Heres a link to my mentor log!
At the beginning of our semester we were given the list of students we were to mentor. These students were from the EDTC 300 class. Here's a link to each of my mentees blogs!
When we first began mentoring these students it was to say the least, hard. I wasn’t sure what to say or how much to say, this was all new to me. But I was able to slowly get the hang of it and learnt ALOT of new things from these students. They made beautiful pieces or played musical instruments or even cooked glorious meals. It was great to be alongside them and see how they used different resources in their projects. I was even looking forward to seeing how or what they made the following week, waiting for their blog posts to go up. They used resources, links, apps, pictures and different tools every week to provide a full overview and learning experience. Honestly I probably learned more from them then they did from my comments and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. It was interesting to see just how different each student was and all the different ways they were able to learn suited to their needs.
When it comes to online teaching, I have never done it. I did two presentations this semester on “mini-lessons” but it was never the same feeling and I was always quite nervous. I liked the idea of commenting on their posts as I was able to keep track of their learning and how far they had progressed. I feel like if I were to be teaching online I would want some sort of update journal/blog for my students just so I could see how they were doing or if they had any questions I could comment and direct them on the right path.
This assignment of mentoring students really pushed me out of my comfort zone of not interacting with others outside my classroom. It also made me realize the importance of hearing and seeing students ideas, passions and learning abilities. I connected the students mainly through their blogs, sometimes by Twitter and not very often in Slack. They shared great resources online and posted daily to their Twitters. I feel like this class was much more dedicated to Twitter and Slack then our class last semester. Thank you to my mentees for being active learners and always willing to share a resource or two to help others, it was great being your mentor.
This is our last and final EDTC class and Great Edtech debate, sad I know. I had a blast learning from Katia over the past year and loved learning about educational technology. Now back to our scheduled post. This week the debates were Cellphones should be banned in the classroom and Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and oppression, which was my debate. To say the least, they were both very interesting.
Cellphones should be banned in the classroom
For this debate there were three different sides to the arguments: never, always and banned between K-8. For this debate all three parties argued well and made some very good points. I stood with the point that phones should be banned from K-8. Some arguments that were made were that students model the teachers behaviour so teachers should not rely on their phones, when introduced to phones early it affects the students social learning and that having phones creates more engagement. I could never see myself banning phones from my classroom, as when I was in high school every teacher that did this, I still managed to hide and be on it anyway. I believe phones can be a positive in the classroom, especially when enforced correctly and in an educational way.
Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and oppression
This one was toughhhhh. Jesse and Caleb really had it out for me, making this debate that much better. I was arguing the agree side, that teachers have a responsibility and that with these responsibilities there came the education needed for students to be safe and vocal online. Richelle argued that students can fight for social justice but it may not be as effective as in person. Which I understand and get that but with the growing use of technology and the amount of people on social media you may be able to share resources and information that could educate another person online. Richelle also argued that it can get out of hand and people may believe you are shallow, but I argued that in today's “cancel culture” everything posted will have someone offended. I like to believe that I internally won the argument but unfortunately the class decided against it.
These debates were a great way to learn more on different scenarios in the classroom involving technology and it kept the class atmosphere lively and fun. I hope one day I will get to educate others as much as Katia did for me, have a great summer everyone!
This week we had only one debate as I wasn’t able to debate that night. But aside from that the debate was great and gave us lots of information to think about. The topic of discussion was Educators should share lessons, resources, and other material that they have created openly online. My thoughts going into this debate were that I agree that teachers should share their resources. But as the discussion continued I may not have been so openly able to agree.
Educators should share lessons, resources, and other material that they have created openly online
This discussion was great, there was a constant back and forth between both sides and it was extremely enjoyable to watch. A point that was brought up was that teachers have given access and permission to use and adapt their content for free but this was retaliated with a point that teachers aren’t nearly paid enough and that they should be sharing for a price. Another point that was brought up during the discussion was that teachers should be caring for students and helping them get the best possible education and sharing resources openly. The counter discussion was that although caring is great, teachers are often taken advantage of and they should not feel forced to share these resources.
For this argument I was totally on the agree side, but as the arguments rolled out I slowly began to agree with some of the arguments the class were making. I totally agree that teachers should share their resources and lessons, but I also agree that teachers are underpaid and that can become a problem when sharing resources for free. It was a great and fun debate!
This week on the Great Edtech Debate we began our second round of doing debates, for the last remaining two weeks we have our debates. At the beginning of the semester I was hoping to argue the topic of social media is ruining childhood but unfortunately I missed out on it. But I did enjoy seeing the arguments made on the two topics of the night. The first topic was social media is ruining childhood and the second topic was surveillance of student date and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety
Social media is ruining childhood
When it comes to social media I wasn't allowed to have it till I reached the age of 13 but by then I was still too busy enjoying life outside that I didn't see a need for it. Nowadays children often have social media well before they reach the age of 13, lying about their age while signing up so that the system didn’t flag them. Due to this increased use of social media students face the chance of being cyberbullied online at a young age. In our debate social media was brought up as a positive for expanding student knowledge and increasing their group support. This could be from learning more about different cultures, world-views and perspectives from the use of technology. But there also comes the warning of the need for digital literacy, knowing what is safe and what is harmful.
Surveillance of student date and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety
In my school our teachers often watched our screens as we were in the computer labs, making sure we were doing what we were supposed to be doing. Even though we knew this was happening some students still chose to misbehave online. From the help of tracking students online, we as teachers can see if cyberbullying or potential threats are being made, especially when it begins to question the safety of others. I have never personally tracked students online usage, but I also have never taught a straight computer class or lesson. Most schools have website blockers and that prevents a lot of safety for students on the internet, especially when they are at school.
For this debate I found it to be tough to pick a side on which ones I agree or disagree with. For the 1st topic I came to the conclusion that I disagree, I believe social media helps students learn and with proper coaching they can use it safely and positively. For the second topic I agree that surveillance is necessary for students to feel safe and secure in schools.
In EDTC400 this week we began debates and discussions on using educational technology and how we teach with technology. I was super nervous for the debates because I have never participated in a serious one, especially pertaining to our someday career. I was excited to see how everyone thought of the topics of discussion and where the discussion would lead. Today's topics were:
Technology in the classroom enhances learning
Schools should stop teaching “google-able” facts
Throughout the course of the discussion it was clear that everyone had valid points and the energy was high as everyone debated. There were often a few points that stood out during the discussion that I feel need to be emphasized.
Technology in the classroom enhances learning
One of the main arguments made was that technology would be a distraction in the classroom for students. This could be due to phones, computers, iPads, even calculators. But this argument was challenged with the notion that teachers always have the ability to limit usage of these devices. The other point brought up had also mentioned how students with disabilities could use technology to engage in classrooms and feel included. In my high-school we had multiple students with disabilities who would use devices like laptops and iPads in the classroom and they felt more included then being in a different room than the rest of us. We also then brought up the idea of field trips and labs through technology. I have done an online lab once and absolutely hated it so I feel as though my opinion on that area would have been already made up.
Schools should stop teaching”google-able” facts
In this debate, lots of discussion was based on mathematics and the way google functions within a math classroom. With using google to find formulas students may lack when it comes to applying to real world problems. There is also the concern of students using google to cheat and find answers online, not learning the course content and understanding its importance. Another subject that came under fire was History, often when we can’t find information on things we google them, this can prevent students from learning the important dates and why they are significant.
To summarize my thoughts on these debates I found that in Topic 1 I agree that technology enhances learning. As for topic 2 I agree that teachers need to stop teaching google-able facts and give the students the opportunity for understanding what they are learning.
In this week of EDTC 400, my partner Sarah S and I presented a mini-lesson of Digital Identity. I didn’t know very much about digital identity so I was learning as I was making the lesson. Sarah on the other hand had great knowledge on it and taught me all about it when I had any questions. Making this lesson was so much fun, me and Sarah had called each other multiple times to go through our plans and goals for our presentation. We began with discussing what area we wanted to focus on the most, deciding with a focus on digital identity. After getting an idea of where we wanted the lesson to focus we began searching for an engaging way to teach 4th grade students.
In our lesson we focused on digital footprint, teaching students actively that everything they do online is recorded. We compared pictures of footprints and fossils to what a digital footprint is, making a connection between real life and your online presence. We used an introduction game to get the students thinking about what a digital footprint is and then discussed things like previously mentioned about the footprints and fossils. Next we watched a video on digital footprint and had multiple discussions based on the information we learned. We gave a short quiz at the end to get a better understanding on how well students understood the topic of digital footprints and if they feel confident in knowing how to be safe online.
I found that our presentation went well, we didn’t have any challenges planning the lesson as we spoke frequently and often asked each other questions on anything we didn’t fully understand. The lesson was rich in information and the students, along with ourselves, had fun. This was my first ever time teaching a class through Zoom and thankfully I have had lots of practice with Zoom so I wasn’t too nervous about the use of it. My main concern was time, we were either going to have too much stuff to teach or we would have too little but we managed time well and were able to create a well thought out lesson, in the future I may have added a bit more just to help keep time even more manageable.
I had a great time working with Sarah S and it was a lot of fun to teach such an engaging lesson!
As technology keeps progressing, so does the need for schools to be readily prepared for this change. Throughout high school, my teachers all thought phones and technology were more of a nuisance to the classroom than a benefit. We were made to put our phones in the top corner of our desks so that the teachers could see it at all times. I often wondered if this was just a reaction to not knowing much about technology or if they just really didn't like the idea of adapting technology into the classroom.
When it comes to a school preparing students for a new upbringing of technology, it needs to be brought into the classrooms. Having a classroom that doesn’t use any sort of technology can affect students in a negative way as engagement and skills are not being learned. In order for students to have a successful life after schooling we have to teach them the importance of being digital and how to adapt to these changing times. The internet is a wide range of why we teach about digital identities, citizenship and etiquette. It is full of dangers and anything can be lurking around.
In our class (EDTC 400), we debated on the topic of whether we should go back to times without the internet or whether we should stick to the technology we have growing today. It was an important discussion as it raised a lot of questions on our internet safety and about how beneficial an online presence is. As technology continues to advance we as teachers need to continue to incorporate these new technologies into our classroom to create a more inquiry based learning experience for students of any age. There is always a risk trying something new but without risk there would be no opportunities.
If I am going to be honest with Twitter, I usually like it. The term usually is key, I love looking at other peoples tweets, their tweet bring me slight joy and I am glad to be caught up on everything but I despise tweeting on it myself, I feel like I can never think of anything to share, even on Feedly, and when I do I have no idea what to share about the link or tool I am sharing. I often don’t mind commenting on other peoples tweets as it comes from the heart with what I am writing to them. After EDTC 300 ended I was glad to take a break from tweeting, I didn’t feel stressed to find content and have to share multiple things per day. I could only imagine what a blogger or content creator feels like and you won’t be seeing me doing it.
Twitter has a lot of potential for being a professional development tool. I personally would not use it in my classroom as students may feel more pressured to use it then to willingly use it. With that being said I would teach students about their digital identity, digital citizenship, and digital literacy. Showing them the benefits to using twitter and other major platforms, along with where to be cautious in posting things. Giving them the idea to grow their PLN in a positive way throughout high school rather than just University and that’s something I wish I was taught about.
Last night we participated in another Saskedchat, I had previously done one last semester in EDTC 300 and it was a lot of fun. This week we touched on mental health, which is an extremely important conversation to have. I really enjoyed reading everyone's ideas, seeing how similar everyone's answers were. Mental health is slowly breaking through stigmas and it's important to continue the conversation to further that breakthrough. It was also interesting to see everyone's perspective on what can/should be done for mental health awareness in the classroom and amongst other teachers/staff.
This week we were given the task of looking at ourselves online. As I have completed EDTC 300, I was informed of many new tools and ways to grow my PLN (Personal Learning Network). Growing up I was always taught to be careful of what I posted, although I was told this I never realized the importance till I started University. My digital identity tells others that I am passionate about what I am learning, it tells others that I am on my way to change the way of learning.
The accounts I use everyday are more public than private. My Instagram, student Twitter, ePortfolio accounts are public, my Facebook, Youtube, personal Twitter are all on private. I don’t post anything on my personal twitter, along with my Youtube but they do tie into my everyday life. The reason I do this is because I find that some things are better kept private from others. I share the important facts about who I am and what I inspire to be.
I would like to work on how I approach digital identity, keeping my life separate from the student's life. All throughout my high school, our teachers would not accept any friend requests or questions about their social media until after we had graduated. I plan to keep my personal life separate from my students, using only public accounts that show my teaching abilities and ideas. This step of separation will create a better balanced digital identity and show a journey I am proud of.