Navigate 1 – Commercial vs. Open Source Virtual Classrooms

The following blog is an assignment for my EOTC Navigate class.

The nice thing about this unit so far is I began my career working in distance education.  I was working at the University of Mississippi.  My department was responsible for Project LEAP.  Project LEAP was a distance education program.  We broadcast  adult literacy programing to locations across the state and country.  At the time we won awards for the program.   The program was broadcast via satellite to the different locations.  The students would go to the locations in each county to watch the class with other students.  The teachers would teach the class for approximately 30 minutes.  Then the students could call in on a telephone and we would connect them to the teacher live on air.  The students would answer questions and work out problems with the teachers.

My second experience in distance education was a college class in a distance education room.  I was in charge of being the site facilitator.  There were students in 3-4 different locations and the teacher was over 300 miles away.  Each location had cameras and microphones.  Each room had 2 monitors and a document camera.  The teacher was able to ask questions and the student were able to answer the questions live.

Both experiences were both synchronous because even though the class was being taught at a distance.  The students  had to attend class at a certain time and location to participate.

My next experience was an online class that I was taking to get my administration endorsement.  This class was both synchronous and asynchronous.  We had online assignments and weekly online meetings.

In a school setting I would be hesitant to use open source software except in minor situations.  When using technology in the classroom, there is always a chance of failure.  If a school is using something on a regular basis, they need be able to call for help.  Open source software may not offer that option and might depend on the teacher to find out the answers.  Teacher need to have 95% up time with technology.

 If a teacher is using a open source solution on an occasional basis it could be used to get a specific job done.   I was using a website for instruction at  a new school.  Since it was a new school the network was frequently down.  When this happened I would have the students shut down there computers and return to the desk.  Then I had to find another activity for the students to do.  This was new subject for me and I had very few resources.  Thankfully I was able to get help from the vendor.  This was a stressful year for me.  I would be not want to try the same thing with open source software.

I have always been an early adopter of new technologies and most of my problems occur as a result of inexperience with a new product.  I willing to try new things but I do not want to rely on them to get my job done.  I will continue to try new things once they have been tested by others.

Participate Reflection

The following is a blog for my online EOTC class.  

Standard C: 

I am always looking to improve my teaching and trying new things.  I have shared a few of  the lessons I have learned  here and here.  I am posting these for fellow media teachers.  I share them via my blog, Google + and Twitter.

Standard E: 

I believe in teaching my students to follow copyright laws.  I show my student examples of what can happen if copyright laws are not followed.  When you are teaching a class on media production it is good start by doing everything correction.

I also show my student the downside of sharing everything with the public.  We regular discuss current news events relating to media.

Standard J: 

I participate in several online discussions as part of my pln.  I started this in the spring and it has helped me to grow as a teacher.  It is good to hear differing opinions about topics.  The two twitter chats I participated the most were #bfc530 and #whatisschool. I wrote a blog about it here

I also use twitter as a way to communicate with my students.  I have recently left this account for my replacement.  This was a good way to communicate important school messages in way that my students would see them.


I learned the most from the modules relating to digital health.  I will be using them with my student at my school next year. 

Participate 4 – Digital Health


The following blog is an assignment for my EOTC class.

It is hard to modify your online habits.  When I just had a desktop computer, I would go several days without turning it on.  Now using my iPad or my phone is just too convenient.  When I get out of bed in the morning, I grab my iPad so I can read the news or partipate in the #bfc530 twitter chat.  It seems that there is always something to do online.  I noticed this and try to schedule some down time. Social media can consume way too much of my time. I try to only log in every few days to Facebook, but I use twitter daily. So I try to limit my time on twitter to a burst in the morning and a little in the evening. 

One way I am modifying my online habits is by putting my iPhone and iPad on charge in the evenings. I keep the charger in my bedrooms I am less likely to have it within reach during family time and meals. 

The best thing students and teachers can do is to schedule their online time in advance.  One thing I did with my schedule was to schedule my online times before an offline activity that I would not miss.  For example,  I would plan to check my email right before breakfast.  Then I was less likely to stay online and continue working.  

I hope this helps with your online habits. Email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com.  Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom.

Participate 4 – Digital Safety and Security

Adobe Spark

The following post is an assignment for my Effective Online Teaching Class.  I created the poster in Adobe Spark.  You can download the PDF here- Be safe online.  I would probably print this out and put it on my wall near my computers.

As part of my class, I teach my students about safety in classroom and the workplace.  It is kind of shocking to the students when I skip from being safe on a ladder to being safe on a computer.  That don’t really think about it.  To reinforce this I use software that I can monitor their computers.  I usually wait until they get off task and surprise them with a message that people can see their activity.  After I surprise then I can show them, that I can follow what they are doing and share it with others.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom. Subscribe to my youtube channel for iOS tips.

Participate 4 – Digital Rights and Responsibilities

The following post is part of my EOTC class.  This unit dealt with fair use and copyright.  This is something I must address with my class in the beginning.  I believe this is one of the hardest units to teach my students.  I must acknowledge to my students that there are plenty of examples of copyright infringement.  Just because these examples exist, it does not give us permission to do the same.  As future media creators we must obey the rules because we want people to do the same for our media creations.  One thing I do is show them this playlist I created that covers copyright, fair use and creative commons.

I have been able to find a few examples of videos that have been altered because of copyright.   The students see that the audio has been removed. In other examples,  such as JK wedding entrance video that went viral ads were placed on the video to pay the artist for use of the music.   In the worst case scenario the youtuber will get strikes against their account for posting videos without permission.  I explain the process of getting the strikes removed.

I try to get the students to understand that copyright is not a perfect system.  However as part of my class and future employment they will be expected to follow the rules.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom. Subscribe to my youtube channel for iOS tips.

Participate 3- Accessing Digital Learning Communities

The following blog was written as part of a class I am taking online.

The big problem/ barrier  with audio video technology resources is a lack of uniformity.  One of the best school programs I have seen in person is GHS TV at Germantown High School.   The program at the time incorporated several teachers and ran a community access TV station 12 months a year.  This is a great program to follow if you have that kind of financial support.  However just a few miles away in Memphis Tennessee, teachers were patching together consumer grade equipment.   So when you are researching material it may be hard to find a program that has similar resources.  The best thing is to find your information from other programs in your community and state.    This makes it easier to sort out this information.  I was down the road from GHS at the time so it was easy for me to distinguish the differences in our programs.

It is better now then when I started out.  I had a few websites I visited pretty regularly but that was it.  Now I participate in list serves and Facebook groups.  It is much easier to post a question then to find a source online.  You can get answers from across the county from programs that are similar.

Another barrier with online information is some of the information leaves room for discussion.  Most media specialists will tell you that it is ok to to use 30 seconds of copyrighted material in your projects.  However the Student Press Legal Center will tell you something different.    I have seen tons of conflicting information.  I have my own interpretations through my experience.  I tell my students to rely on their employer or teacher when dealing with sticky information.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom. Subscribe to my youtube channel for iOS tips.