Summary of Learning

It’s so sad to officially say goodbye… but I have learned so much from this class that I will take with me into my future classroom! Thank you Katia for an amazing semester & thank you everyone else for a great experience 🙂

 

Until next time,

Keanna

Contributing to the learning of others

Well this semester completely flew by and now it’s time to wrap everything up… but do I really want to???? NOPE, I loved this class!! But sadly, it’s time to think back on everything I’ve done this semester… just thinking about it makes me realize how many things I had to do for the class (WordPress, twitter, learning project, blog posts, google plus)… ahhhh.

Twitter:

I struggling getting into the twitter life… for the longest time I felt like I wasnt following enough people but I eventually got my life together. I ended up really enjoying twitter; I found so many different artices about teaching and what’s happening in the world. Which I feel like that’s how I contributed to the learning of others; I feel its not always about replying to tweets or retweeting, but also tweeting valuabe articles for others to read.

 

 

tweet 4

5 retweets and 11 likes??? I was pumped

 

But I still replied and retweeted (dont’t worry)!

 

WordPress:

Sadly, our class website nevere seemed to work for me *angry face*… some days it would work and other days I wouldn’t be able to get onto the website or be able to see older posts. It was quite frustrating, so I don’t have as many comments as I would like throughout the semster… but I tried to make sure to comment on peoples final learning project post – it’s so cool to see what their progress throughout the semester! Sometimes a word of encouragement or a “wow this is awesome” is all someone needs. I don’t have very many comments on my blogs, so it’s nice to comment on the ones that never seem to get comments 🙂

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Google plus:

This was my very first time using google plus, and I loved it! It was so easy to use and easy to help my classsmates out! I’m so used to using URcourses, but google plus puts it to shame! I never wants to use URCourses again… espeically for the forums – this would just be much easier 🙂 anyways, I had trouble answering some peoples questions because I just simply didn’t know the answer (or even had the same question). I commented lots of “hey I have the same question too, thanks for asking”. But in the end, I realized that I actually answered more questions throughout the semster than I thought I did.

 

I’ve learned that asking questions really helps other students because they usually have the same problems (or at least that was the case for me).

 

All in all, I hope I helped my fellow classmates… I know you helped me out a ton 🙂

Social activism

“Social activism is an intentional action with the goal of bringing about social change”… It can be a good thing, but can also cause some problems. I always see people on social media arguing about different topics, mostly political topics. They’re trying to get the message across, but it can always turn around and make you seem like the bad guy. It can be meaningful and worthwhile though, sometimes it allows others to really think about the topic. If you have never heard that point of view before, it allows you to really think about what the truth is.

However, you can also be a slactivist, which is someone who thinks they’re making a difference by “following a trend” but in reality, they aren’t making a change at all. For example; people across the world were participating in the ice bucket challenge – pouring cold water on themselves and passing it along by nominating their friends. Seems like a great cause right? … Well, it doesn’t much matter if you don’t donate in the end!! The ice bucket challenge was meant to raise money but people ignored that part, which resulted in becoming a slactivist.

I’m sure it’s possible to have productive conversations about social justice… eventually. But for right now, no one has an open mind. People believe in one thing and they don’t let other people change their mind… which causes arguments on social media if they read something that they don’t agree with. But eventually, I’m hoping that we’ll be more open minded about everything and gather all of the information needed to make a clear judgment!

Need a little bit more help understanding? Here’s a great video I found!

 

A different look at Coding

This week in ECMP355, we explored coding. My boyfriend is an IT guy, so I was kind of freaking out when I heard we were going to code… cause I knew that I didn’t understand AT ALL. Bu thankfully, coding ended up being fun and wasn’t what the experts do.

We looked at a few websites, but I decided to play around with “one hour of code” a little bit more. In class when we exlored it a bit, I worked on some easy ones and wasn’t able to go very far with the little time we had. So this time, I decided to pick the option of “9-18 years old” to see if maybe it would be more challenging. The answer? YES, I STRUGGLED.

Here’s how it went….

 

So the first round was pretty basic, it went really smoothly! So I was feeling pretty good, but had to remember that it was only the first round.

The third round was also pretty easy and introduced the “repeat” section. This is great because it makes you think about the easiest way to get the little guy to the other side! And honestly, it went downhill after round 3…. I surived rounds 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 but rage quit on round 9 because i just couldn’t figure it out HAHAHAH (I suck).

What did I learn? Well I learned that I dont have the patience to figure it out with the “repeat section”. Yes it’s heplful sometimes, but maybe just putting in everything individually makes it a little bit easier.

When we first talked about coding, I really didn’t understand why we would use it in a classroom… But now I realize that it’s a fun way to teach your students how to think ciritically and to find the best option. This is such a good tool to use in a math class! It teaches students that there is always more than one way to do things!

In a class, it would also allow students to go at their own pace. Sometimes when working in groups or on the same assignement as others, students tend to either copy from each other or let the other one do the other work… which doesn’t really teach the students anything besides that they can just get someone else to do their work. This website lets them decide which activity they would like to work on and get them to figure out the problems themselves!! I’m so excited to try this website with my future students.

So many assessing tools

This week in ECMP355, our class was able to explore different assessing tools that will be extremely helpful for a teacher, especially so that the class continues to be interesting for the students! I remember being in classrooms where it was very black and white, where the teacher would talk and the students wrote notes. This makes the students bored which results in them not paying attention, which is defeating the purpose of you being a teacher. So keeping a class interesting, allows students to always be interesting… keeping them on their toes wondering which activity will be next!

We explored 7 different assessing tools; socrative, poll everywhere, kahoot, plickers, pear deck, fresh grade, and seesaw. Each tool was amazing in their own way, it’s amazing to see how many different assessing tools there actually is! Before Ecmp355, the only tool I ever used in school was kahoot! But let’s start from the beginning…

 

Socrative:

Socrative can be accessed on computers or it’s also an app which allows more people to use is – teachers don’t need to depend on all of their students to have a computer to be able to use this. Some features are:

  • you can vote on specific topics
  • teachers can get feedback
  • teachers can receive reports in a doc of how everyone did
  • it’s not a race/competition for the students

The only downside is that you can only have 50 people per room, so this wouldn’t really work for university professors… but there are so many different tools just like this!

 

Poll Everywhere:

Poll everywhere can be used from a computer, tablet, or even phone! Even though some teachers may not like this because the students would probably choose to use their phones… I believe it is actually a great tool considering that now day, students ALWAYS have their phones with them!!

 

Kahoot!:

Kahoot is probably the most common assessment tool that teachers use, especially in high school! This tool is just like Socrative but WAY more of a competition… which I personally don’t like. Even if lots of people get the right answer, it’s ultimately based on how fast you answer the correct question. So for me, I usually have to read a question at least twice… which means I never make it to the “top 5” list. It can be very discouraging for students. However, it is designed so that students HAVE to look up fro their phones. The question is at the front of the class on the board but you have to answer on your phone. That way teachers can assure that they aren’t just texting the whole time. AND if you exit the test to do anything else, you get kicked out of the game and have to re-sign it which is easy for the teacher to notice.

 

Plickers:

Plickers is such a cool assessing tool which allow students to stay anonymous to each other, but the teacher knows who answered what. How?? Well, each student is associated with a shape (barcode type thing) and the teacher scans the codes with a phone to see what the students answer. The students keep their codes throughout the whole year, allows the teacher to keep track of their learning process.

 

Pear Deck:

Pear deck is easily one of my favourite assessing tools! Teachers are able to make a presentation but during the presentation, students are able to answer questions or comment. The teacher also has control whether the students answer are shown to the rest of the class or if the teacher is the only one that can see them.

 

Fresh Grade:

This assessment tool is an awesome way to make secure digital portfolios for your students! Teachers have control over all of their students portfolios, but it’s a nice way to introduce them to blogging and allow their parents to see what they’re learning in the classroom!

 

AND FINALLY….

Seesaw:

Seesaw is my favorite digital portfolio tool. With this tool, students are actually allowed to upload what they’re learning themselves – allowing students to show EXACTLY what they’re learning by adding pictures, videos, or even drawings. This tool is super easy which allows younger elementary students to be able to use this. Seesaw also makes it easy for teachers by allowing them to look at their feed (everyone’s posts) or they can easily look at individual students work – makes it easy to see what one student has been doing! Teachers also have to approve items, which is great so nothing inappropriate gets posted.

 

I couldn’t just pick one to talk about, there are so many awesome tools! Which are your favorites? 🙂

 

Puppet Pals

This week, I was able to pick an app/tool of my choice that I have never used before and explore what it has to offer! I picked Puppet Pals, which is an app that allows students to make digital stories nice & easy! The app lets you create stories by using different characters and different sceneries while using the microphone to allow those characters to speak.

When first getting the app, I was so excited – the little kid in me came out right away! Which is perfect because otherwise I probably would’ve thought the app was stupid. ANYWAYS, Puppet Pals starts off explaining how to use the app which is good except that it explains everything fairly quickly and can possibly be challenging for some students.

Once getting past all of the instructions, it was time for the fun to begin! One slight problem… the free version definitely isn’t as good as the full version would be. Obviously, the full version is always going to be better, but this free version didn’t really let me explore me. For example; there weren’t very many different characters I could use and using your own picture as a character is only offered in the full version (I was probably the most upset about that).

This is what I came up with:

Everytim I watch it and laugh about it because I really had no idea what to talk about. I came up with the video in no time at all, so it makes you think about what your students would be able to come up with! How exciting 🙂

After making the video, I decided to explore the app a little bit. I came across “lesson plans for teachers” which is really nice for new teachers or teachers that are using the app for the first time! There is also a code pops up before entering the teacher section; for example it will say “eleven, four, nine” and you will have to enter it by pressing the correct numbers. This is a good tool that the app has to make sure that young students aren’t doing anything besides making their videos.

There is also a feature that allows you to take a picture from your photo album and make it the background in your video (see next video) which is awesome if here is a specific scenery you want to use but the app sadly doesn’t have.

All in all, I definitely think that this app should be used in classrooms throughout elementary school because it allows students to show that they understand by making their own video and they especially love doing it! If using it in the classrooms, you would need the full version for your students just because there aren’t enough options for characters which may consist the students of being frustrated that there isn’t the right charatcer for their story.

 

Facebook in the classroom??

This week, Candace and I were able to explore Facebook a little bit and find out how it could be a good thing in the classroom. We took on the roles of a parent (me) and a teacher). I discussed how I was concerned for my daughter to use it in the classroom and Candance explained how it could be a great learning tool with help from a great website! Take a look 🙂

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Hi there,

My daughter came home from school and told me that your class will be using Facebook in the classroom. I am a bit concerned… Many students, including my own, tend to get distracted very easily. So I feel like Facebook could be a very distracting tool to use in the classroom because there is messenger where students can be messaging each other or friends outside of the classroom, and students can also click on adds which can link to online shopping or games. I would just like to know how you plan to keep your students, especially my daughter, focused in class with all of these distractions available right in front of them.

Thanks for explaining a bit more,

Ms. Hornoi


Hi Ms. Hornoi,

Thank you for emailing me with your concerns Ms. Hornoi, and I hope my explanation will help you feel more comfortable with having your daughter use Facebook in my classroom. I have chosen to use Facebook in the classroom for many reasons, as I believe it has more positive aspects than negative.

The first step with using Facebook in the classroom is to teach the students how to be safe online. The classroom is a safe environment, where the students are able to ask questions and learn the appropriate use of new tools, such as Facebook. The students will also learn what is not appropriate, such as clicking on the ads available on Facebook. As you said, Facebook messenger is a big worry for distraction as students tend to talk to their friends and procrastinate. Using it in the classroom will teach the students other ways to use Facebook as a tool and to use it productively. I have also found that if students are using this tool in an educational manner than they are less likely to use it as a distraction during class time. These days almost everyone is on Facebook, so by starting off using Facebook in the classroom, I am able to teach my students how to safely use social media and develop necessary skills needed to be successful in the 21st century.

Facebook is also a great tool to keep students connected with other classmates, as well as with their parents. Students are able to ask questions to their Facebook friends and gather information for polls, research and projects.  They are then also able to share their work beyond the classroom environment and have a stage to produce their success. There will be easy access for the students and parents to assignments and reminders. This will give the opportunity for parents to ask questions about their student’s days, and have documentation of what their child actually did, instead of the usual conversation of “what did you do today at school?” and the reply being “nothing”.

Overall, Facebook can be used anywhere and it is more likely for students, as well as parents to check Facebook multiple times a day and so it will keep everyone in the loop. Once again, thank you for emailing me about your concern. I hope you that you now see Facebook in a positive light as I believe your daughter, as well as other students, will succeed in using Facebook as an educational tool.

Best regards,

Ms. Stenko


Hi Ms. Stenko,

Thank you for your email back. I now know that Facebook isn’t a bad tool to use in the classroom, but rather a great learning experience. I will be sure to pass on the message to other parents and suggest it to future teachers.

Thanks again,

Ms. Hornoi