A Lesson from Dora the Explorer

I found this blog post, A Lesson from Dora the Explorer, a while ago but haven’t had the time to really read and reflect on it until now. It is a fairly short post, yet it has a lot to say that I think is really relevant to the point I am at in my life right now. Basically, the article discusses the use of questioning in the classroom, pointing out that our questioning style is often similar to that of Dora on her show. This post is definitely a must read as it gives educators something to think about.

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Very Intriguing Article

So I was checking my email and noticed one from Diiigo showing updates in Group Ecmp355. I decided to check it out and found an article bookmarked by Alec called “How To Steal Like An Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me) – Austin Kleon“. This title interested me and I decided to check it out. Boy was I glad I did. It has a lot of really interesting ideas in it from writer and artist Austin Kleon. Here is a list of 10 things he wished he had heard in college (keep in mind these are “art” related but I feel still relevant to life in general). Also, I used orange text to highlight the points that stood out the most for me.

  1. Steal like an artist.
  2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to start making things.
  3. Write the book you want to read.
  4. Use your hands.
  5. Side projects and  hobbies are important.
  6. The secret: do good work and put it were people can see it.
  7. Geography is no longer our master.
  8. Be nice. The world is a small town.
  9. Be boring. It’s the only way to get work done.
  10. Creativity is subtraction.

I feel that everyone should definitely check this article out. It was a great read and gave me lots to think about and reflect on.

One idea to reflect on follows (taken from point 1 in the article). It gave me something to think about:

Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of previous ideas.

1 + 1 = 3

Here’s a trick they teach you in art school. Draw two parallel lines on a piece of paper:

parallel lines

How many lines are there? There’s the first line, the second line, but then there’s a line of negative space that runs between them. See it?

1 + 1 = 3.

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Final Project for ECMP 355

For my final project for ECMP 355 I made an Arts Education resource package, called Teaching the Arts, using wikispaces.com. This was a really time consuming project as I chose to do K-5 and all four of the Arts Ed. strands. This means a lot of lesson plans and ideas to go through. There is a lot out there, not all of it great. I made sure I went through each of the lesson plans, trying to chose those that were good, quality lessons I would consider using in my own classroom.

Overall, I feel like I could definitely add more, and will probably continue to do so in the future. However, I also feel like I did a good job of finding the “good stuff” out there for educators to use. Feel free to explore my wiki, keeping in mind that this wiki is essentially a “work in progress” and will continually be added to so visit back often if you like what you see.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summary of Personal Learning video for ECMP 355

This is my Summary of Personal Learning video I made for ECMP 355. I used a video camera to record it, and then edited it using Windows Live Movie Maker. It definitely did not turn out as good as I had hoped but overall I guess I am happy with the results.

I feel like I learned a lot from this course, but also know that I still have a lot to learn. I will definitely continue to explore technology in the future. I also plan to incorporate lots of technology into my future classrooms. Technology is such a part of our current world that it would be irresponsible of me as an educator not to do so.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Importance of Reflection

I was recently on my Twitter account when I came across a post by Jeff Delp or @azjd. It led to a blog post called A Lesson on the Importance of Reflection. I thought this was a great post and wanted to share it with you. The video is great and the message behind it is even better. Just make sure you watch the video before you read the post or the effect of the video will be lost.

I think reflection is an important part of being an educator, especially if you hope to be a great educator. Looking at what went well, what didn’t, and what changes need to be made to help your students learn to their fullest capacity are all super important. Without reflection, how can you possibly get better? As an educator, it is all about your students. Reflection helps make sure the students are your true focus and that everything you do makes learning easier for your students.

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Finally…

I’m finally finished the research for my Religious Studies paper (due in one week). All I can say is “WOW”. I forgot how time consuming it is to write a paper. It took me about a week, in between everything else I have to do before semester end, just to research the paper. However, the research is the hardest part. Writing it will be easy. I’ve always been good at writing papers, and I actually like doing research, on topics of interest anyways. Good thing I like this class. Plus, we got to choose our topic which was nice. I’m writing about the miracles of Jesus in the New Testament. All I can say is that it is going to be hard to keep this paper to its 10 page limit. This is a broad topic.

I’ve actually changed my topic/thesis a number of times so far. I also thought I had the paper arrangement/headings planned and figured out but yesterday rearranged what I had plus added a few sections. I think I finally have it now. SO…this weekend is going to be my “write a paper” weekend. Honestly, I would say I can have this paper done in 5-6 hours (fingers crossed). I definitely could finish it in one day if I just sit down and do it.

I’m glad I already finished my paper due Monday so that is out of the way. Now all I have left is this Religious Studies paper, a presentation, my personal journal and interpretive notebook (both being handed in tonight), my Asperger’s Syndrome wiki, (a group project, basically done I think), my summary of learning in ECMP 355, my final project (a very time consuming Arts Ed. wiki), and this blogfolio. So much and only one week left. I’m glad I have no class tomorrow because I’m planning on getting lots done (on my final project probably).

PS. Sorry to the poor souls who actually took the time to read this. Probably (actually, it is) really boring.

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tech Task #10 for ECMP 355

Social Media & Collaboration–What it means for me as an educator?

In today’s world, social media & collaboration are topics of importance. They are a way to connect and share that helps educators become better at what they do through learning from others and helping others. I often hear the expression, “Why reinvent the wheel?” This definitely makes sense. If we can share what we have, why wouldn’t we, especially if it is a really good idea, lesson, resource, etc. Dean Shareski discusses this idea of sharing in his 2010 Preconference Keynote Sharing: The Moral Imperative for the 2010 K12 Online Conference (for more information, visit my post on this video).

Sir Ken Robinson, in his talk on Changing Education Paradigms, discussed how “most great learning happens in groups. The collaboration is the stuff of growth.” While he was talking about students in our education system, I think this also applies to educators. We learn best when we share our knowledge and resources with other educators.

Ways I Connect

There are many ways to collaborate with educators around the world. Some of the ways that I use currently to connect are Twitter, blogging here on WordPress, Google Reader, and Diigo. Some of these tools I use more often than others but I find each is useful in its own way.

Ways You Can Connect

Below are a list of social networking sites that I found to be interesting. There are many more out there but these are the some that stood out to me and that I would consider using in my future classroom.

  1. Diipo-an education-based social networking site
  2. EDU2.0-an online course management system similar to Moodle
  3. SymbalooEDU-the “EDU” version of the popular visual organizing and sharing tool Symbaloo
  4. Edmoto-almost like an educational Facebook. This article discusses why you should use Edmoto in your classroom. It definitely made me interested.

The blog post 25 Excellent Social Media Sites for Teachers list 15 social media sites you can share with your students and 10 sites for educators alone. There are a number of sites that you may find of interest here.

Benefits and Guidelines to Using Social Media

In terms of social media, there are many reasons why to use social media sites. One article I visited discussed the fact that “students who are already engaging in social networking could benefit from incorporating it into curriculum” (para. 3). This article also discussed the fact that through the use of social media, “teachers are able to increase students’ engagement in their education, increase technological proficiency, contribute to a greater sense of collaboration in the classroom, and build better communication skills” (para. 6).The best part about social networking is that it benefits not only students, but also “provides new opportunities for communication amongst teachers and administrators” (para. 12), thus aiding in the sharing of resources amongst educators.

For more information, see the links below. Also, do your own research. There is a lot of information out there and this blog post only scratches the surface.

Teachers Embracing Social Media in the Classroom-an interesting article on social media

Social Networking for Teachers wiki-this wiki not only provides information about social networking, but is also an example of how social networking can be use to collaborate and share information between educators

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. What is your take on social networking and collaboration? Is is good or bad? How would you use it in your classroom or in other areas?

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

RE: Computer Problems

I just got my computer back. It is so nice to have things back to normal. It was nice of my sister to let me borrow her computer for the last couple of days but it wasn’t the same. Her computer is different brand than mine, with a different set up. Plus she doesn’t have all of my documents or bookmarks on her computer that I do, or my music I like to listen to while I work. NOTE: I should really start using my Diigo account as that might save me for next time, in regards to the bookmarks anyways.

Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm  Comments (1)  

Computer Problems

This is the first time I’ve had access to the internet since Friday afternoon. My computer got a virus on it that prevents me from opening my Safari and that spams my Internet Explorer so web pages won’t open. It has been stressful not having internet access. It really made me realize how reliant I am on it. I took my computer in yesterday and should have it back in a few days. Until then, I will be borrowing my sister’s computer during the day while she is doing her three week block for pre-internship.

On the plus side, there was a benefit to losing my internet access. While it prevented me from accessing my blog and working on my wiki for my final project, I did get a lot of non-internet work done. Not having the distraction on the internet was good for my work ethic. I still was able to access files on my computer and my Microsoft Word so I worked on assignments that had to do with that. I got finished an interpretative notebook entry, not even do until Thursday. I finished half of a ten page paper and have the rest planned out, just waiting to be typed up. I got another eight to ten page paper planned and started. I got a number of readings done that had been kind of left behind. I got my novel sharing planned out. I was on a role.

Side story–>For my ECE class, we have to do a novel sharing. I ended up writing down two different days, March 21st and March 28th, and yesterday was unsure which day I presented my novel. Anyways, I got it ready just in case I went yesterday but I was pretty sure I didn’t go until the 28th. Needless to say, I had to go yesterday so I was thanking the Lord that I planned out what I was going to say. I’m pretty sure it was bad because I was kind of unprepared but I think overall it wasn’t a complete fail. At least I had something prepared.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 10:47 am  Comments (2)  

Movie Adventures

Tonight I went to the movie Beastly. However, there is a story as to how it came to be I went to the movie tonight rather than on the weekend. You see, we (my sister, her friend and I) did go to the movie on Saturday. While at the movie we had a, well, lets just call it an unfortunate adventure. We decided to go to the 1:50 showing of Beastly at the Galaxy Cinemas here in Regina. Anyways, we are sitting in the theatre, waiting for the movie to start, with only 10 minutes to go, and the fire alarm goes off. I know, right. I couldn’t believe it. So, everyone piles out of the theatre and you can see smoke in the lobby, but they tell us they just burnt the popcorn and send us back it. About 2 minutes before the movie begins, two ladies come in and tell us there was a small fire in one of the popcorn machines but they put it out and we would all get free movie tickets for the inconvenience. I’m just thinking, “Cool. Now please start the movie.”

So, they start the movie. About 15-20 minutes in, they stop it. A guy comes in and tells us they will start the movie in a little bit, they are just waiting for the lights to stop flashing (from the alarm going off earlier). A note: you couldn’t even tell the lights were flashing when the movie was playing. So, we are sitting there, waiting for the movie to start, when the same guy comes in and tells us they will not be starting the movie again. No explanation, just the comment that we can either get a free ticket or a refund at the front desk.

So, there’s my story of why I went to the movie tonight. Anyways, the movie was okay. I thought I would like it better. I would probably give it a 7.5 or 8 out of 10. Basically, if you are up for a romance with too many cliches and cheesy moments, this is the movie for you. I probably would not watch it again, unless I was really bored. Kind of disappointing considering the trouble I had to go through just to see it. My sister and her friend both loved it though so I guess it just depends if you like romances or not (I much prefer action and adventure over predictable romance). I should note though that there were some really funny parts.

Published in: on March 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment