My Summary of Learning
I have just finished watching 9 of my students videos and already see so much value in using this tool. The ability to connect with a video of what the student chooses to share with the other students is quite impactful, you can also see and hear what they are passionate about, what they are excited to learn, or what concerns they might have about the course.
I watched the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma at the start of this semester. And of course, I shared a post on social media with my opinion of the show.
The premise of the show is that social media companies manipulate the people who use the platforms with complicated and intentional algorithms and design. The show suggests that there are many evils happening unbeknownst to the users including:
Let's start with the positive aspects of the documentary.
Spoiler Alert - I am not a fan.
At the end of the day ...
I currently teach online courses at two higher education institutions - Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. When I first started online teaching 7 years ago, I developed my course curriculum, added it to the LMS system and then did a synchronous session each semester with my students. In other words, I followed the protocol outlined by both institutions. I struggled with connecting with my students beyond the required responses on the discussion thread forums.
I was bored as an instructor and knew there had to be a better way to create a more engaging experience online like I had when I was in the classroom. I turned to tools I was familiar with like using Twitter to interact with the class. Tweeting helpful resources and responding to students each week help establish more frequent connection. Although each semester I will have at least a couple of students who are reluctant to try this tool, generally most are receptive to try using it since they are taking a course in social media!
Another tool I have incorporated is Screencastify. I used to simply upload my powerpoint presentation decks (like I was advised), but instead I have focused on creating weekly video lessons. Although it has been a significant investment of my time to create the videos, I have had such positive feedback from my students that I am inspired to keep creating. I cringe at some of my early videos but I prescribe to the saying "make progress not perfection".
Both Universities are quite restrictive on using tools that must be approved by the institutions, so I try to push the boundaries a little and focus on how I can use those tools more effectively. Unfortunately, in my opinion there is very little that can be done with the LMS Blackboard.
I can use Youtube, and have been using the Creator Studio course and videos for inspiration. I am also grateful for this course and love the format of learning from others about approaches, tools and technology. Each week I have been motivated to try a new tool or have been inspired on how to apply for my courses.
My takeaway for this week is that having an open mind and willingness to learn is one of the best "tools" you can utilize. If you have not watched this video of Carol Dueck and the Power of Yet, I highly recommend it
I am a productivity ninja. No, really! I am. I am a workshop trainer for a company called Think Productive . The workshops are based on a book by the company founder, Graham Allcott called "How to Be a Productivity Ninja"
Other helpful resources to help you with productivity ideas and tips:
Congratulations to my classmates Kaleigh, Lisa, Tammy and Tarina for presenting the first session. I thought you did a very thorough job of sharing the history and use of AV (audio visual) aids in the classroom.
The blog prompt for this week was to evaluate a statement made by Neil Postman who was an American educator, prolific author and critic of technology and its role in education.
Postman was outspoken about the "corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse" in his 1985 book "Amusing Ourselves to Death". I read this book in 2016 during the months leading to the US election and was astounded at how prophetic his thinking was and how it applied to Donald Trump. I won't go further into this topic, because I don't want this to become a political post.... however, I would recommend this book if you are interested in how the internet is affecting politics.
Postman wrote: “…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.”
I think Postman is right, the idea of entertainment like Sesame Street has evolved and progressed how we approach new ways of engaging students vs the traditional way of schooling. But what I don't agree with is his thinking that TV is the wrong medium for learning and education. Can you imagine what Postman would think about the rise in popularity of Youtube and the endless hours of programming available on this platform?
In our class, many have shared examples of the best teachers they have had and how they used entertaining ways to impart their knowledge. The fact that we have countless resources/videos on a variety of platforms to help us understand complex and complicated lessons and make it easier to understand is truly amazing.
The newest trend is the rise of educators using TikTok as a platform to help. While normally used for videos of people dancing, sharing memes or other entertainment, there is a rapid uptake in the popularity of hashtags such as #algebra and #mathematics, boasting hundreds of millions of views.
Do you use resources like TikTok to help supplement your teaching?
Learning Theories and Driving A Car
Although I gave him the book at Christmas, it took several months before he had the intrinsic motivation to actually read it.
- Knowing the law and the motor vehicles act
- Understanding the inner workings of a vehicle and how your car functions
- Identifying the rules of the road, and important signs