Meaningful Meanderings

Chris Mark's Blogfolio

Slideshare – a Great Web 2.0 Tool February 23, 2010

Filed under: Slideshare — Christine Mark @ 9:31 pm
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I noticed that when I searched for PowerPoint presentations that I could use for my classes that many of them were in a format called Slideshare.  I was not sure how Slideshare worked I just knew there were many great presentations stored using this tool.  As part of my PhD class in Instructional Technology, we learned about Slideshare and explored its many uses.  I completed an assignment where we had to use an advanced feature of Slideshare called Slidecast.  This tool allows users to apply audio to PowerPoint slides and create a narrated automatic presentation.  The assignment required that 10 slides be narrated.  I used a past presentation that was done for parents explaining Web 2.0 tools and how their children could use them safely which consisted of 16 slides.  I first used Audacity to create an MP3 file containing my voice narration.  I had never used Audacity and I found it to be quite user friendly.  I was able to go through my audio track and delete all the awkward pauses and instances of filler syllables like “um”, etc.  It was quite easy.  I then went to the Slideshare website and created an account.  This was very straightforward.  I then uploaded my PowerPoint slides and my MP3 file.  Using the Slidecast feature I was able to sync my audio to the appropriate slide.  It worked for me the first time and I did not have any problems.  Here is my Slideshare Slidecast if you would like to see and listen to the finished product.

As I completed this assignment I thought of many uses for this tool.  It would be great to use to record a lecture for students who are either online or miss a class.  Students could also use this to review for an exam or go back over something they did not understand.  It can also be used to record presentations done at conferences or presentations you would like to share with colleagues.  The only drawback I could see is that it does not support video if the Slidecast feature is used.  It also does not recognize any animations or transitions in the presentation.  However, I thought that overall it a great tool for education and it easy to learn.  I am going to definitely use this web 2.0 tool for my classes going forward.


Thoughts from MECA February 12, 2010

Filed under: Teaching with Technology — Christine Mark @ 10:01 am
Tags: , ,

I attended the MECA (Mississippi Educational Computing Association) conference in Jackson, Mississippi this week with it being my first time attending this conference.  I truly enjoyed seeing many of my colleagues as well as some of my professors and it proved to be a great time to network with other teachers and share ideas.  I went to a presentation called Promoting the Scholarship of Teaching by Forming Connections and during the presentation the presenters showed a video entitled A Vision of K-12 Students Today (see video below).

The video indicated that children in K-12 want to learn using technology and the traditional way of teaching is no longer effective.  The problem as indicated in the video is that K-12 teachers are not embracing technology as a tool to teach.  Teachers are not using blogs, wikis, podcasting, etc. to teach these children who need to be technologically literate when they go out into the real world or when they go on to higher education.

My observation is that the students coming out of high school are not technologically literate.  I taught Introduction to Computers for two years at East Carolina University.  When I started I thought the course was probably a waste of time and resources as the students certainly know these things.  I was shocked to find that their technical knowledge was limited to texting, email and Facebook.  Very few students had much understanding beyond these few applications.  I have now been teaching at The University of Southern Mississippi for two semesters and have found the level of technology skills exhibited by the students to be the same as at East Carolina.  In the real world of business they are going to be expected to know and use technology as business has long been leveraging technology as a way to increase their competitive advantage through lowering costs and increasing creativity and innovation.  How ready are these students?  I agree with the video that learning styles need adapt to the new technology and it needs to happen in K-12.  By the time we get them in higher education we could be teaching them so much more rather than getting them up to speed with current technology.


Introduction to Blogfolio

This blog was created as part of my class, a Seminar in Instuctional Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  During the semester I will be posting entries to my blog discussing the various topics covered in class as well as my reaction to the assignments.  I have been meaning to start a blog and this is a great opportunity to get started.  After this class I plan on continuing the blog and possibly coming up with ways I can use it in the classes I teach.


Who Am I? February 11, 2010

Hello…I am Chris Mark. I created this blog for my PhD class, Seminar in Intructional Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi.  I am planning on using it for my class and then continuing it for blogging about education and technology.

I am originally from Toledo, Ohio. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Toledo in Business (Accounting) and I have an MBA also from the University of Toledo in Management and Industrial Relations. I have over 20 years of experience in the Human Resource field. I always wanted to teach business and especially Human Resource Management at some time in my life. I got that opportunity two years ago when I was offered an Instructor position at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. I taught Intro to Computers for 2 years in the College of Business. Meanwhile, my husband, Steve, was offered a great position here at USM in the Technology Education Department. I was also offered an Instructor position here at USM. I teach Intro to Management, Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior and Business here in the College of Business. I really enjoy the students and love being able to relate my actual experience to the things we are studying.

I am in the Instructional Design PhD program. I took Dr. SteveYuen’s class last semester and learned how to create a website. I am so excited to be using my website this semester as a resource for my students. I also use a class Wiki for discussions that has worked very well. I also use a lot of You Tube videos in my classes as I think it adds interest and outside content. It is amazing what is out there.

We bought a house in Hattiesburg last August and love the area. When we are not working we enjoy riding our Harley-Davidson motorcycles and exploring the area. Since I had never been to Mississippi before there is a lot to discover.