Posted in Directed Learning, Team Teaching

What Catches Your Attention?

The past few weeks has certainly put a downer on my feelings and enthusiasm towards educational technology. As Elizabeth said, she feels like she’s been a bit of a “negative Nelly.” I feel the same way! It is disheartening to think about the challenges we are faced with everyday as we try to engage learning, make it authentic, and support creative thinkers.

Photo Credit: Flickr

I look forward to focusing on the great things about technology in the classroom next week. For now, I will share some of the interesting finds that I have come across along the way. One thing for sure is there are always interesting articles shared and answers to most (if not all) questions that educators may have available on the internet. I definitely find that networking through twitter and using feedly as a facilitator keeps information at my fingertips. If we as educators have questions or concerns, we can reach out to the many educators that we follow and the ones who follow us back. Thanks to feedly, (and using it regularly) my twitter followers have increased considerably.

  Photo Credit: jenhegna1 Flickr via Compfight cc

However, I do worry about not meeting weekly with fellow edtech enthusiasts to keep myself accountable. I hope that feedly and twitter will keep me in the loop. Any suggestions?

Like Andres shared in his blogpost,  I also found the conversation interesting concerning why schools are not allowed to invest in more educational technology. The discussion was disheartening to say the least. Not having the option to fundraise or buy new chromebooks, laptops or iPads is frustrating when we already have such a shortage.  I guess I can understand that the cost to maintain all the devices is a problem, but should it be at the expense of our students?

For most of the edtech my grade 4’s do, Chromebooks work well and serve their purpose. I do find they are user friendly, and I have very few problems with them (at least for now). Aside from the regular loss of wifi connection in one of our classrooms, students are able to navigate them without having to deal with too many glitches. Having the links so easily accessible to them in the toolbar saves time when they have multiple tabs open for Gmail, Google Classroom, Google search, and Blogger.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/8Kg9C6][img]https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4154/5084062389_93d986f86f.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/8Kg9C6][ - - - - - - - ] - Paz[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjmedios/]Alejandro Jöpia[/url], on Flickr

Photo Credit: Flickr

It is relatively easy to find support on line when it comes to what technology tools have to offer. I am looking forward to having time in the fall to look more into GAPS, and utilizing Chromebooks more. I know that I am unaware of many of the uses and opportunities that both of these have to offer. Elizabeth shared some great information about Alice Keeler and her Teacher Tech Blog. It will be a great resource to look at further.

I connected with the quote Elizabeth shared:

“My teacher could be replaced by a YouTube video.” by Alice Keeler

One thing I have understood about teaching is that it changes every year (technology or no technology). I try to stay relevant for myself and for my students. I definitely agree that teachers will not be obsolete any time soon, but the way we taught 20 years ago definitely needs to change.

Changing is never easy and takes time. Transitioning from a more traditional teaching practices to a more student centred approach is daunting and time consuming. In the article: Three Essentials for Success in a Blended (Literacy) Classroom the learning and teaching styles looks quite different. Many educators, including myself have to really understand the importance of how students learn and how their teaching pedagogy needs to advance.

When done correctly, any classroom can benefit from the blended approach, literacy classrooms especially. Literacy learning is unique in that there are both concrete and abstract concepts that work well in face-to-face teaching and in the digital space.

1. Maximizing Physical and Digital Space.

2. Fostering Collaboration and Communication

3. Accessible Texts and Materials

Just reading the 3 headings seems like it is relatively easy, but after reading the article it would take a lot of time and planning. I often like these articles, because of the way they are organized and laid out. It provides educators with a place to start, or continue from.

Each year, I make some progress in changing my style of teaching, advancements in provided a blended learning approach, as well as using the tools provided to me, like Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education. I would like to utilize these tools more, to further my own style of teaching practices and understanding of how they work. Recent and up to date articles that I find using feedly, or twitter are very helpful. I have found a useful article about Chromebooks through Free Technology for Teachers. It is called, “Great Tools for Making Videos on Chromebooks. Even though video production tools like iMovie are not available through Chromebooks, this article shares information and links on Twelve Tools for Creating Videos on Chromebooks. This provides more than enough for students to be creative and generate engaging videos to be proud of. The sight provides a summary for each tool, as well as direct links to each tool.

Overall, I find that I am interested in most things associated with teaching and I am curious to learn how it may or may not work for my students.

Does anybody else have concerns about staying up to date with technology after completing your master’s degree?

Do you utilize feedly and/or twitter regularly?

Please feel free to comment by clicking the title at the top!

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Author:

My name is Jennifer and I am a Grade 4/5 teacher with the Regina Public School Board. I am taking my 8th class towards my Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. EC&I 833 Foundations of Educational Technology: History, Theory, and Practice.

5 thoughts on “What Catches Your Attention?

  1. I will admit that I am a little nervous about staying up to date in the tech world once we are done classes. These classes have been so helpful in teaching/sharing/using a variety of resources and I have loved having this experience. I think staying in touch with colleagues, keeping in contact with Alec/Katia, maintaining your twitter account etc. will all be helpful things as our new adventures begin!

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  2. While you may feel disheartened at the moment Jen, I think you have captured the essence of what is important if we want to move forward in our classrooms and prepare students for the digital world. Incorporating technology definitely has its challenges but you have made some excellent points around the importance of trying to stay relevant, incorporating the changes with regard to hardware and software and with respect to putting all the new knowledge of apps, tools, programs, etc. that you have learned to use. Our students and schools need teachers like you who are interested in continuing to learn themselves. Great blog post!

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  3. Great blog post Jen! Just like you and Jayme-Lee, I definitely feel a little worried about being out of the “tech loop” once this class is done. I feel like I have been challenged in my teaching over the past two years with these masters classes, and I worry about the chaos of every day making me put these challenges on the back-burner in the future when I am not marked on my twitter participation or my readings for the week. I hope to stay in contact using Twitter, but I do think the value will come in discussions with my colleagues.

    I also am really happy that we are ending with this class, because I enjoy reading the blog posts your guys are finding each week, as this will give me more people to follow in the future. Having this network of inspiring and challenging blog posts to continue reading will help us continue to question what we are doing and – hopefully – continue to stay in the loop with the newest educational technology apps and websites.

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    1. I totally agree! I learn so much from everyone else’s blog posts and what we share during our class. I will miss it for sure. I just won’t miss writing blogs every week!
      Thanks for commenting!

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