Darin Janssen’s Weblog

March Teach Us Something

After watching part of the recording, I have to apologize to everyone who sat through my presentation last night and has watched the recording.  I clicked the pointer tool and was using it to point to different things on my slide deck while I was presenting, but it was not showing up for you.  I must have had to actually click on something else to engage the pointer on the screen.

Well I feel this presentation went better than the February one but I still have some work to do with presenting online.  I stumble a lot, but not as much as last time.  That was a plus.  I guess I need to practice what I am going to say even more.  I really need to be more conscious about how much I say “uhh”.  I need to get rid of the verbal thinking because it makes me sound like I do not know what I am talking about.  It is one thing to pause to think, but to verbalize a pointless sound sounds terrible.

I kept referring to Smart Notebook Software as PowerPoint.  This was especially bad because I was teaching about Notebook Software.  I can attribute this to PowerPoint being such a staple word to our vocabulary; much like referring to all snow machines as “Skidoos”  even if they are Arctic Cat snow machines.

I was disappointed with my slides after they uploaded to elluminate.  When I created the slides all the images and text were clear and legible; not so when they were uploaded and converted.  I created all my slides in notebook and then exported them to PowerPoint so they could be uploaded to elluminate.  The slides still looked good in PowerPoint.  My screen shots of notebook were not clear and therefore hard for everyone to clearly see what I was talking about on the screen shots.  At this time I do not know what the fix would be for this problem.  Maybe it has something to do with the actual image quality of the shots before they are uploaded.  Quality must get decreased when the images are converted so I would need to use a much high quality of image in the first place so the image is still of decent quality in the end.

I struggled with the idea of creating a slide deck verses screen sharing.  My experience with screen sharing has not been the best for two reasons.  One is that the screen sharing opens up too big in elluminate.  I then have to scroll left to right, and up and down just to see where the presenter is talking about.  I think that the screen sharing should only open into the same size window as the whiteboard and show the presenter’s entire screen in this space without the need to scroll.  This alone would make screen sharing more effective and I would not be so hard on it.  The second reason is that there is a delay in what the presenter is doing on the screen and what is shown to the viewer.  If the presenter is moving through steps too quickly or is scrolling up and down, the viewer can not see anything but flashes or messed up images.  I realize this is a limit to screen sharing because of the time it takes the data to move over the internet.  Presenters have to be aware and conscious of these problems when using screen sharing.

In the end I decided to use a slide deck because of the possibility of few technical difficulties and easier for everyone to see everything I am talking about.  The problem with a slide deck for this assignment is we were trying to teach about a program.  This is not done easily without a huge slide deck.  It is really hard to visualize what the presenters are explaining to me when I do not have any experience with their programs.  I decided to create my slide deck and use the pointer tool to help explain what I was talking about.  As my apology above states, the pointer did not work for me and thus my classmates did not receive my presentation to its fullest.  My classmates who used the screen sharing, even with its limitations, were able to do a better job of showing their program then I was.  Next time I will have to look at using a combination screen share and slide deck depending on what I am explaining at that time.

Overall, the teach us something lessons were great.  I wish we had more time to do another presentation.  I would have liked to use what I have learned to improve.  Who knows, I may have the opportunity to teach online in the future and I will then use what I have learn then.

Here are the links to the Smart websites I mentioned in my presentation:

SMART Products – http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-us/products/

SMART Training – http://smarttech.com/Trainingcenter/

SMART Exchange – http://exchange.smarttech.com/curriculum.html#Saskatchewan%20Standards

March 31, 2010 Posted by | ECMP 455, Reflection | , , , | 1 Comment

Notebook software and online teaching

My first online teaching experience went pretty well.  I did not rehearse what I was going to say much before so I spent a lot of time stumbling and say “uhh”.  It looked at the experience as a test experience before our March online teaching, so I can live with it.  Some things I have learned are:

1. I have problems following the chat and talking at the same time.  With more experience teaching online, I should get better at this.

2. I need to practice and plan more of what I am going to say so I do not stumble as much.

3. Rather then having people typing questions in the chat while I am talking I should ask people to put up their “elluminate hand” and address questions that way.  But with practice and more online teaching I may not have to worry about this because I should get better at reading the chat while talking.

During my portion of the elluminate session I use the recorder built into Notebook software to record my teaching.  I am quite happy with how it worked.  With the notebook recorder you have a few different options for recording.  You can record your entire desktop (which I did), a window, or draw a rectangle around a certain section of your screen you would like to record.  I will be using the recorder to make a screen cast of how to upload onto slideshare for Jordan and my collaborative project.  The recorder worked very well to record the desktop and the voice from my mic.  The only downfall I found was that it did not record the audio from the elluminate session.  In the last 45 seconds of my recording Dean is talking and I did not stop the recording because I wanted what he was saying in the recording.  His voice did not record so the video ends with 45 seconds of silence.  I do not know if I can change a setting or something to record the audio off the desktop; that is something I have to check into further.

There are two other uses for the notebook recorder.  One is to pre-record a lesson or video to play for student; either when a sub is in your class, or if you are in a split class you can play a recording for one grade while you work with the other grade.  Another use is to record your smartboard lesson while you are doing it.  This is a great option for reviewing or playing for students who missed the class.  This works much the same as recording the elluminate sessions.

In the making of my slides, I used shots of part of my screen (iTunes and my Google reader).  For this I used the capture tool in notebook.  Notebook screen capture tool can be used to capture an image of an entire screen, part of a screen, draw a box around something (which I used), or an irregular line around something (eg. someone’s face).  When the capture is made it is put into a slide in notebook, which you can copy and paste, and use like any other image.

Both the recorder and the capture tool are both tools which are bonus parts of the notebook software.  You can watch the recording of my online teaching below.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | ECMP 455, school | , , , | 2 Comments