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.
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.
Today’s class started with the beginning of the tech presentations which included two groups that discussed graphic design and video editing. They were both very informative and gave me a great start at how to maneuver different platforms and tools to create my own final product. Below I have the graphic design I created for EDCI 336, and I thought it was interesting to use the different tools on the graphic design platform.
Twine and Sketchnoting were the focus of the rest of lesson, and it was very informative to know more ways of learning that are out there. Twine is a great way of creating your own choose your own adventure story, and its a pretty user friendly platform. Sketchnoting is a way of taking notes that helps the note taker process the information better than typing, or even just writing without links and/or pictures associated with words. Both tools really helped me see what possibilities are out there and I am excited to dig into them more in the future!
I know, I was skeptical at first too. Heidi James from Colquitz Middle School along with her students came in to help us discover what Minecraft in the classroom is. Turns out Minecraft can be used as an amazing learning tool, using math, science, and literacy all in one touching on cross curricular competencies. I never realized that a game like Minecraft could be used as such an important engaging learning tool. In the beginning of testing it out for ourselves it was very overwhelming, and the idea of trying to navigate my way through a world seemed near impossible. With the help of Heidi and her students I came out of our class today thinking what a great learning experience and tool to use. After leaving todays lesson I realized that there are many different games and tools to bring into a classroom that can teach a multitude of different skills. I hope to one day get a better handle on Minecraft and have the resources to bring it into my practice as a future educator.
Class begun by videoconferencing with Verena Roberts discussing Open Education Week, and she also focused on how to expand K-12 learning through open practices online, and offline. It was very informative and it really showed me that there is a push out there for not only higher education to become open and accessible by all, but it is also happening with the elementary levels. I thank Verena Roberts for her time and excellent presentation to our class. Shortly after returning to our regular EDCI 336 classroom, we had a presentation given to us by Jesse Miller. Jesse Miller discussed safety, online social media presence as future educators, digital literacy, and privacy. It was great to see all of our concerns being put to ease, and quickly turning our worries into a learning experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity and the knowledge I can now take forward for many years to come.
Class this week was shorten due to the field trip to George Jay Elementary School, but we still fit a whole bunch of information into a short period of time. During class time we discussed copyright and what that looks like as a future educator. in regards to ideas and more specially photos. Valerie taught us how to access photos on the Creative Commons website instead of running into potential copyright problems, which was very eye opening to me. Moving forward I now know how to gather information and photos, as well as how to attribute photos if there is copyright on the picture. The remainder of class was spent reviewing our peers’ blogs, and I found it very interesting and insightful myself. I gained some knowledge in different areas, and I even pulled some different inspiration to jazz mine up a bit! I appreciated having that time to work toward building my peers’ up, which also helped me learn as well.
To deepen our understanding of inquiry-based learning the class took a field trip to George Jay Elementary School to talk to Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt. Rebecca gave a forty-five minute presentation about her experience and research into inquiry-based learning, and my takeaways were huge. I knew inquiry-based learning was on the rise, but I didn’t understand how that could be a reality in an elementary school classroom. Inquiry-based learning is something new to me because I didn’t grow up with that being a topic of conversation, instead it was very traditional. Knowing that teachers like Rebecca are dedicating such a huge chunk of her time to not only the students, but to the inquiry process. For someone to be so young and have such a passion for inquiry was refreshing. I hope to be able to investigate inquiry-based learning in my 3 week practicum in April.
This week I had the opportunity to visit the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry downtown Victoria. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been super excited to check out how the school was put together and what more of the specifics were! In September Jeff Hopkins, who is the Principal and Founder of PSSI, came to the department orientation and gave a brief presentation on who he is and it was very inspiring. When the class arrived Jeff gave us a quick overview of what the school was about, and then he let us wander around and interact with the students to get a feel fro the school at our own pace. I realized how groundbreaking how important what he was trying to start up was! This visit was very eye opening because it made me rethink my own education and how the possibilities are endless in what that entails now a days. I’m looking forward to more opportunities like this in the upcoming weeks.
This week was focusing on video editing, audio editing, and screen capturing and I really enjoyed diving in completely and absorbing all the information I possibly could! After getting through a worksheet relating to video editing, and playing with iMovie I learned some basic video editing skills that I will take with me for years to come. The next thing we tackled in class was working with GarageBand to play with different audio files and edit different clips. Both platforms were quite different, but after getting used to each of them they were pretty user friendly. Screen capturing was the main takeaway from the class for me personally because I see the benefit to bring it forward in my future classroom. I believe screen capturing is a great tool to create different resources for students to learn and grow themselves, and as a future educator I want to be able to facilitate that in my classroom. I found this EDCI 336 class the most informative and it was the one I got the most out of thus far. The skills that I didn’t have background in before, are tools I can take forward with me into my teaching career.
In our weekly EDCI 336 class I had the opportunity to video chat with Ian Landy the Principal from Edgehill Elementary School in Powell River. During the hour long video conference, Ian discussed formative assessment and what that looked like to him. I found the conversation to be very eye-opening in the way I think about assessment in general for a couple reasons. The main point being that report cards don’t show the full outcomes of student learning. For me personally, growing up with report cards and that type of assessment was the norm, and it was phenomenal to see it done a different way completely. The idea of E-Portfolios that Ian pitched and explained how it works in a practical setting made so much sense, and changed the way I look at formative assessment. Now, what are E-Portfolios one might ask? E-Portfolios are a type of assessment to create a better understanding of where certain grades are coming from, and the justification which is proved by adding student work, sort of like a showcase all in one place. The other focus of the conference call was how student engagement increased after implementing E-Portfolios because it reflected progress in student development, as well as the final product. I love how E-Portfolios focus on the individual learner instead of the class as a whole. After this video conference I am at ease knowing that there are educators like Ian Landy that are pushing everyday to create a better method for assessment.
I just experienced my first Edcamp session. It was a super interesting and helped me engage with my peers. After the four groups were chosen, I decided to join the group discussing special education. I found it to be very informative and helped further my knowledge into the subject. My group of discussed a variety of topics which also included each individual learner and their specific needs in and out of the classroom. This is a topic I have many questions about for a handful of reasons. What designates each individual student? Why is there still such a stigma around having a different need within the classroom? These two questions weren’t solved in the Edcamp, but it is something I look forward to diving into in the future, potentially with my tech inquiry project! Overall, this was a positive experience, and I am already thinking of how I can incorporate the Edcamp style of learning into my teaching, and learning in the future.