Category Archives: ECI 831 Reflections

So what are your thoughts, does technology in the classroom enhances learning?

6088317370_42c18f46e4Last week came and went so quickly. It’s hard to believe that the long weekend just blew by us. I managed to enjoys some me time and finish up some projects around the house like baby’s room. However, I am sooo guilty of putting my blog on the back burner. My husband had surgery last week and I even had to care for him. Anyhow, here I am now, in the moment.

Last week  Jeremy, Erin, and Kyle D. had a chance sway the class into believing that technology in the classroom does enhance learning in the mean time Kayla, Steve and myself had a very tough job in attempting to present our side of the debate that technology in the classroom does not enhance learning. From the start i understood that attempting to argue that technology in the classroom is a bad thing to a group of Grad students taking a class about online technology was going to be a tough sell.

I started out with a quick survey of my staff, I asked what were some of the challenges that they faced using technology in the classroom. I thought a Wordle  would be a fun touch.  If you have never used Wordle, I don’t suggest you do it on a RBE Laptop, you need to update Java and to do so you need a secret username and password.  So I had to use another generator called Worditout, which I managed to create this collage.wordle

 

 

 

 

 

I then thought maybe a Prezi would be a cooler visual.  I had never have used a Prezi before, I also found this to be a challenge.  I had difficulty getting the images to go where I wanted to go.  I did not finish the Prezi, just had a little fun playing with it. Watch my attempt at a Prezi.

 

There is many sides to this debate coin, I was able to find many articles such as Don’t give students more tools of mass distraction to support our argument that technology in the classroom does not enhance learning. Many educators believe that technology is becoming more and more intrusive.   The main point of my article was that technology in the classroom is a tool of mass distraction, much of what students do during class time on their devices has nothing to do with learning.  This can become very frustrating to educators as we can not often compete with cell phones and student devices.

Students find it very hard to concentrate during class if they are constantly receiving notifications or texts.  I know that in some schools students are even receiving text from parents.  Shouldn’t parents know that their child is busy in the classroom.  Now that technology is in our hands for most of the day it is easy to think of something and fore off a quick text.  Gone our the days of writing a to-do list, now we are so into multitasking that if we don’t do it right this moment we will forget.  Perhaps, this is where some of student impatience in my classroom comes from, their minds are wired to do things right now.  It doesn’t matter if I am talking, they will interrupt or get up and go get what they need at that moment.  Okay, may be that’s a pet peeve of mine, haha.

Not every student has access to technology at home, so when they receive a cell phone or get on a computer they can’t always handle it.  Many are constantly over stimulated. Some of my students can not manage to stay on task with their cell 3806557564_cd9f7c0ef0_tphones so accessible, this digital age is much tougher to regulate than the old note passing. It is not just students who are distracted by technology it is people everywhere are paying more attention to their devices than what’s going on around them. 

Another point that I made during our debate was that technology becomes nearly impossible to monitor in the classroom. It is easy to walk into a room and see that every student is using a computer or a device, but how do you really assess if and what type of learning is taking place?  

It is even more scary that school firewalls are far from foolproof when it comes to what students can access at school. In my first year teaching I had a student who was on a website called stranger chat.  I couldn’t believe that a child would want to chat with strangers and further how the school computer offered that wide open freedom.  I spoke to tech services and asked about banning Facebook and stranger chat, I was told this was something that my Admin would have to tackle as it was a school issue.  I spoke to admin who thought it was just a one time incident and did not need any more attention.  The whole stranger chat saga just allowed me to educate my students to become better digital citizens.

It becomes easier to do what you want on the internet when you are using your own device in the classroom, most students do not have the data plans so they will sign into the school WIFI. At times I even believe that our WIFI password should be changed to deter students abusing it.  As an educator I find it difficult to supervise my behavioral class as I constantly have to keep walking back and forth to make sure they aren’t clicking tabs.  Much time is wasted as I could be helping another student instead of policing technology in the classroom, as soon as I turn my back to write on the board, out come the phones.

A final thought is that students are using cameras to record teachers, videos are ending up on Youtube or Snapchat.  With students having so much access to technology the privacy is becoming more of an issue.  My debate partner Steve also made note of the fact that much student info and their work product is given away when using school computers.  Often, we don’t realize what we are giving away when we create an online identity.

I defiantly enjoyed the debate that my group was a part of, but deep down I appreciate technology in the classroom and I try very hard to incorporate it into my lessons and have students use it responsibly.  It was super cool to see both sides of the issues and I can’t wait for other groups to share their findings.


Am I a slacktivist?

In the article The death of slacktivism I found that many of the ways we support these online movements are trendy and shallow.  Ifrance do understand that the benefits of the digital world allow more people to become involve with the cause. However I feel it is great to be aware of a cause but I don’t think much will change with a few likes, or a name on a petition. I am much like Brittney, in the sense I am a do-er.  I also believe that these organizations that people support need more than a few likes to keep going.  Just like Nathan I was defiantly skeptical about the Facebook option to change your profile to be overlaid by the France Flag.  There was absolutely nothing about the overlay that would support France in anyway and I also thought how would the ever find out I even care.  I had no idea that my opinion of the France flag overlay had anything to do with the slacktivism debate.

The article I Get It: You Don’t Like Slacktivism. Now Shut Up. Only Don’t it pointed out that little time or thought is needed to support these causes. I do understand that awareness is built through the online presence and circulation of the campaigns.  The ALS ice bucket challenge did build awareness through online media presence, but I feel that many people may not have sent in pledges rather just made a video to be YouTube famous.  Unfortunately I watched way to many videos on my Facebook feed of buckets slipping out of people hands.

I did enjoy a few points from the article The Real Problem with Slacktivism.  First I do understand that we all like to feel good, and by doing good things we can make this happen. Through this perceived
we are made to think that we have helped .  However I disagree in with the statement that slactivism isn’t helping it is just making things worse, I believe that slacktivism build awareness.  Donating to a cause can be more than stuffing an envelope, you can donate time and become part of the online trend in helping out too!!

 

 

 

 


Final Reflection

My EC&I 831 Journey

My beginning

  • Created this sweet healthy lifestyle blog using WordPress (I had created one for my classroom over 3 years ago but didn’t stick with it, as it became work that I could put off).
  • I quickly learned what a widget was and the ins and outs of my WordPress dashboard.
  • Created a professional Twitter account so that I could share information relevant to technology, social media and my PLN
  • Joined a Google+ Community which I didn’t know existed before this class.
  • Chose to complete a Digital Project on leading a Healthy Lifestyle

Along the way

  • Learned how to properly set up my blog and blog pages, and also ask for help when I ran into problems
  • Visit other blogs and tried to add comments or ask questions
  • Ohh my, I realized I was stealing images for years! Not to worry I now know how to properly use images and site them from popular sites like Compfight
  • I also learned some short cuts for adding in images
  • ongoing attempt to to wrap my head around Twitter, all the ins and out and how to tweet and retweet

Not the end

  • Learned that using Tags in my blog helped organized my work and helped me to get more followers
  • Google+ community became an outlet for me to vent and I even tried to help other classmates as well with their questions and concerns.
  • Developed relationship with a few classmates as I would visit their blogs, Twitter pages on a very regular basis!
  • Summarized my learning using an animated movie using the Nawmal software
  • I viewed my nugraphmbers and stats using WordPress and was excited to see what the numbers were showing. My popularity was represented by a graph.

 

 

  • twitterI increased my twitter presence with 63 tweets and 88 followers!

 

 

I plan to continue to use social media in my teaching and education but will also try incorporating it more with my students. I have started to bring more articles into the classroom for discussion, as I come across many different things relevant to the lives of students. There is so much learning that can take place through technology and online, it can be endless. I would love for my students to collaborate and connect with others around the world.  I think that language projects could be a fun venture, something about those cute seniors though.   I don’t want to be that teacher that only gives worksheets and transmits knowledge  I want to be the teacher that provides opportunity and experiences.

I can honestly say that this class has been a learning journey for me. For the most part I enjoyed the flexibility of an online course, but it sometimes was difficult to dedicate time to the readings, as I struggled doing last weeks haha, I really put the slack in slacktivism. It is such a different experience when you are in charge of your own learning, learning at your own pace, learning what you want. I plan to continue to blog my recipes and perhaps I will blog about being a new parent, that could be a fun venture if I have time.

Thank you everyone and see you online and I am look forward to reconnecting soon!!


The harsh reality of online trolls!!

Image result for victim blamingJohn Oliver on online harassment was quite entertaining.  Quite often people believe anything that they see on the internet, falling into misinformation and scams, some of us may even know this as click bait.  The AOL commercial is a hoot, just think of all the driving and running around we would have to do before the internet.  Now everything is a little too convenient.  I usually turn to my phone to look something up, and I am certainly not using Bing ahaha!!  I think it is a sad and scary world when people make online threats, as they are often blocked by an online identity.  It’s even scarier when the police are unable to understand that technology can be used as a weapon.  Technology and the internet are rapidly changing and evolving and unfortunately the laws are not keeping up.  Should you ever need to take something such as revenge porn to courts, make sure you have a big box of money for fees and lawyers. Victim blaming is something that happens quite often in modern society, it is ridiculous to continue to take jabs at a victim, we need to put the responsibility where it belongs..   

Email Scams cartoons, Email Scams cartoon, funny, Email Scams picture, Email Scams pictures, Email Scams image, Email Scams images, Email Scams illustration, Email Scams illustrationsWow, I think I enjoyed the video This is what happens when you reply to spam email a little too much.  I have the personality to play along and I would be the one to be email back and forth.  Who wouldn’t want to claim their rich prince uncle’s fortune.  In fact I make jokes with friends about sending money to get the process sped up.  I wonder who are the people who re actually buying into these scams??

I didn’t really realize that female gamers were taking such crap.  Only after reading the article With Gamergate, it’s not enough to ignore the trolls it made me think of a recent Law and Order SVU episode that I watched about a female gamer facing cyber attacks. Law and Order is always following headline news. Gendered harassment of women online is gaining popularity as the computer and internet become a tool for bullies to use to intimidate females. Criado-Perez points out “Threats of rape, death, and stalking can overpower our emotional bandwidth, take up our time, and cost us money through legal fees, online protection services, and missed wages.” I agree that society should boycott sites that shed light on these incidents of gendered harassment.  


Free Internet and the Digitally Divided

This week I enjoyed the article Backlash against Facebook’s free Internet service grows. I think offering a free app would be awesome, an if it only connected to certain internet services so be it.  I believe that some for free is better than none.  I look at it like the T.V., yes there are like 3 channels if you don’t have cable but society and the a group about T.V. neutrality isn’t petitioning for  60 free channels for all, as in lets not just limit to the local channels such as  CBC, Global and CKCK.  I believe if you want the full internet you should have to pay some sort of fee.

I do believe that people who are living in poverty have certain rights violated, and sometimes they just look past it, as they don’t want to cause added attention or are unaware.  I have occasionally judged people who are poor because they are looking for money or food and have the best of the best cell phones. Unfortunately there is The new digital ddownloadivide as the internet does not level the playing field in terms of access as some can not afford it, but I know that there are many free WiFi options and libraries have computer and internet for the public.

I do see the point of Don’t post about me on social media, children say.   I am very selective about what I post about my step daughter online, sometimes I feel that she is old enough to decide what she should and shouldn’t post. My brother has a saying whenever pictures are take “Right to Facebook”.  I don’t think embarrassing a child or making it anyone business is appropriate, kids are just learning.  After our class on Tuesday I thought about the idea of child shaming. and I  wondering if shaming children online is the best idea as those pictures don’t go away. I even came across husband and pet shaming this week on Facebook, it did make me giggle thou.