EDTS 325: A Final Review

Hey guys!

So here we are, another term has come and gone, and summer is right around the corner. As I sit here reflecting on this past term and all of the knowledge I have gained about teaching, one class in particular comes to mind: EDTS 325 Tools for Teaching in the Digital Classroom. As the course outline states: This course was designed to have me improve my use of digital technologies within the classrooms learning environment. I was also meant to learn about different educational resources that help integrate technology within the curriculum, and how to be adaptable to new technologies that are coming out. Initially when I had read this I thought to myself ‘ya whatever, I already know how to make a PowerPoint presentation’. I was so unprepared as to how everything I learned in this class was not only new information to me, but was all so applicable for teachers inside of the classroom. To reflect on all that we have learned our professor gave us a list of questions to asks ourselves, so i decided to answer these questions on a blog post. So if you’re interested to see the highlights of what I learned in this class, keep reading!

Response to “I Can” statements from course outline:

  1. Use several computer and cloud-based applications to construct learning activities for K-12 delivery.

During the time in this class I have learned about so many new and innovative online programs that take teaching in the classroom up a notch! Here are some of my favorite resources I learned about, and a brief description as to what they do.

  • Poll Everywhere: a simple text message voting application that works well for live audiences. People vote by sending text messages (or using Twitter) to options displayed on-screen. The poll that is embedded within the presentation or web page will update in real time.

  • Socrative: an online quizzing tool.

  • Plickers: an app in which students receive a card that correlates to their name. Each card has a unique code, when held a certain way answers with A, B, C, and D. Teachers then scan the cards and the answers are anonymously on the board.

  • Padlet: an online virtual “bulletin” board, where students and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location.

  • Kahoot: a collection of questions on specific topics displayed on a computer. The questions are asked in real-time, to an unlimited number of students, creating a social, fun and game-like learning environment.

Another resource I learned a lot about was Google. As someone who uses Google every single day, I was so surprised to find out how may different programs it offers that I didn’t know about! Not only is Google a great tool for everyday life, it is also a great resource to use inside of the classroom. Check out below some of my favorite Google features, and a brief description of what they do.

  • Forms: Google Forms allow you to make a survey or poll, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way. Google Forms are accessibility through any device with wifi abilities.

  • Docs: Google Docs is a program in which documents can be created, edited and stored online. Google docs can be made accessible to many people, making it easy to collaboratively collect information.

  • Classroom: Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.

2) Produce print, digital, audio and/or video material for delivering learning and enhancing learning.

When I first heard that we would be learning about how to shoot, edit and upload movies I thought it was going to be a waste a time, because why would a teacher ever utilize these aspects of movie making inside of a classroom? It wasn’t until my professor showed how she uses movie making inside her classroom that I realized how beneficial it can be to students learning. Students get to take a topic, direct and create content based on that topic, then share what they have learned by posting their content online. Movie making is a great way to engage students in learning as they control how they are learning the information! Inside of my EDTS 325 course I learned how to create videos utilizing various camera techniques, edit the footage through iMovie, and upload the completed video to the internet through YouTube. I cannot wait to take what I have learned, and teach it to my future students!

3) Establish, grow and maintain a digital Personal Learning Network (PLN) using a variety of social media sites.

The final ‘I Can..’ statement that I was able to identify with was about how to grow and maintain a Personal Learning Network via social media. Coming into this class I had already had tried to create a Twitter account, and found it to be very limiting in what you can do on it, after all who is able to express a meaningful thought in under 140 characters? It wasn’t until my professor introduced me to the wonderful world of Twitter Chats that I finally understood how valuable Twitter can be for teachers. Since participating in an assigned Twitter chat, I have learned to love them and have seen how much teachers can learn from other teachers online, and have contributed to 2 more in my spare time.

I was also able to grow my PLN through using Pinterest and this very blog! After learning all of the different ways to grow your PLN using social media I feel as if I am far more equipped to venture out into the teaching world, that is however after i get my degree :p.

To what extent did you learn the anticipated topics?

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To what extent do you feel you have been prepared to encounter technology implementation and issues in the classroom? As a professional?

When I first began this class and my prof challenged me to read through the ‘I can…’ statements listed within the course outline, I thought she was nuts to try and teach us all of that information in only 4 months. But having completed this course, I am shocked that not only did I learn every-single-thing within the course outline, I learned each topic thoroughly. I have full confidence in my ability to use resources like SmartNotebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, iMovie, Padlet, Goosechase… the list goes on and on! If you want to now more about these various topics, check out some of my previous blogs where I cover these topics in more detail.

I am so excited to be able to venture into my classrooms with my brain packed full of knowledge on how to not only engaged students by using technology, but also about how to continue to grow and develop as an expert teacher. I feel as though by learning all of these different tech hacks, I am one step ahead of the game I have something that sets me apart from other future teachers. I am still not super passionate about all things technology, nor am I 100% proficient with technology.  But one thing I like to keep in mind is a quote by Brandon Johnson ‘Classrooms don’t need tech geeks who can teach; we need teaching geeks who can use tech.’ Those quote completely sums up my experience within EDTS 325. I do not have to be a tech geek in order to be a good teacher, I need to be a teaching geek who knows how to use tech. Thanks to this class, I am well equipped to handle tech within my classroom, and I am able to troubleshoot any problems that may occur.

Your best “aha moment”.

My favorite moment I had within this class would have to be the discussion my peers and I had about Digital Citizenship, and how important it is to our future. The question that raised an “aha moment” for me was when we were discussing whose responsibility it to teach children about how to be a good digital citizen. Nowadays there are SO many valuable things online that are making our world a better place, but with the good always comes the bad, and this also applies to technology. There are places on the internet that are doing things that are worsening our world. This is where the questions rises up about whose job is it to teach children about the things on the internet, and how to have a positive digital citizenship. While I agree with those who argued it is the parents job to ensure they are raising their kids to be good digital citizens, I also think that the responsibility lies with teachers as well. When I really think about what it means to be a teacher, the main thing that comes to mind is to raise future citizens who will make our world a better place. Sure we need to cover all of the curricular objective, and make sure students know how to cross their Ts and dot their Is, but we also need to make sure they are growing up to be prosperous people. I find it surprising that this realization is something that came from a course about technology, but then again it is a course teaching us about how to be teachers! So for me, the best ‘aha moment’ I had in this class was about what it really means to be a teacher.

 

Overall I had a wonderful time in my EDTS325 class, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to learn about the many different ways to become an expert teacher. If you guys would like to know more about what I learned in this class, or have any questions about anything Ive written about in this post feel free to leave a comment down below!

Cheers for now!

-Miss Krystin Carroll

Importance of Literacy

Currently I am taking a class about the importance of literacy in school and how literacy plays a major role in everyday life. Inside of this class we watched a video called Mina smiles. It’s a movie about how a women’s journey to becoming literate. I thought it was so powerful and moving that I thought I would share it one here for you guys to take a look at. Check out the video here:

http://www.unesco.org/archives/multimedia/?pg=33&s=films_details&id=252

Along with this video we were shown statistics about illiteracy within the world. You can see these stats below. Picture1

When first presented with these facts I was astonished to see just how many people in the world are illiterate. The initial thought that crossed my mind when reading these stats was: If there are some many people in the world who are illiterate, then it must not be a big deal, Right? Wrong. Inspired by this question I decided to dig deeper about literacy and how it affects our everyday lives. Here is what I found out:

  • Every dollar invested in adult literacy yields a $7.14 return in investment
  • In the US —85% of juvenile offenders have problems with reading, writing, and basic math
  • In Canada less than 20% of people with the lowest literacy skills are employed

Again, I was surprised to see how much of an impact literacy made on the day to day lives of people. This information has made me look at the importance of reading in a whole new light, and I have decided to make literacy a key component inside of my classroom.

What do you think about literacy and its value not only inside that classroom, but within our day to day lives? Let me know in the comments below!

-Miss Krystin Carroll

*All information in this post is from my EDTS 371 class.                                              Whidden, Colleen. (2016). Class Notes [PowerPoint presentation]. Medicine Hat, AB.

Learning at Any Age

This past year the city in which I live has implemented a new program called Cyber Seniors where a youth is partnered up with a senior to teach them new ways to use technology. I was really excited when I heard about it because it’s a perfect opportunity to hone in my teaching abilities. So I called up the program coordinator and signed up! Going into this program I thought it would be really simple to teach seniors how to use devices like iPhones, tablets and laptops, because they are so simple for me to use. Boy was I wrong. This program really taught me some valuable lessons about teaching.

By volunteering with this program it really made me think about how adaptable teachers need to be in their methods of teaching. Often times I would explain how to do something on a device, but they wouldn’t understand what I was trying to explain, so I would have to find another way to teach them the same skill.

Another thing I’ve learned about teaching is how important it is to build a relationship with you students, as it aids in their learning. I found that the first few sessions with my senior it was a challenge to connect with them and teach them I away that was effective for them. Once I realized that my senior learned in a different way than I did, I decided to take an entire session and just talk to them and try to learn about how they think and learn. After doing this, I was able to know more about my senior, and adapt my lessons to a way in which my Cyber Senior would learn best.

One of the final things I learned about teaching through my experience with Cyber Seniors is the importance of being a lifelong learner. My senior had rejected technology for the past 20 years as he deemed it as something that was A) too hard and B) is something that would die out before it became popular. After spending many years not utilizing technology, my senior finally decided to give it a shot and boy was he impressed about all of the things technology could do! This goes to show how important it is to be a lifelong learner.

After finishing two sessions of Cyber Seniors, I can confidently say that is a program that has helped me improve my teaching skills, and has allowed for me to professionally grow. I highly recommend Cyber Seniors to anyone who is going into education, or just wants to connect with someone new in the community!

Thanks for reading!

-Miss Krystin Carroll

 

*Above you can see a picture of me and my Cyber Senior.

Is Digital Citzenship Important

Hey readers!

So today in my EDTS 325 class we were separated into groups and were challenged against one another to find some random information on the internet. The team who the questions the fastest and got all of the right answers won! Guess who won? My partner Miss Katti Mullens and I! We were so excited that we won the game, but then our professor looked at our answers and asked us to analyze them closely. One of the questions was: List 3 things you could do inside of Mankato Minnesota. Our answer to this question was: see the great Mankato pyramid, go whale watching, and to walk cross freshly exploded lava. At first, I didn’t see the fault in this, I thought Mankato was just an amazing tourist destination, but then I put on my critical thinking hat. How can a town surrounded by land have whale watching? And when was the last time you’ve heard of a pyramid or a volcano in the United States? Another one of the questions was to list the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide, to which our answer was that it caused cancer. Do you know what Dihydrogen Monoxide is? Water.

This made me put on my teacher hat, and I thought about my future student’s digital citizenship and how misleading websites like the ones I used in class are. Just like I was fooled by these websites polished looks, my students could be too! As a future teacher, I think that is a necessity to ensure that my students have critical thinking skills especially in an age where there is a lot of misleading information online. I’m concerned about my future students and what ideas about the world they will form when using websites that are publishing information that isn’t true. How I am going to solve this problem inside of my classroom is to ensure that one of my hidden curriculum objectives is to ensure my students have a good working knowledge of how information online is to always reliable, and how to figure out is something is credible or not. One of the ways I will teach my students this is through the CRAP test (perhaps I would rename it). If you want to find out more about the CRAP test, follow this link! https://libraries.mercer.edu/research-tools-help/citation-tools-help/images/PrintableCRAPtest.pdf

What do you guys think about online information and its credibility? Do you think it is a big deal and something we need to teach our students, or should we let them navigate the internet on their own?

Let me know in the comment section below!

-Miss Krystin Carroll

Analyzing my Digital Citizenship

Hey everyone!

On my journey to become an educator I’ve been challenged to look at my digital footprint and see what is out online about me. In order to complete this task, I decided to do a quick google search of my name and see what is online about me. To my delight, the first thing that popped up was my teaching twitter account.  Score! But then the second thing that popped up was my personal twitter account from high school. After taking a trip down memory lane by looking through this account, I realized anyone who would read that would only be ale to find out I have an immense love for Harry Potter. Even though that twitter account doesn’t have anything bad on it, I think I will set it to private so that no one else can par-ooze the thoughts 16-year-old Krystin had. The next 3 articles that come up all have to do with my education persona, so things like my educational blog, my teaching portfolio, and another link to my twitter account. Overall I would rate my digital footprint as being very good, and I would love if someone in the educational realm where to google my name and see all of these websites about myself!

Some ways I wish to improve my digital footprint are to have more information online about me that don’t come from things I’ve created. I find a lot of value in volunteering in and around Medicine Hat, and having these different things be acknowledged would be great for my digital footprint. If the newspaper were to post more about these things, I think that would look good to students, their parents and potential employers. From the social media I am on you cannot tell that volunteering is something I hold near to my heart even if I were to blog more, tweet more my digital citizenship would be a more accurate depiction of who I am.

If a superintendent asked my “What social media are you on and what does it tell about you”, I would be able to confidently say that my social media shows how I am a professional individual, who has a passion for children and for my community

-Miss Krystin Carroll