Tech Tasks

#10- Collaboration, Tools, Social Networking, and Identity
The changes that are currently happening and that will be happening in the near future in regards to collaboration, schools, and my own practice is substantial.  Upon entering university, I was only used to school the way that I knew and experienced it.  School for me usually looked like desks in neat and orderly rows with the teacher at the front of the class, leading the lesson.  While there was some opportunities for me, as an elementary and high school student, to work with my classmates and do some collaboration, it definitely did not look the way the I envision the future of collaboration in the classroom. 
The following two videos are examples of how I now envision collaboration in the classroom in the future…
(Thanks Alec!!!)
Throughout my university career, I began envisioning collaboration as students’ desks being in pods or groups, plenty of interactive activities, and students working in groups.  I still do envision collaboration in my classroom to look this way, but ECMP 355 has put another spin on the way that I envision the future of collaboration in the classroom.  The two above videos are perfect examples of how I envision collaboration now.
Using tools, like YouTube to connect with others, creating and sharing videos with others, the use of Skype, classroom blogs, student blogs, and Google Docs are all examples of the way that collaboration could look in my classroom.  They are great ways to encourage collaboration and discussion, but they also encourage social networking.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter enable people around the world to connect with each other, whether they are friends or strangers.  This will play a role in my practice as an educator because I will have to be aware of what my students are doing online, so that I can work to teach them about appropriate internet use and safety.  It will be a part of my job to teach my students that what they put on the internet is there forever, and that the things that they do on the internet, where they think no one can ever trace back to them, actually represents them and can affect their future.  For example, take a look at the video posted by Alexandra Wallace (below), her identity has now become “UCLA Racist Girl.”  This is a prime example of why it is extremely important to teach our students about how they portray their identity on the internet, including through the use of social networking.
This video shows us exactly why we need to teach our students about responsible internet use and how once we put something on the internet, even for only a minute, it is there forever!
Anonymity and Online Community: Identity Matters by John Grohol explains the importance of attaching your name, in some way, to the things that you say and do online.  This article explains the downsides of being able to be anonymous online.  This supports what I said about the need to educate students about responsible internet use- allowing them to be anonymous may not be the best answer, but we do need to make sure that they also know how to control how much they put out there. 
Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Worlds discusses the pros and cons of collaboration in the classroom.  Of course, there are good things  and bad things to go with everything, and it is necessary to be aware of both sides of a situation.  Therefore, while collaboration really is a great thing, there still needs to be a balance between collaboration and independent work.
Balance is the key!
#9- Six Word Stories
#8 Spreadsheet
Here is the link to Tech Task #8.  We were given numbers to use for this spreadsheet for anticipating the costs for a Fall semester of university.
#7 Pod Cast


#6 Door Scene- In Need of Change
#5 Priceless Video Creation
#4 Slide Creation
Dreamers by ecmp355
#3 Media Response
Summary of Key Points
  1. We don’t know what the world will look like in five years, yet we’re supposed to be teaching for it.
  2. Creativity is as important as literacy- they should be treated with the same status.
  3. Kids will take a chance.  If they don’t know, they’ll have a go- they’re not frightened of being wrong.
  4. Wrong does not equal creative, but if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.
  5. Kids don’t have this fear of being wrong, but adults usually do.  In national education systems, mistakes are the worst things you can make.  Consequently, we educate people out of their creative capacities.
  6. We are born with creativity, but we grow out of it, or we get educated out of it.  Why does this happen?
  7. Shakespeare- even the world’s most famous and creative people start out as children and go to school.
  8. Every school system around the world has the same hierarchy of subjects:  1) Math and Languages  2)  Humanities  3)  Arts- Art and Music are given a higher status than Drama and Dance.
  9. As children grow up, we start to progressively educate them from th waist up; We focus on their heads.
  10. An alien visiting earth might conclude that education is to produce university professors- people who come out at the top.
  11. Education was originally used to meet the needs of industrialism with the hierarchies being the following (most useful subjects at the top):  1)  Most useful subjects for work are at the top.  For example, “Don’t do music, you won’t be musician.”  2)  Academic ability- for university entrance.  Many very talented people feel less useful because the things that they were most interested in and good at in school were not valued, like music and art.
  12. The structure of education is changing.  We need to change our view of intelligence.
  13. Intelligence is diverse (visually, sound, kinesthetic, abstract), intelligence is dynamic (interactive;the brain divides into compartments.  Creativity, as defined by Robinson, is the process of having original ideas that have value), and intelligence is distinct (each person has their own way of learning and thinking).
  14. We have to rethink the fundamental principles by which we are educating our children.
  15. We have to use our imaginations wisely.  We have to teach our children for the whole being that they are.  Our job is to help our children and students make something of the future.

My Thoughts About this Video…

Upon reading the summary for this video, I was prepared to be against almost everything Robinson was going to say.  This summary made me think that this video was going to discuss how schools don’t foster creativity in students and try to produce identical human robots, but it didn’t!!!  I was happy about that.  The video actually discussed how we are all born with creativity, and how schools can impact this creativity both positively and negatively.

The first point that I strongly agree with is #4- if you’re not prepared to be wrong, then you’ll never come up with an original idea.  To me, an original idea is something that no one else has thought of or tried before.  It results from experimenting and creativity.  To come up with something new and creative, you would have to take a risk.

The next point that I agree with is #5- in schools, mistakes are the worst things you can make.  Think about it- we mark an answer on a test wrong if a student ‘makes a mistake’ by not knowing or just getting it wrong.  How should we approach this?  We still have to assess students and give them a grade, but how can we do it in a way that fosters their creativity and risk-taking spirit?

Point #13 is huge- intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinct.  This makes me think about how as educators, we incorporate a variety of teaching strategies so that we can meet the needs and interests of all our students.  Each child learns differently, so we need to teach in as many different and diverse ways as possible.

In closing, I actually enjoyed this video.  It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be, but it was better.  It helped me to think about the way that I plan to teach and reminded me that each student has their own set of unique and individual needs.


#2- What is the role of the teacher/school in the teaching of safety and appropriate use in social media?

computer monitor by Mediajon I think that teachers should try to keep up with the times, which means keeping up with technology and social media.  It may be time consuming for some, especially when time is limited for most busy teachers, but I think it is beneficial in the long run.  I think that it is beneficial because it will more than likely connect to the interests of some or most students.  A strong number of young students are very involved with the use of technology now, so we should try and use that to our advantage.
Profile update: Your teacher has now joined Facebook talks about a great social networking system that is meant for schools.  Radiowaves takes into consideration that young students need to be safe, so it’s staff filters all comments posted by anyone.  This is a good thing and safety should be considered first, but  shouldn’t we also be teaching our students about being safe and appropriate on the internet?  Shouldn’t they learn about responsible behaviuors instead of always depending on someone else to ensure that they are safe?
12 Tips for Safe Social Networking offers some great advice that everyone should know about how to be safe while using social media.  I think that teachers definitely should consider teaching social media safety and appropriate use.  In addition to this, should teachers teach about cell phone etiquette? Cell phone etiquette could easily be tied in with the appropriate use of social media.  We teach students about acceptable and polite behaviours in general, so why not branch out into teaching internet etiquette and cell phone etiquette?
In conclusion, I think that it most certainly is a responsibility of teachers to teach students about safe and appropriate media use, which can be done through researching safe practices and implementing common sense.  We teach our students appropriate behaviours for being out in the world, so we should keep up with how the world is changing and teach appropriate behaviours for the growing and changing worlds of our students.
#1- About Me!
My name is Kailey. I’m in my fourth year of Middle Years Education at the University of Regina.  I grew up in Moose Jaw.  I figure skated while growing up, and I have now moved on to coaching skating a bit here and there.

I have basic computer and technology skills.  I can use Microsoft Word, the internet, and some of the other programs that computers have.  While I do not always know how something works, I am fairly good at trying different things to see how they work.  As a result, I can usually teach myself how to use an unfamiliar program (usually!).  During my internship I had the opportunity to use a Smart Board.  This was the first time I’ve ever really used a Smart Board.  It was also the first time my cooperating teacher had used a Smart Board.  We worked together to learn how it worked.  My cooperating teacher told me that I helped her to be less scared of using the Smart Board and taught her to be more willing to just hit a few buttons and see what happens.

I think that having and using computers and technology in the K-12 classroom is a great thing!  Having another way for students to learn and communicate really helps to build a stronger community.  Encouraging students to use computers for blogging, videos, Youtube, and such is a great way for them to be connected with each other and their community.  I think that incorporating technology, or at least the option of technology, for students is a wonderful idea.  Doing so will help to reach all students and all learning styles.  However, I do think that there is a time and place for technology.  Students still need to learn how to write using a pen and paper; they need to know how to write something (a letter, essay, story, etc.) and how to edit it, without relying on spell check.

In this class I hope to learn about different technological programs that are out there that can be used in the classroom, as well as how to use them.  I hope to learn about creating videos, editing videos, and embedding them on a blog.  I do not have a ton of experience with some technology and different programs, so learning about how to use some fun and interesting programs is what I’m really hoping to gain from this class.


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