Deep Reflection

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Hi Y’all!

Today I want to discuss my experience in the Education Technology class- What I have learned, my opinion towards it and the challenges I have learned and overcame with regards to technology.

I learned so much over the course of the semester. I was an avid PowerPoint user before this class, but I loved playing around and getting to know SMART Notebook. I believe it has many benefits that PowerPoint does not allow. As a future teacher, and as a student I know SMART will be a software I will use in my classroom, and I was glad we got to play around and get to know it, plus we got marks for it, so that makes it even better! SMART provides a highly interactive presentation that allows the students to watch and participate in fun activities within the presentation. Although this software takes time to create AMAZING presentations, the benefits students can gain if you create a highly engaging and involved presentation are endless.

I am a very creative person and I take great pride in this trait of mine. My favorite assignment in the class was creating the iMovie. It was super fun, and I instantly had an idea, and got to watch the idea come to life as we created it. I would have never thought it was so easy, if I had not done this assignment. ALTHOUGH, iMovie brought a lot of frustration out. The convenience of doing this on an iPad is great- AS LONG as you own your own iPad. For someone like me, I did not own an iPad so I had to download the software onto my phone and put all the videos on my phone. My phone did not have the memory for this so I had to delete every app and every picture. This is something to remember if I want to welcome it into my class. Ensuring my class has full access to iPads and that we have the software. I may have gotten upset with the resources available to me to make my video, but overall I believe this is a super fun and valuable way for students to present information- especially if they are shy when it comes to presentations in front of the class.

We created interactive quizzes which is a very convenient way for teachers to test their students knowledge without having to grade thirty individual quizzes. Some of the websites allow results to be anonymous, while others allow the teacher to know the responses specifically. Teachers can reflect on these answers, answer back to the students and clarify where the students are struggling immediately. The only downside to this, is each student has to have a device to answer, but most schools now provide class sets of either Chrome books or iPads.

We looked into apps that are available for students to help them learn. These apps are great, although I do not think I will use many of them in my class. I do not want to support excessive screen time in my classroom, but it is valuable to know that students are able to self-guide themselves on a topic they are struggling with. One app that I loved was Powtoons. I believe the provide benefits but are too complicated to use in the classroom. With more time to experiment with them my answer may change though.

Being able to use Pinterest and Twitter and get grades for it was without a doubt, the best part of the class. I previously discussed Twitter and my relationship, and it was cool to see all Twitter has to offer. It’s not all about spamming celebrities… I am a current and avid Pinterest’er so I found great joy in spending hours on Pinterest looking up more and more classroom ideas. The Pins would bring so much excitement, and I do not have a practicum this entire year so this allowed me to still feel engaged in the Education Program.

I know that technology is taking over education and it is very big in this upcoming generation. It excites me, yet it scares me. There is so much one can do with education but there are also lots of “strings attached” with technology as we learned in the Digital Citizenship week. I believe as I am working in my classroom with the students I will begin to realize the importance of what we learned in this class and the relevance when I begin to physically use what we have learned. I have never feared technology on a personal level, but I fear it is all students go home to therefore I am not sure if I want to engage activities promoting it in my classroom. There is still time for me to decide this, but I am now walking away from this class with a new perspective regarding technology in the class.

That’s all for now… I can see myself using this blog in the future though so beware!

The Colorful Classroom Connection

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Does my NAME Reflect Myself Professionally?

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Does my name reflect me as a professional? Since I was in high school, I am very proud of myself, what I represent and my accomplishments. I believe looking back there were moments where I did not portray myself in a respectable matter on Facebook throughout middle school and early high school, often speaking my unfiltered mind… The cool thing when Facebook was first released was to tell the world every single thing going on… Or else that is what all my peers in seventh grade did. The other thing I am not proud of, but I am also not ashamed of, was the major fan girl I was in middle and high school. I have a personal Twitter account, and the little girl in me does not want to delete it because there are three celebrities I managed to get to follow me and I really do not want to let that go.

This sounds ridiculous- I will admit it, but it is hard to let go of something that meant so much to sixteen year old Shae. I often look back at my personal Twitter and laugh at my old self. On my birthdays, I would spam newsfeeds with “@Justinbieber i’s my birthday! Please wish me a happy birthday” and I still do try on my birthday’s. It is something that I dream of- having a celebrity wish me a Happy Birthday. NOW- looking at this in a professional matter, I do agree that it does not look professional, and I understand it makes me look slightly less mature, but there are still two more years left until I get my degree to let that inner fan-girl teenage Shae go. 

Now, walking into grade eleven, I was a new student in my school. I moved to Medicine Hat from Red Deer, and it was time to grow up a little. I got very involved with leadership, and walked away from grade twelve with a Class-voted Citizenship Award, a Kinette Club Bursary, a Citizenship, Leadership and Volunteerism Award from Kinsmen and my prized possesion: The Alberta Premier’s Citizenship Award. By the end of grade twelve, I volunteered a lot, was the Co-President of KEY Club, SADD and Student Council, I MC’ed two pep rallies, and hosted and MC’ed two Horizon Leadership Conferences, and I did the Toast to Teachers at my graduation. I wanted my name to be remembered- for my passion in changing lives. 

I slowed down my Facebook status’ in grade twelve, only posting the relevant stuff. For the last three years, I seldom make Facebook status’ and when I do, they are “Updates to Friends and Family” on what’s been going on. I have used Facebook and Instagram to brand my Creativity in Action name. I love being creative, and I have many hands-on passions. Creativity in Action shows my work- whether that is photography, DIY’s, signs, or baking, I include it all! 

When you search Shae Fedorak on Google- there is nothing I am entirely embarrassed about. I have never been into partying, and when I do make appearances at functions, I am not one to drink. I have censored what is on my Facebook profile for about four years now, because I have always known the impact Facebook makes on employers. I am proud of my name, what I represent and who I am. I would be delighted for someone to search my name prior to hiring me because I am proud, and passionate about all I do and all I represent. 

Is it TRULY Reliable?

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There was a task presented in my Educational Technology today, that enlightened me on trusting all sites. We were to complete a Information Quiz in groups of two, and the first team wins. We are all competitive college students, therefore we trusted the websites our professor Cammie placed in the quiz.

We raced to complete the quiz, so fast we did not realize what we were actually entering. The truth is, Cammie entered websites that were inaccurate and filled with false information. We are educated students at a college level- now how does this make me feel about when a fifth grader types in “Facts on Mankato” and someone else that students age had created what they thought was a well researched website, but in reality, the sources they used were not trustworthy and this imposed on the accuracy of that website.

It is a big circle that you do not want to get caught up in. It is very important to check the accuracy behind anything you are researching. Does that information make sense? Does the website look accountable? ALSO check out at least two websites to ensure the validity! 

I think it is important to teach your students the importance of accuracy with regards to research. Students need to be shown an example like Cammie demonstrated to us, who are college students, to dig deeper beyond the website. This experience was very eye opening, and I know in my future classroom I will ensure my students know to double check everything before using and trusting a source. 

Express your Thoughts Visually

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PowToon

Entering this assignment I was unsure if I would enjoy it. I am a very creative person, although I do not enjoy showing my creativity through electronic forms. I searched through many of the apps to see which app I would like, but none of them stood out to me. PowToon was not my first choice, mainly because I had heard of it before and I wanted to try something new. However, I had never used PowToon, I have seen many people use it before. After searching to find a “create your own storybook” app and failing, I decided I would give PowToon a try.

I am very surprised with the app. Not only did it provide you with a guideline, it did not restrict you from changing anything. It encouraged me to follow the regular steps of writing a story, knowing this there is a possibility of using this app in my class when I want students to write a story. Not only did I write a little ” Welcome to my Classroom! ” story, but it presented it in a video format, and what student doesn’t love videos!

The only real drawbacks I saw within the program are the free version does not offer as much as the paid version, which is a given. The free version did provide a lot of fun characters, but if you wanted more options you would have to pay. The logo also will always show on the free version which is not a problem. This program is time consuming if you want to personalize your story in any ways. The creator has the ability to change characters and their movements, fonts, colors, backgrounds and add props. I think this class would be excellent if students were to write a story. I think I would want to use this app on the first or second day of school to have the students create a “Hello, my name is” video. Within the video, I would have students answer certain questions like “What did you do this summer?” “What are some fun facts about you?” “Is there anything I need to know about you?” “Extra random facts such as your hobbies, favorite subject, etc” and “Set a goal for yourself for this school year”.

PowToon was great and I can see certainly myself using this app in my classroom!

GooseChase in the Classroom

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It’s literally a wild “GooseChase” in the classroom! QR Codes are AMAZING!

Minus the fact that Medicine Hat College did not have many QR Codes I think the idea of QR Scavenger Hunts is amazing! GooseChase is an interactive QR Code reader that can create scavenger hunts for your students. Prior to this class, I thought QR codes were lame- No one has used QR codes since Blackberry BBM days! However, I never thought of the benefits of being able to use them in the class. Not only can QR codes link students to answer sheets after an assignment, they can link right to a website, or a YouTube link! QR Codes are convenient, free and easy to set up!

There is only one pitfall to QR Codes and that is the technology needed to access them! However, if your class has a classroom set of iPad’s then you are set! I love scavenger hunts so I can definitely see myself using GooseChase in my classroom. It gets the students excited, moving, interactive and involved! There are endless possibilities with QR Codes that I would have never thought of if it wasn’t brought up in this class! Check out my  Pinterest Account for some QR ideas I can’t wait to try!  

Interactive Classrooms

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Technology in the classroom can change your classroom from traditional, to up to date immediately. In this century, technology makes a significant difference in the classroom.  It is important to stay on top of the trends and to incorporate many different forms in your classroom. I am glad I have been introduced to many different interactive classroom websites. Not only do they benefit teacher understandings on how your class is doing, but they provide instant test results and some are anonymous, which can make a student feel more comfortable contributing in. 

As for benefiting the teacher, the websites are very self-explanatory. Prior to creating a quiz on a specific website, it is important to know if your website will provide you with the proper types of questions. For example, Spiral does not allow multiple choice answers, therefore if you wanted to test your students in a multiple choice test format, this would not be your ideal website. All the websites we were lucky enough to familiarize ourselves with were very easy and quick to set up. The complexity of the account creation was low and each website only took a few minutes per question to set up if you wanted to include photographs. We used Poll Everywhere, Padlet, Socrative, Spiral, Plickers, Get Kahoot and Google Forms. Now I will go more in depth with three websites specifically. 

Plickers is an awesome technique to use in testing situations. Plickers can only provide multiple choice answers but is very fast and because each Plicker code is different it makes it very difficult for students to cheat. This is an affordable system and it only requires printed codes and one form of smart technology. 

I found Google Forms very easy to use and set up, and you are able to create questions with pictures very fast. You do not need to sign up, if you have a previous Gmail account. It is a free resource that does not require a class list and the teacher has the benefit to moderate some of the features.

Poll Everywhere is the system I do not think I would use in the classroom. Because my goal is to teach elementary school, I do not think this system will be beneficial. The system requires everyone to have a handheld device, iPad or laptop and this is an unrealistic goal in the classroom. Although this was a free website, I think it is difficult to provide in depth answers. While using this in class, I noticed there were different questions available. however when trying to answer the long answer questions it rejected my text. Therefore I do not believe this website can be super reliable. 

From a student perspective, I saw  Kahoot as the funnest system. It was competitive and fun. You could see the class tense up as each question popped up. We all wanted to be winners. What student does not enjoy a little friendly competition? There are podiums presented at the end of the Kahoot quiz and it is very fast paced, so you can go through a quiz quickly. 

The next system the student in me enjoyed was Socrative. It provided instant feedback, tells you the correct answer if you are incorrect and it can be anonymous if you get embarrassed with your name on the big screen. There was a feature called “Space Race” which divides the class into teams and it makes for friendly competition in a game format. What student wouldn’t enjoy playing a game? However, if you are a weaker student, it could cause a challenge when you want to win the race, but you just cannot read as fast as your peers. Socrative can be use on mobile devices or a computer, is fun and it allows the student’s to move quickly through the quiz. The teacher is able to monitor the quiz without having to point of students names and it is an easy to navigate system.

Padlet is the last system I am going to talk about. Although it can be anonymous, I do not enjoy that you can only have one type of question. I think it is a great system for collaborating ideas, but as a student, I find that there is too much on the screen at once. The responses are constantly scrambling around and it is too complex. 

Many of the systems provide a flexibility in the types of questions provided for your classroom. Pear deck was my favorite in that you are able to have multiple choice, drawing, short and long answer questions. Because this system provides a variety of responses, it can attract many different learners and it is something I could see using in my classroom. 

Socrative allows for either short answer, true and false or multiple choice questions. I enjoy this system and I like that you can add photos into the questions. You can also print off the individual and whole class PDF’s. 

The system I would rank the lowest is Poll Everywhere. You are only able to respond through multiple choice or one word responses. You are able to create quick questions but you cannot keep track of the result. Variety of questions is key in a classroom and because this system does not allow different types of replies, I do not think I would use this system in my classroom. 

For the Diagnostic Feedback I did not find all the systems as beneficial as I hoped they would be. Google Forms is definitely one that I think has great feedback. Not only can you see individual feedback, you can also see the groups entirety through a spreadsheet or a graph. Because Google Forms provides the teacher with the collective group graph, the teacher can then go and discuss with the entire class any of the questions that were challenging and were graded low. Google Forms also provides a response section after each question on each students quiz questions, so if the issue is something quick, the teacher can explain it on the question response.  

Socrative is the second system that provides great feedback. Not only can the teacher tell immediately what students have answered the questions correctly, after the quiz the teacher is able to print a PDF of group responses and/ or of individual responses. The responses are instantaneous which provides the teacher the opportunity to discuss with the class any of the questions that were answered incorrect as well. 

The system that I think lacks in feedback is Plickers. Although Plickers is my favorite system it provides no feedback. It shows the teacher the students who answers correct and incorrect answers but it does not provide the teacher the opportunity to respond to the students. 

I thoroughly enjoyed each interactive system we have been introduced to. It is obvious which systems are my favorite and which I hope to use in my classroom one day. I think what is important to consider when using these systems is to remember the age group you are teaching and if the system is easy or too complicated for that age group. I know for sure I will use Plickers in my classroom. It does not require any additional technology other then the teachers handheld device, it is quick and simple for students to understand. I would also love to use Kahoot in my classroom. Because I personally enjoyed the competitive nature of Kahoot, I know my students would. Kahoot was like playing a game, only you have to answer quiz questions while playing. And I also think I would use Socrative. I enjoyed the space race again, because it is like playing a game. The games make the quizzes painless and very quick to get through. I am overall excited to try these interactive systems out in my classroom and I hope they are successful, fun and understandable for my students!