Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 4 Publishing Presentation Project

Link to Presentation: Motivating Teachers to Incorporate New Technologies in a Classroom

During the course of the past 11 months, I have engaged in a Challenge Based Research Project during my studies in the EMDT program at Full Sail University. The goal of this project was to research teacher motivation to infuse technology into their classroom. Throughout my research, I found that three things were very important in the success of technology use in a classroom:
  1. The availabilty of the technology
  2. Teacher motivation
  3. Continued training for teachers on how to use the technology
The goal was to present new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom to my department of teachers, allow them to explore the implemenation, and then have them collaborate together to find new and consistent uses across our entire department. The following presentation "Motivating Teachers to Incorporate New Technologies in a Classroom" has been prepared in hopes of speaking at EduComm 2012.

Week 2 Think Out Loud PPP Post

Week 3 Think Out Loud PPP Post

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Week 4 Comments on Michelle's Blog

Michelle's blog can be found here:
Found in Translation

Wk 4 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 9-12

So here is the last blog post for the Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) and I must say that it has been a very good read. It’s definitely going to be in a few Christmas stockings this year. I was particularly inspired in chapter 9 when the author spoke about working in the inner city schools. Newham is actually the first local authority I worked for and where I got started on the road of education. As a teacher it is almost a per-requisite to inspire, not only those we instruct but also those I work with. Empowering those around us in life to allow them to find their inner flame, facilitating a safe space to radiate their gift to the world, which is their individuality! How poignant, we are all co-creating the reality we experience around us! It’s never really just you or me. Just think about how dependent we are on electricity. Could we harness that power without someone turning that switch on? Another point to be mindful of is the choice we have over the quality of our experience. Once we take responsibility for our lives in this manner, we are then master of circumstance rather than victim. One thing I try to remember is this; imagine you start your life as a cup filled with water. After a while you need change the water. Putting in what you choose, dirty water or clean water. All of these fundamental truths have so nicely been put together in this book. It is easy to read, not too abstract and can strike a chord with so many different people. A Wonderful song for life.

Shawn McKeown said...
Great way to sum up the entire book, Michelle! It was also interesting to hear about your connection to the school district that was talked about in the book. While some of the book seemed a bit broad to me, and the topics could have been narrowed down more, I think that overall the meaning and the themes behind this book are universal to many.

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Week 4 Comments on Jennifer's Blog

Jennifer Williams' Blog can be found here:
Although the idea of reading a self-help book as the culmination of a masters program has completely tweaked me out, I decided this week to apply these 4 chapters to the next step in my life.  My robe came in the mail, the tassel is hanging on my computer, I’m contemplating the perfect shoes to wear, (so I won’t trip across the stage) but really my biggest concern is what happens when there’s not a group of people, a program, or a set of assignments to guide me and the gravitational pull of that downward spiral, that is sometimes more like a bureaucratic, educational black hole, exerts its grip.

A revenge creature!!
Remembering my initial forays into the field of education, I was na├»ve, optimistic and completely certain that I would not only light a spark but also ignite a fire.   And while some of the “no’s” I’ve heard along the way should have been an “invitation for enrollment”, many of them were completely earned due to a limited, unrealistic vision of what it takes to educate a community of children.   I hope that my re-discovered optimism is more tempered by realism, a larger picture of success tempers those manic tendencies by those on the eve of success, and my zeal is tempered by the now-glimpsed multitude of complexities that are human development.  However, I am grateful to Full Sail for re-igniting the spark.

Chapter 11 of The Art of Possibility, entitled “Creating frameworks for Possibility” stirred many options for me. Of the things I have learned in my 15 years of teaching, one of the greatest is that learning seldom, very seldom, happens in giant leaps.  It’s the daily grunt, the daily practice, the daily head banging, and the persistence (on the parts of student, teacher, parent, administrator, community members) that make it happen a little bit every day!

This past year at Full Sail has taken me from an educator who meets the challenges teaching serves up, to one who can design the stage on which her students and colleagues can learn.  Yet, for continued advancement, a framework of possibility is needed.  One that attends to those details of educating students.  One that attends to the need of perfection in the daily grind.   At the brilliant suggestion of a fellow conspirator, and the encouragement of my iPad donor, I will create a wiki as a means of charting progress and, hopefully, as a means of creating a “WE” story, for all of us who are trying to find our way through the unchartered waters of appropriately educating the next digital generation.  Here’s a link to its humble beginnings.   Care to join?


Shawn McKeown said...
Jennifer, I have also wondered what will happen when we graduate and don't have the assignments and support structure that we currently enjoy. Will I still be driven to innovate my educational practices? After reading your post, I will say this: While we won't have the assignments to fall back on, we will have each other and the staff who has guided us for the past 11 months. We have all be enlightened, and while we won't have the amount of contact that we currently have, I hope to continue to use you and the rest of our classmates as my sounding board, as well as support when things go awry. I know this may sound very much like it did in high school, you know the old "Hey, we'll keep in touch". But honestly, I don't see how we can't. We ventured into the EMDT program as strangers, but have developed into a tight knit group of professionals with common goals, as well as created friendships along the way. We may not have the weekly wimba sessions, but I still feel that in a field of limited "experts", I have access to valued opinions of those, such as yourself, who have been taught to think in a new way.
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Week 4 Reading Reflection

I loved the concept of enrollment, defined in the book as “generating possibility and creating a spark in others”. I discussed in a previous discussion board post about, involving the way that music has impacted my life, the most memorable concert that I ever attended. I’ve made it a point on the first day of my course to ask my students this question “Why are you here? What inspired you to find a career in the Show Production field?”. I start by discussing what first inspired me, and it was August 4th 1988 at the Philadelphia Spectrum (RIP). The band Aersosmith was the headliner, and an up and coming new group called Guns and Roses was the opening act. To this day, I remember the curtain dropping, and Aerosmith ripping through the song “Toys in the Attic”, and at that moment, I saw a concert from an entirely different angle. Instead of just watching the show, I wanted to be a part of that show.
Now, I’m not just spouting this off to my students to relive past glory, but to show them that I was in their shoes, and that they can make it into this business and be successful if they remember what brought them into this in the first place. In other words, make them remember what inspires them, don’t think of this as school, but more of as a pathway to reach their dreams. That is the same idea as “sharing the spark”, and having my students enrolled, not just “attending”.

The chapter on “Being the Board” was, honestly, way too broad in its discussions. The point that I took away from it was to not make judgments, or place blame, without first asking “why” to yourself. While this is, in my view, good practice, the authors tried to enforce this point so much that it became generic and cloudy. The anecdote about he violist named Cora would have sufficed to explain the idea of looking at the big picture before rushing to judgment, while the anecdote about the drunk driver seemed unnecessary. Yes, we can look at the big picture, but we also must understand that there are things in life that we do not have control over, and this is the reason that we have laws and government to help protect us from others’ behavior.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 3 Thinking Out Loud - What type of presentation?

Last week that I decided to do a presentation proposal, instead of a paper, due to the extremely interactive and collaborative nature of my subject. I just don't think that a  paper can do justice to the topic of using technology in a collaborative classroom environment.

I found that Educomm is accepting proposals for presentations for their 2012 conference, and entries must be submitted through their website by December 11, 2011. (just in time!)

There are a few different topics that Educomm is looking for, and you must select one of the following:


Teaching and Learning is definitely the way to go, as my presentation is all about motivating teachers to incorporate new technologies into their classroom. The website submission also asks for a 200 word (max) description, as well as what type of presentation it will be: Visionary Thinking, Problem/Solution, or  Demonstration. I think it would be best to address this as Problem/Solution, with a bit of demonstration mixed in.

Next up - crafting the presentation!

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Week 3 Wimba Post

Unfortunately, as most of my Wednesday nights are tied up, I had to miss this past week's Wimba session. I love the interaction of our class, and it's a bummer to miss out on good quality discussion between them, but here's some of my thoughts....

Image courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art Gallery

When discussing the “Art of Possibility”, I loved Rick’s comments about being present, yet we have multiple people in a room on their devices (such as computers, smartphones, etc) Yes, we may be present physically, but are we present mentally and emotionally. Yet on the other hand, through technology, we are able to be present emotionally and mentally even if we can’t be present physically.

I do like the way the book is presented, because as Joe put it, it is not all “Polyanna”. It does show the downsides, while reinforcing the positivity and methods to surround you with like people through positive attitudes. I believe that much of this book reinforces some of the themes presented throughout the EMDT program, so since they have been demonstrated to us already, it is much easier to see the meaning behind this book.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 3 Comment on Wayne's Blog

Week 3 Reading: The Way Things Are

The Zanders wrote that sometimes people are confused between physical realities and abstractions (creations of the mind), and these abstractions prevent us from being wholly present with the way things are. We believe things that are not true and these things prevent us from growing and living in the present. I think also coincides with living in the past. We get caught up in dreaming of what could have been rather than dreaming of what could be and how to get there. We waste a lot of time putting out fires rather than living the dream. I'm not sure if maturity and age have anything to do with it, or if at some point in life you just have to say "quit taking yourself so seriously" and live. For me personally, I was tired of dealing with those who think they no what's best for me, so I quit them and took a chance on an education from Full Sail University. As I keep focused and see my dream of teaching in a university, I continue to work toward that goal and keep aligned with like-minded people. It's difficult to stay positive if you surround yourself with negative people. All anyone can do is keep plugging along and make the dream happen.

Shawn McKeown said...
Wayne, I love your comments on this, as I see the reading has hit home for you, as you are following your own path to your dreams. After I spend hours lecturing or in meetings during a day, I get home to my kids who remind me daily that life is not all about work, and I don't have to live my life off of a checklist. Sometimes you have to throw the "rules" out the window, have fun, and do it your own way.

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Week 3 Comment on Jeff's Blog

Art of Possibility

The section I would like to comment about this time is that of "The way things are".  What an interesting, peaceful, and intriguing perspective the authors shared.  The authors shared a mixture of stories and points of view which all have the basic theme of being in control of one's own emotions and inner self by opening the mind to possibilities beyond the obvious, beyond any preconceptions.

Ben's story of having conducted one of Mahler's symphonies was intriguing.  The first horn player apologized for his performance because he had made a few small mistakes.  Ben was astonished because he thought that he had done a fantastic job.  In fact, Mahler had intended for the symphony to be played by those willing to take risks with the technique.  It was intended to be vulnerable and emotional...something that one who plays the piece perfectly as written would have a hard time doing.  The whole point of this is, our world is so focused on perfection.  Anything less than perfection is regarded with disdain and is scoffed at.  But, herein lies the point:  So many times, our humanity can be defined by our weaknesses and mistakes.  Perfection sometimes leads us to being cold, unfeeling and, well......less human.  In fact, learning from our mistakes and trying harder the next time and succeeding in our hard work is the crowning jewel of humanity.

"The risk the music invites us to take becomes a joyous adventure only when we stretch beyond our known capacities, while gladly affirming that we fail.  And if we make a mistake, we can mentally raise our arms and say, 'How fascinating' and reroute our attention to the higher purpose at hand" (Zander & Zander, p. 103).
Shawn McKeown said...
I agree with your statements and views on perfection. Especially in an educational environment, we tend to focus on the A+, not the growth of an individual and their journey along the way. Striving for perfection is a human characteristic, but we should not be disappointed when we do not reach perfection, we should be encouraged by how far we got.
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Week 3 Reading Reflection

The reading this week, once again, was a big reinforcement for me on some quality issues. As a teacher, I love the idea of students teaching other students, as was explained during the anecdote about the student symphony orchestra that visited Cuba. It’s not only “teachers” who can teach, and sometimes the message gets lost when the connection is not there. Lessons can be more valuable from peers who are viewed to be in the same situation.

I must say, though ,that Rule #6 – Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously, is so simple it’s brilliant. On a daily basis, I need to remind myself of this. I need to hang this sign on my front door, my office door, and my classroom door. There’s so many ways to go with this, but I’ll use my personal life. I have two sons, and 8 year old and a 5 year old. After dealing with the stresses of work all day, I come home to my family, and forget that it’s not always about the structure of a daily routine, that sometimes we just need to laugh and have fun. After the homework is done, the dinner is over, and dishes are cleaned, there is little time left to have fun. Some of the most amazing nights are when we, as a family, just say “forget it”, and figure out how to let go and have fun. Eat a simple meal, leave the dishes go, and have some fun.

In the seventh chapter entitled “The Way”, the authors tell us to “Include mistakes in our definition of performance.” As a lighting designer for live productions, I can only think back on a few memorable productions over my years that have been A+. In my mind, for a production to be flawless, it has to include everyone and everything- The artist performance, the sound, lights, even the audience enthusiasm plays a role. Many times I’ve finished a show, and out of the thousands of lighting cues that I triggered that night, I walk away thinking “I was late on cue 5 in the verse of the third song”. It amazes me that one bad cue can ruin my night, and the view of the production that night in my mind, but it does. While I strive for perfection on a nightly basis, I must also realize that one missed cue did not destroy the show for the thousands of people in attendance that night. It’s tough, because we want to be perfect, but it is such an unattainable goal, that we must not make that the only criteria for success.


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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wk2 Think Out-Loud PPP post: Presentation or Publication?

While I do believe that my information can be transmitted through either written or presentation forms, I really feel that an interactive style of presentation would be much more effective. My CBR project was based on motivating teachers to utilize new technology to enhance their classroom, and in-person demonstrations of this procedure would really be able to hammer home the points that I am trying to make. Being able to show the technology, and interact with attendees through this technology in a live presentation environment should be able to reinforce the point that these methods can be useful in a classroom environment.

As of right now, the conference that intrigues me the most is EduComm. While the 2011 conference was held in Orlando, the 2012 conference will be held in Las Vegas. But hey... a trip to Vegas is not a bad thing! The deadline for submitting for presentations is 12/11/2011, so I will have time to get the basics of my presentation together in order to submit on time. As of now, I think this will be my course of action.

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Week 2 Comment on Mike's Blog

From Michael Dunn's Blog:

Wk 2 Reading: Shiny Eyes

Wow! What an entertaining presenter Benjamin Zander is, certainly a multi talented individual with a unique and powerful view of the world. I'm impressed with the choice of text this month because it reaches a message or thesis that is deeper than education or media, a message that speaks to the essence of life and possibility. Through Zander's presentation I was reminded of the universality and unspoken language of music. Musician Bobby Ferrin makes a similar point in the video below:

Zander closes with a heartbreaking story about the power of words but what sticks with me now and possibly forever is the "shiny eyes". Zander comes to the relevation that a conductor is silent and that success lies in the shiny eyes of his or her players. This simple statement hit me like a sledgehammer. We are often selfishly unaware of our influence, as educators we have a powerful responsibility. I immediately related to Zander's example and I have seen those shiny eyes first hand when a subject simply "clicks" for one of my students.

In his book "The Art of Possibility" Zander goes on to speak about different ways we perceive the world and situations around us. Sometimes simply changing a point of view can open up new possibilities. A theme I have found throughout is that the answer often lies inward. How much can we change by simply adjusting our approach? While our answers can lie inward out influence is to those around us and our contributions to others. In this sense Zander offers a practical guide to being a conduit of good to those around you.

Here is a quote I will leave you with by French Novelist Marcel Proust:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922)

Shawn McKeown said...
Mike, After posting my own thoughts, and reading the thoughts of some other classmates, I started seeing a small trend. I think many of us are aware, to a certain extent, of our influence over others, but the readings and video this week really provide a good summary for all of us. The impact that we, as teachers, have on our students can not be understated, and that's the point that the Zander's bring home to us. I agree with you, that the "shiny eyes" example is stunning. After watching that video, I spent Friday in my lecture trying to focus on the students, to see if there were any shiny eyes, looking for the spark inside of them. For all of the curriculum design that we do, I really think that the spark is something that we can quickly look to for non-verbal feedback of how we are doing as teachers.

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Week 2 Comment on Rosetta's blog

From Rosetta Cash's blog

MAC Week 2-BP1: Art of Possibility

Zander & Zander (2000) Art of Possibility, put into words several concepts and ideas that I have not been fully able to express. I believe in thinking outside of the box. A concept often quoted but never fully realized by those of us who use that term. But I have, for quite awhile thought outside of the box, which is why I do the things that I do the way I do them. Zander & Zander (2000) stated, “all life comes to us in narrative form; it's a story we tell.” This is how we learn, from the stories that we are taught about the past, the stories that we hear, the stories that we tell others and ourselves. Zander & Zander also stated, “It’s all invented anyway, so we might as well invent a story or a framework of meaning that enhances our quality of life and the life of those around us.” I like this statement so much, and I think it’s a wonderful way to look at life. I also liked the idea of the paradigm shift, shifting the framework to allow for the outcome that you want.

On the first day of class, I express to my students as we review the syllabus that they all start out with A’s and they decide if they will maintain them. It works for a shore time but the students still begin to be stressed over assignments and grades. I appreciated how the “A” concept was articulated and feel even more confident that I can relay the “possibilities” to my students so that they are empowered. I thought that the exercise of having the student’s write a letter from the future was brilliant. To gets students thinking about themselves in a different way, they write the script, and this gives them more control. It gives students the opportunity to verbalize the best of what and who they are. Zander & Zander also stated, “The only grace you can have is the grace you can imagine.”

All of this leads to the chapter on “being a contribution.” Deciding, making a conscious decision that you “have worth” and have something significant to contribute to the world changes how you function in the world. Understanding that your presence makes a difference in the world. It reminded me of George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. Clarence the angel who had to earn his wings shows George what the world would be like without him. We often feel that if it’s not some front page, 10 pm newsworthy thing that we do, it’s insignificant. But I have found that just saying hello to someone you pass on the street makes a world of difference. “The only grace you can have is the grace you can imagine.”
 My Comment:
Shawn McKeown said...
Rosetta, I think you summed up my ideas about this book so far when you said that it "put into words several concepts and ideas that I have not been fully able to express." I think we have been spoiled by our experiences so far in the EMDT program, as these concepts seem to have filtered through to us over the past 10 months, even though they may not have been specifically defined for us. The ideas put forth by Zander and Zander in the book almost seem to universal themes throughout our journey through this program, but it was nice to have them pointed out to us in a concrete way. We, as students in this program, are setting forth to change education, and the readings this week really drive this home.
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Week 2 Reading Reflection

 Reading  "The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander was enlightening, yet a repeat of ideas that teachers should base their classes on. Maybe I've been spoiled by 10 months of interaction with teachers and students in the EMDT program, but the ideas presented so far in this book seem like no-brainers to me.

Image from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery
In the section about Giving an A, the authors discuss the need to remove measurement from the equation, and thus take the fear out of failure in the students. While this type of idea is not well supported by our current education system, due to everything being based on graded outcome, this idea should be at the heart of all educators: Allow your students to flourish, teach them that mistakes are part of the process, and allow them to concentrate on the person that they become through the knowledge that is gained, not the grade on the test.

Edit: Sorry, apparently in my "copy/paste" I somehow only grabbed only the first two paragraphs, so here is the rest:

I love the idea of "line up with her students in their efforts to produce the outcome, rather than lining up with the standards against these students." In my lighting course, my final project allows the students to choose a song, and create a lighting design for that song using the technical programming skills that they have learned in my course up to that point. For years I struggled with this project, as it could very easily become a grade based on my expectations, rather than the students' efforts and growth in their abilities. About 4 years ago, I introduced the idea of "concept" into this project, where the students must submit their overall vision for the project, as well as what they hope to accomplish through this, prior to them beginning work on the actual show. I use this concept, much like the authors used the "Why did I get an A" assignment, to establish the expected outcomes from my project, and see which students push themselves to reach and possibly exceed their own expectations. This really has taken me out of the picture, removing any preconceived notions that I may have as to what the final design should look like, and allows me to grade students based on their progress and accomplishment of their goals.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 1 Post 4 - A breath of fresh air!

 As an educator who teaches in a highly technical industry, sometimes I find it difficult to get companies on board with the fact that the students in my classes are the future of the industry, and their future customers. Maybe I'm biased, but if I were a company in a highly competitive, yet somewhat small field, such as entertainment design, I would be wooing future customers in any way possible. Yet, many times over the past 10 years I have been ignored when discussing the need for industry support in education.

Well, that seemed to change this weekend. I'm not sure what spurred on the change, but I will gladly accept the outcome. I had the opportunity to attend the annual Live Design International event, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This event is a week long set of conferences, round table discussions, and expo floor where manufacturers show off their latest and greatest equipment for use in the show production industry.

I was truly shocked at the interest that manufacturers showed in education this year. When I approached different booths, I was actually greeted with open arms this year, instead of closed doors as has been my experience in the past. As an educator, I'm usually on a mission at this show to gather assets that can be used in my classroom, whether it's something simple such as pictures or equipment manuals, or more complex media such as dvd's showing footage of productions. Companies always seemed very unwilling to allow this content to find its way into the hands of education and students, but this year was different. I had multiple companies giving me access to media, and three different companies actually gave me password access to their website that is usually reserved for their distributors and employees, allowing me to use any and all graphics and manuals for classroom use.

So what changed? Honestly, I have no clue. Maybe the economy has had such an impact that large companies are willing to do anything to get new customers. Or maybe these companies finally realized what I've been telling them for years: that my students are the future of their business. But whatever it was, I'm pretty excited about the openness shown by many companies to assist me in teaching my students.

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Week 1 Comment on Chuck's Blog



Week 1 Reading Copyright Issues Information Overload

I found this week’s “reading” to be extremely interesting.  Copyright laws are something that I know little about.  I found the documentary “Good Copy/Bad Copy” to be eye opening for a number of reasons.

There has been such uproar over file sharing in the music industry and the mass production of knock-off movies. 

I believe the entertainment industry needs to embrace the use of the Internet as a distribution point for the media.  I do not believe in downloading music or movies that I have not paid for.  Having said that, I collect concert DVD’s and every once in a while someone will ask me for my Cheap Trick at Budokan DVD.  No, I do not give that out.  I would however make a copy to give out… 

I guess my point is, I understand why people need to have copyright protection, and I understand that when I buy media it is mine to use as I see fit, as long as I do not make a profit or display it in a way that it is not intended.

During the movie they discussed the digital movie making industry in Nigeria.  As someone who has some ability to produce video digitally I thought this was awesome.  I can, with little equipment, produce a video, post it on the web, have millions of people see it, and still make no money.  I can also use the Internet to introduce myself to the world. 

I am careful when making video for home.  I would love to put some of my favorite songs to a homemade video to enhance the viewing.  I won’t.  I have paid for all of the music in my iTunes and I respect the artists who have given me pleasure my whole life.  If everyone in the world did not pay for the music they listen to, no one will make music.  And that, my friend, would be a sad, sad day!

Shawn McKeown said...
One of the biggest issues concerning pirating of music and movies, in my opinion, is the relative ease of doing so. This does not make it right, or legal, but the movie studios and record labels really need to try and update their distribution methods to make legal purchases more readily available to the public. iTunes has done so much to simplify distribution channels, yet there are still companies out there that do not want to partner with iTunes to make this possible, but most have finally seen the light. I think the newest frontier in the copyright battle has to do with Ebooks. Like movies and music a few years ago, the book publishing companies have been extremely reluctant to use widespread electronic distribution methods, and books have been the latest media to be broadly pirated. I feel that not only does the distribution need to be streamlined, but the pricing structure must be changed in order for media companies to succeed.

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Week 1 Comment on Michelle's Blog

From Michelle Brillouet's Blog Found In Translation  

Wk 1 Reading: Copyright Issues pt.1-3: What's it all for?

Welcome to my first blog post for the Media Asset Creation course. In this post I will discuss copyrighting issues in this day and age. I watched a few different videos and read a few different articles. What I was surprised to notice was that there was little to no mention of the issue of moral rights in the USA. According to The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (UK) there are a number of different rights associated with work creations. Moral rights, which is one of them, is the right to object to the derogatory use of works. For example, if a piece of music was is in a pornographic movie, the owner can contest the use of the material on moral grounds. Though there are in fact many differences between UK and US rights, I’m afraid that it may take days to comb through them.

Why is it that more often than not it is these giant companies that want to sue the smaller party over copyright infringements. Have they really paid their dues? How many legendary jazz artists were just paid as session musicians? These musicians who never see pennies worth of royalties . . . I ponder. As the Swedish gentlemen said in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy, what gives the big US Corporations the right to enforce their ideals and laws on other territories yet so unabashedly disregard those of other territories?

We are in an age where the World is at our fingertips. Even though the USA is the biggest exporter of popular culture it is by no means the ruler of the world. More and more we are expanding, experimenting, creating and remixing. And so the beauty of Creative Commons licensing allows us to safely share our creations without the big bad wolf coming after us. I just hope that great works of art, film and music do not become lost in the memory of days gone by because of licensing. A funny point here was that the company I worked for actually tried to get copyright permission to use the MLK speech in the course books but couldn’t get permission. Why would they deny the use for educational purposes? Should we then think about where the priorities lie for these licensers? Is it to better society or better their profits?

If you want to know a bit more about UK IP issues please follow the link below.

Shawn McKeown's Comments: 

The topic of intended use is pretty broad, and while most of us, as educators, look at usage for education as morally correct, I can also understand why people do not see it the same way. As a teacher, I think everything should be available for use, as it serves the greater good. But, from a copyright holder, I can also see the negative side, thinking that the more my work is out in the open, the more chances that it will be infringed upon. It's a tough topic to debate, but I agree that creative commons can open up more possibilities for us as educators.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 1 Reading Reflection

Copyright is a topic that hits close to home for me, as I teach a course called Concert Media Design, and visuals for productions are the main focus of this course. While much of what I focus on is the technical aspects of the gear, such as media servers, display devices, etc, a designer must also be focused on creating content for concert productions. One of the topics that I stress to my students is that "right clicking and save as" does NOT make the content yours, even though it's now on you computer. For years, copyright on visuals is something that was not a big issue in concerts, as most of the visual look was provided by the lighting. (Although, there are some cases where lighting designs and set designs for broadway productions have been copyrighted, and court cases have arisen when those productions went to off-Broadway tours, and the designs were basically re-used by other production companies)

With the advent of media servers, devices that allow real time rendering of visual content to be displayed on stage, copyright has become a large issue. There are cases of visual designers being sued because they have used somebody elses visuals without proper permission. To me, this is very much like the Girl Talk situation, although it focuses on visuals instead of music sampling. My goal in teaching about visuals in my course is to stress that my students need to create their own visuals in order to be absolutely sure that they are not infringing on protected works. Yet even in the process of creating their own visuals, it is possible that they could still be in violation. One example that I use is if a student takes a digital picture with their camera, they can use it as their own content. But, if the picture is of the McDonald's golden arches, then they could still be in violation of the law, and can not use that in any way they deem fit.

In January, I conducted an interview with Bob Bonniol, a creative designer and media producer for live performances. Bob's company, Mode Studios, creates content and supplies technical work for everything from ballet to rock and roll concerts to architectural installations. I feel that his take on copyright is very good, yet even he has some "grey area" in his own interpretation.

"House Lights...Go"

Monday, April 25, 2011

BP8_Links to Comments

One of the absolute best parts about the EMDT Masters Degree program is the creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication shown by my classmates. Here are some links to their blogs, showing some of the great things they are doing:

Check out my reaction to the "Tragedy" that occurred when Vasilli tried to implement Library Thing in his RILS project.

With Jonnie as a teacher, second grade looks a blast! Check out her amazing class using zimmertwins.

Here's my comments on Michael's integration of Twitter in his course.

"House Lights...Go"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

ETC Final Project


In the Show Production program, students engage in what we call “Live Labs”. As a class, and part of the curriculum, artists are brought in to Full Sail and the students must combine their efforts to create a live event. Over the course of the four hour lab, the students are responsible the following:
• Preparing the main stage technically. This includes focusing the lighting rig, setting up the audio PA system, wiring all of the audio equipment, setting up cameras, and ensuring the proper working order of all technical equipment.
• Assist the band in loading in and setting up the instruments and equipment.
• Operating all aspects of a live production, producing a one-hour show.
• When complete, the students must “load out” the artist, strike any additional equipment that was needed for the show, and ensure that all gear is returned to a standard default setup.
In the past, I have always lectured students on the need to share information with each other after each one of the Live Labs that they do as a class. The reason for this is because each individual student performs a new “job” for each live lab. Therefore, a student who operated the moving lights in the first lab may be in charge of directing cameras in the second lab. Because of this, I stress that the students should seek out the classmate who had their job responsibilities in the prior show, and ask for any suggestions, tips, pointers, etc. that they may have already learned during the process. Through communication, I hope to avoid a student making a mistake 5 months after a classmate made the same mistake.

Target Audience

The target audience for this Relevant and Innovative Learning Scenario will be my April class in the Show Light Engineering course. These are Full Sail University students in the Show Production Bachelor’s Degree Program, and the average age would be in the early 20’s.


The materials needed for this exercise are the student’s personal laptops, as well as individual access to Google documents. (A Google username)


My objective with this RILS is to open up communication between students, allowing them to create a knowledge base of information to assist them in future projects. At the end of this exercise, students will:
• Analyze their experience in a Live Lab situation.
• Evaluate their performance and discuss what prior knowledge would have improved their performance in this specific case.
• Create a knowledgebase to educate their classmates for future Live Labs.


1. Instructor (Shawn McKeown) will create a Google Form asking the following questions:
a. What is your full name?
b. Which SLE Live Lab does this information pertain to? (Lab 1 or 2?)
c. What technical position did your work for this particular Live Lab?
d. Please describe anything that worked well, didn't work well, or suggestions you have for future students performing at this position.
e. Outside of your specific position, are there any other thoughts or suggestions pertaining to live labs?
2. Instructor (Shawn McKeown) will publish the form and require that all students of his SLE 1104 course fill out all necessary information on the day following Live Lab 1.
3. Instructor will gather information from the submitted forms and post it to a shared Google document spreadsheet.
4. Students will be able to review the comments of their classmates prior to Live Lab 2.
5. Students will also be asked to repeat step 2 on the day following Live Lab 2.
6. Instructor will combine new information gathered from survey and add it to the results from Live Lab 1, and share the document with the students.

Web 2.0 Tool

The web 2.0 tool that I will utilize for this exercise is Google Documents. The form allows me to gather the individual student contributions, ensuring that their fellow classmates have edited nothing either accidentally or otherwise.

Social Participation

The social aspect of this project is to allow each student to learn from the experiences of their classmates. My goal is to provide the students with the opportunity to communicate through a collaborative document, allowing easy access to the information for the students to be able to review whenever and as often as needed for further comprehension of the material. After each Live Lab, the students will be able to reflect on their experience, such as what worked well, what didn’t work, and things that they learned. By collecting this information into a shared document, each student will have the ability to learn from their classmates’ experiences, and be able to continue to learn and grow through the collaborative nature of the knowledgebase.

Making Connections

This entire scenario is based on students connecting with their classmates, being able to not only reflect on their own experiences, but being able to share that reflection with each other. I have always felt that you don’t truly know how to do something until you have to teach it. By sharing their experiences in Live Labs at the different technical positions, my hope is that every student can become the teacher, as well as learn from the collective knowledge of their peers.


While the original learning environment for the students is in a Live Lab scenario, the final product of this scenario is the production of a user-contributed knowledge base. Many times, teachers may not be able to communicate certain information properly, or students may not understand the information. By producing this knowledge base, the entire class is coming from the same perspective, and the knowledgebase will lead to further discussion and assessment amongst themselves.


To encourage participation, as well as to stress the absolute need for sharing information, I have decided to make the student participation in this project worth 20% of their final exam. I feel that what the students can learn from this project will have more of a long-term effect on their learning than basic facts and figures that can be repeated back to me on an exam. The grading rubric is as follows:

(This rubric will be applied twice, once for each reflection that a student turns in after each live lab)

• Survey properly filled out and submitted – 1pt
• Student response for to the following question will be worth 0-2 pts.
o Please describe anything that worked well, didn't work well, or suggestions that you have for future students performing at this position.
0 points will be awarded if the question is left blank.
1 point will be awarded for basic information.
2 points will be awarded for advanced analysis or critique that will further help fellow classmates.
• Student response for to the following question will be worth 0-2 pts.
o Outside of your specific position, are there any other thoughts or suggestions pertaining to live labs?
0 points will be awarded if the question is left blank.
1 point will be awarded for basic information.
2 points will be awarded for advanced analysis or critique that will further help fellow classmates.


Most of this scenario is already based on student reflection of their experience in the individual Live Labs. Their reflection will be the building blocks of this technical database to educate their fellow classmates.
As the instructor, I hope to get student feedback on the process of this assignment, and to be able to streamline the process for future students. I will also be evaluating the student responses and critiquing the level of thought for each response. My hope is that the students will feel more comfortable sharing their experiences, both good and bad, through this simple interface.

I would like to thank my fellow teachers, especially John Sheldon, for the Live Lab footage that was integral in explaining the complexity and variety of the tasks that the students must perform during a live event.

"House Lights...Go"

Friday, April 15, 2011

PE5_Good 'Ole Google Docs

Well, if you read my last post, you already know my predicament. I was taking notes throughout the week while I experimented with WikiSpaces in order to create a collaborative environment for my students to share their experiences in their Production Live Lab learning. But in order to ensure this would get to my students in a timely manner, and also to make sure that it was secure for grading purposes, I had to jump off the WikiSpace train and go back to good old Google Docs.

My first plan was to just create a simple spreadsheet that I could share with my students, allowing them to post their thoughts and suggestions to their fellow classmates for future lab situations. But, once again, I ran into the problem that there could be accidental edits made by students that could corrupt the feedback process. So to ensure the quality of the collaboration, I created a Google Form to survey the students.

After the students completed the survey, I copied the survey results into a collaborative google spreadsheet. This involved one more step to the process, but it ensured that the data I recieved through the form was accurate, while still being able to share the results with the students and allow them to add more information over time.

Once again, the ease and my familiarity with Google Documents has saved the day, and the students were very receptive to the first round of my RILS.

"House Lights...Go"

PE4_To Wiki or Not To Wiki?

Uggh, I'm going crazy right now. My original plan for my RILS was a bit more than I could handle in the time frame allotted for this project. My goal is to have my students create a collaborative knowledge-base for labs that they currently do in my course. Immediately, I realized that this would be a great way to start a Wiki, allowing not only my current students to share their wisdom, but allow future students to gain insight from those who had come before them.

So off to WikiSpaces I went. Unfortunately, I needed more time to test out the security settings of WikiSpaces, as well as the management of input from users. After setting up my main ShowProSLE Wiki, I added a page for user created content.

The problems I ran into were formatting, as well as privacy controls. To be able to grade the students, I needed to ensure that comments from one student could not be edited or changed by other students.

Until I can get more time experimenting with WikiSpaces, I needed to come up with a more protected and stable way for students to be able to collaborate. Plus, I needed to have this implemented by this morning, allowing the students to post their comments within one day of the first part of their project. So,stay tuned for my emergency plan of action...

"House Lights...Go"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BP7_Google Forms

 Here's my one minute video on Google Forms, and how I recently implemented it in my course. Enjoy!

"House Lights...Go"

BP6_Wayne adds some "voki" expression

Wayne found a great little tool to help personalize the endless data stream of the world wide web. Check out this link to my comments.

"House Lights... Go"

BP5_Lara introduces me to Picnik

Follow this link to my comments on Lara's blog.

(Image altered using picnik )


Yes, it’s finally happened. I finally have entered the wild, wonderful world of wikis. WikiSpaces offers a free public wiki page, allowing multiple users to create and edit. Through their educational licenses, WikiSpaces offers free and private wiki pages for teachers.

Through wikis, students can collaboratively engage in learning along with their teachers. One of the things that I enjoy so much as a teacher is when students teach me something. The ability to incorporate a wiki into my course would really open up the oppurtunities for students to not only contribute, but for themselves to help become the teacher.

The constant evolution of production technology means that the equipment that I teach to my students, through both hardware and software updates, is constantly changing. I laugh when, on occasion, a software update changes the function of certain things, yet students have this vision of a “teacher” as being all-knowing. I have been in front of my class teaching a topic, when something doesn’t work, so I open up the manual to see why. The students look at me like “o my gosh, he doesn’t know”, and then I have to explain that you can’t know everything, but knowing where to quickly get the answers that you need is key. And then, 30 seconds after I encounter the problem, I have it solved, and the students learn a valuable lesson.

The ability to incorporate a wiki into my course would allow students to share information that goes beyond the basic knowledge that I teach them in my classroom. There are so many ways to use the technology that I teach, and much of it is so customizable based on user preference, students often find little shortcuts, workarounds, or different methods of using the equipment. A wiki would give them a platform to share the knowledge.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Well, the iMovie tutorials have definitely given me some great new information about the program, but I must admit that there are limitations that frustrate me. For as easy as iMovie is to use, there are certain things that really frustrate me.

One of the big things that frustrated me on my project was the lack of text control. I wanted to make some end titles for my movie, and was hoping to use the "scrolling" title option. The only problem, though, is that it scrolls way to fast for viewable text. Yes, if it was just names, then it would probably be fine. But to add scrolling text that is legible, I couldn't get the speed of the scroll to slow down enough, so I had to just use centered credits. But to use centered credits, I had to make 4 different "titles" at the end to get all of my text into the movie.

Another thing that looked great in the tutorial, but was frustrating for me to use was the precision editor when dealing with audio. I will have to go back and review the audio editing section of the tutorials again, but I was hoping to edit the audio in my music bed, and couldn't easily do it. If the audio is part of a video clip, then it seems easy enough. But as an underlying music bed, and trying to piece stock content audio together, I had a heck of a time making it work.

So below is my final creation in iMovie. I apologize for the length of the file, since this is actually a project that I've been wanting to complete for almost a month now, and it means very much to me. The project is a collection of pictures and video that I took at an event held at my son's daycare this past March. The event is called a "Trike-A-Thon", and it is held to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. After weeks of learning about bicycle safety, through videos and lessons created by the team at St. Judes, the children raise money by collecting donations to ride laps through a closed course. The course includes stop signs, yield signs, etc, so that the children can learn the proper rules of the road.

The reason that this means so much to me is because my son, Joshua, is a cancer survivor. At 10 months old, Josh was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor, and had one of his kidneys removed. Joshua is now 4 1/2 years old, and despite the ongoing CT scans, blood work, and doctors visits, he has shown no sign of cancer since his operation. St. Jude has been a leader in the study and treatment of wilms' tumors patients, and the survival rate of patients with Wilms has increased from 50% to 90% since they first started their research in 1962.


Ok, now we're getting somewhere in iMovie! Many of the tutorials, while interesting, was information that I have already found on my own while exploring the program. But now I'm into the good stuff, the things beyond the basic control panel interface.

One of the big things that I never understood, although I had clicked on it before, was the Precision Editor. I used to spend a bunch of time "zooming" in and out of my clips to get the cuts in between my files as accurate as I could. While effective, it seemed really clunky to me. The Precision Editor function of iMovie is exactly what I've been searching for.

One of the best parts of the precision editor window is the ability to line up your transitions from one clip to the next. I hate seeing jumpy transitions, and the ability to really define your in and out points can turn your movie from being a "homemade" movie into something that looks much more professional. This is the stuff that I've been looking for!

It's also very cool that you can use the Precision Editor to transition not just between clips, but also your audio as well.

"House Lights... Go"


Well, first off, I must say that work and my family have really put a dent into my time this week, so while I've been watching some of the tutorials throughout the week, my blog posts have been delayed do to real life.

While I've used iMovie in the past, I've never felt like I really had a handle on the program. Since I'm still using iMovie '09, I'm glad that the older set of tutorials for this version was still available on This is exactly what I needed to finally understand what I was doing in iMovie, not just randomly clicking on things to see what I could make.

One of the first things that I never really understood in iMovie was the organization of media that is imported. I guess I always thought it was much more involved, but iMovie actually does much of the work for you. The integration of the iLife suite of tools is amazing, and being able to browse easily through your iPhoto library and Gararge Band tracks is amazing. The other thing that I really like is that the projects are non-destructive editing, so I don't have to worry about ruining my source material in the process of clipping it up into a specific project.

Ok, off to more training videos!!!

"House Lights... Go"

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Ok, that's it. I'm hooked on iGoogle. The customization is awesome. It took me hours just to find themes that I liked, let alone the ability to add all of my most-used bookmarks, etc. I see many more "tabs" in my future...

"House Lights... Go"

BP2_Cloud Canvas

In searching for a new Web 2.0 tool, I concentrated on visual media creation, since this has been an issue in my professional life as of late. Recently I began teaching a new course entitled “Concert Media Design”, which is all about using computer graphics and video in alternative ways to enhance a production. The tools that are used to control this content are referred to as media servers, and with the advances in computer graphic technology over the last 10 years, they have really increased in power and capabilities. My goal in teaching this technology is not to turn my students into video and graphic designers, but to show them how to take pre-existing content that has been supplied and manipulate it so that it can be sent to video display devices on a concert stage. (Such as video screens, LED walls, and even mapping the video content across automated lighting fixtures, so each fixture acts as a pixel of the video)

            Throughout the process of teaching these media servers, however, I found that my students have very little understanding of the basics of digital graphics. Without the ability to teach an in-depth class on Photoshop, I have incorporated small elements of content creation into my course. I ask the students to turn in digital pictures or drawings to be used as content for the stage displays. Along with the original content, however, I also ask them to turn in “altered” versions of each file. While I’m lucky that all of my students have access to basic tools such as iPhoto, they do not have a decent graphics program to really enhance their work.
            Welcome to “Cloud Canvas”, a web-based graphics program that allows users to create imagery through their web browsers. Cloud Canvas is exactly the free tool that I have been looking for to offer my students. Through Cloud Canvas, you can upload pictures, alter them in many ways, and even use the drawing tools to create new graphics. Cloud Canvas offers professional tools such as the ability to create multiple layers in a graphic, vector-based graphics, transparency in images, and the ability to re-size images. When finished with a project, the user can save the image, or export it as a portable network graphic (.png) file direct to their hard drive.

Cloud Canvas is an amazing (and FREE!) tool that I can now show my students, and allow them to use in order to understand basic editing procedures of computer graphics for use in my Concert Media Design course.

"House Lights... Go"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

BP1_Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to Education Illumination, my personal look into the world of teaching, as well as a place to explore my passion of lighting design for the stage. As a student in the Education Media Design Technology Masters Degree program at Full Sail University, I will be using this blog to comment, reflect, and share the ideas and experiences that come through re-designing education for students in the 21st century.

So why a blog? Haha, good question. I've never thought of myself as a "blogger", it sounds like something strictly reserved for people who understand things like HTML5, Tweeting, or Lady Gaga. Me? I'm more of an "Atari, MTV, and Iron Maiden" person myself. But hey, that's the great thing about the EMDT program. I almost feel younger with every new technology that I try out in an effort to incorporate new learning tools into my classroom. Granted, "blogging" probably won't get rid of my grey hairs, or my profound love for most things that were popular in the 1980's, but so far, it actually seems like a cool (and easy!) way to communicate and share with others who have my same interests.

So there it is. Post number 1 of the Education Illumination blog. Stay tuned for more enlightening posts, covering topics in education and lighting design. (and maybe the occasional life rant, as well)

"House Lights... Go"