Concluding Contemplation

Final thoughts on Final Project:

You Video, I Video, WeVideo!!

What is WeVideo you ask??

Well, it is an interactive tool where you can record and edit your own videos. OH ok, how can I use this in the classroom?

Kids these days look up to “YouTubers” as role models and I wondered how I could tap into this kind of learning to engage my students in a safe, online way? Well, let’s just say I am not ready for my own YouTube channel BUT I am having fun making my own videos which Regina Public Schools has a license for. The videos are saved in my Google Drive and can be shared with my students via Google Classroom-love that feature!!

Here is a quick video that explains how to use WeVideo.

I made a series of videos for math with each one on a particular multiplication strategy. I love how easy it was to edit, add music and transitions to the video. My students LOVED watching me on video and this was something I will definitely try to use in other subject areas.

Check it out:

I also discussed how I used the app EDpuzzle in this post “Exploration of EDPuzzle” to assess student understanding while watching videos. This blog EdTech Awesomeness (love the name) highlights how you can use this tool to:

  • flip your classroom
  • differentiate your instruction
  • encourage creativity and mastery of content
  • engage learners instead of being passive consumers of information

I would recommend trying this to any teacher in elementary or high school as you can control how difficult you make the content.

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I chose both of these apps based on the ability to integrate them with the Learning Management System that I already use-Google Classroom. I am mindful of how much we are asking students to access with all the different tech tools available and I LOVED that both of these apps were easily accessible to my students through their “home base” that they were already familiar with.

The final piece of my project was starting a classroom Twitter account which I discuss the beginnings of in this earlier post. I expected all my parents to be excited about this new communication tool but was met with some resistance and concerns. This mostly stemmed from students pictures online and the fear of online bullying which after we discussed what my intentions were, their initial concerns were eliminated. I can see the potential for connecting with other classrooms and experts around the world and agree with Jana’s post “Going Global!” that in today’s world we must show our students how to connect globally. I can see the great potential of using this tool to connect to others and wanted to empower my students to find their own voice to create their own tweets. This is definitely an ongoing project that needs modelling by the teacher and encouragement(and reminders) for the students that their thoughts or questions are worth sending out to the world. I plan on continuing this project for the rest of this year and hope we make some new connections with other classrooms and individuals from around the world.

This old gal did learn some new tricks and going forward I will continue to add to my “tech toolbox.”

EC & I 832 that’s a wrap!!

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Learning new tech skills, was it Mission Impossible?

I have really appreciated the support that this group of classmates has given each other both through your comments on the blogs or on Google +. This course has not only educated me about the topics of Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy but has also pushed me to be a creator online, not just a consumer.

My Summary of Learning includes some highlights from this course in a “Mission Impossible” style that I hope you will enjoy!! It is really hard to sum up in only 5 minutes the many topics that we have covered and the relentless hours exploring new technology. SO here I have included some of the highlights for me. I used Google Slides to create the visuals and Screencastify to record. Check it out:

 

 

Exploration of EDpuzzle

I love to use videos to engage my students and have used KidsHealth videos when learning about “Body Systems” in Science class before but was searching for a way that I can make them more interactive.

Enter EDpuzzle 

This app makes “videos into lessons” by enabling you to crop videos and insert questions to check for understanding. Our next body system in Science was the Nervous System so I found the video that I usually use via YouTube and created 5 questions for students to respond to which included a True/False question, a multiple choice question, and an open-ended question.

Here is a short video explaining EDPuzzle:


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The students were not only engaged in this task but actually said they preferred this assignment independently rather than watching it as a whole class. The feedback from students included: “I liked that it was easier to watch it on my own and having questions during the video instead of after so that you don’t forget at the end”. and “It was better to use my headphones on my own so I could listen to the information better”.

The results are even scored for you if you select a correct answer but you can score the open-ended answers yourself. Here’s an example of how I could see my students answers:

Oh and if you are a Google Classroom user than you will LOVE that assignments can be posted to your account for students to easily access. This is a great feature and one of the reasons I chose this app for my final project.

When reviewing the Privacy Policy I found this information interesting:

How does Edpuzzle use the information it collects?

First and foremost, you should know that Edpuzzle does not sell or rent any of your, or your student’s, personal information to any third party for any purpose – including for advertising or marketing purposes. We use the information we collect from you to provide you with the best Edpuzzle experience. More specifically, this information is used to:

  • Provide and improve the Service, for example by developing new products and features
  • Respond to your requests for information or customer support
  • Customize the Service for you, and improve your experience with it
  • Send you information about new features and Edpuzzle products we believe you may be interested in
  • Most crucially, to protect our community by making sure the Service remains safe and secure

We use automatically collected information (described in the “Information collected automatically” section above) to provide and support our Service, and for the additional uses described in this section of our Privacy Policy.

Can I opt-out of providing information

You can always decline to share personal information with us, or even block all cookies. However, it’s important to remember that many of Edpuzzle’s features may not be accessible, or may not function properly.

Although I don’t like the idea of an app collecting information about the user or your use of the app, I do see the value of companies using the information to improve their product.

How do you use videos in your classroom? Will you try EDpuzzle to improve your lessons?

What’s your Superpower?

Hey you………yeah you!! If you are reading this then you are using your media literacy skills!! Right now you are probably thinking should I read the rest of this, is this going to be worth my time, will the information be valuable or even reliable, who wrote this, is this based on opinion or fact? These are all very good questions to ask yourself while you are “deconstructing” the information you are reading. According to Andrea Quijada in this TEDx Talk, “once students know how to deconstruct media, they have gained a superpower”. As educators, we need to encourage our students to think critically about the media they are experiencing in their everyday lives.

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What IS media literacy you ask? Well, this article suggested by Erin, not only explains WHAT it is but also WHY it is important. We all are users and consumers of different kinds of media that are all around us but you can’t believe everything you read, watch, or hear so asking questions while your brain is receiving information is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced.

How do we explore this topic with our students? Dani suggested this video would be a great place to start:

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What are other ways that we can be “literate” in this world? Well, beyond being media literate, physically literate or even mathematically literate, I think we also learn to be “socially literate” by learning some social cues like taking turns and giving people personal space. Anyone remember this guy?

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As educators, we know that increasing our students’ skills in media literacy is important to navigate through their journey in life. What are you doing to build media literacy superpowers?

Twitter Time

Part of my Project for this course was to implement a classroom Twitter account. We have had the last few weeks on Twitter and have added a few more followers and a couple tweets(1 from a student and 1 from me) but my students need reminders that they can be writing “tweets” on the forms I have provided them in our class. Give us a follow here.

Our latest tweet:

We have had some feedback from a parent that did not want their child learning about social media at a young age so I have been cognizant of their wishes. Unfortunately, that means that I haven’t been promoting student involvement as much as I would like to. I would like students to utilize this as a resource to “ask an expert” on a topic they may be studying about either in curriculum or genius hour topics. I would also like to connect more with other classrooms both in Regina and around the world. Should we host some sort of classroom “tweet up”?? What sort of planning and organization would that include? I know there are not many classrooms at my current school with an account and wonder how we can encourage teachers to try something new? How do you share your enthusiasm with your colleagues without them feeling like it is one more thing added to their already full plates?

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Do you have any ideas how to use Twitter in the classroom to empower and engage my students in learning Media Literacy through this kind of communication tool?

Know Your Role

When reflecting on the role of schools in teaching Digital Citizenship, I wonder IF it is even being taught? How many educators are not aware of the policy planning guide from Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Education that Krista discusses in her blog post called “It takes a Village to Raise Digital Citizens!” I could not agree more with the idea of educators playing a major role in teaching students how to be more equipped with the skills to be safe online but what resources are being utilized and is there consistency from grade to grade?

Where can educators look for resources?

Common Sense Education is a great place to start!!

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It is time for Digital Citizenship to be weaved throughout curriculums so lessons aren’t just a “one-off” and will have a greater impact on student online behaviour. This article includes ideas for educators to incorporate on a daily basis. We need to be role models and lead by example so students can not only relate to what is online but also to respect it.

In addition, Google has made resources on how to be safe online with their “Be Internet Awesome” site which includes an online interactive Interland game. My students recently played the game and were very engaged and at the same time, learning how to be smarter online. Check out how to play:

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Teaching Media Literacy is also important for our 21st Century Learners. I agree with Dr Rob Williams in this TedTalk that “we can define Media Literacy Education with 4 action verbs: access, analyze, evaluate and produce”. How can we incorporate these into learning about online behaviour?  Finding good resources(like those mentioned above) and using them for our students to become critical thinkers is the role that teachers need to fulfil.

What resources do you use to teach Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy?

No WiFi?!?! No Hay Probelma

Have you ever taken a digital break from all social media apps, emails etc?? How did it make you feel…..anxious, less connected to your friends or even the world?? Well I just spent the last week in Mexico and WiFi was not included so instead of paying $55 USD per device my husband and I decided to take this time to be disconnected on our devices.

I totally understand that this is much easier to do while on vacation surrounded by your new surroundings and occupying your time with eating, swimming and beach activities. The only use I had for my phone was for music, as a camera and as a clock(which I rarely cared what time it was). So I  reflect on how I felt being disconnected and if it had an impact on my routines after returning home.

Travelling with another family meant we spent a lot of time together and I didn’t even have time to watch TV!! That’s right…..no news, no Survivor, no “This is Us” episode(although I knew this would be recorded at home). While I felt that I really wasn’t informed with the current happenings in the world, I also felt like “ignorance was bliss” and considered what do I really need to to know that would impact my life right now?

Our friends did pay for WiFi and when we asked what they were using it for, they replied with playing an online golf game, Candy Crush and checking/updating Facebook.  I am not on Facebook but I am on Instagram and as I was taking pictures of my family throughout the week I thought about posting them later on Insta(which I still haven’t). I later found out after returning home that our circle of friends knew about some events-like the kids decorating cakes in their chef hats-before I was able to tell them about it. Who has the right to disclose the events in your life? My friend never asked my permission to post any pictures that may have included myself or my children on Facebook so who can control their own “Digital Identity” when others could be? Should moments in your life be kept to yourself and not posted? Does that make them more or less special?

SO has this “Digital Break” had an impact on my daily life after returning home? Will I stop watching TV?? Of course not!! Am I more aware that I am using my phone to “check out” instead of relaxing or being present with my family-YES!! After checking my email and finding almost 100 emails where there was about 4 that were important, do I need to reduce or unsubscribe from a lot of them-YES!! Even looking at who I follow on Instagram and Twitter makes me want to question-what the purpose of following them is, do our needs change over time and do we need to have a “Digital Detox” to refresh our Digital Identity? What do you think?

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Learning to Fly

When I told my class we were starting a classroom Twitter account, they were VERY excited!! I showed them their current school account, as well as my own, and gave them a few pointers about what “followers”, “retweets” and “likes” meant(they seemed to be well versed on what “hashtags” mean). We decided to use a name that identifies us that you are welcome to check us out YQRClassroom @MYVI2018 but SPOILER ALERT we haven’t “tweeted” anything yet. In the following weeks I plan on encouraging their ownership by giving them opportunities to write the tweets. This may be a question they have or comment about what we are learning with the intention of linking to the Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship focusing on communication, literacy and etiquette. I will be leading the tweeting so to speak. If you are new to Twitter this website can give you the basics Twitter 101.

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Next up on my exploration of Social Media apps, I decided to ask my students what apps they currently use. A few mentioned Snapchat but the most common app was YouTube. At first I even questioned if YouTube was even a “Social Media” app but after further investigation, I discovered that it sure is!!

How do I use YouTube as a platform to engage the learners in my classroom? I already use videos in Math and Science but I have never created anything myself. Well, the first thing I did was search for videos that could help me out. This video that I found from Edutopia explains the basics of how to use YouTube but I am left with questions about how I can create videos that will have an impact on learning. Well I now have a direction……find the tools that will help me CREATE my own videos on YouTube. How do I do that?!?! Further investigation and probably some bumps in the road are anticipated. I guess I am “learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings”(Ode to Tom Petty RIP).

To Be or Not to Be? That is the Question for Education Today

The world is changing……A LOT!! How is that going to impact the next 20-30-40 years?? The answer is…..we don’t know!!

SO how do we prepare our students for a world that we are not sure what it is going to look like or even need? Well I feel that my job as an educator is to prepare my students for anything. They need to be able to have the skills and the confidence to diversify.

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This article has some ideas about what will be Shaping the Future of Education in 20 years that I agree with: students will learn at different times and places, more choice, personalized learning and ownership of their own projects and learning, as well as, assessments that reflect ways of applying their knowledge.

I believe that as long as parents need to go to a workplace then students will need to go to a school but what happens in that building will look very different. Teachers responded with more creativity and classrooms looking like a makerspace according to the article What’s the Future of Education?  I do believe that education can happen from anywhere but what will society lose if we decrease the face-to face social interactions that our students currently have on a daily basis?

Which leads me to think about common values, that I believe(and hope), will never change; like showing empathy and compassion. Will we lose the ideals about “waiting your turn” and “treat others the way you want to be treated”? These continue to be important building blocks for interpersonal skills so if most of the interacting students will do in the future will be online, what impact will that have on society?

After all that discussion about what could possibly change or stay the same, I ask the question: Will schools BE the place where students develop their skills for the future or NOT BE because education has a difficult time evolving?

Visitor or Resident??

 

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I must admit something……..I was born in the 70’s, that’s right-I’m THAT old!! Which means according to David White’s video Visitors or Residents, I am a visitor which I actually do agree with. I use technology as a tool to find something or accomplish a task. I do not feel that I have an online identity(although I am building one here).

I still remember when I was around 12 years old, my Dad brought home our first ever computer which was used more like a word processor. The typing was only one color-green and when you printed your writing out the printer had a roll of paper with perforated holes on each side that you had to tear off.  It was only 4 years later that I started my first email account(which I still have) and began searching for information on the “World Wide Web”. So does that make me a “Digital Immigrant” to the current generation of “Digital Natives”?

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That’s right I grew up in the age of the “Cabbage Patch Kids”-the original ones!!

I agree that the description in the PBS Idea Channel video about growing up with more access to technology doesn’t mean they are versed in the facts of how they function. I also think that your attitude and motivation to learn about technology can have an impact on how “intelligent” you are in it, or as Prensky would say Digital Wisdom but the facts are the facts-my generation did not grow up having an online identity.

So how does this affect me as an educator? I used to try to be in touch with the latest trends in technology and I could teach my students something new but in the last few years, I know I am not keeping up(and who can these days) and it’s my students who are now showing me digital trends.  I agree with Logan, when he discusses important points from Prensky that education and teachers in particular need to evolve and listen to their students in order to create 21st century citizens who think more and create products to show their understanding. I am hoping this course will enlighten this “guest” to bridge the gap closer to it’s “citizens”.