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. 

The Beginning of my Teacher Learning Network

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One part of being a teacher that is not included in the job description is keeping up to date with the excitements through many forms of electronics. Blogs can keep a teacher informed about teacher trends, but teachers should also keep up to date with what is trending in their student’s lives. This can include memes, new movies, new video games, Snapchat, the list continues. I had a previous mentor who is a new teacher that was named in the Medicine Hat Public School Board as “New Teacher of the Year” award for the 2014 school year. Cassie told me that the most crucial thing to being a teacher, is knowing what is trending in your students’ lives. Whether that be playing “Pokémon go” to understand the concept of the game- this understanding helps you connect with your students on a whole new level, Cassie advised.

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Why am I talking about this? I recently read a fascinating blog named Learn Lead Grow and within the blog, Matt Bergman wrote a blog called “6 ways to Learn through Memes”, . Every student has seen meme’s whether they are at home searching the internet, at a store and they see one on a sign, or even through their peers showing them. Students are fascinated by this trend, so why not interest my students by using a meme to grab my students’ attention in the middle of a not-so fascinating lesson. In this blog, Matt explains the simplicity of this easy and fun method for you to use memes in your classroom. Definitions can be placed on the memes, or why not use class rules, summarize a lesson plan on the meme, use a meme in your lesson to grab the students attention and likely cause a laugh. Students can even create their own meme, Matt suggests, partnering two students to create a question and answer meme, welcome a fun way to get students involved in partner work and lesson reflection. The final suggestion Matt implies for any teacher willing to involve meme’s into their lessons, is for self-reflection. Students will can reflect on their understanding in a fun and personalized matter. Welcoming meme’s or any “trend” in your lessons not only grab your student’s attention, but they also create a more enjoyable lesson for the students. Matt’s blog incorporates a variety of ways to welcome technology in your classroom. I was not anticipating a blog called Learn Lead Grow to focus on technology in the classroom, however as I have scrolled through the different topics Matt has discussed, I am fascinated in his teaching ideas and blogs.

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The next captivating blog I stumbled across during my search is called  Dear Teacher, Love Teacher  . Although I could not find the bloggers name, I love everything this blogger has to say. Dear Teacher, Love Teacher focuses on the positives through it all, it is a blog written to the teacher, from the teacher.  Filled with encouragement and love, Dear Teacher, Love Teacher, motivates teachers to keep going even though times can get difficult. The blogs purpose is to serve as a “to my future self” type of letter, just filling the future self with knowledge of remembering to live today as a better day then yesterday and that you are amazing, even when you are scared, DTLT emphasizes that you have the power to move lives. Dear Teacher, Love Teacher is not only motivating but is exciting and it is awesome to know that there is always a teacher there to support you. Whether that teacher is a blogger from somewhere hours away, or they are in the same school as you, never quit dreaming and remember that your today will be the best day.

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Coach in and out grabbed my attention because of the name. I was intrigued because it is true that we need to coach our students in the classroom and out of the classroom: this led me to want to dig deeper and explore this blog and some of the categories Dr. Christopher McGee talks about within the blog. Dr. McGee focuses on topics such as friendships, peer interactions at school, the truth behind silence, and truths beyond your job description and why false justifications will not go unnoticed. Dr. McGee incorporates a lot of statistics and additional resources within his blogs to show his readers real numbers and information. This shows that he is not just talking about random facts, rather that he has thoroughly researched these topics and can justify his blog entries. I believe this blog can be an excellent resource for beginner teachers because Dr. McGee discusses many topics that teachers should be aware of.

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Until next time,

The Colorful Classroom Connection

The Exciting Tool for Teachers Called Technology: First Impression

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Section one:

Technology in the classroom makes me very excited. As a creative individual I find many products extremely beneficial for my career. I spend hours on Pinterest a week, and I am sure I am not the only avid “Pinterest-er”. Scrolling through the classroom ideas section excites me, broadens my creative side and shows me many ideas from other unique teachers. However, Pinterest is only one of many types of technology related, educational resources for the classroom.

Teachers Pay Teachers is a fascinating website that provides endless resources for other teachers in any category you can think of. This helpful resource also benefits the teacher who created it, by getting a profit from their work. There is a price to pay for accessing the resources, but if you are stumped with ideas of how to teach a topic, or you are incredibly sick one day and cannot put the energy together to create a substitute teacher plan, a couple of dollars may be worth it for that day!

Having a continuous situation occur in your classroom that you are uncomfortable asking a colleague for advice with? Or perhaps none of your colleagues have had this situation occur? Look no further, Edublogs has you covered. Blogs from hundreds of teachers explaining any situation possible can help you know that you are not alone. Not only is reading other teachers blogs beneficial, but blogs also allow you to reply to their blog posts. Although I have not been an avid blogger in the past, I do realize the importance and the benefits of blogging. Now that I have started this blog, I am confident that it will continue.

I could type an endless amount about the benefits of technology in the classroom. The valuable interactive programs such as SMART that allow the students to engage in the lesson. I think that allowing students to use their cellphones, iPads and tablets in class is incredibly useful. Although I do feel that students spend too much time on electronics, I know this is where we stand with this upcoming generation. Children are raised with computers, televisions and cellphones all around them and we need to teach students that although they are fun to play on, they are also important learning resources. Tablets and iPads provide many aps that can help a struggling student in the area they need help with. There are programs and websites to projects that can reach many different learner types. If a student is a weak reader, some technology can read aloud the book or text to them. Aps that allow students to respond to the teachers question either anonymously, or with their names provided to the teacher, create a better understanding for the teacher to know how their students as a whole, or individually are doing. Technology is often viewed in a negative manner, but I believe technology is an incredible resource for the classroom

The debate regarding time often portrays the use of technology in the classroom negatively because it is too time consuming. How can a teacher who is incredibly busy put hours into one SMART lesson, or into researching ideas on the internet. I look at this as something that is worth my time. Yes, a SMART lesson can take hours to create, however once it is created, it is mine forever. I believe that it is important to show your passion in whatever you are passionate about, and I am passionate about presenting lessons in a creative and engaging matter. I know I will not always be able to spend four hours on one lesson, but I do recognize the benefits of doing so and I believe the time is worth the end product- and that is allowing complete engagement with my students, no matter what their learning type is.

Section two:

The article Bring your own Device, suggests that students and teachers should welcome their own personal devices in the class. I remember as a student, keeping my cellphone tucked away in my locker. I understood that it was distracting, and it remains as the main classroom distraction to this day but where we are with technology, I believe smartphones can be the cheapest resource a teacher can use. Not every classroom will have a class set of iPads, therefore BYOD suggests that students bring in their own device and I agree. Students using their own device, the blog suggests, promotes students awareness of what THEIR device can do, it also demonstrates to them that they can continue to use THEIR device at home for extended learning opportunities. BYOD describes the challenges with their program, however I believe that every strategy, product or movement will always have challenges. I think the amount of benefits alongside this program is worth implementing BYOD into my future school, if it is not already in place.

The second article I found fascinating while reading through the articles was the 4 Reasons People don’t blog and reasons to change their mind. The four reasons are as followed: 1. Blogging is useless. 2. I don’t have time. 3. I’m a private person. 4. No one cares what I have to say. What I have to reflect on this blog, is that blogging can be beneficial for any teacher, and especially beneficial to the teacher who thinks any of the four reasons as listed above. If you think it is useless or that no one cares, you need to start blogging. Writing out exciting, overwhelming, sad or unexpected things that happened during your week is not only a method of therapy but also a learning opportunity for other teachers to benefit from. If you think no one cares, the people who do not care will not read any blog anyway so that should not be a fear. No teacher is private, so “being a private person” is not a good reason to avoid blogging. In fact, blogging will help that “private teacher” feel comfortable in expressing themselves in many situations. And the final reason, time is just an excuse. If you realize the importance and the benefits of blogging you will quickly come to realize you have an extra twenty minutes each week to sit down, and let all your interesting facts from your week in the classroom onto the internet. Blogging not only allows you to fully process the situation prior to typing it out, but it also allows you to open up to your readers and show your teachers that maybe you are not perfect, but no teacher is.

That’s all for now. Until next time…

The Colorful Classroom Connection

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