YouTube Started What?

EDTC 300

I have mentioned before that I am not very resourceful or knowledgeable when it comes to technology. However, when it comes to YouTube, I am not only addicted, but I have learned a lot about the platform for over a decade. It all began when I was eleven years old and my mom had just let me buy my first piece of makeup, an eyeliner. I was scared to use it, and my mom certainly did not have the teaching skills to translate to an eleven year old how to put on eyeliner properly.  So, I turned to YouTube to search if someone else could teach me. I has no idea if YouTube would have any content of the sort, but to my surprise there were about two or three videos on “How-to Apply Eyeliner for Beginners” . I was amazed that through this website I was able to get the help that I needed from a complete stranger. Now, the YouTube beauty community, as well as so many other categories have endless videos that connect humans from around the world for common purposes. It is almost impossible to not find what you are looking for.

Watching the video “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube”, Michael Wesch explains the beginnings of YouTube as platform for people to share content and the expansion of it into a means of “mediating human relationships”. As I watched this video I not only recalled my first true encounter with the internet and the means in how it has developed (as explained through my own narrative above), but I also thought about how this has impacted me throughout my journey in becoming a teacher and how it will impact me as I move into a role of a teacher.

Technology has already become a huge part in teaching our students. It impacts their lives daily as a larger portion of their day is spent staring at a screen in and out of the classroom. Many view this as negative and that cellphones and different forms of technology being distractions. However, it is important to realize that these forms of technology are part of our life now and are only becoming a larger portion of human connection as we move towards the future. Therefor teachers need to keep up with the changes being made and continue to incorporate the use of technology so we can establish a positive practice and mean to use it so it has an appropriate and beneficial impact on students.

By incorporating the use of technology within classrooms and exposing to students the benefits it has in “mediating human relationships” and what we can learn, we push technology into a positive light as we simply have to accept it is such a huge part of everyone’s lives now. I think the best way to create an open network where students want to participate is not only giving students the resources so they know how to use certain types of platforms, but also giving them the reason WHY it is important to know how to use and the benefits behind the use. If we simply present students with a platform to use and say “use it” they will not see any need to do so. We need to find websites and forms of technology that the students find useful and WANT to use in their everyday lives. When we, as educators can present them with something they can have fun with and learn at the same time, that is easy to use, that is where technology become beneficial in connecting knowledge and creating relationships.

Smartphone, Cellphone, Apple I Phone, Iphone, Mobile

I think we also need to educate our students on the negative effects of technology and social media. Being transparent in the dangers of the internet and the lack of privacy that can come from interacting online needs to be outlined. In order for students to be successful, they need to understand both the benefits and the cons to what they are learning and how they will learn it. I have always had this idea of doing a project where students find an article about the dangers of the use of internet where they get to read a narrative of someone who may have run into some trouble or suffered from social media or some media platform. They would tell their narrative and then investigate a means to try and prevent that from happening for future students. Whether it be a presentation to outline the simple steps within a program to secure a personal account or perhaps re creating whatever the narrative was trying to achieve, but finding a program that could do it in a more safe manner. Or they could simply find new platforms to use within the classroom and outline the benefits and cons to it.

I love “50 Ideas to..” articles or websites and through my internship I always looked up ways to incorporate technology within the classroom. One website I constantly referred to was “50 Ways to Integrate Technology in Your Classroom TOMORROW”. They have a plethora of ideas that you can find here: https://sites.google.com/site/anchortechnologytomorrow/home/50-ways-to-anchor-technology

There are many things to consider when talking about technology and how it allows us to build and connect with people from around the world to share knowledge, but the biggest factor is simply that technology continues to grow and expand. As educators, we know our students are changing with the technology as its influence is extremely hefty in their lives. Therefore it is our job to change with the progress that is being made and utilize it in a positive manner to teach our students appropriate, beneficial and safe ways to utilize it.

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How Do Rock Stars Make it Look so Easy?

EDTC 300, Learning Project

Well, I forgot to post about week two of my learning project, so I shall combine weeks two and three in this post. Learning to play guitar is hard. I have decided every two weeks, I will switch up the program in which I use in order to see if I one program works better for me and to essentially test out as many as I can to give my audience the pros and cons of each.

So these past weeks, I have begun to learn via YouTube. I figured this may be the easiest route to start, as well as the most common amongst what many people choose to do. Most video series through YouTube come from an original host website from the musician seen playing. Watching a variety of videos, I actually found one of the oldest series was the easiest to follow. The first video I watched was “Absolute Super Beginner Guitar Lesson”. First of all, the title of the video sounded exactly like what I needed. Second of all, I re watch each section of the video to make sure I was properly strumming the notes. After learning from this video, I moved on to the connected website GuitarJamz.com. Here you have to enter your email for the videos to be sent. I was weary of this at first, but checked out some reviews and everyone raved about the videos. I sent it to my old email account just in case it was a scam of some sort, but its legit. You will be sent 15 intro strumming lessons, where you learn a variety of techniques and chords.Guitar, Musical Instrument, Stringed Instrument

So far I have learned the following chords;  E Minor, C Major, A Minor, A Major, and D Major. I must say, I forget most of these by the next morning! So I find myself having to reteach myself every time I pick up the guitar. I am hoping the app I have been looking at to blog about next week (stay tuned) will have some sort of quick refresher to help me retain information. My plan is to master these by the next week and perhaps have some transitions from chord to chord out in place, as well. I have googled a few charts alongside of my videos I am using to refresh my own mind.

Some struggles I am having are they my fingers hurt! Not only my fingers, but my hands in general. I have such small hands and they are not used to pressing metal wires to strictly and moving so quickly and in odd directions that I find my hands kill me throughout the day. I have trouble taking notes in class because of this, but I can tell my hands are warming up to the positions, so that’s exciting. I also have trouble understanding how to work an amp. I didn’t realize I would have to learn how to use these as well in order to make my playing sound more authentic. Here is a picture of the amp that is slowly eating up all of my patience (even more than the actual guitar)

I will include some sounds of me playing the notes I have learned in one of the two next blog posts, but first, because I am a perfectionist, I need to make sure they do not sound terrible. And as of now, they don’t sound great, but I am getting there. Below I have included some Pros and Cons to using videos through YouTube/ host websites connected to YouTube. Here they are:

Pros:

  • Audio: You are guided orally through the steps to play certain chords, hand placement, etc. You can hear how it should sound too!
  • Visual: A visual video that will allow you to replicate the exact motions being made.
  • Replay Function: You can replay the same part over and if extra practice is needed.
  • Variety: So many types of learning videos for different levels of learning.

Cons:

  • No confirmation you are doing things correctly as there is no test to be taken, no sound recognition, no mentor responding, etc.
  • Ads: Ads always interrupt YouTube videos now.
  • Had to sign up for the video (give email).

Luckily I have my significant other who is well established with his guitar playing skills to keep me on track and letting me know where my mistakes lie (there are a lot, haha!). Check back next week to hear some of the chords I have hopefully gotten close to perfecting. P.s. If anyone reading this has any free programs they have used or have heard of, please let me know!

Dipping My Toes Into an #Edchat

EDTC 300, Uncategorized

Yesterday evening I experienced my first #edchat on twitter. All types of emotions were running through me. I was excited, nervous and confused. I was unsure of how this chat would take place, if I could keep up, how to follow the chat and if I would have anything valuable to add. It was run by @ShiftParadigm and his guidance and responses to the chat were impeccable (I immediately followed him).

My favorite part about the chat was sending out a response I thought was valuable and having it be confirmed by not only my classmates, but people form around the world. Specifically when we got onto the topic of grading, I became really excited. I am a very big fan of Alfie Kohn and his theories towards grades and intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. I recently wrote an essay about the detriment of grading to students, and I used a point of mine from that paper and responded to a participant of the #edchat. Responding to @TamraExcell made me all types of nervous inside as all of her contributions to the night’s chat were impeccable inspiring. However, I did it. To my surprise there was so much response and support from people liking my tweet, to retweeting, to responding to me and creating a chat of our own from it! It was such a success and made me feel like I was talking to people who cared about the same things I do in education. Ill insert some pictures below of the tweet I posted!

The only thing I found  challenging with my first #edchat, was that I could not keep up! There was no real order in which it went on (perhaps its the beauty of this chaos that makes it so successful). There were so many conversations at once, I did not know who to respond to and at what appropriate time. Also, when people link articles, are we supposed to read them immediately and then respond, I certainly do not read fast enough to do that. The pace is quick, and perhaps it is because I am new at technology that I just need to practice to catch up. Did anyone else seem like they were jogging behind all the sprinters?

 

Feedly Feeds My Soul

EDTC 300

Feedly is amazing! Not only am I able to find resources for almost anything I search, but I am able to connect with other teachers from around the world. The ease of being able to search has certainly taken the weight off of my shoulders when looking into have other blogs that I can gain insight from as opposed to just casting out a net on the interweb and hoping I get a bite!

I found one blog which I have been hooked on for the past two weeks. It is called “Dangerously Irrelevant” by the blogger Scott Mcleod. His blog focuses on technology, leadership and the future of schools. One of his latest posts “The real reason we ban cell phones”, hones in on the importance of why teachers think of cell phones as a negative towards their lack of attention arising. I then goes on to outline the reasons in which why cellphones are important and provides some links to articles that support these arguments.

Smartphone, Woman, Girl, Iphone, Apple Inc, Touch

The benefits behind Feedly are plenty, however I find it takes a long time to load and you do need to be more specific in searching. If you search with too broad of a topic, your results become to heavy and too wide of a range so finding resources becomes tougher.

I find many of my teaching views align with Mcleod. I am glad to have connected with a blog I find enjoyment in reading. Feedly has led me to other great blogs and some that I believe will come in had for my learning project which I will post about very soon!

 

 

Learning to Play Guitair

EDTC 300, Learning Project

It has been such a tough thing to try and decide what I want to learn over the course of this semester for EDTC 300. Then I realized, that I have resources right in front of me for a project in which I have been wanting to take on for years! For my learning project, I have decided to learn to play guitar. My boyfriend is a musician (an extremely talented one at that) and I have asked him to assist me in my journey to learn to become at least an “okay” guitar player. Of course my main studies and practices will be coming from online programs and videos, however he will also be helping me a few times a week as he is the one who owns a guitar and knows how to play it. I plan to make at least one post a week, perhaps even more, depending on when a come to hitting a goal, or have some struggles in my learning journey. These posts will come in the forms of either written blog posts or vlog posts (videos). My goal is simply to allow myself to learn as much as I possibly can! Wish me luck in this journey!

The guitar is being polished so here is a picture of the amp I will be using alongside of it:

AMP

 

-Alyssa

About Me & What I Know About Education Technology

EDTC 300

My name is Alyssa, I am in my final semester before I convocation and could not be more excited. I am in the Secondary Education program at the University of Regina, with a major in English and a minor in Visual Art. I just finished my internship before Christmas and learned so much. However, it was quite tough and I am happy to be back in classes and learn a little bit more before I wrap up my degree. Technology is something I have always struggled with especially educational technology (you can assume the struggles I had during my internship when I realized there was a section on the IPP for use of technology within the class.) I only attained my first lap top a month before my internship. I grew up never watching television and we had one desktop computer within the household. With four kids in the house and a father who is rather tech savvy when it comes to constructing computers, you can imagine the small amount of time I ever spent on it. I tried my very best to utilize what I could for technology during internship, but it was still the area that needed the most improvement. I utilized programs such as Kahoot, Prezi, WordPress, and Padlet, but found myself having a thinking block when it came to expanding into different programs and trying new platforms. I was stuck! I did take the opportunity to sit down with a education technology consultant for an hour during one of my prep periods and it was a phenomenal learning opportunity! I learned about programs and websites such as Quizziz, Sway and Flip Grid. However, the time I had with her was in the last week of my internship, so I have not had the chance to practice or utilize these programs within the classroom. I feel so unmotivated to use technology as I find myself being repetitive with it. I know it is important to embrace and utilize it within the classroom as technology is an aspect of education that kids relate to now more than ever! But, I do not know where to begin and how to integrate it within my classroom so its not only fun, but its educational and interactive.
I would love to learn more about twitter. Specifically, I would like to be connecting to other educators within Saskatchewan, as well as all around the world. I have had a twitter account for years, however still sit here puzzled as to how I follow education chats. And what is a hashtag?! I have been told they actually mean something and can connect you to other tweets and articles in relation to what you were originally looking at or responding to! What is this MADNESS?!?! I am excited to take EDTC 300 and learn more about the different types of technologies I can use within the classroom to keep an interactive and engaging environment consistently.

Common Sense May Not Be So Common

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Before reading this introduction of “The Problem of Common Sense” I honestly was always an advocate for common sense. However, after reading Kumashira I realize that I was a consumer sucked into the idea of common sense being a positive things. Now I still believe in some aspects that it is healthy to use common sense, such as when it comes to the difference between right and wrong, but in saying that Common sense is so counterproductive I am beginning to realize! I am so taken aback by how this one section of a book completely changed my views on common sense. It mainly outlines how common sense is like stationary thinking. For example, as a teacher we teach our students to not use racism (common sense), but when you think about it, although it seems like once you say it, it’s common sense, it’s not. It takes practise and developing ideas on how to remove racism from the situation and classroom. We use common sense as a method to verbally state not to do something, but when does just saying something actually take action…. Rarely. It takes learning about racism and cooperatively coming up with ways to counteract it in order for an change to be taking place. Therefore, common sense is summed up as old fashioned thinking that needs to be updated because the world in constantly changing and so should our ideas of what common sense really is.

The oppression that takes place in and outside of school is often ignored, even though educators use their “common sense” in dictating students to not oppress. However, no action is taking place to do so. There for saying to use common sense is counterproductive as there is no action plan to back up this so called ‘” common sense”. Being commonsensical is so narrowed down to the tradtions of what we have learned is right and wrong that their is not room to develop new common sense ideas. Sticking to the same traditions put us in a stationary world of learning. Everything in this world continuously changes such as morals, education, views upon different social and political issues, however if we stick to the same thinking of what common sense is, there is no room for our development and ideas to grow. This would keep everything stationary. Which means there will be no hope for oppression to be diminished.

Relating back to the intro on teaching in Nepal in comparison in teaching in the United States and the differentiation between how education is viewed and delivered proves that common sense gives no room for development. As described in the reading, the United States have advanced in education much compared to Nepal. However if you closely read the differences, it is the common sense that differentiates. The United States, have upgraded in education and began to realize that common sense is not a way to teach by, however Nepal is stuck in that situation. And it is the lack of resources they have, as well as people’s attitudes towards their education system that keep them stuck in their own views of common sense and what teaching really is. Therefore common sense changes in each social context, which means different actions need to be taken in different environments in order to develop ideas to creat new common sense and allow it to continue to grow!

Overall, this sample reading was very educational and completely changed my views on common sense and how terribly counterproductive it is. it is this traditional way of thinking that everyone has experienced that does not allow us to grow morally and educationally. Instead of teaching common sense to students, we need to explore other ideas of what individuals believe needs to change and an action plan of how it will change, and of course it needs to be acted upon! Common sense is a static thinking that is a potential starting point for change, it will just take educators realizing that it needs to be avoided in order for our world to become a better place with less oppression, hopefully one day oppression free.

“The Problem of Common Sense” by Kumashiro:

http://ecs210.uregina.wikispaces.net/file/view/The%20Problem%20of%20Common%20Sense.pdf/559012353/The%20Problem%20of%20Common%20Sense.pdf

All Good Things Come to an End – Overall Fieldwork Experience

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As you can tell by my title, my field experience was amazing, life changing to be more accurate.

But, first I will tell you about my last day “on the job”. I walked into the classroom and all of my students were waiting for me, as usual, to give me a hug. I did my daily round of bear hugs and got ready to give my lesson. However, my co op said thatmy lessonw ould have to wait until after recess as the kids were finishing making Ukrainian Easter eggs. So for the first hour my partner and helped the kids create designs on their eggs and dye them. My partner then taught, recess occured, and then it was my turn! So I decided to do an Easter themed French lesson. I put french words inside numbered easter eggs and gave each table an egg. They opened the eggs and had to try and guess how to say the word in French. It was such a funny experience and the kids loved trying to guess how to pronounce the words. After we went through my lesson, which went so well, me and my partner decided to play a game with the students. We lined them up in four groups and gave the person at the front of each line a mini whiteboard and marker. We decided on a symbol (my partner and I) and then went to the back of each line and drew it on that person back. They had to draw on the next person back the same symbol, or as close as they could remember.  We were focusing on teaching them how to communicate throughother ways rather than speaking, so we made sure if we heard a peep we told them to be quiet! They loved it an thought it was hilarious when one groups symbol came out completley different from the original. At the end of the day we said our goodbyes and gave the students eggs filled with candy (sorry to the parents). Our co op and some of the students presented my partner and I with our own card the students made and signed! They wanted to put something funny on each of them and on mine they put how my lipstick was blinding because I wore such a bright colour one day, how cute is that. They also said I made vegetables fun, I hope they were telling the truth. After our hugs goodbye, our co op sat us down and thanked us for the past seven weeks, gave us some feedback about our lessons that way and then we were done.

I was so nervous begginging this semesters fieldwork because not only was it in an elementary school, but I acutally had to teach and create lesson plans. I really love kids , but i was scared being placed in an elemnatary school would change my mind, and of course it didn’t. This was the first time I acutally felt like a teacher.

My co-op teacher was amazing, brilliant to say the least. It is only his third year of teaching and I swear he knows EVERYTHING. I could tell just teaching alongside of him that he is a better teacher than most of the teachers I have experienced myself. I have learned an immense amount of strategies, tips, etc., from him.

The feedback I recieved for my target sheets are the main things that stick out as the most crucial part of my experience. He always explained where I strived, where I needed improvment, and suggestions on how I could improve.

His use of technology in the class has opened my mind a whole lot more compared to how I used to be. The way he intergrates technology that is so useful today and will dveleop into our future gets the kids excited and ready to learn, i want my classroom to mimic the environment of his.

One principle I have stuck to throughout the years in my own philosophy is emphasizing the positives within the classroom and outside of it too. In my grade 5/6 i noticed that the students resonded to positive feedback and appreciation much quicker and better than negative reinforcment. If someone was being good and recieved a class dojo point for it, everyone would respond in the same way that student did. It seems as though positive reinforcment sparks youths mind a little bit quicker, making them less likley to rebel. I am glad that this experience reinforced my own beliefs within making a classroom a positive environment.

During my seven weeks, I was only able to teach 4 times when I was at the school. This is because of all the adventures and field trips and activities my class got to participate in. I am very glad i got to experience alot of excursions with them as it made for a real teaching experience. Its not always just baout lesso planning, its about excursions and interuptions and taking management startegies outside of the classroom but, also having fun and getting to bond with the students. So whenever one of my classmates asks me if I feel like i got cheated because i didnt get to teach as much as everyone else, I always say I feel like I got the best possible experience out of my field work because I experienced what it was like to teach inside and outside of the classroom, I got the real experience.

I feel as if i was able to more clearly develop who I am as a teacher through this fieldwork. I was tested by the students many times, and felt I stayed true to who I am and want to be as a teacher. My style of lesson planning has improved and I feel as if i have a better grasp on managment strategies whether that be eye contact, mobility around the room, and prjection of my voice.

Out of all the technical strategies and tools I have learned, it doesnt amount to the love that I have for the students I my class. The bonds we created, the laughs we shared, the simplistic interactions we made, the safe and positive environment we formed; these are the things I will remember most. Without these connections, I would feel like this experience would be a waste of time. It is the experiences gone through together on top of the learning that create a real teacher, and I feel as though my co op and classroom made me feel like an accomplished teacher. My overall goal was to reassure my beliefs were on the right track and to make sure I made connections with the students in order to gain their attention, respect and love. This experince reinfoced everything I have believed in about teaching and created an unbreakable bond with me and my students. I am so thankful for this oppurtunity and will miss my time there greatly.

Can’t wait to see what next year brings,

Alyssa

The Tables Have Turned…

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In my 7th week at my placment, I got to judge the grade five to eight science fair! I remember when I was in grade seven and I had to compete in a heritage fair. Oh boy, was I ever nervous and the judges scared me to death (look whose the judge now). So when I got my clipboard to begin judging, all of the emotions of nerve came flodding into my mind and I began to wonder if the students were feeling the same way I did when I competed. Every table I judged, I made sure to ensure the students that I am just another person here to listen to them talk about their projects and that their is no pressure. I wanted them to feel more comfortable and I think being relaxed myself, really helped them to feel at ease as well. I judge twelve projects, including some of my students, but also other grades. It was awesome to see how creative these students were in their topics and how they executed it. Grading each project I found to be tough. The regualr person in me wanted to be bias towards my class and give them amazing grades, but the teacher in me knew I had to create an equal playing field for everyone to have a fair chance at a good grade. I met a lot of new students and teachers that afternoon and enjoyed every minute of it. Again, it was another week where I felt like I could have a ton of fun without a ton of pressure. In my week five reflection I metioned a boy with disablitlies that I sat with on th ebus and tried to get to know. He was competing in the science fair and created a project about volcanoes. I was not judging him, but decided to stop by and say hi. We talked for ten minutes about his project and how he has visited real volcanoes. And while I was reading, he came up and put his head on my arm and just stood there for a bit. I felt so honoured for him to open up to me as my students had previously let me know he is very shy. When I told him I had to move on he gave me a big hug. It was an awesome afternoon where I not only got to learn more about the students, but bond with the school as a whole.

Thanks,

Alyssa

The Vegetables Return

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My 6th week of teaching was my chance to finish up my French vegetable lesson with my 20 minute powerpoint on how to pronounce each word properly. On each slide I used a picture of the vegetable, the word in French and then little sounds or words to sound out each word. During the powerpoint, I asked each student to write down the word in English, the word in French, and how to sound it out. I would ask the students by a nod of the head of they had finished writing the word, in between each slide. This worked for most of the students except for a few towards the back of the class who i didnt notice had their heads down the whole time. After my lesson was over, which most of the children responded and participated to very well, I sat down with my co -op and he gave me some pointers on how to make sure those kids who werent, would participate. He said between each slide I should have walked around the room while each student was writing in their notes, just to make sure everyone was doing as told. That was an extremley helpful tip. He told me to start roaming the class more rather than just station myself at the front. This is something I have been stuggling with, but I am slowly mproving my my movement. We went curling immeidatley after my lesson, I helped out the same group again, and it was a lot of fun. We had a lot of laughs and cheers and success with the curling games. The children were sad when it was over as that was their last curling experience of the year with the school. My partner did not even get a chance to teach when we returned as the bus driver got lost and when we got back it was five minutes until hometime. Even though we have been rushed for the past few weeks, I don’t mind. It is nice to experience what really goes on inside of a school. We have gotten a very fuffilling experience with all these activites we get to take part in and also our lesson plans we get to teach. The variety of lengths our lesson plans have been, have been an awesoe learning experience and have helped in my ability to adapt to a certain time frame, and narrow down a lesson to what is most important for the students to learn. This week was crazy bsuy again, but very educational and fun, I am glad I got to experience it!

Thanks,

Alyssa