Category Archives: Feedly

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe – and these tools are it!

Deciding which tools to use for interactive purposes in our blended prototype felt a bit like a game of eeny meeny miny moe. With so many tools to choose from how can one possibly decide which tools are the best for what you are trying to accomplish. Fortunately my team and I were able to decide which tools we want to use without much debate. We are going to be using Canvas as our LMS so we will be using some features of that site as well as twitter and blogs. I will go into more detail as to why we selected these methods but I want to start with the quote from Shaping the Metaphor of Community in Online Learning Environments: 

For a community to emerge, a learning environment must allow learners to engage each other intentionally and collectively in the transaction or transformation of knowledge.

This quote really stood out to me and validated the tools we have selected as our community building tools. Nancy, Andrew and I have had a lot of discussions around Twitter and how much we have grown to love it over the past few semesters. I have said this before and I’ll said it again for anyone who hasn’t heard me say it before – I used to think Twitter was pointless and really served little purpose. I didn’t fully understand the value in it. Looking back I now realize that I felt that way because I wasn’t using it to it’s full potential. I didn’t follow a lot of meaningful people, I didn’t understand how to use hashtags to my advantage and didn’t feel it was possible to share something meaningful in 140 characters. Twitter has become one of the most beneficial tool for me as a teacher. It has provided me with great resources, professional development and connections with other amazing teachers – all for free! I have really developed my PLN (personal learning network) and I can’t imagine my teaching career without twitter. I the teacher in this video has done an excellent job of discussing PLN’s and the role twitter plays in developing your PLN.

It is possible for students to build a PLN and we plan to encourage our students to build their PLN through using a course hashtag (which is yet to be decided) as well as hootsuite or tweetdeck. Students will be asked to interact on twitter by sharing articles, retweeting and quoting tweets from classmates within the class as well as people from outside of the class. By using hashtags students will be able to reach out and connect with others far beyond the four walls of our classrooms which will in turn help them improve the community within our classroom by sharing resources and information.

Another way we feel that an online learning community can be established is through blogs. George Couros shares 5 reasons why students should be blogging including developing a positive digital footprint, giving students a voice and allowing for student reflection. It is a great way for students to document their learning and share what they have been doing in class. Through comments on each others blogs the online community can further be established. Like Liz pointed out, it is important to consider digital citizenship and be sure that students are commenting respectfully and mindfully. Being that we are doing a digital citizenship course prototype we will be focusing on this early on in the semester. Students will be expected to follow classmates blogs through an RSS platform such as Feedly. Feedly is a user friendly way to follow blogs without having to go back to the individual blog and check to see if a new post has been written. We felt that this would be easier to use than creating a blog hub.

The last way that we thought we can try to establish a community is through the discussion feature on Canvas. An edutopia article lists many benefits to using a discussion board in an online course including critical thinking, improved reading & writing skills and reflection. The article also suggests having students come up with the guidelines for using the discussion board and just like Sarah I feel like this would be a really great idea. The chart discussing Bloom’s Taxonomy in relation to activities for discussion boards really opened my eyes to the endless possibilities for activities through a discussion board. Although I see the discussion board being used primary for students to connect with one another to ask questions or get help with information related to the course I can see it be useful to have an activity thrown in there every once in a while too.

I feel like there are so many other tools we could have selected but I feel like these are the tools that will help our students build a community online, much like I have experienced in all of my EC&I classes with Alec and Katia.

Are there any other great tools we have overlooked for our course prototype in terms of building community online?

Baba’s Summary of Learning for #eci831

Well it has been a jam packed, content filled semester and I feel like my eyes are going to fall out of my head from learning everything from the internet.  Although, I have to admit because our class was encouraged to guide our own learning, use open education, and make connections I feel like I have learned more in this class then any other.

I even surprised myself with by creating my own whiteboard animation video, you can make own to through the powers of the internet (they have templates and a 7 day free trial, just click here).

So, here she is folks my summary of learning:

Questions, comments, and concerns are welcomed.

Thank you to Alec & Katia for putting up with my technology illiterate mind.  Also, good luck to my classmates, go enjoy your summer!

Feedly, Pocket and Minds on Fire to start us off..

Can I just say how great it feels to be learning and blogging again? I thoroughly enjoyed creating and using my blog in my undergrad. I loved ECMP355- I am super excited to be in ECI831 as well.

A little about myself, I am a grade 8-12 Student Services Teacher. I have been in the same school for three years and really enjoying it. I love my job! Every single day is different, as we can all appreciate being in Education. I love connecting with students and parents.  I am hoping I can choose a major project that can be relevant to my role now in schools and perhaps even my thesis. Enough about that, that is for another post related to the direction I am headed for my major project.

About myself.. I grew up in Moose Jaw and moved to Regina for University immediately after and have been here since then. I love spending my free time outdoors (playing ball, going for a walk, being at the lake). Travelling makes my heart happy-cliche right? Most recently, I was in London, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro,  Rome and the Greek Islands over the summer for a month. The things you learn and appreciate while travelling constantly impresses me. I foster dogs with Bright Eyes Dog Rescue and run their Twitter and Instagram pages- another reason I love technology. You are able to share a message and grab people’s attention, for free!

My first thoughts on the class are positive! I was apprehensive about using Zoom but it was easy to use and I am looking forward to using the breakout sessions. I have started following blogs on Feedly and added readings to Pocket. I’ve already passed on Pocket to some friends and colleagues! I do have a few questions which I will tweet out or ask around.

After reading Minds on Fire, a few of my thoughts were around accessibility with technology. The first paragraph discusses the ability to be connected and communicate globally. On a person level- I can relate to this. My sister moved to London in 2008 and although we are apart, we continue to have the ability to send emails, messages and talk daily. My grandparents are still in the mindset that it takes time and money to communicate with her,even though he uses Imessage and FaceTime with her as well. He recalls growing up that he was unable to contact people and if he could, the amount of time it would take to send a letter or message to them. In regards to current methods of teaching being insufficient to prepare our students for their twenty-first century lives; I can agree with that, but students also struggle at times with expanding their methods of learning. Although they enjoy learning through technology, it remains a shift in Education even from what they have experienced already. Although we want them to be a participants and not just learn subject matter, they still want their learning to be concrete and structured, even when we would like them to be creative and original. I have observed the sense of overwhelm which may come with it. Of course this isn’t the case in all situations and will depend on their previous skills as well as their teachers ability to communicate clearly with them.

Looking forward to next class!