Hi! My name is Nic. I’m a new online/home-based teacher/learner and am working really hard these days to manage learning so many new things! I recently began a new teaching position as School Based Resource Teacher (SBRT .2) and online/home-based K-7 teacher (.3) through one of my district’s alternate programs. I have worked as a SBRT for 7 years with our district and still feel like there is so much to learn in that field, never mind meshing it with a new one! I’m all about challenging myself though and really love the people I work with and the structure/nature of the job so hope that with the support from my colleagues (one of which is taking this course I think, and others who have recently completed online master’s programs in this field) I will get through this course successfully.
So far I have found this new world exciting, engaging and challenging. I feel like I am learning a whole new language and still do not have the experience or context to place most of it. I am very much a new learner when it comes to using technology in this way (creating platforms for learning and participating in these designs) however, like the majority of “digital natives” I am not adept at using the web for things such as blogging, creating learning designs using Moodle or WordPress, or much social networking – although I got better at that over the summer with an increase in my Facebook use ;)). Over the summer I took a short, 3-day introduction to Moodle course, offered through Open2know, so that is about the most I understand about the platforms we are using.
Some of the challenges I face are directly related to the good things in my life. I have two amazing children (one of which is reading patiently, with pneumonia, at a coffee shop downtown because my internet is down), and a supportive husband. We love to recreate in the outdoors as avid canoeists, hikers, paddle boarders, and mountain bikers. I love to do yoga and train my Animal –Assisted-Therapy dog Kona in my free time. I love spending time with my family, reading, exercising, and learning. It’s hard to fit it all in sometimes without burning out!
For me there are no “gaps”. We’re building a major foundation here with pretty much a blank slate in terms of my technology learning. I’ve already started to explore many new technologies taught so far in both my online courses, and new job, such as Google apps (email, calendar, documents, etc.), Feedly, Adobe Spark, WordPress, blogs, etc. and am trying to figure them out as I go. I find that many of these tools are sometimes easier to use on my iPhone rather than my laptop and am curious about why this might be. Another question to add to my pile! I need to learn the basics, and hope that you believe in differentiation and meeting students learning needs as we progress through this course! I’m going to do my best to keep up so please bear with me as I fumble through! I think this is an exciting, new and growing field with all kinds of potential, especially for learners with diverse needs so I look forward to continuing to learn about technologies and strategies to help differentiate for students with special needs and grow my practice. I’ve already book-marked a website from the blog – Free Technology for Teachers that I found, using my Feedly RSS, that will help me with a new autistic student. I just wish I had more time to learn (and play, and sleep, and run…)!!!
My email address is: nicstew9|at|icloud|dot|com. I’ve attached a photo my son just took of me in the coffee shop.coffee-shop


1 Comment on Introduction

  1. Keith says:

    Hi Nic,

    It’s good to see you’re getting your blog functioning the way you want it to. I think you might consider this an ‘immersion’ course, only with technology instead of a language. I know that the technology course I took in my pre-service teacher training edtech course was disappointing and when I taught the same course at UVic a few years later I was determined to flip it on it’s head.

    I think one point of exposing so many different technologies is to give everyone enough knowledge to say ‘I think I know the tool that will solve this problem’ and to have everyone feel that, while they aren’t experts in that tool yet, they’re sure that they can master it quickly. In my time teaching and working with edtech I’ve tried to stay informed on all the new developments, but I’ve devoted my energies to learning a technology when I needed it or when someone I was supporting needed it.

    I think there is a lot to be said for the design culture for mobile devices vs. personal computers. There are lots of reasons for this and I’m sure it could form the basis of its own graduate course. Suffice it to say that I have some older relatives who used an iPad as their first computer and never would have tried anything else (they’re also being used by orangutans).


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