Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reflection Paper on a Multimedia Lesson Unit

You Are the Producer in Your Life”
A Transition Project using Muvee autoProducer

I started the multimedia project with the intention of doing a morph project with my students. It fits into the instruction unit that I am doing in my special education biology class with the connection to evolution. We are completing a unit on evolution and continuing the study of naturalists and field biologists. I have the students working on a collective PowerPoint presentation where each student is researching a biologist or naturalist and locating biographical information along with information on their contributions to the field of biology. The emphasis is to connect it to careers and what motivates people to become passionate about their life’s work. As I experienced the multimedia class and worked on the morphing project, I felt it could be incorporated as a lesson for students to look at their own evolution – in order to determine their dreams and goals for the future. Students that are in the special education program do ongoing work toward transition goals. As a teacher in a high school special education resource room, I am continuously interweaving self awareness, career investigation, and personal goal setting into activities and lessons in the resource room. As one of the students was studying Jane Goodall, we came upon a lesson that reflected the biopoem. It was on Goodall’s Lesson of Hope website which invited students to draw a tree where the roots represent the people that support them and the branches represent their hopes and dreams for the future. Adding the morphing assignment seemed a likely enhancement to this unit. I initially worked with Winmorph as the software program but struggled with the technical and manual dexterity required. I searched online and located a morphing software that was more user-friendly called Fantamorph. Students were able to enter multiple photos in the program and use a “face locator” which automatically detects the facial features (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.) and places key dots on appropriate positions. The program offered entertainment and interest from the students, however it moved from the Winmorph which was too challenging to too automatic. I moved from the Fantamorph to the Muvee autoProducer software that resides on my new HP Pavilion laptop (a gift from my hubbie to ease the challenges of the Master’s program I am enrolled in …bless his heart!) The students became much more engaged with the Muvee software where there was more interaction and choices to individualize and personalize. The student involvement has ranged from Steve who put the minimum number of photos on and added images of cars as his downloads to represent his dreams and aspirations in life to Marie who is learning how to use the video computer software to make digital video clips from VHS movies of the UW Marching Band, which is her dream to step high with. She is thrilled to learn that the muvee maker has the capacity for up to 75 video/photo files - and she intends to use every bit of it.

The inspiration for this multimedia project which was the connection to the evolution unit in biology has proven itself to be an evolution in itself.

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