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Kerrie Craske- Teacher & Learner

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

Month

April 2014

My Digital Story

As a final project in ECS 210, we were asked to create a digital story representing what we have learnt about curriculum and how it has shaped us as future educators. Check out the video to hear my story!

My Professional Learning Network- Building A Community of Learners

     Creating a professional learning network has provided me with a deeper mindset of building a community of people, while at the same time expanding my knowledge on the use of technology. The online space of blogging has made me accept others opinions, but also challenge others thoughts. When starting out my blog, I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew that people would be reading my opinions and I had to put forth professional thoughts with deep consideration.

     Having a space that was available for all students to access one another’s blogs helped me into discovering the learning of others. Google Docs allowed me to freely choose a friend’s blog or someone I did not know quite well, and I was able to get to know them. One blog I enjoyed reading throughout the semester was by Kayla Onufreychuk. {http://kaylaonufrey.wordpress.com}. She challenges the social justice issues such as identity and racism. Kayla has provided me with great insight to a different perspective of these issues, while incorporating how her personal life has shaped her experiences. I have also had the opportunity to contribute to others learning through commenting on other blogs and stating my resonances and dissonances.

      Sometimes, when writing about a particular topic, I found it very difficult, such as my blog on “Teaching Hidden Messages”. However, the struggles that I faced made me realize that I was uncomfortable or unknowledgeable in the material I was writing about.  I came to realize that the topics we were discussing were about social justice issues, anti-oppressive education and treaty education, and that it is important to acknowledge these tensions as it allows for growth. Claire Krueger, a guest lecturer who is a grade four teacher from Moose Jaw, taught me the importance of learning treaty education within the classroom, and the variety of technological tools you can use to enhance and express students’ knowledge. Claire opened my eyes to the possibilities and effectiveness of creating a learning network within the classroom on her blog {http://mmekreuger.edublogs.org}. I need to be comfortable talking about these tensions, because questions and scenarios will arise in my classrooms that I will have to face and discuss with my students.

     I chose not to use twitter for this class, because I found it would disengage me from the class lectures rather than centralize my attention to the lecturer. I believe that if we were encouraged to use twitter in our seminars like we were with our blogs, I would have gained a better understanding of the community network it builds, as well as the connections and uses it has within the classroom. It could connect us to the other seminar groups and the discussions they have, as they differ from seminar to seminar. After researching the uses of twitter within the classroom, I have come to understand that it can be used for student exploration, evaluation, applying and understanding knowledge and creating a community. {http://www.edudemic.com/22-effective-ways-to-use-twitter-in-the-classroom-2/}

      The positive experiences I gained from the online space were the connections I made with others. I found that it was really insightful to see people I have never talked to and from different parts of the world who begun to follow my blogs, which showed me that others like myself find the importance of speaking out against issues of our education in society today. Another positive experience I have taken away is confidence in my ability to write freely and express how I feel, while being rewarded with positive feedback and positive criticism.

      Educational Core Studies 210 has taught me the various uses of technology and the importance of bringing them into students’ learning. The online space has helped me further my knowledge of schooling and society around me, while at the same time I have begun my professional growth as an educator with an online space to reflect on. I think that it is important for me to continue my blog as my years of education continue. I am seeking out other technological uses that I can incorporate into my classroom, such as Skype and Evernote. I have already begun this exploration by beginning to learn about the technology tools I discovered in this website- {http://www.edudemic.com/50-education-technology-tools-every-teacher-should-know-about/}. In the future, I want to expand on my blog, talking about experiences and tensions that occur while I teach. I would like to incorporate varieties of technology into the classroom, and create a blog for my future students, where we can share with parents and the community our progress and discoveries as a class.

 

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