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.
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.