Multimedia Presentations in the Classroom: Learning Journal Matthew Sterner-Neely

As with other learning journals, I will be keeping this to showcase my thinking and my work from the Adobe Education Exchange class "Multimedia Presentations in the Classroom." Reflective thinking is a fantastic way to not only learn, but to showcase learning, and to have a way to think about the ways in which I learn. Some of my other teaching and learning projects can be found through the buttons below:

Week 1

Week one was about learning how to use Adobe Spark for webpages (this learning journal, in fact), and Adobe Spark for videos. The content focus of this week was on Color Theory, a subject I know nothing -- or very little -- about. Some of the images I considered using included the following:

Insights and Takeaways

Figure 1: Colorful Colors
  • Color is really interesting!
  • Branding confuses me (and I have a brand I would like to change, but I don't know how).
  • Video can be added to a Spark video! I discovered this after I finished this week's video.

Week 1 Process

Figure 2: Images Considered for Week One

Other than the images here and the images within Adobe Spark, my process included simply playing with the application. This was the most fun, I thought. I appreciate the storylines, but they are often not quite right for me. Usually, I know the concept I want to teach, and the presentation kind of develops holistically.

Week 1 Questions

Figure 3: Questions
  1. The biggest question I have with this week is something that I would like to understand for all of my projects: can I use these? I am not making a profit (these are used for educational purposes, of course), but they are not my images. I love that Spark allows me to search for images and then credits those images, but often, I need something that Spark does not have. What can I do?
  2. Can these videos be made ADA accessible? Specifically, can I take a theme and instead use sans serif fonts, and is there a place to keep a record of the transcript?

Week 1 Product

Week 1 Reflection

Figure 4: Analogous Harmony

I am less frustrated than I was. I learned a few things about Spark and about color theory, which I am really excited about. For next week, I think I can do more -- add video clips, perhaps. Although I know I am supposed to really be exploring the video portion of Spark, I am most excited about Spark Page! I have only ever made one of these before, and it wasn't very good. This is exciting!

Week Two

Figure 5: More Sparks for Week Two

This week, more than anything else, was about refining the brand that I created. I have several Facebook pages for different types of classes I teach, as well as a website: Dueling Symmetry. These pages include the following:

I also have a few branded images I have created for these pages:

Figure 6: Creative Curiosity (Original)

Figure 7: Branded Image for a School Project

Figure 8: Branded Image for a Part of Creative Curiosity in the Classroom

Figure 9: Creative Curiosity (Revised)

Week 2 Insights and Takeaways

  • Branding can change!
  • Branding is really useful for quick identification.
  • Integrating Spark Post, Page, and Video is incredibly useful.

Week 2 Process

Figure 10: Process
Figure 11: My Stuff and a Great Stock Photo

Although I carefully went through the lecture, I think I did not need as much this week as last week. I began to see how Spark can be used in assessments and student learning, though. Actually, the product I made, a video summarizing the book All American Boys, is a project that I will have my children's literature students complete for their books in my children's lit class.

Week 2 Product

Week 2 Reflection

I see immediate applications in my classroom, especially with Spark Page. And Post. And Video. I amvery excited to get started next week as we get back into the classroom! My first student projects will be completed next week. See the links here (this page will be updated as I add projects):

Course Reflection

Figure 12: The Point

This class, for me, was far less than technically difficult. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to do something that I already know and to apply it to the classroom. That I did. In fact, I am excited about what is coming!

Part of what I mean by this is that I just didn’t know how to integrate these tools into student learning. I have three things I will do immediately:

1. Memory Projects

Figure 13: Children’s Literature Projects

From the outset, students must gather written responses and memory “items.” The first thing I will have them do is to create a Spark Post for each boom that they read. Below is the memory project, in which they could choose to memorialize the book through something tangible. For the fall, Spark Post will be that tangible item.

Figure 14: Memory Projecta

2. Written Responses

Like the memory projects, my students must write a reaction to each book. This will be done using Spark Page as we do here. This serves as a single and continuous project that they simply have to update links for. A reaction might be as follows:

Figure 15: Possible Responses

3. Changes in Thinking

For the final project in this course, I have my students record a 2-3 minute video on how their thinking has changed over the course of the term. This is a wonderful project, and we all get a great deal out of it. The first time I tried this, I had them use movie maker, and it was a mess. With Spark Video, I have a new tool that is really quite easy to use!

Final Thoughts

Figure 16: Final Thoughts

What a treat it is to be fired up for the first time all summer. I had a really rough year last year — both teaching and personally. But instead of being sad about going back to school, I am excited. And I truly appreciate the course.

Created By
Matthew Sterner-Neely


Created with images by HonzaCech - "fireworks sparklers bank celebration light flame spark" • maxmann - "wheel bike cycling" • TeroVesalainen - "question mark hand drawn solution think chalk" • quangle - "sunrise boat rowing boat" • Joe deSousa - "July 14th Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower" • TeroVesalainen - "idea innovation imagination" • 463259 - "steelwool firespin fireball dark slowshutterspeed art sparks" • Lucas Benjamin - "untitled image"