From a Past Time to a Culture: Technology

Technology is so influential in our life. I mean, it is such a big part of our day to day activities that I’m sure some people (just like me!) are actually ashamed of their “screen time report” that pops up on their iPhone every Sunday morning. But I don’t think that technology (as a whole) is such a big hit because it’s addictive, but rather because the human race realizes how valuable of a resource it is.

This week for Ed Tech we were tasked with watching the video:

The keynote speaker in the video, Michael Wesch describes how technology has developed into a what some may call a culture. And that technology as a resource links people like never before. His video explores the impact of the first ever online viral video and explains how many people participated in watching the video sensation. He himself then wanted to explore the affects of uploading videos online geared toward hitting a large audience. The video Wesch created was the number 1 bogged about video, it reached over 5 million hits on YouTube, and even gained attention from the TV news outlets. At the time, this was such an incredible phenomenon. Yet, in present day, videos which reach an astoundingly large audience are the norm, proving how much media has infected the masses since the spread of the first video. 

Obviously, since technology has worked it’s way into our day to day lives, it has also worked it’s way into the school classrooms of the world.

But how does such massive participation in technology affect education in present day?

  1. Is a staple in day to day classroom activities. Now technology is used for everything in the classroom. Technology has now taken over the way attendance is taken, the way I store my teaching resources, the way I communicate with the colleagues during the school day, the way I research new topics, the way I project information to my students, etc…
  2. I feel it provides an unlimited amount of resources for classrooms, teachers, and students. With the click of a button millions of resources are presented on the search criteria.  In days following, millions more are added. This to me is a positive and negative thing. At times, the amount of resources available is overwhelming and sometimes unwanted. This too can also be problematic because since everyone whom has access to technology has access to upload content, not all content has validity to it. However, on the flip side, it provides opportunities for teachers and students that may have never been thought of. It spices up previously boring lessons and provides new updated material to engage students/provides students with more ways to express their creativity.
  3. Allows students to connect to their learning in any way they can imagine. Students can use technology to enhance their learning whether that be through the use of apps, websites, or documents.  This can be used to help students not only with inspiration or ideas for projects and work, but can be used to assist students whom have exceptionalities. There is now so much content on the web for apps that help the hearing impaired, or the visually impaired. Apps which help students organize thoughts or writings, apps which help students learn their shapes, colours, letters, etc. It also provides options for those students who may have a physical exceptionality and are unable to write with a standard pencil and paper. Technology can allow students to type their work or speak into their device and have their work recorded of them or digitally appear on a document. The options are endless.
  4. The frequent use of technology in education provides a stage to talk about online awareness. Students use technology outside of the classroom for social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat,  Pinterest, YouTube, etc). Using tech in the classroom can allow for there to be open conversations with students about how to stay safe on the web and how to create a positive digital footprint. This knowledge will be transferred to the tech time students have outside of the classroom as well as within the classroom.

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There are so many ways the technology has influenced education that I could rant about it for an entire month. This is just a little snapshot into the ever evolving world of technology and education.

Apps I have stumbles across:

  • Best Apps for Teachers and Educators” alot of these are really practical and useful in the classroom. Some of them you have probably already used, however maybe you haven’t given some others a try yet! For example, Remind is a great app and I think seriously undervalued in the classroom. It can be used send out texts to students/parents about upcoming assignments, field trips, or spirit days at school, yet phone numbers are never exchanged.
  • Apps for students with special needs” I have not used any of these apps myself, yet the descriptions of each seems promising.
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Tweeting for Twitter Chats

Hey all, this week for EDTC300 we were tasked with joining in on a twitter chat. These chats are facilitated by either one or two people and are based around a specific topic, you can view the tweets in the chat even from those whom you do not follow by using the hashtag of the topic, for example #EdChat.

Yesterday I participated in my first real twitter chat with the page CTEChat which stands for career tech ed. This chat takes place on Tuesdays at 8pm Saskatchewan time. Below is a picture of their twitter page, which the chat takes place from. I also went ahead and followed their moderators who comment on /”like” tweets during the chat.

As the chat started they asked us to introduce ourselves and where we are from, when I tweeted out to them saying that I was a still an education student graduating in April they were thrilled to have a pre-service teacher joining the chat.  The first few questions were about how we use education technology in our program/profession. It was nice having a few softball questions to ease me into my first chat. As the chat progressed they began to asked about policy and policy makers for technology in education, this I chose not to answer since I did not have much experience with policy and policy makers yet. So in total I answered all but one question from the conversation. The whole chat took around 45 minutes and 5 questions were asked.

Overall I say this was a good experience. Everyone participating in the chat was very encouraging and was eager to reply and “like” my very rookie answers to the questions about education technology. The moderators were also awesome with making me feel welcome and included throughout the entire chat, responding well to my tweets and giving me ed tech ideas! I found everything very eye opening looking at everyone else’s answer to questions and just seeing the joy of others participating in conversation with people they had never met in their life.

I’d say my first twitter chat was a definite success!

Knits, Purls, and Unfortunate Mistakes

Okay all, this week for the progress on my learning project I learned the purl stitch, which I did successfully after a few tries (smug smirk!) peep the progress below.

Once I finished this, I began to combine the knit stitch and purl stitch like every video  on knitting that I have watched has suggested. This was not as hard as I had thought it would be. This is how it looked after I had done a few rows!

So now that I can do both stitches needed to begin making things, what have I learned so far?

  1. Make sure you tie the proper slip knot at the beginning before you cast on, if you don’t you’ll end up with this awkward problem. That extra string is not good and makes things very awkward.
  2. Make sure you don’t cast on too tightly, this will result in it being difficult to slide your needle underneath of the cast knot when you try to stitch each row
  3. COUNT YOUR STITCHES. I for sure thought this was NOT a big deal when I began even though so many people told me I should do this. By this I mean that if you cast on 20 knots, make you you keep 20 knots and adjust accordingly if you drop stitches. If you don’t, whatever product you make will not have an even edge, but rather a slanted one.
  4. Lastly, enjoy your time knitting. I like to sit down and watch Netflix while I knit! It becomes this easy mindless task that I enjoy doing if I can watch something while I’m doing it instead of sitting in the quiet focusing on how I just dropped a stitch.

Next… work on my scarf! I will update you all on the process. Thanks for reading!

Purls, not Pearls

Okay guys, this week’s post about knitting is coming at you a little late, simply because I am trying to wrap my head about how to do the purl stitch.

I felt as though I was ready to move on from the knit stitch because I was able to get several rows done with it and felt rather confident in my ability to make it all work! The picture below is my progress with constantly doing the knit stitch! 

As you can see, I am able to keep my knit stitch going consecutively (with only a few holes!!) and I feel like I could begin to make products using this stitch.

For me learning the purl stitch, I have been using this link: How to do a purl stitch: knitting . For some reason, this stitch is not as straight forward for me to do as the knit stitch was. As I had said in my first post, I have terrible dexterity and fine motor skills, which makes this slightly more challenging for me (but hey, practice makes perfect). I plan on posting a video of me fumbling through the slightly different movements of the purl stitch very soon, so stay tuned!

After the purl stitch…the work on my infinity scarf begins! Yikes!

Educationally Fed by Feedly

This week, I learned about the site Feedly  for the first time, and let me tell you, what an interesting resource it is! No wonder when you download the mobile app it is referred to as the “smart news reader”. Feedly is absolutely perfect for anyone who wants to find and share articles quick and easily on the web or social media.

As I began my first search on the website, I was so intrigued by all of the education articles that I found on technology, classroom management, justice in education, resources for the classroom, and so much more! I am able to follow sites on Feedly and view/read the articles that are posted. This follow feature is fantastic because once you find a site that interests you under your topic of choice, (mine so far is education) you are able to view how many articles that particular site usually posts a week! This to me, is a fantastic little detail because with all of the reading that I have to do for school, having another 12 articles a week that I feel I should read would be overwhelming! Therefore, viewing that a site only posts about 1-2 articles a week seems much more manageable to me!

So far, these are the current sites that I am following.

I cannot wait to expand this list as I begin to dig into the site a little more!

Currently, a site that I am following that I really appreciate is “Cult of Pedagogy” which was created by a teacher whom wanted to share resources with others about enjoyable PD opportunities, classroom resources, new education research, and planning ideas!

More to come on my journey through Feedly, but in the mean time give the site a look through, you won’t be disappointed!

The First Stitches

Okay folks, tonight I began the harrowing journey of knitting. I grabbed my pink medal needles, my rust coloured yarn, my laptop, and plopped myself down in a comfortable chair in my living room. I was determined I was going to do this and that I was going to do this right.

I began watching Knitting Basics: Getting Started  to get me going. However, this video only showed me how to “cast on” (my first new knitting phrase!!) and knit stitch (the easiest chosen stitch) the first row. After this video ended, I found myself looking up at my mom and saying “uhh okay I have my first row but what now??” . I moved onto a video which was longer, leading me to believe that it would show me what to do after the first row of knit stitchs (i.e how on earth I begin my second row). This video, was excellent and show me how to continue on: How to Knit: Easy for Beginners

After this very frustrating and extremely concentrating -I’m talking eyes squinted, body leaned forward, and forehead furrowed- frame of 35 minutes of knitting videos, I successfully made my first few rows of stitches. To say I am proud of myself is an understatement. Look to your right for a picture of my first few rows of progress!

Looking forward to continuing tomorrow!

 

The Longest Yarn…

For my learning project this semester I have chosen to take on the challenge of knitting. I have terrible dexterity and fine motor skills and I really feel as though I will be challenged in this new skill. I once tried knitting as a kid around the age of 10, however, it was too frustrating and I gave up after 1 night. Well, I am back for revenge on my knitting needles and this time I plan to walk away the champion.

On this journey I have set out to try my hand at a few different stitches. I am beginning with the knit stitch, courtesy of “Knitting Basics: Getting Started“. Next, I plan to move onto the Pearl stitch. These stitches will take my a while to get the hang of, but once I do finally catch on, I hope to move on to other stitches (which I haven’t looked into yet because I fear overwhelming myself with how extensive the knitting world is at this point). My plan for my final project to show off my knitting skills (or lack there of) is to make an infinity scarf for myself. I love a good, soft, bulky scarf! So, buckle in everyone, because it’ll be a very slow and bumpy ride.

This journey started today, at Michaels craft store. Where I picked out a rust coloured wool and stained magenta metal knitting needles. After having a short but informative conversation with the cashier, where I informed her about my upcoming knitting project, she informed me that size of needle needed for whatever wool knitters buy is actually labelled on the back of the wool package – I already learned something new and I haven’t even begun to stitch yet! This seems like a good sign.

Well… I’m off to start my journey! Pictures to come! Happy knitting everyone 🙂

Hey…lets get to know me

Hi there, my name is Erinn Flory (duh! That is the title of my blog).  I am a fourth year education student at the University of Regina with the hopes of having my very own social studies (or phys ed!) classroom one day!

On this blog you will read bit about my journey to finishing my degree, my process learning ed tech, my struggle though learning to knit, and a whole bunch of cool education jargon.

This isn’t my first blogging experience, however my other experiences have more or less been about just reflecting on my assignments for classes over the years, not really something that I would use often. However, that is about to change. I plan to update this blog often and hope that I can keep this going throughout my years as a teacher!

This blog is a beginning step for me into using more Ed Tech. I seem to be that teacher that everyone groans about (having trouble using basic technology in front of the class), yet I plan to walk out of this class more prepared than ever to incorporate technology into my future career.

If you want to follow some of the things that I’m talking or thinking about throughout this course, follow my twitter account and keep up with whats on my mind regarding education practices!

So look around ,enjoy and let me know what you think!