Reading Response

Web 2.0 Tools

After browsing through the list of tools provided, I found various tools that other classmates had used via their blogs.  I remember Kourtney using Jing, and she had difficulties with it.  My experience with Voki was not the best either.  I am unsure if it was because I am using a Mac or I was not using it correctly.  Either way, I will not be using Voki in my classroom due to the amount of problems I and other classmates had uploading a voice recording. I really enjoy using Bitstrips. They are fun and creative. However, I have a difficult time thinking on how to incorporate it into the classroom, other than using it to create social stories and expectations with humour.  Yammer was a tool I was not familiar with.  After researching it, I decided that I would not use this tool either.  It is strictly for Microsoft programs.  It is also another social network site.  I do not want to bring in too many social network sites for students to use.  I would rather give them an option like Twitter, that they are already familiar with.

That being said, I am unsure about Twitter in the classroom.  I love how we used it in this course for the sasked chat.  This is how I could see myself incorporating Twitter into the classroom. Its uses are limited in my opinion.  Photo story 3 has limited uses too.  It is a Microsoft program, not every student has a Microsoft device.  A lot of Microsoft technology is not compatible with Apples devices.  For this reason, I am on the fence.  Kid blog has some great uses.  I would like to use it in the classroom.  I am unsure of it though.  With there being offenders that are drawn to children, I do not want to feel as though I am putting them in harms way.  Creating private blogs defeats the purpose of sharing information with classmates.  For this reason, I would stick with something more secure like Google Docs, because a Google Doc can be shared with the class privately and you are able to add people into your group.

There are a large number of tools I will use in the classroom.  Screen-Cast-O-Matic was fun and easy to use.  It was a great way of presenting information as well as giving a demonstration of how to correctly use a tool.  Pinterest will be incorporated.  It has countless ideas and resources for any type of project our students would like to create.  Prezi, Pow Toons, Lego Movie Maker, and Perfect Video are all great ways to present a final project and document a students learning experience.  These tools are fun to use and engaging.  I believe they will keep students interested and actively engaged.  For students that are needing a more in depth explanation of something or if they have forgotten their textbook that day, I found a variety of tools that would be useful: Math Drills Lite, Visual Anatomy Lite, Simple Physics, Piano Dust Buster, Study Blue, and Flip Cards (language).  All of these tools can help aid a students development and comprehension.  One of my favourite tools is, Intro to Letters by Montessorium.  My daughter uses this app a lot! She is in pre-k and surprised me on Saturday by telling me the time and reading a few words.  I was unaware how well she could read.  This app has drastically improved her reading and writing.  For a pre-k or Kindergarten class, I would definitely use this tool.

Strictly for a teachers use, I have a few great tools too.  Effective Teaching is designed to give teachers ideas. about getting to know your students, classroom management, setting up rules, and so much more.  It is a paid app, $1.19.  I have already invested in this app, and I am enjoying browsing through it.  The Teaching Strategies app comes in various editions.  Each addition has something new to offer.  Each app costs $2.29.  I have purchased the second edition app.  In this app it discusses children with exceptionalities and how to modify the classroom to fit their needs.  It is well worth the money.

Blooms Digital Taxonomy

Knowledge is the foundation for our students learning. We must teach in context. Make what we are teaching applicable to their daily lives. It is easier to remember information when we can relate it to something personal.  Teaching effective thinking strategies will also set students up for success. Once thinking skills have been learnt, this skill will be used for their entire lives (hopefully).

There is no right or wrong way to learn. Everyone learns differently and at their own pace. Remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating are the basic necessities for learning. I do not believe there is a correct order to use these strategies in learning. Learning is diverse and complex

Incorporating technology into Blooms Taxonomy seems to be as simple as incorporating it into a technology free classroom. Scaffolding children with technology use is very similar to scaffolding other areas. Using online journals to reflect can help students see their area of weakness and strength. It is no different to self evaluation on paper, just using different tools to meet outcomes.

The one major benefit to using technology is having countless resources at an accessible level. Students are able to create bookmarks and favourite sites. This is easier than checking out library books, with a time limit, and lots of book marking. Technology certainly has its uses in the classroom, but face to face interaction is much more important than using as much technology as we can. Let’s put relationships first, then technology.

10 Terrific Ways to Use One iPad or iPhone in the Classroom

I really enjoyed this article.  It helped me to see that we do not need a classroom full of devices.  We, as a class, can work together on a single device.  I had wondered how to make all of this applicable, when you know not every student will have access to a device.

This article gives many great suggestions on how to use on iPad or smartphone in the classroom.  At the start of the article there are tips given on how to connect your iPad or smartphone to a smart board or projector.  This helps to eliminate confusion when setting this up in your classroom.

The author mentions different apps that can be used in the classroom.  However, she is upfront and honest that you may want to test the apps to make sure they function correctly before teaching a lesson with them.  I liked this.  It’s not too often that you hear the honest, negative aspect of teaching with technology.  I feel as though everyone wants to make technology look so good and don’t want to address the concerns of using it.

Using the Lego movie maker is something I could see myself using in the classroom for a presentation option.  It is fun and caters to the students interest (who doesn’t like lego!)  I even want to play around on this app!

Creating your own e-book is also a fantastic way to get students involved in the writing process.  I think this would be a great tool to use to get students excited to participate in story writing.  Not only does it incorporate technology, but it also works as cross curricular in ELA.  This is something i definitely see myself using too.

By creating a photography session or a green screen session, we can incorporate technology into other areas of study too.  It can help us learn about our fellow students when creating an About Me book, or when studying other countries.  I would use the green screen to create a travel unit, along with google earth.  I would have the students virtually travel the globe and have them create a journal with all the places they visit.

For once, I fell at ease incorporating technology into the classroom.  I do not want my classroom to become paperless, but I love how interesting we can make projects with technology. It will bring the fun back into learning.

Bring your own device-A guide for schools

Web based tools have changed learning.  We need to keep up with the latest tools and trends so we can teach to our students interests.  Students have the world at their fingertips.  By shifting our focus to what interests our students, hopefully we can create engaged learners.

This article contained a lot of information.  It was great to see that BYOD is actually being researched.  Alberta classrooms have been recording what works and what doesn’t work with BYOD.  The main thing I noticed in the research was the ability to connect to the internet or knowing how to correctly use the device.  Technology can work fine one moment, and crash on you the next.  There are no guarantees.  This in itself, makes me skeptical of relying so heavily on technology.  What happens when a child’s device isn’t working properly?  What happens when the whole class can’t connect to the internet?  Then what? Your whole lesson was based on using these devices and now its all out the window.  We are putting too much faith into technology.

Section 3 discusses “School Authority Policy Considerations.”  The section talks of responsability and consequences. Many of the rules are adapted from the classroom level to fit the devices.  Cyber bullying is also mentioned.  It is a responsability to report it, even if you are not the bullied or bully.  There are consequences that are put in place too.  Not only do they educate the students on the negative effects of cyber bullying, but also the parents.  I love that!

Creating a digital culture allows for countless opportunities.  Students are able to communicate with people around the globe.  They are able to explore new things and add to their interests.  Our students are able to gain better understanding of local and world problems.  They may even have solutions for these problems.  Students voices need to be heard, and what better way to do that by allowing them to voice their opinions (respectfully) on a social media site, a forum, or a blog.

Why bother with #BYOD?

I do not think BYOD should be mandatory.  There are many children that come from less well off families that do not own a device.  By making it mandatory we may stress a child out because they a worried about not being able to participate.  Also,  it may push more children to stealing devices.  No child wants to feel left out or as though they are inadequate.  Some teachers may be able to provide devices for students to use, but not every classroom or school will qualify for the funding needed.

Having accessible devices creates a easy route to research information or put together a project.  Researching on the internet is more convienent than looking through a stack of books in a library and lugging them home.

I’m having a hard time wondering how to incorporate the curriculum, homework and assignments into a setting where not every child has access to a device.  It seems highly unfair.  If we can assure that everyone has a device thenI have no problem using these techniques.  Sadly, this won’t be the case.

Online learning is a fantastic way to go.  As I have mentioned before though, there is a much higher principle to writing on paper.  Using a pen and paper allows a child to learn fine and gross motor skills.  Typing does too, but not on the same level.  Handwriting is an art; soon it will be a lost art.

“It becomes addictive.”  This worries me.  We are already seeing so many children walking around glued to the screen of the device in their hands.  Technology is addictive.  There have been many times where I have picked up my cell phone with the intention to check the time, and some how ended up on Facebook.  I hate it!  Technology addiction is rewiring the way our brains function.  It is just as addictive, if not more, than other substances.  Using Twitter in a constructive manor to share with other teachers or seek help is fine, but there need to be some limits put in place for technology use.

I want to create students with higher levels of thinking.  I want my students to critique and analyze all the information the are presented with.  What I do not want is my students to regurgitate information they read online.  I do not want them to choose the first piece of information they come across online and agree with it because they would rather be on Facebook or playing Candy Crush.  I want to see my students best work, not their best copied work.

Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behaviour online that you follow in real life

In cyberspace the chances of being caught doing something irresponsible or illegal are not slim.  The internet is a tricky place to be.  For the most part our privacy is protected.  However, if you read the small print and read the terms you are agreeing to, you are not as protected as you think.  There are thousands of people constantly attempting to hack peoples personal accounts.  These personal accounts contain enough information that stealing someone’s identity is a lot easier than it used to be. Being safe online isn’t as easy as it appears.

Being ethical and using the correct etiquette in our day to day lives is something that needs to be practiced.  Many people do not carry these values with them anymore; they seem to be a lost art.  This is my opinion only.  Netiquette, is just as important.  Posting criminal behaviour online will follow you for the rest of your life.  Being rude and condescending online will never be forgotten.

I’m sure there are moments in each of our lives that we wish could be erased or forgotten.  Think about those moments for a second.  Now imagine that you had posted those events online somewhere.  Do you think that will ever go away? No.  It wont.  It is there forever. Permanently! The internet never forgets!  I think my mother does a better job at forgetting than the internet does.  Anything you put online becomes your digital footprint.  Think before you speak and type.  Remember that there are other people sitting behind the screen, and they have feelings too.  Treat others how you wish to be treated.  Be respectful to everyone.  Regardless of their opinions or views.  Be ethical!

Rule 6: Share expert knowledge

Sharing knowledge online is probably one of the biggest things happening with technology right now.  Many people seem torn between whether to believe what is posted on the internet or not. The world is in a state of crisis right now.  Perhaps I believe this to be true because I read about countless conspiracy theories. The internet is a great way to share what is happening in your region with someone across the globe.  We have so much research at our finger tips.

I am part of many online forums where questions can be asked or research is debated.  I love these forums!  Not only do they extend on the knowledge I already have inside of me, but the also allow me to see other peoples points of view.  The forums keep me thinking and questioning what is happening in the world.  Sometimes they make me nervous about where the world is headed, other times they restore my faith in humanity. Sharing is a wonderful tool.

Although, there are some negative aspects of sharing information from the internet.  If you are not careful and do not know how to check for credible sources, you may be sharing misinformation.  Always, check your sources before you repost, share, or tweet.  With all the information we have access to, we need to be sure that our information is accurate.

Being able to share online has created many avenues for people, who prior were limited to involvement, with certain agencies.  I have always dreamed about working with Greenpeace.  Now, I am able to share what they are working on, join their online groups, sign and share petitions, and leave my feedback or comments on what I’d like to see change in the world. lego_Ottawa_Protest_SML

Make your digital footprint worth something when sharing knowledge.  Do your research, and be accepting of others.

How to use Social Media in Education (Part 2 of 2)

By using social media in the classroom we can engage our students on a higher level.  Catering to their interests when teaching is essential. We must teach how they learn. Every student knows how to use You Tube. Using You Tube in the classroom gives students an opportunity to refine and look back on what they have heard or seen.  There is no rewinding a live lecture to clarify what was said. Not only does this save time, but it eliminates the embarrassment of not knowing what was said. By recording our lessons and posting them on You Tube we can ensure that no student is being left behind because they are unable to make it to school one day. We can install confidence that they will still be successful.

“When people are accountable for their actions, they are more likely to behave well and treat others with respect.” This really stood out to me. By teaching our students what they put on Facebook can damage their reputation, we can install into them that thinking before doing can be very useful.  Not only on social media sites, but when you are having a discussion or heated argument too. It teaches impulse control. It is possible that we could also eliminate cyber bullying by implementing this.

I am not a fan of the hash tag generation. However, the way that it is explained in this article (using hash tag the intended way), it can be very useful when researching specific subjects or chat groups. It allows us to focus in on what we want to know and connect globally with other teachers or students. Instagram is the one social media site I would not use in the classroom. While this article makes valid points about critical thinking and posting pictures of field trips, all these aspects can be done on other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Having seen first hand what people use Instagram for, I do not think it is appropriate for the classroom. It would be just my luck that a half naked girl, twerking would appear somewhere.

I have never heard of Kahn Academy. I think this resource may be the most beneficial of all.  When a student is absent or having difficulty understanding a subject, all they need to do is long on and search for what they need. Teachers schedules are already jam packed.  By providing students with this extra resource they wont need to wait till the next day of school to ask the teacher a question, they can do it there and then. I hate stopping in the middle of a project because I need clarification. I’ll be using this resource in the future!

Twitter Makes Me a Better Educator

I am not going to lie, I am sceptical of twitter.  I find Facebook to be just as informative, and more personal.  The idea that we can learn from each other is fantastic.  There is a tonne of information out there and by following certain pages or using social media like twitter, we can share everything we come across.

I enjoy sharing resources on topics that interest me.  I love seeing other peoples opinions on subjects and how they differ from mine.  It is eye opening, because sometimes I did not see a certain point of view prior. I love a healthy debate. I find that social media sites are where this occurs. With all the hype about social media, it is creating global awareness. The world is the more connected than it has ever been.  I can talk to people from the other side of the world.  We can work together on changing what is happening. It keeps us up to date on current trends and provides countless amounts of information.

“Twitter also helps me understand who I am as an educator.” I can’t say this about twitter just yet, but other social media sites have taught me who I truly am. It has taught me what I value most, what my interests are, and even about my personality. One thing I have learnt though, is not to be consumed by how many likes or shares you received, and not to let other peoples negativity bother you. It is not a popularity contest.

Social Media Tips for Educators

Social media is a great way for finding information.  Many news stories and trends are posted on social media sites.  By allowing our students access to social media in the classroom we can promote healthy debates on various topics.  I read about many subjects.  Facebook has a wide variety of pages you can follow and receive both sides of arguments.  While Facebook is not considered a credible source, it allows us to think critically about what the people have to say rather than going off the information the government is feeding us.

We live in a technology driven society.  Allowing social media into the classroom would be extremely easy.  However, monitoring what your students are doing on social media sites is where the issue is.  My concern would be, they are not doing the research they are supposed to.  Modelling the correct behaviour can eliminate some of this behaviour but not all.  There will always be that one student that would rather chat with a friend on social media instead of researching.

That being said, giving up control of the situation may push the students to be more in control of what they are doing; teaching independence at the same time.  If they do not have a teacher breathing down their neck telling them you must be doing this or that, it teaches the student how to manage their time wisely.  Whether they participate then or later, the assignment still needs to be done.

Social media has plenty to teach us all. The possibilities are endless. By promoting self-interest research we can make learning fun and more applicable. I know I learn best when I’m learning about something that truly speaks to me.

What do Schools Risk by Going Full Google?

Although I grew up in a time where technology was beginning to take off, I do not like this idea of “a paperless classroom.”  Yes it will help the environment: less printing inked used, less trees being cut down, and so on.  Have we ever stopped to think that we may be taking technology too far? I am the type of person that needs a book in my hands, a pen clasped by my fingers, and paper to write on.  Sitting at a computer all day is not good for your eyes, posture, or your wrists. Yes there are measures to take while using computers, but I find even after a short amount of time on a computer my back begins to ache and my head is throbbing. Children spend enough time as it is starring at screens: TVs, iPads, cell phones, game consoles.  Do we really need children spending an extra eight hours a day looking at a screen because we want a paperless classroom?

Instead of looking for ways that school can go “full Google” we should be looking for ways to get kids more active or involved in outdoor activities.  Why should we go “full Google” when we should be going full ORGANIC?  We should be planting gardens at schools, teaching our students how to plant and grow food.  We should be teaching them that we need to stay active, not look at a screen for a little longer.  How far are we willing to take the advancement of technology?  Too far in my opinion.

9 Things Every Student Should be Able to do in Google Drive.

This article reminds me of what we are currently doing in this online class, but with a couple extras.  I am new to Google Docs. I will not claim I am technology inclined or that I understand everything about technology.  What I do know is that as long as my computer is not crashing on me, technology and I seem to have a great understanding of each other.  I’m sure if I decided to use Google Docs this second I could find my way around very quickly without a tutorial.  The students we will be teaching will be able to do the exact same thing.

We are living in a world filled with technology and for them it is second nature.  Implementing Google Docs in the classroom does not seem as though it will be a difficult challenge.  Most schools already have computers in the classroom or a computer lab.  Google Docs is a newer more updated version of Microsoft Word, with a few added features.

32 Ways to use Google Apps in the Classroom-Presentation.

Google has many benefits.  Creating Google documents is probably one of the easiest ways to keep a students work organized and all in one place.  Although keeping journals in a online document seems easier than lugging around various books, there is still a much higher principle about writing on paper.

Google is a great way to plan lessons and share them easily with teachers across the globe or to track a students progress in a online document.  My only concern with this type of documentation is, what if your computer crashes?  Then what?  I have been the victim, as I am sure many have, of my computer  crashing at the most inconvenient time and losing all my work, pictures, videos, etc.  Maybe I should have invested in the portable hard drive when the thought had occurred to me.

Regardless of the negatives, technology is advancing and we need to stay on top of it.  Creating spreadsheets, assessment charts, and flash cards in a Google document seems to be the latest thing.  I see these options being used in Miss Bears pre-k class.  Report cards, observation, and so much more is being done on computers.  It is a faster more efficient way of doing the task at hand.

I have a friend that works as an administrator for a local business.  She talks about the spread sheets used and surveys for customer service feedback.  I was unaware of Google Calendar until she made the point that this is how doctors offices, hospitals, and all other businesses track appointments and meetings.

As a young girl, I remember having a school project to write to a pen pal from another country.  With todays technology all we have to do is send an e mail.  No more writing long letters where you feel like your hand may fall off.  This also makes it easier for us, as teachers, to communicate with parents on a more convenient level.  Almost everyone carries a hand held device making communication easier.

I am new to the online class world. However, I know of people that have been skyping into classroom and conferences. Not only is this more convenient, but it broadens the possibilities for who you can invite as a speaker.  I have family all over the world and without video chats I would be limited to my contact with them.

I am seeing more teachers create  personal pages for their students and students families online.  Google documents aren’t necessarily the way they are going, but Facebook pages or private twitter accounts are being utilized in a similar fashion.  Our own Bachelor of Education class created a Facebook group to discuss upcoming assignments as well as, making us feel like we belong.

5 Online Learning Trends Worth Knowing About.

I feel as though technology is advancing so fast.  Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the latest updates, gadgets, and tools.  Having attended a technology comprehensive school, I grew up using technology in the classroom.  I love how flexible technology has made learning.

If it was not for online courses, I would not be sitting here writing this today.  It astounds me that we can now learn online from the comfort of our own homes.  We no longer have to move hundreds of miles away from our families to attend university.  It’s fantastic! It gives students the opportunity to go at their own pace and work on assignments at a time that is convenient for them. Everything can be accessed from computers.  The possibilities are endless. I like the idea that a child does not have to give up their summer holidays to attend summer school anymore, because they can do it all on their computers at home. 

I see so many little children using technology.  I take Miss Bear to after school clubs and Mr Bug, who is 2, knows how to use my cell phone and play games on it, or get onto Netflix.  It’s mind blowing.  I would have never imagined that my children would be able to use technology at such a young age.  There are so many educational games for children on our portable devices that it is becoming routine for them.

However, I have always been someone that enjoys holding  a book in my hands rather than looking at a screen to read a fiction book or textbook.  It’s a great idea though.  Electronic books means less paper and ink being used, which is good news for the environment. As for monitoring and evaluating students online, this is something new to me but I am excited to learn more about it.  I’m positive it will be something I use in the very near future.

The A to Z Guide To Top Online Learning Trends.

I enjoy that it is so easy to access things now without having to go to the library to look it up.  Google has saved many of us at one time or another.  I always hear people saying (myself included), “there is an app for that.” Technology is fantastic when we are using it correctly. Like anything, when used wrong it can be damaging. Cyberbullying has taken off.  This is the one big thing that annoys me about technology. It is difficult to stop because of privacy issues with certain sites like Facebook and Twitter.

All the acronyms that are floating around in cyber space makes me feel as though our society is being dumbed down.  Things like YOLO, BAE, or  # really are annoying.  At this rate we will have a society filled with people that can no longer speak proper English, let alone spell. Technology is great for many reasons, but lets not ruin it by allowing ourselves to be dumbed down in the process.  Spell words in full, treat others how you wish to be treated, and for the love of God please stop with the #! LOL

7 thoughts on “Reading Response

  1. I am enjoying your writing. At some points I wondered if you are an English major as you have great perspectives, great voice and attack ideas from a variety of angles. I look forward to more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha it sounds like we hold a lot of the same values. It’s great to voice our opinions, and I admire yours. I think you will be a great teacher, and make a tremendous contribution to your students lives.


    1. With the technology world we live in, every student will have come across you tube, whether it be in the classroom, at home, a friends house, the library or anywhere else. Technology usage is not limited. If it’s not in the home, it’s in the community.

      Liked by 1 person

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