A Journey in Educational Technology in the Curriculum
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Posts from — September 2016

Finding Reusable Content

The following are a few useful items in our teaching context. The permissions given are listed directly below each link:

Open Educational Resources- Educational Blogging
Permission: Remix and Share

Open Educational Resources – Social Networking
Permission: Remix and Share

September 26, 2016   No Comments

Digital Literacy

In the section of Luciana Pangrazio’s article titled: A critical media literacy approach – acknowledging the personal, she states in regards to balancing the pleasure of social media with critical practice that “the approach treats the individual’s personal response to digital forms as a type of ‘resource’ from which to explore the formation of their beliefs, values and responses [linking] critical literacy with the process of shaping social identities” (Pangrazio, 2014, p.166). This is the vision for my student activity (Option C.)

Before I was able to do my student activity that develops digital literacy, I would ensure that the students were an appropriate age, I would have established a Digital Citizenship framework in place to manage risk, teach students about their rights and responsibilities, and guide their appropriate online behaviours and I would need to obtain permission from their parents and school administration to do the activity. I would only proceed with the activity after many lessons surrounding Digital Citizenship, and with the confidence that my students were ready for this next step.

My idea is to use Twitter through Social Literacy in the form of networking and Communication Literacy to create a forum where students can comment on each other’s ideas and reflections about course content such as a reading or reflection. I would ensure that the student’s accounts were set up in a confidential way so as not to expose their identities. Students would be able to respond to one another, share their ideas and use links to other ideas all while using appropriate Twitter language. I would be curious to see how certain student’s participation marks rose as they were no longer asked to speak up in front of the class in a face-to-face environment. Once the activity was going well, I might see if we can collaborate with another class studying the same content (that were good Digital Citizens) either at our school or another school!

September 25, 2016   5 Comments

Educational Technology Help

The elements of educational technology that I have found to be the greatest challenge in my learning journey so far have been navigating new programs such as Moodle, RSS and Blackboard Learn. As a full time online M.Ed Leadership student, I have had to adjust quickly to navigating the world of online educational technology.

The following are resources for technical help in exploring, using, and creating web-based educational content and tools:

IT Service Desk:
So far the greatest asset to me has been the TRU IT Service Desk employees as they have helped when I was unable to access certain parts of Blackboard. It is so helpful to speak with someone on the phone who can access my same personalized content to better assist me.

Fellow Students:
In Blackboard Learn there is an area in the discussions called the Student Cafe. Students can post within it to ask questions to their peers. Another aspect that I find particularly helpful with regards to my online learning journey in this course is being able to view the blogs of other students.

Instructors:
My instructors in each course have been fantastic to work with. I feel comfortable asking them questions and often they will fix work out any technological glitches before I even notice them!

Web-Based Resources:
Often I will just google how to do something such as a screenshot of my computer or if I am having an issue with my printer. There are you-tube how-to videos as well as “help” areas of programs. Sometimes google will take me to a forum or a blog, but I have now learned through my RSS subscriptions that I can utilize these sources for help too!

The challenges that I anticipate the most in this subject area are with regards to accessing new programs that I am unfamiliar with. I always find that I need a bit of time to become comfortable with a program. For the most part I can figure it out on my own, but I am grateful to know that there are resources available to me.

One goal that I have for the end of the course is learning more about coding and how to teach it!

September 25, 2016   No Comments

State of Technology in Education

My present conception of the state of educational technology use in my field is reinforced by statistics found in the MediaSmarts/CFS document, particularly with regards to desktop computers being the most commonly used classroom technology, with 92% of teachers saying that they used the supplied devices “significantly” or “somewhat”. As a TOC, I taught in a variety of schools within the Vancouver School Board in low socio-economic and affluent areas. For the most part, I found the same dated desktop computers that were around when I was in elementary school which would frustrate students with how slow they were and would often freeze. This statistic, for me, raises the question of funding and whether enough is being done to update educational technology. Is it fair to put the onus and financial responsibility on students to bring their own devices?

The other statistic that stood out to me was that just over 50% of teachers felt that they had sufficient support and training on how to use networked technologies. This number needs to change. Perhaps funding could help this area of need as well.

SMART boards were a large investment several years back but for the most part I have seen them used simply as projectors. With that being said, I have see useful technologies. What I have found particularly useful is an elmo visual projector for looking at a particular page in a textbook. For some reason, students seem to connect more with the projection than their textbooks and enjoy following along. I have also seen iPads as useful educational tools.

I believe that the state of educational technology use in my field is headed in a direction where funding for adequate teacher training and up-to-date devices will become necessary to access new and relevant educational materials.

September 23, 2016   No Comments

RSS Subscriptions

I chose to subscribe to Feedly.com as a RSS reader, based on the recommendation of the article by Waters. At first I added RSS feeds within the Feedly website. But then I ventured out, as the video shows, to other websites where I found the RSS symbol and added from there. Finally, to make things easier, I added the Feedly app to my MacBook to streamline my use.

A few of the feeds that I subscribed to were:

  • TED Education because I enjoy the length and relevance of the majority of the clips and it is a community of learners that resonates with my shared educational interests.
  • Edutopia RSS and Edudemic because of the relevance of the articles to my own educational interests (such as strategies to better support students).

September 14, 2016   No Comments

Introduction

andreaober

Hello everyone, welcome to my first blog and website!

I recently moved to Kelowna from Vancouver where my husband and I lived for four years, however, I am originally from Ontario. I did my undergraduate degrees (B.Ed and B.A.) at Queen’s University in Primary/Junior (K-6) Concurrent Education. After I graduated, I taught in Australia for a year at a Special Developmental School, and later worked in Business Development. After moving to Vancouver I trained as an AMI Montessori teacher and became an Early Childhood Educator. That schooling allowed me to work at a fantastic independent school teaching Junior Kindergarten with a Montessori focus and later helped me to obtain employment at the Vancouver School Board as a Montessori Teacher On Call. After our recent move to Kelowna, I am hoping to Teach On Call while taking a full course load this semester in the M.Ed in Leadership stream. My area of interest is Kindergarten to Grade 3.

The independent school that I taught at had a one-to-one laptop program in the older grades and all grades had extensive technology support. I would say that access to iPads is universal in my experience in education and I have found them to be a useful educational tool. Many classrooms also have a SMART board.

This course is an elective as a part of my M.Ed but I can already tell that it will be a valuable and exciting addition to my current course load. My expectations for the course surround gaining comfort and ease in accessing a variety of tools and in building a useful collection of technological resources. I think my ‘gaps’ in the use of educational technology are mostly in regards to knowing what relevant resources are available to me and how to integrate them with the curriculum.

I am excited to meet each of you and to embark on this journey of learning together! I can be reached through my TRU email: obera16|at|mytru|dot|ca

 

September 14, 2016   2 Comments

Hello world!

Welcome to Student Blogs – Open Learning. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

September 14, 2016   No Comments