Application of Digital Media in the Classroom

Why Application?

The user has now looked at the analysis of Rhetoric, Genre, and Ethnography. While it is important to know about the different ways in which digital media can be used by teachers, teachers must also be able to apply those ideas and make them accessible to students. This page will provide the means of applying digital media in the classroom. The digital media used will be Blogger, a free blog service by Google, and a vlog, using YouTube. Using these websites as a means to teach students will provide a valuable resource that can strengthen any curriculum. These websites will also provide a more contemporary approach and give the teacher the ability to use the resources available online.


Blogger

One factor that many classrooms have trouble with is equal student participation. There is only so much allotted time in a traditional classroom setting in which teachers can get students to participate. Blogger is an online resource that is simple to learn and can help develop an online classroom community and serve as a form of assessment. This page will assist the teacher in learning how to use the service and the steps necessary to get the most out of the experience.

First, users should go to Blogger and create an account with Google if there is not one already. Every student in the class should also do this after the site is set up. If the users already have an account, simply log in.

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Once the users log into the Blogger webpage there will be the ability to create a new blog in the upper left corner of the site. The users can also access current blogs that they are already involved in.

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To prepare for the use of your classroom, you should hit the new blog link and it will open a new window. In this window, the user will have the ability to give the blog a title, choose a domain name (what the website address will be), and a template for the page.

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Users will then be able to access their new blog and create a new blog post. The writing field of the blog can be used to give an introduction to assignments, explain the overall purpose of the blog, and contribute to classroom participation. One class that I participated in required that each student submit at least five new blog posts or comments to others posts in order to facilitate a discussion of books read in class. This can be especially useful for analysis and to prepare students for writing larger papers. Blogger uses many of the same HTML and CSS application as wikidot.


Vlogs and Streams

Blogger is only one format that can be used to apply what is learned in the classroom to the digital realm of learning and assessment. Video logs, or vlogs, and streaming are another example of how teachers can expand the access of lectures to students in the classroom. Creating a vlog will take more preparation than simply creating a webpage. The user should also not be afraid to be seen by an audience. The user needs to have access to a webcam and a reliable microphone. Though most laptops now come with both, the user may want to purchase, for instance, a better microphone, or even a headset for better audio quality.

The purpose of the vlog and stream will be in creating a useful archive of video and audio that students can use to either look back on lecture or access and learn new material online. Day9TV is an example of a vlog and stream that has an overall objective to teach a community of people about a subject of interest. While his site is a bit advanced, it is a good example of what a webpage that uses vlogs and streams can accomplish. A classroom, being a much smaller scale, will most likely just use the given school's webpage, have access by links to the exact teacher, and have a much smaller archive of videos for use. Vlogs and streams are great for reviewing before tests and quizzes. They can also be used to summarize and give a quick analysis of classroom assignments.

The steps to create a vlog and stream are as follows. The user, after getting a microphone and webcam, should begin recording. Most webcams come with the software required to record video, but if they do not, then CNet's website is a good source for free software.

Next, the user should post the video to a website. If the user does not have a website or a school webpage that would allow this, Youtube is a great resource that is relatively easy to use at no cost. Once the video is published online, there is an embed code that users can post onto resources such as blogs. Once the user has created the blog post, the user can then test the vlog by accessing the post. Any blog can become a vlog with the use of video.


Classroom Application

Now that the user has resources available for use, the user is ready to apply them in the classroom. Doing so is much easier than what it may seem. The difficult part is learning what is available online and how you can use it to develop a way to use these resources in collaboration with your curriculum. Take a lesson plan that you find effective as a teacher and apply one of the new online resources you are working on mastering. After you have tested out the blog or vlog, get ready for using it in the classroom. Let your students know how to use these resources and what their purpose is, making material more accessible, available at any time, and increasing classroom participation are all examples of why these new resources are being implemented in your classroom. Although it will take some time to adjust, the students will show a greater interest in learning. Applying digital media in the classroom may be challenging, but the challenge warrants the rewards.

See also A Teacher's Website - A Rhetorical Guide

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