Sunday, December 19, 2010

EDLD 5366 Course-Embedded Assignment Reflection

EDLD 5366 Digital graphics is a class I had been looking forward since I started the Master’s program at Lamar. This was a course that I knew would be exciting to me because it involved the creation of technology products that I could actually use in my classroom. I expected to immediately begin working on technology products, but to my surprise, the first week covered the history of digital graphics. To me, this was so interesting because it allowed me to appreciate digital graphics even more now that I knew how and when it began. This allowed me to create my products, which included a newsletter, with even more enthusiasm than I had before.


In week four of the course, I was assigned to create a newsletter. It had been a while since I last created one so I was a bit anxious about whether or not I would remember how to make one. More important, I was nervous about whether or not I would be able to implement all four design principles, which are contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity (Yearwood, 2009). Through the creation of this newsletter, I learned that implementing the C.R.A.P. principles is a sure way of creating a newsletter that looks respectable and not overloaded with too much information. I also learned that planning beforehand is key in order to ensure that a newsletter is appropriate for its target audience. In a technology class I had previously taken, I had been told to plan before making a newsletter and I held this to be very true; however, I was not given in-depth information as to what to consider in the planning stage. Upon reading the article “Planning Newsletters” by Annette Lamb, I learned that I need to consider my audience, the purpose of my newsletter, and conduct a survey in the planning phase if I want to create a successful newsletter (Lamb, 2005). Upon taking my old knowledge of planning and the new information I gained into consideration, I embarked in a careful planning period before actually creating my newsletter. I am glad that I did this because my careful planning saved me from spending a lot of time changing things, which is what I used to do before. The only thing that I would change to make this assignment better would be to assign it on the third week instead of the fourth. That way students can submit it the third week for feedback, make changes based on the suggestions given, and submit a final product the fourth week.

Learn as a Learner

As I got started in creating my newsletter in Microsoft Publisher, I used a blank template. In my opinion, this requirement of the assignment is what led me to feel confident in my ability to create a newsletter because when I looked at the finished product, I felt very proud of how it came out. Most importantly, this made the newsletter unique to me and I was able to show my interests by using articles that pertained to my cause, which is the implementation of technology in the classroom.
Through the creation of this newsletter, I learned that am a visual learner. As I read the readings assigned for this project, I was very interested in the information each contained, however, I could not remember all the details. It was not until I was given actual examples of newsletters and their parts that I was able to make a connection between what I had just read, and what I had to do. This project allowed me to experience what my students feel whenever they are given information via text and nothing else. As stated in the article “Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners” by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, “students should learn through a variety of learning strategies, learning experiences, and perspectives” (n.d.). Differentiated instruction must be available to all students in order to ensure an equal learning opportunity for all.
Through the completion of this project, I was able to cooperate with my colleagues through the use of blogs, online conferences, and wikis. This was a nice aspect of this project because it allowed me virtually meet with my colleagues and share any questions that I had. This made the process less stressful because I felt that I had a support group that would be there for me during this process, which resulted in a carefully-planned and successfully completed newsletter.

Lifelong Learning Skills

Through this activity and this course in general, I learned that learning takes shape in many ways, not just through the use of textbooks and educational journals. This will impact my future learning by encouraging me to seek out for different methods and tools for learning, not only for me, but for my students as well. Through this course, I have created a logo, a business card, and a newsletter, all unique to my persona. These products are not typically seen in classrooms today but they should because they would all cater to the students’ unique interests and needs. This course will encourage me to get together with other educators and teach them about the different educational tools that are available to them, and most importantly, how they can use these tools in their classrooms.
My past interactions and collaborations with my colleagues will impact my future learning experiences by opening my eyes to the world of online cooperation. The same way that Lamar students have constant online help through the use of discussion boards and wikis, educators should have this extra help as well. Unfortunately, the use of these tools is not very common at my district. By seeing how well I have been able to work with other Lamar students, I am motivated to help set up an online support system for educators in which they can share with others whatever concerns they have and they can help each other. This way, educators can enhance their knowledge of technology away from the school setting whenever they wish to do so.
As a lifelong learner, an issue that challenges me is the current budget restraints my district is placing in campuses all over. We are in a time in which everything, from paper to staples, is portioned. Therefore, the creation of a newsletter may be something that the district would not support. I would have to investigate what steps I would have to take to share a newsletter online, such as if more bandwidth should be obtained in order to support the extra visitors the school page would get, copyright issues when using school photographs, and other issues of this matter
In all, this class was enjoyable and I learned of different ways that learning can take place. I really enjoyed being able to create my own products and was able to determine that this hands-on method is the best way for me to learn something new. The same way that I was able to figure out which method of learning worked best for me by experimenting with different tools, students should be exposed to these as well. Only then can they, along with their teachers, determine which method of learning works best for them.


Lamb, A. (2005). Planning newsletters. Retrieved from

Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. (n.d.). Meeting the needs of diverse learners. Retrieved from

Yearwood, J. (2009). Basic design principles. Retrieved from

Sunday, November 21, 2010

EDLD 5366 Week 1 Assignment: Analysis of Ancient Manuscript

Upon examining the Bible from Ethiopia, my first impression of this ancient work in regards to design is that despite the fact that it was created many years ago, amazing design techniques were used that early on. The designer successfully employed all four principles of design, thus resulting in a great piece of work that is studied by many still to this day. In regard to the principle of contrast, all pages in the Bible feature black text versus a beige background, and red text versus a beige background. This allows for easy visibility of the text. In regard to the principle of repetition, all pages with text feature the text split into two columns. The pages with text are on the right-hand side of the book, with a large picture on the left-hand side of the book. All pictures drawn on the Bible are painted within a square. All pages with text feature the same elaborate border at the top of the page. In regard to the principle of alignment, all pictures in the Bible are placed in the center of the page. All text is split evenly in the middle, thus creating two columns. To help us, the viewers, understand the importance of this manuscript, the artist carefully drew pictures throughout the book to accompany all text. This allows those of us that are unfamiliar with the language used to still understand what is going on page after page. This usage of pictures being placed next to the corresponding text shows successful usage of the principle of proximity. It is amazing to see all the details that go into place when one carefully analyzes any piece of work.

Monday, September 27, 2010

EDLD 5363 Week 5: Final Assessment Course Reflection Responses

What outcomes had you envisioned for this course? Did you achieve those outcomes? Did the actual course outcomes align with those that you envisioned?
For this course, I had envisioned different outcomes. Amongst these were to successfully create a video, to learn more about video technology, and to learn about the different types of shots when filming video. After evaluating this list of envisioned outcomes, I am glad to say that I achieved the majority of them. These outcomes that I had envisioned did in fact line up with the actual course outcomes. I learned about creating a video in week one when I created my own personal digital story. This was such a fun learning experience for me because not only was I able to learn how to put together my own video, but I was able to share with others something about me. I learned more about video technology as each week progressed through the different tools that we used, such as Photo Story and Audacity. I now feel confident in showing others how to use these tools. Unfortunately, for the last outcome that I had envisioned which is to learn about the different types of shots when filming video, I feel like I did not learn enough. I learned about different shot techniques through our readings, such as the medium shot, the wide shot, the close-up, the extreme close-up, the trucking shot, and cutaways, however, I did not actually get to use any of these. Though this is unfortunate, I do intend on learning more about this on my own and practicing these shots so that I can become better at filming video.

To the extent that you achieved the outcomes, are they still relevant to the work that you do in your school? Why or why not?
Out of all the outcomes that I envisioned and achieved, they are relevant to the work that I do in my school for the most part. Since I work with the lower grade levels, there is really no shooting of video in my classes. However, being in this class opened my eyes up to the different possibilities that video brings to a classroom, even those with younger kids. For example, week one’s assignment, personal digital story, is something that can be done by students of all ages. What makes this possible is the fact that it is something that is relatable to the students. Young children love sharing their experiences with others. Why not showcase these through video? After taking this class, I now feel more knowledgeable and better equipped to incorporate video into my classroom.

What outcomes did you not achieve? What prevented you from achieving them?
Out of all the outcomes that I envisioned, I feel that I did not achieve one of them. This outcome is the one of learning more about different shots when filming video. Though I learned about these through the readings, I must admit that my knowledge remained the same as before. What prevented me from learning more was the fact that I did not get a chance to shoot video during this course. Another team member was in charge of filming the video for the PSA. Though I assisted in the choosing of the shots and figuring out what looked best, I really wish that I had more of a “hands on” experience in this project. Unfortunately, time constraints and distance prevented this from happening. Though I did not achieve this outcome during this course, I intend on doing so whenever I have some free time. This will allow me to shoot better video in the future.

Were you successful in completing the course assignments? If not, what prevented or discouraged you?
When completing the course assignments, I can honestly say that I was successful in completing all of them. The biggest factor in my achieving of this is the fact that I had a wonderful team comprised of members that all looked out for each other. Whenever one of us missed something in an assignment, another team member was sure to tell that member. For example, during week 3, it was mentioned in the web conference that all team members had to post a link to the team wiki in the discussion board, along with the names of all the other team members. Those of us that did not attend the web conference missed this requirement. Thankfully, one of the team members noticed this and notified the other team members so that they could get credit. It is teamwork like this that allowed me to complete my assignments. Without my team members, this would not have been possible.

What did you learn from this course: about yourself, your technology and leadership skills, and your attitudes?
Through this course, I was able to learn a lot about myself. More specifically, I was able to learn about my technology and leadership skills, and my attitude when it comes to working with others. As this class progressed, I was able to contribute to the group work with my pre-existing technology skills. I was very happy to see that I was helping others because I had never realized just how much I knew when it came to technology. I was able to take screen shots to create a storyboard for all to follow, I edited some shots for the video editor to use, and I was able to work with both Wiki and Google docs in a way that it helped others completing the assignment. I never knew just how much I knew until I started this class and began using all these different tools at once. Something else that I learned through this course is that I can be a successful leader. In group work that I had previously participated in, I was always a follower; I let others guide me. In this group, however, I had the role of the director so I had to make many decisions. Looking at how the PSA came out and how my decisions along with those of others helped create such a wonderful product, gives me confidence that I can be a great leader. One last and major thing that this course taught me is that team work is nowhere near as bad as I had always pictured it. Due to previous bad experiences while working in groups, I started this class feeling nervous about having to do group work. I was not happy about this and was dreading the creation of this project. However, as time passed and I began working with my team members, I realized just how amazing working with others can be. This made a huge impact on my perspective of group work. I no longer dread it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

EDLD 5363 Week 5 Assignment: PSA Reflection

During the course of EDLD 5363, I had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented people I have ever worked with. This was very interesting to me because we had never met each other before, and yet we were able to get organized and work together through the use of Web 2.0 tools.
Upon the assigning of the PSA, my group and I immediately joined forces to come up with a topic during the pre-production stage. Through email communication, we all agreed that the use of cell phones in school zones was a problem that affected us all. We quickly distributed the different job roles based on the individual strengths that we all had. Dub Wellborn, a fellow team member, set up a group Wiki in order for us to work collaboratively. Once this was set up, the production of the PSA began.
During the production process, everyone contributed equally to the PSA. This is what made the experience so great. Everyone completed the task they were assigned, and helped those that were in need. This kept the production process from becoming overwhelming. Leigh Moore, the camera operator, quickly got a group of student actors to volunteer and sent home permission slips for them to appear in the video. Once all parts of the production process were complete, post-production began.
When it came time for post-production, my team showed how well it could work together. We quickly communicated back and forth on any changes that needed to be made, all while being very respectful of each other. Thanks to the use of Google docs, we were all able to work collaboratively on the PSA document until it was finalized. This saved us time from having to wait on others.
To make our PSA more reputable, Dorothy Patel, the script writer, located some statistics to include in the PSA. She appropriately cited each source in the PSA document to give credit to the authors. Since all of the shots and sounds were contributed by the team members, a creative commons license logo was placed at the beginning of the PSA. This will let others know how the PSA can be used.
After analyzing the final version of our PSA, I am very happy with the final outcome. I believe that even though we never met in person, my team and I managed to create a PSA that delivers a very important message to all those who watch it. I cannot think of anything that my group and I can do to improve our public service announcement; however, I do believe that in order to learn more about PSA production, each person should have done their own PSA. This would have allowed me to learn more about the video production process.
Overall, the creation of this PSA was a wonderful experience that taught me how wonderful group work can be when it is organized. Since my team members and I knew our own strengths and weaknesses, we were able to distribute the work evenly amongst each other, thus making it a process that targeted each of our needs. As an educator, this is something that I want my students to learn how to figure out. Because of this project, I can now give my students a real life example on how to work together, all while teaching them an important lesson; never use your cell phone while driving in a school zone!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

EDLD 5363 Week 2 Assignment: Video Editing Podcast

This is a short tutorial on how to use Windows Movie Maker for editing videos.

-Kristy Lopez (ET 8019)

Creative Commons License
Video Editing Podcast by Kristy Lopez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, September 3, 2010

EDLD 5363 Week 2 Assignment: Evaluating Video Editing Software

For this week’s assignment, I was asked to evaluate two video editing programs. Upon reading the article “Before You Buy Video Editing Software,” by Gretchen Siegchrist, I decided to evaluate Windows Movie Maker and Wax. In order to conduct both evaluations, I chose a video clip recording I had in my video library and edited it in both programs. Ultimately, I chose Windows Movie Maker to edit my video because I had previous experience working with it, it was free, and its features were far more user friendly.

The format of the video clip I chose to edit was QuickTime Movie (.MOV). I had no problem uploading this file format to Windows Movie Maker. Within seconds, my video had been uploaded. The ease of access to the different editing tools made editing my video an easy process. With its easy accessibility, I was able to split my video into sections, cut out any parts I did not want, add transition effects, text, audio, and even an image to my video. After I finished editing my video, I saved it to my computer for playback. Windows Movie Maker gave me several video quality options to choose from when saving my video, including high definition, both 1080p and 780p, widescreen, and standard definition. For easier storage, I chose standard definition and clicked the save button. Within less than thirty seconds, my video was saved in Windows Media Audio/Video file (.wmv) format, which makes it easy to upload to video sharing websites, such as or

When I tried to edit the same video on Wax, I encountered some problems. First, the navigation menu was not very user friendly. I spent quite some time trying to figure out how to upload a video clip to edit. When I finally figured it out, my chosen file format, QuickTime Movie (.MOV), was not supported. As a result, I was not able to upload my video. This presents a large problem because most of my video files are .MOV. In order to edit any of my movies in Wax, I would have to convert them all to the accepted format, WAV. This process would be very time consuming, thus making it a less favorable option. In order to fully review the Wax software, I uploaded a Video Clip (.avi) file, which was a supported format. I tried to edit it in the provided storyboard; however, though it looked like the video was playing, the audio nor the video image never came on. Only a black screen was shown. Next, I went on to try out transition effects. When I clicked the button for transition, the program deleted the video clip I had downloaded and left me with a blank project. In the end, I was never able to edit anything with Wax. The only thing I accomplished was the wasting of time.

Before conducting this week's assignment, I had only heard of Windows Movie Maker for editing videos. Now, I know there is a wide array of software available for such task, all with different strengths and weaknesses. After editing a video in both Windows Movie Maker and Wax, I came to the conclusion that Windows Movie Maker is by far the best editing software for me. Because of its ease of use, I am most likely going to use this program again for all my future video editing needs. By learning how to edit videos, I will be able to create my own educational videos, tailored to my own class’s needs. Video editing software is a very powerful tool for educators. It provides more opportunities for individualized instruction by allowing its users to keep necessary information, and discard any that may not be as useful.

Siegchrist, G. (n.d.). Before you buy video editing software. About. Retrieved on August 30, 2010, from

Sunday, August 29, 2010

EDLD 5363 Week 1 Assignment: Personal Digital Story

Title: "Oh, The Places I've Been!"
By: Kristy López

For this week's assignment, I was asked to create a personal digital story through the use of Microsoft's Photo Story software. Creating this video was such a fun experience that I cannot wait to make more projects like this. I had previously worked with Photo Story so it was not difficult for me to remember how to use it. However, I did enjoy working with Photo Story more this time because it was personal. I was able to share with others about the different places I have been, and I was able to do so in a way that was fun to me.
Photo Story provides so many opportunities for learning in the classroom to occur, that I will definitely be using it in my teachings. Photo Story is a fun and engaging way of making learning interactive.

Kristy Lopez