A week later….reflection

It has taken me a week to get over the flu and it gave me many hours to think about this class.  I began in september as I said before thinking I knew quite about technology and then this semster happened.

I am quite a bit wiser now…but not without many hours of pain and suffering.   I believe that there were many more challenges with this class than ever before.  I would work on the wiki for 2-3 hours ata  time  just trying to get things to work.  Pictures, tables info.  inviting guests to join.  I think that has been one of the hardest things over the course of this semester.  Understanding the terminology  and applying it as quickly as others in the class.  I find that it takes me 3 hours to every other persons to accomplish the same things.  I am still in the process of trying to update ithe wiki and work with it – because it takes longer for me to get it.  My basketball girls are excited about it and soon will be helping me get things together to add to it. But it takes time and lots of effort!!!!

Blogging has been exciting too, I feel that I am able to speak my mind more freely.  One of the most exciting comments I recieved was the one from Russia – I wrote about how frustrating it is to not understand the language that others are speaking all of the time.  I empathisized with people in my EAL class who have similiar situations – the indiviudal wrote back in her language – which required me to convert her reply and then respond to it!  That was a very powerful learning tool for me.  I felt like I had really connected with somone and I don’t even know who they are.  Blogging is a really powerful tool!!  I guess it is the AHA moment we speak about.

The one thing about blogging is it takes time to read and respond to all of the incredible blogs people have out there – I did not do as good of a job as I would have liked with this!  I chose a few to respond to – it must have been the same for others as only a few people responded to mine as well.

I took a PD oportunity to learn about podcasts and decided to try one for my final blog post.  It took me approx. 15 hours to create a 5 minute post.  Even though it was not an amazing product many of the class commented on it being a great start to podcasting.  I was really excited about it – I am using them in my class right now.

I have taken on the role of technology tools since taking this class.  I am excited to have time over the christmas holidays to work with all of these tools in order to better myself as an educator and provide my students with new and diferent ways to share and produce their own meaning of knowledge!

I won’t say that it has been the easiest time some of the challenges I noted above!  The number one challenge for me is how do I find the time in my life to learn these tools so that I am familiar with them to use in a productful manner in my classes – –  that I still am trying to figure out!  Bettina Welsh had a great reply to me “You aren’t alone. Technology always takes longer than you expect! Be patient and don’t try to take on more than you can handle. As discussed before, sometimes we are on information overload.”  This is very true – don’t bite off more than I can chew!!  It is very hard in this world not do this – but very wise info.

Tools that I found useful are:

prezi (new and exciting presentation tool); google reader and delicious ;(a life saver when it comes to getting information, sharing and storing it) which I still need to work on organizing like some pople talked about in our weekly sessions; twitter ( which apparently is super great for getting information but I did not have the time to work with it as much as I would have liked; youtube is an amzing tool and after having to post a couple of items ( even though the talking head was my first thing and it was nto so hot) on it this past semester I look forward to sharing and producing more as I continue teaching; the last tool which I find amazing is digital storytelling – the pen story is unbelievable and the Apple Ilife 09 intro is very cool too –  I really want to take time to work  these tools.

Technology is entwined with everything we do and is not slowing down – if I don’t catch up I will be flat on my face watching the train speed away!!  I think it is important for all educators to get on board with it and find ways it works for them in their classrooms!  That is the important part – we all have to make it work in our own ways – the young and the old educators and life long students- must work togther at their own rates to incorporate all of the powerful tools technology can offer education!

Here is my first podcast:

http://web.mac.com/vancouver6/iWeb/Site/Podcast/Podcast.html

It took many hours but it finally worked!

December 8th Already…

Well it is here already. The last official class I can’t believe it!  The time flew by….  I decided to try to put together a podcast for my final blog…. I discuss some of the challenges that I found throughout the course as well as many of the neat tools and people who have helped me learn about so much of the technology available out there.  I have been diving into some of these tools and have been working with my students through some of it!  I find the kids are much more excited about learning when we talk about producing their own stuff!

The Mac’s have been great at school   – garageband, imovie, iphoto, etc!   Even though it takes many hours to learn and familiarize yourself with all of these tools – the possibilities are endless!

Thank you to all who have contributed to my education over the course of the past 4 months – it is is for sure going to impact how I teach my classes from now on – I already have plans for PE and Commercial cooking classes with all of these tools!

Enjoy my first Podcast – it is a first draft copy!!! Many tools still to learn!

Okay so I can’t get this podcast to upload…any suggestions – I have been trying for 4 hours.

A few things….

Understanding Technology

This is how I feel when my students ask me about the tools I am learning about right now!

First off I am still trying to understand the many tools we learned two weeks ago – many things to digest.  I have made an attempt to use more search engines than just google over the course of the past couple of weeks.  I seem to go back to what I am comfortable with …google… but know the importance of using a variety of search engines and tools. 

Secondly, I am working on my final blog post.  I was very fortunate to take part in a workshop last week on ilife 9.  WE discussed digital storytelling, podcasts, garage band, photobooth, i movie, etc. and then were provided time to fiddle around these to create our own projects.  Although it is taking and going to take mnay hours to create something meaningful to me – it was great to take part in something so incredible.  There are so many opportunities with technology that I have learned about over the course of the past few months my mind continues to race with possibilities for my classroom!

Lastly, the WIKI!!! I am currently in the process of getting all of the kids to sign up and explore the wiki.  It is taking longer than I anticipated but will hopefully be up and running with all of my team soon.  I also have a parent meeting this week and I am excited to introduce it to the parents as well!  It is a work in progress and I am learning more about it each day I work on it.  Again, I am excited to see how it “plays” out over the course of the semester!

Keep the feedback coming  – as I am always interested in improving my Wiki and learning more about technology!!

 

New Life Skills…..Media Literacies

I used to be an Information Processing teacher – about 4 years ago it was dropped from the elective list at our school because students were opting to take CPT and photography courses.  I think that says a lot about what skills students want to learn and feel they need to learn in order to participate in the technological world that surrounds us. 

I thought it was interesting that just below the video in the comments area one person added” you do not need to know how to use Facebook”. Yet our political leaders have Facebook sites, many businesses and corporations are using Facebook in order to get information out there.  We DO need to know as consumers what is out there and many people are still fighting the urge and trying to side step social media either because they are scared to learn or they hope it will go away.  It reminds me of a story about my uncle when he was told he had to learn the computer at work – he was absolutely angry that someone was forcing him to learn something he thought was not important and going to fade!  Yikes was he wrong – and now he loves the computer!  Many people are not educated on the important skills involved with social media and therefore choose to dis them!  But eventually just like the computer more people will have to learn these skills and be grateful once they do!

They biggest difference that I see in skills is the ability to multi-task effectively!  So many students believe that they are good at this – but not so many are!!  I think that we need to educate our students on what is vs what isn’t a good multi-tasker.  Doing a lot of things at once is not necessarily multi-tasking in my eyes – doing many things at once well – is truly the key.  When discussing this topic with students – I emphasize the fact that their name is attached to it. It is important to make sure that you care about and take pride in all of the things you are doing at once – not just do them to get them done!!!!  Here is an interesting video which discusses the myth of multi-tasking as productive  – but I do believe their are people who are productive multitaskers!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO_oEGHWSMU

I really liked the video “The New Media Literacies”  that Alec had us watch!  Lots of great things to think about!!!!

Uncovering the World of the Wiki…..

After reading many articles…it was time to dive in and begin my wiki experience….I figured it could not be that hard as it was a visual tool that would be easy to learn and work with…I was wrong… there is so much you can do and figuring it out is taking a lot more time than I thought it would.  There are so many tools that I have not worked with or for that matter heard of before-so I am constantly fiddling around trying to make it work for me.

Many of the wiki’s I have seen are easy to read and follow – I am finding it difficult to add documents, images and information and maintain a visually pleasing page.

Here is the link to my wiki -http://mmbasketball.wikispaces.com/

please take a look and let me know what you think and how I could improve it. I would appreciate any feedback as I continue to work through the world of the wiki!!!!!

Hopefully Alec and many of you will get me understanding…..as in the words of Understanding by Bob Seger

Completely Unrelated to ECI….H1N1

 Several hundred have arrived at the H1N1 clinic at Robert Usher Collegiate on Monday morning. Photograph by: Mustafa Ozer , AFP

Hundreds arrive for H1N1 immunizations in Regina. Photograph by: Mustafa Ozer, AFP

My kids went to get their H1N1 shot yesterday….what a gong show… why is it that some people think that the world revolves around their schedule (people budding in line and claiming stupidity)and why is it that the media thinks they have the right to stuff cameras into the faces of screaming two year-olds.  Absolutely no class… and the response of the reporter …I am working get out of my way….What?  you are working…the kids are scared and screaming not to mention cold due to standing outside for an hour to get the shot..and you can only worry about your job…I just needed to rant….thanks for the mode of relief!!!!

Reflecting on the Process…#1

After much time and consideration I have finally decided how to go about my first official open media approach to teaching.  After many readings and several blog posting, comments and replies – I think I am ready for this endeavor!

Originally, I was thinking that I would introduce a blog to one of my Phys Ed classes to get the kid s thinking about and reflecting about experiences that we were taking part in.  I have problems getting students to hand in assignments for PE so I thought by having the blog as part of  their assignments it would encourage students to participate in class discussions and in turn promote better learning.  As I contemplated this though – I felt unsure if this was the right setting to begin my adventure…  and then at 3:05 am on Saturday morning it hit me …. I would begin my journey with a wiki with a smaller number of students and with kids I know and understand on a different level!! I am going to begin a wiki for the basketball teams at Miller – with the emphasis being on my team.

My second project is to introduce a blog that will get the kids talking and reflecting about our games and practices.  Hopefully getting the kids responding to different views about performance. I would like to encourage other coaches to contribute to the conversations with the kids too!

I see the wiki benefitting many of the students as it will be up to date with practice schedules, changes to game times, relevant info to parents and the team, etc.  I see so many pluses – my assistant  coach used to text each student with relevant info – however, this will be so much easier!

The blog will get student athletes reflecting about games and practices beyond the gym and hopefully will get them thinking about ways to improve the team game not just during the 3 hours a day we are together!

I have chosen this group because I feel that I have trust built up already with these kids and feel more confident in the success of this for my first trial!!!

Any suggestions – please let me know?

Gaming in Education

I just had the privledge of listening to Sylvia Martinez speak of gaming in Education in my ECi831 course.  She has many great points about the advantages of gaming within our classrooms and what to look for in a game that is worth using.

It was interesting and ironic that she told us to stay away from  games that are stamped educational.  She also showed what types of games are out there to play – many that are not helping students learn at all and not challenging our students either.  I would like to hear what our students are saying when they are asked to play some of these types of games!

Questions that I have:  We are always told not to let our students play games at school because of bandwidth issues and are encouraged to shut down students who are playing games on the computers.  I believe that their are games that are valuable and could see the importance of speaking to administration and board members about their existence in our schools.  Are there similiar situations out there?

I am a PE teacher and am constantly trying to enage students to think about PE in different ways.  We have recently purchased a Wii and are looking into the DDR.  I hear many people comment on the disadvantages of the Wii – but I see value when introducing skills  and body movements prior to taking part in activities – I would like to know what others  think?

I was asked to “engage your inner skeptic to answer the question: Why has the use o f games in the classroom become a “hot” topic in education lately?”.

I believe that teachers are trying to find ways that motivate, engage, and challenge their students.  I know that my students are very much technology enthusiasts and most of them look for ways to incorporate new technologies into their lives all of the time.  I also know that students are gamers – as they talk a completely diffent language when discussing games in my classes – so therefore teachers are embracing this and finding ways to incorporate games into classrooms.  At the moment, I am having difficulty reaching a certain group of students in my school – I was thinking during Sylvia’s talk tonight that developing a game may be worth a try!  Thank you Sylvia

Blogging …A New Era in Gottsela’s World…

Q:  What are your thoughts on educational blogging after reading this? Have they changed?

A. I have to admit I had only heard of blogging  up until about 4 weeks ago when I began my own blog…but as I am learning about them and using them I believe that there is great merit in them!

 

Q:  Do you have ideas where you could use blogging in professional reflection, network building, or in your classroom?

A:  Once I get the hang of blogging I think that I can use it in many areas of my life.  I am thinking that this might be the easiest way to promote ideas and ask for advice on questions about league structures for high school sports – which is one of the areas I would like do so research on.  It would be great to have input from people who may have tried various methods and which ones worked and which ones didn’t and why?

A  second example is Professional Learning Communities – it would be nice to build up a network of individuals wanting to ensure success in Phys Ed.  Again a place where many individuals who may want to work together to tackle the issues that inhibit our students from enjoying life long participation in Physical fitness or activity!!!!  It is always difficult to  get together with people in person to share valuable information in our areas of interest!  I am currently searching for blogs with respect PE right now!

I asked Sue Waters on her blog what are the top 3 things that should be taught to students before blogging in a  classroom situation. 

I am also trying a pingback for this to see if it works? So many things so little time….

Key Question of the Week from George Siemens (Please Respond): Learning in networks is not new. But, given the growth of the internet and more recently, media used for socialization, networks are now explicit. Unfortunately, too often learning networks are discussed as contagion – i.e. learning occurs simply through contact. Reflect on the discussion during today’s session and consider in what way learning is networked (beyond social contact). Specifically, what are the implications for educators? How do we “teach differently” in networks than we do in a classroom? How should our priorities change in skill development? And, as the field of networked learning grows, where do we turn for guidance and direction?

I think that one change is that you are able to spend more time with indiviudals than one would in the classroom.  I have also had the pleasure of communicating with people all over the world.

As an educator  –  we are able to facilitate individual learning  – ex. when teaching a subject about something in Egypt i can have my friend (who is there) communicate with my students and help them with questions they might have!

I have so much to learn about the technology involved and how to prepare my students for this type of learning-

In our department at school though we are working using a more constructivist approach and having then kids ask the questions that are important to them and then planning around their questions.  I am hoping that I can grasp some of this information quicky to begin incorporating this into our department – as I feel like I am really behind after communicating with so many of you in this class around the globe!

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