supposed to be. Before you get too far into this I wanted to mention that one of the reasons I chose to do this project as a digital story is that it then allows it to be something that I can continue to change and update as I need to. Right now this story is too difficult for a kindergarten class but if I wanted to I could go back and change it. Having it online allows me to keep it from becoming something static and outdated.

The other reason I chose to write my book in this format was because I thought it could be used to jump start a lot of different activities within the classroom. At the end of the book I pose the question to my students what do you want to be when you grow up? This can be used to get to know your students better by having them write something for you about them. The book can also be used as an example in how to write a book, and I can show them the messy evidence of my writing process that led to this end result. I also though that the students might be unaware of what some of the careers are and that it could lead into a researcher project. Students could go on a mission to figure out certain information about those careers (ie what do they do? what type of training to you need? who do they serve?) This book can also be used to do digital storytelling in the classroom and introduce students to the different tools that are available for them to use. It can simply be used as an example of a different type of storytelling. The last purpose that I think this book really has it that it is giving the students information about me and who I am, and hopefully that will help in the relationship building process. because they will see that I am willing to share information about myself with them. At the end of the day I think that is the most important purpose of this book because it is hard to have a classroom where learning takes place without developing positive relationships with our students.

Technically wise this project was a bit of a headache for me. I found that i had a really hard time finding a program that worked well for uploading photos, then adding text, and then adding voice. I tried one true media, imovie 09, and bubbleshare (to name a view) before I decided that voice thread was going to work the best. Imovie is a program that I have experience using so I decided to not use it to complete this project. One true media I had a lot of problems getting everything organized on, and bubbleshare I just didn’t have the patience for. Voicethread is very user friendly though and allowed me to do everything that I wanted. My favorite thing about Voicethread though was how easy it was to upload photos. Uploading photos is always the biggest headache for me and this program did it quickly and easily. My one complaint though is that I had difficulty embedding my finished product.

I should mention that some of the pictures that I used were created using acorn. Acorn is a program that I just recently got, and it couldn’t have came at a better time. I had this vision in my head for how I wanted to have picture of someone else in the occupation I was discussing but with my head placed on top. Now this probably seems like a pretty easy concept to some people but I am terrible at photo editing. It is one thing that I have never been good at. I think that photoshop just has too many bells and whistles because I can never quite make it do what I want. Acorn however was very easy to use to layer pictures and I ended up with exactly what I was looking for (minus the lines being a little shakier than I hoped) I also used a program called picturesque for my about the author photo. Picturesque is a program that is stricly for adding fine touches for photos. I found that I really enjoyed both of these programs because they allowed me to focus on just doing one thing to a photo and I wasn’t as intimidated by everything else. As I was working with them I thought that they would be good programs to use with younger students or students with disabilities because there is less there to get distracted by and also it helps you to focus your outcome for that photo.

I should also note that because I was having a lot of problems finding a program that I wanted to stick with and also with adding text to the photos once the had uploaded I downloaded picasa. With picasa I then added the texts to any images that were going to be in my story ahead of time. Then when I finally decided on voicethread for my final project all I had to do was upload all the photos, put them in order and record my audio.

At the end of all this I am pretty happy with my final result. I was starting to think that I would never get it all together. If I did it again though the one thing that I would like to be able to add is animation. I think it would have been great to include some images that were moving.

I hope that you enjoy this story though and that it makes you think a bit about your journey to becoming who you are. (I would have said to who you are now that you are grown up, but I’m not sure that I like being considered a grown up and I wouldn’t want to impose that title on any of you either!)

To view my story click here.


One comment

  1. I was trying to think how I could show some of my process with out making this any lengthier so I put the storyboard that I made into google docs for anyone to view. It can be viewed here: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dg9265dn_40s98mksg4&hl=en

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