Major Project

My major project was quite enjoyable. I was tasked with creating an online unit. Now it took me some time to figure out what exactly I wanted to teach, and every unit is different and some units would work better online than others so, I decided to search for a unit that would allow a formula to describe and and explain and than very simple answers, to keep it in the style of Khan Academy. Which I think is the greatest thing ever invented but thats just me.

After finding my unit of surface area and volume in the grade 10 mathematics curriculum in saskatchewan. I got to work on trying to find a tool to use in order to create this Khan Academy style videos. This defiantly was the hardest part but after a fellow student mentioned Educreations in a comment on one of my blogs, that is the tool I went with.

Educreations is a very simple tool and I really enjoyed using it. I created 10 videos explaining the main objectives of the unit and by completing the quiz on Edmodo which i Created a learning space just for these videos, it definitely prove some of the indicators that would require me to say my students completed their objective.

My videos can be found in this google doc here.

My Test for this unit can be found here. 

Summary of Learning

 

For this semesters summary of learning I decided to create a trailer to show off some of the skills that I have learned in ECMP 455, this semester has taught me many things, and many skills that I will take with me into my future endeavours. I hope you really enjoy watching, and hope to see many of you in the field in the future

 

If you would like to view my amazing Trailer I made for my summary can be found here.

My actual summary of learning can be found here.

Is Constructive Online Discussion Possible?

This week in ECMP was interesting to say the least, the class focussed majorly on a discussion about a fellow students post, now I will admit I did not read the post until the discussion happened so I was a tad bit confused as to what was going on, after reading the post by the student, I was interested in what he was saying and he made some valid points as well as the people who were criticizing his post.

However I feel like the discussion in person worked out and was way more constructive when talking face to face, because after reading the comments, and seeing certain words people were using, I just feel as though it is tough to get across a point while being behind a keyboard, people misread texts, blogs, post, tweets, the list goes on and can cause quite a stir up. I personally believe that it would require a certain level of maturity in order to have a “online discussion”, and since we are all in university I think it is possible, however I still believe that peoples words and comments will be misread and could be taken the wrong way. There also is always going to be that one person who flat out disagrees with everything your saying and you will have to be able to deal with that and take that as constructive, if not then I don’t believe an online discussion is possible.

It all comes down to how old the people are who are involved in the discussion, if I was to ask a group of high schoolers to try and have an online discussion without someones feelings getting hurt it would be near impossible. You have to know your group of students to see if online discussion is a possibility, because most of the time there will always be that one or two or three or how many ever, that will become defensive with no matter what is being said. You also might get somebody who is personally out there to just tick people off in an online discussion, someone who will just poke and poke and aggravate people to the point that it starts an even bigger argument, so you as a teacher have to be aware of these types of people if you are thinking about having an online discussion.

Now is it possible to change someones mind in a online discussion, in my opinion absolutely…..not!!! No matter how hard you try to change someones mind in a online discussion, people will always have their opinions and beliefs and will come as close to agreeing with you on some points, but it will not be enough to change that persons mind. The reason, in my opinion is because people are stubborn when they go online, they become what I like to call “keyboard heroes”, I personally believe it is more constructive and easier to try and change someones mind in person, because you can see their emotions and how they are reacting to what you are saying, and this could help more than hiding behind a keyboard and stating your opinions and people commenting and reacting off there emotions to online post and discussions.

I am sure for those who read this will agree with me and some won’t and thats totally fine and you can read this post over and over, but guess what its not gonna change and if it does thats great, but I will guarantee this, if I was to have this discussion in person you would be able to see my emotions and how I explain things, but just by reading this you can’t really tell, so comment and let me know if I changed your mind.

Digital Citizenship

For this week we had to blog about topics that my class had discussed in our lecture last Wednesday. For the most part we talked about the safety of the internet and using certain technologies in the school. Whether that be youtube, or mimicking and social media trends that going on and incorporating them into your classroom. Near the end of the lecture we started conversations about Digital Citizenship. Now what exactly is Digital Citizenship?

Digital Citizenship is very complex term and can mean a number of different things to different people, however after searching the web for information on Digital Citizenship I stumbled across a website which can be found here.  On this website it help me better understand Digital Citizenship and its definition. On the website it stated that Digital Citizenship helps parents/teacher/students/etc. use the internet and online tools in an appropriate manner. Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 7.08.36 PM.png

Above pictured is the word for word definition that was given on the website that I found on Digital Citizenship. I also found out that there are nine elements when it comes to Digital Citizenship and those elements are Digital access, Digital Commerce, Digital Communication, Digital Literacy, Digital Etiquette, Digital Law, Digital Rights and Responsibilities, Digital Health and Wellness, Digital Security. These are all the nine elements that are involved with Digital Citizenship. Now instead of describing each one, the definitions for the following can be found here.

Now Digital Citizenship is not something that is overly new for me, we did learn and discuss quite a bit about Digital Citizenship, looking up definitions can take a while, however I found a great Youtube video that if you are interested in viewing will help you maybe better understand this term. Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 7.23.39 PM.png

The link to this Video can be found here.

I think this is a very important issue to address, because it is basically outlining the proper way ti use social media and the internet, and if we aren’t education our teachers, or students, some very controversial and possibly inappropriate things may happen and be posted, so that is why I think it is important to talk about Digital Citizenship in the classroom. I would simply dress this issue in my classroom by asking my students what they think about social media and what they think having good Digital Citizenship is all about, form there a discussion would start and I would outline some key points that they should be following when using the internet and popular social media sites.

I also stumbled across a edtopia site, that breaks down several ways you can discuss and teach Digital Citizenship which can be found here.

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Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Twitter as an Educator

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This week was a very interesting topic and for most of us a familiar topic. That topic being the use of Twitter as an educator. For starters my thoughts of using Twitter as an educator is very bland, I really like the idea of sharing information, with students using Twitter, I like the idea of connecting with fellow educators through twitter and meeting new people and learning about new things that we as educators can use to better our teaching which will better our students. I also like how easy Twitter is to use, it is very simple tool to learn and understand and can easily be taught to someone who may be new to Twitter to help that particular person better understand.

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My thoughts on Twitter have definitely changed over time. At first I could honestly care less about Twitter, I thought Twitter was something to have just because everybody was getting it, I am not a regular Twitter, I have been twitting a lot for our class, however after our class is done with for the semester I can’t see myself continuing to tweet. However after our last class, and after our twitter chat,  my thoughts have changed, I met a lot of very cool people, through the twitter chat. I learned a lot about others and learned their views on using Twitter as an Educator and a lot of it was positive. So yes my thoughts on Twitter have changed over time. The biggest change for me was following interesting people, if you follow boring people, your going to get boring stuff, if you follow interesting people and people who tweet often, then you will be connected to  unlimited amounts of information.

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Some benefits that I can see for using Twitter is connecting with students and parents over Twitter, which to me is probably the most important benefit, because I personally believe that communication is key to success and if you do not have communication than you can not expect your students to understand or learn properly and to the best of their abilities. Another benefit is sharing resources, it is super simple to tweet out a link to a site, or a link to an article and this will allow for not only yourself to find interesting material, but it will allow you to help others and your students be able to find the resources you are wanting to share with your students, very accessible.

Some challenges I can see using Twitter is not everyone may catch on to the trend of checking their Twitter accounts, and that might be the biggest challenge in my mind. Another challenge that you may have is the educator wanting to use Twitter, some people are very unfamiliar with Twitter and may turn to using different online tools as a way of communication. Other than that there is in my opinion the two biggest challenges you have to over come, because after those challenges are beaten, then twitter is definitely the easiest tool to us in order to communicate with your learning community.

Study Blue Review

This week, we were given the freedom to explore any thing related to edtech. I have always wanted to be able to find a tool that I can use to help me study and connect to other students. I have heard of a few tools, but I wanted to find something new, that we have not discussed in 355 and 455, and I think I found one that everyone would quite enjoy, and it is super easy to use. The tool is called StudyBlue.

This online tool allows you to connect with other students who may be taking the same classes as you, and allows you upload your own notes and flashcards to help other students study or regain information that you may forget. Now you can sign up as a teacher as well but for the purpose of my blog I took the student route. Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.56.38 AM

Once I signed up as a student using my google account, you can also use Facebook. It gave me the option to fill in which university I go to, as well as the class I was taking and the professor who was teaching the class I had picked, for my exploration, I used my religious studies class, and my professor is Kevin Bond, who by the way is an awesome prof and definitely recommend taking a class with him. Anyways Once there a bunch of terms on flash cards showed up and I then clicked study now. Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.59.29 AM

Once there a term will pop up I went through a couple and just guessed at what definition was. The term above in the picture is the definition to Culture. You can flip the card over using the spacebar or by clicking the flip arrows. Now from there you can click the thumbs up if you got it right or thumbs down if you did not. After you’ve studied for as long as you want, you can click finished study and it actually displays your “stats”

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I only did a few questions and guessed on most but it shows how many I got right and how many I got wrong as as it shows how much I have mastered the subject. I also really liked how it has the option not to just study again but to only study the ones I got wrong.

I really enjoyed this tool and recommend it for anyone who is willing to sign up and anybody who wants to get the extra help when studying. This tool is free however there is an option to pay, and when you pay it allows you to use Studyblue on you phone as well as upload your own notes for others to study. It also gets rid of ads and access to more study material provided by StudyBlue.

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Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and try out the tool.

Major Project Update #3

From my last blog post about my major project I briefly explained where I was at in my project. I talked about how I have decided which unit I will be covering and that is grade 10 foundations and pre-calculus and the unit covering surface area’s and the comparing of three dimensional shapes. If you would like to see the outcomes and indicators, you can just click here.

Now I didn’t really share any of my progress or anything that would show that I have completed much, I more or less just talked about my completions and all the stuff I have done. So I would like to take a moment in this blog post to briefly show you what I have finished. The problem for me was finding the right app to use to help me create instructional videos. Now thanks to one of my classmates Amy Martin, she gave me a tool/app I could use called Educreations. Educcreations is great, you can sign up as a teacher and build your own social space and share all of your creations or you can have students sign up and join other classes and learn through this app and website.

 

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Since my last post I have been playing around with this tool more and more, and it is honestly super easy to use and super easy to upload my videos to my class, which if you would to join my class you could create an account and join Mr.Cowpers Math Class. There is a code to join and that code is DUYJJTK. If you don’t want to join that is totally fine.

To show you where I have gotten I want to share my first lesson now it is not the greatest legibility I have terrible writing but it is very informational and quick to the point and very simple and basic instructions to help students understand the proper way to find the surface area of a sphere.

To view my video you can click here.

 

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Thanks for viewing and reading more videos of my class will be posted from now on every week hopefully.