I Can See The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

So I found module 6 to be quite easy in the fact that it didn’t take me very long. Normally a module takes me an entire day to finish, sometimes even two! I was glad it was this way because  it means I have more time to work on my final project. I really enjoyed making the Voki. It was probably the most time consuming part only because it was so distracting. I found myself changing characters and voices which made it a lot of fun. I thought that the the TIM matrix was really cool and provided a lot of useful ideas that I can incorporate into my class when I’m a teacher. I will definitely have to remember the site. Thankfully we have our blogs as a resource if we ever want to use any of the information we’ve learned in our own classes. I guess that’s one of the best parts of a blog, it doesn’t take up space in the filing cabinet! It’s hard to believe I’ve completed module 6, it’s been a long road here. I’ve learned a lot and I’m itching to used what I learned in my final project!

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Learning About The Technology Integration Matrix

Here is my Voki to sum up what level I feel I am at in the matrix.

Using TIM as a future teacher:

I found the matrix to be a very helpful tool in learning the many ways techonology can be incorportated into the classroom. The great thing about the matrix is that it’s almost like levels of a game. Once you place yourself in a category, begin by mastering that category before moving on to the next one. Technology is a hard thing for some teachers to get used to and have difficulty finding ways to incorporate it into the classroom. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and we think we have to dive right into be a fulling technology using classroom, but that’s not true. I believe that the matrix can be beneficial to those teachers who find technology overwhelming and to realize that it’s okay to start in the entry level category. By seeing what level you are at, you can read and listen to examples of how other teachers are integrating technology into their classrooms. Once you become mastered in one level you may find yourself getting to a higher and higher level, where soon you are mastering the transition level.

I found the site to be like a support system for teachers in the way that you are able to see other teachers working at their own levels of the matrix. Not all teachers are working at the transition level of the matrix and its reassuring knowing that you are not getting left behind. As a future teacher, I would love to use this tool because it allows for someone like me, who doesn’t have any teaching experience, to get ideas from other teachers. It is a beneficial tool because it provides examples of outcomes being met that a probably similar to the ones taught here in Saskatchewan. It not only gave you examples for each level of technology integration but it gave examples for different learning environments in the classroom. This can broaden our spectrum of ideas of using technology in the classroom. I also think that it is beneficial to see how technology is used in more that one subject area. Sometimes we have a hard time coming up for ideas for using technology in subjects such as math but the videos provide great examples of ways to do this. Not only math, but subjects such as science, social studies, and language arts were presented in videos as well.

As for the videos and readings I looked at, they were very interesting. I found my self thinking to myself how I would use a lot of these ideas in my own classroom. A lot of the videos seemed a bit older, so it would be interesting to see more of the oppourtunities to use technology that we would have now a days. The possibilities seem to be endless. But that’s why its important not to get too overwhelmed. It’s not like we’re transitioning to a technology based classroom over night. We’re just expected to use ways of using technology here and there, making it easier to slowly transition into using it more frequently. By then it will just be like second nature. As I have stated numerous times, technology is the future and its something we’re going to have to learn. But it’s important to realize that it’s going to take time and to not get yourself too overwhelmed.

Learning About BYOD in Module 5

After completing module 5 I feel like implementing BYOD is something I would consider more than I would have a week ago. It has both pros and cons but depending on how you use it in your classroom ultimately affects its success. The tasks this week were fairly easy, the only bump in the road was the lesson plan. The task was straightforward enough, it was just finding time to sit down to get  it done and figuring out what ideas worked and what ones didn’t. As for my final project, I have been doing research and planning but I have nothing to show for it yet because I’ve just been putting it all down on a Word document. I think that I want do create a blog now to showcase my lesson, but we’ll see once I get it underway.

#saskedchat

I just completed the #saskedchat meeting and I thought I’d share my thoughts. It was actually a neat experience. Though I didn’t really know what I was doing, I tried to follow along the best I could. I found it very hard to keep up and I felt like the conversation was going so fast that I didn’t have time to comment myself; I was more interested in reading others opinions. I absolutely loved the community feel and support of the meeting. My first tweet on the convo was that I was new to twitter and had know what I was doing. Immediately I had several people replying and giving me support. It definitely seems like it is something you have to work on to really get the hang of. One girl gave me a really great link that shows a faster feed of the conversation and allows you to pause which comes in handy. Click Here to view link.  As I left and stated that I was still getting used to  the #saskedchat and I again, I got lots of support saying that it takes awhile to catch on and to come back. Needless to say I felt very welcome and if I did have questions or comments I wouldn’t feel insecure about posting them. I may just have to check it out again next week!

Maybe It’s Growing On Me – Module 4

I will keep it short and sweet since I wrote lots in the reading responses but I just wanted to post on the events of module 4. What I got from module 4 is that there are some really interesting ways you can use technology and the internet……so maybe it’s starting the grow on me a bit. This week really highlighted that while the internet can be a dangerous place where you need to take caution, it can also be a great place for learning and many opportunities. I loved watching the videos; it was a nice change from reading articles. I will saw though, I found that tasks for this week a little bit all over the place and confusing, but I tried my best and I hope I did well!

The Constant Debate

Is technology harming us or enhancing us as learners? This is a question that I have constantly been asking myself throughout this whole process of learning online. While part of me wants to rebel against technology, throughout my learnings in this course, especially this week, I can’t help but see some of the benefits that using technology in education can have.

Something that struck me hard this week was a quote I had heard on the video Using Social Media In The Classroom on CSeiferlings’s blog.“The children that I’m teaching have grown up with the internet their entire lives. For me to ask them to come to school and power down makes school seem like a different place that was not in touch with what their real lives we like” – Kathy Cassidy.

While I’m leery of diving right into the world of technology, how, as a teacher, can I avoid something that my future students have growth up with and been surrounded by their whole lives. It really makes me put my foot in my mouth and rethink my views and opinions of technology. I mentioned last week, that it’s just a fact of life and it’s just something we have to live with. I know this even more now after this week. I went to school during the transition of technology in education, so I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum, these kids haven’t.

So through all of my discovering, I thought I’d see what others thought about about this debate and came across the debate Should technology be used in schools? I was surprised to see that 72% said yes and only 28% said no. I was actually thinking it would be a little more 50/50. There are definitely some interesting things as you read through and a lot of the people have some very interesting and educated points. The biggest thing I can take from this is that no matter what we do there are always going to be pros and cons but I think that it is how you choose to use it that makes the difference.

I also came across some sites that I found interesting but were more for the anti-technology side: Is the Internet Making Our Children Stupid? and 8 Ways Tech Has Completely Rewired Our BrainsDon’t worry, they aren’t too long. They both make some very interesting points on how technology has effected us as humans and is worth taking a look at!

Module 3 – We Can’t Run From It!

I have to say, I actually didn’t mind module 3 this week. I wasn’t sure about the Google Hangouts activity when I first read it but once we got on, it was actually quite enjoyable. I’m glad my group members knew what they were doing because I had no idea. It made it really easy and I didn’t even have time to get frustrated! That’s always a plus! I think I can really take away a great lesson from this. Many times we try to figure things out on our own and usually it ends in frustration. I think the message here is not to be afraid to ask others for help and sometimes things are easier when we work together. Sometimes we let our ego get in the way from allowing others to help us.

I had a lot of fun with using Google Hangouts. When we’ve used it for our synchronous sessions it can be hard because there’s too many of us so I feel hesitant saying anything in fear of speaking at the same time as others. When we did it for our collaboration there was just the four of us and it was the perfect amount. For having to spend my Thursday evening on the computer, I have to say I had lots of fun.

So the big topic of this week was social media. Well, it’s something that has been a part of my life for a while. Facebook was probably my first occurrence with social media. I believe I’ve had my Facebook account since 2007. Since then a whole lot has changed. Not only in the way it’s used now compared to when it was first created, but it is now among numerous social media sites. I love the fact that social media can keep us connected. A world that once seemed so huge now seems so small. It’s amazing how fast things have changed since then. I can’t imagine what the next ten years will look like!

My biggest problem with social media is that it’s become an addiction; one that I know many probably face. I currently have a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Pinterest, and Tumblr. I often find myself looking at them on my phone after just having checked them. With that said however, if these applications are used correctly, they can serve to be very beneficial for its users. My fear is just that people will abuse it and overuse it, to the point where that’s all they’re doing.

After reading this weeks articles, it was nice hearing how social media can be beneficial as a teacher. I think that it’s something that is so a part of our world now that it’s nearly impossible to avoid, especially as we’re getting into the field of education. It’s one of the many professions that is constantly changing and keep up with the new technologies. It’s important that we keep up along with it, no matter how much we may disagree with it. We can’t run from it, so we might as well accept it!