Rationale

Setting:

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Source: Regina Public Schools

Currently, I work at Campbell Collegiate, which is a large secondary school. There are approximately 1 300-1 500 students registered with approximately 100 staff members. There, I teach English Language Arts to 9-12.

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Source: Campbell Collegiate

 

Part of my duties include Core Leader, which is the same thing as a Department Head. In this position, I am responsible for communication between administration and staff, creating professional development opportunities for staff in my core, and managing system goals.

My school district is Regina Public Schools with approximately 22 000 students, K-12. There are also affiliate schools with the board, such as Huda School and Luther.

Current State of Matters:

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Source: PowerSchool

Currently, the Regina Board of Education uses former Pearson software, called PowerSchool and Gradebook, as their Student Information System (SIS). This suite includes parental tools called ParentPortal which allows parents real time access to attendance and achievement. The companion, StudentPortal, allows students the same access.

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Source (Screenshot): Youtube

PowerSchool was implemented in 2010 and replaced Student Information Records System (SIRS).

Roll out was extensive with teachers required to do modular learning in June and over the summer in order for the system to be workable by September.

Not all features of PowerSchool were immediately available. Teachers began by using the Gradebook system (which is a web based system) and PowerSchool. After approximately 3 years, ParentPortal and StudentPortal were opened up with learning sessions for parents at parent-teacher conferences.

From anecdotal conversations with administration, Regina Public purchased a version of PowerSchool. Since that purchase, additional updates have been purchased in order to keep the system current. However, the division is not running the most recent versions of PowerSchool as the cost to purchase is too high. Again, this information is from an administrator who had completed a PowerSchool course to help them complete timetables within that system.

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Source: Vista Equity Partners

 

PowerSchool was developed by Pearson, the behemoth educational conglomerate. In 2015, Pearson agreed to sell PowerSchool to Vista Equity Partners, a venture capitalist firm that specialises in acquiring software, particularly financial software. PowerSchool now operates as PowerSchool LLC, a completely separate entity from Pearson. PowerSchool has made several acquisitions since its departure from Pearson, consistent with its parent company’s vision.

PowerSchool has faced criticism in Canada about the cost of its programming versus the benefit of implementation. As well, the ParentPortal aspect of PowerSchool can be empowering to parents and students as a way to monitor achievement and attendance, but it can also lead to teacher stress and helicopter parenting.

Furthermore, the concept of corporate responsibility and accountability to customers has gained prominence. The idea that a corporation cannot take whatever actions they please in search of the greatest profits is something that is a new concept in today’s educational and technological environments. Customers, such as school divisions, expect that companies they are dealing with have transparent sets of ethics and accounting. Corporations are being held to a greater standard.

always-earning
Source: Pearson, defaced by me

I believe that because of PowerSchool’s history and current owners, that the corporate responsibility expected of them cannot be met. I believe that any ties to Pearson, past or present, taints a company’s credibility. Pearson is in the business of continuing systemic inequalities in education for profit. I cannot even begin to post the innumerable articles detailing how awful Pearson is for education. Those nine articles are a sampling of the over 1 million results for a Google search of “Pearson education bad”.

This alone should worry any educator. Any ties, especially for one concerning student data, should be examined. Pearson is single-handedly destroying the credibility of teachers by disseminating the idea that learning is objective and can be measured through standardized tests. They are eliminating the purpose of school divisions because they are promoting the idea that education is one size fits all and that school divisions do not need to be responsive to individual needs.

Pearson appears to run contrary to every single ideal that Critical Theory stands for.  Companies founded by Pearson seem to have the same ideas that their parent company has: maintaining social inequalities through unequal access to education.

Regina Public has the obligation to ensure they are setting the very highest of standards in the selection of software for students. Regina Public serves a diverse population and as such should ensure that the companies they are paying money to can and will support all students, regardless of who they are or where they are from. This is a basic tenant of public education: education for all.

SWOT:

Clearly, switching a SIS is a massive undertaking. It must be carefully researched and costs of implementation must be considered. SIS must address every possible avenue of need from each corner of the educational system. It must be accessible by teachers, first and foremost, as teachers are the ones that consistently access an SIS, multiple times a day for a variety of reasons. It needs to be user-friendly for parents whose technological literacy may not be that of their children. It needs to be easy to navigate for students who wish to stay informed of their progress. It needs to be formatted in a way that administrators have ease of access to data, timetabling, and contact information. Finally, the SIS must be able to interface with Ministry software as ultimately, that is who administrators must answer to.

With all of this in mind, an all encompassing SIS should not be chosen lightly.

The positive outcome of this selection would be increased ease of use, an SIS that is responsive to the needs of our division rather than our division changing to fit the constraints of the SIS. An SIS contains all information about students, both academic, personal, and medical.

The personal data of all students is stored within the SIS and is accessible by all staff members. This also means that the owner of the software, the developer themselves, could also have access to all of this data. In addition to examining the usability of the software, the division should also examine the privacy of the software. Is it vulnerable in any way? How long is data stored? Where is the data stored? Who has access? What fail safes to unauthorized access are there?

The potential issues to implementing a new system across a division are obvious: cost, staff buy-in and training. A system change such as this cannot be done in sections; it must be completed all at once in order to ensure continuity for staff and students. Reticence and resistance should be expected from staff, as teachers, from my experience, are not the most accepting of change.

Rationale for the change should be explicitly discussed with staff. This would help staff adjust as there would be transparent reasoning behind the change.


Addressing Jurisdictions

Below are examples of how this change would be broached with various levels.

Proposal to Ministry:

Honourable Don Morgan:

The Regina Public School Division #4 wishes to change their student reporting systems.

This change has been researched by a committee of teachers, administrators, and superintendents in order to determine the responsiveness of the current system (PowerSchool) to student, teacher, and parent needs. Furthermore, the corporate responsibility of PowerSchool has been examined and because PowerSchool was derived from Pearson, the committee has come to the decision that they cannot support any links or ties to such a corporation in good conscience.

The new system selected is Alma. Alma provides all of the features teachers have indicated they wish to have in a Student Information System. Alma_Whitepaper_Learned_vs_Earned is attached for reference. An approximate cost of implementation has been estimated as $5-10 to set up and train staff with a maintenance cost of $7-12 per student per year for our student population of 22, 000. Our contact at Alma is Anna Logan, if you have any further questions.

Therefore, Regina School Division request time in order to ensure that the system selected can interface with the Ministry’s reporting systems. The Board also requests that a liaison from the Ministry be provided in order to facilitate the change.

Thank you for your understanding,

Kelsie Lenihan

Chair of SIS Overhaul Committee

Proposal to School Board:

Director Greg Enion:

The working committee of teachers convened to discuss whether or not a change in Regina Public’s Student Information System (SIS) is required have come to a decision.

Based on the corporate history of PowerSchool as a subsidiary of Pearson and currently as an acquisition of a venture capitalist firm concentrating on data mining, we have determined we cannot support PowerSchool or GradeBook with clear consciences.

An alternative, Alma, has been researched as a way to meet teachers’ needs, as they have indicated in the surveys sent out. Alma is an innovator in the field of student data management. They are responsive, independent, and are continually renewing their systems as a way to meet their customer’s’ needs.

Attached to this document are the survey results from the initial survey, the follow up survey, minutes from the committee meetings, and the quote for integration provided by Anna Logan, our contact at Alma. As well, our committee letter to the Honourable Don Morgan has been appended.

We appreciate you spearheading this move away from corporations that do not promote equality, good practice, and encourage monopolies on education.

Thank you for your consideration,

Kelsie Lenihan

Chair of SIS Overhaul Committee

Teachers:

A Google survey has been created that would be disseminated to teachers (Regina Public is a Google division so use of Google apps is integrated. This means access issues to the survey should be curtailed as teachers’ RBE email address sign them into Google as well.) All surveys must be vetted by superintendents, so this jurisdiction’s participation and inclusion will be integral to the survey.

The initial survey

This first survey would be sent out in order to determine the direction of the change. If an overwhelming majority of teachers are against any change, then the SIS change would be dead in the water. Without the support of teachers, any change will not happen.

After results are gathered from this survey and enough teachers would like to see a change, then those who wished to be a part of the working group would be contacted.

Once the working group has come up with several options, a subset of interested teachers from a variety of schools would be contacted and asked to research the options to see how practical they are.

From these responses, a final proposal would be set forth to the Director of Education and to the Minister of Education.

Parents/Guardians:

Dear parent(s)/guardian(s) of Regina Public Students:

Regina Public Schools has undertaken a change in the way student information is collected, viewed, and maintained.

Previously, teachers, administrators, parents, and students used PowerSchool, a former subsidiary of Pearson Education. As you may be aware, Pearson Education has been under constant scrutiny regarding its business practices.

PowerSchool was acquired by a venture capitalist firm which specialises in data management. This is troublesome as the portfolio with this firm contains areas of potential consequence to student data.

Because of these concerns, a committee was formed in order to investigate alternatives. One has been selected: Alma.

Alma is a web-based information system, similar in features to PowerSchool, but it is an independent company.

The changeover to this new system will occur over the summer break, with learning sessions on the new parental controls during your school’s Open House in the first week of September.

We encourage you to explore Alma’s features by watching the videos posted on your school’s website.

Students will be walked through the changes to how they access their information in their classes. In elementary schools, students will be working with their English Language Arts teachers and in high school, students will be communicating with their homeroom teachers.

If you have any questions, please direct them to your school’s administration.

Thank you for your patience as we implement this change,

Kelsie Lenihan

Chair of SIS Overhaul Committee

Students:

Below are guiding questions for teachers to discuss the genesis of the change and why corporate responsibility is so important.

These questions are geared toward high schools, but similar ones could be adapted for middle years students.

  1. What is corporate responsibility? (Wikipedia, Video Examples [be aware that some serve as advertisements], brief overview)
  2. Can you think of any examples of good corporate behaviour in your community?
  3. What about some examples of bad corporate behaviour?
  4. Has anyone ever got an ad on Google that was eerily pointed for you? How do you think this happens? Why do you think this happens? (Google Ad Sense)
  5. What is data management?
  6. Why might a school division be worried about your data?
  7. What responsibilities does a school division have about your data?
  8. Homeroom teachers should proceed to walk through the changes, demonstrate login, and ensure each student is able to logon.

Reflection on Leadership

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Source: AllThingsLearning

This plan of introducing a new SIS aligns with my current leadership style because I believe how I lead is deeply informed by Critical Theory. I like to believe that I educate in order to eradicate systemic inequalities in a way. I understand that these inequalities are much larger than me and have been entrenched for a very long time so I must work at a grassroots level in order to effect change from the bottom up. I believe it is my duty as a leader to interrogate what we do, what we use to do what we do and see if there are better, more equitable ways to do so.

I also understand that I am constrained by many things, chiefly money. Changes of this magnitude cannot be instigated without the input of many people because of the constraint on other places it places.

In terms of leadership strategies I would employ, I think the most important for this task is democratic/participatory and charismatic. The amount of input required for this shift is immense and cannot be attempted without some kind of leader who makes this change appealing. Someone who can speak well, has a good rapport with staff, and can clearly articulate why this is necessary is required as a figurehead to start the process. As well, sustainable leadership must also be used as this will be a change that is around for, hopefully, a long while. There must be a system of distribution of responsibilities so that the corporate memory for this change does not rest solely with one person, i.e., the charismatic leader.

Leadership styles that would not help in the change would be autocratic or bureaucratic. These two styles of leadership do nothing to make the case for this change. Autocratic leadership runs directly opposed to the rationale behind this change. The shift in SIS is to promote democracy and collectivism in the school community rather than more top-down decisions.

Unfortunately, though bureaucratic leadership may not be helpful, it may be necessary in the background. This is a huge change that requires some knowledge of how the “machine” works in order to make this change effective.


Explanation of Process and Conclusions

In the search for a new SIS, I consulted many sources in order to narrow down a final choice: Alma.

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Source: Alma

I selected Alma after reading reviews on EdTech, listening to an interview with their CEO, and examining their compatibility with current technology in Regina Public, namely Google Apps for EducationFurther research on other tech-related websites shows that Alma is emerging as a competitor in the field of SIS.

I believe that Alma provides a genuine alternative for PowerSchool in terms of corporate responsibility, support, and potentially cost. I contacted both PowerSchool and Alma for an estimate, stating I was writing a paper comparing Student Information Systems. I sent both emails on July 11. I received a reply from Alma with an approximate cost, as indicated in the “letter” to the Minister. I have yet to receive a reply from PowerSchool, despite follow up emails on July 20, and 23.

If this were a real life scenario, I would collaborate with many levels of education: teachers, parents, administrators, guidance counselors, students, superintendents, and the Ministry.

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Source: Presentation Process

Teachers need to include input as they are the ones that will be utilizing the system the most. Teachers use SIS every day, multiple times a day. The new system should be accessible and have minimal downtime.

Parents need to be consulted as this will directly impact how they access their children’s attendance and progress in school. The new system chosen should be easy to navigate with a minimal learning curve so that parents are not frustrated by the system.

Administrators have a unique perspective when accessing a student information system. They use it to access marks and attendance, similar to a teacher, but they also use it in order to build schedules, track student movement across the division, and to interface with the Ministry.

Guidance counselors use the system in a similar manner to administrators in that they track a student’s progress toward graduation and also need access to personal data in order to help a student.

Students should be polled to find out how and why they use an SIS. The SIS is, at the end of the day, designed for students so their thoughts should be included in the process. Elementary school students’ use is very different from high school students’ use, so the new system should be responsive to a wide variety of student needs.

Superintendents should be consulted, not because they necessarily use it, but because they are aware of the costs of integration and of breaking contracts. Superintendents have the most wide view of usage of a system and may have a more historical view on a change of this magnitude.

Finally, the Ministry of Education needs to be consulted, as at the end of the day, the Ministry is who employs everyone. The Ministry is ultimately in charge of all students and all final, legal reporting involving transcripts and student data. Any new system needs to be able to work with current software so that a changeover would be seamless.

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Source: BBC

For this change, I believe that all stakeholders will benefit, in the long term. By removing any association with such a problematic company can only help with the sense of community and aid in the cause of social justice within Regina Public. It is an opportunity to become a provincial leader in a sense by rejecting what is considered the norm and embracing a more “leftist” position.

I feel that by stating this as the objective in the change, there will be many, many people who will see this change as necessary for the cause of public education. The majority of supporters will already have an explicit understanding of Critical Theory, though many will have an implicit understanding: they know what constitutes good, equal teaching, though they may not have the vocabulary of Critical Theory to express it. It is from here that I would derive the base of support for the change. I believe that they would be champions for the change and would help campaign to assist the transition with detractors.


Reflection on Process

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Source: John Dewey Quotes

When I began this project I was really unsure of the direction I wanted to take. This project seemed so vast and hard to pin down because it was so open. I thought about utilizing tools like Twitter in my teaching, but it seemed so inauthentic because it is just one aspect of my teaching, and to be honest, I really don’t like Twitter all that much.

So, I started thinking about what I do during the day. As I was running through my daily routine, I stopped. There was one thing that had been coming up over and over again: the way I input data. So, I began reflecting on PowerSchool and our division’s relationship with it. I started to do some digging. I discovered that although PowerSchool had started as a Pearson subsidiary, Pearson began selling off assets and PowerSchool was one of them. I was surprised to learn that even though PowerSchool had become ostensibly its own company, it still had a parent. This parent worried me, as its key drive is acquiring data management software and not just educational software.

From there, I examined potential alternatives. I sent out exploratory emails requesting information about pricing, indicating I was writing a paper about alternative platforms. The company that got back to me that fastest and was entire honest about their ability to provide information was Alma. The one company that never did respond was PowerSchool, despite repeated attempts. That to me solidified my project as finding a new SIS.

I knew, from experience, the massive project it is to implement a new SIS and the amount of groundwork that needs to be laid in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. Because I was a brand new teacher when PowerSchool came to my division, I was easily able to switch over because I didn’t have much experience with SIRS. However, I witnessed the frustration and anger with which my colleagues met this change. Teachers with one or two years left before retirement were resentful of having to learn a brand new system for a year or two. This system was also entirely online and that made several teachers unfamiliar with cloud computing uncomfortable. The learning process for this roll out was huge.

Because of this experience, I knew that if Regina Public ever went into a new SIS that major consultation should take place. Fortunately, the change would only be in a software, not an entire sea change in how we manage student information.

I am fully aware of my position within the leadership environment and in this economic climate. I know that a change like this is entirely unfeasible at this time as we struggle just to pay enough teachers. However, it is my hope one day that I can propose a change such as this to people who do have power to implement this. I believe I have a strong reason for this change, as impractical in the short term it seems.

This project has opened my eyes to alternative ways of looking at student data and knowing that PowerSchool does not have a monopoly, that there are several companies out there that offer just as good, if not a better solution.


Last Blast for the M.Ed.

With tonight being the last class I plan on sharing some of the apps, tools and plans I have to become as paperless as possible.

Throughout the semester I have discussed how I want to embrace BYOD and hopefully create a paperless classroom.  I have come to a conclusion that 100% paperless is not going to be a reality as there are so many obstacles to overcome.  I do plan on encouraging and developing as many of my lessons, classes, and units to be integrated with technology to their fullest potential keeping in my my students needs, curriculum, and the appropriateness of the concepts.  

I will break down my ideas into my subject categories:

Mathematics -
Photo Credit: MeanGirlsWiki
1. Teachings - I plan on utilizing a variety of sites and also creating my own content videos.  My go to site for content will be Khan Acadamey, Mr. Kouyoumdjian's Classroom, I will be using both Adobe Spark and straight video to develop my own lessons.

2. Assignments/Evaluation - I am going to be using Mathletics for most of my assignments next year.  This site has the Saskatchewan Curriculum connected to it, along with the approved pre and post assessments that I use throughout the year as my formative assessment tools.  When the opportunity arises I plan on using the manipulatives within my classroom as a stepping tool to bridge the gap from the concrete concepts to the pictorial that the students will be working on within the Mathletics program.

Science -
Photo Credit: Pearson Canada
1. Teachings - As I do not come from a science background I have to rely mostly on the Pearson text and teacher guide as my go to sources.  This is nice because each of the students within my board have Pearson e-text passwords and we are able to utilize the online versions often.  For supplemental lessons I typically find videos through our library services or YouTube is always a favourite.

2.  Assignments/Evaluation - As much as Stager relented about Google and its dangers, I do love it, and I find it very useful.  I focus a majority of my assignments around the Google Classroom platform, whether it is docs, slides or forms for a variety of assessment practices.  What I hope to do this year is connect with other schools within the division and hopefully Collaborate (I know another dirty word Mr. Stager does not enjoy).  On top of that I also plan on incorporating Kahoots for formative assessment along with Flipgrids as exit notes to check in with my students quickly.


English Language Arts -
1. Teaching - This is an area where my "paperless" classroom may be a grey area...  I have access to the Pearson E-Text library for the middle years which gives me a plethora of options, but I also work with a teach of teachers that have a 2 year ELA plan that aligns with our curriculum.  We use short stories, creative writing, integrated cross curricular plans.  My attempt will be to utilize PDF ve
rsions of our short stories as long as it doesn't breach any copyright laws, and then I am hoping that through utilizing the tools built into Google Classroom platform that the students will become more efficient through their written outcomes.  
Photo Credit: GAFE


2. Assignments/Evaluation - I will primarily be using GAFE as my LMS, therefore a majority of my assignments will be evaluated digitally as well.  We will be focusing on more of the process of the writing traits and reading strategies that the students need to improve upon over the year.  I feel that through using an online format I will be able to help identify and improve my students understanding of the process of learning through language arts.  I believe that the issues of plagiarism, copying out weigh the problems of incomplete/lost assignments and there will be less excuses for these issues.  As long as I am diligent in checking in with the students along the way I hope the copying issues will be less frequent.  

I am interested in getting into blogging with my students but I am going to need to get the other members of my teaching team to buy into my philosophy before I will be able to make this a fully integrated part of my Language Arts program.  

Over the course of the semester I have been compiling my information into a slideshow so I can share with my staff and school community in the fall.  I have a link to the document here, but it will not be "finished" for a few more days (by end of June for sure!).  Keep an eye out for it and if you would like me to share it with you so  you can edit it please send me a message and I am more than happy to share.  


Finally I would like to thank my colleagues/peers/friends who over the last number of classes we have worked together and got to know one another in many different aspects.  I will miss spending Tuesday nights with you.  At this current moment I am excited to be done, but at the same time I feel that I will miss being involved regularly on Ed Tech topics through classes like Alec/Katia's.  I am sure that the free time I will have will eventually be filled with kids activities and honey-do-lists from my loving wife.  

I'm Out!
GIF Source: Reddit
Kyle DuMont   M. Ed. (soon to be...)



Last Blast for the M.Ed.

With tonight being the last class I plan on sharing some of the apps, tools and plans I have to become as paperless as possible.

Throughout the semester I have discussed how I want to embrace BYOD and hopefully create a paperless classroom.  I have come to a conclusion that 100% paperless is not going to be a reality as there are so many obstacles to overcome.  I do plan on encouraging and developing as many of my lessons, classes, and units to be integrated with technology to their fullest potential keeping in my my students needs, curriculum, and the appropriateness of the concepts.  

I will break down my ideas into my subject categories:

Mathematics -
Photo Credit: MeanGirlsWiki
1. Teachings - I plan on utilizing a variety of sites and also creating my own content videos.  My go to site for content will be Khan Acadamey, Mr. Kouyoumdjian's Classroom, I will be using both Adobe Spark and straight video to develop my own lessons.

2. Assignments/Evaluation - I am going to be using Mathletics for most of my assignments next year.  This site has the Saskatchewan Curriculum connected to it, along with the approved pre and post assessments that I use throughout the year as my formative assessment tools.  When the opportunity arises I plan on using the manipulatives within my classroom as a stepping tool to bridge the gap from the concrete concepts to the pictorial that the students will be working on within the Mathletics program.

Science -
Photo Credit: Pearson Canada
1. Teachings - As I do not come from a science background I have to rely mostly on the Pearson text and teacher guide as my go to sources.  This is nice because each of the students within my board have Pearson e-text passwords and we are able to utilize the online versions often.  For supplemental lessons I typically find videos through our library services or YouTube is always a favourite.

2.  Assignments/Evaluation - As much as Stager relented about Google and its dangers, I do love it, and I find it very useful.  I focus a majority of my assignments around the Google Classroom platform, whether it is docs, slides or forms for a variety of assessment practices.  What I hope to do this year is connect with other schools within the division and hopefully Collaborate (I know another dirty word Mr. Stager does not enjoy).  On top of that I also plan on incorporating Kahoots for formative assessment along with Flipgrids as exit notes to check in with my students quickly.


English Language Arts -
1. Teaching - This is an area where my "paperless" classroom may be a grey area...  I have access to the Pearson E-Text library for the middle years which gives me a plethora of options, but I also work with a teach of teachers that have a 2 year ELA plan that aligns with our curriculum.  We use short stories, creative writing, integrated cross curricular plans.  My attempt will be to utilize PDF ve
rsions of our short stories as long as it doesn't breach any copyright laws, and then I am hoping that through utilizing the tools built into Google Classroom platform that the students will become more efficient through their written outcomes.  
Photo Credit: GAFE


2. Assignments/Evaluation - I will primarily be using GAFE as my LMS, therefore a majority of my assignments will be evaluated digitally as well.  We will be focusing on more of the process of the writing traits and reading strategies that the students need to improve upon over the year.  I feel that through using an online format I will be able to help identify and improve my students understanding of the process of learning through language arts.  I believe that the issues of plagiarism, copying out weigh the problems of incomplete/lost assignments and there will be less excuses for these issues.  As long as I am diligent in checking in with the students along the way I hope the copying issues will be less frequent.  

I am interested in getting into blogging with my students but I am going to need to get the other members of my teaching team to buy into my philosophy before I will be able to make this a fully integrated part of my Language Arts program.  

Over the course of the semester I have been compiling my information into a slideshow so I can share with my staff and school community in the fall.  I have a link to the document here, but it will not be "finished" for a few more days (by end of June for sure!).  Keep an eye out for it and if you would like me to share it with you so  you can edit it please send me a message and I am more than happy to share.  


Finally I would like to thank my colleagues/peers/friends who over the last number of classes we have worked together and got to know one another in many different aspects.  I will miss spending Tuesday nights with you.  At this current moment I am excited to be done, but at the same time I feel that I will miss being involved regularly on Ed Tech topics through classes like Alec/Katia's.  I am sure that the free time I will have will eventually be filled with kids activities and honey-do-lists from my loving wife.  

I'm Out!
GIF Source: Reddit
Kyle DuMont   M. Ed. (soon to be...)



My Last Summary of Learning!

It is hard to believe that this is the last blog post for my last class. Having the opportunity to end my Graduate Degree taking a Directed Reading course could not have gone better. I am very thankful that Jayme-Lee, Andres, Elizabeth, Kyle, and Jorie chose to take this course too. I had discussed this option with Alec in December, so I am thankful that it all turned out in the end. I learned so much more,  through our small group, than I could have hoped to learn if I had done this course alone!

Photo Credit: http://tvorbaweb-stranok.sk Flickr via Compfight cc

Initially, when this Directed Reading course began, I felt out of touch with my own teaching practices in my classroom. For 8 months of this past school year, I had a responsibility to write a blog post for EC&I 833 and EC&I 834 based on the particular topic that week. On top of that, there were other projects and assignments to complete. After awhile, having extra time and/or energy to spend on planning, became few and far between.

I was looking forward to focusing on my own teaching practices and how I approach technology in my classroom. I had the usual questions that I believe many educators have. Are the technology tools contributing to authentic learning? What tools should I be using for assessment? Am I providing a more student-centred approach? Are my students engaged? Am I providing balanced literacy? How can I provide enough time for students to blog with a limited number of Chromebooks? The list goes on and on and on!!

So Many Questions??

I chose to focus on including technology in a team teaching classroom because I struggle with having 17 Chromebooks for 47 students. How do I make the most of having Chromebooks, when I only have them for a limited time each day, or not at all?

What I learned is that I am on the right track! When I found articles about team teaching and teaching with larger groups, I also found information about blended learning and grouping students in smaller groups.

In this particular blog I found an article with great tips for team teaching and the importance and effectiveness of collaborating. From that point, I realized that working with large groups of students is challenging, and splitting students into groups is what most, if not all educators do, especially with limited technology/learning needs. Having more time to reflect, helped me to realize there is no magical solution to my frustrations. I just need to continue what I am doing, by making my decisions based on current research/information as my ideologies and pedagogical practices continue to change.

In week 2, I blogged about the negative aspects of technology. I’ve noticed that during daily conversation with different people like my EA (educational assistant), co-workers, friends, or family, I often notice that people who do not understand what educational technology has to offer, are the ones who are the most negative about it. It is understandable for sure. When people are misinformed, uneducated, or basing facts on ‘what we hear’ to be true, the comments tend to be “negative.”

One article that I shared shed some light from a different, yet relatable perspective. As you can see just by the titles, the article is worth the read.

Complexity Photo Credit: B Barr Flickr via Compfight cc
  • Why Some Teachers Are Against Technology In Education

  • The Problem With The #edtech Conversation

  • Technology Is Designed To Stir Emotions. So Here We Are, Stirred

  • Honoring The Complexity Of Teaching & Learning

Where some see a revelation, others see expense, distraction, and a lot of rhetoric.

I think it’s safe to say that based on our weekly conversations and each of our blogs, emotions were stirred, the #edtech conversation is deep and intense, and the complexity of teaching and learning is certainly challenging.

In week 3, we focused on preventative measures of cons. As I’ve already mentioned, I found some articles on collaborating and team teaching that confirmed what I have already been doing, as well as reminded me that I am the type of person who benefits from collaborating and having conversations about best teaching practices. It keeps me accountable!

In week 4, we looked into interesting finds. One topic of discussion was the limitations on the number of iPads and laptops allotted for each school in the RPS (Regina Public School Board).  My big take away(s) from this week was to focus on what we do have, since it doesn’t look like new laptops or iPads will be coming our way any time soon. I have plenty to learn about GSuite and the capabilities of Chromebooks, as well as transitioning to a more Blended Classroom. Next year, I will continue to try something new, including figuring out what else Chromebooks and GSuite have to offer!

Week 5 was all about the benefits of educational technology. There are more than enough articles that support the inclusion and importance of educational technology. Our students have grown up with smart devices and have had access to the web their whole lives. It is not a surprise that technology is something they gravitate towards.

I shared an article or two that help to remind myself and its many readers why educators continue to make the transition to a more blended classroom to meet the new learning styles of today’s students.

  • As much as 60 percent of schools in America, issue laptops or tablets to their students.
  • 41% of students are in favor of taking virtual classes.
  • 50% of students in middle and high school use the internet to complete work 3 times a week.
  • The students that study on computers, phones, or tablets, study for an average of 40 minutes more per week than those who do not.

The Future is Tech, Get Ready

This quote from the article; 5 Benefits of Technology in the Classroom says it all. Yes, we better get ready! It should actually read, “We better get moving!”  Eventually, educators will get on board, for the simple fact that we don’t have much choice! As technology transitions into Web 3.0, we as educators need to also be transitioning into Education 3.0. My blog from last spring provides a summary of how these are so connected.

In conclusion, not only did I learn an enormous amount of valuable information, I was also reminded about many of the new advances that educational technology has made. The enormity and complexity of the #edtech world is beyond my wildest imagination.

On top of that, connecting with Jayme-Lee, Andres, Elizabeth, Kyle, and Jorie provided me with so much awareness for the variety and complexity of our jobs as educators. I now have a much more personal appreciation for teaching Physical Education, French Immersion, high school Social Studies, tackling a paperless classroom using BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and being a Grade 2 teacher transitioning into an administration role. As a group, we were able to provide support, make connections, and learn from each of our roles as teachers in Regina Public Schools.

Thank you again for this amazing opportunity! I am very thankful for the chance to take this Directed Reading Course for my final class! Thank you Alec for providing me with this amazing platform where I’ve grown as a person, professional, co-worker, and technology guru for 5 of my 10 courses throughout my Graduate Studies!

Dream Big

 


THE END!

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Let’s take a quick look at our journey over the course of 6 weeks.  It has been a wonderful experience and I have really enjoyed being able to work with such amazing colleagues researching and reading about things we are so passionate about.  If we glance back at the beginning of this course I was full of excitement, eager to learn about an area of study that I am so passionate about.  Excited to take on the challenge of finding ideas, resources, answers, solutions etc.  Hesitant about what might come of my findings, but optimistic that change can occur.  This is my very last class in my master’s degree and glad I got to end it this way as it has been quite the journey.  Over the past 6 weeks, I have gone from feeling really good about incorporating tech into my classroom to moments of uncertainty.  Now that we have come to the end of our journey I can say that I am confident walking way from this course with many ideas, resources, connections, solutions, answers etc. of how to incorporate technology into my physical education classes.

 

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 Week 2 we discussed the con’s that can be involved when incorporating technology into our classrooms.  A physical education classroom is a very different atmosphere in comparison to the typical classroom, however it was interesting to see that many of the negative aspects of technology in our classrooms could overlap from one classroom to the next.  Teachable moments are a big thing for me, when something arises I like to take advantage of those situations to teach our students something that might not typically be learned in a classroom.  I am very thankful to have taken several classes from Alec and Katia and have been able to witness this first hand.  While being a technology focused class they both have the ability to take a comment, question etc. and run with it to ensure their students are getting the full learning experience.  If I have learned anything from my 2 year old son, one would be that you learn from watching, then by doing.  Many people fear that by incorporating tech into the classroom we will lessen the chances of these teachable moments arising, I think it doesn’t necessarily change how often these moments will happen, however it may change the context of the conversation.  Perhaps our conversations will revolve around our devices, perhaps not. I guess it is something that we will have to wait out, time will tell!  It has been a focus of conversation all semester, tech as a distraction.  Like I mentioned earlier, I am a very optimistic person and there are just some battles that aren’t worth picking.  Why not use the tech to our advantage.  If our students are excited about using it for their learning then we need to find ways of incorporating it appropriately and not just for the sake of incorporating it.  I think if we allow chances for our students to be engaged and use tech on a daily basis we will minimize the distraction piece.  Liz mentioned earlier in the semester about tech check ins.  It is my goal when I get back to work after my maternity leave to incorporate tech check in’s into my classroom, I think this will also help minimize the distraction.  Another goal of mine upon returning to work is to find a way to communicate with students and parents online.  I think this leaves opportunity for students and parents to see what is happening in our classroom as well as seeing how their child is progressing.

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In my list of con’s I listed several apps that had both pro’s and con’s, like anything there are always negatives to go along with the positives.  I am going to try several of these apps in my classroom and hope that with trial and error we can perfect how they are being used and integrated into my classroom.  All the apps that I plan to incorporate into my classroom will hopefully provide a different, fun, engaging, challenging, interesting learning experience for all my students.

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Prior to incorporating technology into my classroom I think it is essential for my students and myself to come up with some guidelines of how and when our devices can be used appropriately. It is essential that I teach them to how to be good digital citizens.  The one thing that I am still pondering is I don’t want students to have their devices in the change room.  I think for privacy and safety of everyone devices should be left outside of these areas, in saying that I am left with “do I have a bin where devices are kept until used?” “Do I have like a mail slot type thing where they each have their own spot to keep their device?” How do I ensure for the safety of everyone that no devices are making their way into the change rooms?  This is definitely something I need to think about and perhaps even having a conversation with the students and hearing their thoughts/opinions would be helpful.

Throughout the semester a hot topic of conversation was also that of funding.  I was always under the impression that SCC was unable to purchase technology for the classrooms.  However, upon conversing with colleagues etc. the SCC would be able to purchase a variety tech pieces that would work wonderfully in my classroom (ex. Pedometers, heart rate monitors etc.)

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Upon my return to work I hope to write a proposal to our SCC asking them so if they would like to help expand our physical education program.  In my proposal I plan to address why I think it is essential that we have these pieces of equipment and how it will benefit our students.  Our SCC has been very generous with things in the past, so I am very hopeful that they will be willing to help a physical education teacher who is on a mission to make a difference.

I have been very fortunate to have read many wonderful things both positive and negative in regards to technology in classrooms over the course of this semester.  Through these readings it has been evident that technology in our classrooms has been doing some pretty great things and many teachers and students are loving the variety of opportunities that come along with using tech in our classroom.

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I am a firm believer that with using technology in our classroom we are able to meet the needs of all of our learners.  We are able to make adaptations, provide differentiated instruction etc.  One thing I really struggle with in my physical education classroom with grades 5-8 is to motivate each and every individual to actively participate in every class.  Some students simply aren’t interested in participating and I struggle with constantly finding ways to encourage them to participate.  Now that I have had a semester of simply focusing on tech in physical education I do believe that tech could definitely be a motivating factor.  If I find ways of incorporating tech into my classroom that interests them perhaps they will be willing to participate in the activities.

I am confident that with tech being a revolving door like our society

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Regina Pubic Schools will begin to expand their shared visions.  My colleagues this semester have been able to point me in the right direction as to who I need to talk to in regards to tech related things in my classroom which has been very helpful.  I hope to be able to use this contact in the future to successfully implement technology into my own teaching and learning.

Photo Credit: Sally K Witt Flickr via Compfight cc

Overall this semester has been quite the whirlwind, from ups to downs, to challenging moments to wonderful ideas.  I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to learn alongside these amazing people who have given me such a great experience.  My colleagues have supported me throughout the last leg of this journey and encouraged me to find new ways of teaching physical education.  I hope that once I get back to work we can get a tech support group started and begin to put all my wonderful ideas into motion.  Physical education has always been a passion of mine and I want my students have the necessary tools and resources to live healthy active lifestyles outside of school in their community, home, workplace etc.  I am optimistic that with some changes, some trial and error, some ups and downs that the integration of technology and what is has to offer will be a success in our school.  Thank you so much for a wonderful semester and I look forward to staying in touch with all of you and seeing how your tech journeys are coming along!


A summary of my learning this semester

Introduction

Hello!
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As we finish off our directed reading course, I have a lot to think about in terms of the effectiveness of bringing tech into a language class.

To reiterate what I said the other day in class, I felt as though it was very difficult to actually focus-in on research that specifically catered to my topic. I also started to gain the feeling that as we were answering some of the questions in our blogs, I was coming up with many of the same conclusions I had come up with in previous tech classes I had taken in the past.

First of all, tech is great. It brings SO much to the table as far as providing our classrooms with infinite amounts of resources that can be used and applied in infinite amounts of ways. As long as there’s a reliable connection to the internet available to use, students and teachers can access materials, resources, lessons and content from any hidden corner of the world.

Think about it…the “I left my homework at home” excuse is literally invalid now!

Wahoooo!
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You’re in a rush and need a quick idea for a lesson? No worries, a quick Google search will actually bring up thousands of ideas that you can use in your classroom.

If you’re using an LMS platform in your classroom, you can keep track of your students’ performance and grades with minimal effort.

Sounds great right? It is, BUT (and there’s a big BUT), you as a teacher, NEED to know how to apply tech in useful and innovative ways that go beyond simply replacing the pen and paper. With every advantage technology may have, there are countless drawbacks that continue to scare teachers away.

In our last class, my classmate Kyle, who’s directed reading topic focused on the B.Y.O.D. approach to tech, came to a big realization. For the upcoming school year, Kyle was hoping to have been able to completely transition into a paper-less classroom. As we continued our research over the past six weeks, he realized that going completely paper-less is not 100% feasible. With all the drawbacks and potential unavoidable issues that come with bringing technology into the classroom (also relying on it 100%), going totally paper-less would be very difficult, and in many cases, wouldn’t be as practical as you’d hope.

Although it would be more realistic to aim for an 80% paper-less classroom, some subject areas such as math, rely heavily on working with paper. Having a pen and paper to write out your work is not only practical, but it’s much easier and functional in a math class for instance. Throughout the study, Kyle’s attitude towards B.Y.O.D. definitely changed. He no longer seems sold on the idea of going completely paper-less, something he wouldn’t have realized had he not taken the time to look into all aspects of this teaching style.

As Kyle was sharing his thoughts last week in class, I felt as though we came to similar conclusions and share a lot of the same sentiments towards technology. Although tech is wonderful and can make all sorts of things possible in the classroom, we still haven’t quite figured out everything about it…yet.

So why did I chose to focus on language?

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I chose language as my main focus because I realize how many people have used technology in the past to learn all sorts of things relating to language. Languages are very systemic and scientific; there are rules to learn and memorize; there are exceptions and distinctions that you must learn to identify and understand; and you must practice over and over until you finally get it right.

A lot of software that’s being offered to consumers these days provide students with the opportunities to learn and practice all of these things in the privacy of their own homes. A lot of the software out there provides learners with video lessons, sound clips and audio books/texts, and even voice recognition technology. Furthermore, these programs often use some sort of LMS platform that can keep track of your progress and performance in real-time (including grades). Not only that, but most of these programs provide learners with real-time, online video and chat support with REAL PEOPLE (Teachers or trained instructors) in case they have questions or need further guidance/assistance.

With these services, not only are students able to listen and practice speaking the language, they are able to ask questions and gain insight on their progress as they are learning. It’s not perfect, but people use these programs, and they definitely work well enough that many people continue using them. I actually know a lot of people who have used language learning software and apps to either learn a new language, or to brush up on the skills that they already have.

In case you were wondering what type of software I’m talking about, here’s a list of some of the best language learning software in the market right now: Link

Summary of Learning

Let’s see here…
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So what did I learn this semester?

For my final blog, I decided to give you a recap of my findings. I will then provide you with some reflections on my experience, as well as some final thoughts and some of the conclusions I came to from my research.

Blog 1: The cons of bringing technology into the classroom

Bring on the bad!
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What did I learn?

Technology availability and funding are giant obstacles that will most likely continue to create problems for teachers, students, and schools alike. Equity amongst different schools and demographics is always going to be an issue and not all students are going to be provided with the same opportunities, tools and resources as students in more privileged communities.

Technology availability, such as reliable internet and WI-FI connections, are always going to be a gamble and will never be a guaranteed thing (…yet). When you’re simply trying to get a video to work or your students must log into whatever LMS platform you may be using in the classroom, if we don’t have an internet connection, you can kiss your lesson goodbye.

Then comes the question of convincing teachers and administrators to actually embrace technology. As my classmate Jen mentioned in her Cons blog, there are a lot of teachers out there that are avoiding technology for various reasons. Whether they are unwilling to adapt or change their old ways, or they don’t have the adequate training or direction; unless administrators and school boards are providing support, training, guidance, and ideas; then we can’t really expect teachers to be interested in, or take the initiative to implement blended learning in their classrooms.

And then there’s the age old question of distraction. My classmates Kyle and Liz both talked about student distraction in their blogs, and how devices, social media, and mobile apps/games have proven to be a giant obstacle for all modern-day teachers. Heck, even WE are addicted and distracted by our own devices, how can we expect our students NOT to be?

Blog 2: Preventative measures to avoid the cons

You gotta get creative with those solutions
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What did I learn?

In this blog entry, I addressed the question about funding. For schools that are lacking in funding and equipment, I found a lot of information relating to grants and external funding options. In relation to having limited resources and equipment, I read about how to share equipment and allotting time for students to work on computers using a rotation system. These are excellent suggestions, especially if you’re hoping to slowly transition into a blended learning classroom. For classrooms and teachers who want to go completely paper-less however, sharing computers may solve some of the minor issues, but it won’t replace the pen and paper. I think the biggest thing I learned here is that sometimes we simply have to work within our means. As much as we may want to implement certain teaching styles, if we don’t have the tools readily available for everyone, then we must adapt and settle with what we have available to us.

Another interesting point that I came across was that as teachers, we should be advocators for technology. If we don’t want our students to be distracted by their devices, it’s our job to learn about these tools, and teach them how and when to use them in an educational environment. According to a lot of my findings, technology isn’t failsafe. There’s very little evidence that these tools are helping students flourish academically, so in order to use these things to their full advantage, teachers NEED to know how to use them.

In my study that week, I also learned the importance of training and providing as much support as possible to our teachers. If we can’t convince teachers and administrators about how beneficial these tools can be in the classroom, then we’re never going to move ahead and catch up with the times. If we’re providing teachers with the opportunities to bring these tools into their classrooms, we also have to be willing to show them the ropes and support them whenever they require assistance.

There was also the question of planning and how putting together online courses and creating your own content for your classes is not only time-consuming, but can be extremely frustrating as well. Through my own experiences and my readings however, I’ve found that through trial and error, a lot can be learned. Something that might’ve taken you hours to do initially, can quickly become a simple task after some practice. Teachers need to put in some serious work at the beginning, but once you start to get the hang of it, things get much easier from there.

As for addressing tech availability for students, it’s important not to assume what students have or don’t have access to at home. One of the articles I read suggested surveying your students to find out what type of tools they have available to them outside of school. If the majority of your students don’t have access to the internet, let alone a device, then you can’t expect your blended learning classroom to take off.

Blog 3: Interesting finds

interesting…
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What did I learn?

This was an interesting week for me because I realized a couple things that kind of shattered some of my previous work to pieces. During one of our discussions in class, Kyle mentioned how many school districts, including the Regina Public School Board, often have restrictions or simply don’t allow teachers to use grants to purchase laptops for their classrooms. The reasons for this is because unless we’re purchasing board-approved devices and software, having devices that aren’t supported by the board will not receive any maintenance or tech support. For school boards, having classroom teachers purchase devices that they aren’t trained to repair only results in further costs and staff training. Furthermore, purchasing unapproved devices can result in software compatibility issues, potentially rendering the devices obsolete or useless. It’s important to figure these things out BEFORE you go ahead with any type of technology grant application.

I realize that regardless of how new and current your devices may be, they will only continue to work properly and efficiently unless we’re able to maintain them. If that’s not the case however, devices don’t exactly age too well and can become pretty much useless after a couple of years.

Stager’s blog post was particularly interesting because he argues that unless we’re providing our students with quality products, why bother bringing them into the classroom in the first place. I definitely agree with Stager. If we aren’t providing our students with quality materials and quality experiences, how on earth are we to expect them to produce quality products? How can we expect students to unleash their creativity if the machines they are using are incapable of performing such tasks? Unless you’re figuring out innovative ways to use these tools, it’s almost as though you shouldn’t use them at all. Definitely something to keep in mind.

Blog 4: The pros

Not bad!
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What did I learn?

The pros were a lot easier to identify this week. Technology obviously has a lot going for it and it definitely offers teachers and students new opportunities that wouldn’t be possible without it. For instance, tech allows people who live in remote areas to access education; it allows us to connect with other learners from all parts of the world; and it allows students to take control of their learning and progress at their own pace. Students and teachers can access documents, lessons, resources and content from virtually anywhere. Sharing homework and assignments is as easy as a simple push of a button. Heck, even the fact that we don’t even have to leave our homes to attend school is an outstanding pro!

A lot of the articles I read pointed out how blended learning classrooms can help students develop better research skills, become better independent learners, improve their decision-making skills, and help them become computer literate. Technology can save time and money for teachers and schools, it can allow very personalized learning opportunities for students and it can help us gain better insight to the way our students learn (when using programs or LMS platforms that keep track of grades and performance).

Tech allows us to stay up-to-date, providing our students with the most current content. Technology is constantly evolving, improving and becoming more and more innovative. Apps and programs are constantly being developed to better suit the specific needs of our students. As far as versatility and problem-solving go, tech obviously reigns supreme.

What I learned the most however was its effectiveness in language classes, particularly with ESL classrooms dealing with second language acquisition.

Using language software for example allows students to practice outside of the classroom setting. This is particularly useful with reading and writing. Teachers can provide students with additional online content, lessons, resources, drills and enriching material that can allow learners to explore their learning at their own pace. If students aren’t feeling confident in one domain, they may go back and revisit specific units or modules.

Many programs that teachers use in language classes also allow students to practice their oral language skills with voice recognition programs. Allowing students to practice oral language outside of the classroom can allow students to become more confident and comfortable speaking out loud. The biggest argument for these tools is that you can go home after a lesson, and continue learning, which is essentially the key to learning a new language. Furthermore, the use of video, including tutorials, instructions, or even having students produce their own videos for assignments, allows the learner to interact with the material in innovative and interactive ways

Reflections

hmmm….
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So what does this all mean to me now? Well, the initial purpose of this directed reading course was to find ways to implement technology in a language class. Whether we’re dealing with ELA, French, or we’re teaching an ESL class to newly arrived immigrant students, I’ve learned some very important things that will come useful to me as I start to experiment a little more with tech in my classroom.

As for all the negative aspects about technology, I think it’s important to always expect the unexpected. There are things that are simply going to be out of your control; relying 100% on tech may not be the best course of action to take.

I think the bigger things teachers need to focus on is to finding innovative ways to use technology in their classrooms. In order to reach this, there really aren’t any magical solutions. For one, you need to allow yourself enough time to prepare and put together your courses. Blended learning environments take some serious initial startup times to put together, so you can’t expect these things to run smoothly, nor can you expect them to start up immediately. These things take time to develop and require a lot of thought and planning to bring these things to life.

If you aren’t the one putting everything together from scratch, then you’re going to need to connect with people that either know how to do these things, or are willing to share their resources and ideas with you. Building a network, whether it’s for support, for ideas, for sharing lessons, or even linking and connecting with each other’s classes; it’s important to know people who are doing the same things you are. You never know when you’re going to need a hand!

I’ve come to realize that revolutionizing the way we use tech in our classrooms is a very difficult feat to accomplish. One of the reasons I say this is because I really didn’t find too many resources telling me how to use tech in really groundbreaking ways. Sure we can set up stations, students can work at their own pace, and they can access their information from any place at any time; but I didn’t really find anything that really stood out to me as truly “breath-taking”. Throw in the fact that devices are not only distracting, but also facilitate malicious behaviors such as online bullying; it becomes quite easy to allow the negatives to outweigh the positives.

Truthfully speaking, I can see why so many people dismiss tech when sometimes it’s actually a lot easier to simply stick to the basics and teach the “old school” way.

Negatives aside, I did learn a lot about how useful tech can be for ESL and students learning another language. A lot of the ideas that were suggested in my readings will be things I will be seriously taking into consideration for my future classes. Being able to flip through past lessons and modules, and even having the ability to work at your own speed would all be very beneficial to learners.

Languages require a lot of practice, meaning class time and conversation labs don’t provide anywhere near enough time to practice. Anyone who’s ever learned a second language will tell you that the lesson should never end in the classroom; it should continue outside of school hours, ideally as often, and in as many different ways as possible.
Teaching French immersion, I need to find ways where I can encourage and motivate my students to continue learning outside of school. The other day, Liz mentioned how a lot of her math students are going home at night and watching YouTube videos to learn concepts that they are having trouble with in class. Although we did joke about how some people would argue that video tutorials on YouTube could potentially “render our jobs obsolete”, there’s a lot that we can embrace from this notion. We briefly talked about how this could easily become part of our lessons. For example, we could assign videos for students to watch before class, that way they are coming to class prepared and with valuable background knowledge. In a language class, this could mean assigning students to listen to a French song for example, or having them decode, translate or transcribe the dialogue in a video. As of right now, I’m definitely going to be focusing a lot more time on trying to find new ways to provide my students with opportunities to continue learning outside of the classroom.

Conclusion

well…looks like I’m done here…
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In closing, I would like to thank everyone for all the insight and helpful tips they’ve shared throughout the past six weeks. I feel as though these tech classes I have taken with Dr. Couros have greatly helped me build a network of reliable and truly committed individuals that share the same visions, passions and interests towards technology in education.

I have a lot to think about as I start to plan ahead for the coming school year. Thanks to my research and my peers, I probably won’t dive head first into any of these things, without taking some precautions. This also means I won’t be as hesitant as I used to be towards tech either. I’ve started to figure out some of my own cool ways that I can bring tech into the classroom; I’m definitely going to do my best to use them.

Lastly, what works for some people, might not really work for you. What’s important is capitalizing on your strengths and taking advantage of what works best for you and your students. If you’re not much of a Smart Board kind of teacher, then why invest the time and effort to bring in something that you might not even end up using to its full potential. Whatever you end up using, commit to it full-heartedly. I’m finally feeling as though I’m starting to figure out what works best for my style of teaching, and what type of classroom I’m trying to create for my students.

Thanks for stopping by everyone, and I wish you all the best in your journeys. Good luck!

Thank you, thank you!
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