Today in Tech we spoke about the positives and negatives of distributed learning and how we personally feel about online university. I thought this was quite a valuable conversation because it is something we are all going through right now. I do feel like there are positives, as it is a more relaxed way of learning that allows for more flexibility and leeway in our learning. However, I am not a huge fan of distributed learning because of how mentally draining it has become. I find it extremely difficult to be on my computer 24/7 as it takes a lot of energy and makes you feel quite drained at the end of the day. I also find that distributed learning is quite busy, I often feel overwhelmed because there is so much stuff going on all the time and it is hard to keep track of all your assignments, lectures, and tests.
I think that during these times it is incredible that we were able to continue our studies and that we have the technology to do so, but I do feel that the quality of classes in person is something that you can’t replicate online.
We also spoke about ways of presenting distributed learning other than zoom. We spoke about bright spaces, Moodle, Blackboard, Teams ect. as other options to share learning and classes online. I found this interesting as a teacher because I did not realize that there are so many different ways and websites that offer an online learning experience. It is important although a year ago we would have never though this is something we need to learn, we as teachers need to be informed about distributed learning as we may or may not have to implement it into our teaching one day if a similar situation was to arise. I think it is also important to learn because regardless of a pandemic or not, I think parts of education will still continue to be online. Because of all this technology we have started to use and uncover we will be able to use it when students are at home sick, or unable to attend to class and need to hear the information that was lectured.
Overall it is honestly incredible how far technology has come and how we were able to continue our studies online. I have enjoyed my time online although at some points it was proven to be difficult, I would have much rather participated in distributed learning than taken a year off.
I am beyond excited to return to in person classes while still continuing to explore the online learning experience and how I will be able to implement aspects of it into my own teaching.
This week we had Tracey Humphries from BCEdAccess come to our zoom meeting to speak about technology and the use of technology in the special needs and alternate learning pieces of education. I found this a really important and engaging conversation as I personally see and agree with the implementation of technology to aid those who may need extra assistance in the classroom. My mom who is an Educational assistant at my former high school works with many students who use technology everyday as a means of helping them get through the school day. I have spent quite a lot of time down in our special education classroom and have had the opportunity to see some of these types of technology and how beneficial they are to the students using them. My mom works with one non-speaking boy, who uses an I pad to communicate his needs and wants to his EA. I think this is such an amazing tool for in the classroom because it allows for him to have the opportunity to communicate and speak without actually speaking. It is incredible to see how far technology has come, as we were discussing in my breakout room, there was no way this type of technology would be able to be used in the schools even 10 years ago, so it is so special that we are able to use it today. That being said I feel as though we need to provide these students with more equipment and technology resources for them to use at school. The budget for these types of programs and resources is usually minimal, but I believe that there needs to be more emphasis on how important this is and how useful it is to have technology available for these students to use on a daily basis at school.
This week In EDCI 336 we explored how to use videos to our full advantage in class. We leaned what a great tool they are, and how we can use them and customize the settings to best suit what we are aiming to do with the video. We talked about different types of educational videos and how they are useful when implemented into the classroom. I loved reflecting on this because there were so many examples I could think of that are videos that have stuck with me throughout my education career. One in particular that came to me right away are the Amoeba sister videos for learning biology; these are a series of YouTube videos that breakdown all the basic and complex information in bio by explaining it in fun and new ways. I have attached a Link to the videos home page! http://www.youtube.com/user/AmoebaSisters
We also spoke about how we can change the setting on videos such as turning on and off subtitles, slowing and speeding up videos and much more. I found this helpful because sometime we need to accommodate for students needs which may mean attending to whether or not they can hear the video and if it is too fast. This gives all students an opportunity to learn in a way that works best for them!!!!
Jeff Hopkins is the founder and principal of The pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry right here in Victoria. I think this is something so special that we are able to have here on the island and I am super excited we get to have the opportunity to learn how the school is operated and its focus for the learners within.
I agree with Jeff’s ideas that inquiry is an effective way of helping students learn in an environment that provides them with adequate learning and resources for their own proficiency level and learning that aligns with their own personal interests. I think that inquiry allows the students to really deepen their understanding because they are genuinely interested in what they are learning about. Inquiry has the power to diminish that act of laziness and disinterest that is difficult to overcome in high school. You typically either get learners who are beyond interested and so in tune with their learning that they are more focused on marks rather than the actual content and if they are even interested in the learning, and then you get the students who just are completely checked out and do not want to be there because they are uninterested in the content.
I also really like the way this school is set up. It is not like a typical busy high school. It has space and places that allow your creativity to flow in a safe and welcoming environment. I think this is really important in an inquiry based setting. We as teachers in places like PSII need to allow the students their own individual spaces and areas where they can work individually on what they have chosen to work on, rather than seating in a traditional classroom with desks in rows that all face the front of the call. I like this approach to learning because I feel like it provides much more leeway in the learning and also in the ways they choose to go about the learning.
Today in class we spoke with Trevor Mackenzie on the inquiry based classroom. We had a really interesting and valuable conversation in my breakout room about our thoughts on Inquiry in student’s learning. We all agreed that inquiry is great! It promotes discovery and sparks interest in the students’ learning. If the student gets to choose what they are studying it will be something they are actually personally interested in and therefor become more motivated to learn. We also spoke about how learners like myself may struggle with inquiry as we like structure and “guidelines” when it comes to school. I am very much a learner who needs a clear and precise outline of what is expected to me; sometimes I can become overwhelmed and lost in inquiry just because of the vast interpretations and topics we can discover. I think there is a nice balance like Trevor spoke about between the two where you scaffold the general idea for the students and from there they pinpoint one thing they personally want to explore and learn more about.
Trevor also showed us a great map that featured “the Ten Characteristics of the Inquiry Classroom” This is a great resource as it reminds us as teachers what we are striving to achieve when introducing inquiry based learning into our own classrooms. My group felt like even though we have not had much classroom experience as teacher candidates, there were still characteristics that we recognize and strive to achieve in other fields of work such as camp leaders, dance teachers, and any other job that has to do with children.
I personally really like this map and am going to save it as a resource for me as a teacher when creating a inquiry based environment in my classroom to make sure I am welcoming every student, their ideas, and the exploration of new and old knowledge.
Attached map created by: Trevor Mackenzie, Sylvia Duckworth
Today in class we had a presentation and discussion from Jessie about social media and our image as educators. This was an eye opening class as I am from the generation who heavily uses social media for anything and everything. I know personally I am cognizant of what I post on social media mainly to maintain the positive image I present myself as, but also because there are things that I don’t necessarily want my future students or employers to find and that skew their image of who I am as a person. I have done lots of jobs with children before who want to follow me on instagram or add me on Tiktok, therefor all my social media is private and I get to decide who sees and who does not see it. I think it is important, and also reasonable to be careful of what you put on social media as an educator. You want to be viewed in a professional role and someone who can be a good role model to people’s children. Videos of you heavily drinking, or doing things you should not be doing are not a good way of connecting with parents and showing them that their children are in good care. Social media is a powerful tool and it can be used for many great things. It can be incorporated into the classroom and is a great tool to teach and connect with students. That being said I think the biggest take away from today was that you just need to be mindful and careful what you are posting on the internet, and if it is something you wouldn’t be comfortable showing potential bosses, maybe think twice before you post it.
This weeks class I found particularly fun as it was something that I have wanted to know how to do for a while! We learned about photo shop and how to create Bernie memes on powerpoint on desktop. I have never really used power point and I was happy to use it and find out how easy it really is to us. We used the trasparent backgrounders PNG picture of Bernie Sanders and were able to put it onto whatever photo we wanted to. It was super fun and I really enjoyed having the freedom to put him on whatever picture I wanted! This class was also really cool because I ended up using this Bernie Idea to create a few poster for my job. I have an upcoming event soon that I am hosting for my residents on campus and added Bernie to the posters and they absolutely loved it! 🙂
This week in class we talked about plagiarism and we looked at websites and resources we can utilize to avoid copy right. I found this class particularly helpful because I was able to find a bunch of websites I had no idea were accessible to use! I am looking forward to utilizing the multimedia websites and integrating things I find off there in my blog and also into future creations and resources I create as a teacher for my students.
I have little to no experience using different forms of technology besides my phone and laptop for basic actions. I am hoping to use this class for gaining some experience and self confidence when using technology in my classroom in the future. I would also like to gain knowledge on resources and websites that will be useful in my classroom and will help aid me in teaching to the future generation which will most likely be very technology driven, more than we are now already.