I just realized I hadn’t responded to the last session we had for ECMP. Even though it was a couple of weeks ago, I still remember it! That’s how good of a session it was, a little long maybe, but very informative.
I’ll start with the Teach us Something Presentations. We had quite a few people presenting so we had a ton of information thrown at us. I loved all the sites and resources that Chelsea gave us about teaching First Nation’s content to our students. Some of them were the Native Women’s Association of Canada site, Assembly of First Nations site, and the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada site. This is a very hot topic in education today and resources like these can really help us future teachers out. I have used Photo Story before, but I have never thought about using it to create student’s work into digital stories. This is a great idea Courtney gave to me as she did this with her internship class! A new program I learned about from Kaitlyn was Smilebox. I can see me using this to make fun news letters for my students and their parents or to make slideshows fun for my lessons. But sooner than that, I can see me possibly using it to create a slideshow for my brothers wedding in August! I think this program would be great for that and I was so excited Kaitlyn taught us about it!
Our presenters for this session were Heather Durnin and Clarence Fisher. They told us about how their classes get together all year round and learn together. They try to meet up once a day to do things together like a novel study. They have a blog called Idea Hive and they communicate with their students and students communicate with each other. They were explaining the impact this type of learning has on their students and I was completely amazed. They said that if they can’t meet for some reason their students feel like they have nobody to ask their questions to or nobody to share opinions with. The students are constantly communicating through the blog both during a lesson and outside of school hours. They will answer each other’s questions and have discussions on any topic they feel like. This made me excited about collaborating with other classes and made me see how much power we have over enhancing our students’ learning. These two teachers deciding to join their classes together through the internet has had a profound impact on these students, and I guarantee they will never forget it!
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This is my video I created for my Summary of Learning. I found it hard to choose what I wanted to say, since I didn’t want it to be too long. There are many things I didn’t mention that I learned in this class, but I hope you’ll get a bit of an idea of what stuck out for me. Some clips are louder than others, so you might want to have your volume at about half when you play it!
Summary of Learning
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Well it’s been a while since my last post. I’m definitely starting to feel the pressure of the end of semester crunch. I have quite a few assignments that were due this week and a couple big ones due next week so I’m trying to get those finished up.
Monday’s ECMP455 session was a long one, but it was jam packed full of valuable resources and information. We had a lot of classmates presenting their “teach us something” so there were a lot of new things I learned about that I could use as a teacher and in everyday life. For example, Smilebox is a program that Kaitlyn showed us that I had never heard about before. My brother is getting married this summer and I am doing the slideshow presentation. I am putting videos and pictures in so Smilebox would be perfect to use! I was so excited when I realized I could use this for the wedding. Thanks Kaitlyn! Courtney showed us Photo Story, which is a program that I had used in ECMP355, but I hadn’t really thought about how I could use it in the classroom with my students before. Courtney gave us a great way to use it by scanning your students pictures and having them explain their picture or tell a story about it. There were many other fantastic presentations that night and this is just a quick sample of the great teaching that took place!
Our Presenters talked to us about working with another class through the internet and idea hive. These two teachers meet up through the internet almost every day to collaborate and have their classes working together. They read books together and the students really enjoy it. The students say it gives them an opportunity to voice their opinions and when they don’t have the other class to work with, they miss them. They get to discuss things about the book and answer each other’s questions. Some of their students blog constantly, even at 7:00 in the morning on a Saturday! The learning that these students are having is absolutely phenomenal! Dean said that he wishes his daughter was in their class and I found myself thinking that when I have a child that’s the type of education I want them to receive too! Then I thought wait a minute, I’m the teacher here. I’m the person parents want to give their child an amazing education experience such as this. I need to be creative and unique just like these two teachers. There is no reason I couldn’t collaborate with another teacher in another school or even another country for that matter. With programs like Idea hive it makes it so much easier. It was a very interesting presentation to say the least. Extremely inspiring!
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Well lately I feel like all I’m blogging about is what I’m learning in ECMP455, but my classmates are showing me so many great resources/sites we can use and making me think in new ways! Tonight we had 3 interesting presentations from Nathan, Katy and Stacey.
Class Dojo is a website that is new to me, and from what it sounded like to the majority of my classmates as well. It is an online site that allows you to keep track of your students behavior! My coop teacher told me that if you are going to address a students behavior issues with the parents, you have to have documentation to back yourself up. I never remembered to write down what a student did so I never had anything to back me up if I ever ran into that situation. This is a quick and easy way to document all the students in the class at once. And like Katy said, when it comes to report cards this is a great resource to use to remind yourself of how a student has been and in what areas they have strengths or weaknesses. You can change what you keep track of so you can customize it to what you need to be evaluating them on. This is definitely a site I can see myself using in the future. Very neat!
We also were shown the site Pinterest tonight. I’ve heard a lot about this and see many people on facebook ”pinning” pictures, but never really knew what it was about. Some of the pictures people have posted are really neat, and I enjoy seeing other peoples home decor pictures since I have a house I’m trying to decorate now. However, I don’t know if I would feel I have the time to sit and browse through pictures. I use Google to search images whenever I need a picture, so I guess Pinterest could just be another source for that. I tried using Flickr as another Google when I first learned about it but that didn’t last long. I can see Pinterest being a similar story but it does have so many beautiful pictures. I’m the type of person who would just search and never upload though. I wouldn’t be much of a contributing member.
This is going to end up being a long post, and I apologize for that, but our Presenter tonight talked about professional development and all the sites you can visit to learn about new things. I really enjoyed all the resources he showed us and learning about how we can access professional development quick and easy. However, I personally don’t think I have the time or the patience to sit in front of the computer any more than I already have to. I feel like I can’t keep up with everything I have to do on the computer for school. Whether it’s homework, checking e-mails or URcourses, researching, blogging, reading and commenting on others blogs or whatever else, I feel like I’m constantly in front of this screen and I don’t really enjoy it. I prefer seeing my presenter’s face and hearing their voice live. I would rather hear people laugh than reading “haha” or “lol”. I would rather see other people nodding their heads with me when we hear something we like as opposed to nodding alone and reading “that’s awesome” on the screen. I can’t argue this whole online learning thing too hard though, because I have learned so many wonderful things through my online computer class, that I can’t even begin to say that online professional development won’t be useful for me. If I didn’t take this class I wouldn’t know about so many of the valuable resources that are out there. I really like the idea of learning even more about technology from others, so I hope that once I’m done university and hopefully not spending what feels like every spare moment I have in front of my computer, I will be more excited about joining in on a conference or following more educational blogs. But for right now, I just need to keep up on my homework and get through the next 5 weeks!
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This week in ECMP 455, we had some more presentations where my classmates teach us something. This week I learned about a great new resource I hadn’t heard of before, and I love learning about new resources!!
My one classmate Mark Siemens presented to us on the Discovery Education website. There are so many interesting ways you can use this site. It’s awesome for doing science lessons with your students, and what I like most is it’s incorporating technology into their learning. It let’s you see things and makes learning more interesting than using a textbook or something like that! I can definitely see myself using this in my future classroom!
What have you use the Discovery Education site for in your classroom?
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The two classes I am working with for my virtual internship are from Middleton, WI and Crozet, VA. Since we seem to talk about the weather a lot in Canada, I have been asked the temperature a couple of times and I never know what the conversion is from celsius to farenheit. Hence, the reason for posting this picture!
Also, this is my attempt at piecing together a map that shows where my two classes live and where I live
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On Monday night I did something I have never done before. I signed myself up to be the very first one in the class to present. I was extremely nervous, but afterwards I was so relieved to have it out of the way. Not that it was a huge stressful assignment, I enjoyed preparing for it, but it’s just something about checking a presentation off the list that makes a person feel great!
I did my presentation on podcasts. I showed the following sites/resources to my classmates:
- PodOmatic is a site that allows students to record a podcast, save it, and easily upload it directly to a blog or other social networking site. There are no downloads necessary and it is completely free. Anywhere you have access to the internet you have access to PodOmatic!
- Audacity is a program you can download on your computer for students to record a podcast. It is free and works on a PC as well as a mac. It has a few effects students can play with to make their recording unique and fun.
- Mixcraft is a program for a PC that is similar to garage band. Unfortunately, it is not a free download. You can experiment with the trial to see if you like it, but eventually you do need to pay for it. Students can make fun music clips for their podcasts or just for fun.
- Soundcloud is a site where you can upload podcasts created through another program, such as Audacity or Mixcraft. Once your files are uploaded, you can then share them to a social networking site, like WordPress.
I think podcasts are great for the classroom because it allows students to express their work in a different way. It meets different learning styles and can help students understand their learning. We all know students these days learn better when technology is incorporated into the lessons, so using podcasts is just another way to do this. It gives students some freedom and allows them to be creative with their work and have a voice. Podcasting can be used to communicate, collaborate, and share just to name a few. I realize getting podcasting into your classroom can take a big of time and work, but I guarantee your students will have fun with it and you will see positive benefits from it.
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