We did it! Here we are, the end of the semester sharing our summary of learning projects!
At the beginning of this semester I was nervous for what was to come and even a little skeptical.
I knew technology could be and should be incorporated into a classroom but how and why, I couldn’t really answer. Take a look at my first blog post regarding EDTC 300, it’s actually funny looking back now. I gave myself a NEGATIVE rating on a scale of one to ten in regards to tech knowledge and now I would say I’m much more confident – somewhere around a 7 and you’ll understand why upon reading this post.
Like I mentioned in my first blog post, prior to this class I knew little about technology aside from the basics…Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Google. I had a Twitter account but hardly used it (I tweeted maybe 3 times prior to this class) and I didn’t like Twitter at all, hence the lack of use. Then there was the dreaded blog portion of this class…. (Well Katia, take pride in knowing you have convinced me of the greatness of blogs!) Before this class I had a blog that I used for an ECS class (with Katia), but I did not enjoy it. I was confused more often than not and I didn’t love the fact that my ideas were being posted online for others to see.
To break down some of the knowledge I’ve gained during this semester I decided to categorize the things that “stuck” with me the most and explain why.
First up – TWITTER:
Like I just said, I had a Twitter account prior to EDTC 300, but didn’t use it and really never intended to. When Katia shared that we would be required to be active on Twitter (tweeting at least twice a day) I got a sick feeling in my stomach. No way – I was not going to pull that off! How was I going to think of things to say?!
I had no idea that there was a genuine purpose to hashtags. I honestly thought they were there to sound cool, like a way to express creativity. I was so wrong; they are extremely useful and help you connect with others. Or in my case hashtags became useful in finding new material to re-tweet!
I was blown away with ‘twitter-chats’. I had no clue professionals connected via Twitter. I was skeptical about joining a Twitter chat at first (who would actually use something like this?) Well, apparently a lot of teachers! It was nerve-racking at first, but I felt so welcomed (by people from around the world)!
I am so glad to know I can continue to join Twitter chats as I know they will be helpful as I head into the classroom next year for my internship! Oh, and one last, quick point. Whoever invented Tweetdeck is seriously awesome! It was a lifesaver (you can read my praise about it on my blog about #nt2t twitter chat).
Next up – WORDPRESS
Ok, reiterating myself here, but I did not like blogging before this class! I despised it actually and upon hearing that blogging was a large portion of this class I panicked and considered switching electives. Thank the heavenly fathers, mothers, children and lands I did not do that! I’m a blog-iever now!
I now not only enjoy blogging but I also see the positives behind it. Blogging is a great way to share your ideas and journey’s and that’s a great thing, something that doesn’t need to be feared. I also now understand how blogging is great for connecting with others. By reading classmates blogs I felt like I knew them even though we only met “in person” once during class.
I am very eager to have my own classroom blog someday. I truly believe a classroom blog will be an asset to creating relationships with not only my future students, but their parents as well.
An RSS aggregator. So in my own words… a wonderful website that populates interesting blogs, personalized by me, for me! At first I thought Feedly was a tad confusing and something I would maybe use. However, as the semester went on I began to realize I was becoming addicted. I would be at the doctor’s office and rather than scrolling through Facebook I was reading blogs on Feedly. WHAT?! I was changing! It was at that moment, I realized the purpose of this class was actually rubbing off on me! Feedly also became a great site for Twitter use. Majority of my tweets came from Feedly!!
Apps, Apps, Apps
Holy Dina, where do I begin?! This class scratched the surface on apps that will be beneficial for me as a student and as a future teacher. Off the top of my head I think of SoCrative, Kahoot, PearDeck, Google Classroom, Padlet, Plickers, Mentimeter and Poll Everywhere. Those apps seemed to really stand out to me and made me 10X more excited to become a teacher!
An app I explored on my own was the Tellagami app and let me tell you I loved it! So much so, that I ranted and raved to my husband about it and he used the app with his grade 6/7 class! It was a huge hit in the classroom!
Also a honourable mention needs to go out to Google Chrome extensions… I never knew the Internet had the ability to be ‘extra’ (as the kids would say). Ad Blocker Plus, Screencastify, DistractionFree YouTube and Tab Scissors saved my life this semester. Google Chrome Extensions are LIFE! (And also will be very useful in the classroom, especially Mercury Reader).
P-L – what? Those three letters meant nothing to me at the beginning of the semester. But now I have a whole new appreciation for these alphabet members.
Personal Learning Network. It’s personal therefore tailored to me. I got to choose whom to “follow”, read about and listen to. I got to choose what to read and watch and what I wanted to share in order to gain followers back. I feel like a Personal Learning Network is like a little army (or personal support group) you develop, ready to help you out when you have questions or need advice. It’s really quite awesome and I believe necessary for teachers.
A few times this semester I tweeted about mental health and how taking care of yourself with such a demanding career is very important and I believe a PLN will help ease your stresses and support your mental health. Not only can it be a personal help, but it also can help you extend your students’ learning as well.
Ok, now for the not so fun topic. Sure, prior to class I was aware that the Internet could be a “dark place”. But that was the extent of my knowledge. I had never really given thought about how to teach cyber safety to students or how to encourage maturity BOTH online and offline. This class made me realize we only live one life, that offline and online are intertwined.
As educators we need to help students understand this, rather than avoid the tough discussions and hide technology we need to be upfront and share this with our students. Situations like Amanda Todd and Justine Sacco needed to be talked about to help students learn about cyber bullying and cyber safety. It’s not easy but it needs to be done.
I believe this ties into the whole idea of ‘participatory culture’ that we learned about from Dr. Alec Couros. The idea that we are all active online and producers of the material we consume. So of course this should be discussed with students, they’re already so involved with the online world – let’s run with it as teachers, not hide it and avoid it!
Yes I’ll admit, I’m an old school gal and I was stuck in the paper days when it came to job applications. When I thought about graduating University (for the second time) I was thinking about what my resume would look like. What new skills could I type on my 2-paged paper resume and CV? Well, EDTC 300 thank-you for bringing me up with the times. I am so excited to know I’ve created the foundation for a digital resume. I have evidence of work included and by looking at my blog site you will easily be able to gain a solid understanding of who I am as a person and what my motivations are as an educator.
Along with my blog site, you’ll be able to explore my social media accounts and see that I enjoy sharing technology and education related material. I’m leaving a footprint on the web, as I want my digital identity to be a positive reflection of me.
Reading about my major moments from this semester, it’s easy to see I am a digital citizen. I use technology and the media available to me to be active in the online social community and I plan to continue to do so. My goal is to continue being an active online citizen, to grow professionally and hopefully to provide new and exciting learning opportunities to my future students.
As a final wrap up I want to say a thank you to all classmates and to Katia. I really enjoyed our weekly Zoom.Us classes and appreciate all of the feedback I received on my blog posts, tweets and Google+ questions. I wish you all nothing but the best of luck in your future endeavours.
Here is my final summary of learning video. Totally went out on a whim and made myself look like a fool. I had so much fun spending time with my family creating this video to share with all of you! I used new tools and challenged myself with editing skills. Although some edits are choppy, please know I tried hard!!
Tools used: iMovie, Real Time Quick Player, Powerpoint and Quizlet. (Due to time constraints all of the “test questions” are not in the video, so click this link if you’d like to explore further).