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Kerrie Craske- Teacher & Learner

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

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ecmp355

Summary of Personal Learning

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.

Please enjoy our video and summaries of learning:

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Video

 

 

 

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Contributing to the Learning of Others

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.

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My stats on my blog.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

Summary of Learning: Being an Archer

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.
  • Hitting different targets at different ranges 
  • Being safe
  • Consulting with a longtime archer to hear perspectives.

The goals I would still like to achieve are:

  • 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.

Growth:

I put together a little video to show my growth and progress over the course of my learning project. Check it out!

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Link to video  

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!

 

How to Achieve Archery Success

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.Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 7.42.02 AM

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.

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What are your experiences in creating a “how to” video? Did you find it difficult, fun, or a great learning experience?

The Legacy Continues

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? 

 

An Archer’s Perspective

I am only a beginning archer. I know I have much more to learn and I have so much opportunity for growth. I thought it would be interesting to hear a perspective from an archer that has been shooting for a long time. I decided to talk with a friend Bailey Steciuk. She began shooting at young age of 3 (with rubber arrows), and has now been doing the sport for 15 years.

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Bailey Steciuk

These were some aspects of archery that I wanted to discover from a passionate archer:

  1. What has been the most rewarding thing about archery?

A: I really like the opportunities to travel to different places. Being on Team Canada was pretty great too. Team Canada is the top 16 shooters from all of Canada in grades 4-12. Another great feeling is having younger children look up to me and want to shoot like me when they get older.

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Bailey shooting for Team Canada at NASP World Tournament.
  1. What has been your biggest challenge?

A: Probably nerves… I guess the only way to overcome them is with more practice and experience in competitions.

  1. How do you continue to find interest in the sport and challenge yourself?

A: I constantly increase my goals, always trying to do better than the time before. In archery competitions, I aim for a higher score each time.

  1. Do you think archery has helped you in other areas of your life?

A: Math. Especially when I was younger, it really helped me with my adding when I had to add up scores. Its also helped me concentrate and focus a lot more. Archery has taught me dedication and commitment.

  1. Is archery an inclusive sport? Why would you recommend it to others?

A: Everyone can do archery. I would recommend it to others because of the experiences it provides. You can travel to a lot of places, and meet new people who are interested in the same thing as you. Archery is an easy sport to get in to and it’s relatively inexpensive.

Due to Bailey succeeding in a variety of events, I thought it would be interesting to see if her identity showed up online. Based off of my research, I learned another way we can form our positive digital identities- through our hobbies, interests and sports that we participate in. This is great for students to understand. Bailey has already begun her positive digital identity online before graduating. Check it out here:

This week I have learned that archery is a sport that provides numerous opportunities beyond just shooting a bow. Archery is a sport that you can constantly set goals and improve on. Archery is great for people to develop social interaction, travel to different places, and build commitment and concentration.

Coding for Future Careers

I got to experience my first time coding this morning, and I actually really enjoyed it. I got a little frustrated at times, but it taught me a lot about the importance of coding and the benefits it can have for people of all ages.

I chose to practice code on Code.org through learning the Hour of Code. SO many people are talking about Minecraft these days, I thought I would try it out because I really had no idea what it was about. I quickly learned how to do a Screencast from Youtube, and I recorded my process! I would recommend watching it only if you are bored because I made a few mistakes shearing my sheep and cutting down trees…whoops!

Although the process seemed a little intimidating at first, I would definitely do it again. As I was doing this task, I thought back to a video I watched.  What Most School’s Don’t Teach It highlights a lot of well-known people who learned how to code and how it has impacted their lives. The most important message I learned from this video is coding teaches you how to think. 

I looked up some benefits of why students should learn to code.

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Source

I found a CBC education article that talked about Why Kids Should Learn to Code. Something that stood out to me was that this is an ideal opportunity for students to learn about technology in our rapidly growing technological world. A quote that stood out in particular was this:

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This is a skill that children can learn before they can read and write! What a great way to bring educational technology into these children’s lives.

I believe that coding allows for endless possibilities. Students can learn to develop problem-solving skills, understand the real world, and become more involved in technology which could possibly be a future career.

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Code.org

I am wondering if coding can be used within the curriculum. If you have any ideas, I would love to know!

Out on the Range

Lately I have been focusing on hitting a target in archery. I wanted to expand on this by shooting at different ranges. This week I shot at a range of 10 yards and 15 yards. I hope to get my target on point at 15 and then further increase my distance. I had a little competition with my boyfriend and he could shoot at 40 yards what I could shoot at 10 yards…I have a little practicing to do!

I used a range finder to measure my distance. This is a great tool to use. Its handy, accessible and very simple.

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Range Finder 

Before practicing, I looked at some tips for shooting at a long range. I learned from Cobra Archery  that if you are shooting at long ranges, you need to have proper grip and to follow through until the arrow hits the target. I also revisited my Feedly account and learned more from a very valuable and reliable source that I have used throughout my learning project journey, Archery360. It taught me about the different ranges for different types of archery. In indoor field archery, most archers shoot at a range of 20 yards. However, outdoor field archery’s shoot at a variety of ranges, from 10 yards all the way up to 80 yards. I eventually want to try 3-D archery at an outdoor range, which would give me the opportunity to shoot at different distances.

On Youtube, the archer talked about trying to shoot at longer distances when practicing so when it comes time to shoot for success, you can be confident in your ability to shoot because you will be closer to the target.

This is how my practicing went at different ranges this week:

Check out the video of me practicing  here. As you can see by my second shot, I am pretty excited I hit the center of the target! Let me know if you have had any experience with archery and shooting at different ranges.

 

2 lives or 1? Student Digital Citizenship

Students of our 21st century are living and growing in a constantly changing technological world. Although this development has potential and great benefits, it comes with an increased risk for student safety.

For ECMP355, we were given the task of watching Sext Up Kids, a film documentary that discusses issues and shows the truth about the hyper sexualized culture being developed in young children, often due to unfiltered or increased access to negative and inappropriate social media. This documentary was eye-opening to say the least. As an educator, it is quite scary to think that my students could be being influenced or given access to social media that is inappropriate and detrimental to their health. It really proves that we need to step in as educators along with the help of parents to teach students at a young age how to create positive digital citizenship and how to access and use social media appropriately.

The film mentions that our whole societal culture is changing the ways in which girls and boys are portraying themselves. Things like toys (Barbies, princesses) and clothing can have negative health effects on young girls, including depression, lack of self esteem, risk taking, and overall mental health. Young boys and girls now have the opportunity to access sites on social media that display inappropriate ideas of sexual identity and fantasy-like concepts. The online culture is teaching children to flaunt and promote themselves. Children and youth are developing representations of themselves to fit into society. They often feel “comfortable” doing this and see no wrong. It is our job as educators to teach students the difference between right and wrong, and public and private when it comes to technology and our personal lives.

What can we do?

We need to teach our students digital citizenship- critically. Learning about digital citizenship helps teachers understand what students should know about how to use technology appropriately. Social media is happening at a fast speed, so fast that it is hard for us to control our digital footprints. The only thing we can truly do to keep up with this fast-paced technological society is to educate students about how to use it.

It is important to teach students about digital knowledge. After watching Sext Up Kids, I was eager to find resources in which I could use to help me educate my students about online safety and digital citizenship. I went onto Feedly and the web to help me gather a variety of resources.

  1. 9 Themes of Digital Citizenship– This highlights a variety of themes including digital literacy, digital security, digital etiquette, and communication. It mentions that respect, education and protection around digital identity needs to begin in Kindergarten.
  2. T.H.I.N.K before posting to Social Media– This is a video I came across developed by some school students. They highlight the acronym of T.H.I.N.K. before you post. Is it trueIs it hurtful? Is it illegal? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
  3. Digital Citizenship: Teaching Students About Safe and Responsible Use of Technology– A video that highlights the importance of educating teachers about how to teach students about digital citizenship and how to monitor privacy settings.
  4. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning– This site provides some resources for teaching students about cyber-safety.
  5. Internet Safety for Younger Students– This is a great article that I found which is directed to younger children. It provides a sort of layout of a lesson plan designed to help students understand the importance of being safe on the internet.

Our digital and personal lives are no longer separate. We need to constantly think about using technology to better our students and their lives. One question I still have to discover is about our digital lives versus our personal lives. Jason Ohler, who wrote the article Character Education for the Digital Age posts a thought-provoking question.

“Should we teach our students to have two lives, or one?” – Ohler

I encourage you to read Jason Ohler’s article and think about how we should teach students and educate them about technology. I would also appreciate any feedback or thoughts, as I still do not know the answer to this question. 

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