Category Archives: Student Blogging

Unpacking my GT

“Good Technology” (GT) in my view, teaches or reinforces learning outcomes.  GT is engaging, and is not merely screen time for the sake of screen time. GT allows opportunities for student to reflect (privately or publicly) on their process and the process of others. GT is simple and or simplifies processes (sometimes, a whiteboard or a piece of paper is still the best technology for a situation!). GT sometimes provides students with opportunities to construct their own knowledge, yet in other times allows educators to be that guiding light. Slowly but surely, I have been using digital technology as a pedagogical tool that enhances the learning experience for both myself and my students.

  1. Google Classroom
    • I post copies of notes, tutorial videos, questions to the class, and assignments that utilize GAFE.
  2. Google Docs
    • All my labs are done on Docs.
    • Lab partners work collaboratively on one lab.
    • I provide feedback in the comments, as the students are writing their labs.
  3. Google Slideshows
    • Every project I assign, must be uploaded to a Google Slideshow, where students are required to reflect on their process.
    • One document to open for assessment, instead of 30, is a huge bonus.
  4. Desmos, Phet, The Universe and More
    • Three online reinforcement programs that often gamify the learning process, but at the very least, animate the learning process.
  5. Class Blogs
    • Students are responsible to scribe 2 -3 times per course
    • Class announcements, summaries/tutorials of lessons

Leave a Comment

Filed under collaboration, ETEC 533, Google Apps For Education, Student Blogging

Week 10: Why I do not use Social Media within my instruction

To be honest, I just do not have time to effectively do it, although it is on my “Pedagogical Bucket List”.

In my experience, effective use of any technology does not just materialize out of sheer wanting.  It takes planning— well-thought out planning— to make successful integration happen. Is it fair to say that we all agree that simply air-dropping technology into a classroom or practice does not guarantee that learning will transpire?

A major component to technological success is providing prompt and specific feedback to students who are engaging in whatever tech-driven practice, as mentioned in this week’s readings (Bates, 2010).  He also acknowledges that when engaging in more technology based delivery models, that more time is required on the front end of the course, as compared to face-to-face models. As a student, teacher, parent and partner, I do not feel like I would be able to provide such feedback, nor commit to the time required to just set Social media up and maintain it, once it is set up.

Not having time has been an issue I have had since starting this Masters, in fact.  It is incredibly frustrating to be learning and percolating about so many great ideas, yet not to have time to see these ideas to fruition! For example, I have attempted to start student blogging within my classes this semester, but have been drowning in my own marking, homework and personal life so the blogs have not hit the bullseye that I was hoping for.

But alas! I will not be a Masters student forever, and nor will my children be little forever (I am really hoping that I stay married, however!!) . Time will eventually come, and when it does, I look forward to jumping on the Twitter train with my classes.  I am not as keen to Facebook with students as I personally view Facebook as one’s window to their personal life.  I deliberately choose to not friend students, nor will I accept their friend requests (at least until they are many years out of graduation AND if I truly liked them). Twitter for me is the opposite platform: it is where I keep myself professionally aware and it is where I nurture my PLN.   I see tremendous value in teaching students how to create positive digital footprints within Twitter.   I believe that there is educational potential in the LinkedIn, as well, however, I am very inexperienced within that platform.

It is worth noting that Darren Laur, renowned Internet safety expert, has recently just created a new presentation geared to Grade 11 and 12 students, to help teach them about how to leverage their social media presence into future opportunities (entrance into post-secondary, scholarships, jobs…).  I do believe that we have an obligation to our students to prepare them for the demands of a digital world.

The magic just doesn’t happen, however.

It takes time.

Leave a Comment

Filed under ETEC 565, obstacles, social media, Student Blogging

Week 1 Post: Self-evaluation of my technological proficiency

It was my full intent to post earlier today but alas, Twitter has sucked me in once again.  Today’s Twitter discussion centred around what I like to call “Tech Shaming”.  I define Tech Shaming to be the act of making other people feel inadequate for utilizing out dated technology and/or not using technology at all in their practices. If the goal is to have more educators utilize technology effectively and regularly, the act of Tech Shaming is unproductive and divisive, and hence, should be avoided.

If I were to be graded on the ISTE Standards, I would probably have at best a 3 on a 5 point scale. Or in elementary lingo, I would be “Approaching expectations”.  The “7 Principles” made me feel less inadequate, as I feel that in incorporating a more traditional, teacher centred approach in my senior math and physics classes, I am engaging in all 7 Principles utilizing a combination of traditional and technological practices.

The most relevant criteria of technological competency to me is Principle 7, “Respecting Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning”. I feel like my classes, although predominantly teacher centred, do offer a variety of differentiated learning and evaluation opportunities.   Preparing students for First Year Math and Physics courses, do not afford me a heap of time to allow for projects and group work.  I do more labs than other senior science teachers but it comes at the cost of not finishing our last unit.

I plan to utilize Student Blogging in two classes in the new semester. An incredible amount of research has pointed to the merits of reflection and student critiquing of each other’s work. My research essay for ETEC511 centred on this topic, should you wish to tap into the research that I was able to muster up. To Blog or Not To Blog: Scholarly Essay ETEC 511

I know that I will never be a 100% “GAFEr”.  I am not prepared to give up my stage.  I am prepared to share the stage, however; on the “TechEd Spectrum”, I am presently planted dead centre!  Effective teaching can come from so many different approaches and I think it is our responsibility to be true to ourselves, to be creative, to have passion for what we do and to evolve as we see fit.  I will not paper shame, Interactive White Board shame, soap box shame, overhead projector shame, document camera shame, colleagues. All I ask is for people to do what the do but to do it to the best of their ability. Oh… one more request! It’s getting a little cliché, but also, folks shouldn’t be afraid to fail at something.  I tried what I thought was student blogging this semester, and it was definitely a less than stellar first time out of the gates. Next semester will be better— I know it!


Leave a Comment

Filed under ETEC 565, General thoughts, Student Blogging