EdTech 506: Whitespace

  • The users of this will be current and new teachers to The Founders Academy.  The staff range in age from mid-20 on up.  They have professional reading level.  Most staff have at least a basic comfort at working with digital tools.  However, Google may not have been the primary tool they were using prior to coming to the Founders Academy and the LMS (Learning Management System) may have been different in their prior place of employment.
  • I believe this solution will assist new staff in gaining familiarity with the tools we use at school.  The graphic I have created is in a checklist format and I have tried to organize in by priority.  Our professional development team felt that the creation of such a document may aid new staff with acclimating to the tools we use at The Founders Academy.  Those images that are underlined link out to video resources for staff to review as needed.  This way staff do not need to filter through multiple places; all resources will be hyperlinked into one or two documents creating a greater ease of use.
  • From the user test I learned that this would be a helpful tool for new staff coming in.  They felt this was visually pleasing and easy to understand.
  • The only revision is to finish the video tutorials that will link to this for training of the staff coming in for the 2016-2017 academic year.  I may break this out into multiple images that just focus on one topic for those that me be overwhelmed by such a long list.

3DGameLab:Play This, Learn That: What is Making History II

After reviewing various media on Making History II, it is clear that there is educational value to this game if presented in the right way.  I can see students using Intel’s Visual Ranking prior to playing the game to determine or think about what factors will influence success during World War II.

Pitch for use:

Students will take on the role of a nation during the WWII era.  The decisions that students make bout the economy, military, and allies will determine their nation’s success in the simulation.  This virtual look at real world situations will aid students in really understanding the role that the economy played in leading up to major world events of the time.  Their decisions may even change the outcomes of these events in a virtual space.

3DGameLab: What is Kerbal Space Program?

After playing through a few quests in the Learn this, Play That camp, I have learned about Kerbal Space Program.

 

This is a game where the player, I mean student, can construct digital models of space shuttles.  Once the shuttle is build students then launch their shuttles into space.  If they have constructed it well then lift off should go well. If not then there may be some crashes, explosions, and mishaps.  That is okay because students can learn from their design failures, go back to the design phase, and make changes.  Through trial & error and a little perseverance, students will improve their design and experience success.  Next is to apply physics to their flight ability to get into a position where they are able to orbit the planet.  As students flight skills and design skills improve, they will have longer missions to get to where no Kerbal has gone before – other moons and planets.  We should explore this as an educational opportunity because it fosters critical thinking that mimics a real life situation and applies science skills.

EdTech 506: Color Depth & Dimension

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  • Users & Assumptions – The users of this image will be staff as an initial outline of year long staff training.  The users have varied experience with technology.
  • Rationale for Selection – My selection will work because of its simplicity. I kept this graphic strictly textual with a unifying circle around those training topics that are geared more towards productivity, rather than collaboration and creativity  I choose bold colors for the umbrella topics.  Sub-topics of Google Apps was not as bold intentionally because I wanted the focus to be on Google Apps.
  • User Test Results – Use test resulted in a clear to understand image.  There were not suggestions made.
  • Possible Revisions – Possibly removing the sub-topics for apps as it makes the graphic appear a little cluttered.
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EdTech 506: Contrast, Alignment, Repetition, & Proximity

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  • Users & Assumptions – The users of this graphic will be students in grades 6th -10th, parents, and teachers.  This particular graphic is going to be used as a quick reference guide for students, parents, and staff to outline the various features.  This past year we ran a hands on training and created a video tutorial, however, we still have members of our community that are having difficulty understanding the portal system.  As this is The Founders Academy main communication to students and parents about assignments, grades, and course announcements it is imperative that they understand how to navigate the system.  Most returning students and parents have experience using the portal system and are proficient at using it.  While those that will be new in the 2016-2017 academic year to our school don’t have the same experiences using a learning management system.  In addition, we have a large population of students coming from home school environments and their experience with digital environments for learning is not as varied as those in a traditional public school setting.

 

  • Rationale for Selection – My selection will work because it uses colors to create clearly sectioned off content from the main screen to the more detailed progress view.  The numbers on the screenshot of the Learning Management System (LMS)have a bold contrasting color that has them stand out from the rest of the image (p. 195).  The numbers correspond with descriptions to the right of the image that give more detail about the function of each feature.  These have been aligned in such a way that their proximity is close to the elements in the screenshot (p. 195).    I didn’t want to distract from the screenshot of the LMS and wanted to use this more as quick reference for a refresher that could be printed, posted on a website, and be part of lesson tutorials.  In order to maximize the flexibility of the image, I felt that using numbers worked better than arrows to text boxes that would visually overwhelm users that may get distracted by a design that was more complicated.

 

  • User Test Results – My daughter test drove the image. Her initial comment was wow that’s cool.  I’m taking that as I’m getting better at creating graphics using Fireworks.  As she read through the elements, I noticed she was confused on the “Detailed Progress” image as to which arrow to click on.  She also didn’t know where the video link was when asked.  I used my daughter as the test subject because she is younger than a 6th grader.  Based upon this, even a struggling learner should be able to understand the graphic with its elements.

 

  • Revisions – Based upon the user test, I made the following revision: 1) added the word up for description 1 of the detailed progress view to make it clear which arrow to select.  2) added film strips on either side of the video url to access the video tutorial.