This reflection is depicting how these last couple of months have gone taking EDCI 306A, and my takeaways from the course. I really enjoyed learning and growing with each and every class thus far. I believe that my greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is having the capacity to understand how challenging different aspects of music are, and how everyone learns at different rates. This is something with music, I relate to because I remember in elementary school struggling to understand how each note flowed together when everyone else got it right away. I can use this strength to support my students and create a safe space for each individual to learn and grow. I believe that this is imperative for any educator to be successful, and make a good connection with their students. When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I can see myself really enjoying watching my students grow and progress with each lesson, and giving them the tools moving forward to be successful. With that being said, I am also looking forward to teaching the basics of rhythm and beat because I think it is a crucial part of learning music. My greatest area of growth during the year this course has been advancing my piano skills. I enjoyed diving deep into my previous knowledge of the piano and picking it back up again. I am still working toward my final progress report, and working toward perfecting ‘Drops of Jupiter’. Overall, I found this course very insightful and now I have the knowledge to move forward feeling more comfortable teaching music in an elementary school classroom.
In the last class of this semester in EDCI 336 we started by finishing the last of the tech presentations, which included place-based education, coding, podcasts, GarageBand, and FreshGrade. I found all of these presentations very informative and helped me dive deeper into topics I was already curious about, and I found it was worthwhile. The presentation I found most interesting was FreshGrade because assessment is something that has peaked my interest throughout this course. It was something I want to look into in the future because it is something that is being reconsidered in the education system now. Even after working with coding during the presentation, I still have many questions. The one takeaway is that the basics of coding are much more simple than I originally thought. Overall, each of the presentations I thoroughly enjoyed, and I’m really impressed with my peers. The presentations took up most of the block because we had five different showcases. After the presentations wrapped up we went straight into a brief overview of augmented reality. I never thought of augmented reality as a teaching tool, but after watching a quick video of how it can be used as a learning tool in chemistry it became clear. The remainder of class was a brief discussing about HP reveal, QR codes, and an app Skitch. HP reveal is an app that you can create an ora to a number of words or objects that can be linked to different websites for further information. I had previous knowledge on QR codes, but I never thought of them in an educational sense. It was fascinating to hear about different ways to use them as a teacher: bulletin boards, worksheets, and professional development connections. QR codes are very assessable and help direct someone to a deeper understanding of the topic. Lastly we touched on Skitch, and it is an app used to blur faces for privacy reasons, and it seems very useful going forward. I had a blast coming into every lesson this semester knowing that I was slowly growing so much in my own tech abilities. I am going to miss this course, but I will try to keep up on technology myself.
When tackling the idea of assistive technology in the classroom I have a bit of a different approach because of my own experience. Growing up in school I never had the access to technology, due to my age demographic and the development of technology at the time. Aside from that, I never received the technology I needed to succeed until grade eleven, and that is because I went undiagnosed. Since I wasn’t a student of concern, my administrators and counsellors couldn’t provide the funding needed, but encouraged my parents to have me undergo a psychoeducational assessment report. A psychoeducational assessment report is a test used to diagnose a student’s learning or behavioural challenges, and identify if a learning disability is present. These evaluations cost between $2,500-$5,000, and for a majority of the population that price is unattainable without funding from the school district. It is also needed in order to create and individual education plan (IEP), or qualify for funding to get tools and the assistance in the classroom. When I was in grade eleven I finally got the results from my psychoeducational assessment report and then my own IEP became a reality, which I needed so desperately my whole life. I was diagnosed with dyslexia, and below is a screenshot from my own psychoeducational assessment report breaking down the types of dyslexia.
Once I got the administrative stuff out of the way, I could look at different devices and programs to assist my learning. When it comes to technology and different devices I had the opportunity to use and iPad, and a laptop which aided me with note taking and helped my success today. There is also this text/talk program called Kurzweil 3000, and I found it beneficial to help with reading, even though it is a robotic voice. The downfall to these options are funding and how imperative it is to have the money to support not only the student, but the classroom as a whole. Assistive technology will greatly influence how learners with disabilities, among their peers develop in the future. With the strides taken in the last ten years in regards to technology, it will be the best tool to help each student succeed.
Over the last couple of months I had the opportunity to dive into training my pups and I could’ve asked for a better experience thus far! Obviously I say thus far because there is still lots to work on and building those bonds to solidify what I’ve been working so hard on with them for. I managed to train both of them in sit, stay, come, and lay down. With that being said, I managed to train Beau in walking properly on a leash and that was a huge win for me! I’m still working on fetch with them because I haven’t found the right toy, or ball that either of them love yet. I really enjoyed taking time out of my day to be engaged in something that interests me, while also spending valuable puppy time with both of them! At this point in the semester they are both coming up for eleven months, which is crazy to think about! I hope you enjoyed joining along my journey puppy training with me, and in the future when more progress is made, you will be the first to know!
In class today we continued with tech presentations, and there were four groups including my own. Two groups talked about classroom blogging and it really aided in solidifying my understanding and my own experience with blogging throughout the semester. Another group discussed photography, and it was very informative and it got me thinking about getting into photography myself. I have a canon camera at home, and I hope with this beautiful weather I can get out myself and take some pictures and build my own portfolio. Lastly my group presented assistive technology, and I was nervous going into it, but it went very well and I’m glad it’s over with.
After taking a short break, the class regrouped to discuss distributed learning. My experience with distributed learning are minimal, but I feel like I dove deep into the process. In high school I took 4 online classes because of circumstantial reasons, and I saw the pros and cons to it depending on the course. I took grade 12 biology and it was different not having that face-to-face contact, but with English 11 it was simple and laid out for you. The role of distributed learning isn’t as emphasized as it should be, simply because technology has just caught up to the times, so many aren’t familiar with it. The role of modality in face-to-face is self explanatory because it involves direct contact between teacher and student, which I believe to be essential for the younger grades. On the other hand, the role of modality in the online realm is more complex, but I think it is a great tool for the upper grades (8-12.) I believe technology is becoming the bases of learning moving forward and it will be very beneficial for both students and teachers.
This week I focused on getting the both of them to play fetch, but as I quickly figured out they aren’t down for a fair game. They were both great and going for the toy, but they could never understand that they needed to return it as well. I also found it challenging to train them together, because they would just fight over who had what toy, even if they were the same! That being said, it was difficult to train them separately because I couldn’t keep one inside when the other was having so much fun outside. After the week it is still a work in progress for both of them, and some more conversation with my neighbour on how I should approach this skill with them! Until next time.
Going into the dry run of teaching a lesson plan in front of the class it was overwhelming at first, but it turned out to be such a learning experience. There was eight of us in a group which made it difficult to split up roles, but it really gave me a good sense of how to collaborate with a big group of my peers creating a music lesson plan. We decided to take the “Rain Chant” and break it down to rhythm and beat. I found it beneficial to work with rhythm and beat because it made me more comfortable with it moving forward. During the lesson it was difficult to co-teach with seven other people, so I hope with our next lesson plan moving forward it won’t be so crowded. With that being said, I still leant so much from building the lesson plan, and the feedback form my peers. It was great to also see my peers step up and build other resources for us all to use and share in the future. I am excited to begin to work on our next lesson plan, and hopefully during practicum I have the opportunity to put these resources to work.