I wonder if I put a few words here?

Category: EdTech

EdTech 7

In this class we discussed different educational tools that can help with teaching. These include audio and visual resources, which are very beneficial to some learners. Recall statistics jumped from 20% to 60% for people who use visual cues (like sketching pictures to represent things).

Educational videos are very helpful tools and can bring a concept to life for a learner. There are some drawbacks to educational videos, however. These include students’ possible inability to self-regulate, or their negligence to watch the videos required for learning. In addition to this, sometimes the pace of videos can be too slow or too fast for a learner, or it cannot adjust to accommodate students’ prior knowledge.

Another teaching method which is closely related to the last point is called “flipping the classroom;” this is a method where the key points are put into pre-class videos that are assigned ahead of classes. This can pose a problem if some students do not have access to a device, or if there are groups unable to do this work in advance. Teachers can create these videos to help their classrooms, but making these resources is time consuming and some considerations should be thought of before they are made, like if the particular  subject matter will serve for .

Screencastify is also a program we examined that allows you to record your screen, browser, or your own face. You can choose to include audio from the computer as well as your microphone. I tried the webcam option, and then accidentally left it recording. If I hadn’t done this I would not have known if there was a time limit and notification, but five minutes after I left it on, my computer notified me that my video had reached its time limit. This feature is helpful because it can prevent people from invading others’ privacy. 

We then explored Audacity, which is an audio editing program. This would be great for creating podcasts, which are an exciting learning tool. I did not attach my audio recording, but my Screencastify video is embedded below.

This was a very informative class, and I look forward to researching each method further.

 

 

 

Inquiry Teaching in Action (EdTech 5)

This week our tech class visited George Jay Elementary school to talk with Rebecca Bathurst Hunt, who is known on some social media platforms as “The Inquiry Teacher.” I really enjoyed her insights into inquiry learning since it is a topic that interests me. As well, her level of commitment to her learners over the curriculum is a breath of fresh air, because teachers are often rigid about their curriculum and try to conform their class to the predetermined material. While there are certain competencies teachers must send their students away with at the end of the year, there are many paths to these skills, and different learners will understand these

Her classroom was incredible, and is how I wish my theoretical kindergarten classroom would look like. She did tell us, though, that it took her years of teaching to accumulate the supplies, which she mostly bought with her own money. The amount of effort and time she put in is inspiring, and had me wishing for my own room to decorate. The natural colours and materials, and the things that reflect students’ lives and environments were very fitting and provided a beautiful environment to work and play in.

I also like the stories Rebecca shared, which were about learning and growth and curiosity, which give students a model of creativity to follow if needed. The celebration of individualism was amazing, and showed clearly around the classroom that she cared for each student. Seeing Rebecca talk about her experiences, teaching philosophies, and pedagogy was very inspiring and I enjoyed this experience.

 

 

 

In our previous class, Jesse Miller talked to us about digital literacy and privacy around social media. This involved an interesting yet daunting conversation about how social media platforms conduct business with companies for marketing and advertising purposes. They do this through the use of data found in photos, and other information recorded by devices. The app SnapChat even saves photos that users do not send. These facts would be alarming to many, but are hidden in lengthy terms of service and brushed over with complicated language. The part of this conversation which shocked me the most is when Jesse said that if you have a Samsung phone and tv, the devices will talk to each other, and know if you are paying attention to what is on the tv or not. As well, they can monitor your online activity and mold ads and commercials to your taste. To be honest, this is slightly unsettling for me, so I’m glad that I don’t have a Samsung phone.

It is interesting to me that time limits on technology determined to be appropriate for children by researchers continue to change as culture shifts. This reveals this number to be flexible and dependent on different factors. As well, the ever-increasing amount of screen time that is deemed acceptable implies that children are not negatively affected by technology to the extent stated previously. As Jesse said, it is about the quality of purpose rather than the quantity of use. I appreciated his statements regarding social media content and how it can affect job placements, because I am aware of this, but others may not be. I did not know, however, that lawyers can access private archives from social media if there is a legal case, or warrant to search someone’s history or communications. 

Presently, anything can be recorded and people need to be conscious about their actions on and offline. While this conversation can be scary, I aim to live in a way that I have fun, but I don’t have a reason to hide anything. Rather than being fearful of living life, I think we should all be conscious of our humanity, and do our best. I think our society is starting to accept this more as the standard since it is harder to feign perfection when anyone has the ability to publicly call you out (purposefully or inadvertently). This class gave me the opportunity to think critically about my online activity, and I really appreciate Jesse’s insight.

Research & Prepare Technology Showcase: Khan Academy

Our group chose to research Khan Academy as our tech topic today.  Khan Academy is an online learning resource that creates lessons and videos on a wide range of subjects and topics. It was created in 2008 by Salman Khan, and aims to provide free education for students everywhere. The website states, “Our mission at Khan Academy is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” The lessons are done in the form of videos, with an instructor drawing about and explaining the topic. There are also opportunities to be tested. The main courses offered are Math, Science and Engineering, Arts and Humanities, College, careers and more, and economics and finance. Within each of these topics there are more specific subjects.  

Educational technology such as Khan Academy helps make education and support accessible to all learners. When using this kind of tool, it is important to consider the pros and cons, as well as privacy issues that you may need to be aware of.

Pros:

– help teach students on their own

– easy to access

– wide range of topics/subjects

– you can learn at your own pace

– there are ways to test your learning

– many different questions to ensure you understand

– free, nonprofit

– when students need further explanation about a topic, if the teacher is not easily available for one on one help, Khan Academy can be a resource for that extra guidance.

– can be a good studying tool

-encourages UDL and individual pace of learning

Cons:

–  no real classrooms

– teachers are not present

– still very conventional (SAT MCAT prep)

– students must have access to an electronic device and internet connection

– innate differentiation between students

– sometimes you have to sort through many different examples to find one that suits your specific needs/learning style

– when learning from video examples, it can be difficult to replay the same video to go over a specific aspect of the video, as the system tries to move forward onto the next video, however if you access it from another source, the video will play.

– loss of collaboration

– only one teaching style

– the videos could be to fast for some students to follow

– cannot ask specific questions about a subject. The videos are good but if you are not sure about something explained there is no way to clarify

– Students can work ahead of where their class is if they have a strong interest in a subject and then when they are in class they are bored and can start causing disruptions 

 

Privacy Policies:

https://www.khanacademy.org/about/privacy-policy

 

By: Lauren T, Alison, Meghan, Kiya

PSII: My Introduction to Inquiry-Based Learning (EdTech 2)

PSII is a local high school that uses inquiry-based education to fulfil BC high school curriculum. Our class visited the school and was introduced to their style of education, which I found to be very fascinating. I personally love the inquiry learning style and wish I had been exposed to it more during my high school education because I consider it to be much more meaningful than the prevailing test-based curriculum. I succeeded in my secondary courses and attained above-average grades in the standard classroom environment, but I did so without attaining a deep understanding of the material. I wish that there were more local institutions like PSII, because while I love the middle elementary years, I would consider moving to a higher grade if I could facilitate this type of education.

The main concern I have with PSII’s method is that students must be self-motivated. This is something I struggle with, though usually when I am not passionate about what I am learning. On the other hand, I go above and beyond when I am studying something I enjoy. I think PSII is doing a great job of prioritizing their learners’ needs, therefore successfully covering the curriculum in a deeper way. Because of their methods, PSII teaches learners skills like self-management and planning as well. I don’t know if self-motivation (in all circumstances) is something that can be trained, but sometimes studying something for its meaning rather than a test can also incite interest. I can see this to be a potential problem with learners, but not an impossible obstacle, and would be interested in PSII’s take on this question.

Overall, I really enjoyed visiting PSII and hope to see this movement grow, both within and beyond my local sphere.

Happy Birthday (EdTech 3)

In our third technology class, we were introduced to some helpful tools to aid with organization and professional networking, including Twitter and Diigo. We also watched the film RiP! A Remix Manifesto by Brett Gaylor which is about remix culture and copyright laws. It was made in 2008, and while there have been changes, much of the information presented about usage (which is still true today) caught me by surprise. I was aware that ideas can be treated as property and can be copyrighted, but the extent to which some ideas are controlled is absurd.

In the film, an artist was remixing individual notes from songs, an act which could get him implicated for copyright. I find this to be absolutely ridiculous that one of twelve musical notes, whether it is made to sound a certain way or not, can be claimed by a person. One can also buy keyboards that have numerous sounds and even knobs that tweak sounds to recreate (purposefully or accidentally) various synthesized sounds opening up opportunities to make interesting but not necessarily unique sounds. If a certain sound can be made on a keyboard that is available for public purchase, that sound should not be copyrighted, because it puts people in impossible situations that stunt their growth because they are afraid to be sued.

An example of something I found it interesting is that the song “Happy Birthday” was not in the public domain at the time the documentary was made. For a seemingly immortal song which is so widely used, to be illegal to sing it is almost unbelievable. This made me wonder about the restaurants and venues that create their own birthday songs. Before I watched this film, I never would have imagined that perhaps the Red Robin’s birthday song came about because of a copyright law. The song “Happy Birthday” is so universal that I don’t see why it was not shared information before. This is a song that so many people get joy from singing and hearing, and there are so many other resources that could cause joy, were they in the public domain. Open educational resources are critical to education because some schools do not have the budget to pay for extra resources, and neither do the teachers. While textbooks are useful for teaching and can convey facts and practice exercises efficiently, different teaching methods must be implemented, since all classes have diverse learning needs. If a teacher happens to get a class that is capable of learning in a typical classroom, the children will still appreciate variety in the teaching. Having diverse resources available can help teachers to provide their students with current and interesting sources that pertain to their lessons.

(film link: https://www.nfb.ca/film/rip_a_remix_manifesto/)

Student Focused Learning (EdTech 2)

Some educators who have taught the same curricula for many years may have trouble changing their teaching methods, but the film Most Likely To Succeed, focuses on the topic of reforming education to be more student-centred. This documentary examines the use of student voice in education. One of the classrooms shown in this documentary has students conduct a project of their choice (individually or in groups) and display their finished product at the end of the term. Their parents and peers have the opportunity to assess their work rather than being graded by one teacher. Students had creative freedom with their projects but were more accountable because many people would see their work. Some students did not complete their projects, but were not reprimanded or penalized; rather they spoke with the teacher and class about what could have helped them succeed. This along with the natural consequence of not having a piece to display at the presentation night helped them to learn from their mistakes. Giving the students this responsibility allowed them to learn, maybe more than they would have if the teacher had directed the project or forced the students to present. The second class put on two plays, one by the boys which was historically accurate (in certain aspects) and another by the girls who put a modern spin on the play and set it in Pakistan to bring awareness to current global issues. The film followed the girls’ play more closely than the boys’, and how it was directed by a student. I like this strategy because it helped that student to gain her voice and confidence within the class. These plays allowed for students’ expression and involvement and made a greek play palatable to the class. While it was not entirely student-run, I think this is a practical way to teach foundational material in a learner-centred classroom.

From my observation, the classes in High Tech High used learning plans rather than lesson plans, meaning that they taught with a more student-centred mindset. This is positive because learning plans are more flexible in the teaching style whereas a lesson plan is often taught command-style where teachers are standing before a large group of students giving instructions. I think learning plans can fit the Universal Design for Learning more readily than lesson plans do because they provide a more general guideline than the rigid instructions lesson plans do. Learning plans are also more practical as they integrate different subject areas into the material. This makes them more relevant to students’ lives, therefore giving them a higher probability of retaining the information and being able to apply it.

 

Most Likely To Succeed (accessed through University of Victoria database):

https://uvic.tugg.com/full-movies/most-likely-to-succeed

The Making of This Blog…

was not a difficult process, but I’m already learning by making mistakes. As with most other skills, one must read instructions before getting creative and I’m afraid I overestimated my abilities… Not the greatest start to my blogging career. Once I have the hang of this, I’m sure I will enjoy writing blog posts.

Blogging is a way to document someone’s progress and thought process through an experience. This insight can help others going through similar situations, or learning new tasks. Sometimes, blogging is made, read, or watched simply for the purpose of amusement. Blogging does not take place only in a traditional blog context, it happens on popular social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Students may not realize it, but they are exposed to a great deal of information distributed via blogging. Because of its great prevalence, blogging influences millions, providing education (quality or not) to the masses. It has the power to spread valuable knowledge, or cause confusion, so in my opinion, it is vital to teach young people to use media wisely.

In this age of technology, the use of blogging as pedagogy will allow students to practice something they are already been exposed to in a constructive and meaningful way. While it might not be on a traditional blog, students will continue to create and consume blogged content, and it is important to teach them to discern between false news and facts. Using blogging as an educational method can help students to explore their interests, be constructive with criticism, and practice kindness among other skills, and I think it is an important practice to support in elementary classrooms. 

I look forward to learning about blogging in my own life, so that I can eventually use it as pedagogy in my classrooms.

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