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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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.

 

 

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/

 

Let the imagination flow

#saskedchat blogging challenge no.2.

How can we foster imagination in the classroom? Why is it important for kids to be able to use their imagination in school?

It took me a while to write this, because I know it is important for kids to use their imagination anywhere but I really did not know how can I foster it in classroom. And here is why I did not know.

I am pretty good with my hands and I can draw or create things fairly well. And while I was helping in classrooms as an EA or doing some after school programs, I found many times that some students (not everyone, but quite few sometimes) did not want to try to make/draw something after seeing what I did. They wanted me to make things for them, they wanted something that made pretty already. Or simply to copy what I did.

Perhaps they are so used to having patterns or models to create something. Look at the store, there are too many KIT of somethings. At school, there are crafts for bulletin boards that everybody make same things. I am not saying that is terrible, because it foster to develop the skills to follow directions (listening, literacy, hand-eye coordination, manipulation, and many more) to meet the targets.

I said I am pretty good with my hands, but I should say I am good with following directions. I had good training for that from formal schools. So I have really hard time creating/drawing things without some sort of model, I can’t use my imagination well. Usually what I imagine (or think I should say) are something safe, things that I know it works because I’ve seen it somewhere. That’s right. I am not imagining freely, I am thinking. I am reasoning and making conscious rational decisions on what it should be like all the time.
Perhaps, I am afraid to let go of my rational.

So how can I foster imagination in classroom? How can I encourage children’s imagination and creativity.

And there, I stopped my writing. I needed some insight. So I read blog posts from Kelly Christopherson (Teachers as Creatives and Untethering Imagination) and Alan Stange (There is no box).

Their posts are very positive and encouraging, reminded me that we, educators are all creative beings. I still remember when I entered education program in U of R and stunned by the fact that there are no lesson plans laid out for us. Curriculum is not really a lesson plan, it is goals. Teaching is autonomous profession, permitted to be as creative as we want to be. And with our creativity, we plan for students’ successes.

I would like to finish this post with inspirational words of wisdom from Kelly and Alan.

“– teaching is a profession that, at it’s heart, is a creative endeavour every single day! It’s about being helping other achieve their greatest potential and supporting them as they find their own creativity and passions.” – by Kelly Christopherson: Teachers as creatives, Educational discourse

“As teachers, we need to introduce possibilities in student’s minds. Mostly, they will run with them.”

“We don’t need to think outside the box. We need to realize there is no box.” – by Alan Stange: There is no box, Edustange

 

 

Positive Digital Citizenship – after thought

After my last post, I began to think of how can we help students learn and understand about positive digital citizenship.
As I wrote there, I think it is easy to fake and appear good online but I don’t want students learning to do that. I want them (and us, as well) to be:

  1. honest and genuine about themselves, but remember about protecting their own privacy.
    Be proud of who they are. But be conscious about what to post and what to keep private.
  2. respectful to others, treat others as they want to be treated.
  3. it is not about popularity contest. How they engage in the space matter.
    (How to Increase Your Social Influence – was interesting article about who do we associate and how we engage matters in online space too.)
  4. develop critical thinking skill.
    They need this more than ever. So we, educators, need to provide them with Essential Questions throughout our teaching. I was at the great discussion on Twitter #saskedchat on Feb. 5th. and I learned so much about it. (here is the link to Kelly Christopherson‘s blog: Essential Questions)  

I think I will keep adding to this list. But for now, I better get back to my baby.

Organizing/Productivity Tools

The topic of #saskedchat blogging challenge has come: Share how you stay organized and the tools you use to manage your time and focus on being productive.

When it comes to organizing my schedule, actual calendar that I can write on and schedule/planner book work the best for me. I tried using iPad’s calendar to type in all my appointments and class schedule, but it took me more time to type, re-schedule, etc… so I stopped using it. Diary app did not work either.

But I must say, I cannot live without my iPad mini now.

It is light and small enough to fit in my hand. Whenever I find time, I can do quick access to internet to search of projects, articles, or whatever. Check my Twitter account and join the chat just after my baby’s bed time routine and laying on the bed. Check my email, write my blog, read books, watch YouTube video tutorials, take photos… bunch of photos. Skype, instant messaging and banking.
Plus, everything I have done on my iPad can be simply connected to iCloud and I can work them on my PC, and it works other way around as well.

I do want to utilize more apps to get organized though.
I look forward learning what others use and try some out.

 

 

#saskedchat

So Twitter has become a great source of my personal learning network and I did not realized how powerful it is until tonight.

After Twitter chat #ecmp355 in Tuesday’s class, I started to follow Amy(@lawsonames) who teaches Great two. (I happened to know her from ECE325 last year as well as from ARC summer camp in 2008. ) And tonight, she had tweeted me for the invite of #saskedchat.

saskedchat

I anticipated in the action of Twitter chat whether I would be able to keep up with the speed and the levels of conversation between the participants.
But I did not need to worry too much, because they were so welcoming group of people.

The chat opened with introduction of participants and link to their blog sites. I just didn’t have much time to open all of the links during the chat; because you don’t want to be missing the action of the Twitter chat, so I look forward checking them out later on.

One comment struck me was the answer to Q2. What are some topics for teachers that can help them overcome the hesitancy to blog? @webbkyle said “How about post their best or worst lesson, look for feedback. Share and watch the magic happen.”
I realized I was very conscious of building positive digital footprint, but it meant that I must be the best of myself and not make any mistake. I was afraid of receiving negative feedback or appearing foolish. This connects to the 4th question: Why is it important is it for Ss & Ts to have an authentic audience? Because the audience will give authentic feedback to your posts and enable to learn whether their feedback is positive or negative.

Well, the hour went by really fast and I wished I could stop the time so I could catch up reading all the posts. Hopefully I will be better at it eventually.