Friday, January 31, 2014

Personal Presentation Review

     For my CTELE class, I had to create a personal presentation that introduced myself professionally, using whatever medium or means I felt was appropriate. All of my classmates chose to use technology of some sort, since our presentation was supposed to be out-of-the-box and, above all, not boring! I decided to take a different approach, however, and rewrote the lyrics to The Houseplant Song by Audio Adrenaline. I wrote the lyrics to describe me, and brought my guitar into class to play my song for everyone. I only messed up once! :) 

The video of my presentation is embedded below, and you can also access my video on YouTube:

The lyrics to my song are also posted below, just in case it's hard to hear in the video.

Personal Presentation Video

The Erin Song - to the tune of The Houseplant Song by Audio Adrenaline

Verse 1
Once I met this girl, and this is what she said,
“Yanno, I’m gonna go to UNI, for elementary ed.
It doesn’t really matter if it pays well or not,
If I’m educating children, then I’ll like it a lot.”
Then she said:

Chorus 1
I work at Best Buy and like technology a ton,
Educational Technology’s my minor, and it’s fun!
I love photography and music and other cool stuff like that,
I also love to organize and clean everything.
Doesn’t really matter how messy it is!

Verse 2
So I found out more about her and I’m liking what I hear,
She’s fun to be around and keeps her friends and family near.
She likes some games and movies like other kids her age,
And she says she’s shy although she doesn’t really mind the stage.
Now get this:

Chorus 2
This girl was once a homeschooler, though she’s not all that weird,
And most potential awkwardness has long since disappeared.
She’s nannied kids and babysat and counseled kids at camp,
She’s excited for the classroom and to teach everyone.
Doesn’t really matter how crazy it is!

Verse 3
She’s totally an introvert, even though she hides it well.
But she loves to make relationships, people, they sure are swell.
There’s lots of things she likes to do, she’s good at lots of stuff.
But she knows that she’s supposed to teach, even though it can be tough.

Chorus 3
So by now you’ve probably realized that this girl, well, it’s me!
And I hope you liked this concert even though it’s kinda free.
This song was nice and cheesy but it sure was fun to write.
But as for now, you got to know Erin Mulder, thank you and goodnight!

Reflections of Other's Presentations
     Overall, I was very impressed with my classmates' presentations! I wasn't really surprised that all of them used technology, since it's a technology class, after all. Most of them used PowerPoint or Prezi, which I think are effective (but possibly overused) media for a presentation such as this. I knew that I wanted to be creative and different without using Prezi, etc., so that's why I chose to play my guitar. However, some of my classmates used technology and didn't succumb to a traditional PowerPoint or Prezi.
      One example of this was Ian's presentation. He used Little Bird Tales, an online, digital storytelling tool. I had never heard of this program before, but it was really cool to see it in use! Ian did a great job of creating a digital story that described himself. He used pictures with his own voice narrating. It was also a great way to be completely prepared so on presentation day, all he had to do was click play!
     Another presentation that I thought was especially good was Nichol's. She used PowerPoint for her presentation, but it was more of a supplement to her actual presentation, which was a bag full of items that described her. She even planned out the items so that they went with each letter of her name! I thought that it was a very cool idea to do, and I liked how she used the PowerPoint to make it easy to follow along.
     I was really impressed by the presentations that everyone gave overall. All of my classmates did a very good job with the assignment and I feel like I know much more about all of them now! It was great to see all of the things that make us all unique, and it was fun to see and hear about the things that I have in common with people, too.

Reflections of Selecting a Medium for Review 
     When I was selecting a medium to use for the review of my presentation, I originally wanted to use Voki, because I have already used VoiceThread for another class and I wanted to try something new, but I didn't feel comfortable with a video of myself. I liked the idea of Voki and took a lot of time to create an avatar that looked like me. I had already answered the questions that we were supposed to include in our review and drafted a full review of my presentation that I planned on reading and recording. However, when I tried to record my review (which took me a little over 3 minutes to read), Voki alerted me that it had a limit to the file size it could play; only 60 seconds!
     Since I felt that I couldn't accurately answer all of the review questions in under 60 seconds, I suddenly had to reconsider the medium that I used for my review. After trying a few other options with the same issue as Voki, I settled on using VoiceThread, which has a much longer limit for the audio lengths you can upload. Although I had used VoiceThread in another class, I had never created my own thread, so that part was new for me. I even figured out how to embed it into my post, so you don't have to leave this page to listen to it! (If you want to, however, you can access my VoiceThread by going to )

Review of my Own Presentation

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CTELE Expectations

It's the beginning of a new semester and it's time to reflect on the direction I'd like this semester to go. Specifically, what are my expectations for my class, Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments (CTELE)?

So far, it seems a lot like Educational Technology and Design. Apparently this course has been called "Ed Tech & Design on steroids." I'm excited for this because I really loved Ed Tech & Design, and I'm looking forward to the challenges that CTELE will bring. I'm really happy to be diving more into the content related to my minor, and I feel that I will enjoy the project-based learning that it seems to be full of. I enjoy ways to use my creativity and learn about technology. Though Ed Tech & Design was structured in much the same way, I feel as though this course is more broad and open, so it leaves more room for my own interpretation of the content. While this intimidates me to an extent, I think that I am ready for this challenge.

Technology is something that I'm very passionate about, and I definitely want to incorporate technology into my classroom someday (do I really have a choice in this day and age? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! ;). I'm looking forward to learning practical strategies and tools for effectively using technology in my classroom, and I'm so glad that this is such a hands-on course; I'd much rather learn about something by doing it, instead of just reading and talking about it. I don't know exactly what that's going to end up looking like, but I do know that there are going to be various individual and group projects, and I'll get to work with this blog (so you'll hear from me more often!), flipcharts on the Promethian Board (I have no idea what that's going to look like yet), and WikiSpaces (I had a less-than-great experience with WikiSpaces last semester...hopefully this semester is much better! Click here to check out our class' Wiki), among other things.

Overall I'm really happy to be starting this course and I'm excited to see where it goes and what I'll create and learn as a result! Stay tuned for next week's blog post! :)

Photo by US Department of Education,,