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Category Archives: Tech Tasks

Last Tech Task-Final Reflection

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Tech task 5a

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I’m struggling with this tech task more than any other, mostly because I feel I have nothing much to say on these topics. I never read anything without considering what might be the authors purpose and bias and on the Internet I greatly enjoy hearing from the other side of the issue usually through the comment section. I was impressed that in most of these cases the discussion stayed very civilized and professional for the most part. On the internet that is rare because people feel anonymous, so I often see very hurtful and inflammatory comments left on posts that deal with more controversial topics. I think the purpose of this task was to teach us to not accept things at face value and to dig deeper into an issue. I’m struggling because it seems like a well duh to me…however I realize that it isn’t obvious to everyone.

The beauty of the Internet is that everyone can share their ideas and opinions with others, however this means that everything comes from someone’s perspective. No one ever manages to stay completely neutral. Every web page you visit is there for a reason but often that reason isn’t clearly identified. I used to teach seniors how to surf the Internet at the public library and the hardest thing was teaching then to look at where the information came from. This became crucial when talking about health websites, who publishes that website will have a lot of influence on the type of information you will find. Learning to identify a drug companies website from a government website is crucial. Both will give you information and the information is important but what you do with that information is what matters.

So do I have an opinion about whether 0s should be given to students or whether Facebook/Twitter are good educational tools. Yep but I have no background to base it on its my opinion and not a very well formed opinion I’ll be honest. I’ve read these pieces and formed an opinion but I don’t feel like my sharing my opinion is of great importance to these debates. Sometimes wisdom is knowing when you have nothing to add and keeping your two cents for another issue.

Tech Task 5b part 2

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This is a design assignment called Lyric Typography Poster from Mission: DS106 website.  The task was to take the lyrics from a favourite song and turn them into a visual design.  I love this song when sung by Ella Fitzgerald it can make you cry it’s titled “Someone to Watch Over Me”  It speaks to me on many levels and has for a long time.

What have I been learning

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Well it’s been a long haul but I’m about halfway through this semester so I think it’s time to talk about what I’ve been learning.  I’ve been listening in on a lot of great conversations on twitter and I have found that twitter is a great way to get “in the know” about new ideas.  I’ve gone from a twitter avoider to someone that really enjoys it.  I do wonder about the boundaries between professional and personal that seem to get blended on twitter.  I find it hard to keep a professional relationship with people after you’ve read their drunk twitters, however that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps its a softening of the boss/teacher as god perspective that has reigned for a long time into a more approachable co-learner/leader perspective.  

Remind 101 is awesome, but I doubt I’ll be using it in kindergarten but if I was teaching older students I would totally use it as a tool to safely incorporate cell technology into a classroom.  I like that theirs a way to enter into the students world without needing to compromise their information privacy or yours.  Combined with the cool cell poll/clicker technology I’ve seen it makes a strong argument to include cells into your classroom.  The only reason I doubt I’d use it is that most kindergarteners don’t have their own cell phone however, that being said it could be a way to send reminders to parents about upcoming events and classroom requirements.  So never say never 🙂 maybe I will use it.  

That I am a google aficionado.  I listened to Michael’s talk and while I found it really interesting most of it wasn’t shocking to me.  I think that’s because I’ve been beta testing for google for a while so I’ve fallen down that rabbit hole.  I love a lot of google tools.  Google calendar I swear it saved my marriage, my late husband and I could both access our calendar, make changes and see what’s going on….brilliant! I know a friend who is divorced and remarried with step kids and all the parents share a google calendar to keep track of the kids schedules in a way that everyone can see and she swears it helps keep everything running smoother for the kids.  I love google docs and was excited by the ways Michael shared that I can use it with kids in the classroom I actually hadn’t really thought through how to use it in a class setting so that pretty much blew my mind.  Picasa is amazing! I use it when I travel to upload my photos and share them with my family back home all I need is an internet cafe.  It was great to be in India and be able to quickly upload my photos, know that they were safe and that my family could see my adventures.  I could go on for pages about the ways I use google but I think that would get boring.  However, what I appreciate the most about google products is how easy they are to use.  It’s obvious that they put a lot of time into their development and how people will use it.  I guess the most useful tool I follow is the google labs where I find out about new products.  

That students need someone to guide them in technology because it is not intuitive.  No matter how comfortable with technology a student or teacher appears their is always new things to learn and ethics to think about.  So as a teacher I need to teach my students how to think through new technology and lead the way in learning.  I can choose to stay in the comfortable area but if I push myself outside of that box my students will benefit and their learning will be increased.  

Survey Time

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Podcasting on Podcasting

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Well I’m feeling better, a big thank you for the get well soon wishes.  Ready for another busy week but before it starts I needed to finish up my tech task from last week about podcasts.  So here’s a two part podcast discussing my favourite podcasts 🙂 it’s not the best podcast out there but it turned out better than I thought.  Boy do I say umm a lot so next time that’s something I need to work on.  I edited some of them out but it’s a filler I need to work on removing from my list.  Also I’m a little chatty so it’s in two parts 🙂

Podcasting pt1

podcasting pt2

All of the podcasts I mention are available on iTunes for FREE and the complete list is:

1. Stuff you Missed in History class

2. Stuff Mom never told you

3. The Current

4. Definitely Not The Opera

5. Vinyl Cafe

 

6. Storynory

7. TED Talks Education

Twitter Chatter

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Well last week we were supposed to join a twitter chat, being new to twitter it took me most of the week to figure out how to join a chat and then I realized most happen in the evening hours.  Sunday evening I was going to participate in the #1stchat chat using tweetchat. I signed in easily and since I’d practiced with tweetchat I was feeling pretty prepared.  However, it was their end of the year review which mostly involved everyone thanking one another for various supports during the year and sharing their summer plans.  I didn’t have anything to contribute to this chat, which is why you should check the chat topic before you decide to chat.  This week I’ll try to get into another chat and will update my progress.  I did use tweetchat as a way to check in on previous chats with groups but not a live chat.  It was cool to see the live chat happening, it reminded me a lot of the chat rooms I used to go to in the late 90s. Somethings I guess don’t really change they just evolve into new forms.  I used to enjoy chatting with people from around the world about common interests (usually books in my case) and chat rooms were all the rage.  Now twitter is the new rage and you can still chat about common interests.  

This weeks tech task has me all excited…PODCASTS!! I love podcasts, especially while driving the eight hours to edmonton to visit my family!  I have a bunch I listen to so watch for my list later this week and I’ll share my journey to find an education themed podcast I like to add to the list.  I’ll also be producing a podcast which is exciting I just need to decide on a topic to talk about.  It’s nice when you get to share something you are really passionate about and why I feel okay about continuing my twitter chat tech task into this week because it won’t leave me feeling overwhelmed.  

Blogs I follow

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Like I’ve said in earlier posts I enjoy reading blogs but I am still pretty new to the education blog scene.  So this week’s tech task to find new education blogs to read and subscribe to was a great reason to branch out.  

Joe Brower “For the Love of Learning” is a blog I’ve been reading for a few years now and is one of the best education blogs I’ve found.  I’ve mentioned his blog before but wanted to highlight it again because I think it’s so great. 

Deborah J. Steward M.Ed “Teach Preschool” she publishes daily and gives lots of great ideas that would be easy to implement in an early childhood setting.  I just started following her blog but so far I am really pleased with what I’ve seen.  

Josh Stumpenhost “Stump the Teacher”  I actually don’t know when I started following Josh but he writes with a sense of humour I quite enjoy and manages to cover some of the deeper issues in a way that is very accessible.  I like that he is just a down to earth teacher.  

Gwyneth Jones “The Daring Librarian” I have a strong interest in educational librarianship and Gwyneth has a great sense of humour and discusses some really enjoyable topics.  I’m new to following her but I’m looking forward to reading even more from her.  

Beth Redford “The Connected Librarian” This is a new blog for Beth where she’ll be discussing more technology in librarianship but so far it’s really informative and helpful so I’m excited to see where she takes it.  

These are the 5 education blogs I’m following right now but I’m finding that twitter is a great way to discover new blogs so I expect my list will grow.  

Friday Night Rambles

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I spent today with a good friend doing a little window shopping but did stumble upon a great deal.  If you are in Regina the teacher store Helping Hands is going out of business because the owners want to retire.  They therefore have everything on sale for 50% off and still have a great selection of items and have a few last shipments of new items still coming in.  I thought I’d share this information because it is a fabulous chance to pick up great resources or toys at amazing prices.  

The amazing deal that sucked me in was the fact they had Folkmanis puppets on sale.  If you do any puppet work you probably have heard of Folkmanis but if you are not familiar with them I’ll tell you why I love them.  They produce very lifelike animal puppets that are amazing to use.  They also have people puppets that are well made and easy to use and look a little cartoony but still life like.  I especially like the animals because they are very realistic and I find children really enjoy playing with them or watching the puppet perform.  

On another note I realized I didn’t talk yesterday about why I am not a fan of video blogging.  It’s not that I don’t like watching video blogs but like many women I just don’t like how I look on camera…yep it’s a shallow reason why I don’t video blog but that is the reason.  I did appreciate the chance to go through the process of producing, uploading and embedding the video into my blog because I learned a lot through this activity.  Technology wise I enjoyed the process of video blogging it was much easier than I thought it would be and I even didn’t mind getting to talk my thoughts instead of typing them.  In the end I am actually feeling pretty good about my video and I think with time I could even get over the shallow looks aspect.  However, in the end I think I’m going to stick with regular blogging for the most part but I’m glad I have the experience so I can teach my students how to make a video blog if they wish.  

A first Vlog and an introduction to me

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Well it’s not the best video and I am not sure I am really interested in becoming a great video blogger but it is fun to try new things.