Contributing to Others

Write a final blog post that answers the question: “How have you contributed to the learning of others?

I contributed to others learning in a very direct way because of a project in ECMP. I wrote a post about my experience teachingf with Seesaw and some of its uses to teachers in the classroom. You can find the previous post here about Seesaw. We presented to our class using Zoom which was another way I was able to contribute to others learning.  I had never used Zoom before so didn’t know what to expect for our first class. I didn’t realize you would be able to view the whole class I thought you would maybe just be able to see the teacher. So I decided to wear my most classic outfit for class which was pyjamas. Haha, so embarrassing but besides the point. While using Zoom I was able to participate in class discussion and interact with my classmates. Alec did all the teaching directly but we were able to teach one another while on Zoom through the chat or as Alec would say “grabbing the mic”. Outside of our Zoom we had resources like twitter, our Google Plus Community and our blogs of course. Below I will link some areas where I contributed to others learning.

My Twitter Account

Our Twitter Hashtag- ECMP 355

Our Google Plus Community

Our Blog Posts

  • I will start with Twitter in explaining how this allowed me to expand my learning and others learning. Before this class, I had a personal twitter account that mostly involves meme accounts and friends. What I didn’t know was that there was an entire Twitter world for teachers. There are so many helpful accounts that teachers can follow for fresh ideas in the classroom. There is also a hashtag you can follow where a variety of teachers across the world participate in and ask questions. We followed a small one called #saskedchat which just involves teachers of Saskatchewan. Following accounts and people like this allows us as teachers to grow and network with other individuals. Twitter is a really valuable source in my opinion for whenever we are in a pickle and maybe need some advice on how to keep growing. I interacted with quite a few people on Twitter and tried to inform others about a variety of topics I was exploring in my other classes such as First Nation and Indigenous communities right here in Canada who do not have access to clean drinking water.

 

  • Below is just a small example of how I interacted and helped  out on Twitter. I followed a variety of people and tried to respond to some tweets and sent links to my blog so people could learn some neat things about technology!

 

 

 

 

You will also see here how I contributed to Taylor’s learning project through a simple suggestion of what cupcakes she should make next. That was the beauty of Twitter, it allowed us to connect and help one another.

  • Blogging is the next topic that allowed me to contribute to others learning. Blogging acted as a forum to tell all of you my simple thoughts about teaching. Having a space where I could discuss my opinions on technology in the classroom I was able to see my other classmates thoughts and opinions on things too. I contributed to others learning by talking about a variety of different posts you can find here. I talked about a variety of things like fidget tools, media in society, media in classrooms, coding for kids, assistive technology, and most important your image on the internet. Being a teacher it is so important to have a professional image not only in the classroom but online as well. I think that is something I really stressed throughout my blogging and I hope others can take others from that. Creating a blog allowed others to comment on my ideas and a space for me to also comment on their ideas. Below are a variety of posts I commented on throughout ECMP 355. You can also scroll through my previous posts and see how I provoked others posts about my own ideas.

Blogs I commented on throughout the semester:

Paige Phillips

Jon Neibrandt

Cassidy Oesch

Alenna Jamieson

Taylor Garmacy

Adam Opdahl

Lacey Happ

Darrian

The third way I was able to contribute to others learning is through our Google Plus Community. I didn’t post very often in the Google community but it was a good resource to be able to get help on our blogs and others ideas. The week I posted in the community I was very stressed out with school and found solstice in memes. I posted to remind my fellow classmates to take a minute and realize we are all in the same boat in regards to exams, presentations and deadlines approaching. The community allowed me to show others that we are all feeling the same things. You can find my post here: Google Plus Community

The last and final way I contributed to others learning was by just participating in this class. I found valuable websites and resources in how to contribute to others. I learned how to hyperlink and honestly I think my future students will appreciate that much because there is nothing worse than huge nasty links on assignments. I will be able to provide my future students will cool ways to use Youtube, I won’t be afraid to show my love for memes throughout lesson plans, and I don’t think I will be afraid to start using technology as more of a resource for students. Whether that may be trying a class using a program like Zoom or using resources like Seesaw. I hope I will be able to contribute to others learning as a teacher forever. It is so important to expand your resources and your network as you grow as not only a teacher but as a person. I hope that is some valuable information others will be able to take from me.

Thanks for stopping by,

Mackenzie

Fight the Fidget

Children’s mind are an interesting topic. As teachers we try to figure out how they work so we can be the best teachers we can be. They are also a wildly active place to be and sometimes it is best we have grown to collect our own thoughts. I love kids don’t get me wrong, but sometimes they have some funny ideas. Their brains are so hyperactive it can be hard to keep to keep them on one task. That’s where technology in the classroom can be a gift. Brain breaks in the classroom allow kids to stop and re-focus. A website called GoNoodle allows teachers the opportunity to have guided brain breaks. The site also gives classrooms points for completing breaks which is a cool external motivator for kids.

Brain breaks are a great way to make sure your students are working hard but also a small reward for their patience. It’s something students can look forward to and have fun with. Without technology in the classroom it would be hard to have such a fun brain break. You can pull these up on the smart board and get students to spread out. You could also incorporate this site into your lesson plans allowing kids

Here is an example of what a brain break can look like with using technology. It can also be as small as asking kids to stand up and stretch out for a few minutes. In one of my practicums the kids had to stay for lunch and over the lunch break the teachers would put on videos like Dance Dance Revolution where the kids have to dance to the steps on the screen. Just Google searching brain breaks for kids there are endless resources for teachers. I think it is important to keep these active minds occupied and even I need a break sometimes. This website alone has about 15 creative ideas to keep kids occupied!

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Media in Society

Recently supermodel/tv personality, Kendall Jenner deleted her Instagram and the internet is raging over it. A Google search showed 12.7 million hits on this topic. Here is a link to just one website talking about it. In an interview with Ellen Degeneres she said, “I just wanted to detox,” Jenner told DeGeneres. “I just wanted a little bit of a break. I would wake up in the morning and look at it first thing, I would go to bed and it would be the last thing I looked at. I felt a little too dependent on it so I wanted to take a minute.” I thought this was really interesting that such a high profile person on social media decided it was too much. I have often considered taking a break from social media. Sometimes I stop and observe how many people in my class are on their phones and 9/10 everyone has their face in their phone. I have some friends who can’t function in social situations without having their phone to fall back on. It acts as a mechanism so that you don’t have to talk to people. I think back to the old days when people would go to concerts and actually enjoy the music. Now a days, you can’t go to a concert without people on Snapchat live streaming the whole thing. To me it isn’t living in the moment and I think that is what life is all about. Phones and social media have a time and a place in our lives. To capture moments you think are necessary and to keep in touch with friends. Not a complete resource and social crutch. I will link a video below that changed how I felt about phones, someone worded it in a way that stood out and over 18 million people have viewed this, I think it is worth while.

Coding 4 Kids

We were given the opportunity to learn how to code with a program called Scratch. This program gives you a sprite and you make it function basically. You pick an event in which the event stimulate a motion, sound, or look. I will link below the sprite I created it is very short because I found it quite complicated.  I am not a computer person whatsoever so the whole concept of coding is very abstract to me. I decided I should define what coding is so I have some idea of what it involves. I found this website that helped me describe what coding involves.  It says that a code is a set of instructions that a computer can understand. Some people write codes from scratch and some use pre-written codes to make our everyday objects function. The website says that almost anything that uses electricity has a code. That is pretty crazy to think about. There are “low-level” and “high-level” coding languages also. Lower-level languages more closely resemble binary code while higher-level languages are easier to code in. So basically coding allows people to use technology and enjoy all of its purposes. Here is the sprite I coded very poorly but at least I tried! Overall, coding is a necessary evil in today’s society and I think I will leave it the professionals to figure out.

 

 

Media in Schools

When I think of media in schools I think about these five ideas:

  • school wide twitter/facebook page
  • school websites
  • teacher blogs
  • society based around technology
  • parents don’t have time for parent teacher interviews

Many schools are now active on Twitter and Facebook. I never realized how many teachers were on Twitter and offering support until Alec introduced us to many of his colleagues across many school districts. I think it is something really positive to have as a network for schools. As long as it is being used properly as in political answering and commenting is monitored to be professional, I think it is a resource that can be very positive.

School websites are a great way to inform parents and teachers of on going events. School websites can also act as a resource for other teachers. They may have links to curriculum information and current events happening. Dr. A.E Perry School here in Regina, has options to view textbooks, portals for parents, library sources and power teacher. Their website has current events like their after school programs, attendance reminders and a link to their twitter account.  I think this is a great option for schools to have and many schools do have a website. It is a good way to keep all the information they need in one place and available to all to see.

Teachers blogs are also another interesting idea for social media in schools. Who better to help teachers than teachers? I have mentioned before that I am quite into fashion and follow many fashion bloggers. I pull a lot of inspiration from them for my next outfit and for what is coming up in trends. I began following this local blogger called Teach Me Style. She is also a grade one teacher here in Regina and added a section to her blog called Teacher Talk Tuesday. She gives some helpful hints and talks about some pointers for teachers. She also talks about great clothes for female teachers that fit the dress code in many schools. This is something small but really helpful for us ladies on a job hunt! Teachers blogs are a great resource for hints and opinions on other ideas. Many teacher bloggers post their lesson ideas as well. This is a great resource because teachers are always looking for fun new ways to engage students.

The last two bullets can both fit into this subject area. Parents, families, teachers and people in general are always on the go. We live in a world full of fast times, faces in screens and post-it notes everywhere if you’re like me and need to buy an agenda. Parents will always try their best to make it to parent/teacher interviews but sometimes this is hard with the fast paced world we live in. It is nice to be able to shoot an email and check some progress on your child. Having technology open to parents and teachers allows for quick follow ups and access to their child’s grades. This could possibly mean the idea of parent teacher interviews could fade away. There are so many systems for parents to be checking their child’s progress during the school year. If teachers were able to keep up with their marking and posting in these forums, it could be a gradual check-in of their child and not one large parent and teacher interview. There are many sites available for this, but one is called Seesaw. It is a digital portfolio that parents, teachers and student can all post on. It can be used for homework reminders, homework can be done and corrected on it. It acts as a stepping stone to an actual blog that anyone can have access to. Just parents can have access to their child and only the teacher can see every students work. The teacher also has to approve the posts before they enter the forum. This prevents bullying and other unnecessary posts.

Technology is always changing so it only makes sense that the amount of media in our classrooms will always be changing.

 

 

 

 

Futurama Classrooms

I think classrooms are eventually going to look like conference rooms. I think the idea of the teachers desk will be phased out because inclusive classrooms are on the rise. I grew up with the classic classroom set up of a teachers desk with rows of desks. I think tables will be the only way classrooms will be to introduce collaborative learning. I think the teacher will no longer be the resource of information but will be the facilitator for students to inquire about their own knowledge. Standing desks are now a new addition to classrooms. This allows students to stand and get rid of energy while they focus on their work. I just attended a classroom and the students had swivel chairs which I thought was a unique addition because it allows them to stay seated but they can still move around. Attention spans are becoming less and less so it is a smart idea to put bands around chair or have fidget tools for students. I think classrooms will start to be way more open concept and things will be more child centred. Children will feel more equal to the teacher. Was recently at Dr. Perry school here in Regina and they had a really unique inquiry room and it was all in the theme of the United Nations. To me it was the future of classrooms.

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