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Summary of Learning

Another semester has come to a close, which means that it is time to go back and consider everything that was done in class and decide what I have learned from this experience.

 

In my summary video, I am going to explain it all.

 

I hope you enjoy it.

See you on the interweb.

 

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Being a Mentor

During this class, we were challenged with being mentors to some of the students in EDCT 300.  This is different for me because when I was in EDTC 300 we didn’t have this in place so I knew there would be some learning involved.

I was honored in being the mentor to Todd Greenwood, Courtney Hawkins, and Heather Hrappsted.

Overall I would have loved to be more involved with their learning, but I am super proud of what they have completed this semester in their class and with their learning projects.

 

Todd Greenwood

@Omish124 on Twitter

https://greenwoodedustuff.wordpress.com/

 

For his learning project, he wanted to work at Mario speedrunning within a specific time frame.  Then getting better at the speedrun itself.  He did this with practice and help from the internet.

Image result for super mario world

Not only did he do the video game aspect of this learning, but he learned how to edit and produce videos of his running attempts.  From the videos that he has been posting it is evident that he has improved in both aspects.

And I hope that he continues to work into the future and raise his score from 135 in the world to 1st.

 

Courtney Hawkins

@MissCHawkins on Twitter

https://courtneyhawkinsblog.wordpress.com/

Courtney decided that this semester was the time to become a Yogi.  She would do this by following resources and apps that she found online, and recommendations given to her by friends.

From the resources that she shared on her blog, I’m sure anyone can become a yoga master.  No matter if you can only do yoga in your home, outside, or at a yoga studio, as to make it accessible to anyone.  Courtney graciously gave a list of studios in Regina, in one of her posts, “So you want to become a Yogi“.

Being able to teach something that can increase someones well being is absolutely amazing, and I am so proud of the progress she made throughout this semester.  This is easily shown in her before and after pictures that she posted in her final learning project post “Nama’seeya later“.  I feel like you have succeeded in becoming a yogi (as far as I know) even at such a young age.

 

Heather Hrappsted

@HHrapp on Twitter

 

Heather decided to dive into the world of yoga.  She decided to use different apps, videos, and other resources to improve her skills.

Then closer to the end, she gave us a glimpse at what it takes to edit a video using iMovie while still incorporating her yoga experiences.  Blog Post.  As someone who cannot edit anything without someone else’s help, this was very informative and allowed me to understand a little more into the youtube world.

In the end, Heather created a video teaching her audience some of the things that she had learned.  From this video, it is apparent that she has learned a lot through her learning project, and I was able to learn from what she gave us in the end.

 

 

 

 

Interactions List

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It’s Debatable 9: Promoting social justice and fighting oppression in the classroom

Welcome to Debate 9:

The prompt that was given this week was “Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression.” 

 

This was our pre-vote;

 

Pro Side:

Some of the main points that were shown to the class were as follows:

Staying Neutral is problematic

it is a risk to stay silent online

And how we should be using technology/social media effectively

 

In the United States, teachers had written letters in this Washington Post article, regarding the fact that when they stay neutral it becomes problematic in the sense that during a highly political time when students are questioning the world, they need to be able to look to their teachers for guidance.  But if educators stay silent and remain neutral, students will be at risk of not understanding what is going on or making a not thought out choice.

This showing that teachers should be able to teach without society reining them into becoming neutral about issues.

 

“Neutrality is itself a political choice” (Alyssa Hadley Dunn), ‘Education is Political’: Neutrality in the Classroom Shortchanges Students

 

 

Con Side:

Here are some of the main points raised for the con side:

Teachers are under constant scrutiny from the public

The education system is political

Students are easily influenced

teachers should have a neutral standpoint when teaching and allow students to think for themselves

 

Giving teachers the freedom to speak their mind in their classroom can be very dangerous with so many easily influenced minds can cause for a power trip for teachers and stop the students from ever having any opinions of their own, rather contain the opinions of their teachers.

 

Keeping a level playing field within a classroom can allow for all opinions to be heard

 

This was our post-vote:

In the end, the group moved towards the pro side

 

So in the end, I find that when you allow your students to create their own opinions and allow them to make decisions for themselves it will be a more cohesive classroom, but being able to control your classroom is a great thing to show how critical thinking works and giving that trait off to your students will benefit them in the long run.

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It’s Debatable 8: Returning to “the good ol days”

Welcome to Debate 8:

The prompt that was given this week was:  “We have become too dependent on technology and we’d be better off returning to the “good old days” before the Internet and smartphones took over.”

 

This was our pre-vote:

 

Pro Side:

here are some of the main points given by the pro side:

The internet and smartphones are affecting our mental and physical health

society are losing skills once valued

technology may not actually be beneficial for students

We are missing important moments

 

As society grows with technology, we have found that most people couldn’t imagine their lives without their cell phone or without wifi everywhere they go.  It has been found that people are addicted to their technology.  Then this addiction can affect almost every aspect of our lives.

Then when speaking about youth who are more prone to addiction, allowing technology to be used in the classroom is allowing for the students to fall even deeper into their addition to the things that have been created to help us, but instead hurt us.

 

There was a point brought up during the debate that really caught my eye.  And that was if you were to find yourself driving in an unfamiliar place, or on the highway where you have never been before, and your technology was to quit working, people wouldn’t be able to function.  Regularly you could pull out a map and find your way to your destination but instead of having maps on hand for these scenarios people rely on their smartphones connecting to a satellite to find their way.  Especially someone that drives and relies on their smartphone quite a bit, this can be a really scary thought.  That’s why returning to the “good old days” of our technology and actually teaching our students how to use a map could be very beneficial.  Heres an article that explains this a little better.

 

Con Side:

Here are some of the main points given from the con side:

Connection – connects the world no matter the limit of distance, time, income, etc

Power and Opportunity it gives to us

Efficiency saves time and money, used as an organization tool

Facilitation serves as a medium for the connection, power, opportunity, and efficiency

 

So then the opposite side of the spectrum is how our technology only benefits us not only in the classroom but in our everyday lives.

 

Not only does our new technology help us but it shows the progress that we have made in the last years and being able to use the technology that we made to create our education experience easier and

 

The way that we have created the internet, we have created a new type of world.  A new “Online World”, where almost anything is possible.  This can allow for students that may feel depressed or alone to go out into the online world and connect with others the same way that they would in person except they are able to do much more.  This could include video chatting, messaging, playing games, and anything else they can think of.

 

Our technology allows us to reach further than we have ever thought possible in our schools.  Students are able to learn in many more ways than could have before, a teacher can bring into the classroom a speaker that can be halfway across the world using a video chat, and students that have learning disabilities can keep up with their classmates thanks to the learning technology that helps them in the area that they need.

 

Heres a bonus video showing how amazing technology has become to create beautiful music with a choir that is from all over the world.

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This was our post-vote:

 

 

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It’s Debatable 7: Public education interests and corporate interests

Welcome to Debate 7:

The prompt that was given this week: “Public education has sold its soul to corporate interests”

 

This is our pre-vote:

Pros Side:

Some of the main points for the pro side were:

The Common Core Standards – not beneficial based on different places needing different educations.

Schools are being run more like a corporation rather than a school

The push for standardized testing, there is a profit being made every time a test is written, so teachers are teaching more towards the test rather than the learning, this can cause students to only be able to return the facts that they have been given  instead of being able to think for themselves

companies dictating the information being given to students

the health effects (Pepsi, Coca-Cola)

Universities are being turned into businesses – Universities becoming privatized has caused students to have more debt, and instead of trying to attract their students to a learning facility they act as though they attract their consumers to their business (the University)

Schools are losing their voice based on the companies that are funding them

 

Cons Side:

Schools are using funding from businesses to fund things like technology in the classroom which is beneficial to student learning (Google, and chrome to fund different technology opportunities)

Schools are determining what money they use and how not corporations

Schools are moving away from big businesses, schools are moving away from Pearson (textbooks) and standardized testing

Ethics of Schools

 

 

This is our post-vote:

 

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It’s Debatable 6: Social Media is Ruining Childhood

Welcome to Debate 6:

this week was: “Social media is ruining childhood: Agree or disagree?”

 

 

The pre-vote:

The Agree side:

Because children are engaging in social media at earlier, and earlier ages it is imperative to monitor

Mental health risks related to social media (low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, etc)

Social media is making children less social

Cyberbullying (fuels/facilitates)

Addictive properties

Children are starting their lives learning how to work an iPad before they learn most any other skills, this can be catastrophic for their futures.  If children continue this behavior and focus more on what they see on their screens then they will be unable to form real relationships and fail at real face-to-face interactions

 

In this video Bailey lines up the consequences that social media has on our lives.  Although she is talking about the majority, you can take these facts into account when thinking about our youth.

She makes the point to the fact that when we are in somewhere, let that be traveling, or out for a walk in your neighborhood, and you see something beautiful (the sunset, the scenery, etc) instead of making the best of the situation and taking in what our world has to offer, we feel the need to bring out our phone and share this on social media.  This feeling is causing us to lose our lives, one post at a time.

 

Disagree Side:

Infinite Learning

Social media gives a voice to people who would be silent

Taking a stand

promotes mental health – although many have said that social media is the cause of things like anxiety and depression, what they don’t consider is that there are many causes for those mental disorders but social media can help in many different ways.  Let it be finding a group or a resource (like the Buddy Project)  that can help you through your issues, or finding one friend that can be with you during your journey.

 

In 5 Reasons why Social Media Might Actually Be Good for your child, he states 5 important reasons how social media is a great thing for your child/students to have access to.  Some main points that stick out are the connections that we can gain, and the collaborative means.  These two not only being important within social media but technology as a whole.

 

With every negative that the population can say that social media has caused, we have an alternative positive that may be even greater than the negative.  In this article, it tells of some of the most important benefits of social media.  These include

  • feeling less isolated
  • benefits with chronic illness
  • helps meet goals
  • strengthen relationships
  • spreads joy (and social action)

 

The post-vote:

 

This topic was a hard one because you can see both sides in your everyday life, and being from the generation that grew up with social media it is hard to say to something that you have used for as long as you can remember how negatively it may affect us.

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It’s Debatable 5: Technology as Equity

Welcome to Debate 5:

The prompt that was given this week was: ” Technology is a force for equity in society.”

 

This was our pre-vote:

During this debate, I was struggling with the conversation.  This is because I do not much about equity, especially in an educational sense.  Merriam-Webster defines equity as “justice according to natural law or right, specifically: freedom from bias or favoritism”.  

https://www.mobilizegreen.org/blog/2018/9/30/environmental-equity-vs-environmental-justice-whats-the-difference

 

Whenever someone brings up equity most think about this image.

So what this is telling me about equity is that we are giving everyone the things they need to then be equal with one another.

When we come to talk about equity as resulting from technology, instead of using other objects or money, we are using different types of technology.

As educators, we have to consider what types of technologies they have access to both at school and at home.  But also what our school systems have that allow our students to have access.  This can be largely based on the placements of the school and where and how our students live.

Thus inequity between different schools and students are more shown in what they have and don’t have.  But on the other hand, we can use technology and distribute technology to improve equity within society.

After the debate, I was still unsure of how some technology has been used in the past as a force for equity and how in the present we are trying to use technology to facilitate equity, but in society, we are working towards this equity within our education systems.

This is them our post-vote:

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It’s Debatable 4: Cellphones in the classroom

Welcome to Debate 4:

The prompt that was given this week: “Cellphones should be banned in the classroom.”

 

This is the pre-vote:

 

So during this debate, instead of two sides that we could choose to be on, we have three.

Cellphone within classrooms has been a huge topic in the education community and in society ever since we gained them.  This is because there never seems to be a middle ground when speaking about having cellphones in the classroom.  People are either on the side of banning cellphones in classrooms, or they are all for having cellphones in the classrooms.  But in this debate, we also have the third side saying that we should only have cellphone use allowed in high school and cellphones should be banned in elementary and middle schools.

As stated in one of the debaters’ videos, cellphones in the classroom are distracting, disrespectful, disruptive, and dangerous.  These pretty much cover every interaction in a classroom.  They cause students to only learn at a smaller pace than without their cell phones, take away time that could have been used listening and focusing on their teachers, in the case of an emergency people will use their phones as a mechanism for their safety but only cause more problems, and finally students use their cellphones and their media as a method of cyberbullying (especially in a high school setting).

But on the other hand, our cellphones if used properly can aid in any students learning immensely.  Students have the entire world on a piece of technology that fits conveniently into their pockets.  Although some may say that overuse can cause an issue, if the students are taught properly how to use their cellphones in a learning environment, you can spend less time lecturing to a class of bored students, and let them discover and learn on their own.  Being able to proact instead of reacting can save time in a classroom and use the extra time for more learning.  Then in their future carreers, there will rarely be a cellphone ban, therefore, learning early about how to properly use a cellphone in a professional environment helps aid them in their future lies.

But then there is the factor of high school vs. elementary schools allowing cellphones.  The benefits from a high school standpoint are stated above and are beneficial to students learning experience.  But students in elementary school are too young to use a cellphone in an elementary school/middle school scenario.  When students are younger they are more at risk for the drawbacks that come with using cellphones in the classroom.  Firstly when students are younger they do not possess the self-control to use their cellphones for school-related matters only.  Plus the physical and mental disadvantages are more easily gained.  These things being anxiety, depression, cellphone/internet addiction, and many more.

 

This is the post-vote:

As you can see, the classroom approved on the happy middle that is banning cellphones for the younger aged students and allowing them in our highschools.

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It’s Debatable 3: Openness and sharing being unfair

Welcome to Debate 3:

This prompt that was given this week: “Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids”

 

I found this topic to be two-fold.  First, when I read this prompt with no prior knowledge I think of it as, being open and sharing with our students in our classrooms, then there is openness and sharing about our classroom to the public.

During our class we spoke about teachers and school to share their image and their work online, let that be a class blog or a website.  Normally parents are sent a release form to allow the school to use their child’s image.  Understandably this is because students parents have rights over their child’s image and work because the student is too young to give an educated response.  But students have enough sense to know if they want their image and work to be online for the world to see.

Digital identity begins when one item of information is posted about you online.  That could be a photo, a video, a piece of work, or even as simple as a quote.  Having the ability to control your digital identity is essential to keep what is said online about you in your control.  But when a parent decides to post a baby photo, you lose that control.

At such a young age, children don’t understand what digital identity is and how it relates to them and their future, that is why that responsibility to know falls to their parents and their teachers.

 

Then there is the sharing within their classrooms. Having trust between the students and the parents is vital to a happy healthy classroom, and this ties into openness and sharing.  But you need to beware, that there isn’t oversharing with your class and with the parents because you are in a professional environment and you don’t want to lose the respect of the community.

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It’s Debatable 2: Google in the classroom

Welcome to Debate 2:

The prompt that was given this week: “Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled.” 

 

 

Pre-vote results:

 

Google had become a huge part of all of our lives.  No matter the situation, if you need to find something out, you will turn to google to find your answer. This has brought up much controversy because why should we teach anything that someone can take 1 second to type into google and find out without breaking a sweat.

Some would say that instead of teaching the googlable fact we should be teaching our students how to critically think about what they find while taking their google journey.  By taking our googlable facts we can implement more personalized learning with an independent research portion.  Using this time for more application work.  As well more time for the teacher to confirm information and aid in learning.

But then you ask the other side of the spectrum and they would say that this is not the case.  This is because there is too much online and a large portion of it is incorrect or misinformed information.  While googling a student only finds the answer that they were looking for causing the student to stop there and look further into the topic.

Google doesn’t allow the enthusiasm that a teacher could about the subject matter.

Post-vote results: