Is This The End????

I really do not know where to begin…How do write a final blog post for this amazing class?  I have learned so much through this journey! Only if I had a “Million Hours” like what Raelynn @raelynnsmith sang about in her summary of learning project posted on her blog.

hours

Photo Credit: xTrish via Compfight cc

I enjoyed reading Jason`s blog post entailed…”Summary of Progress?”  I thought that was very clever title and very fitting for the ending of this class.  I agree with Jason that it is only the beginning of our journey.  I am excited to continue to grow as a learner and educator through networked learning and social media.

Here are some of the things that I have discovered and learned about during this #eci831 class.

discover

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

As I mentioned in my introduction for my summary of learning video I was a little bit overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester because I did not know about blackboard collaborate, Google Plus, Twitter, and I had no clue what a hashtag was.


I was a little bit unsure of blackboard collaborate at first.  A few mentioned that they were  overwhelmed with listening to the presenter while reading the chat.  I could relate because while listening in on the first few sessions I felt…sensory overload!  After the first couple of classes I felted that it got a little bit easier to multitask!  Plus once I got to know everyone I started to feel more relaxed about sharing my opinions.  I thought it was very beneficial that I could re-watch the class especially when the chat got me side tracked and I missed a few key points mentioned by the presenter.  So thanks Katia and Alec for recording our sessions!

IMG_4034

From taking this class now I know about webinars!  I was lucky to participate in two webinars this semester.  It was so easy to sign up for a webinar and there are so many free webinars offered!  It is amazing that you can choose to participate in fantastic professional development opportunities without having to pay, travel, or miss a day of school for PD.  (Planning for a sub is not always easy either!)  Have a look at two of my older blog posts called “Digital Citizenship Webinar…” and “Marking, and Reporting, and Blogging…Oh My!”  In both of these posts I discuss my experiences attending the two webinars from this semester!  I encourage you to check them out!

im totally blogging this

Photo Credit: agahran via Compfight cc

 The one area in the class that I feel I have the most knowledge in now is blogging.  It has become more of my area of expertise compared to the other tools that I have used in this class.  I have spent countless hours reading about student blogging, exploring other classroom blogs, and exploring the Edublog guide to give me direction in what to do when blogging in my classroom with my students.  Here are just a few resources that I have used and read to learn more about blogging and digital citizenship:

*”Blogging? It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson!”

*”How blogs motivate students to write, read, create art, & use technology

*”Introducing Social Media to Elementary Students

*”Blogging with Elementary Students

*”Media Smarts

*”Common Sense Media

I am so happy that I took blogging on as my major digital project! I am very proud of myself and the progress I have made personally in blogging.  As well as teaching digital citizenship and blogging skills to my students.  Check out my classroom blog! My student`s would love to hear what you think of their work!

I decided to create a screencast of my personal blog showcasing everything that I have learned about blogging in these past few months.  So please check out my screencast below and tell me what you think!

graduate twitter
Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Compfight cc

 I am not a scholar of Twitter yet, but I am starting to know how to navigate my way around Twitter.  As I discussed in a previous post “My Thoughts About Twitter…” I am glad that this class had me sign up for Twitter.  I never would have been exposed to all the benefits that Twitter has to offer!  By reading people`s tweets I have discovered great resources, learned about webinars, and met fantastic educators from the different Twitter chats that I participated in (#irachat, #saskedchat, and #ttog).  I need to find some more chats to participate in because right now I have curling Thursday nights so I am not able to participate in #saskedchats live.  I am thankful that I have learned about Tweetdeck as it has made it easier to follow everyone`s tweets.  I feel like I am still a newly hatch bird still exploring Twitter, but I am excited to continue to use this tool!  Twitter opens the door for many great possibilities for Professional Development!

hatching twitter
Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Compfight cc

 I had the privilege of listening to so many great presenters on Tuesday nights!  Each person taught me a lot about networking, social media, and digital learning.  I could be here for hours recapping all that I have learned from each presenter.  You can explore all my reflection posts on my personal blog.  On each of those posts I reflected on what I learned about during my Tuesday night classes from the guest speakers.  Student blogging, rhizomatic learning, network identities, and the marker movement are just a few of the topics that I learned about on Tuesday nights.  You can also take a look at my summary of learning project!  For my summary of learning project I had so much fun creating this presentation and revisiting everything that I have learned about during this semester!

http://prezi.com/embed/ow2kixggggtm/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&token=undefined&disabled_features=undefined

IMG_4039Photo Credit: I took this picture of our Google Plus website with my iPhone

Google Plus is an excellent way to share your learning and a great place to connect to other people.  I am going to encourage other people to use Google Plus!  It has allowed me to connect and learn from some amazing educators in this class.  I was very thankful to learn about the Google Plus app for my iPhone.  It made it easier to stay connected and read everyone’s posts on a more ongoing basis.  From reading my fellow classmates blog posts on the Blog Hub and on Google Plus I learned a lot about MOOC’s.  From reading their posts has made me want to take a MOOC sometime in the near future.  I enjoyed reading about everyone`s experiences that took a MOOC and I am looking forward to seeing what MOOC`s are available for me to help me continue to grow professionally as an educator.

I want to take this time to thank all of my fellow classmates in my EC&I831 Social Media Class!  Boy it has been an amazing adventure.  I learned not only from the guest speakers, the articles that I read, and the videos that I found, but I have learned so much from each and everyone of you!  I have enjoyed reading your blog posts, tweets, and your ideas that you have shared on our Google Plus community website.  I want to send out a extra shoot out to Andrea NeederDanielle Degelman, Jaylene Brass, Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell, Kelly Brezinski, Lisa K, Kelly Christopherson, Raelynn Smith, and Ryan Hicks for all your feedback and for teaching me so much these past few months!  Finally thank you so much Katia and Alec for an incredible class!  I appreciated all of your knowledge, guidance, and support throughout this journey!

 social graph
Photo Credit: Matthew Burpee via Compfight cc

I can relate to Ryan’s blog post “Trying to stay connected…”  I do not want this class to be over either! I have learned so much from this class as I can apply everything that I have learned about to my daily life and in my classroom.  I am proud that I have finished this class because that means I am one more class closer to reaching my goal of getting my Master’s in Education Degree.  I am hoping that this is not going to be the end!  The joy of this class is that we are still able to share with one another through social media.  Even though this class is over does not mean the blogging, tweeting, and sharing needs to end! I look forward to continue to follow everyone’s journey and stay connected in the digital world!

Best wishes to everyone! I wish you a Merry Christmas !  Have a safe and happy holiday with your family!! 🙂

merry snowman

Photo Credit: amee@work via Compfight cc

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How Do You Learn??

On Tuesday, November 25th Dr. Alec Couros @courosa was the last presenter for our Social Media #ECI831 class.  I thought it was quite fitting because he started us on this journey through networked learning and was the one to wrap up the discussion while leaving us with some questions to think about…

 This class has made me into a believer that networked learning can lead you into so many possibilities!  It allows us to continue to grow as learners and to grow professionally as well!

#Lifelonglearner!

networked learning

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

When Alec discussed with us to reflect on the process of learning I thought about many aspects of my years in education.  I thought about how I learned as a child, in middle years, and then in high school.  I also reminisced in how the classroom was set up, the projects that we did, and how I interacted with my peers.  The learning process continue to change in university for me depending on the classes that I was taking….My electives that I took were a lot different compared to my education class.  My education classes opened my eyes onto the different kinds of multiple intelligences and ways of learning.  I remember completing a coloured spectrum inventory in university during my third year.  It was very interesting to see what colours everyone had and comparing the results especially between the elementary, middle years, and high school pre-service teachers.  Here were my scores:

Primary Colour- Relationship Blue

Secondary Colour- Organized Yellow

Third Colour- Action Red

Fourth Colour- Conceptual Green

Many of the elementary teachers scored blue as their primary colour.  While middle years teachers scored red and secondary teachers scored green as their primary colour.  Have you ever taken one of those inventories before?  What colour would best represent you?

In my EC&I804 Curriculum Development class my professor had us at the beginning of the class complete a teaching and educational philosophy inventory.  We had to choose two of the inventories to complete and then share with everyone the results.  I really liked the inventories so I saved a copy of the ice breaker task on my computer so I would be able to go back to complete the inventories again.  I am curious to see if my results will change from more years of experience and taking more masters classes.  Here is a copy of the task that my professor gave us word for word:

  • Identifying Your Educational Philosophy: Development of the Philosophies Held by Instructors of Lifelong-learners (PHIL) by G.J. Conti http://www.conti-creations.com/phil_guide.pdf: an article precedes the actual philosophical instrument, which can be found on the last two pages of the article; it is probably best to print out these two pages and fold the pages according to instructions; then proceed to go through the PHIL instrument to determine your philosophy.
  • Authenticating Education (Dr. Robert Leahy): http://www.authenticeducating.com/education-philosophy-inventory/: an inventory consisting of 36 questions with a 1-5 agree/disagree scale; select one radio button for each question and then press submit to obtain your inventory results.
  • Teaching Perspectives Inventory (Pratt & Collins): http://teachingperspectives.com/drupal/take-survey: a 45-item inventory that provides a graphical and text-based interpretation based on the “Five Perspectives” book, by the same authors.
  • Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI): http://ctl810.wikispaces.com/file/view/paei.tex.pdf: a 15-item inventory that is quite thorough and provides the user with the tools to interpret responses; this PAEI is adapted from Zinn, L.M. (1990).

picture of miss stephanson

Photo Credit: This is a picture of me that was taken on our school picture day last year

For the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) I scored the highest in nurturing followed by transmission and for the Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI) I scored the highest in humanistic followed by behaviorist. I was not surprised by the results because I believe in forming positive relationships with my class so I can get to know each of my students to plan around their interests and build their self-confidence so each child can begin to take responsibility in his or her own learning. I also believe it is important for students to take an active role in their learning, but there also needs to be a balance so I see myself connecting to many of the other philosophies as well to differentiate and reach all of my student’s needs.

I think it is important to reflect on your philosophy! As I mentioned in my “I’m Digital Learning……and Now I Show It” post I wish I had my original copy of my philosophy of education.  I am curious to be able to compare them together.  I believe it is vital as an educator to keep revisiting our philosophy of education and learning.  Everyone is unique just like how our learning and teaching styles are different from student to teacher.   But, as mentioned in a picture and question that Alec posted on the presentation we can not limit our students.  We need to sometimes stop and think outside of our boxes and try to teach in a different way to provide our students the chance to learn in a way that meets their needs. (This quote from Alec’s presentation stuck out in my mind as well Jessica.)

dont limit child

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

I am so happy that education is starting to catch up and teachers are beginning to change their thinking and are transforming to the 21st century way of learning and teaching.  More and more classrooms are moving away from students sitting in rows and learning on the own.  Students are starting to be provided with opportunities to make connections and learn from their peers and other amazing resources besides text books.  Social Media now even opens more doors for students to connect and share their learning with others! I could not imagine teaching in the classroom in the picture below.  “MYOB Learning” stands for “mind your own business” learning.
dont limit child

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

 
What do you see when you look at the picture above??

I see a dull boring classroom where there is no spark or energy in the room.  The space is NOT stimulating or dynamic!  One of the principles of early learning explores the environment piece in a classroom.  To learn more about the principles of early learning check out one of my previous blog posts.  It appears in this photo that students are not able/encouraged to connect or communicate with one another.  We do not make surgeons go into the operating room alone and without collaborating with others…so why do some educators believe that students must learn alone?  If I am unsure about what to do with a student who is struggling I ask a fellow colleague for suggestions, ask for advice and get some help.  So why do some teachers not provide their students the opportunities to ask their peers questions about their learning and collaborate with others?  I think it is important to make sure you assess students knowledge, but there are so many ways to provide opportunities for students to show case their learning.  This #eci831 class was a great example providing students the possibility of choice.  We got to choose our own projects and decide on how we were going to show case our learning (Genius hour/Rhizomatic learning).  Some students projects were very hands on allowing students to become makers.  We were also provided with a variety of different tools to use to show case our learning such as our blog, Google Plus, and Twitter.  Yes we were to use all three, but if we favoured one over the other that was okay.  In the class we were provided with more choices for our summary of learning project.  We just needed to follow the brief outline for the project, but the doors were wide open and we were able to chose what format we wanted to make our presentation in.  In my classroom I provide I little bit of choice, but that is one area that I want to continue to develop, especially in the later half of the year in my classroom.

How I am learning both online and off line spaces?

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts and throughout this class I am a visual learner.  I learn best through watching someone demonstrate a skill.  Learning through Social Media and the internet has allowed me to have all kinds of opportunities to learn through looking at pictures, diagrams, read blogs/articles and watch videos.  I like how I can leave comments on people’s posts and that others can leave me comments giving me advice or feedback on my work.  I think a down side is how much time it can take to find the correct resource or losing time while exploring and viewing all the different resources.  I do not want to take away all my time while being on social media…I need to have time to be a fiancé, teacher, daughter, sister, and friend.  One of the down side with learning online is that I am also a social butterfly and sometimes I struggle with being concise when blogging or typing my thoughts.  At times when I type I begin to ramble and struggle getting to my point.  There were times that found it hard to showcase my work through the digital world without having glitches with technology.  I did enjoy our final class last Tuesday. (Thanks Alec and Katia for the pizza again! )  It was wonderful to get a chance to meet everyone officially who was able to attend.  It was also a little bit strange to walk into a room and feel like you know the person without formally meeting them in person before.  I enjoyed this class being online because I did not have to drive on the highway to get to class for four hours in my evening I  was able to attend class from the comfort of my home.  Students were also able to participate in class while being away from home by using their cells.  I think it would be nice to have at least one more face to face class.  We had such a good discussion last Tuesday from what we were learning about.  Time just flew by so I think it would have been neat to have had one face to face class in the middle of the semester as well.  I think we did have an amazing class as we also had so many people asking questions and commenting throughout our Tuesday night class on black board collaborate and also on Titter, Google Plus, and on our blogs.

question about students

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

    I think as educators we need to start doing a better job of “preparing students for the type of world they currently live in.”  Educators need to have this discussion as a staff and it needs to be explored further at a division level.  Our world is evolving and occupations are not the same as they use to be.  Each jobs now require their employees to have more of a variety of skills set depending on the what the career is.  I really appreciated having our discussion last Tuesday night about what do we do next.  I think so many people are not educated in Social Media and the digital world. Teachers need to be provided with professional develop opportunities to learn more about teaching students to be positive digital citizens.  We can not keep our door such and avoid social networks.  Now is the time to  educate our students about digital citizenship!  Starting at a young age students need to be aware of their digital footprint and how that can shape their world.  Students need to be given time to reflect on what kinds of footprints they would like to leave on the world.  I think their are so many possibilities now in education! Please check out this video below that Alec shared with us at the end of his presentation.  This proves to power of connected learning!

http://www.tubechop.com/watch/4209267
question about living in the connect relatily

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

This class has taught me the importance of making my learning and thoughts visible.  We need to continue to share and grow as learners…By making our thinking and learning visible for others to view.  In closing to find the answer to Alec’s final question presented above in how I am living and learning in our connected reality…please check our my Summary of Learning Project!  I discuss this question in the conclusion of my project!  Enjoy! 🙂

http://prezi.com/embed/ow2kixggggtm/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&token=undefined&disabled_features=undefined

But, more importantly I would like to know….”How are you living and learning in our connected reality.”

I encourage you to leave your thoughts on Networked Identities and tell me your answer to Alec’s question! Thanks!

 

Oh Me…Oh My…

oh happy day

Photo Credit: Javcon117* via Compfight cc

Last weekend I put together my EC&I831 Summary of Learning Project.  It was a lot of fun trying some new tools that my fellow classmates talked about in Google Plus and in their blogs.  I am going to use Toontastic and Garage Band forsure in my classroom during center time.  I think they would come up with some great projects and have a lot of fun while doing it.  In my blog called “I’m Digital Learning…..and Now I Show It” I had to do a screencast showing everyone how to watch the first video in my presentation because only four seconds of the video would play and would go to the next path in Prezi.  I was so frustrated and disappointed that it was not working properly.  I was very grateful that I had many people try to help me solve this problem.  On Tuesday night at the end of class Katia @kbhildebrandt help me troubleshoot what the problem could be.  She gave the suggestion to add my video onto Youtube and link my video from Youtube onto my Prezi presentation.  I was so happy and relieved that solved the problem.   When I would play back the presentation in edit mode it works with out having without having to pause it, watch the video, and continue on watching the presentation. I was going to call this blog post Oh Happy Day…but then I put my blog post into preview mode and check out my link one last time.  It still skips the video after four seconds.  But, now you can hit the back arrow button and it will play the whole video.

prezi pic

Here is my  EC&I831 Summary of Learning Project! I hope you enjoy! I have learned so much from this class and I am excited to continue to learn more through MOOCs, Webinars, reading blogs, reading Tweets, and other forms of Social Media! I apologize that I am still not able to solve the problem  🙂

http://prezi.com/embed/ow2kixggggtm/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&token=undefined&disabled_features=undefined

Will You Be The One To Speak Out??

On November 18th our #eci831 class had the pleasure of listening to Audrey Watters @audreywaters speak to our class.  I encourage you to check out Audrey’s blog.  She has many thought provoking posts! On the night that she spoke to our class I logged onto the class late because I had Student Led Conferences, but that weekend I was able to rewatch the class!  I am able to rewatch the class because Alec and Katia record each session on Black Board Collaborate.  Then send the link to everyone on our class EC&I831 Google Plus Community.  It is so wonderful to have that option!  That was the only class that I arrived late for and missed a bit, but often I would rewatch some of the classes because I forgot what someone said, needed a link, or needed a review of the material.  I am a visual learner so being able to play back to classes is amazing! I hope I have to opportunity again down the road to use Black Board Collaborate in other classes or webinars.  It was so nice not having to travel two hours to Regina, have class, and then travel another two hours back home.

gender

Photo Credit: International Livestock Research Institute via Compfight cc

Now getting back to what Audrey shared to our class…she talked about Gender Equity and Edtech.  During her presentation she discussed #gamergate…I had no idea what that was.  I agreed with some fellow that I am oblivious to that kind of stuff.  Have you heard of gamergate before?  My class talked a little bit in class about it in the session, but still did not have a clear picture.  So read about gamergate on Wipedia.  I could not imagine facing harassment online. Very heavy stuff!  Audrey told us that “the Internet can be a destructive place.”   She went on to say, “That’s an issue that has to be addressed in ed tech” and explained that it is an technology, education, social, and political issue. “We can’t ignore it!” I agree with Audrey hundred percent that the Internet can be destructive.  Like so many things there is the good about it, the bad about it, and then the just plain ugly.  I am very much (try to be) a positive person and try to see the glass half full.  Sure we all have our moments, but I try to surround myself with people who are also positive, supportive, and want to help me reach my goals.  In my social media accounts I try to add and keep people who are positive and weed out the negative people who are pulling my energy down.  I agree that we cannot ignore it, but it can be hard sometimes to speak up online depending on the space.  I try to avoid confrontation online because I also do not want it to affect my career or my digital identity.  When I see my friends post something on Facebook/Twitter that I do not agree with I do not write a comment under his/her post, but I have send a private message or a text to some people before.  Or even better you could have a conversation in person or over the phone!  I find when I read texts, e-mails, or words online it can be hard to tell the tone the writer is trying to portray.  I have many times misinterpreted the message that the writer was trying to get across, but it can be fixed if you have a conversation with the writer.

lens

Photo Credit: Daveography.ca via Compfight cc

Audrey discussed gender and ed tech.  It made me think of my first master’s class when we discussed lens.  Everyone has their own lens based on their gender, ethnicity, where they live, family, etc.  She mentioned that there are more males then females working in ed. tech jobs.  On the chat is was brought up that many positions higher up in the company or job are male.  I have very proud to be a part of the Southeast Cornerstone School Division.  Our Director of Education, Superintendent of Education, and Superintendent of East Schools are all female teachers.  All of them fantastic role models to have in the upper level of our division.  We also have many female consultants and principals in our division.

I think teaching digital citizenship lessons and discuss student’s digital footprint is important to do in school.  Is that the answer? No, but at least it is a start!  We need to create and develop safe places!  If I can get my student’s to “THINK” before they post that would be an amazing start.  I think our blog is wonderful because it allows us to explore the Internet and share our thoughts in a positive way.  I also control the comments section of our blog.  I did change the settings to allow comments to go automatically for this blog. I do not feel comfortable having the same setting for my class blog.  I like being able to control if a comment gets added onto our classroom blog or not.

speak up

Photo Credit: HowardLake via Compfight cc

Common Sense Media has some excellent resources on Digital Citizenship. In the chat on Black Board Collaborate Carmen Holota (@queeniecarmen) mentions that Media Smarts is a good resource.  (I encourage you to check out Carmen’s blog!)  I explored the website and I thought there was some useful resources and tools to help teach a variety of topics.   One of the links was called Gender Representation which made me remember of advertisement about girl image.  A lady asks different people show her “what does it looks like to ____ like a girl?”  It was very interesting to see how the different people represented the statement.  I really liked seeing how they changed how they represented the actions later on in the video.  I found an article discussing this advertisement and it also allows people to video the video.  What did you think after you watched the video? Do you know of other powerful videos that share an important message?

Another section in the Media Smarts website that caught my eye was Body Image under Media Issues.  I think a lot of media does not send a positive message about body image to our youth.  Body image does not affect females, but males as well.  Thinking about body image makes me think of an episode off Glee. (I enjoy watching Glee!)  The episode was called “Born This Way.”  In the episode Rachel hurts her nose and is deciding if she wants to get a nose job or not.  Leading their teacher to create an assignment about singing about their “flaws” and celebrating those differences.  In the episode they sing a song that still gives me goose bumps.  I encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think of the song!

I am very lucky to have such a supportive and amazing parents, siblings, extended family, and friends.  I owe it to them that I have my positive body image that I do!  On April 7th, 1995 changed my life and my family’s life.  I was admitted into Weyburn hospital after going to the doctor because I was not feeling well and had a strange rash on my shoulder.  My doctor did some investigating and sent me to Regina to confirm her diagnosis.  Only being in Regina for maybe two hours I was then rushed to the University Hospital in Saskatoon to be seen my the infectious disease team.  My doctor was correct in her diagnosis and it was confirmed that I have Necrotizing Fasciitis (Flesh Eating Disease).  I went into surgery immediately to stop the infection from spreading.  After they were able to stop the disease from spreading. I then went through several skin graft surgeries.  I was very lucky that my doctor diagnosed me so fast and that I only was in the hospital for a month.  Now I have visible scarring on my chest, right shoulder, and down the right side of my back.  I think because I was only seven it helped me to have a positive body image compared to it was to have happened when I was a teenager or in my early twenties.  Now I am twenty-seven years old and have had my scar for twenty years of my life.  It is a part of my “body footprint” and it shares my story.  I will not hide who I am…I am lucky that I was able to beat the disease and live a healthy and happy life afterwards.  I think it is important to teach students about self-esteem and having a positive body image.  We need to fill everyone’s buckets and show them that they are beautiful just the way they are!  It makes me think of another great song!  Can you tell I like music!  Do you know of any other songs with a powerful message?

So what does this mean?

I agree with Kelly that he mentioned on the chat that we need to keep encouraging and supporting science and technology options and opportunities to our female students.  Hour of Code was also mentioned in the chat.  I am hoping to have my students do the Hour of Code with their learning buddies!  I think it is an excellent idea to do with your students!  As I mentioned earlier we need to continue to teach our students about Digital Citizenship and promoting healthy living.  Not just exercising, eating healthy, and our physical health.  But, we need to also take care of our emotional and mental health as well.

What do you think we should be teaching our students in the topic of gender and EdTech?

I’m Digital Learning……and Now I Show It!

prezi pic

Oh my! The weeks sure have gone by!!  Today it felt so crazy at school to take November down off the board and up December.  I find that time keeps flying by faster and faster each year.  They always say that “time flies by when you’re having fun!”  I agree with the quote because I have had an amazing semester!  I can not believe how much I have learned in three months.  This semester I have grown professionally and this class has helped me further develop my philosophy of education.  I wish I still had my copy of my original write up for my philosophy of education that I did in my first year of university.  I know how much it has developed and changed with more years of experience compared to when I first joined the teaching profession.

time flies

Photo Credit: ♥KatB Photography♥ via Compfight cc

This past week it was very busy week for me, but I am very happy with how my summary of learning project turned out.  The idea for my summary of learning project started to form after  Alan Levine (@cogdog) talked to us about Digital Storytelling.   For this project I thought it was fitting to tell my journey of what I discovered and learned from this course through writing a story.  I also wanted to challenge myself for this project to try using a new format that I have never used before.  One of Educational Technology Consultants in my division told me about Prezi last year so I decided to try it out for the first time.  I liked using Prezi for my summary of learning and next time I will know more about the tool so creating a new project should be even easier.

 prezi pic

 Photo Credit: Picture I took of my Prezi Presentation
Things That I Learned About Prezi

1. You can find free Prezi templates or there are some templates that you can purchase as well.   I was very excited when I saw the template that I used because it fit in with my theme! I  was also happy that I was able to find a template because I was overwhelmed where I should start.   I think once I start using it more and become more familiar in how I can set up a Prezi  that I would be able to be creative and make my own Prezi without using a template.

2. I learned that it is easy to add in images onto your Prezi.  All you need to do is click on insert, then click on image, and after choose what file you would like to get your photograph from.

3. I learned that in Prezi instead of insert a new page they call it inserting a frame.  All of the pages then create a path.

4. When creating a Prezi can choose if you want to zoom into your frame or be further back.

5. Just like in Powerpoint you can change the order of the frames (pages) for your presentation.

6. You can add sound onto your  Prezi.  I watched a Prezi Tutorial on Youtube to teach me how to add audio onto my Prezi.  There are two options:

*Add audio to the whole presentation by clicking on insert at top menu and click add background music.  You can see when the song is uploaded onto your presentation.

*Add music or audio onto a specific path step by clicking on insert at the top menu and click on add voice-over to path step ___.

7. You can add video onto your  Prezi.  I watched a Prezi Turtorial on Youtube to teach me how to add videos onto my Prezi.

*Add a video to the whole presentation by clicking on insert at top menu and click from file.

*If you want the video to play automatically you just need to add it to your path.

***IMPORTANT!!

cautionPhoto Credit: One Way Stock via Compfight cc ***

*Please make sure you know what format your audio is in because Prezi only support particular audio files

(I learned the hard way when I used a voice recorder on my iPad that created files in the wrong format for Prezi. I usually test it out after I finish the first recording, but this time I do not.  I really wish I would have tested it because twenty-one sound files later I found out it would not work.  After doing some search I found a voice recorder that created files that were in the correct format.

*Please make sure you know what format your video is in because Prezi only support particular video files.

*Learned how to turn a Prezi into a video from watching a Youtube video! (screen flow)

once upon a time

Photo Credit: UNE Photos via Compfight cc

Digital Story Telling!

I was inspired by Raelynn`s (@raelynnsmithblog post called “She was burning the midnight oil again when suddenly… “  As I discussed my blog post “Please Tell Me A Story“ I stated that her blog post “gave me motivation to try using one digital media tools in my summary of learning project.“  I wanted to follow through and add digital story telling into my presentation.  I knew that I wanted to search to find an app that I could use not only for my presentation, but one that my grade two students could use.  I have used PuppetPals before with my students.  They like this app and so do I, but I wanted to find an app that gave a few more options of characters and settings that I could use.  Then in my search I found Toontastic!  I love this app! I encourage you to check it out and give it a try.  On Google+ I shared with everyone the app.  I found that it was very friendly to use while having a variety of backgrounds and characters to choose from.  There is also an option to draw your own characters or props too.  I liked that you can add background music to go allow with the mood of the story.  My favourite part about this app is that it has a story arc that has allows the authors to have a beginning, conflict, challenge, climax, and then a resolution page.  I am excited to use this app with my classroom when we create stories in Writer`s Workshop.

**After I was finished my show I was able to easily download the video onto my iPad.  Then I transferred the video onto my laptop.  The only problem I ran into was the video that I created using Toontastic was in the wrong format.  My educational technology consultant is going to swing by the school tomorrow morning to help me change the video into the correct format.  During the weekend as a back up I created a screencast of my digital story.  I had to create a screencast in my EC&I804 class so I was familiar with how to use it.  I do apologize the sound quality for that part of my Prezi that shows my video is not the best that it could be.  Once my consultant is able to help me I will reload my Prezi with the video so it was better quality sound. 🙂  Crossing my fingers that it works!!!

music

Photo Credit: photosteve101 via Compfight cc

Creating a Song!

I was also inspired to try another tool when my classmate Ryan Hicks (@RyanHicks306) shared with us on our EC&I831 class Google+ page a video about creating and learning with Garageband  and iPad and iPhone.  I encourage you to check out his video because he showed us some basic tips on how to use Garageband.  I know it is crazy that I have not really used Garageband before, but it sadly true.  I loved this app! I am going to get my students to create music using this app in the classroom and have them try to create their own song.

During one class we watched a learning summary video of a previous student Ryan Josephson.  He wrote his own lyrics to a well known song and played the guitar.  In my classroom if my students have a great week and get all their work done we have a dance party for the last five minutes of every Friday.  One of the songs that my student’s love to dance to is the I’m Sexy and I Know It parody…I’m Elmo and I Know It!  I have listened to this song so many times and one day during a dance party I thought about writing my own lyrics about this class to that song.  That is when the idea of I’m Digital Learning and I Know It was formed and I knew I wanted to conclude my summary of learning project with the song.  Growing up I sang in choirs and performed in my high school`s musicals.  I have never created my own song like this before, but I had fun creating this even though recording myself was a little bit out of my comfort level.

It has been an amazing journey!  What are some other great presentation programs or tools that I could try using for another project sometime?  Do you know of any other good storytelling apps that I could use with my grade two students?  I hope you enjoy watching my reflections!

****IMPORTANT****** Before you watch my link below please check out this link first explaining my presentation!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO WATCH MY SUMMARY OF LEARNING PREZI PRESENTATION

(P.S. You may need to give it a minute or two for the two video links to upload!)

What did you think? Please leave me a comment and share what you thought about my project.

Oh My!!! I just noticed that when I added in the photo credits on my Prezi that it did not save!! Yikes! It took me a while to add that in because I wanted to make sure I had photo credit for each picture.  So instead of adding it again I wrote the path number, I gave each picture a name to describe the picture, and then put the Photo Credit beside it.

On Path 4 The Feet Print–> Photo Credit: andy_5322 via Compfight cc

 One Path 4 Kathy Cassidy’s Book–> I got the picture from the Powerful Learning Practice Website

On Path 6 The Old Computer–> Photo Credit: IslesPunkFan via Compfight cc

On Path 6 Social Media Web–> Photo Credit: Anne Helmond via Compfight cc

On Path 6 Ted Talks–> Photo Credit: TEDxVictoria via Compfight cc

On Path 7 Blog Picture–> Photo Credit: dimnikolov via Compfight cc

On Path 8 Edublog Series–> I took a picture of the web page with my iPhone

On Path 10 Drop Box Picture–> Photo Credit: joe.ross via Compfight cc

On Path 10 Google+ Picture–> Photo Credit: The Daring Librarian via Compfight cc

On Path 12 Bird Camera–> Photo Credit: marc.benton via Compfight cc

On Path 13 Boy Reading–> Photo Credit: rubyblossom. via Compfight cc

On Path 13 Two Children Building–> Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

On Path 14 Makey Makey–> Photo Credit: CTJ Online via Compfight cc

On Path 14 The Cardboard Creation–> Photo Credit: ancawonka via Compfight cc

On Path 15 Water Reflection–> Photo Credit: aguscr via Compfight cc

On Path 16 Students Building–> Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

On Path 16 Student Art/Projects–> Photo Credit: flickrolf via Compfight cc

On Path 16 Learning Required–> Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

On Path 18 Speak Up–> Photo Credit: HowardLake via Compfight cc

On Path 18 Social Change Politics–> Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc

On Path 19 Social Media–> Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc

On Path 19 Students on Computer –> Photo Credit: Hurst Photo via Compfight cc

On Path 20 Wordle–> Photo Credit: mrsdkrebs via Compfight cc

On Path 20 Picture Web–> Photo Credit: infocux Technologies via Compfight cc

On Path 21 The Path–> Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc

Please Tell Me A Story!

One Tuesday night I had the privilege in hearing Alan Levine @cogdog talking to my Social Media class about Digital Storytelling.  His presentation was so engaging and after the class was over I couldn’t help but, reminisce to my favourite memories and stories…

Growing up telling stories was always a huge part of my family’s routines and traditions.  One of my parents would always read or tell me a bedtime story every night.  I always looked forward to this time! It was fun to use your imagine while meeting new characters and going on adventures in new places.

bedtime story

  Photo Credit: sean dreilinger via Compfight cc

Growing up we also had another very important tradition.  Damon and I both have discussed that when we have children one day of our own that we will continue to carry on this tradition with our family.  Everyday during supper time it was family time.  It was a time when the television was turned off (now cellphones are left in another room) and we as a family would tell each other about our day.  I enjoyed listening to what my brother and sister did at school and how their activities were going.  I loved hearing my parents stories about work!  My favourite stories were when my parents would tell us about when they were growing up.  It was interesting to know what school was like for them and learning about what they did when they were young.  I still remember my mom and dad telling me about buying a candy for only a penny! I only knew those candies as five cent candies.  As a young girl I was so shocked with how many things had changed since they were young.  Now in Canada they do not make pennies anymore! I am looking forward to one day when my own children are shocked when they learn about how many things has changed since I was a little girl.

supper time conversations

Photo Credit: OakleyOriginals via Compfight cc

My favourite family tradition growing up is going to the lake! (We still carry out this tradition every year!)  During the day we would have a blast boating, tubing, kneeing boarding, wakeboarding, and swimming at our beach in White Bear.  Our home away from home!!  After supper almost every night (as long as it wasn’t raining) we would go outside and have a campfire.  Again the evening was filled with reminiscing about family adventures and what we did when we were younger.  We also had fun telling our own make believe stories!  Yeah for campfire stories! It was even more fun when my extended family would come down to the lake.  When my one aunt is at the lake she would often led us into singing campfire songs! For example you could hear us jamming out to Row Row Row Your Boat often in a round.  Even this year one night we broke out singing many great songs around the fire.  So much fun and great family memories!

campfire

Photo Credit: Jim Larrison via Compfight cc

roasting marshmellows

   Photo Credit: WesTheYeTi via Compfight cc

What family traditions do you have?  Do you tell stories with your family? 

Now getting back to Alan’s presentation on Digital Storytelling.  His presentation pointed out the value in using storytelling in the classroom and how it could be done through using technology.  He did point out to our class that the story is more important than the tool.  That really stood out in my head!  Sometimes I worry more about if I am using the correct tool when I need to keep focusing on the story/lesson with my class.  Good storytellers hook their audience and engage them through their excitement.  I think that is one reason why I love hearing my family’s stories!  Educators can engage their students in the classroom through adding enthusiasm to their lessons, allowing their students to make connections to what they are learning about, and through storytelling.  When I was reading my fellow classmates blogs.  I really enjoyed reading Danielle’s (@deedegs) blog post “Don’t Like It? Flip It?”  I am very happy that my teachers had more enthusiasm than the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  This video proves the importance of engaging students!

I agree with my classmate Cortney (@cortney2894) that “Throughout history storytelling has been an important part of the human experience.”  Storytelling is a part of my everyday life.  My students and I tell stories in the classroom, my colleagues share stories in the staffroom, I can read stories online or in the newspaper, watch stories on the television, Damon and I talk about our work day, and I call or Facetime with my family to share what happened in our day.  In Cortney’s blog she also discussed reading her students blogs.  My students are beginning to share their learning with others through blogging, but I could relate to Cortney discussing that she has “enjoyed the engagement that my students and I have experienced in there narrations of their learning in their blogs.”  My students and I have had so much fun exploring our blog entries and reading other classroom blogs!  I am looking forward to seeing my students continued growth with blogging!

During the class I learned about some neat tools.  One tool was called PechaflickrIt allows people to have fun talking about a topic using images they have never seen before.  A few classmates tried it out this tool during our class and they did a fantastic job! I think it would make an awesome speaking activity in ELA.  Katia (@kbhildebrandt) shared with us some resources for Alan Levine’s session.  Wow! I was amazed by all the terrific resources.  There was so much to discover and learn about!  I am looking forward to exploring this resource more during the Christmas break when I have more time to try some of the tools that were showed in this resource.  In my classroom I have an iPad and I was curious about good apps that I could use in the classroom with my students.  Under a link called 50+ Web Ways to Tell a Story there were more excellent resources!   Under this link I found a resource created by Karen Bosch called Digital Storytelling with an iPad.  I encourage you to check it out! There are so many great suggestions of apps to try, description of the apps, and it even gives ideas and samples with links of what students have created using the aps.  I also encourage everyone to read and have a look at Raelynn’s (@raelynnsmith) blog post called “She was burning the midnight oil again when suddenly…”  The post is a creative story about her exploring digital storytelling and creating videos using digital media.  She did an excellent job and gave me motivation to try using one digital media tools in my summary of learning project. Thanks Raelynn!

I am looking forward to continuing my storytelling journey!

storytelling

Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc

Have you used digital storytelling in your classroom? What tools have you used to help students tell their stories?  I really want to give my students to opportunity to tell a story using an app like Puppetpals, but I find it is hard giving everyone the opportunity when I only have one iPadHas anyone else experienced the same thing?  I would appreciate any advice and suggestions in what I could do!   I am looking forward to reading what you think a my post and if you have any ideas or suggestions for me. Thank you very much! 🙂

Marking, and Reporting, and Blogging…Oh my!

marking

 Photo Credit: Pkabz via Compfight cc

The end of October is always a crazy busy time for me in my classroom! This is the time that I am finishing off my units and I begin to assess my students in a variety of ways to show their growth in all of the different subject areas. I know fellow educators can relate to this crunch time.  I am a little bit worried about this report period because my division is in the process of transitioning to a new tool to create our report cards. Our technology consultants have been AMAZING with providing us with Webinars, support documents, and answering e-mails to get us through this process!!! Since I have been so focused on my student’s assessments and report cards that I feel bad that I got a bit behind in my blogging for my graduate class.  But, this weekend I am glad I had the time to begin to get caught up! I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes that quality can be a bit of a weakness for me. The blog post that I created earlier today took me over a week to get all my thoughts together.  When I posted my blog to our #eci831 class Google Plus Community page and I discussed my frustrations with finding the correct words and having to edit it so much throughout the week I really appreciated the comment that +Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell told me. She said, “Justine, I can relate! I find that sometimes I might publish a post, then realize that I forgot to add this or that… I guess that’s the beauty of a blog… You can submit, but you can also change if you need to…”. Being able to edit my posts once they are published is something that I can keep forgetting! Sometimes I focus too much on finding the exact words and when I am still unsure about something that it is okay to tell everyone that I am still pondering the topic. Then once I know the answers I am then able to go back to add to my blog post or create another post discussing my findings and changes to my opinion.

I still cannot believe that it is already November! Where did the two months go?!?! It is exciting to think about all of the tools and resources that I have been introduced to! I am glad this class has pushed me to grow professionally and has provided me the opportunity to connect with and learn from so many amazing educators. On September 15th I posted about my experience with participating in Kathy Cassidy’s Digital Citizenship webinar.  From participating in that webinar I got an email about another webinar that was on October 29th exploring Connected Formative Assessment. I used my cellphone to connect to blackboard collaborate to attend the webinar, but I experienced a lot of difficulty with staying connected through my cell. I was sad that I had trouble staying connected, but I was very excited when I received an e-mail letting me know that I was selected to receive one of their digital books for free. I chose Kathy Cassidy’s book called Connected from the Start: Global Learning in the Primary Grades. I cannot wait to receive her book and dive into reading it!  I encourage everyone to check out the Powerful Learning Practice website.  There are a lot of great resources and information available on the website or you could follow the Powerful Learning Practice on Twitter @PLPNetwork.

I was very happy on Tuesday we have the opportunity to be able to ask Katia and Alec questions about our class, blogging, and our projects.  I could relate to Clayton’s blog post! Do not worry Clayton I also relate to missing the boat on making sure I added photo credits to the pictures that I posted onto my blog.  This weekend I spent time watching Alec’s Basic Blogging Tips video that he created for our graduate class.

I encourage everyone to check out his video!  The part that I found most useful was when he walked us through how to cite photographs properly using CompfightI could understand how Clayton felt because I also found there was not as many options for photographs, but I am happy that I will not be going to “copyright jail” once I am finished going through all of my blog posts.  So far I have added in the photo credits to my more recent blog posts, but there are a few photographs I am having trouble to replace.  For example when I wrote a blog post about Twitter I found specific pictures that I wanted to share that represented my thoughts about Twitter.  Does anyone have any suggestions in where I could find similar pictures from a website that I could give credit to the person who created the picture?  In other blog posts that I created I also used pictures that were quotes.  Does anyone have any suggestions in where I could find similar pictures that I can give credit to appropriately?  My goal is to finish citing the rest of my photographs in my blog post by Wednesday.

This weekend I was also busy with adding an about me widget to my blog page.  On the about me website I made sure I connected people to my Google Plus page, Twitter handle, WordPress Blog, and my classroom blog that I created using Edublog.  I also worked on adding a page onto my home blog that explains my Major Digital Project about my classroom blog to everyone and then below there is a category page that allows everyone to read all of my blog posts that I created about my digital project journey.  I feel like I am heading back on the highway in my blogging journey and finally getting off of the detour that I was on over the past week! I am going to continue to work on my Twitter account @JNSteph87 and my personal blog.  If you can any suggestions in how I could make my accounts better and if I am missing anything please let me know! I appreciate your feedback a lot!!! 🙂