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"