Experimenting with gifs

July 25th, 2012 | Filed under: Graduate School

A classmate and I learned how to create animated GIFs during a quickfire activity today in class. We had an hour to learn how to do it and create a gif that represents our year 2 experience this summer. We had a lot of fun! The first two are by my classmate Aaron and I created the last two.

We were going for a a series that represents the different emotions and feelings we experienced during this month-long program. We alternated between nervousness, freaking out, confidence and accomplishment.

It has been a great summer! (You need to click each image to see the gif in motion.)

Resources we used to learn about and create the GIFs:


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I presented at a conference

July 18th, 2012 | Filed under: Graduate School
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Introducing the keynote.

Yep. I did that. It was scary and awesome.

In the second year of the MAET overseas program, students plan and put on a free ed-tech conference. A focus of our work in the second year is leadership and what better way to test your interpersonal skills, your planning, your leading and your teamwork than by being asked to create an entire conference in two weeks? To be honest, this aspect of the program almost scared me off from it completely.

However, after it was said and done, I fired off an email to my advisor saying how happy I was that I did it. There’s a lot running through my mind right now about what it was like, what I learned, the people I met, the things I would change/improve if I could do it again. But for now I’m just basking in the completeness of it. It’s done.

Photo by Leigh Graves Wolf


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I’ve started grad school…

May 4th, 2011 | Filed under: Graduate School, professional development
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This week I started life as a student again. Like riding a bike!

This week I started course work through Michigan State University’s online program toward my Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET).

I’ve realized over the course of my brief but intense teaching career that technology in learning is something I want to know more about. I’d been asked by many why I didn’t just get my Masters in Education when I got my license since I already had a degree under my belt (and the classes were the same), but at the time it didn’t seem like something I wanted to pay extra for. At this moment I have no aspirations of being an administrator (though it seems that every back is wearing a target in education these days) and a Masters of Education seemed like a stepping stone towards that and little more. I’d toyed with the idea of getting a graduate degree in something more content focused, such as history or media or even literature again, but none of those grabbed me.

I am an English teacher, but I always felt a little too interdisciplinary for the English department. I liked to walk around, talk to other teachers, and daydream about collaborative projects we could do together if it weren’t for state testing, time constraints, and all the other excuses you can imagine. I needed something that wasn’t an umbrella degree like education, but wasn’t so focused that it limited me to certain content. I found in the MAET program something that spoke to me – a chance to take all of my raw ideas about tech and learning, reflect upon them, and hopefully coax them into some focused philosophy while picking up skills along the way, though that philosophy part might be a reach. My education philosophy seems to change with every day I learn in virtual networks or even talk with a fellow teacher. One shared link on Twitter can get me thinking and wondering about everything all over again. Uncertainty – it’s a nice place to be sometimes.

I’ve started a blog (Mary gets her MAET…still working on that title) separate from my usual teaching blog (See Mary Teach), because I want to keep my course work separate from my usual ruminations in education. Also, some of the content of my MAET blog might be a little dry for some (I’m getting ready to write an example blog post about the differences between web pages and blog posts for my CEP810 course, for example). This is always a challenge for me – to decide how I am going to use one space over another and what tools I’m going to use to achieve the goals. I’m an early adopter of many online apps and tools and often find myself saying things like “wait a minute, I have 45 different ways to take notes…is that necessary?” And determining the answer to questions like that – to finding the right tech tool for the job – is something I hope to become better at through the course of this program so that I may model it for the students I have next year and in the future. And I’m just excited to be talking about teaching and learning in another space in such a complicated time.

I will be cross-posting content from See Mary Teach and vice versa from time to time and while my grad blog is separate, I encourage anyone interested in following it to do so. I plan to be transparent in my learning and opinions of the courses and program as I move through them and I welcome your feedback and interaction.


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