Here is a link to my Wicked Project Presentation, and here is a link to the Transcript of the presentation (which also includes image references, and a link to my research reference list).
I work for a small High School district located in the Bay Area of California. We recently passed a large facilities bond that included significant funding for technology upgrades and enhancements. This bond has funded many new technologies, including the installation of multimedia projectors and sound systems in every classroom. In order to effectively utilize the projection system (and, hopefully, avoid having to replace TVs, DVD and VHS players), we also implemented a video streaming server, called VBrick.
My challenge is how to train teachers who are already overloaded with many new technologies on the use of the VBrick system. There is no time available for formal, class-based professional development for VBrick.
I want to try to create “Just-in-time” professional development for teachers – training materials that they can access when they are ready to start using the system. Given that we are implementing a digital video server, I want to create video tutorials, in addition to more traditional print-based training materials. I am going to provide narrated screencasts of the key tasks that teachers will need to follow in order to use VBrick.
I had originally planned to embed these training materials into Blackboard, our district Learning Management System, but I have revised that plan, and am now implementing these materials in a GoogleSites system – primarily because I would like to include more Social Learning tools than our version of Blackboard will support. I am also finding that I am more comfortable working with GoogleSites than I am in Blackboard.
I used Camtasia to record the screencasts and the narration for my tutorials.
After spending some time working in Blackboard, and considering the impact of Social Learning on high quality distance learning, I eventually realized that Blackboard, with its limited Social Learning capabilities, would have to be used in a limited capacity. I ended up favoring GoogleSites as the “Launchpad” for the training materials. I will continue to learn Blackboard, however, as that is what our teachers will use in their classes, and I will need to learn how they will use it, so I can train them in how to incorporate VBrick into Blackboard.
I’m still learning GoogleSites, but I think that I will try to incorporate the ability to provide RSS feeds via Feedburner, and the page Commenting feature into my training materials. I am looking forward to learning more ways to incorporate social learning into my training materials via GoogleSites as I get to know that program better.
I am aiming to create training materials that will appeal to all learning styles – visual and auditory learners will be able to watch demos of the movements that they will need to make in order to use VBrick. I will provide step-by-step written PDF documents for visual and kinesthetic learners who need to do something in order to learn it.
The training videos will be short and sweet, and will only cover a single “competency” or skill in each session. I am hoping that by chunking the material up this way, that teachers will be able to pick and choose from the training buffet so they can learn what they need to know quickly, and get out of there. I have created a list of VBrick competencies that will act as a list of training topics.
Our teachers have extensive experience in using Blackboard. I intend to use scaffolding and incorporate their existing knowledge of Blackboard – things like embedding YouTube videos – into their learning of VBrick. I am hoping this will make it more familiar for them. (CLICK)
Finally, I hope to incorporate Social Learning tools so they can ask questions and give feedback to each other (and me!) about the use of the VBrick system. This will be vital on this system, as there will not be any formal classroom training where interaction is the norm between the trainer and the teacher. I will create a Comments area on each of the VBRick training pages that teachers can use to provide their feedback or ask questions. I am unsure of how well this will go over, but am interested to see what they will think of this.
The Content Knowledge
I created a list of VBrick competencies that would be needed to use the system. I consider this list to be my “content standards” for this particular tool. I created two lists – one for teachers who need to use the system for playback of videos, and one for our librarians who will use the system to upload and manage video content. I have identified 17 competencies.
I also aligned the use of VBrick in the classroom to the ISTE NETS-S standards, which has given me a framework for how to present the training materials that relate to integrating VBRick with the Blackboard LMS. VBrick aligns with standards 2 and 3 – Communication and Collaboration, and Research and Information Fluency.
I am looking forward to working more with these tools as I implement more of this project. I have really benefitted from the input of my instructor and colleagues in this course as I have worked through this project.