I had a hard time deciding what to do for my project. I struggled between wanting to learn something new for myself or a digital project that involves the integration of social media in my teaching practice. I brainstormed some different ideas:
Self: guitar, knitting, tarot card reading, energies of crystals
Digital: app, classroom blogging, podcast
I thought about the different ideas of something significant that I wanted to learn and then share my learning with everyone. I took guitar lessons when I was younger with little success. As an adult would I be able to strum some chords together? I consider myself to be musically inclined and thought this might not be worth my time and effort. Knitting was my other thought, but I am not that interested in knitting and I would lose interest very easily. I am drawn to tarot card reading. Tarot cards have piqued my interest in the last couple of years. I did some research on how to begin this process. After many google searches and reading up on the how-to, I feel I am not at the stage to begin this journey as it is a long one and not something you can just decide to do as it deals with tapping into your inner energy.
I then turned my direction to a digital project that I could do with my students. I have very eager students this year and thought this could be fun. An app or blogging did not actually interest me. I love listening to True Crime podcasts when I’m driving or getting ready for work in the morning (weird morning ritual I know). I think it is finding the answers to the events that I like. However, True Crime is not the best genre to work with students. The genre is something I need to figure out on the way with exploring podcasts with my class.
My first step was I sent out a tweet asking for good classroom podcasts. I received a few replies so I looked into them. I also spoke with a colleague about podcasts and she told me I should talk to our school librarian because she was doing some work with students using podcasts. Jara suggested some of the same podcasts that were recommended on Twitter.
I still have some planning and figuring out what this will look like before I jump into it with my students. I am hoping to begin the project in October and things run fairly smoothly.
It is the start of a new semester of learning. I took a course last year Foundations of EdTech and walked away with new knowledge of technology. I am far from being tech-savvy, but it was fun using the new tools I was given with my class. I begin this class on a new journey to engage with Social Media and Open Education. I am excited to implement my new learning in my classroom.
In our first-class Alec had us try a site called Blooket. It is a classroom review game. I had so much fun playing and stealing others’ gold! I also like that there are different game modes that you can try so it does not always have to be the same. I gave Blooket a try today with my students; they loved it! I created my own Blooket which was All About Me to see what they remembered when I introduced myself on the first day of school. They loved the pace of the game, stealing and getting gold from the treasure chests.
When I think of my relationship with social media I wouild check the “it’s complicated “box. I am a social media looker rather than a poster so I suppose I would be considered a lurker by some.
I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Discord (school purpose) and TikTok. However I do not regualrly post on these different platforms. I hate to say I spend way too much time scrolling and looking at other people’s lives through their posts. I will comment on birthday posts or other positive thoughts or feelings and of course pictures get a “like”. I also use some of the platforms for news updates since I do not have cable television.
When social media platforms began I used Myspace quiet often and then switched to Facebook in 2004. I laugh at memories on my Facebook account that pop up such as the weather …lol did people really need to know that!
The question I ask myself is why don’t I post often? I think the answer to this is I am more of an introvert, I don’t like to share my thoughts and feelings or negative topics, like to keep my personal life private, and fear of judgement and/or fear of offending someone. The platform I use the most is Snapchat but I rarely post stories. The reason is I hate pictures of myself. We are now in a world of selfies and they just are not for me unless it is a good filter then I am more opt to post it.
I worry about the digital identity or footprint I am leaving and how this could affect my personal life and professional life. In the article (Digital) Identity in a world that No Longer Forgets by Katia Hildebrants and Alec Couros (2015) discusses “how past trangressions dragged into the spotlight” can not only ruin you personally but also professionally. In the news this commonly happens where people in the spotlight such as politicians and/or celebreties are faced with when past posts, documented pictures or videos are brought to light dimishing their character. I think of the #Metoo movement and Black Lives Matter movement and how their past transgressions were brought to light.
Social media is not going away it will only get bigger. People want to feel that connection with family, friends and like minded people. Lynette stated in our group when discussing the history of social media that without these platforms people often feel they are missing out or have the pressure to engage in it.
I hope that throughout this course I can see ways to use social media such as Twitter in my classroom in a positive light and not be so worried about judgement from others. There is so much negativity about social media such as trolls, privacy, fake news, and false sense of reality to name a few. that I would like to see it positively. I think as educators when COVID began we learned very quickly that technonolgy and social media platforms became important in educating our students.
It is the start of a new semester of learning. I took a course last year Foundations of EdTech and walked away with new knowledge of technology. I am far from being tech savvy but it was fun using the new tools I was given with my class. I begin this class on a new journey to engage with Social Media and Open Education. I am excited to impliment my new learning in my classroom.
In our first class Alec had us try a site called Blooket. It is a classroom review game. I had so much fun playing and stealing others’ gold! I also like that there are different game modes that you can try so it doesn’t always have to be the same. I gave Blooket a try today with my students and they loved it! I created my own Blooket which was All About Me to see what they remembered when I introduced myself on the first day of school. They loved the pace of the game, stealing and getting gold from the treasure chests.
Time flew by in this course. I am so thankful I got to spend the last few months learning about Educational Technology . The group presentations taught me so much and opened many doors of digital possibilities to myself. I was never confident in my use of technology. After learning through this course my confidence has improved. Even though I am judging my Summary of Learning Presentation, I never thought I could figure out how to do any of this without the learning that took place from Alec and my classmates.
I was very excited to have the opportunity to present on this topic. I believe in giving students tools to help make them become successful learners. My classroom background and knowledge of different tools I have used with my students to help their learning gave me confidence in our presentation. Thank you to Megan, Leigh and Kalyn you ladies rocked and made this group experience a positive one!
According to understood.org, assistive technology is, “… any device, software, or equipment that helps people work around their challenges”. When the word Assistive Technology is used thoughts go to devices such as computers. With the 3 Sections, as described in the presentation, we all realize we use more Assistive Technology than we think. Low tech assistive technology is the most common one we find when we look at our classrooms. Mid tech assistive technology is the least common form of technology and are often battery operated devices. High tech assistive technology is the kind we “plug in” and is the most intense and expensive form of technology.
Low Tech in My Classroom
Low tech devices are the most common. Teachers use them everyday without even thinking about how it aids in our students learning. These are some example of low tech devices in my classroom or things I have used.
Adaptive Paper (raised lines)
noise reduction headphones
The most surprising low tech device I used for a student that had a huge impact was an erasable pen! I had a student who was on the spectrum and ADHD. He would go through 3-5 pencils a day. He would obsessively sharpen his pencil to be at the right point. Therefore he was not completing his work because his mind was focused on the pencil. I tried things with him such as taking his sharpener away or sharpening his pencil for him but this was not handled well and would cause other problems for him. I then decided to take all the pencils away and gave him an erasable pen. At first he was reluctant but only took a day to buy into it. His biggest concern was doing math in pen because I said “we do math in pencil so we can fix our mistakes”. I showed him that this pen was special because he could erase if he needed to. He used the pen for the rest of the year and was getting all his work completed. At the end of the school year he was worried that his new teacher would not let him write with his erasable pens. I had the new teacher come talk to him and let him know that it was allowed and he would have some for him the next school year.
Mid Tech in My Classroom
Mid tech devices are the least common and I had a hard time finding any so my list is very short. I have a student with auditory processing disorder, so I use the FM System everyday. I feel this device is beneficial to myself as well as my other students.
FM System (can be mid or high tech)
adapted chairs- rockers, wiggle cushions
Auditory Books (RAZ Kids)
High Tech in My Classroom
High tech devices are the “plug-in” or electric devices. I have two students that have designated laptops to meet their learning needs. They use software such as Google Read & Write to help them engage in the class work.
text to speech
speech to text
I am sure I am missing a lot of things that I could have added. Assistive Technology has an extensive list of devices or tools to help students in different educational areas such as communication, organizing, memory, reading, writing, and math. It is important to work alongside your school team in creating an IIP and or completing SETT forms to ensure the proper Assistive Technology device is chosen for your students. The device is meant to compensate for the disability, allowing the student to perform at a higher level of functioning in the classroom.
Challenges of Assistive Technology
training to use the technology
In my experience of using Assistive Technology there have been challenges and barriers. The biggest challenge for me was I received no training of how to use the technology assigned to students. Low tech is easy to figure out but when a student is given a high tech device with specialized programs I was left to figure it out. There were times when I abandoned using the devices or did not successfully implement the AT. I often felt I didn’t have the time to figure it out. We are a team and we need to work together to over come these challenges and making learning for our students accessible.
In conclusion, when deciding on Assistive technology the device you are choosing is meant to compensate for the disability, allowing the student to perform at a higher level of functioning in the classroom. Assistive technology can be used to benefit an entire class, whether all of the individuals in the class have a disability or not.
Kayln found this video for our presentation and the full video in available in our Wakelet. This is a clip from You Can’t Ask That. We were going to use it in our presentation but due to time we decided not to. The girl in the video clip is Maria Bangash and I think her message is very strong. The question asked: If you could change anything what would it be?
This week the group presented on using Assessment Technologies. Dalton, Matt and Trevor were very informative and gave great information at how we can look at assessments differently. I also have to say their acting skills were very humorous but the scenarios they acted out were very real. I like to do project based learning, worksheet evaluation and written tests. In the article Assessment and Technology: Mapping Future Directions in the Early Childhood Classroom it discuss the importance of assessments teachers use and that providing the right assessment helps to create positive learning experiences and academic success of students. It plays an important role in the teaching-learning process and all teachers engage in it. We use it to track our students knowledge and understanding of the subject area we are assessing. Giving assessment is a societal norm and expectation. I feel moving away from paper and pencil for testing will take some getting used to as it is a change and not everyone is eager to see things in a new way. I am excited to move away from the traditional assessment format and into technology based assessments.
I have in the past and recently used Kahoot but never as an actual assessment tool. I used it for review prior to written tests or just for fun. I never really looked into how I could use it as an assessment tool. I saw another teacher using it and thought that looks fun. I did not take the time or effort to look at with its full potential.
When I think of using Kahoot in my classroom these two images fit what I have seen in my class. First of all when you let students pick their own names it seems like they just won a prize and ciaos erupts! In allowing this however it makes it difficult to track your students and who knows the information. Secondly, Kahoot becomes a huge competition and student placement can often deter some students. I have had students say I got them all right why am I in last place. It takes away from them seeing their success and knowledge. They only see themselves as a failure. The pressure is added and the time or countdown can cause panic or anxiety in some of the students. The class gets very loud as kids are often cheering. I have now learned that if I am using this as review or for assessment I need to take the time limit off and do it individualized. On the Formative Assessment Comparison Guide Kahoot is a teacher driven assessment and data can be exported as a spreadsheet file.
This week I planned on using Quizizz. We had a chance to test it out in Dalton, Matt and Trevor’s presentation. I really liked it and thought this would be a good choice and my students could compare Kahoot and Quizizz. We have been listening to a story called Fish in a Tree (great story) as a read aloud everyday after lunch so I set up a Quizizz on the novel and called it a Check In. Setting it up was super easy and free. I found an already made quiz with the exact questions that corresponded with what we have listened to so far. That was an added bonus and less work for me. The challenge was I could not access a computer cart for the students last week to use. Not every students has a device at school so that wasn’t an option. COVID once again interfered because we couldn’t share devices either. This week I booked computers for Thursday. I could not complete my blog post on time so I was feeling panic.
I found lots of pros in using this tool. It was very easy for students to logon. There wasn’t the stress of a timer counting down as students were working at their own pace. You can customize the feedback students see after each question on the quiz. I like the flashcard option and live dashboard to see where students mastered or struggled. I also like that you can see how much time each question took. The other bonus is it can be integrated into Google Classroom.
My students said they liked it better than Kahoot because it was quieter and they did not have to be the fastest. I think the pressure was off allowing them to feel more successful. They loved the power ups! They even asked me if they could write their social test using this tool. Quizizz offers different options such as Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blanks, Check Box, Open Ended, and Poll so I will definitely test it out!
Quizizz is formative assessment. The results of students scores provides immediate feedback to both students and teachers. Students can see where they struggle in material being taught and give them opportunity to improve. This is where the flashcard option is beneficial. You could use it as a pre and post assessment tool as well.
Thanks to the presentation on Assessment Technologies I have more options in the digital age!
I watched Netflix’s documentary The Social Dilemma when I first started this class. In fact I sent out a Tweet regarding it. I choose to do the second blog prompt and watched the documentary again. I find it very interesting in how social media influences us and can make predictions about us through algorithms. I find it very scary that your every move on social media platforms is tracked and analyzed. In the film they use the analogy of an Avatar Voodoo Doll Model to show how they grasp and keep your attention.
“Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse”—Sophocles
This quote is the first thing you see when the documentary begins. This quote reminds me of the Postman’s article Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change, just as stated by classmate Miera in her post, he states that for every great technology there are some tradeoffs. The use of social media when it first began was not intended to have negative affects on peoples well being. The social media tools were meant to create meaningful changes around the world. It was to provide people the ability to connect with families and friends who live far away, reunite loss family members, or even to find organ donors. When we look at it this way social media has created some wonderful things. The Social Dilemma explores the reality of these platforms and how they are being used differently than expected. The curse or tradeoff is the negativity this technology can bring to our daily lives.
This video lists the pros and cons regarding teenagers using social media. I tend to get persuaded to view things in a negative manner and need reminders that not everything is so bad. I feel the documentaries prime focus is on the negativity in the use of social media. This is why Digital Citizenship is a crucial topic to teach to our students today.
What’s the Problem?
Online connection has become the primary way younger generations communicate. Parents are just as connected to their phones and electronic devices just as much as their children. Families don’t take the time to put them away. As the family scenario in the documentary the family sits down for dinner and are told to put their phones away (locked in a container for one hour) and they would have a nice family dinner. They sit quietly because they don’t know what to do with out their phones. We as a society are losing the undistracted engagement of family time. When the phones start dinging it becomes a huge family problem.
There are 3 goals in social media:
Engagement: how to drive up usage
Growth: keep you coming back, keep you scrolling
Advertisement: make as much money possible
We have become the “puppets” of social media. The term addiction is used to describe our desire to attach ourselves to our digital devices. The notification alerts we receive throughout our day makes us want to look. It triggers our dopamine and demands our immediate attention. When we see the flash of the notification bar across the screen on our phone or hear the ding we immediately need to grab our phone and look. We struggle to ignore it. When you look at the amount of time spent on social media through the day and night it almost seems impossible. Do you think you could go and entire day without your phone or an entire week? It is difficult! I have forgotten my phone at home and have felt the anxiety of not knowing what I am missing. It is not missed phone calls it is missed Facebook Posts, Snapchat Stories, Instagram Posts, and emails. It does cause distress. Looking at posts gives us Positive Intermittent Reinforcement.
According to Dr. Johnathan Haidt the increase of depression, anxiety, and suicide has increased drastically in teenage girls. It has nearly tripled since 2010-2011. The pattern points to social media. Why?
Mental health vs. Social Media
The Social Dilemma documentary discusses how social media platforms use the psychology of persuasion. It is built into technology to to modify someone’s behaviour, self image, self worth, and the value of others perceptions of them. They were not developed to nurture children. People post status updates, pictures, their thought and emotions with hopes of getting attention from others. When the attention to these post are positive such as likes, heart emoji’s, and “you look beautiful” comments you walk away feeling great about yourself. The danger comes when your posts or pictures are not validated the way you hoped for, so not enough likes, hearts or nice comments. This can have dire effects to your self image and self worth. Consequences of this is self isolation, snapchat dysmorphia (filtered selfies), and disconnect.
This documentary touches on so many different topics and ideas that it is impossible to discuss everything. So I encourage you to sit down and watch it. Better yet put your devices away and watch with your family. You never know it may open your minds to a change!
Time is moving fast. How are we at the half way mark already? I am so thankful that I am in EC&I 833 and learning so many great tools for using technology in the classroom or if the dreaded chance that remote learning comes back into our teaching worlds. Honestly I would not be thrilled about it.
The week of March 16, 2020 will never be forgotten in my memory. The announcement was made that schools in Saskatchewan would be shutting down. I knew that the Coronavirus was causing closures in other provinces and in other countries but I live in Saskatchewan and nothing really “exciting” happens in the flat prairie land. We have freezing temperatures -40 and colder at times, buses get cancelled but schools never close. Most days when buses don’t run parents drive their children to school. That morning shortly after the announcement my son in high school called and asked if he could leave and go home since almost all students at school were going. I said “NO! you can finish the day”. By lunch that day I had parents coming to pick up their kids and I was told to send their school supplies home with them. I was shocked and thought it was CRAZY I couldn’t believe that school would actually be closed that long. After I realized this was a real thing happening and possibly what a terrible parent I was, I texted my son and told him he could leave school. By the end of the week there were no students left and we all had the same question (I assume) NOW WHAT?????
After a week of waiting and a Zoom meeting or two we were going to be teaching online/remotely. I have used google classrooms so I wasn’t really concerned with posting worksheets for my kids. I assumed all students would be able to access the material posted and they all could get on Google Classrooms. What I didn’t know was how to actually teach the lesson. I started finding videos on Youtube and Kahan Academy to help with math concepts. I used various online sites like Scholastic Action for Literacy and tried a Flipgrid book talk. I also had a Google Meet every Wednesday with my students. The first week or two I had many students involved with the online/remote teaching. I enjoyed Wednesdays and getting to check in with my students and see their wonderful faces. Over time this slowly dwindled and by June I had 3 students doing some of the work and attending the Google Meets. I was very disappointed as this is not how I pictured it would be. I spent hours trying the best way to teach my students with out direct contact. I understand some of the reasoning of students not participating but think that because grades were staying the same that people didn’t take it to the fullest. I missed my students and felt they were fine with out me, as the Google Meet room was almost empty, which broke my heart.
Now that I am enrolled in this course I would do so many things differently and expanded the tools I would use. The presentation this week on Tools for Distance Learning by Christina, Nancy, Amanda and Catherine gave me so much information and ideas for tools that I could uses if at any time I go back to online teaching. Where were you ladies in April when I needed you (hahaha)? Ladies, you did an amazing job explaining and demonstrating some of the tools and I will be keeping the resource sheet you shared close to me. The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast by Jennifer Gonzalez you shared was a good listen and helped me to put things into perspective. In Part 1 of the podcast she talked about head and heart. It reminded me that I did the best I could do for my students in a pandemic that was an unknown teaching/learning road to everyone.
I feel more confident in my abilities of teaching online/remotely. I have played around with some of the tools suggested such as edpuzzle, screencastify, and explain everything. I really liked explain everything and I am going to use it in a social studies lesson I have planned (fingers crossed it works). If it doesn’t I now have a large group of people I can reach out to if I need support with online tools and using them. Even though I love the face-to-face connection with my students I know I will be ok and they will be ok.
I am proficient at multi-tasking! Or am I? I like to believe I am a multi-tasker and often tell my son he needs to learn to multi-task as he will get more done. After watching the video Single-tasking is the New Multi-tasking. I realized how many times I do not complete the tasks I have started, or I am mindless to them. This weekend I clearly did not accomplish what I planned to do, finish or make the time frame I gave to myself to complete these tasks. I would just tell myself ok tomorrow I will finish this, but then I will start new tasks along with the one I wanted to finish. At the time I felt I got lots done however I just started a lot of tasks which were not completed.
My Multi-tasking on the Weekend
Friday Night– Things to do: Complete activity for group presentation
Read 3 articles for presentation
Work on presentation slides
Complete blog post
I began my night with making supper and unloading dishwasher while cooking and watching episode of Schitts Creek. I got all three tasks done but in reality the tv show was pure background as I can’t tell you what that episode was about. I did not get any of the cleaning done but I did get my activity done for my group project, read 2 articles and took some notes, and added some stuff on presentation slides while shopping on Amazon. I had many tabs open on my computer and these tasks took much longer than I planned. But I was multi-tasking.
Buy car (for my son)
Take recycling into Sarcan
Clean up yard for winter
Complete blog post
The only thing I accomplished was buying a car for my son. I did attempt to do all the other things on my list but none of them I actually completed. When we got home from getting my son his car (he was very excited), I got the recycling bags ready to go and then I put chairs away in backyard because my recycling is in backyard and I saw the chairs. I then came inside and moved somethings that were sitting on the table and put them away. My computer was sitting on the kitchen table so I decided to read an article that I started reading last night but did not finish. As I was reading the article I decided to look up easy painting projects for kids because I was looking at a painting on my wall and I realized I still didn’t pick out a painting I will be doing with my class. I had many things on the go and things I started but did not actually complete. At the time feel like I got lots done.
Again today I found myself doing numerous things and switching from one task to another. I did complete a couple tasks like meeting with group, getting winter clothing put in front closet (was not even on my list do list) but I am feeling the stress right now. I am currently writing my blog and this was to be done Friday night!!! I hope this will be on my completed list.
Sunday: Clean house
Meet with group on discord
Complete blog post
Finish putting away backyard
Research information for presentation
Some of you may think that what I was doing was not multitasking. According to Bhardwaj (2020) post, Pros And Cons Of Multitasking, “thinking of multitasking as simply “doing two difficult things at once” doesn’t tell the full story. Instead, there are three forms of multitasking you need to be aware of:
Multitasking (attempting to do two or more tasks simultaneously)
Context switching (switching back and forth between tasks)
Attention residue (performing a number of tasks in rapid succession)”
I am Doug the dog. Distraction affects me from completing tasks. Whether it is the sudden need to check social media or I see something I should do has an affect my home and teaching life. I start one task and then I see something and switch to that task. Then I start back to what I was originally doing. This does cause me STRESS!!! It takes me way longer to complete things because I do this. Therefore, I guess that answers my question of whether I am a proficient multi-tasker because I am not!
Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions?
The internet I believe goes both ways. It can be a productive tool. In the presentation last week we got to view and explore many great productivity suites and presentation tools available for the classroom as well as in the working world. When these tools are being used as intended the productivity has very positive advantages. In the post Advantages and disadvantages of modern technology in students life , there are many advantages of the internet. The internet makes learning easier and effective. Information is easily found on the internet and accessible, as well as prepares students for technology based future. Teachers can make learning more engaging and use new methods for teaching.
However, the internet becomes a distraction when things such as social media or mindless wandering on sites begins to happen. I feel we can all agree on this. We start with the best intentions when we go online but then the distraction appears. I know I get sidetracked when ads pop up on a site I am on or I click a link to view a different Youtube video that catches my eye. This is where time is often lost and we become less productive in our learning or work.
Has the Internet created a world of ‘multitaskers’ who don’t accomplish as much as they could have without it?
I believe the internet has created a world of ‘multitaskers’ who do not accomplish as much as they could have. We live in a distracted digital age where our phones are dinging or notifications are popping up, computer tabs keep piling up as we click on one thing to another. We start our day with the best intentions to complete ‘Our To Do Lists’ but these distractions are hard to ignore. I have forgotten my phone at home, or been in an area without good internet service and have felt complete panic. The panic stemmed from not being able to connect to people via social media. People have the fear of missing out (Fomo). I am guilty of this. I feel our attention is in a million different places that the actual task(s) to be done take longer because we are continually distracted and this brings on exhaustion and stress.
Ideas to become more productive online and offline
Put your phone away until task is complete.
Try Tab-free Thursday (as of right now I have 9 tabs open. Not all of them are related to this post! )
Make smaller to do lists and focus on only those tasks
Remember you often are the cause of the stress you feel in your life!