Category Archives: Weekly Reflections

Ready to Go: Part 2

My name is Jennifer Huber and this will be my second class with Alec and Katia. I took EC&I 831 in the Fall of 2014. I was very much a beginner when it came to my technical abilities. I learned so much taking that class and my confidence grew immensely.

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This will be my 13th year teaching, as well as 9 years working as an EA. I teach grade 4 at Dr. Hanna school where I used to go as a child. In fact I teach in my old grade 4 classroom. What are the chances? I have been team teaching for 2 years now. I find many benefits to working with another teacher such as having support all the time, more options to teach what I feel more confident in, etc. etc. Of course, there are challenges as well, considering there are a total of 49 students in our room. As you all know, these students come with there own unique strengths and challenges. Overall, it works well! The saying, “two heads are better than one” is very true! I have added a few photos through the link on my blog if you are interested in taking a look.

I have increased technology in my classroom by creating a classroom blog where there are links to a variety of technology tools such as learning videos, our class blog, IXL, raz kids, etc. The students blog every 2 weeks and really enjoy it. There are no complaints when it is time to blog. They teach each other how and what to do, help each other with spelling, peer editing, and how to change fonts, backgrounds to make their blog their own!

My goal is to continue to feel comfortable and confident with adding technology to my everyday teaching strategies. There are so many talented and intelligent educators in this class to use as a resource. I know I will be knocking on Amy Singh’s door throughout the semester for her support and guidance. Utilize our  Google classroom community!

 


Last Blog Post for ECI 831

After completing my summary of learning, I realized I wanted to explain my learning more in depth. The 3 main areas of focus for ECI 831 were twitter, google community, and blogging.

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I now have a classroom blog with a link to the student blog and to my class twitter page. I have a blog for ECI 831 and am part of google community. WOW! Times have really changed for me over the past 3 1/2 months.

When I first started twitter, I really wasn’t sure how to go about starting a new twitter for the class. I already had one that I rarely used, so I just wanted to stick with what I knew. I was quite hesitant to be starting a blog let alone twitter and understand the concept of google community. Once twitter and blogging started to sink in, I was excited to create a new twitter page for my class as well as  my classroom blog. I finally experienced the “Ah ha,” moment when (almost) everything clicked!

 

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I enjoy twitter so much more now because it is a quick and simple way to show what we are doing in class. With blogging, it allows me to tell a story of special events or lessons to share with students, staff and parents. I look forward to writing a blog about genious hour and mystery skype! Stay tuned…..

Then, as I was going over my blog posts on google community from the beginning and seeing my progression, I noticed that a few of the posts didn’t even link to my blog. Clearly, I did not know what I was doing! That might be why I received no comments for those particular posts. Anyway, I think I have achieved that skill.

A good month into the class, I remember Alec and Katia telling us that we should have categories and to add a pingback. Again, I was very worried because I didn’t know what she meant at all. I just kept hearing these unknown vocabulary words (widgets, tags, networking, digital citizens, edcamp, MOOCS, etc.) and it kind of stressed me out.

Once I had figured out what these terms meant, I was using many of these terms in my daily vocabularly. Just this past weekend, I was talking to my brothers, stepmom and dad. We were discussing how to build their networks. Both my brothers Michael Huber and Paul Huber are on linkedin. My brother Mike is a mortgage broker and he writes blogs about the best mortgage rates, buying and selling homes, investments, etc. They do not use twitter to network so I have been telling them about how twitter helps me build a network in education. My stepmom Linda Huber (formerly a kindergarten teacher) is starting a feng shui business, so she will be sharing her web page soon. Paul works as an Associate Publisher at Business & Industry Magazine.  My dad, Larry Huber has been working in education for years. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Public Section. He has worked hard in education for years and continues to do so. He is building his skills in technology all the time and contributed to the development of the website for Saskatchewan Public Schools.

Hopefully, I will be able to help my family learn how to network more on Twitter.

0748bbf322ccad     Just a short plug for Paul (on the left) and Mike (on the right).

Please continue to follow my personal and professional blogs!

Thank you for reading my blog and a big thank you to Alec, Katia, and everyone in ECI 831! I hope everyone has a great holiday.


Have you ever heard of the story about Baby X?

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Tuesday’s blackboard session with Audrey Watters took me back to my undergrad classes in Psychology. It seems like only a short time ago and yet it was more than 13 years ago. I became consciously aware of the many injustices in the world, that on a day to day basis, are rarely thought about.

Considering that I am in my 12th year of teaching, I have become so wrapped up in day to day teaching and day to day activities that these issues are rarely brought to my awareness. I appreciate this class for bringing about so much more awareness.

I respect and appreciate Audrey Watters for her work and the passion she shares with the public via the world wide web. She takes a risk and sets a great example for other woman to do the same. Considering Audrey Watters is well educated and has written 6 books and yet she still has to deal with death and rape threats and is harassed on a regular basis is hard to comprehend. If Audrey Watters can put herself out there then I can certainly try to do the same.

When I saw the video about celebrities reading mean posts on twitter, shared by Jeremy Black I feel a sense of compassion for them. I have read a few Instagram comments but many of them are so disrespectful and awful that I avoid them. Just like most celebrities try to do (I imagine) but it would be hard. A lot of the celebrities in the video laughed them off but I am pretty sure a lot of those tweets would ‘sting’ a bit!

The article Ryan Hicks posted about Barbie was another eye opener. It started off positive and then in no time, it became stereotypical of women having to ask for help. I found a recent article showing a new Barbie doll with acne, scars, average figure, tattoos, cellulite, etc. which I found interesting and I thought would be a great example to have a discussion about with a classroom of kids. It would be interesting to hear what their interpretation would be. Here are the observations of a grade 2 class comparing 2 barbie dolls.

After taking a number of Psychology and Sociology classes for my undergrad BA degree, I have always understood gender differences to stem from birth and even before the baby is born. I will always remember the story of baby X. Basically, it is about a child who was raised as both a boy and a girl to prevent gender biases and stereotypes. Here is an example from the article. It is a very interesting read;

“Ms. and Mr. Jones had to be Xtra careful. If they kept bouncing it up in the air and saying how strong and active it was, they’d be treating it more like a boy than an X. But if all they did was cuddle it and kiss it and tell it how sweet and dainty it was, they’d be treating it more like a girl than an X (Gould, 1978).”

This article really struck a chord with me back in 2000 because I still think of it today. Gender roles are part of our culture, society and everyday conversation. I like how the article really points out so many examples of how everyday conversations, questions, and controversies are focused on these roles.

The question still is, how do we go about making a positive change? It makes complete sense that if these gender roles are still very set in our society as a whole (at such a young age), it is not hard to imagine that so many people are being verbally abused in the form of threats, verbal harassment, snide remarks, etc., all over the internet to this day. Mansplaining (to get us to cower, to hesitate, to doubt ourselves and our stories and our needs, to step back, to shut up) is a problem for women in the technology industry and it really isn’t surprising that the percentage of females working for Google, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter is 70% male.

As Audrey Watters wrote, we can’t keep quiet or allow this abuse to go on. I hope to support a positive change in the male domination in the technology industry by doing just that. To speak up more, share videos and/or articles through twitter and other social media. Up to this point, I do speak out (verbally) and share my opinions on these matters. I find that so many people remain silent and I don’t mind being the person to speak out. I have co-workers that ask me (or hint) that I should ask a controversial question or question what we may be told to do. Often times, I will  speak up.

On the other hand, I will back down or question myself when someone becomes heated and/or belligerent during a discussion. It is not because I feel that I am wrong, but I feel flustered and cannot find the words to get my point across. Next time this happens to me, I am going to think about the term mansplaining and I hope at the end of the conversation I feel a sense of pride rather than thinking about what I should have said.

I could probably go on and on. This is the type of topic that would bring about a great discussion.

What other ways can we speak out to bring change to the male domination in the technology industry?


My Digital Storytelling Journey

Who knew storytelling could be so versatile and fun all at the same time? Listening to Alan Levine go through the many aspects of how students can tell a story was inspiring. I never knew how to get started with innovative ways to teach my students. It seemed too daunting so I just focused on what I always did. Now, I’m stepping really far outside my comfort zone by creating digital stories and videos.

My brother Trevor was always my go to guy for helping me with computers. He came up with a creative way to share his family’s skiing trips through an iMovie. When I first saw this video, I was really impressed. Never thought in a million years that I would soon be assigned the task of creating videos and digital stories myself.

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Well, here goes!

I am glad I chose to start with the Animoto video. It was a great way to start because it is a user friendly site.

Here is my Animoto video; A Leisurely Day at the Beach

Creating the video went very well and I was able to finish it in about 10 minutes. Figuring out how to embed it in my blog is another 1 hour story.

I like that it was an activity that my students could do easily and in a short amount of time. My students will love it!

Next, I searched for comic apps and programs. I found Comic Life and was able to download it. I created a quick comic strip featuring a field trip to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. I know my students will enjoy creating a comic strip story.

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I wanted to try another type of digital story so I went to the site that posts 50 sites and apps for digital storytelling. I decided to try digital films to give myself and students a variety of options for digital storytelling. It took longer than expected but that seems to be the norm. Anyway, I ended up with a story/film that I can share with my students as an example. Check it out!

http://www.digitalfilms.com/mymovie.php?id=16288

Finally, I chose to make one more Animoto video to post on my blog but I also want to share it with my class to help kickstart interest in making an Animoto video!

I am definitely planning on teaching a lesson with pechaflickr. Another great way to teach students to be more ‘dialed’ into learning. Since my intern is still on her 3 week block of teaching I will have to wait until the end of next week.

I was looking for a good comic strip free app for our class ipads? Does anyone know of a user friendly app for 9-10 year olds?

Thank you for reading!