MISSMOELLER.COM

During my time student teaching in LAUSD, I was highly interested in discovering methods for utilizing technology to support learning within my classroom. So, naturally, I decided to design and develop my own course website, MissMoeller.com.

However, rather than creating a static website to passively host information for students and parents via text and calendars, I also wanted the platform to become an active (and interactive) part of my everyday classroom activities. This was particularly feasible for me, since I have always taught digital art courses in computer labs in which each student had access to a computer.

Therefore, I integrated a number of useful functions into the platform. For instance, I integrated a live-streaming video channel onto the website (via LiveStream) so that any time I hosted a lesson in class, with just a few clicks I could stream my screen, PowerPoint presentation, or verbal lecture in real-time to students who were out sick and had to watch from home. More significantly, however, LiveStream allowed me to record these lessons, automatically saving the videos to my website for students to access later. This was greatly accommodating for not only students who were absent but also for students who simply needed refreshers or to review the information from the lesson later, in the event the in-class lesson pace was too quick for their tastes.

I also started recording my lessons and project directions in advance to produce higher quality videos (a sample of which is shown in the second video below). These recordings were placed on lesson or project pages, along with other content relevant to that lesson or project (vocabulary terms, links, rubrics, files, etc.).

I integrated my own, online student gallery on the website (via Gallery Menalto). This feature allowed students to submit their art projects to me online. The artwork would display in the gallery within specific project albums with the contributing student's name underneath the works, and would be time-stamped with the submission date. Since the gallery allowed for users to leave comments on the media, I devised a "musical chairs" game in which my students would pull up their artwork in the gallery on their computer screens and then switch chairs with another student in order to leave a constructive critique of the artwork (in accordance with critiquing guidelines I had prepared for them). I would also leave the scores and rubric information for each work of art in the comments section of the students' artwork pages. This feature provided me with an efficient method for organizing, managing, and grading student work; it supported peer-critiquing; and it allowed me to regularly promote my students' work to others (including parents).

One of my favorite features on the website involved the integration of a DropBox module, which connected to my existing DropBox account (which in turn was connected to a DropBox folder on my computer). This feature allowed me to quickly drop files into the coordinating folder on my computer, and these files would instantly appear for students to access in an archive on my website, which was "disguised" to look just like the rest of the website's layout. This feature particularly came in handy when I utilized it along with various apps for my mobile devices. For instance, one of the projects I commonly organized for my students involved them having to import line art (hand drawn, line-based drawings) into the computer to clean up the lines and color the pieces. This process used to involve a lot of scanning drawings and transferring files on my part. However, using a scanning app on my iPhone, I was able to quickly "snap a picture" of each of my students' line drawings, and in a few clicks, upload them to the DropBox app on my phone. Afterwards, these drawings would immediately appear in the DropBox archive on my class website for the students to access. From here they could download their line drawings and then import them into a computer program (like Photoshop) to begin coloring them. This process was more convenient for students, as well, since many students periodically wanted to re-work their line drawings, which in the past would have entailed my having to re-scan the images in class while the students sat around waiting for me to be done before they could start coloring their work in Photoshop. With this new process, the student could show me their reworked drawings in class, I'd snap a picture of it, and in a few seconds, the image was on their computer (via my website) ready to be colored. If they did not like how their line clean-up process was turning out in Photoshop, they could then rework the drawing and repeat the process without any trouble or hassle.

Unfortunately, the new school I work for now has a different policy for hosting teacher websites, so you may notice that I have abandoned parts of my old website and have removed some of its features. However, I have recorded a short video presentation that will walk viewers through many of the features of the website when it was active (as you can see below). I also have provided a sample of one of the old video lessons (for a project).