Category Archives: E-Learning

The Path to being a Greenhand with Piktochart

 The Path to Being a Greenhand with Piktochart

For some time, I’ve been intrigued about the efficacy and creativity of infographics.  Where else can you provide clear and concise information in a way that is easily read and fun to explore?  There are many sites that provide opportunities to create infographics; such as, visual.ly, infogr.am, and easel.ly.  I chose to begin working with Piktochart due to its ease of use.  I believe this would be a great way to have students summarize content for a unit.  Here I created a quick infographic on how to become a Greenhand.  As we grow closer to the spring semester and banquet season, degree applications are upon us.  Hopefully this can help streamline your process.

The Path to Being a Greenhand

 

For ideas to create your own infographics, I like to browse Pinterest to find ideas.  You can check out my “Being Mrs. C – TeachAg” Pinterest Board for some agriculturally related infographics.   Enjoy!

The FFA Creed in Flash

Teaching with Technology

Source: http://www.coetail.com/stanleyaes/files/2013/10/teaching-with-technology.png

 

We all know our students have grown up with technology and it is more important to provide unique opportunities to learn; such as, using animation in the classroom like the FFA Creed in Flash.  Many schools are utilizing 1:1 or BYOD initiatives to harness that innate understanding.  As I build my technological repertoire, I thought it would be fun to create a series using Flash to help with learning the FFA Creed.

I am just learning this program and the video/link I have provided is very raw and basic, but maybe it can be of use to someone out there.  I plan on doing the rest of the Creed in just the same way.  Hopefully you see a progression of creative usage within Flash, or as the school year rolls around…it might just have to stay basic!  Here’s to all our audio and visual learners!


FFA Creed in Flash 1st Paragraph

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Bringing Color into the Field….err Fold.

Bringing color into the fold in design and projects within the classroom is now easier.  Recently, I learned about Adobe Kuler where using the standard color wheel you can observe how color schemes work together.  At first, I struggled to see how this might work within an agriculture classroom; however, I believe it may have many possibilities.

Adobe Kuler

You will need to sign-up for a free Adobe ID in order to use Kuler.  This is key because as you explore and create your own color themes, you will want to save them.  Having an ID allows you to save them and even share them through various outlets.  At the top of the page you will see “Create”, “Explore” and “My Themes”.  Create is just that – creating your own Kuler Theme for a projects or just for fun.  The “Explore” tab allows you to view other Adobe user’s themes.  This can be a source of inspiration or just to get an idea of Kuler’s capabilities.  Lastly, “My Themes” provides a collection of your own creations for later use.

Adobe Kuler

As you see there is many moving parts to the Kuler page.  There is a combination of hue, saturation and several other color components.  If you click on the “Color Rule”, there will be a drop down menu that allows you to choose a color scheme based on the where you want colors to fall on the color wheel.  The base color is the middle color as shown below and depending on the types of color rule you choose will determine where the accompanying colors fall in this theme.

Adobe Kuler

The bottom photo shows that I have chosen a monochromatic color theme based on a violet (Hex F227FF) color.  This way I can tell what color compliment this base color or in different situations would contrast it.  (Purple is my favorite color, so I just had to!)

Adobe Kuler

 

You will see at the bottom of each color there is a RGB and HEX number.  These numbers provide information to use to categorize exactly how much of the RGB color spectrum is used and to denote what HEX color it is for web page coding.  Unless you are doing your own graphic or webpage design these numbers are not that important.

I feel this could be a fun and inspiring resource for many projects within the agriculture curriculum.  I will be using this in Floriculture class to help students understand the color wheel and how colors work together to either compliment or contrast one another.  The interactive properties of this program allow students to really explore their own interests.  In addition, I believe this could be introduced to an Agriculture Business Management Class when talking about marketing.  Being aware of the psychology behind color and how poorly designed works can actually dissuade customers is important.

Happy Teaching…..

Prezi and Socrative: A Fun Voting Activity

Prezi and Socrative: A Fun Combo in Class.

It has been some time since I’ve posted.  A quote by Allen Saunders that seems to always run true for me and has lately had some bittersweet implications is:  “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans“.  Life has a way of interrupting even the best laid plans.  However, going forward, I hope not to neglect this and several other tech based projects I have in the works.

To date, I have not viewed myself as the most creative person in developing innovative activities to differentiate instruction and diversify my instruction approaches.  However, as I try to teach myself new applications, I find that sometimes the best learning happens simply when the students teach each other.  I have used Prezi in several projects in and outside of the classroom.  It’s a fun and innovative presentation producing platform that provide a multitude of components for classroom and business.  I encourage you to go and sign-up to explore the templates within Prezi – you can sign up for free where you get three free Prezi’s to begin your journey.

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Once there, you will find many fun and animated templates to fit your style or topic.  Students had fun finding templates and customizing them for their topic, which for the day was the respiratory tract in Veterinary Science Class.  Below you will find an example of a Prezi template (which I have not filled in with information).  The arrows at the bottom of the page advance you to the next item in sequence of the animation pathway.

Prezi Template Example

At the bottom, of the page, you can see you have many options to store, share or embed your Prezi into whatever other platform you are using.  In our activity in class, I asked students to develop a Prezi on the basic anatomy of the respiratory tract (nose, trachea, etc) and give their function.  They were to include pictures as well.  Once completed, they were asked to share their Prezi via Paperplane (a url sharing system used in the school district).  However, you could create a GoogleDoc and have everyone share their Prezi url there as well.

The final stage for this lesson was to have the students compare and evaluate the information in each other’s Prezi’s.  I found this to be a great review exercise and created a competitive atmosphere within the classroom.  They were instructed to choose two Prezi’s they felt were the best at presenting accurate information in the most efficient manner.  I asked them to post their vote via Socrative.  This is just one way to utilize Socrative as you can also use it to give quizzes, poll the classroom or provide an immediate interactive platform to collect feedback from students.  It too is free to use and does not seem to have any limits in its usage.

Socrative

Above is an example of the many choices you have with Socrative.  I simply chose the “short answer” category for our final vote on the best Prezi.  A word of caution: to ensure students are accountable for their postings, you can require students list their names before posting anything to the online forum.  This reduces any inappropriate content and promotes high expectations as the entire class will be reading their contributions.

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This activity was a fun and interactive way for students to build content, evaluate it’s accuracy and contribute to the overall success of the class.  I hope to adjust and use this same protocol in other classes and settings.

Happy Teaching….

 

Feeling chatty????

IMG_0154

Don’t be left behind….

Don’t be left behind….Did you ever feel like the social media take-over can be overwhelming?  That if you’re not engaged in a conversation, that you’ll be left out of all conversations?  I know through my exploration of developing blogs, it is very clear the more you are connected, the more “relevant” you become…as far as the internet goes.  Cross linking and search engine optimization and keywords and tagging and…well the list goes on – seems to be an art and part strategy.

To continue information on Twitter, I thought I would post information on  Twitter chats.  There is an actual twitter chat schedule, where you can delve into “communities” established around specific topics.  At any given night there are a variety of topics you can enjoy.

For the aggies out there, there are several you might be interested in:
#AgChat
#AskAg
#AskUSDA
#HayTalk
#FoodChat
#AgChatOz (AgChat Australia)

Did I miss any???

 

 

Penultimate App

I recently found a really cool app that I have become very fond of.  I thought it could be used in various ways in the classroom – maybe to help a student depict a series of events or to come up with a custom logo.  The nice thing about Penultimate is that you can save it to Evernote, save the notebook page as a picture or export it in an e-mail.  It is sooooo easy to use.  In addition, it can be used as a handwriting tool to take notes and have them in a more custom fashion.

Penultimate

 

 

I find it easier to use with a Targus Stylist “pen” that allows you to more precise control over your movements within the app.  The pen also allows you to write in thick or finer ink….I quickly scribbled this down to share my artistic talents.  (Ha!  …note the sarcasm!)

How to Begin Blogging…early steps….

I had always looked at blogging as some kind of self-absorbed conquest by other people.  However, over the last year, I have enjoyed reading many blogs that have helped me both in technology/e-learning and in day-to-day interests.  I stand corrected!  Blogging in many instances is a platform for people who know a little bit {or a great deal} about a specific subject to share what they know.  It is a ‘take it or leave it approach’.  I will share my learning process along the way.

One of the first things I did was to try to organize my thoughts.  In blogging, it is best to first focus on one major topic or niche.  That way it is easier for people who are interested in your subject matter to find you.  I am a lifetime learner, I love to learn about different things.  This is the biggest reason why I started two blogs (shameless plug here: justtodifor.com) At the beginning of this blogging journey, I felt very limited by thinking I had to just deal with one specific subject and what’s what MY blog had to be all about.  Not good.  So I began compiling information, ideas, and thoughts.  One of the best ways I found was through Evernote.

Evernote

Evernote

It is super easy to save material in many different forms {plus I think it is a cute logo with the friendly elephant – so you now have the memory of an elephant!}.  You can voice record ideas and save that within a specific topic note.  You are also able to take pictures and scan documents as well.  Everything is tabbed and is easy to navigate.

Evernote, how to use evernote

Evernote

Here is just a screen shot of some general notes I have taken thus far.  They are all “boxed” for easy access and it give you a snapshot of what you have in that note in case you forget.

Evernote

Evernote, How to use Evernote

To me, it is the easiest to use.  I had used others and they were harder to navigate and I lost material (beware of “notes” on your iPhone!).  I will post more about how to use the different functions in blogs to come!

 

 

 

 

Beginnings….

It was close to seven years ago this year I will have earned my Master’s Degree {mostly} online from North Carolina State University.  At that time, I was one of the first they had graduated and moved through the program.  It was great.  I was teaching full-time at that time and although I was able to successfully complete the program, I had little time to really research and understand the finer points of the technology I was using.  That time has come.  I am making a full blown effort to increase my awareness of e-learning and thought I would document my findings along the way.  Here we go….