Summary of Learning – Part 2

We can all help others learn in so many ways. In this post, you will see ways in which I have contributed to the learning of others and my classmates.

I used Storify to catalogue some of my tweets and re-tweets – some which I think show evidence of my contribution to the learning of others. Storify is a great tool because you can search your own tweets, tweets from others, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google, and you can also embed links to help you create and share a story.

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You can also see my Storify online.

Throughout the semester I have also created a collection of comments I have contributed to my classmates blogs and a few to YouTube Videos and other blogs as well. I don’t know if I’ve made a comment on everyone’s blog, but I gave it my best effort to read a wide variety of posts. Sometimes, I still find it  hard to find the right words to share in a comment …

Click here to see this GoogleDoc online.

It has been wonderful to read their ideas and to see what they have learned through out the semester. I have enjoyed offering feedback, support, comments and ideas to them just as much as I have appreciated receiving the same from them.

Summary of Learning – Part 1

For the presentation of my summary of learning, I did a couple of different things:

I first created a slideshow using sliderocket to organize my ideas and Scribd to share it here, as my file was too big to upload using Slideshare:

 

Then, I took most of those slides and added my thoughts to them to produce the following video:

 

But since this summary was a little long, I took the above video and made a shorter version to be shown in class (highlighting what I really wanted to communicate and share with my classmates):

 

All three are a little different and I don’t expect you to view all of them. However, if you have the time to watch one of them, I would recommend you watch the second YouTube video for an insight into my learning from ecmp355 this semester.

Through being exposed to a variety of tools, information, resources and knowledge, I have learned a great deal and have gained a stronger understanding of the technology around me today – things that I will be using, things that my students will be using and things that other people are using. I am now competent with a variety of tools in which I can produce, remix, share, edit, and can collaborate with others through many means. I have a greater appreciation for: YouTube, the many tools Google provides, Twitter, the idea of re-mixing, digital story making, online learning spaces, WordPress, pod casts and the many forms of learning – synchronous and asynchronous. Most importantly, I’ve learned the importance of integrating technology into the classroom with learners of all ages.

Oh, and I highly recommend that all University of Regina students in Education take this course as it should be a requirement for your degree, and that it should be taken before internship would have been so beneficial for internship. Although, it has prepared me and made me ready to be in my own classroom with students and to use technology – I am eager to enter the profession!

 

Asynchronous Learning – Part 2

I came across another video by Angela Maiers which I found on TEDx Talks. “TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, ‘ideas worth spreading.’ The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.” – TEDx.

Angela Maiers is an education and technology consultant from Des Moines, Iowa who shares with us how two words can change a life and her talk is entitled, “You Matter.”

I follow her on Twitter and now after watching this video, I understand the message behind #YouMatter.  If you have the time, I would highly recommend watching the presentation.

 

Here are a few highlights and important messages I took away from the video:

  • We were created for significance, yet most of us have the feeling that we don’t matter.
  • It is important to tell others that they matter and that you see them as a human being.
  • “… the person at work, the person in your neighbourhood, … it could be you sitting there wondering, working and living and learning in a place where they do not feel significant. Where they do not feel like no matter what I do today, no matter how hard I work, no matter what I accomplish, is there anybody in the world that is going to notice me and that going to care that I got up and showed up today?”
  • “People that matter know that when they are noticed, when they are valued and when they are depended on.”
  • Watch the video to see how Angela inspires students through a notebook and see how they notice those around them, show others that they are significant and watch them be geniuses!
I believe that it is important each day to tell our students “you matter”. Tell them that you noticed the little things they do, the good things and even things that they can do better. Notice your students and get them to notice the good in others. Remind them that they are an important part of your classroom and that if they are not their, a piece of the class is missing. Together, the students need to know that they can depend on each other, and that you as a teacher can depend on them. Our students need to believe in their work and that what they are learning and doing each day is important to them, their families and community, the school and the world. You never know what your students will end up doing in the future so challenge them and inspire them. Give your students courage, inspiration, empowerment and get them to know that they matter, that they are significant and that they can help others know these things as well.

 

If you’re reading this post, I’d like to tell you that ‘you matter!’

 

Asynchronous Learning – Part 1

Asynchronous learning – people online learning independently at their own pace and time.

I watched a keynote presentation by Angela Maiers. This presentation was done in 2011 as part of an annual K-12 online conference. Presenters create videos, usually 20 minutes in length where it is posted for people to view.

The presentation by Angela was centered around the conference’s theme, Purposeful Play.

Her presentation is entitled, ‘The Sandbox Manifesto‘ – “The ‘Rules of the Sandbox’ are not just for kids. There is much we can learn as teachers, leaders, and citizens of the web and world. See how playing nice and playing well is not just only good behavior, it is good strategy for success on the Social Web. Join me as we explore the tenets of ‘The Sandbox Manifesto’ can serve us in our classrooms and communities.”

Here are some quotes from Angela which resonated with me:

  • “Play isn’t simply something we do as an extra part of our life. Play is life. It’s through play that we find ourselves.”
  • “Play is also a place where change happens. In play, we create, we imagine, we dream, we dig, we tinker, we discover and amazing things come about from those experiences.”
  • “… the end of learning as serious work. The end of learning as covering content. The end of learning as something boring and something standard.”
  • “Play is work.

This reminded me that as teachers, we should remember the importance of play for all of our students. They need play to dream, create, imagine and to explore. Not everything has to be so structured. I think we should let students play – whether they are in kindergarten or in grade 12 and as adults too!

Then, Angela plays in a sandbox with students. She discovers rules of the sandbox as told by the kids: be humble, be respectful, don’t throw sand, share, take turns, work together, you can’t be in other people’s way. As I watched the clips of the kids playing, they were happy and they were having fun using their imagination – they didn’t need a tv or video game to entertain them, they were content with the company of others and the sand and their own creativity.

Angela then presented the 10 tenets (principles/beliefs) of  “The Sandbox Manifesto“:

  1. “Sharing is caring” – share more, care more, give more and find success.
  2. “Messy is good” – you will find freedom and beauty.
  3. “Imagination is your greatest asset” – anything is possible.
  4. “Sand is for filling buckets,  never for throwing” – it hurts others and wastes your play time.
  5. “Hugs help and smiles always matter” – never underestimate the power of these simple acts of kindness as they define you.
  6. “Take it to the community” – turn to others if problems arise because there will always be someone who can help you and make things work.
  7. “Strangers and future friends” – a stranger is a friend you haven’t played with long enough yet to get to know them.
  8. “Be remarkable” – do what you love, do it the way you dod it. The world and sandbox needs your contributions. You are your own genius.
  9. “You are the master of your universe” – the only limitations are the ones you set for yourself.
  10. “Play is work” – honour the tools, the rules and one another for together, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.

“Live the manifesto as your students do. Expect great things.””

I really like the fifth tenet and believe that all of the tenets can be applied to the lives of our students and to our own lives.

One hour of play tells you more about an individual than one hundred hours of intellectual conversations. – Aristotle. 

 

Synchronous Learning

Synchronous learning – people online learning the same thing, at the same time. They are able to interact in real time by communicating through various chat systems.

On Saturday March 17. I participated in a Classroom 2.0 session which was a presentation by Chris Smith(Shamblesguru), and the topic was ‘Screencasting 101’.

Here is a link to the presentation, resources and recording of the ‘Screencasting 101‘ session if you would like to see how it went.

My thoughts on this experience:

  • The chat took place through a program called, ‘Blackboard Collaborate‘ which opened when you signed into view the presentation. The program had a layout for slides and a side bar with a chat. There was audio and options for speaking to others using a mic or video. The chat was moderated by the presenters and they were really good by posting links to what Shamblesguru was talking about.
  • At the beginning, they did a survey of the participants. I found this interesting because the results showed that: the majority of people were ages 50+, English was most people’s native language, most people used Windows over a Mac, and some people used both depending if they were at school or at home. The majority of teachers were in the adult learner category, followed by elementary and then middle years teachers. There was people all over the world participating, mostly from the US, but a few from Canada, and a couple from Saskatchewan. There was 76 people in this session on a Saturday – coming from all different time zones.
  • All of these facts about the participants showed me that you are never too old to continually learn, especially new technologies and that if you have a passion for teaching and learning with technology, that you will participate in these types of ‘professional development’.
  • Most people, including myself participated in answering questions and talking through the chat, and responding to questions asked by Shamblesguru.
  • The presentation showed us many tools to use for screencasting and defined a screencast as a digital recording of your computer screen, a video capture which often contains audio narration.
Some tips that I found important were:
  • Don’t screencast everything and don’t spend hours learning how to do it or perfecting your screencast
  • The best way to learn is to make screencasts with your students – let kids learn too, don’t do it all for them
  • Have students make and share screencasts of their learning
  • Content is more important than how the screencast looks
  • It is useful to storyboard your cast before you record it and to have tabs and windows accessible before you start
  • You can edit your cast, but you don’t have to

Some of the most popular screencasting tools are:

  • Screenr – you are limited to 5 minutes of recording and you need an account, but you could create one account for all of your students.
  • Screencast-o-matic – you can make casts up to 15 minutes for free, 60 minutes if you have an account, this site offers you an editor. The layout is functional, and you can add a webcam shot of you in the corner of your cast.
  • Camtasia – good program, you have to pay for an account, or you can use a free trial of the software.
  • Other tools are Screenflow, and Jing which doesn’t run over the internet

Considerations:

  • You can upload your screencasts to YouTube or host on the programs website. You can also download your screencast – which is good in case you are somewhere with out internet (it could happen).
  • Microphones – use a headset mic or a usb mic which are better than your computer’s mic.

It was a good session to be a part of. I’ve learned about some of the many tools out there that can be used to create a screencast and am now ready to try one myself. The only thing I might have liked to see was an actual example of the presenter recording a screencast. However, if you check out the resources from the session, there are examples which include the Prezi by Shamblesguru and a variety of resources, and links to screencasts that other’s have done already. This should all help you get started!