C’est la fin…

 

Well, ECI 834 has come to an end. After taking 831,832, 833 and 834 with both Alec and Katia, I have to say – it’s incredible to see my progress when it comes to Educational Technology. Every class has offered something new and exciting and everything is applicable in every classroom! I have always pushed my own comfort zones and have found myself more immersed in wanting to learn more about EdTech and its application in the classroom.

The Module project had to have been one of my most favourite assignments to date towards my Master’s degree. It is honestly the most practical piece I have worked on in a long time (aside from Units that I create for my elementary students).  I hope to actually put pieces of it to use next year!

Chalyn, Justine and Aimee were an amazing team to work with and I am so proud of what we accomplished. We received some amazing feedback that really helped us get an outside view of something we were so close to. Thank you to our reviewers for all the great suggestions and comments – they were truly appreciated.

We created this Google Doc to address some of the suggestions and comments made by our reviewers.

For my Summary of Learning, I used the Do Ink Green Screen app to create an infomercial to sell ECI 834. It is a sarcastic view of how corny infomercials are but it also explains all the qualities of Blended and Online Learning. Thank you to Logan, Amy and Angela for helping with testimonials and to the teachers at my school for being involved!

Do Ink Green Screen App is an easy enough app to use, but it does take some time to get used to. My original green screen I was using wasn’t “green enough” for the app and my skin tone was too close so I looked like the Invisible man. My students really enjoy the app and for my purposes, I found it to be useful. I’m sure their are better apps to use, but they may not have been as user friendly as Do Ink.

I hope you enjoy. Thank you again to Alec and Katia for a great class (and sorry for mis-pronouncing your name in the video Katia- I’m not really sure how it came out that way).

 

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Will Adobe “Spark” Something New For Me?

With this being my 4th class with Alec, I am always learning new things, but this particular week challenged me. I needed to find something “new” to try with regards to teaching with technology. A lot of the suggestions put forward by Alec and Katia are ones that I have already tried or am already using as often as possible. It was Jenn that inspired me. She has spoken quite a few time about Adobe Spark and I wasn’t all that familiar with it.

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CC image via Flickr by Vernon Chan

Bates wrote:

Different media have different potential or ‘affordances’ for different types of learning. One of the arts of teaching is often finding the best match between media and desired learning outcomes.

These particular sentences resonated with my own personal belief about teaching. No two children are alike, so how can we teach one way to all of the children? Back in my days (yup, I’m about to date myself…), we were only taught one way – with notes, worksheets and textbooks. That was fine for me, but, as I look back on my classes in elementary and secondary school, I can “see” the struggle that some of the students in my classes had. In elementary school, my particular group was known as “that class”. It was quite challenging in terms of behaviour. However, maybe it was because some students were never offered what they needed in order to feel successful. Granted, technology today allows for those students to explore more options in terms of what they need in order to learn. Today, I feel that it is my duty as a teacher to make sure I explore all different types of media that will allow my students to be successful. So I was up for this week’s challenge! I wanted to create something that would supplement our Module Assignment and fit a Grade 3 learning level.

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CC image via Pixabay by JeongGuHyeok

I thought I would put together an Adobe Spark Page that described how First Nations used all the parts of the bison. The Smithsonian Institution National Zoo already has an amazing, interactive piece that describes all the parts of the buffalo, so I decided to re-create it using Adobe Spark. I would have likely just directed the students to the Smithsonian link, but I knew that for some students it would be difficult to navigate the very wordy sections. Using Adobe Spark Page, I was able to narrow down the text to just the information they would need. Thankfully, the Smithsonian site has a great terms of use policy that allows for usage with proper attribution, which I greatly appreciated.

I did like using Adobe Spark as a teacher, but I feel it is beyond the capabilities of students younger than Grade 5 without a lot of help from a teacher. I chose to do an Adobe Spark Page because it had the most options I was looking for. I could make it interactive (links), it was visually appealing and it had more features to it.

Adobe Spark Post confuses me. From playing with it, I gather it is simply a “digital poster making” page. I did not see a use for it based on what I was wanting to accomplish.

Adobe Spark Video was my original choice. However, I soon realized that everything needed to be pre-recorded and saved to my laptop. I could not pull from YouTube and it would not connect to my laptop camera. This was a major negative for me. The editing features appeared to be easy to use, but unfortunately, it didn’t have the 1 feature I really wanted: to be able to record directly from my computer or pull video from YouTube. It would appear that I will have to have a chat with Stephanie to see how she managed it!

Adobe Spark Page is a new way to create a PowerPoint or Slides presentation. You do need to have a log in and password to access it, which is always a nightmare when working with younger students. However, as a teacher, it is a new way to provide information to students. The ability to share it with an online link or an HTML embed allows teachers to share the content in various ways with their students.

I would recommend that you give it a try and see if it is for you. I could see myself using it again, but it isn’t necessarily my first choice.

Parts of the Bison

Brainwaves and Final Projects

studying hard by Dean+Barb, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Dean+Barb 
I haven’t blogged about my final ECI 832 project at all because I haven’t really organized it enough to blog about. However, the last couple of weeks, things have really started coming together.

My project is a combination of App reviews and role of the Teacher-Librarian (TL) based on technology and the teaching of Digital Citizenship in schools. This past week, I attended our monthly TL meeting at our board office. Our PD was going through the new Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools continuum and discussing specifically what the role of the TL is in supporting and educating students with regards to Ribbles Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. Each element was broken down to include the key considerations and the TLs were asked if those elements were essential parts of their job to educate.

One of the major points that came across consistently during the discussion was that we (teachers) are expected to teach this to students where the teachers themselves are not comfortable or even knowledgeable about digital citizenship and it’s elements. This takes me back to a conversation during one of our first classes were Katia asked “Could we not interchange the word “digital citizenship” with “treaty”. If teachers are not taught or understand the concepts themselves, how realistic is it to teach the students about it accurately.

 

 

One of the parts of my final project is to adapt the TL Role rubric developed by my school division. Under the rubric:Teacher-Librarian as Information Specialist, there is an element regarding the integration of technology into classrooms. It reads as follows:

3.  Provides support in technology- enhanced learning

EMERGING: Developing skills necessary on how to use and integrate technology instruction.  Introduces staff and students to the skills necessary to locate, access and select online resources. 

DEVELOPING: Supports the use of technology in basic activities including: use of library software, internet searches, and some applications.  Sometimes integrates online learning resources into instructional planning.

EFFECTIVE: Regularly coaches learning activities or works with individual students when applying technology by integrating it into units of study or projects. Organizes technology enhanced learning opportunities for staff as needed. Familiar with the latest advances in school based technology.

ENHANCED: Integrates technology seamlessly into the learning process. Effectively uses technology to support the teaching of curriculum outcomes and to differentiate instruction. Organizes technology enhanced learning opportunities for staff routinely. Keeps up on the latest advances in school based technology.

The current flaw with this rubric is that the focus is only on the integration of technology. If Teacher-Librarians are to be asked to help with the integration of the Digital Citizenship Continuum then our role needs to shift from just technology integration to include using technology safely and in a manner that conforms to the standards set out in the continuum. Part of my final project is to adapt the rubric to include the role of the TL in incorporating Digital Citizenship in classrooms with teachers and students.

One way of doing this is to collaborate with teachers and students. I have 3 classes that will be participants in a half day study of what digital citizenship is and how to incorporate it into their everyday lives. I will be recording my sessions and making a video to share parts of how I am teaching the students and teachers about digital citizenship.

iPhone apps sphere by blakespot, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  blakespot 

The final part of project is to review some apps and websites that support the initial part of the rubric about integrating technology. However, my integration of technology is its use in the library.

I will be reviewing the following apps:

  1. Aurasma: This augmented reality app allows users to view book reviews created by students at the school.
  2. Epic!: This app provides free ebooks to students. Teachers create an account and the app provides ebooks for students to use. They can achieve badges, track progress and has an audio book feature.

The website I will be reviewing is:

  1. Bookopolis: This site allows students to write reviews of books they have read. Reviews are shared with all students who have an account with Bookopolis. Students can also recommend books to friends and find new books for themselves to try.