Stronger Together

EDTC 300, Uncategorized

 

Hi friends!

This is my personal learning network post where I will map out and demonstrate the means in which I connected to other educators through different technology platforms. Using Google Community, Twitter, and WordPress blogs, I was able tointeract with my peers and other educators throughout the world to create a community of growth through technology.

Google Community:

Through this platform I was able to have all of my peers within my edtc300 class right at my finger tips. We all utilized this tool to ask any questions dealing with assignments and technology we may have needed assistance with. Take a look at an example of a problem I presented to the community and a few responses I received very quickly:

Having this tool was extremely useful and quite a stress relief. This could be really useful within a classroom when it comes to any assignments for students. No matter the subject or topic, students would be able to turn to their peers for resources and help. As teachers, we have too many different things to worry about, and if the students can figure out a solution before coming to me, it is not only productive but helpful. It also gives the chance for student who might have the same question to not even have to ask it!

Twitter:

Oh Twitter! How I have grown to both love and not enjoy you! Twitter was my biggest challenge this semester in creating a developing my personal learning network. I have never been the biggest fan of this platform as I talk too much and the characters it allows me is simply not enough to get my point across. However, it has been a wild ride and has allowed me to understand the importance in not only being clear and concise when making a point, but has allowed me to connect with educators locally and around the world.

My following and followers elevated in numbers with those whom I have class with, those whom I am motivated and inspired by, and those that care about the same goals in education that I do:

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I made sure to tweet out every blog post I made. This connection between my blog and twitter definitely increased my reader count and produced a lot more replies left on my posts:

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I retweeted and replied to my classmates posts throughout the week, hopefully letting them know that I not only agreed with what they were saying, but I supported their intent behind the tweet:

I even got to be a fan girl when I followed Mr. Alfie Kohn! I retweeted his tweets one to many times as I couldn’t help showing my devoted support of his theories and strategies:

Although he never replied, I will continue to keep retweeting and replying to him, haha!

I also used twitter as a means to showcase some articles about personal matters, but matters that my colleagues and even students could relate to. Things such as anxiety, what I was learning in other classes, as well as procrastination were some of the different topics I shared:

Finally, I was able to contribute to an #edchat earlier on in the semester. This was a phenomenal experience. Although hard to follow because it goes so darn quickly, I found I got the hang of it about half way through and began having conversations with educators from around the world. The conversations I was having were both meaningful and motivating as I realized so many educators hold the same beliefs I do. I wrote a blog post about this, but Ill post some photos down below as well! I interacted with many educators, but my most memorable was with Tamara Excell, whom is an educator located in Seattle! Isn’t that amazing! Mark E. Weston, who was facilitating the #edchat also joined our conversation. His twitter is the infamous Shift Paradigm. I felt oh so special! Our conversation was based around grades being detrimental to students learning (inspired to Alfie Kohn). Take a peak:

Although I have had the challenge of keeping up with posting on twitter, this was still a great experience overall. I was able to connect with people that confirmed why I wanted to become a teacher. I also just felt really cool when people retweeted or replied to me lol!

My Blog:

As part of themy edtc300 course we were to create two blog posts a week, as well as comment on three of our classmates posts each week. I actually really enjoyed this task each week as it allowed me to stay connected with my classmates, learn more about each, and it gave me some ideas on how to organize my blog and posts.

I kept a comments log throughout the semester on a simple word document in order to make sure I was on track each week. I contributed to a variety of my classmates blogs and posted comments of both support and some that had some extra resources within.

Daniel’s blog is one I followed consistently. I really enjoyed his learning project and class posts. His “Privilege” and “Burnt Out” posts really motivated me to share some resources:

 

Loved following some of my peers on their learning projects as well. I commented on many of my peers blogs, some more in depth, and many supportive comments in general. Olivia Jensen presented some great blog posts on her fetching skills with her Frisbee and her dog that were hilarious to read so I made a few comments on her posts:

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Carol Todd’s visit was extremely powerful and many of my peers blog posts for that week were empowering to read. Laura Bieber had one post that really stuck out to me regarding Carol’s visit:

 

 

If you would like to take a peak at my comments log from all of the posts I left a comment on, click this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J81AwGcV6_QAxFR6_8ydiYXpr-04c1vm-QuGAQ9EUbQ/edit

I also responded to the comments left on my own blog. I was amazed by all the amazing resources my peers  had left me; not to mention the support and encouragement I received :

 

 

So there it is my friends! This is my summary of how my personal learning network came to develop throughout this semester. Through all of the platforms listed above I had both successes and struggles, but I made it through and feel much more knowledgeable on how to connect with others through technology, how to create a digital citizenship and how to feel comfortable with doing so.

Check out my summary of learning this semester with Jessi Gaja. In this video we go through our experience with building our personal learning network on top of gaining knowledge about different platforms through technology:

 

That’s a wrap!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Long Reflection Finally Surfaced

EDTC 300, Uncategorized

Hi friends.

This post has taken me awhile to build up the courage to post as I have been reflecting.

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of listening to Carol Todd speak about digital citizenship, the importance of teaching our students the safety measures along with utilizing technology, and her daughter Amanda.

Check out Amanda’s story here:

After hearing Carol speak about her daughter’s story and the struggles she went through, my mind opened to new possibilities and the importance of technology in the classroom. Not only is it important for technology to be used within the classroom for an interactive and progressive experience for the students, but teaching the safety behind using these platforms (specifically social media).

My very close friend has been negatively effected by social media platforms and the misuse of them. She now has trouble finding a job because of a “promiscuous” photo once posted. A truly great human is now affected by depression and social anxiety because of a horrific experience that she now reflects upon. She once said to me: “I wish someone would have told me how negatively the internet can effect someone. If I had been warned, this would not have happened.”

Carol spoke about the platforms often used within the classroom such as social media tools like Twitter and Instagram. Students these days, use these as well as Snapchat to gain acceptance and connect with new faces and stay in contact with old. Although extremely useful and progressive, these application can become a tool to essentially create a negative image upon someone. Digital citizenship and identity is something that we need to be speaking to with students so they understand that even their actions and decisions with these platforms at a young age can affect their futures.

This makes me think to back when I digitally sleuthed my colleague Jessi Gaja. I was not able to find anything that could reflect negatively upon her digital identity, however that is because we have has the training to practice creating a safe and positive digital citizenship for many years. Students in elementary, high school and even other faculties of post secondary are not exposed to the importance of safety on the internet.

In classrooms, not only exposing the safety precautions needed to take place, but showing the consequences or using examples of the negative effects that can happen is so crucial. To get you started, I did some research on finding some lesson plans on internet safety. Although catered towards younger grades, these plans could easily be manipulated to benefit older students in coherence with social media apps. Check this out:

https://educators.brainpop.com/bp-jr-topic/internet-safety/

Carol Todd’s visit was extremely heart felt and educational. I truly appreciate her taking the time to speak to us about the importance of technology as well as the needed training of why digital identity and the safety measures needed, has to be taught within the classroom.

To Carol Todd:

Thank you Carol, so very much, for all that you do and being fearless in sharing your own story along with Amanda’s. The work that you do to make educators and everyone around the world more knowledgeable about digital citizenship, internet safety and the importance behind each is truly inspiring. Not only are you so very appreciated, but creating an environment around the world that will truly help others.

Alyssa

What I Now Know About Technology

EDTC 300

This is is Jessi Gaja and myself’s Final Summary of Learning Project for our EDTC300 class! Take a peak:

In this video we outline each of the platforms we used throughout this semester, our thoughts on them, the changes and successes we had, as well as how our learning projects went.

I think the video summarizes what I learned this semester very well. Going into this semester of very little knowledge within the technology world, I feel as if I have no become an expert.

The tools we learned about are something we could easily use within the classroom to keep students entertained, intrigued and curious.

Please watch and enjoy!

 

Alyssa

Better Than Kahoot!?

EDTC 300

Hello friends,

In today’s post, I am going to break down an overview of the program/ website known as “Quizizz“. This website is a game like program that allows students (or whomever is playing) to answer questions about specific topics through their cellular or electronic devices. Now you may be thinking to yourself “Wow! This sounds an awful lot like Kahoot!” and you my friend, are correct. The only difference, is it is better!

Quizizz is a tool that creates an online interactive quiz where students have the ability to either create or view another quiz and test their knowledge on a particular content they are learning in class. Students LOVE THIS. Not only do they get to use their phones, but it gets their minds stimulated as they are looking at an interactive and visually appealing quiz rather than a white piece of paper with black words printed on it. And the music that plays along creates such an enjoyable atmosphere.

Image result for quizizz

(via google images)

Rather then explaining how to use each tool on the website, I found a video from the Quizizz team’s YouTube that had a fantastic walkthrough. Check it out:

5 Main Benefits to Quizizz:

  1. Students can create there own games just like Kahoot!; however they are able to take previously constructed quizzes and either add their own questions to them or pluck a few away and add it into their own. This is all done by the ease of clicking a few buttons as opposed to copying and pasting.

2. Students are not timed in their responses to the quizzes. Students do not have any amount of pressure put upon them for answering a question as the clock ticks down. This allows for critical thinking and offers the option of eliminating potential answers successfully.

3. You can track the progress in which each student answers correctly or incorrectly. Individually you can see what students missed what answers.

4. You can track the progress as a group. With statistic sent to you through the form of charts, the facilitator can visually see where the gap of knowledge lies and can then move forward in paying attention to that area.

5. Therefore, this tool can be used for both summative and formative assessment! With spreadsheets that are printable for individuals or a group as a whole, teachers are able to really narrow down where the gap of knowledge is, or can print out the quizzes and use them for marks afterwards (what an amazing tool to give yourself some breaks from marking).

Weaknesses:

  1. Can be hard to navigate for first time users. If you are using this tool as a resource for students to create a quiz for a presentation or an assignment, you absolutely need to conduct a class on HOW to use this tool.
  2. Depending on the class, they may not feed into this idea of being quizzed through an online format.
  3. This tool can only be used to quiz through multiple choice answers. No supporting facts or evidence can be made. It doesn’t give a chance for students to explain their answers.

 

Please give Quizizz a shot if you have or have not tried Kahoot! The benefits outweigh Kahoot! by extreme lengths and this is such a useful took within the classroom!

Let me know how your experience goes, or if you have tried this within the classroom already!

Thanks,

Alyssa

Week 9 and Back to the Basics

EDTC 300, Learning Project

Hello friends!

Are we all stressed out of our minds?! It is really winding down to the last few weeks of school and EVERYTHING is due! All I want to do is sleep, procrastinate and eat. And by eating, I mean stuffing my face with all the greasiness I possibly can #comfortfood

oh no lol GIF by AwesomenessTV

(via giphy)

From my title you may think this post will be quite ironic, and in a sense it is. However, just like any learner, sometimes you get ahead of yourself or your focus leaves what you have been paying attention to. So this past week my recollection of many of the things I had learnt, seemed to just diminish. This is exactly why practice and consistency is key!

However, I don’t think having to go back to the basics is a bad thing. Sometimes a refresher is what will make your learning experience that much more heightened. And as educators we know repetition can be so very beneficial for anyone.

You’re probably wondering what basics I needed to revisit; that is chords and hand position. My hands have seemed to not remember how to switch from chord to chord with a comfort level that avoids any pain, and my memory of chords is slim to none.

So this week was simply a refresher of everything I have done. So this week I found myself looking for a resource that could help me to memorize chords effectively so I don’t run into this issue again. I really enjoyed visiting Guitar Six, which is a website that focuses on strategies to recalling skills you have learned previously and strategies to avoid forgetting. The article I read was specific to both of these aspects.

Not as exciting of a post, but I think its important to outline our “fails” within our learning journeys. I heard and acronym once that “fail” means “first attempt in learning” and that is exactly what I had experienced and the mindset I held this week!

Question for my readers: What fails have you been having?! And how are you overcoming them or overcoming the feeling of defeat?

 

Thanks,

Alyssa

 

InstaClass

EDTC 300

Jessi Gaja and I created a scenario to outline both perspectives that would be shared within a classroom when it comes to using a technology or social media platform within the classroom. We decided to take the roles of an “anti tech teacher” vs. a “pro tech teacher” in order to use some defense mechanisms and provide some articles so both perspectives could be evaluated. I took on the anti role, while Jessi took on the pro tech role.

Our scenario was about myself overhearing that Jessi (pro tech teacher) was planning on creating a classroom Instagram. Being an “anti tech teacher” I immediately texted Jessi with my opposing ideas in mind hoping I could change hers. We did this through recording our screen as we texted through our scenario and linked some resources to back up our opinions. Take a peek here at our text convo:

(If you would like to know how we screen recorded our iPhones using iOS 11, click here to a video that can show you.)

I found many great resources to back up the opinion of an “anti tech teacher” when it comes to Instagram, however this is the one I linked Jessi to in our text conversation.

Here was another one by Amanda Macmillan that I found super useful as well.

There is so many more valid points that each side could have made as to why Instagram would be beneficial or not within a classroom, ultimately it is up to the school board, administration and comfort of parents a students. It takes a unified agreement to make using any social media platform useful, meaningful an successful inside the classroom.

Here is Jessi’s post from this experience we created and shared together as well. She used this meme and I think I have died laughing over and over cause I feel like she says this to me all the time:

How would you go about defending utilizing Instagram or any social media platform within your classroom? Do you think many platforms could use very similar arguments to support their use?

 

Thanks for reading,

Alyssa

 

Sleuthing My Partner in Crime

EDTC 300

I don’t often think about cyber sleuthing myself or my fellow educators, however it seems to be a good practice for what students may find when you become a teacher. I decided to sleuth my partner in crime Jessi Gaja. We have been in many classes together and have known each other for a few years. I am not going to lie that when I first met her, I creeped her on Facebook and Instagram. I cannot exactly remember finding anything specific about her other than I knew she was in education and that she seemed like she had a pretty relaxed personality. Through knowing her for some years now, I definitely have gained a lot more knowledge about who she is as a person and through sleuthing I couldn’t really find out much more. I think this is a great thing. She is a transparent person, what you see is what you get. Here is some info I already knew, but is presented through her digital citizenship:

Facebook:

  1. Her profile is locked down like a high security facility. so anyone who is not friends with her could probably not find a single things through this platform.

Instagram:

  1. Once again locked down like a mother hiding cookies from her child by placing them in the highest location within the house.

Twitter:

  1. 5th year education student
  2. Has a religious/ Christianity theme running throughout
  3. Follows education and religious accounts
  4. Goes to the U of R
  5. Currently resides in Regina, SK
  6. Birthday September 30th

Blog:

  1. Has a University page that outlines a class and the assignments that she has for it.
  2. Has a resume page that contains  her resume used for professional applications in regards to education.
  3. Has a teaching philosophy page which outlines her motivation for being a teacher and her best practices within the classroom.

I think Jessi shares the right amount of information that makes her feel comfortable and represented at the same time. I love that she has a focus on Religion through her twitter pages because this can connect her to so many new people and school districts. Through sleuthing Jessi, you are able to get a clear picture of who she is without knowing too much.

My question is shouldn’t something like this be taught in schools? Wouldn’t this be a useful tools for students who essentially live their lives through the internet and social media platforms?

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.

 

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.

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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.

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.

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via feedly.com

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!