For my summary of personal learning, I had the opportunity to work with Carli Cooper. We decided to film our understandings and key messages from the class in a creative way, by creating a skit. The story begins with me knowing a lot about technology, and Carli doesn’t know as much. I use this as an opportunity to teach her a variety of things about the digital world. After a three month time lapse, Carli has learned numerous things about technology and shares them with me.
ECMP 355 has provided me with endless opportunities to connect with others, share ideas and resources, and contribute to others learning or ideas online.
All of this collaboration occurred on blogs, Twitter, the Google + community, and Zoom.
Engaging and Building on Blogs
Blogs were a way for us to really express ideas, opinions, learning’s and reflections on topics surrounding digital identity, online safety, digital tools and other resources. Blogging allowed us pre-service teachers to connect and be critical. It also allowed us to connect with others outside of the class. I used blogging previously in an ECS class, but I never had the full experience with it. Being able to comment, ask questions, and receive comments was uplifting and beneficial to learning new things.
Some of my favourite blogs posts involved sharing resources with others. This sparked communication, which demonstrated that my classmates were being critical and really thinking about what I wrote. These blogs include:
Some of the conversations I had on my blog posts or others blog posts really made me think critically about education and digital identity. One person I really connected and had great conversations with was Leanne Varley. We both have had similar experiences as pre-service teachers, and often questioned and praised one another’s thoughts or ideas.
I particularly felt like my blogs were being helpful to others when I began to get ping backs and mentioned in others blogs. When writing a post The Legacy Continues, I asked questions and mentioned points that were relevant to others learning and understanding.
Conversations & Connections on Twitter
Twitter is an online tool and resource that I thought I would never get into. The more I got involved with twitter, the more I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the fact that a lot of educators use twitter, and share resources, ideas and connect with one another. This encouraged me to share and engage my ideas- @misscraske. Twitter is definitely something I will continue to use as an educator, to build my professional learning network and to engage and connect my students.
I kept track of my Twitter progress throughout my ECMP class.I only built this account in January.
On January 6th, I had 0 followers, 0 tweets.
On February 20th, I had 44 followers, 32 tweets.
On April 9th (today), I have 61 followers, 75 tweets.
I believe that this progress helps me see the professional community I am building and shows that I am tweeting consistently to share ideas and resources with others.
On January 28th and March 8th, I had the opportunity to participate in a twitter chat, with @STARS_Regina. We talked about mental health and Syrian refugees in schools. This allowed me to share ideas, resources and build connections with other educators.
I also found the importance of replying to others on Twitter to build better relationships, both inside and outside of the class. I had a cool experience connecting with @inmotionSK after commenting on one of their posts about physical activity in the classroom. They sent me a message and wanted me to try out exercise bikes in my own classroom!
One person I really enjoyed following outside of the class was Matthew Lynch. He always posted interesting and relevant educational articles or resources, that I often retweeted and shared with others in the ECMP class.
Joining in on Google Plus
I believe that my classmates helped me on Google Plus more than I helped them. I found it important to share articles/resources that I wanted immediate feedback on, or didn’t really feel like blogging about. It was nice giving others the opportunity to share their ideas and perspectives in a safe space so we could learn from one another. I also asked questions that other classmates may have had, which helped them in the learning process.
Lastly, I created a Google Docs highlighting my communications throughout the course, with reasoning as to how I believe I was helping others or building a professional learning network. Check out my Google Docs here.
Who knew you could learn archery online… and be relatively successful with it! I have truly enjoyed my learning project experience and it is something I will continue on in the future.
My 4 key learning’s:
Be patient and reflective- To begin I was not seeing much progress. I began to be reflective on how much I was achieving, especially because archery was a new sport to me. I learned that success will only come with practice.
There is always room for growth- Archery is such a great sport for improving on. It allows you to continue to challenge yourself, whether it is increasing distance, draw weight, target size, or purpose of sport. You can never get bored of archery!
Seek sources online and offline- I never knew technology could be so helpful in teaching me about archery skills. I found endless resources including manuals, YouTube instructional videos, articles, podcasts, and archery safety guides just to name a few. It was also beneficial to meet with sources offline to help give verbal guidance and feedback at the exact time of learning.
Use additional technology to aid in your learning– Doing this project has taught me how to use other aspects of technology. This includes blogging about my progress in a creative and engaging way, using my digital camera, and developing YouTube videos on iMovie.
What I Achieved:
I am happy to say that I achieved many of my goals from the beginning of my learning project that I had set out for myself.
Knowing about different types of bows- the most suitable bow for me was a simple compound bow- I still have the opportunity to add a release aid and sights.
Understanding proper shooting form and the steps to shooting an arrow- see my tutorial video here.
Learning about the different components of the bow from Hunters Safety and Youtube.
Participating in an archery event (I hope to attend a 3D archery shoot close to my hometown this summer)
Adding a sight/release aid to my compound bow and increasing the draw weight.
Increasing my distance past 15 yards.
Talking and meeting with other archery professionals.
I put together a little video to show my growth and progress over the course of my learning project. Check it out!
Recommendations for Learning Online:
Youtube was best online resource for learning a sport, but be selective! Some videos I found were so long and irrelevant. It’s important to find good followers like Howcast.
Articles were eye opening and helped me understand my learning experience better. They gave me different perspectives, and kept me up to date on the newest archery topics. Feedly was a great online tool in helping me find these articles. I also followed some archery accounts on Twitter.
“Other” resources like guides and manuals were great in guiding me in what to do. I really enjoyed my Saskatchewan Hunter’s Safety section of archery which walked me through step-to-step procedures. You have to be willing to search up anything and EXPLORE the web!
Do you know the steps to archery success? This week I wanted to learn a little bit more about them to make sure I was being successful and following the correct steps when shooting the bow. I found a variety of steps online. The Archer, who I follow on Feedly demonstrated 10 basic steps to archery. NASP talks about 11 archery steps that you need to take in order to be successful. I decided I would combine different parts of each.
This week I challenged myself with creating a “how to” video to demonstrate to others the 11 steps to archery success. I have never done a video like this before and felt a little bit out of my comfort zone, but it was great practice. I learned that I need to take more time to explain things! I forgot one really important message in my video though, when aiming at the target, your dominant eye must be open, and your non-dominant eye must be closed! In order to know which eye is dominant, check out my previous blog post.
Follow this link to watch my quick guide to archery success.
If the video doesn’t make much sense to you, I’ve created my own manual guide that explains what each of the steps mean.
What are your experiences in creating a “how to” video? Did you find it difficult, fun, or a great learning experience?
I want to learn everyday along side my students. Whether it is learning how to better introduce subject material, learning a new form of assessment, or learning a new classroom management strategy, I want to continue to learn. I know I will be exposed to new situations and experiences every day. The joy of being a teacher is that no two days in the classroom will ever be the same. I need to learn to adapt to this thought, as most of my life has been simple and constructed. Through teaching, I will learn a lot about myself. At times, I will have to step out of my comfort zone and learn about the full potential that I have as an educator.
I want to explore beyond the walls of the classroom. Students do not need to be in a school environment to learn. As being outdoors is my passion, I want to share this passion with my students. By going outdoors or on field trips, you can gain new perspectives on life and the world around you. Life is a journey, and although I am not yet sure where it is taking me, I know that it will be fulfilling and experiential because I will be doing the two things I love; teaching and exploring.
I want to inspire my students to reach for their goals and beyond. I believe a key to helping students aspire to be their best is to truly listen to their stories, passions and goals. I need to inspire my students by being a positive role model. This may include encouraging students at a subject they don’t like, motivating students to participate, or inspire a new passion in a student like a new language, sport, dance or art. I know that many important decisions I have made in my life were done because of inspiration from other teachers. I want to pass this inspiration on to my students and continue the cycle of believing and achieving.
I want to change the course of education so it can be better adapted to each individual’s needs and learning styles. I want to change the ideology that education isn’t for everyone- each student deserve a quality education and a caring environment. Most importantly, in the evolving world we live in, I want to teach students that the change that is occurring around us needs to be dealt with. The young children I will teach are the future of our planet. I want to teach them the power of social justice and how to make a difference.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
William A. Ward
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Henry Brooks Adams
“ An educator is entrusted with the most serious work that confronts humankind; the development of curricula that enable new generations to contribute to the grow of human beings and society.”
William H. Schubert
“ Teaching. We’re not in it for the income. We’re in it for the outcome.”
“ It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
“ A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.”
“Compassionate teachers fill a void left by working parents who aren’t able to devote enough attention to their children. Teachers don’t just teach; they can be vital personalities who help young people to mature, to understand the world and to understand themselves.”
I believe that in order to teach, we as teachers must be open to learn something new each day. Teachers must create an atmosphere that is enthusiastic, where students can become actively engaged in their learning. In order to create this positive atmosphere, I want to strive to understand every student’s individual personality and needs. It is vital to teach students respect of others, themselves and their opinions. I want my students to become empowered in their learning and know that they have a right to make decisions and be heard in the ever-changing world we live in.
Teachers need to accept that every student has a unique learning style; therefore it is important that we introduce various teaching strategies into the classroom in an effort to reach every individuals needs. I believe we need to develop care and happiness for our students. As a teacher, I need to be a positive role model that encourages my students to grow and learn effectively. I will reflect off of my own experiences throughout my teaching career, as I know each day will bring new challenges and successes.
I believe teachers need to prepare students for their future, not the past or present. I connect my beliefs to the quote, “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside” Whitney Houston. If we want our students to live better lives than ourselves, I believe it is essential to express the importance of environmental awareness and health awareness.
Teachers are not only dispensers of knowledge, but we are facilitators for future generations. Our beliefs and morals influence how we choose to teach and create how we live as teachers for a lifetime.
The foundation of assessment begins with deeply understanding its purpose and need to relate to students lives within the context of school and community. Authentic assessment begins by planning with the end in mind. I am a strong believer in authentic assessment because students spend more time mastering tasks that are relevant to their lives. Differentiating learning to fit individual needs allows for assessment to become valuable and suitable for each student. In order to make assessment effective, there needs to be a variety of different strategies put in place. This captures assessment as/of/for learning, along with working individually, in small groups, or facilitating a whole classroom experience. Students learn best through role modelling. They will not understand the importance or value of assessment unless it is modelled to them in a meaningful way. This harmonizes with a quote I strongly believe in, “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best”. – Bob Talbert
There is a high need to create a positive atmosphere for assessment from the beginning of the school year. By no means should any assessment determine how students rank against one another in the classroom. Instead, assessment should be taught and experienced with the values of support and inclusion for all. I believe it is vital to talk one to one with students about their strengths and areas in need of improvement so they feel respected and can set positive goals for future learning. Goal setting is a form of self-assessment that allows students to become captivated in and accountable for their actions while learning. The “I can” statements written in student friendly language compliment this self-assessment, as students understand what is expected of them and can strive for excellence. As an ongoing learner myself, I need to stay true to my practices of assessment as I grow and develop as an educator. My assessment must remain realistic and I need to be aware that authentic assessment is not suitable for all areas of learning.
Assessment is an ongoing experience, and it needs to be performed frequently and effectively. A purpose needs to be eminent as to why students are being assessed along with a plan in place of what needs to be done with the data gathered to help improve student achievement. Assessment should not be done strictly for scoring or putting grades on a report card. The goal of assessment is to help students aspire to the next level, while helping the teacher know what to plan next to ensure optimized growth. My last belief about assessment is that it requires collaboration. Collaboration is an extremely important part of assessment, especially throughout my first years as an educator. When you are able to work with teachers of different capabilities and outlooks, you are able to problem solve, find what works best for your students, and improve the overall quality of your schools initiatives.
Yesterday I had the privilege and honour to listen to and video conference with Carol Todd in my ECMP355 class. Carol Todd is the mother of Amanda Todd, a young girl who took her life too soon due to the negative affects of social media and cyber bullying. Carol Todd is an inspiring, positive and passionate woman who speaks out for change and supports others. Carol has chosen to vocalize the issues of social media and the harm of negative online identities to parents, children and teachers in order for all of us gain a better understanding of the online world. We often learn best from real life, true stories, and Carols is one to remember.
Carol shared a variety of analogies and thoughts that speak the truth about life, digital citizenship, and education.
She talked about taking a picture of yourself. Would you think twice about posting it on a bulletin board… what about online? You would most likely think twice about putting it in public on a bulletin board, but we do not think twice about posting it on social media. Carol mentioned that the Internet brings us together, no matter how far apart we are. This can be a scary and dangerous thought, but it doesn’t have to be. We need to learn and teach our students to be cognizant of the things that are posted online and how to be safe online.
She hit the point of teaching digital citizenship right on. Carol mentioned that on a child’s 16th birthday, we wouldn’t just give them keys to a car and say go drive. We teach them everything they need to know. What’s so different about giving a child a cell phone or a laptop? We need to teach children how to use technology appropriately and safely. We need to be their to listen to our students and hear what their experiencing, and we need to teach students that it is okay to be open to communicating and sharing how they are feeling or what is going on in their lives with us. Building relationships is key.
Carol brought up the analogy that each person has four walls that we hibernate within- a wall of isolation, lack of voice, lack of attachment and lack of strength. It is our goal to get out of the four walls. As educators, it is our goal to help students break out of these walls as well. We need to be comfortable and gain confidence in who we are. People’s behaviours can be changed. As educators, we have the power to alter the behaviours of others and make an impact for the better. In order to do this, we need to shift our ways of teaching.
We are all snowflakes in this world… unique, fragile, beautiful. However, alone, we melt and dissolve quickly. Alone, we are not as resilient. When us snowflakes unite together, we become a snowball. A snowball is strong, powerful and resilient. Students need to be taught that it is important to build one another up, not break one another down. Amanda’s mom built the legacy of her around snowflakes. You can read why here.
Carol will be speaking at a TED Talk in a few weeks about the effects of online bullying. I recommend for everyone to watch it to gain a greater understanding of what goes on in the online world.
Carol continues Amanda’s legacy through supporting others and teaching them about the dangers of online identity. As I stated before, Carol mentioned we need shift our ways of teaching. How as educators and/or parents do we make sure our students understand the digital world and feel comfortable talking to us about their experiences online?