Author Archives: rfulmek

Edpuzzle.. You Won’t Stay Puzzled For Long!

The social media tool that I chose this week was Edpuzzle, as it is linked through Youtube, which we use consistently in my classroom. Each day, my students complete rotations, where tech is always one of them. Edpuzzle allows students to interact with each other and answer questions from Youtube videos to check their learning. Youtube has always been a vehicle for learning and Edpuzzle, has allowed students to expand upon their own learning, collaborate with one another, and be independent; taking control of their own learning.

Through professional development with Regina Public Schools, was when Edpuzzle became a conversation and sparked many discussions. I knew immediately I had to go back to my classroom and give it a try. Wow, I fell in love! It is super accessible for students and staff and can be utilized in any subject area. It allows students to have checkpoints in their learning and boosts engagement. I am already seeing great progress.

For the last week, we used Edpuzzle at least once a day, so I was able to observe my students. The positives outweighed the negatives, as the negatives were very limited. The positives include that it is very accessible, easy to use/navigate, links to Google Classroom (where all the student learning takes place in my space), has real-time responses, engaging, and prompts independence and student lead learning. The negatives I saw was it was more time-consuming for some students than others due to their reading abilities and their focus. It requires students to put their full focus on the video, so they are able to answer the questions. Another negative is if you get the question wrong, it does not prompt you to reanswer, it simply just skips to the next part of the video. I think this can cause problems, as students may begin guessing, knowing they can continue on in the video, even if it is wrong.

Examples of using Edpuzzle in different subjects.

Since Edpuzzle is educational, it had a great impact on the students! One day, I decided to just post a Youtube video and many students were unhappy with that, as there was not that engagement piece of Edpuzzle. I think Edpuzzle is here to stay. The best part is they can access this at home or school, the beauty of online learning!

The engagement on Edpuzzle!

I think when using Edpuzzle as an educational tool, it is important to be aware of the conversations being had on the tool and/or with classmates around and that students understand internet safety. If students are given the opportunities to create their own videos, ensuring it is school appropriate and being aware of the videos that students may be able to find on Youtube. Therefore, an adult must be around in the creation and ensure it is monitored. Further, ensuring parents are linked to the Google Classroom, to stay up to date with the newest Edpuzzles posted, is a top priority so they can be involved in the students learning.

Have you used Edpuzzle before? If not, did I sell you on it? Let’s continue learning online!!

Sounding Like a Horse

Well 2 weeks into running and I would like to confirm, I am still dying. This Tiktok simply describes how I feel when I embark on these runs.

https://video.wixstatic.com/video/2d2868_03dd674938cd47f5a0523743ebfdf9c6/480p/mp4/file.mp4

https://www.tiktok.com/@runwithestelle/video/7229299734312258843?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc

Throughout these past weeks, I focused on three main aspects: developing a plan, listening to music while running and breathing exercises. The following accounts on Tiktok allowed me to develop necessary techniques and utilize strategies:

@envisioncoachiingg and @r4ucoaching - highlighted how to properly run to avoid injury such as on your toes as oppose to your heels. This made a world of difference, as I have always been a “stomping Tom” as people refer to me because I am a heel walker/runner. So this took a bit of adjusting but have already been noticing some changes. This has allowed me to take things slow as I ease into running.

@hollyb_fitness was one of the first people I came across and made me realize how running can transform your life! A quote that stuck out to me from her “its you vs you. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.” This was extremely powerful to me and allowed me to develop a plan to get started on this running journey. It does not matter if I am only running 1-2km, it is a start and that is all that matters.

@kirstybannatyne opened my eyes through her motivational videos to simply just get you running. She is an advocate for starting slow and building your way up. Simply start with a 5 minute run and build it over the course of weeks. So, that is simply where I started. To be honest, I was embarrassed at how little I was running within 5 minutes but I have worked my way to 7 minutes over the course of the last 2 weeks and finally took a picture. I completed 1.29km within 7 minutes and 37 seconds and this was a HUGE accomplishment for me! Thanks to Running with Kirsty.

@fasterthany0u gave me the playlists to make running more manageable. Listening to my own breathing was not the play. Once moving from walking to running, I knew I needed music to continue to motivate me and clear my headspace. So that is just what I did. I highly recommend Levels (Avicii) and Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis).

Finally, @mattchoi6 stopped my “horse breathing” with simple breathing exercises to do while running. It put me in check with realizing I was trying to run too fast at beginning, which meant I was not getting enough oxygen back into my system. I tried both of the breathing strategies he suggested to realize the 2 inhales through the nose and 1 exhale through the mouth is what has worked best for me.

However, before I was able to actually utilize this advice from these TikTok’s account, my journey all began on Youtube when I came across an article called How to Start Running featuring Braden and Yitka, as they lay out 5 tips for beginners. They said to simply start slow and when they say slow, they mean it. For the few times, just simply get out working for at least 30 minutes. From there, after walking 3-4, slowly begin incorporating running. This is where @kirstybannatyne came into play, as I used the 5 minute technique immediately.

Here is a reel of photos of the paths I took and two beautiful photos of the after math of running!

Next weeks plan is to STRETCH. Why I haven’t yet is questionable because I am getting SORE. I will be using more of Youtube and Tiktok to help guide me towards proper stretches before and after runs. My plan throughout this week is to record clips of my stretches to share with you all. Hopefully the rain stays away, so I can continue to enjoy my running journey outside!!

My Journey With Social Media

My relationship with social media has grown immensely over the years as I have found myself spending many more hours on it day to day. Overall, I feel I have had a positive experience with social media as I have connected with various people, shared experiences, watched friends/families grow and has been a way of taking a break, as I typically utilize social media in my down time. Social media has been used in my personal and professional life and continues to become more and more utilize each day.

My top used apps for personal use would be Snapchat, Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram. These apps are used mainly for entertainment and used within my down time. These are used as a means of communicating with family and friends, posting and viewing pictures and watching clips. These apps have positively affected me as my relationships have grown through them as I have been connecting and sharing; however, in turn, it has negatively affected me as I have found I am relating myself to others and being envious of their lives and/or wishing my life was different in some aspects. I realize the dangers of this and therefore, sometimes I must take a step back from these applications.

Professionally, I use social media platforms for in the classroom and within my university classes. Social media in these settings have had mostly positive experiences as it has shaped my own and my students learning. Students are able to connect and share work through platforms like Google Classroom and Edsby, which has been super informative. The negatives I have encountered with social media in the classroom would be spending too much time with technology in the day, as sometimes my students also go home and spend all night on their technology. I worry about the affects of overusing technology. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have similar worries?

Overall, social media has many positives and negatives. It can be very informative when used right and can shape lives. It is important to understand technology safety and realize the positives and negatives associated with it. I think this vital in understanding when bringing it into the classroom. What are lessons and techniques you use to teach your students and/or children internet safety?

Have you had positive or negative experiences with social media? How does that shape you today?

Running Because I Love to Eat!

Welcome back to the art of learning ft. Raegyn Fulmek taking on running. Does she have it in her to learn how to run? What will it take for her to learn different strategies and techniques to achieve the art of running outdoors? What platforms will navigate her learnings? Only time will tell!

Why is Raegyn embarking on this journey?

It was found that she wants to be fit and fall back in love with her body (it’s true, winter got her good and she is not feeling great in her clothes). With this goal, she will learn the skills of running and be able to continue to incorporate this into her daily life. On top of it, since the weather is so nice, she will be receiving an inexpensive prescription of Vitamin N(ature). In turn, this can be used in her classroom to help her students with running techniques and strategies, so they are able to participate in variety of activities inside and outside of school.

How will she keep track of her journey?

She will keep track through her apple watch and taking Snapchat videos/photo and making a collage along the way.

What platforms will she learn through?

She will learn through Tiktok and YouTube as it is very accessible and at the tip of her fingers. These platforms provide lots of insight of different people, videos and experiences being shared, with what techniques and strategies work for them.

Where will she complete her learnings?

Well of course, in the outdoors! She will run throughout her neighborhood, as there are many paths and sidewalks. Her goal is to get outside more and be fit. She said if she runs into a weather problem, she will have a goal to go to the gym and using TikTok or Youtube, find some good treadmill running exercises (but we will only go this route, if the weather restricts her).

So what will this learning goal look like?

After scrolling through Tiktok and YouTube over the last week, she has divided each week into a theme, to help her accomplish her running goal. She felt it was necessary to divide the week into themes to target a specific goal, to help her achieve the love of running outdoors and not make her feel so overwhelmed.

Weekly Themes:

  • Week 1: Discovering running – developing a plan
  • Week 2: Music while running
  • Week 3: Breathing exercises
  • Week 4: Stretching to reduce soreness
  • Week 5: Morning vs night running
  • Week 6: Running with a partner
  • Week 7: Bringing it all together - utilizing strategies and techniques that worked over the weeks

Raegyn is ready to take on RUNNING. It is going to be a learning experience for her, as she is not a runner by any means. You may see Raegyn out walking from time to time, but never running. Keep an eye out for her journey and we ask again – will she fall in love with running?

Is Virtual Reality Within The Classroom Beneficial?

Virtual Reality (VR) is something that has always intrigued me and I do believe it offers a wide range of possibilities. When Virtual Reality was first introduced to me, I thought it was the most fascinating thing and my friends and I would spend hours going to the beach, playing hockey and down rollercoasters, all in the comfort of my living room. VR is vastly emerging which is referred to Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) and sometimes even defined as extended reality (ER).

Let’s begin… What is VR and how is it used?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBNH8tzsfVM

I must admit I am hesitant about bringing it into the classroom, after our breakout room discussion. I do believe that it offers vast opportunities for experiential learning, but I think there inevitably will be a divide if used in the classroom. First thing is money. VR is expensive and right now, we cannot even supply enough Chromebooks or iPads to the school, I am unsure how VR would be successful with limited supplies. Secondly, time. My students require sufficient scaffolding throughout lessons. Using VR would take up a lot of teaching time to teach them how to utilize it and how to effectively use it. Furthermore, Heller (2020) discusses serious concerns with VR such as privacy issues. Heller (2020) states, “Some researchers have found that autism in some young children can be gauged by irregular eye motion patterns. Other serious ailments, like schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, and concussions can also be diagnosed though eye tracking.” Through VR, our eyes are constantly moving to relate to what we are seeing. Heller (2020) goes on to say, “Performance on a VR game is not the type of information that those who created health privacy laws may have anticipated as related to one’s medical health – and imagine if those results were to be available for purchase by third parties, like insurers.” There is huge safety concerns and privacy breaches, as Heller (2020) discussed. It is “challenging to inform users of the deeper and full implications of collection of their data, since most people do not understand how involuntary bodily indicators of emotional responses, mental state, or health can be disclosures of fundamentally private information, like truthfulness, inner feelings, and sexual arousal.” In my opinion, I cannot be on board with bringing this into the classroom with so many harmful risks.

On the flip side, I do see opportunities to use it within different subjects that would supplement their learning. It is true that VR would “make learning a fun experience, in which both engagement and motivation are affected.” Makransky et al. (2021) discussed how appropriate instructional design is essential, to ensure relevant information is being taught or else students could be cognitively overloaded with the amount of information given at once. Within a variety of subjects, I do see potential like within science, going to space or being on an airplane (something my students have never had the opportunity of). In literacy, going on an adventure and writing about what you saw, how you felt, what you did, to expand upon their writing. In Physical Education, they could participate in different sports like hockey, football or baseball. I do see the possibilities within all subjects of integrating VR.

,Enjoyment benefits performance because the learner focuses attention on the task, which leads to higher intrinsic and extrinsic student motivation

But… is this feasible? Do these possibilities outweigh the privacy and safety concerns? My students struggle daily with living situations, is learning through immersive technologies the key priority?

Do you agree with this picture from ,,Tech Thought's blog? What negatives do you see with using VR in the classroom? Do you believe our educational experiences are moving this way?

Coding is ONLY for “Techies.” A Life Long Excuse…

Coding? No thanks, I am not a “techie.”

This has always been my thoughts around coding and therefore, I have not engaged with it within the classroom. The one time I did engage with it, I had someone else come in and do it with my students. When this occurred, the students loved it but I have never felt equipped enough to teach coding to my students.

I think coding brings value to students as it gives them an opportunity to try new things with technology and create. Firstly, most of my students are gamers, who spend most of their free time, well gaming. Coding is something that would bring them joy and excitement as they would be creating their games. I think it is valuable in that they would feel accomplished/successful in creating a game or “telling the computer what to do”. My students would get a thrill from sharing it with each other and trying each others game. I think it is also valuable when looking at Bloom’s Taxonomy, as they are able to take this knowledge and create. Technology is everywhere and it is not going away. In many different professions, this would advantage them.

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer.. because it teaches you how to think” (Steve Jobs).

In my personal opinion, I think all students benefit as an in class activity, grades 2 and up. Students may not benefit with the idea of taking it home to try, as many of my students do not have access to technology at home. However, in class, with computers provided, I think all would benefit. Looking at the website we explored in class, Hour of Code, it varies with grade level and experience, which would allow all students the opportunity. There is even an option of pre-reader, if they struggle or are unable to read. I think coding gives opportunities to students within school and gives them the potential to try to create!

“Programming is an incredibly empowering skill to learn” (Hadi, code.org)

I currently do not engage in this, as discussed prior as I feel like I have never had the knowledge to and would be a lot of pre-teaching. I feel I already use so much of my spare time to mark, coach, plan and create that I honestly feel lazy in the aspect of teaching myself something else (how bad that sounds, but honest). It is my own self holding me back and I can acknowledge that. As discussed in Code Stars, it can be summed up as intimidating, but Chris, NBA star, had a point.. What isn’t?? Everything new is intimidating. Being provided with this website within class, I feel this is a start to beginning to engage with coding in the classroom.

,,"Most people won't grow up to become professional computer scientists or programmers, but those skills of thinking creatively, reasoning systematically, working collaboratively … are things that people can use no matter what they're doing in their work lives.”

I think this is valuable to acknowledge as creating is something we actively encourage students to do and think outside of the box; digging them to dig deeper.

I disagree in saying that coding should only be taught by techies as it is true, technology is everywhere and there are so many resources now accessible that anyone can learn at the tip of their fingers. Through these different resources, like Hour of Code, it is beyond easy to navigate and learn. I think saying it can only be taught by techies is simply an excuse. I have been using this excuse but its not valid. Technology is only evolving. Creating is empowering. Creating is fun, as suggested when I type in “creating is” to Google.

As stated in ,Teachers Essential Guide to Coding in the Classroom,

"Coding also provides students with skills that apply across content areas. By learning to tell machines what to do, students engage in problem-solving and computational thinking, which apply to academic and professional disciplines across the board."

The Opportunity of Assistive Technology

Since embarking upon my educational journey, I have had ample opportunities to use assistive technology within my classroom. When I first think of assistive technology my mind immediately goes to using electronics - Talk to Text, computer, iPad, etc. but assistive technology is so much more than that! Understanding this, can give more students in the classroom an opportunity and helps me to understand every student can take advantage of assistive technology.

Through this weeks facilitation, I have come to understand that assistive technology is simply not just connected to a power source aka. an electronic, it is so much more than that. As stated before, I can give every student in my classroom the opportunity to use assistive technology without even realizing at. When looking at low tech, this could involve graphic organizers, pencil grips, manipulatives, sticky notes, highlighters and displaying my visual schedule each day. These are simple ways I am meeting the learners of my classroom, everyday, where every one has access to these tools at a low cost!

As we move to mid tech this could include word prediction, calculators, audio books (Raz Kids being one of my favourites), voice amplification or devices to help people move around (wheelchair). Each day my students use word prediction and audio books, which helps them to be successful in the classroom. For many of my students, they are below grade level with reading and therefore, audio books are a very useful tool to ensure they are still interacting with books and have the same opportunities to read. For one of my students, I use a voice amplification which evidently helps them to hear clearly through their hearing aid.

Finally, high tech would be using the power sources - computer, iPad/tablet, SMART board and Talk to Text. All the students within my classroom have SETT devices (Student, Environment, Tasks, Tools) where each of them have an iPad or Chromebook to assist with their day to day tasks within the classroom.

There are inevitably limitations and challenges with using assistive technology. One challenge that Childhood and Assistive Technology: Growing with opportunity, developing with technology highlights would be lack of products, services and financial barriers. These all go hand in hand, as when it comes to budget cuts, looks of services and products go with it. For myself, in my school division, there is not enough high assistive technology available to every one due to finances. However, with saying such, Botelho stated, “even though there is no denying how powerful a talking computer, a hearing aid, or a motorized wheelchair can be for those who need them, there is today a tendency to overlook how helpful low technologies can be in many circumstances” (p.590). Inevitably, the challenges and limitations that initially come to mind revolve around high assistive technologies. When thinking about low to mid technology challenges, I think there is sometimes not enough time to learn how to utilize all these tools to effectively bring into the classroom and in turn, teach your students how to use them. Going back to budgets, we are only given a certain amount of money per year, per classroom. It is not an option for me to have access to all these tools and I have to be aware and stringent with what ones I am choosing for my learners.

Provided here is a description of SETT devices and how the process works provided by Joy Zabala.

My role as a Learning Resource Teacher, I am constantly creating IIPs (Inclusion & Intervention Plan) and ROAs (Record of Adaptions), which typically involves low, mid & high technologies to utilize within the classroom. After the presentation, articles provided and digging into this blog post, I realize how many opportunities assistive technology has!

What limitations and challenges come to mind with using assistive technologies in your classroom? What assistive technologies are you using daily, weekly, monthly within your own classroom?

The Magic Of Quizizz

My class was all engaged... It truly is magicial.

The tool I chose this week was Quizizz and was a great success! I initially chose this tool because Kahoot has always been a hit with my students and during the presentation on Tuesday, it caught my eye immediately. I think it is a good indication of what the overall class knows and needs further teachings on.

Challenges

I did not face many challenges to set up Quizizz. I had to sign up for an account, which was free, and I was able to get started. The site is easy to navigate and utilize. The biggest challenge would have been setting aside time to create the Quizizz. While creating it, I had to come up with a variety of questions and answers. The toughest part was creating a variety of answers to the questions. Other than that, I found this assessment tool very accessible and easy to use!

Students Response

All I have to say is it was a HIT! It was a very positive response, with students asking to play another round and making it a consistent game, weekly. I asked the students for their thoughts and conducted a list of what they stated, as seen below.

Clearly we will be playing this again…

How did you use the tool for assessment?

This tool was used as formative assessment regarding our read aloud – Because of Mr Terupt. It had a variety of questions from a poll, to a multiple-choice selection, to illustrating. This was a way for me to gather if they are following along and/or are missing key concepts in regard to the book. Through this, I was able to see everyone is on track and comprehending Because of Mr Terupt.

Pros/Cons to using the tools

Pros:

- Easily accessible

- Fun/engaging

- Free

- Easy to navigate

- Formative and summative assessment tool

- Answers are coloured coded on the presentation screen and their screen, to help with non-readers.

Cons:

- Need internet (our internet can sometimes be wonky at our school)

- Need to have time to create Quizizz

- Time limit (students may feel rushed and make mistakes)

- Need to simplify answers/questions for non-readers

- Students can make mistakes due to rushing to try to be the first to answer. (Students get more points if they answer first and it is correct)

Is its purpose more formative assessment/summative assessment or both?

I think its purpose could be both, dependent on the way it is used and when. It collects data that you can look over after, which can either be used at that time as a formative or summative assessment. Whether it is used mid way through a lesson or at the end, could determine which way it can be used. I think it is important to remember though, sometimes mistakes are made due to the time limit and quickly answering due to the time limit. I do believe, it would be best used as a formative assessment due to the nature of the game. However, if needed, it could still be used as a summative assessment.

,Cannot wait to continue using Quizizz, to unleash the magic...

Advanced Technology is Indistinguishable From Magic

How has our lives been influenced and affected by the Web 2.0? I believe it has a balance of positives and negatives that it has to offer. Such as, positives it has to offer - easily accessible, supplements learning and has sites I love to browse. This also leads me to the negatives that it poses such as it is distracting, time consuming and we get into a spiral of scrolling these sites. After watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix, it proved to me that my thoughts are accurate.

The Social Dilemma on Netflix highlights many negatives that the social web presents in this day and age and how “scary” it is becoming. They stated that initially "there were meaningful systemic changes, that were positive around the world.” However, they were naive about the flip side. Meaning, they did not understand the potential that the web had and what it would transform into. We have shifted from the information age to the disinformation age. Where information we are getting, is typically from the web and is not always accurate as it change dependant upon where you live and sites you typically enjoy.

As I watched this documentary I made a positive and negative chart. My negatives outweighed my positives, which was highlighted within it.

“There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’” illegal drugs and software” (Edward Tufte).

It is clear that these positives and negatives clearly impact our daily lives. This has affects schools and society in many ways such as:

  • Distractions: It has created distractions in person and professionally lives, where people are so consumed and fixated on their devices, they forget that there is a world around them
  • Loneliness: Being so immersed into social media, people start wishing they were different, wishing they had a different life, etc. They get into a rabbit hole that never ends and get a feeling of loneliness. This also relates to the distractions as people forget that there are still others around them, wanting to support them.
  • Incapable of healing itself, no truth: Every emotion, you are drawn to your device and the algorithm is tailored to you. You will see/hear things that make it impossible for you to move on and heal through your life experiences.
  • Involved even if you are not involved: Even if you are not on your device as much as another person, or you do not have a device, you are still involved in some way. Technology is every where and we are at a point where we cannot escape it. There will only be more of it coming.
  • Affecting our family lives at home: Taking away from socialization time and spending quality time together. Even when quality time is shared, there might be a need where someone feels it needs to be documented. Like how the mom locked the phones away for supper, the kids strictly thought about their phones and they did not know how to have a conversation. This lead to one of the kids breaking their phone out, to see what they were missing after only a couple of minutes.
  • Hours and hours on technology: People are not realizing the hours spent on their technology that is taking away valuable time from other aspects of their lives.
  • Depression and admissions to hospitals increases as people become more independent and involved with technology.
  • Controlling us more than we are controlling them. As they stated, “its confusing because its simultaneous utopia and dystopia.”

“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product."

I really appreciated this document as it lays thing straight out for you and does not beat around the truth, which is something we all need to hear and understand. I support technology and I really do appreciate all the benefits it has to offer. I do think however, it is still important to be aware of the other side (the negatives) and find ways of moving forward in society and ensuring our relationships are still strong, without always leaning on technology. Fundamentally, technology isn’t going in a good direction and we need to change it. We have to get there, as discussed in the documentary.

It is evident that The Social Dilemma highlights the problems with social media, but I ask now... Whats the solution?!