So this is it! The final reflection… I feel like we learned so much in this class that it was really hard to make a video that fit the 7 minute time limit. My video ultimately clocks in at 9 minutes and 45 seconds (sorry!). Before editing I had over 15 minutes of footage and I had to cut out a whole 2 minutes where I talked about how awesome scratch is. Scratch was definitly my favourite blog post to write because I got to make a game. In this video I talk about zoom, blogging, seesaw and everything in between!
The general goal of this class was to connect with others in new ways and we were provided numerous technological forums to do so. The main way that we reached out and connected with others in the course was through Zoom. Zoom was a brand new tool for me but I could immediately tell that it was like a high functioning version of FaceTime or Skype. I would definitely use Zoom again in the future. It is a great tool for video conferencing, something that FaceTime does not offer and Skype requires you to pay for. There was two main ways that I interacted with my classmates via Zoom, the first was by commenting throughout the lecture and the second was through my group presentation of the tool Seesaw. I especially liked the idea that you can comment during the lecture. Often times during my university career I found that profs got very annoyed with me for chatting during class but in ECMP355 it was almost encouraged that we subsides the learning with our own thoughts in the comment section. I only wish I would have taken a few screenshots of the comments I had made to post here. For more information on Seesaw check out Mackenzie’s awesome post about it here. Since she already made a great post about it I won’t go into much more detail.
I also contributed to others through my twitter account. I reached out to twitter only once for help with my learning project and after not getting any replies I gave up on that. https://twitter.com/AdamOpdahl/status/798280151196790787
I also tried to use my twitter account to bring some humour to my classmates as I believe that laughter is an invaluable tool for learning. https://twitter.com/AdamOpdahl/status/806372064282181633
Finally my most popular tweet was one that could easily be adapted into an entire teaching style as Abdul pointed out: https://twitter.com/AdamOpdahl/status/799015689256247296 I also went so far as to bring this into my personal life and shared it on my Facebook account with one of my former professors at the university.
In the Google Plus community I made one post that got exactly one like (by me) and no replies:I thought that it might be fun to get together and meet some of my class mates but unfortunately they did not feel the same way.
Finally this brings us to blogging, the backbone of this class. I contributed to a few blogs by referencing them in my own posts as well as commenting on them. The blogs that I referenced or commented on are:
I realize that this list should probably be longer but I am not typically one for posting comments and so I neglected this portion throughout the semester. I hope that the other ways I interacted with my classmates makes up for this.
I also contributed to learning outside of this course. Throughout this semester I was a volunteer at Emerald Ridge School in Emerald Park. I helped many students with math, art, reading and writing at least once a week. Additionally Mackenzie and I became friends and we contributed to each others learning over the semester, texting each other reminders and helping each other in our classes.
For this weeks blog post I am reflecting on a clip from a lecture by Michael Wesch. This clip highlights the amazing powers of the Internet and how it has become increasingly easy to share things. I think that with the addition of websites such Reddit and Imgur (amongst others) we can share things even faster. For example this GIF. on Imgur was viewed over 2 million times in a span of only 8 hours. That is simply amazing.
Unfortunately sharing is not always a good thing. It is incredibly important that internet users take great care when posting on the internet. It is outstandingly easy for your identity to be stolen if you accidentally post personal information on the wrong websites. I believe however despite this, technology is a vital part of the world today and should therefore be an important part of our classrooms. This is somewhat in contrast to what I said on my blog post about twitter. However I believe that as educators it is our responsibility to teach our students about digital citizenship and what they should and should not post online. If they do not learn these things in a classroom they may not learn them ever.
This week in class we talked about online activism and whether or not it actually makes any difference in the world. Before writing this post I read a great blog post by Paige who in turn references a blog post by Taylor. I like the way that both of these post challenge online activism and refer to it as “Armchair Activism” which I thought was avery adequate term. Paige discusses a few things such as the ALS ice bucket challenge which was used to create awareness and raise money for the prevention of ALS. One counter argument I have for online activism is that it can work to a degree. I honestly had no idea what ALS was until this viral campaign had started. For the founders of the ice bucket challenge they would have to consider it rather successful they ultimately raised 100 million dollars. The problem is that eventually the meme outgrew the activism. People started doing Ice Bucket challenges for the sake of posting something online or “doing it for the likes” as my friends like to say. My biggest issue with online activism is that people seem to not care until something becomes viral. I don’t understand why we cannot become passionate about something until after it has become the cool thing to do. I don’t know a single person that was trying to raise money or awareness for ALS before the ice bucket challenge and I don’t know anyone advocating for it now that the challenge is over. At the end of the day I would say that online activism is better than no activism but it certainly isn’t the best kind of activism.
Image via: http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/lg/public/2014/09/03/als-ice-bucket.jpg
So this week I had my choice of blogging something that had to do with technology in the classroom. I also started volunteering at Emerald Park School. One of the first things that I noticed when I got a tour of the school was that they had A LOT of SMART boards. The SMART board is a piece of technology that I have a little bit of experience with, the classroom I was in for preinternship had one. I think that when used correctly the SMART board is an amazing tool. When used incorrectly however, the SMART board is nothing more than a very expensive glorified data projector. One thing I particularly like about SMART boards is that there is a multitude of ways for students to get involved in the lesson. They can come up to the board and physically interact with what they are learning. Also something that a lot of people do not know about is that the Pearson texts books (the texts we use in the Regina Public school board) created an etext that is incredibly compatible with a SMART board. During my internship I used the etexts on a regular data projector with some degree of success but it made it difficult for students to interact with. One helpful thing that all of my fellow classmates should know is that you can download the SMART board software for your computer from the U of R.
Image via: https://education.smarttech.com/
The task this week was to create a blog post that relates to one of the 9 elements of Digital Citizenship. As you can tell by the title of this post I have chosen to learn a little more about Digital Etiquette. I believe this is one of the things that students struggle with the most when it comes to using technology. In my experience I find that students do not realize what they do online has a real life impact on the people around them. That was the case when I was in school and is the case now. Students, and even adults, are often willing to say things online that they would never say to someone in person. Cyberbullying is a major issue in schools and is often something that is hard for teachers and administration to spot and deal with because it does not happen so explicitly in front of their faces.
I believe that if technology can be introduced properly and students learn how to use it appropriately they can become better learners later in life. I personally have a hard time not looking at my phone every few minutes and getting incredibly distracted by different technology. If however students are taught from a younger age that technology should be used for educational purposes they may not have these problems.
Image via: http://www.prevnet.ca/sites/prevnet.ca/files/img/hero/cyberbullying.jpg