Architecture & interior design and the experiences evoked by them-prt1

Well looking from the standpoint of a person who up until recently taught Architecture and some of the basic points of interior design, I found this unit rather compelling. By this I mean that it is nice to view this particular discipline from outside the “box” as we are trying to do within this module. Linking how a person views or reacts to the different aspects of architecture in relation to education is something unique that i have never really explored. My hope is that through the course of this module we will explore further how one may improve the learning experience as a whole by simply altering the color or positions of items within the classroom. I have touched upon this idea previously when discussing sets and other aspects of film. However, this particular module hits so close to home that it really resonates with my own feelings on classroom layout and interior decisions that would benefit not only instruction, but learning as well.

Bridges between the work of art of film & television and the work of art of teaching

This is actually a pretty interesting concept as it involved looking at items in film and television and then breaking them down into ways most viewers never would. Throughout the process of extracting the composition and details of film and television I believe I have stumbled onto something. I believe that as an instructor it would behoove me as well as other instructors to really pay attention to both their delivery as well as the layout of the classroom itself. It really seems as though we could set the tone for not just a lesson but the overall learning experiences simply by changing a few items in are classroom. I believe by changing things such as students seats as well as the area from which most of us teach could possible benefit overall learning. By this I mean we as educators must start to look at things from a holistic perspective as many it would seem to take into account that the lighting or desk locations ad unease to the process and distract not only the student but the instructor as well. Hopefully if I ever return to teaching I can harness some of these ideals and put them into practice.

Project: Compelling video and commentary

Directors Notes:

My thought process in making this video revolved around creating something that would incite a viewer to possibly want to explore the topic further. So with that in mind I chose to discuss an issue that is currently occurring in my state as well as much of the Midwest, the Emerald Ash Borer. I felt even if individuals were not exposed to this insect that is decimating trees in this area, they may have an interest in the environment as being “Green” is something of a hot button issue right now. With this in mind I set about coming up with a way to present this point in such a way that would hopefully gain some type of emotional response from the viewer. This was my reasoning for choosing to use a script that revolved around a personal story. I felt that this would help to make the message more easily felt and heard by the audience, as it represents an actual person stating how the damage has occurred and effected them directly. Instead of a “canned” speech about the damage figures and the insect itself. My hope was that presented with a personal story the viewer would pay more attention to the information being presented.

When looking at this short video from the perspective of content and imagery I decided to use still photography with simple transitions. I felt the quality of the images I attained through the use of my Nikon camera were superior to the actual video I captured with my Sony camcorder. I tried to select images that would help to convey my message. I felt using the stump that was left from one of the trees that were carnaged by this insect would be a good method of capturing attention right of the bat. I then used images of both the certificate and the property sign to add credibility to my concept as it proved my statements in the film that the family had indeed been on the property since 1879. Once I established this concept I chose to include one of the largest Ash specimens still standing that has been ravaged by this insect, as it represents an example of a tree that probably began life almost 100 years ago. I felt this would have a greater impact than displaying many of the younger trees that have shared a common fate as it adds to the seriousness of this atrocity. Eventually I come full circle and display the initial image again. I felt this would help to signify the end of the video as well as drive home that particular image as the viewer has witnessed it twice.

Looking further into the content itself, lets now look at the transitions. A viewer will notice that many of the transitions between images are simple fades. I felt this would help to limit distractions from the voice over. My hope was that it would give the viewer the idea that the message being spoken was more important than a cross screen wipe or other visual trickery. Throughout this process I also incorporated the use of zooming in and out of portions of the images that I felt would help convey my message. One such example would be on the certificate that zooms out from the 1879 date as I am mentioning it in the script of the video. Once the viewer sees this date and then is exposed to the rest of the certificate, I feel they will gather that I am focusing on the date rather than the overall document. Another way in which I use this same type of pan and zoom is on the large tree that has been destroyed again my hope was that this would help to convey its overall size. Now lets step back and look at the opening title portion of the video. Here a viewer will notice that I have placed it low and to the center of the image. I did this in the hopes that while it will catch a viewers eye that it would not distract them from the overall all imagery of that gnarled root system of a fallen tree.

So with all of that in mind it is my hope that this composition of notes and video will help to create a compelling experience. As this is one of the first times I have really edited video in a very long time I hope that it manages to at least interest viewers enough to possible do a little searching of their own on this topic. Feedback would be very welcome. Thank you

Works of art vs teaching

I find it interesting that I had never really have taken the time to truly examine my classroom delivery and design to help provide students with a more compelling experience. During the current module I have been forced to really evaluate the ways in which I develop lessons and position items in the future. Currently, as I am no longer teaching and have returned industry I think I can also take advantage of some of these aspects as well. As it has opened my eyes to simply manipulating the environment in which I am proposing a design to a customer to help dissuade any doubts and make them more enthralled in the proposal. This will be very beneficial in my process as many times I find my self having to regain their attention several times as these types of meetings are less than exciting. However, after reading about some ways in which I can improve the interest level of the viewer through techniques such as lighting and positioning of specific information I feel it will benefit the overall process greatly.

Weekly entry

Well this week has brought about some interesting points. Up until this point I have never really done any assignments like those involving images and then trying to find meaning within in them. I find it to be actually quite interesting as I have never really thought about imagery in this way and it really forces a person to understand why they like or enjoy certain things. Further more its very interesting to see how different individuals view and interpret the same images as we as a group have discovered in our 882 Facebook group. I think this helps to display why we as instructors need to be very conscious in the manner in which we display and interpret how images may impact our classrooms. Up until this point I had never truly set down and thought about this issue. I think its one in the future I will definitely be looking at a little more seriously as it really could have some very positive results not only in the classroom, but industry as well. Hopefully we continue exploring ideas that spark my imagination like these projects have as it keeps things much more interesting.

Photography Module Project



Many may find this something of an odd subject for this particular project, but let me first describe some background on this particular animal and the reason for my decision to capture its image. It was born on December 10, 2011, which in an of itself is unremarkable. However, this particular animal did not arrive in a normal manner and was born breech. This normally causes major issues and the likely hood of the animal surviving is diminished greatly as human interaction with the process can be fairly damaging. While I along with other members of my family have had to deal with this sort of issue in the past no instance was quite as exciting as this particular case as in the process of helping to deliver this animal its father who happens to be something of an overly energetic 2000 pound animal made the decision that it needed to defend its fellow animal and charged my father, brother, and myself while we were trying to save this particular calf. This is something of a problem when you are in the middle of an open field while in a somewhat arduous process and the only defense you have is how loudly you can yell at the animal to startle it. While in the midst of this some what adrenaline filled moment the calf was born and then had to be hoisted several times to free its lungs of fluid. Finally it was free and breathing baby bull. So with this in mind a person may see why I have something of an attachment to how this particular animal lives and flourishes, which is why I chose it for a subject.

Now with this in mind let us look at the reasoning behind the structure of my photo, and what message I am trying to convey. First in the process of capturing this image I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to get a shot that I felt had meaning instead of some arbitrary setting. I also played around with depth of field in some of the other shots of the day, but I felt that the image you will find above that I have title curiosity seems to do this well as the edges around the subjects head have a soft focus and the old gate and the subjects head peeking around the corner gives the photo a quality that makes the calf its focal point. I am sure I will get some interesting comments about the meaning of this photo,but the message I am trying to convey is that this particular animal is very curious as to its surrounds and seemly remembers something about our previous interactions as it is much more emboldened in its curiosity towards me. As the other animals are much more flighty and typically run away when a human is that close to them. I think this image does a very good job with the way the animal appears in showing this. I find this image much more compelling from a humans perspective than the images you will find below this text as it displays looking directly at you, even though the images with the animals turned to the side would actually be more representative of how they typically view you it doesn’t add that human element of how we view each other. Another advantage to the image I chose as my compelling example is the fact that the subject is central in the image and takes up a large portion of the image in contrast with the less compelling examples which had a much greater field of view that took away and distracted from the subject itself.




CEP 882

I would just like to point out that I will be organizing previous entry’s and placing the posts needed for my CEP 882 class up. :)

Lesson Plan Reflection

 Lesson Plan Description:
My lesson plan consisted of migrating students from their initial experience as a manual drafter to AutoCAD. They would be exposed to its basic functionality through a demonstration and then required to complete assignments based upon the use of AutoCAD. To facilitate this process I incorporated the use of the following technologies: LCD Projector, Moodle, and Autodesk’s AutoCAD software suite. The ideology behind the use of these technologies was based upon the requirements put forth by the state of Michigan’s curriculum requirements as well as a means to gain student attention and interaction. Once the lesson was completed students would be expected to build upon their basic understanding of AutoCAD and begin to incorporate the drafting principles previously learned in to their CAD generated prints. No major changes occurred from the draft to piloting the lesson.
 Implementation of lesson plan:
For this lesson plans implementation I chose my third period as it contained the greatest number of “exploratory” students. So out of the 20 students within the class the lesson was directed towards 14 of the students. The lesson proceed fairly well for my first run through with this combination of technology as the majority of the students were attentive to the overall process of the demonstration and follow up assignments. The vast majority was very attentive to the demonstration itself and followed along with it as they constructed a few simple items using AutoCAD. The incorporation of Moodle seemed to help their attention and comprehension of materials as they had the ability to quickly change from reference materials to the CAD package. This seemed to make for a much more seamless process than in years passed. So overall the implementation went very well.
 Reflection
The overall goals of this lesson plan were to expose students to the use and basic functions of the AutoCAD software suite in such a way that they could begin to incorporate previous topics (e.g. multi-view projection) into a CAD generated print. This was done via the incorporation of multiple technologies including the use of Moodle as a center for reference material and collaboration. In this way the students were exposed to a scaffolding strategy as they were expected to take the ideas put forth during their tenure as a board drafter and begin to use these same geometric construction techniques as a way of helping to understand how to construct prints through the use of a CAD software package. Much of the lesson relies on the overall ideals of the Constructivist learning theory, more specifically Problem Based Learning with the inclusion of the previously mentioned strategy of scaffolding. As students were expected to build upon the prior content, then in an open and collaborative environment the students set about working on the assignments associated with this lesson.
In regards to the affordances of the technology harnessed to conduct this lesson I first look to how Moodle allowed me to seamlessly integrate my reference and other class materials into the lesson itself, overall helping to supplement my already established curriculum. This saves both time and paper within my class as normally the reference materials would be printed and store within the student binders. Along these same lines a person would lose 5-10 minutes passing the materials out during the course of a class, where as Moodle simply allowed me to direct the students to the location and retrieve all the needed information. Another affordance given to me by the technology chosen was that of feedback and open communication. One of the unique roles that Moodle played was its ability to allow a forum for questions to be both presented and answered while the students worked on their individual assignments. Further adding to the reference materials available to the student and presented in a manner in which the students themselves had worded and answered the questions so that it was more understandable to them. Along these same lines the use of technology seemed to be beneficial in helping to capture and retain student attention. The combination of the new introduction to the use of AutoCAD combined with Moodle seemed to allow students of all learning styles to effectively experience the lesson as all modalities of learning were touched upon at least in one way through the use of demonstration and classroom discussion that followed via Moodle. This technology also made it very easy to submit and provide feedback to the students in a very similar situation to what they would see in a real world environment. They were directed to create PDF files of their prints and submit them for checking via Moodle. This allowed for better organization for the students and a reduction in expenditures or resources such as paper and toner within the classroom.
Looking from the outside in if another instructor was to teach such a lesson as this there would exist some caveats. One would be Moodle itself as it is not very user friendly to setup and I am still learning all the ins and outs of the interface. However, it does allow for some very neat features such as blogs, forums, and a place to control documents. The other technologies involved ranged from mundane, such as the LCD projector, to the content specific AutoCAD software so in a paper such as this somewhat out of context. Again relating back to Moodle another issue that could arise is the student’s use of such a program as if the instructor’s site is not correctly developed it could lead to confusion and possibly cause more problems than it solves. It also requires students to have some working knowledge of how to use and submit work via a web based software package so there is a bit of a learning curve involved with that as well. Several questions arose because of this fact through the print submission phase, ranging from how to create the pdf file to how to properly share the document. It seem while students are exposed to many things on the computer these days not all of them are based in productivity.
Overall, it would seem that the lesson came together fairly well as it allowed students to explore new ways to harness and interpret information through the use of the technologies involved. They seemed to respond well not only when directed by myself, but also when left to their own devises as there were many students using Moodle’s capabilities to both ask questions they would normally be somewhat shy about as well as share and collaborate information. I hope to learn from this experience and start to break down the lesson further so I might continuously improve upon it.

CEP 800 Digital Story

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CEP 800 audio interview

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