Category Archives: EDTC300

Contributions To Learning

This semester has really flown by and I can’t believe we are at the end already. Although completing the semester online did have some challenges, there is so much technology out there to help stay connected, support and learn in this environment. My classmates and I were able to help support each other’s learning via, twitter, blog post comments and the Slack community.

The way I have helped support my classmates learning was by commenting on twitter, sharing resources and commenting on blog posts. Below are a few examples:

This course has taught me so many ways of how we cans support each other’s learning. Before taking EDTC300, I was never much of a twitter person, but I have really grown to like it. There is such a huge network of University students and teachers who are all willing to collaborate, share, help and contribute to each other’s learning. Even though we are pre-service teachers or teachers already we know that we will never stop learning. One of the things I really liked about twitter was the SaskEd chat we participated in. It was really cool to see everyone sharing their thoughts about certain topics. I am very thankful for this course because not only was I able to help contribute to someone’s learning but my classmates were also able to contribute to my own learning.

Hour of Code

To continue my educational technology learning, this week I explored Hour of Code on Code.org. This website has multiple different projects to help individuals learn the basics of coding. The project i chose was called “AI for Oceans” the objective of this project was to code the A.I. (Artificial Intelligence robot) to tell the difference between what belongs in the water and what does not.

Here you “code” the AI to let them know what is a fish and what is not.
Once coded AI is tested and let’s the fish stay in the water and throws anything else away.
At the end you will see if you missed coding something. Here you can see a Jerry can I miscoded as a fish

The next level of coding for this game was telling the AI what belongs in the water and what does not, adding other sea creatures separate from fish. In the next level you code AI to distinguish colours and other features.

This project was fairly simple, so I decided to try something else. I found the flappy bird game and it brought back frustrating memories of when I downloaded this game and had a hard time getting past the first few levels. This project was a bit different as you had to stack the code, this project is meant for an older audience compared to the AI for Oceans.

As you can see there was some helpful instructions at the top to help guide you.
Once you got past the previous step, the next one was more challenging and you had to add more code.

I liked the flappy bird hour of code project better then AI for oceans as it was a bit more challenging and unless you got the proper code it would not let you continue to the next step, so if you were stuck it really made you think about what you were doing.

I personally found this activity super fun, I wish coding was part of my elementary/high school education. I think coding is an important thing for students to learn because technology is such a huge part of our life these days. I also think it provides great problem solving and critical thinking skills that are important to learn. In addition to enhancing problem solving and critical thinking skills it also expands the students creativity.

Digital Literacy & Fake News.

This week we explored digital literacy and the importance of it. I believe as a future teacher it is important to educate myself on how to find quality, appropriate, and truthful information online.

In the this video by Ted, How to chose your news. They talk about how all the information in the world isn’t very useful, unless you know where it came from. In today’s world it is important to know where your news comes from and how to find it and if it is accurate or not. The video also talks about how just a few decades ago things were a lot different, since news was broad based and sources were limited to a few magazines and 3-4 news networks. This quickly changed with the growth of mass media and people soon began to learn that certain governments could censor your news, and that anyone on the internet could become a potential reporter with blogs, online videos and social media.

In the article Fake new. It’s complicated. The author mentions how there are 7 types of misinformation. They also talk about how misinformation is used against people who are most likely to fall for it. A certain network can share information with you if you are a target, you share the post, someone see’s it, they trust the original poster and then they share it themselves. In this way networks and many other forms of media can use people as targets to spread their misinformation.

https://firstdraftnews.org/latest/fake-news-complicated/

So, how can we help students identify what is real and what it not. In the article How do we teach students to identify fake news they talk about certain strategies to help our students out. These include:

  • Move beyond traditional – and often ineffective – information evaluation checklists.
  • Prioritize helping students develop investigative techniques
  • Teach students to identify bias – teach them to uderstand that all sources come from a particular perspective
  • Bring real-world fake news examples that we encounter everyday into the classroom

A few of these topics I do have a hard time thinking of ways of how I would teach them in my classroom. The main reason of why I struggle with this is because I plan to be a high school mathematics teacher. I think this is an area where I need to think outside the box and reach our to my PLN to show me ideas and where we can collaborate on this topic since it is an important part of our student education and safety.

Watch out for the Cyber Sleuth

This week we explored Digital Identity, the importance of it and what it means to have a good digital identity. Digital identity is how we are portrayed online, what information is out there about us, our interests, job title, date of birth, articles whether we put it online ourselves or by someone else. Maintaining a respectable digital identity can be extremely hard these days with how fast information is passed on online, as single slip can ruin your reputation. Even if it was not something you posted, anyone can take anything you did and post it online whether you like it or not. We see this happen to many people, an example would be Monica Lewinsky. As we all now know, Monica had a private relationship with the President of the United States. Once this information was brought to public knowledge Monica states “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” In her Ted Talk she talked about how she was shamed, made fun of online, humiliated and our toxic online culture. I think this shows that we need to be thoughtful and careful of our actions, as we have no control of what can be posted online. I think this also shows how we need to be kind while we are online as your comments, words, and ideas of others still apply to your own digital identity. Below is Monica’s Ted Talk on The Price of Shame.

With digital identity being this week’s topic, I have decided to Cyber-sleuth my classmate Brooke Striha to see what I could find. I was able to come across various social media accounts for Brooke, with most of them being private or semi private I was only able to see limited information, like her profile picture and very limited details. I believe Brooke was a gymnastics coach before becoming an Education Assistant at a school in Regina. Based on her pictures I would say Brooke is a happy individual who enjoys the outdoors. I also came across Brooke’s twitter account and her blog. Overall I would say Brooke under shares personal information and shares a good amount of professional information.

I also was curious to see what I could find out about myself. I found links to my social media accounts, an article back from 2009 from when I was in Sea Cadets and a link to a rugby website with information from 2012-2013 when I played rugby with the University of Regina cougars. All information that I am okay having out there. This activity has definitely taught me to be cautious and aware of my digital identity, not only that but how I carry myself on and offline.

Digital Citizenship In The Classroom

“Students using computers in the library” by UCCS Kraemer Family Library is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

When I was growing up social media and spending time online was starting to become the next big thing. I remember being in grade 5 and having and MSN account, looking back now that seems so young to me for a grade 5 to have access to an internet chat room, but that is the reality that we face everyday. Being safe online wasn’t really talked much about in my elementary school, it wasn’t really that big of a topic until I got to high school and even then I felt it wasn’t talked about that much. My parents of coarse talked to me about what I was doing on the internet and they did keep a close eye until I was in about grade 9 and they gave me a lot more freedom, this is also when I got my first phone and laptop so they didn’t really have much control or knowledge as to what sites I was on or who I was talking to. I am grateful that even with little talk about the dangers of the internet I was able to maintain a safe online presence.

I think in today’s world it is more important than ever to teach our students how to be safe online and how to use technology to our advantage in a safe and respectable way. The Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship can help us do this. Here are some key points that I really liked and that stuck out to me:

  1. Digital Etiquette – this related to how we act online towards others, showing respect and maintaining standards. I think this is important to teach and talk about because we need to teach students how to be aware of our words and thoughts we put out there for everyone to see. I think it is important to teach our students how to be respectful and not be harmful online to one another or to ourselves by posting something we will regret later on.
  2. Digital Communication and Collaboration – This relates to how students can share and communicate with others online. I think this is a great thing about technology how we can find someone who is passionate about similar things and we can share our ideas and thoughts with them. This also opens doors for learning and new ideas.
  3. Digital Security and Privacy – This relates to viruses or attacks to your computer. I think it is important to teach students how to keep your information secure and safe. Hackers can get into your computer, your accounts and this can cause a lot of issues, being smart and proactive to avoid these dilemmas is an important part in the technological world we live in today.

I think it is extremely important to teach our students how to be safe online and how to properly use technology without harming ourselves and others. When I become a teacher I hope to teach secondary mathematics, and I asked myself how I could teach my students and bring awareness to Digital Citizenship and this is something I do struggle with since the two subjects don’t necessarily go hand in hand. I think I would still talk about it when appropriate or if something significant happened in the community or in the news, I would definitely talk about it. I think also by keeping a poster on the wall or letting them know that I am available to talk to about the subject if they had questions or needed guidance. I would also collaborate with my colleagues and share ideas on how we can keep our students safe online.

Changed Media & Changed Humans.

When I think about technology in today’s world it amazes me how much things have changed since I was young. I went to a lower income elementary school and the only computers were in the library and there was maybe fifteen in total, which was not enough for all the students in the classroom. In high school, we did not have laptop carts but we did have various computer labs filled with plenty of computers for everyone, I feel it is important to say that this was back in 2011. My youngest sibling is nine years younger than me (he is currently in high school) and his experience was somewhat similar to mine, other than at his high school they have laptops for the students to use. Even though I feel like technology has changed a lot since I went to school, I was still part of the generation that had access to internet and online material, computers, cell phones, iPods, the list goes on. I think what amazes me is the evolution of these materials.

Technology helps us connect in so many ways, by videos, calls, texting, tweeting, sharing, and by participating in each other’s content. Michael Wesch talks about this in his YouTube video An anthropological introduction to YouTube. He talks about how the changes in media change us as humans, and how technology brings us together. He talks about how easy this content is for us to see. A video that was uploaded in another country is available to us instantly. Then we watch it and maybe decide to make our own version of the video, this is know an participatory culture. What I found most interesting about Michael Wesch’s video is how much content is uploaded on to YouTube. Way more than all major networks combined. In 2008, 9,232 hours of content was uploaded every day and I can only imagine that number being much bigger today.

I love YouTube, so I found this information pretty fascinating. Although I have never uploaded a video or really shared YouTube content on my social media platforms, I think that the idea of being able to create your own content to be very powerful. Although we all love to watch funny, entertaining, and mindless videos, I think it can be used as a way to also empower other people and to talk about important topics and to get conversations going and connect with humans in that way. I also believe it’s a great way to find helpful resources not only for education but for anything in life, home renovations, gardening, seeing what the latest 2020 Fall trends are. I believe technology is powerful and we need to learn and get comfortable using this power to shape how we teach, learn, grow and connect.

Nelly Z.

Learning Project – There’s an app for that.

This week I decided to see if there was any apps out there that could teach and help me how to embroider. I discovered that the selection of apps that teach how to embroider is extremely low. I downloaded two different apps one is called Embroidery by Arlenes Crafts and Love Embroidery Magazine. Embroidery by Arlene’s Crafts was very helpful, it categorizes the stiches into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels . To learn how to complete that stich all you have to do is click on it and swipe left to see how to do it. I found this app super helpful and easy to use. On top of that she has some patterns for sale and some demo’s on certain patterns and designs.

The second app Love Embroidery Magazine was not very helpful from a learning perspective. It is an app that you can read various embroidery magazines in. At first I didn’t know it was a magazine app and I think if I would of known that at first I wouldn’t of downloaded it. Although it does not teach you how to embroider it does give you a lot of ideas for different types of projects. Some magazines are free and some you need to pay for.

For me personally, I’m not sure I would continue to use these applications as I prefer YouTube videos or some other type of video how to. This week for my project I decided to make a piece for a friend who just had a baby in August. I used some of the beginner stitches explained in Embroidery by Arlene’s Crafts. For a first piece I am not disappointed in how it turned out but I know I have a lot more practice to do and stitches/techniques to learn. Below is the finished product.

Re-Exploring the world of Twitter.

Last week in my EDTC300 class we explored the world of twitter. I have had twitter for a while now but I have never really been active on it, compared to other social media platforms, it never really grabbed my attention. Going back and re-exploring twitter I definitely can see myself using it a lot more. I think Twitter can be an extremely useful tool for both teachers and students to find all sorts of resources, connect with others and collaborate. We also participated in #saskedchat which where a group of educators all talk about different topics based on that weeks questions. I had mixed feelings about participating in #saskedchat at first, but it was actually really fun and it was interesting to see what others had to say about certain topics and questions. I think it is a great way to learn and to explore opinions and thoughts that we would never have had come up with on our own. I think moving forward I would like to be more active on twitter and continue to attend the saskedchats.

Nelly.

Feedly.

This week in my ETDC300 class we learned about Feedly! What an awesome tool this is. At first I thought signing up for Feedly and setting it up was going to be complicated, but it was a lot simpler than expected, which is always a nice surprise. Some of my topics I decided to search and add to my feed were Educational Technology, Education, Secondary Education and Mathematics. I did have a hard time finding blogs I wanted to follow regarding secondary education mathematics but I think I just need to look harder and maybe use different search words. If anyone has any tips please comment below! Below is what my feed and categories look like so far, I am excited to keep exploring and see what other blogs, sites, etc. I can find to continue grow my learning.