So many exciting technology showcases took place during class today. A highlight for me was becoming more familiar with coding. We had the opportunity to gain a litte bit of experience by playing around with Scratch; a tech tool I will definitely be introducing to my future students. The website provides students with modules to complete so they can learn how to create their own online games, really neat and easy to follow.
As for the rest of class, we briefly covered the following topics:
GAFE: We were encouraged to work through certification modules, which can be found here!
Virtual Reality: Unfortionately, children below the age of 13 are not supposed to engage through VR. However, we learned about accessible resources on campus to explore further if desired.
QR codes: We learned about some cool ways to incorporate QR codes into the classroom to enhance student learning. For example, tutorials on worksheets. I think this is a great way to support students in working at their own pace.
We started off today’s class by learning a little bit about graphic design from some of our talented peers. They explained the design principles of C.R.A.P. (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity) and how to pay attention to them as professionals. From there, we were set loose to use Adobe Spark, Canva or PicMonkey to create something for ourselves. I created the image above using Canva (which is now my twitter header)! It was super easy and there’s tons of free templates without watermarks. I will most definitely be using it again.
Experimenting with Sketchnoting really opened my eyes to other ways of processing new information. I’m looking forward to exploring TED talks online to learn more. Here are a few images of my practice notes.
Twine is a really neat online platform used to create choose your own adventure stories (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch actually originated here). The only part of Twine that took some getting used to was saving the html file to my UVIC server. However, I’m glad to have gained a little bit of coding experience in the process! I know my younger sister and future students will love this handy tool.
Today, Colquitz Middle School teacher Heidi James and her students met us in the computer lab to help us discover why Minecraft is such an awesome learning tool! It was a truly wonderful experience to learn from such enthusiastic and passionate students. My ten-year-old sister plays Minecraft at home and I’ve never put a whole lot of thought into what kind of skills the game actually entails. Let me tell you, it’s a lot more difficult than I expected. Even basic movements like walking and jumping were challenging at first. The idea of building houses and worlds seemed impossible. However, with the help of Heidi and her students I finished our time together with a solid understanding of the controls. More importantly, I learned how Minecraft can fulfill and exceed curricular competencies in Math, Science and Social Studies. Not to mention develop social skills since the game is highly collaborative. Learning and playing in class today made me realize why I need to bring Minecraft into my future classrooms. I can’t wait to go home and play with my sister! Thanks Heidi and students, you rock!
So today’s class was full of so much variety that I really couldn’t think of a more creative/descriptive title. We met in the videoconferencing room to start the class with Verena Roberts in celebration of Open Education Week. Her informative slides and presentation concerning how to expand K-12 learning through open educational practices was really helpful.
After, Jesse Miller (creator of Mediated Reality) met us back in our classroom to discuss digital/networked literacy, safety, privacy, and how it can impact our professional practice/learning. What a treat it was. Jesse really set the record straight about a lot of concerns we all had as future educators. He emphasized the extra caution we must take as professionals on social networking platforms and beyond. My initial reaction was to delete all of my social media accounts to avoid any future complications. However, Jesse quickly reminded me how important it is for adults to model appropriate online behaviour for children. So instead, I will happily be reviewing and adjusting my online presence. I’ve already started by creating a professional twitter account.
I can’t even believe how much I learned in 3 short hours! Time to process all this new information.
Although our class time was cut short yesterday to make room for our visit at George Jay Elementary, we covered some really helpful information concerning copyright. We learned that a safe place to find photos for personal use is on the Creative Commons website. Moreover, we learned the best practices for attributing the photos we do use (a guide can be found here). All important knowledge to have moving forward as a professional.
We spent the remainder of the class reviewing our peers’ blog posts and providing them feedback. I really enjoyed reading about all the different inquiry projects going on and seeing how other learners document their journey. Furthermore, seeing all the beautiful blogs really motivated me to up my game and make some tweaks on my own site. Now as I strive to make my blog more aesthetically pleasing, I know to deliver credit where credit is due (ie. proper photo attribution).
I’m feeling so inspired after visiting with Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt yesterday in her kindergarten classroom at George Jay Elementary School. Unlike other in-school visits, class wasn’t in session so my peers and I were fortunate enough to have Rebecca’s full attention. Her slides and narration not only emphasized the importance of honouring learners’ questions, but how one can do this in the classroom. Most of us in the BEd degree program didn’t grow up with inquiry-based learning in our classrooms, so we’re still in the process of familiarizing ourselves with this new concept. For me, it was extremely refreshing to learn from an elementary school teacher who proves that it’s possible and practical to put these ideas into action.
I look up to Rebecca and greatly appreciate all the knowledge she shared with us. Her ongoing dedication to support student learning beyond her own classroom is truly astounding. It was also reassuring to hear her say that it’s okay if it takes us a little while to fully adopt inquiry into our own practice as new teachers. I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders when she made that clear. Rebecca encouraged us to ease into this process by building strong relationships with our students and asking them questions like “what do you see/know/wonder?” during our lessons. These expectations are much less intimidating and totally doable during our upcoming 3-week practicum.
Thank you for your invaluable time and resources Rebecca. I wish you all the best and look forward to staying in touch.