Monthly Archives: March 2014

capstone project

Here is a pdf of my capstone project:

Course Capstone Requirement – Lesson Plan

Here is a link to my video project rubric, as outlined in the lesson plan above.

capstone – video project rubric


thing 21 – flipping the classroom

Here is a video I made on the Law of Demand.

Reflection: I think this video could use some soft background music to make it a little more interesting and to get rid of the hum in the background. It might also need some work on the graphics, but overall, I’m pretty pleased with my first video of this sort. I look forward to creating more in the future!

thing 20 – online video + audio resources

Below is the video version of my written post that I made using Camtasia Studio:

Part 1 – Video Resources

I searched on YouTube and on PBS LearningMedia for videos. Both sources are easy to search, and with PBS, especially, you know you are getting quality, relevant material. On the PBS site, I found a lesson plan with a video about where your money goes when you pay taxes, which would be a great resource for when I teach my unit on taxes and government spending.

On YouTube, I subscribe to a channel belonging to a college economics teacher. All of the videos are 3-8 minutes long and they are each about different economics concepts. They are really useful for reinforcing concepts I have taught in class, especially when students are in the blended class and aren’t in the classroom on a given day.

Part 2 – Audio Resources

I have used numerous audio news clips in my lessons from NPR to add real world relevance to the concepts I’m teaching. It’s helpful to teach a subject that is in the news so often. 🙂 However, I’ve never really explored the world of podcasts before. I searched and found the podcasts from APM Marketplace. (I love listening to this on the radio, so I figured the podcasts would be great too!) These could be super useful and add some fun, interesting information to the topics I teach. The podcasts give real world examples of economics principles that are in current news. They might be a bit long (25-26 minutes each) to hold high school students’ attention, but I could assign students to listen to one that I felt was particularly relevant and complete an assignment on it. Or, I could find the sections of the episodes that are relevant to the concepts we are covering and have them listen to just those sections. I can definitely see using these in the future and posting links to the ones that are relevant to the concepts we’re covering on my classroom website!

Strengths and Weaknesses of Video

Strengths of video are that they use both visual and audio senses to capture students’ attention and engage them in the topic, students can see real world demonstration of concepts, and it can be self-paced so students can pause and replay sections as needed.

Weaknesses of video are that it may not be good quality, searching for an appropriate video takes some time and concentrated effort, and sometimes students can get distracted by the visual details in a video if it’s not modern (for example, they may get distracted by the clothing or hairstyle of the people in the video and miss the concepts the video is trying to teach.)

Strengths and Weaknesses of Audio

Strengths of the audio resources I chose are that they are all very relevant to what is happening in the world right now. As students listen, they can write down connections to material they have learned in class and they don’t have to worry about missing something visual on a screen. Audio resources are also a little more portable. Students can listen to an assigned podcast as they walk, drive, or ride the bus home from school. It’s a little more difficult to do that with a video.

Weaknesses of audio are that there are no pictures accompanying it, so students can’t see a visual example of what is being discussed. It might be easier to form a misconception of a topic if you can’t see it being discussed. Students may also get distracted doing something else and stop engaging with an audio resource because there isn’t an accompanying visual to grab their attention.

thing 19 – digital storytelling

Below is my digital story:

And here is my storyboard: thing 19 – digital story storyboard

Ways Digital Storytelling Can be Used in My Classroom

One way I can use digital storytelling is to have students create short stories about concepts we have covered to make sure they can explain it in their own words, and that they can do so in a creative way, which really shows they have a solid working knowledge of the material. I can see doing this towards the end of a unit before I do a summative assessment (and let students watch each others’ work as a sort of review) or even after teaching a complex concept that I want to make sure everyone understands. Some ideas would include having students create stories to teach one another, stories that are more skit-like in nature, and stories that are like commercials and public service announcements that explain ideas.

Another way I can use digital stories is to have students do a one minute self reflection on their understanding of the material from class. I envision this being more of single words in their stories that are up for a couple seconds at a time and maybe some short video of them explaining their understanding. I would probably do this at the end of a unit, around parent teacher conference time to have students’ feedback to share with parents (and I could share the videos too!), and at the end of the semester.

Feedback and Suggestions for Improvement

I had my husband give me feedback and suggestions on my digital story and here is what he wrote:

Well I sure liked it! It’s pretty great that you captured “fire-mens”, guitar playing, and a day without pants. If you need actual critique, I guess I’d turn up the intro track a bit. I really liked all of the cuts.

He might be a little biased since the story is about our son, but I agree that the intro music could be a little louder. Other than that, I like my finished product! It was really fun to make, especially since I really like the subject. 😉