networking


I love the information, links and ideas I get my Twitter network. The thoughts of other educators are often provoking and make me think about my teaching. This morning I was checking my TweetDeck and checked out the Curriculum 21 ning site. ‘Langwitches’ had posted a new quote.

Curriculum 21 Quotes

Curriculum 21 is a new ning site for me but I liked the tag line on their site “Mapping the Global Classroom of the Future.” I’ll have to look around the site more but I may have to join this new network and make some connections.

nichcy.org

I’m at the end of another grad class and with this class it’s the end of my Master’s program. I’ve enjoyed the challenges, research and discussions associated with all of my classes. I’ve had to read articles with words I didn’t understand and had to read with a dictionary on one side of me. I’ve read articles that confirmed ideas I had about teaching and I’ve read articles that made me question some of my teaching practices. With every class I’ve learned about myself, my colleagues and developed my philosophy of teaching.

For my last class my instructor has posted questions for us to think about and reflect on. At the beginning of the class we had to think about where we were on our learning curve but the funny part is every time I embrace a new experience I’m right back to the bottom of the curve.

What new understandings of the role of educational technology to support learning have you gained, acted on or perhaps strengthened?

I’ve been searching for articles, websites and blog posts that describe the integration of technology in subject areas. I’m looking for exemplars, case studies and information about the impact technology integration has on both the student and the teacher. I’ve been scouring state and provincial education sites to look for guidance on what other groups are preparing for their teachers as the teachers tackle the ISTE standards for themselves and the students. I’ve been reading information on the State of Florida’s education site, looking at the Province of Manitoba’s Curriculum Navigator and checking out the Galileo site. I want to be able to ‘show’ teachers what technology integration looks like.

Technology in Our Class.

What has had the most influence on your horizon of understanding?

My network continues to have the most influence on me. My network has expanded once again through the use of digital technology in this grad class. I’ve connected with more teachers in Regina Public Schools, I’ve chatted with teachers around the province through email and comments regarding the challenged they are facing in their schools and I’ve received great feedback on my blog posts. The network that I’ve already been working with provides with links and blogs to provoke thinking, my network offers me support and my networks expands my knowledge. When I’m lacking an understanding about a concept or theory I can approach my network, ask a question and receive information through blog comments, emails or Twitter posts. My belief in George Siemen’s Connectivity Theory is demonstrated by the support from my Web network.
What new questions have emerged for you?

There are questions that I continue to think about. What is stopping teachers from integrating technology? How can I convince teachers that technology integration isn’t difficult? But as to new questions I’m thinking about how Regina Public Schools can create technology integration , resource pages along  with links to outcomes and indicators that will allow teachers to integrate technology into their everyday teaching. I wonder how I can make a difference and help teachers overcome whatever barrier is stopping them to integrate technology into lessons. I often think where our school division will be in five years or ten years and what changes will occur.

Digital World.

Today’s readers become literate by learning to read the words and symbols of today’s world. They analyze multiple representations of a variety of texts, pictures, artwork, data and videos. Ultimately, 21st Century literacy is where aural, oral, visual and digital literacies merge. This new literacy gives students the ability to read and produce words, images, videos and new media. There is a profound shift in the way students express themselves and communicate with their peers. As educators we need to adapt to this new literacy or become irrelevant to our students. The students are operating in a multi-modal and multi-layer environment which is modular and portable. Students have moved into an interactive and collaborative arena that connects them to their world. When you consider this university class, EC&I 832, is a perfect example of the ability of students to convey information, create new content and work with new literacies. Our class relies on multi media, online web tools and our ability to communicate together. Our students are going to insist that we begin to create the same type of learning environments for them. Simply consider the deep understanding we are developing beyond a teacher instructing us. We are free to develop our own interests and delve as deep as we desire to. What would happen if our students were able to develop their interests and create content based on those interests?
Thoughts inspired by http://www.youtube.com/user/peakdavid

What role do multi-modal and print-based texts play in the life of the 21st century learner?

A tongue in cheek view of “New Literacies for a New Age”

Members of the research team at Project New Media Literacies discuss the social skills and cultural competencies needed to fully engage with today’s participatory culture. Featuring Henry Jenkins from MIT.

I just finished viewing and reflecting on Steve Wheeler’s slide presentation on New Pedagogies for the Digital age. As Wheeler states “The future of education will be premised on what students need – and that will include creative solutions, flexible, personalisable tools, and device responsiveness that is culturally relevant. It’s going to be exciting and challenging!” It occurred to me that there is much discussion about what type of education students need and what pedagogy is best to prepare students for an unknown future.

In Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and Delivering E-learning Helen Beethem and Rona Sharpe argue that there is nothing new about using technologies for learning. From the beginning of time every tool that has been introduced to enhance learning and teaching has been a new invention. Beethem and Sharpe continue with “The networked digital computer and its more recent mobile and digital are just the latest outputs of human ingenuity that we have at our disposal.” Beethem and Sharpe contend “that these technologies represent a paradigm shift … on the theory of learning.” Beethem and Sharpe question how digital technologies constitute a new context for learning and explore this in their book.

In his paper How has pedagogy changed in a digital age? Hayat Al-Khatib concludes that “The full potential of ICT support should be explored in learner-centered strategies to shift pedagogic orientation to cater more for the role of the learner in the learning process, taking advantage of the resources and tools made available in the digital age.”

Our goal as educators should be to develope a curious, flexible and creative student who is able to work cooperatively in group situations. Whether that group is within that student’s classroom, school, city or even country depends on the student and teacher’s ability to connect to a learning network outside of the student’s building. The biggest change since I started teaching is that type of tools and technology available to me. I still remember learning how to use a gestetner machine and how exciting a photo copier in the school was. The difference now is that we live in a digital age and as educators, digital tools are what we have to use with our students. In Block 5 for my EC&I 832 class we’ve been exploring various web tools and questioning how they can help us in our teaching practice. If we consider the cartoon sites, movie makers, digital story telling and social networking applications as technological tools we can use them wisely to enhance learning in a digitally relevant way.

I finished reading Will Richardson’s article “Footprints in the Digital Age” this morning and I thought about my footprint then about my students. So in the spirit of Block 5 I thought about I could use digital tools to represent my learning. I decided to create an Animoto movie with the ideas from Will’s article. I love using Animoto for my own projects and it’s a great alternative to iMovie for my students to use. The tricky part is that I’m having a tough time embedding it on this wordpress blog. I’ve tried exporting it directly but wordpress is not recognizing my password when I export from Animoto. I downloaded the movie to my desktop but because I don’t have Quicktime Pro I couldn’t export or upload it to my blog post. So I’m on attempt number three. I’m uploading the Animoto movie to YouTube then I will get the html link from Youtube to insert in this post. You’ll know if you see the movie that it worked. This exercise reinforces the concept to me that we don’t have to be technology experts but we must be willing to learn with our students, experiment, experience technological defeat and be ready to try again.

(more…)

We’ve just finished working on a collaborative project following the Iditarod Trail Dog Race. The project was tied to our Social Studies, Science and Language Arts curriculum. This is the second year of the collaboration with the project beginning in early February . Students worked with partners in classrooms in the United States and Canada. There were around 150 students working together in ten groups. The students worked on background assignments: history, weather, geography and musher information for four weeks prior to the race starting. Once the race began, the first Saturday in March, the students followed their mushers and wrote blog posts about their mushers progress in the race.

Last of the Iditarod <!– 03/18 –>
Lance Mackey won the Iditarod race. And he has a six to 8 houre lead.Our guy Mitch Seavey is at Shaktoolik and so far he is in 5th.

Iditarod <!– 03/10 –>
Today for the Iditarod my musher Ken Anderson and he is now in 18th place and he now has 15 dogs on his sled.He is at acheckpoint his average speed is 6.05.Stay tuned for more info.

The feedback from the project was great.

What I really liked in the 2009 Iditarod sled dog race was that I learned about Alaska. Did you know that the biggest volcano in Alaska is called Redoubt? Jeff King came in 12th place and has had better runs. What was your favourite part of the 2009 Iditarod sled dog race? 0kiwifruit0
In this year`s iditarod project I learned that you have to look after your dogs.Also you have to look after your sleds because when Dede broke her sled.I also learned that Lance Mackey won 3 times in a row. googlyeyes

In this years Iditarod project I learned about Balto.I also learned about the weather in Alaska.Then I learned about the trail in Alaska . I learned about that it takes a long time from Anchorage to Nome.This is what I learned about the IditarodBabyBash

What I learned from the Iditarod race is that you all was have to feed your dogs first before you eat. The musher get water by digging a hole in the snow so you keen put a barole in the hole. Then they put snow in the barole to make the snow melt and they made water. When the musher gets close the the other musher they have to say “trale”. When a musher sees a moose in there way they can kill the moose or scare it away. What I like about the Iditarod is the place’s that the musher are in because when a musher is in 40th place and two days go by and that musher is in 3th place it so neat how fast they can go.

what I learned about the iditarod

What I learned about the iditarod was that its not all about who comes in first. It’s out having fun,doing something you and old friends can do together. The iditarod is alot about sportsmanship. What thrilled me the most was how helpful the people of the iditarod are when something happens out on the trail. The most thrilling thing I saw on the iditarod was how everyone helped each other like when some one fell asleep on the trail when they were still moving and fell off there sled, they woke up when they hit but there dogs werent stopping, they ran to catch them but endead up catching a ride with another racer. This is what I learned about the iditarod.

I’m already looking forward to working on the project next year. I’m glad the students enjoyed working on and learning about the Iditarod Trail Dog Race.



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