Summary of Learning

It is hard to believe that it is almost the end of semester. The time just flew by… perhaps because I was having awesome time trying out new programs and expanding my learning network through #saskedchat. Twitter chat enable me to join the conversation with veteran teachers without being nervous about hierarchical relationships. I think Twitter’s limitation of word count works as an advantage in this situation.
And here are my storify stories: Equity Vs. Equality, Passion into your classroom.

“Portrait of a Beauty Blogging, after Chikanobu Toyohara by Mike Licht, on Flickr”

My blogging started since I’d taken ECS210 last year and I haven’t kept it up mostly because I was busy with my newborn, but I am so glad that I took ECMP355 this semester.
Blogging has become great reflective writing tool for me. I still have a problem of finding time to sit down but I am getting better at it. Luckily, blogging lets me to write and save, then come back later to finish up. This process also lets me critical and reflective of myself.
Blogging Challenge from #saskedchat has given me some extra inspiration to write and I gained great asset of getting feedback from veteran educators. (here)
I also started to follow and read members’ blog sites. Reading about what’s happening, struggles or successes in their classrooms or schools from aspiring teachers is such a treat.
I will definitely try to keep up with this challenge, as well the chat every Thursday at 8pm for maintain, even expanding my learning network.

“THINK before you by Thomas Galvez, on Flickr”

One thing that I forgot to mention in my summary of learning scratch project is about digital citizenship. ECMP355 class really made me conscious about digital citizenship; creating myself a positive and professional one (here is what I wrote on positive citizenship) and become reflective of the nine elements whenever I post something.

Edtech and social justice session have made me think about how can I teach digital citizenship and creating equity among all students. This will be my ongoing project for the rest of my teaching career.

To end my reflection, I created ‘Scratch’ animation.
//scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/54890512/?autostart=false

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Edtech and Social Divide

Generally we believe that the technology will level the playing field for less privileged students. If every child had an access to internet, filled with abundant resources, child will be empowered and child’s ability of self-teaching will be fostered.

Photo from olpccanada.com

One Laptop per Child (OLPC Canada) program tries to bridge the digital divide for aboriginal youth by providing specially designed laptop and/or tablet for Aboriginal youth. They also provide professional development for teachers. I know they are working with great intention for helping, but I cannot help to wonder why can they provide ordinarily laptop or tablet? Is this special Aboriginal feature limiting and forming them into ‘Aboriginal’? What happens when students finish high school and want to get job in company or move onto post secondary schools? Furthermore, school server that provided is designed to have no internet access required. It says, ‘capabilities for communication between machines and with a local School Server without internet dependence.’ As well, ‘Teachers can create interactive off-line “webpages” to share educational content with their students.’ Does this mean these Aboriginal youth are isolated and have no full advantage of internet? Perhaps this is not really bridging the gap at all.

Photo from Mindshift

I recently read an article, Is Technology Widening Opportunity Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids? Both advantaged and low-income neighbourhood libraries are equipped with same computers. Then, observation revealed that the way children use computer differs depending on the neighbourhoods.
Advantaged children are often accompanied by adults who monitored their children closely, steering them away from games and received guidance while using the computers. They spent their screen time with written words and reading text information five times more than the children in low-income area; as well, 39% of their web search were homework related while counterparts’ 9%.
On the other, children in the poverty area manipulated the computers on their own and accompanying adults tended to sit silently or even removed themselves to other areas of library. The children tend to switch programs frequently, younger ones became discouraged and wonder away. Ones who figure out the programs tend to spend on games or entertainments. Even in schools, some evidence suggests that the computers are used for drills and practice sessions instead of creative or innovative projects.

“While technology has often been hailed as the great equalizer of educational opportunity, a growing body of evidence indicates that in many cases, tech is actually having the opposite effect: it is increasing the gap between rich and poor, between whites and minorities, and between the school-ready and the less-prepared.”

The biggest difference between the two starts from how technology was used with children; guidance and scaffolding from adults. Technology does not teach children on its own and it does not break social divide. We can use technology as tool and work toward breaking social divide. As teachers, we must not to limit students’ potentials by assuming they have limited skills. If students lack in background knowledge in technology, we teach and foster it. I hope I can provide equitable learning opportunity using technology for all students.

Spring is here! – My journey of becoming great photographer #7

The important thing to remember when you are taking photo of baby is capturing the moment, I think. Because I cannot request her to smile or pose, she won’t do anything that I want her to do for a photo. I just have to be ready to shoot when the moment comes.

It was warm afternoon and the snow on the deck has cleared away, so it was time for my girl to take a first step on the deck. She was so excited being outdoor and feeling a light breeze on her cheeks. I grabbed the camera and started to shoot, tried to capture this precious moment.

After about 50 shots, I realized that I have not changed the exposure setting from last time I took photo inside the house. But the moment was over, it was getting chilly to stay outside. Well, actually it was not too bad. Over exposed with light, she got nice glow around her and make her look like she is in the heaven, soft and blight. I am really happy with the results.

Equity vs. Equality: #saskedchat Mar. 19th

Wow, what a great discussion on equity and equality happened in #saskedchat tonight. One hour chat seemed too short to get my thoughts out, so I decided to reflect on this topic tonight while my baby is sleeping peacefully.

To start my reflection, I tried making my first Storify story using tonight’s #saskedchat twitter discussion. I picked a few posts that struck my attention.

 

Is there difference between Equity and Equality?

I thought,
Equality: all people will receive same thing whether they need or not.
Equity: individuals will get what they need but not necessarily same things for each person.

There were mention of equity=fair and equity=unfair during the chat, and I think it is hard to convince equity as fair. For example, school can provide snack to every single students, say an apple a student, fair and square. However, whole apple maybe too big for a kindergartener and he/she will throw the half away; but one apple may not enough to eat for a 8th grader and he/she will be still hungry. Don’t we want everybody to have enough to eat? So what is ‘fair’?

As teachers, we ought to provide learning opportunity equally to all students. But we shouldn’t assume everyone can do things equally. We need to learn about individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, and provide extra supports to make leveled learning ground.
alan tweetAlan mentioned about calculator example that equity is hard to be accepted by students. I think because there is assumption of equal=fair; as well, the strong belief of all people are equal.side tweet

I thought those tweets on the right said it all.

 

So how can we truly have equity in school and how do teachers/schools convey the message of equity to parents/community?

We need collaborative efforts of teachers, parents and communities to create true equity in schools. We really need to challenge the ideal belief of all people are created equal. But at the same time, I would like to believe that we are all equal. dave tweetI like what Dave posted during the chat. Perhaps we can achieve true equality of all, if we work hard toward equity in schools, communities and society.

 

 

Code Academy

body {
font-family: ‘Pacifico’, cursive;
font-size: 48px;
}

I have taken CS100 and learned a little bit about HTML and CSS coding, and java script too. (click here, if you are interested.) I built a web site with ten pages as an assignment, but I realized that I have forgotten quite bit of everything. As I worked through the Code Academy, I remembered how much fun I had building webpage.
Inside of CA lesson, Google Fonts was mentioned, and I just wanted to try using it on this page.

So I copied and pasted the Pacifico code in the text. Is it working?

No, it did not work… I guess WordPress have preset font for each page style and I cannot change it.

Continue reading “Code Academy”

Cat photos: Journey of becoming a great photographer #6

Last week has been a tough one for me… my baby was teething. My poor girl suffered fever and lots of crying, less sleep and she was not her happy self. So I couldn’t have photo shoot session with her.
Well, I found some moments to snap photo of my fur baby, Shoko.

IMG_5500IMG_5503IMG_5495IMG_5494

First two were shot with natural light on his back and next two were shot with natural light on his face.

I do like both effects, back-light gives the photos warm and cozy ambiance and light on face brought great texture of fur.

Past photo of Shoko, check my Flickr album.

 

Scratch project

This week, I got to play around with Scratch. It is the website that made ‘coding’ easy and let non-computer wiz like me play and create animation and more. I started to just play around at first, but I was not quite getting it, so checked Youtube tutorial; Scratch Tutorial 3: Aquarium. https://youtu.be/xPLKltqLANE

And here is what I made.

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/52562916/?autostart=false

I think this website will give young students great opportunity to learn about coding by playing.

Collaboration – Working together

Blog Challenge Week 4 – Collaboration – Working together. What does it mean to work ‘collaboratively’? How can we foster collaboration? Is it important? Why?
First year of my education degree, I was taken back with the amount of assignments requiring group project. I was unsure and even uncomfortable sometimes how group work would work, perhaps because I have never been evaluated as a group in elementary to high school as a student.
I remember having a great time studying together with my friends, asking each other question and learning from each other, but I had this mentality of: “you get what you work for,” and I only needed to work solely for myself. Perhaps many of my classmates also felt same way, dreading about working in groups.`One of the biggest concern we talked about was: if someone in the group will not pull his/her weight and tries to take credit.
Another concern is time. With the busy schedule of classes and work/sports or whatever you committed to, it is dreading to coordinate dates to meet, discuss and work on assignments.
So what happens often is we quickly split workload, work separately on own sections, and put them together at the end to present.
But I wonder, was this true collaboration? What does it really mean to work ‘collaboratively‘?
Dreading feel of group work changed in my second year. I think you need to build good personal learning network for you to be able to work collaboratively in this profession. Getting to know each other and becoming colleagues, collaborators, and allies from classmates who sits beside you; that was the key to enjoy the group work. It enabled to:
  1. Build trusting and secure place to share and discuss
  2. Understand and use each others’ strengths
  3. Communicate casually and frequently with each other using technology (email, texting, Facebook messenger, Facetime, GoogleDoc, WordPress, Evernote, etc.)

As well, it definitely takes away the stresses and dread you had for the group work assignments. Furthermore, collaboration with good PLN will take your work into next level. I can draw pretty good but not gifted in music, but someone is. Collaborative discussion will bring more ideas, creative solutions that you could never imagine.

To end this post, I sincerely would like to thank my colleagues for the great experiences and accomplished works.

From ECE325

From ECS210
https://fnmiwaysofknowing.wordpress.com/

 

Craftsy online class: Journey of becoming a great photographer #5

Why do we choose to learn online? Because we have the access to abundant resources existing on the web, maybe on the planet. There are many that asks for subscriptions and charges $$$ for their information, classes or materials, but you can find things for FREE!!

During my learning process, I realized that finding good learning materials for free can be time consuming. You Google search, then click here and there to see whether it worth looking/reading into the sites. Sometimes you get lucky and find really good resource right away, but you spend lots of time browsing.
I downloaded an iTunes U photography course material last week and I found that reading materials were not inspiring me to work at all. And I read only few lessons on it.

Well, I got lucky this week. Just happened to landed on Craftsy.com. It was offering a free photography class and it was just what I needed!!

craftsy
Screen shot from Craftsy.com

This Craftsy online class offers video lecture (lesson 1 to 5 with chapters in each lesson) and a discussion forum on the side of the video where subscribers can ask questions to the instructor or fellow classmates. It provides material lists, you can type in notes in the video lecture, you can share your project with fellow classmates.
I think this site might work for me!!

And here are some of my project after watching lesson 2.
(I decided to post my baby’s photos, because I trust my fellow classmates and people who sees her photos.)

First, I chose the brightest room with natural light in the house and got neutral background. I wish I had backdrop of some sort, but the chair and folding screen worked well for this time.

I have used the manual setting without flash for the first one and tried Auto portrait setting (come with flash) to see the comparison. I thought the second photo turned a little cold, so I decided to go with manual. As well, I wanted to give a photo more blurry background.
I went to the Canon website once again to check about exposure.
After quick change of outfit, I tried two different settings. Because the sun moving, the warms of light changed between my shoot. I am happy with third photo, it captured my baby very well. But I like the light and color of fourth photo.

I am going to try Photoshop these four, and see what I can get.