EDER 679.25 Blog Post 2 – Media Inquiry

Reading through the different articles, I became more aware of the complexities of media and the messages behind it and its meaning to learners.  I chose to look deeper into the Core Concept #3 regarding how messages are interpreted by different people.  This concept explains how one message can be created by someone, or a group of someones, with an intended meaning, but depending on who is reading/viewing the message, it can have different meanings.  Gender, age, race, ethnicity, cultural background, education, personal background/experiences, etc. can all have an impact on how one interprets a message.

Personally, I have often noticed this when watching cartoons with my children.  Some of the humour and subtle nuances have meaning to me, where my children don’t pick up on them at all.  My age and experiences are letting me pick up other messages that my children, because they haven’t been exposed to certain topics, don’t even recognize.

Having a “target audience” and understanding their demographics is key to delivering a message that is less likely to be misinterpreted.

When creating my own digital material, I will be mindful to take into consideration the differences in culture, values, education, race, gender, etc. that may be present in my audience, as well as understanding how these differences can lead to different interpretations of my message.

I came across this little cartoon.  Thought I would share.  I thought it demonstrated nicely how a simple message can be misconstrued…

Lewis, L.C. (2011). Miscommunication, the bane of social media! Or is it just me? Blog Post.  Retrieved from: http://lindacassidylewis.com/2011/09/04/miscommunication-the-bane-of-social-media-or-is-it-just-me/

EDER679.25 – Blog 1 – PHOTO EDITING

This is a photo that I took for an engagement shoot.  I use Photoshop Elements 8 as my photo editing tool for my photography business.

Original Photo:

Next, I adjusted the lighting, brightened it up a bit.  I increased the saturation so that the colours popped more.  And finally softened the image to give a nice dreamy look.

Next, to erase something from the image.  I erased some of the pebbles on the road, the bow from Nell’s boot, and one of the trees in the background.

Because I am familiar with the rule of thirds, my original photo was taken loosely following the rule.  But for this assignment, I cropped the photo a little bit more to really showcase it.

And finally, I did a horizontal flip (left to right).

This was probably one of my favourite shoots that I’ve done.  The difference from the original photo to the final product is really remarkable!  (Although I do prefer the photo more before the horizontal flip.)


Reflective Journal – Part One

e-What? Sorry, I’m confused!

The main thing that I noticed from the readings was the confusion and lack of clarity regaring what e-learning really is.  The MacGreal & Anderson (2007) article mentioned that the majority of Canadian university courses have some Internet or email component.  Does this really constitute e-learning?  In my opinion, email has become a substitute for the telephone.  Would we classify communication via telephone to professors or classmates a technological component of a course?  In my opinion, that’s a “no”.  But this just points out the lack of clarity regarding what e-learning really consitutes.  There are so many different forms of technology (Internet, CD-rom, iPads, gaming, email) and various teaching methods that incorporate technology (blended learning, online learning, using SmartBoards in the classroom) that is has become very difficult to come up with one comprehensive definition.

Where do I fit in?

I believe, based on the categories presented in the Guri-Rosenblit & Gros (2011) article, that we, as MEd online students at the UofC fall into the communication-oriented approach to e-learning.  This approach is characterized by online collaboration and guidance by a facilitator using a LMS, in our case Blackboard.  I am in the old stream of the MEd online with no in-class component.  However, I believe those that are in the new cohort stream are part of a blended approach since there is an in-class component as well as the online portion.

Excuse me, teacher…?

Peter Drucker is quoted in the Guri-Rosenblit & Gros (2011) article as saying that with the shift to e-learning universities won’t last.  There is a view that e-learning will lead to students becoming more self-directed and autonomous in their studies, and will eventually design their own study plans and programs.  I don’t believe this this is possible.  Teachers still do, and should always play a crucial role in education.  Students need teachers as guides, to design curriculum and implement technology in meaningful ways.  This is especially true for students at the primary and secondary school levels, and even undergraduate in my opinion.  E-learning will facilitate the shift from a teacher-dominated to learner-centered approach; however, teachers are still an integral part of the process.  If students design their own curriculum, study plan, topics of interest, how do we then assess grades and degrees?  With teachers playing such an integral role in e-learning, it is important for them to be ahead of the game when it comes to technology and meaningful ways of integrating it into the classroom.  We need to make sure that our students are educated in technology and how to use it for learning purposes, but more importantly, teachers must also be educated on these same topics before they enter the classroom.  As guides to our students, they must be sure that they fully understand the capabilities of technology and are able to demonstrate to students how they can use different technologies in the classroom, at work, and in their daily lives.

Survey Says…

Because of the lack of clarity in defining e-learning, there are also many gaps in the research.  Most of the available research studies the impact of certain types of technology on a particular group of students.  Most of the research is contradictory.  And it is difficult to research new technologies and methods as longitudinal studies are not possible.  Often, different technologies are replaced or discarded before research can be presented, or even conducted.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

It was once thought that e-learning would be an inexpensive alternative to traditional classroom environments.  This has proven to be untrue.  Online learning programs are more expensive because of the need for tech as well as teacher support, small class sizes, software and licencing, etc.  This brings up the question: Should we offer e-learning options that provide the same curriculum and learning outcomes that are more expensive than traditional classroom approaches with the same outcomes?  I say, why not?  If it weren’t for an online program, I would not have been able to participate in graduate studies.  With working full-time, a family, and other commitments, a traditional classroom approach was not an option for me.  With the online MEd program, I am given the flexibility to complete my course requirements on my own time, and from a completely different geographical location.  The higher price tag was worth it for me.  Perhaps someday education will be able to come up with a way to combine online learning with lower cost.

Hello Blogging World!

I have so many friends that blog – kids stuff, recipes, movies, crafts…  I always read them and find them super interesting and fun.  But I’ve never had the motivation (or time!) to set up a blog of my own.  It’s fun designing and customizing everything.  I can definitely see the appeal!

Maybe some day, once I’m done my degree, I’ll start a blog of my own.  Perhaps entitled “Now what do I do with all my spare time…”  😉