Well my friends – the time has come…

…To talk of many things. – Lewis Carroll

Featured GIF via here.

I am so thankful for the immense amounts of knowledge I gained throughout the duration of my time in EC&I 831.  I am thrilled to announce that I will be taking EC&I 832 next term so please stay tuned to my blog for new posts in 2018!  I can’t wait to continue my online learning!

celebration GIF by Primark  celebration GIF by Primark  celebration GIF by Primark

Before the start of the class I was your “average joe” on social media – I had a personal Facebook page and an instagram that I posted the odd photo or update to, and a classroom Facebook page that I used to convey information to my families about our day, upcoming events, etc.  Check out my summary of learning in my learning project category for more information on that Facebook page and to see how I used it throughout the course! I’ve also attached the permission slips I used to facilitate the program if you want to adapt them and try them out! Find them here and here! Aside from that aforementioned life line to my families, I was rarely doing anything of note or purpose on social media.  I am ashamed to admit I didn’t even dabble in Twitter and didn’t really understand Snapchat.  My world as completely blown when I learned of all the Online Educational Resources that were right at my fingers tips – all I had to do was reach out, online that is, and grab them.  This course pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a whole new world of opportunity.  I am so thankful to my classmates and Dr. Alec Couros for the support, patience and wealth of information throughout the term.  This really made my first Master’s class enjoyable, usable and WELL worth every hour spent on it.

stop motion love GIF by Mochimochiland

Gif via here.

We learned about OER’s, digitial identity and citizienship, PLN’s, social activism and slacktavism.  I think throughout the term each of my classmates in their own amazing ways, did wonderful jobs summarizing, explaining and exploring these topics enriching not only my understandings, but those around them too.  I would like to take a minute and highlight some of my favourite posts as well as my own to wrap up the term.  First, how can I not give a shout out to my friend Jaque for her amazing review of Ted ED.  This post was thorough, in 3 separate and equally amazing parts and did such a nice job explaining all of the wonderful parts of Ted ED.  I also reviewed Ted ED and found out what an unbelievable OER it is.  You can check out my post here.  I was so pleasantly surprised when we had the chance to explore these resources because I actually took away a list of sites that I either want to explore myself, or take directly into my room.  As I mentioned in my summary of learning, I am so excited to see where my kiddos end up with their secondary, and post secondary education with such a great number of resources being available online for free!  I still have questions about what a post secondary degree will mean, if you’ll need one, etc.  The kids I teach are in a very unique position – much, much, much different than when I grew up!

Next up, the dreaded digital identity and footprint piece.  This part of the course really resonated with me because your digital footprint can absolutely make or break a person as they transition from young adulthood into the professional world.  I feel like it’s my obligation as an educator to ensure my kids are being safe and are getting the information they need to be safe and informed online.  Before I started my learning project I did a workshop with my grade 2’s on what it even means to be safe online and how important it is to think about what were searching and posting and exploring BEFORE we do it.  We made a fun video to help others understand what we learned.  Check it out below if you haven’t already.

I have to give a shout out to my classmate Coralee and her post on digital identity.  I felt like Coralee asked meaningful questions and posed some great pros and cons.  I think there are unbelievable things that can happen if we allow kids to explore and partake in the online world but they need to understand, even at a young age that actions have consequences and they need to be careful and mindful!

The Personal Learning Network’s we had the opportunity to build in this course were amazing!  I had no idea that a blog, twitter and using my personal social media in a more professional way could award me with so many learning and development chances.  In this section I would love to just say another thank you to everyone who was willing to share so openly throughout the course.  It was because of you guys that I was comfortable to do the same – I mean this whether you were sharing educational information and resources or something more personal.  I have to shoutout Steffany and Christina for their personal and open posts throughout the class.  They are inspirational and I appreciate you guys sharing your more intimate stories of health and the road to happiness.  I would also encourage (and beg! 😉 ) everyone to follow me on Twitter, I have learned so much from tooling around the site and engaging with fellow friends and educators.  Next term, I am hoping to try out some more of the #saskedchat stuff!  I still have lots of learning to do so I can fully utilize my PLN but I know the future is bright!

The final piece I would like to quickly chat about is the social justice piece of the course that we touched on with Katia.  The concept of “slacktivism” was one that stuck with me.  The online world is a busy place and unfortunately, lots of people are like me – just on here surfing around, liking posts but not necessarily acting on the causes that I am sharing about or reading about.  I like to try my hardest to see the good in people and I do believe that people have the best interests at heart when they are sharing and liking items online, but we need to do more!  Sharing and liking do make a difference as you are getting a cause out to the rest of the world but unless you are willing to take the next steps to advocate for the causes it isn’t effective.  We need to remember that above all, we have power online and that the choices we make (or don’t make) are extremely important.  We need to research and weed out fake news and stay informed so we can put our money (or time) where our mouths (fingers typing) are. 😉  If you want to read more about my feelings on social justice, check out my blog post here.  I titled that post, “Imagine a World” and I still do – everyday I wonder what it would be like if we had fairness for all…not equality, but fairness.  I had to include my favourite image showing exactly what I mean for fairness not equality, this picture articulates the mindset that I try and pass on to my kids everyday.

Image via here.

Overall, thank you so much for everything throughout the class.  If anyone has any questions, please visit my contact page and get at me!

 

 

Have a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year.

merry christmas GIF

 

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

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Summary of Learning ECI831

Well Folks,

Here it is – my final summary of my learning!  I am so proud of all the work my little ones did!  Overall, I am so happy with how the project turned out.

Thanks for watching…I hope for a second you could just take yourself back to the silliness and fun of a grade 2 class.

Ps.  The music was all free and usable from Itunes and the artist was not listed!  The songs are called, “The Only Girl” and “Sophomore Makeout” if you’re interested.

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

Is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

The polls are in…on Plikers!

Hello #ECI831’s and beyond,

It’s no surprise to me that the world of assessment and “quizzes or reviews” has moved into the digital world for our littles, but I had no idea how many tools were at my disposal to help these kiddos tell their stories and share their answers in new and exciting ways!  As my classmate Channing mentioned in our Tuesday class, it will be a great excuse to try out some of the apps that get pushed through on our school Ipad’s that I just never seem to get too! Or an app that I know would be awesome if I had the time to explore it and use it properly!  I decided that for this review, I would pick an app that I had used a long time ago but never explored to its full capacity – Plickers.  As Roxanne says about the app Socrative in her blog this week, Plikers is a fun and engaging assessment tool that utilizes a live time feature that is different and exciting.  We have 5 Ipad’s allotted to our classroom and between 24 and 29 kids depending on integration, so I also wanted to explore an Ipad app that could be used when I don’t have enough devices for each student.  A HUGE bonus of Plikers is that you only need one device to be able to use the app. 😀

 

So…you’re probably thinking, get to the point Hackel – what does this program actually do for me?  Well, there are many features I loved when I took the time to explore this program!

First – The freedom!

Plikers allows you to create your own question content so it’s

awesome for any subject!  I created a little math quiz as a trial but the sky is the limit!  A negative would be, that there doesn’t seem to be a bank of pre-made questions to select from which means that you are on the hook for it all!

I loved this feature regardless of that because it’s so versatile – much easier than an app limited to one subject!

Second – the cards!

These babies are super unique!  Each card is labelled with a number that gets assigned to each student in your class on a roster – this way you can track who is responding and more importantly who is responding correctly and incorrectly so you know what to focus on with who! 🙂

On each side of the black shape their is a letter A, B, C or D.  For kiddos to answer a question, all they have to do is turn their card to have the correct letter facing up!  Fun, engaging and simple to understand.

Three: Paper saver!

In the past, to formatively assess, we might think paper and pencil – print a quiz and have kiddos complete it to show their knowledge.  I printed the cards, 2 to a sheet on regular paper, put their name on the correct numbered card and laminated them for durability!  This way, I used 12 pieces of paper and can quiz and review without ever printing another piece.  Yay trees!

Four: The results are in!

There are so  many cool features with tracking progress and answers through Pliker’s!  You can see graphs and charts that are personalized with your kiddos names and track their responses so you know exactly where everyone is at!

 

To finish off, here is a quick video about the program and how to use it if you want an even closer look at the functionality!

Overall, I am so excited to continue to use Pliker’s in my classroom!  My kid’s loved the trial we did and were already asking when we were going to do it again.  I can see so many uses for this app in my classroom including quizzes, reviews, jokes or riddles for fun, and using it as a “Show what you know” when introducing a new subject.

I would ABSOLUTLEY suggest checking Pliker’s out!

great job thumbs up GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

gif via HERE

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

I AM PEACE – A Reading

Hello again #ECI831,

As promised I have included a reading of one of my new favourite books to use in my classroom.  We are focusing a lot on mindfulness and being thankful and present – this book fit right in – it was almost fate that I stumbled across it!  Every morning we take 5-30 minutes and do meditation, guided meditations or peaceful yoga as a way to start our day with a clear mind, open heart and a calm body.

I hope you enjoy the book.

 

Thanks for checking it out.  I hope you can start your day calming and in the moment. Namaste.

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

My True Story of Openness

Hello my ECI831 friends and beyond,

This week I chose to make a quick video and share my true story of openness.  In my video…as you’ll soon find out if you choose to watch it, that I am aware of how “off topic” my story is based on the content of the course, but it’s my story none the less!  I watched this video on True Stories of Open Sharing and loved the idea – so in addition to this story I am also going to post a video of myself reading a favourite book of mine in hopes that it will come in handy or touch someone, somewhere one day.  Watch for that later this weekend! 🙂  I think this post ties into my Learning Project as well as I am encouraging my kiddos everyday when they get a chance to be our Facebook Author and Photographer to tell the stories that matter to them…the ones that catch their attention, make them feel happy or catch them off guard.  I am asking my littles to step out of their comfort zones, so I should do the same.

Enjoy.

 

Thank you for bearing with my rambles.

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

Is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

To Ted Ed. or not to Ted Ed…that shouldn’t be a question!

Hello #ECI831 and beyond,

This week I had the pleasure of looking through some OER’s to better help my understanding of online education.  First, what is an OER?  Click on the link connected to the blue OER  above or check out this short video:

There are a plethora of online educational resources available in the blink of eye!  We are living in an era where education is shifting and changing at rates that are hard to fathom.  Education is moving to the online world and institutions are scrambling to keep up, to offer their students something different, something to keep them at the institution instead of exploring other online, free, options.  In my blog last week I speak a lot about the pro’s and con’s of open education, feel free to pop back and check it out!  This week, I am going to take some time and review the site TED ED: Lessons Worth Sharing as an OER available on the web.  Check out the short video below as an introduction to the idea of TED-Ed.

First, I love the idea that TED ED promotes “what every teacher hopes, that their students would be, a life-long learner”.  TED ED allows people all over the world to access the best education because the whole point is “to capture and amplify the greatest teacher’s in the world”.   TED ED gives people the opportunity to access hours and hours worth of lessons in a wide variety of subject matter featuring original animated videos, resources and questions from “Ted speakers and fellows, educators, designers, animators, screenwriters, directors, science writers, historians, journalists and editors.”

I LOVE this site and know I will absolutely be accessing lessons for both myself and my students.  I found the TED ED site very user-friendly and well organized.

Step 1:  Select the subject you are interested in.

Step 2:  Select the grade or age level of learner.

Step 3:  Dig through and find the video you’re interested in!

Step 4:  Select it and enjoy!

Each video offers a “Watch”, “Think”, “Dig Deeper” and “Discussion” section so that you not only get the information relayed in the video but you can then take it further and discuss with not only the other learners around you, but those around the world too.  There is also the option to read different blogs related to the subject matter which could enhance the learning opportunities of older students or adult learners who wanted to deeper their understanding.  The TED ED experience is a global one which makes it unique and different for kids!

From what I can tell from not only watching many videos on TED ED but also reading about their philosophies around education I would be confident to say that the resources on this OER are typically high-quality.  TED ED is seeking out the best of the best in particular field of studies and is supported fully on donations and funds from the TED ED store to keep everything running but still free for educators, students and all learners.

TED ED is very easy to search and navigate!  You have the choice to search by subject area as mentioned above, or you can type key words to the search bar and locate videos and information that way.  All of these options as well as the fact  that information is shared in the form of videos, questions/quizzes, and blogs makes it very easy to use and appeals to a large audience of varying age of learner.

Overall, I am thrilled that I was introduced to TED ED: Lessons Worth Sharing.  I absolutely see the value in this resource and think it would be beneficial to myself and my colleagues.  The videos are a great length to show in class and the questioning fits directly into curriculum and promotes higher level connections and thinking.  Check out this cool math lesson and the video that accompanies it for a look into what TED ED has to offer!

Remember an account is free, so sign up and try it out!  Let me know what you think. 🙂

 

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind,

without educating the heart

Is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

Imagine a world…

Imagine a world where everyone was awarded the same opportunities and the playing field was fair…not equal, but fair?  WOAH!  Snap back to reality…not the case.  Unfortunately we live in a world where depending on where you come from (both live and the family you were born into), how much money you have, if you are a certain race or of a certain capacity,etc. it  often determines the opportunities that you are awarded.  First, what does it mean to have something be “fair but not equal”?  I love the imagine below…you’ve probably seen it, but take a minute to really look at it and think about the implications of this concept.

Image result for fair not equal picture

Image via: HERE!

Equal would be giving each of these people 1 block – there were 3 available, there are 3 people, each person should get 1.  However, although this is equal by definition, it really only helps one of the people in the picture.  The first person does not need to be higher over the fence, the middle person can finally see but our shortest person still can’t even come close to seeing over the fence.  When we distribute the blocks fairly each person in the photo gets what they need, as pictured on the right side of the photo.  Open education has the potential to be the right side of this photo!  We can fairly distribute opportunity and knowledge so everyone has the chance to better themselves.

In my awesome classmate Colleen’s blog this week she asks one of the most important questions about “open education”, what does it actually mean?  By direct definition,  “Open education is a philosophy about the way people should produce, share, and build on knowledge. Proponents of open education believe everyone in the world should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources, and they work to eliminate barriers to this goal. (Source: here)

But, what “Does “open” mean openly licensed content or code? And, again, which license is really “open”? Does “open” mean “made public”? Does “open” mean shared? Does “open” mean “accessible”? Accessible how? To whom? Does “open” mean editable? Negotiable? Does “open” mean “free”? Does “open” mean “open- ended”? Does “open” mean transparent? Does “open” mean “open- minded”? “Open” to new ideas and to intellectual exchange? Open to interpretation? Does “open” mean open to participation — by everyone equally?”(Farrow, 2017)  We can’t properly assess or have an educated, for lack of a better term, conversation about the pros and cons of offering education to all if we don’t understand what it means.

Image via: HERE

I thought the above diagram did a nice job of answering some of those questions by showing how many facets of this system come together to create opportunity – open educations promotes a flexible learning style and offers the benefits of high quality, diverse, education at a much lesser cost than obtaining it through a University or other post secondary setting.

I’m just one opinion in a sea of opinions…and you all know the saying about opinions…but I would like to take the time to offer my pros and cons list on open education.  I’ll start on the negative so I can finish on a bright and shiny note! 😉

CONS: 

  • The law is the law!  As Larry Lessig says in his TED talk, there is a very fine line between how copyright laws protect us and how they drastically limit our ability to share through the open education platform.  It is hard to know what we can share, who we can share it with, what’s protected from change, what’s not, etc.  Lessig argues that people need to exercise common sense so that we can be protected using our laws, but not so limited.  Sadly…common sense is not so common sometimes.  It is crucial that regardless of the laws that you check the content you are downloading and sharing to ensure you are not  breaking copyright law.

Thanks to Gify for the pic!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Quality control!  Open education invites people to share knowledge and resources which can be dicey as far as what content is available to view and learn from.  When we open the gates we have to expect the flood.  Similar to sites like Wikipedia, the information you are receiving is not necessarily the highest quality and it is next to impossible to police every outlet.  We have to be aware and concerned about relevant and accurate information.
  • The human condition!  When you move to online education there are a few aspects that are lost in comparison to studying in person – number one, you are losing the ability to learn from a living, breathing person.  As Ze Frank says in his TED talk, we are living in the “out there”, living in a digital world non-stop – although there are benefits we lose that human connection.  Also, when we switch to an online, open education platform there is potential to limit some groups based on language and culture.  Just because we are learning online and sourcing resources from a vast market, does not mean that we are accommodating languages (as most resources are posted in English) and not all resources would culturally appropriate for certain groups.  Learning to vet information will be crucial as well as promoting and encouraging those who can offer other languages to share, share, share is crucial!

 Gif via: Here

The good, the bad and the ugly.  One of my least favourite times in my classroom is when I depend on technology for my lesson and the internet is down, my computer is frozen, the link doesn’t work or the internet is slow or spotty, I’m irate and I have access to the technology and the programs I need to, under normal circumstances, make it work.  There are people in the world who do not have those luxuries and so open education and online resources do not help them out.  Not to mention, there is mostly no compensation for sharing resources online so there is always the question of whether or not this type of learning will be a sustainable source for people long term.

Now, lets hit the high notes…

PROS:

24/7 Accessibility, options to expand, new and every changing resources!  The use of Open Educational Resources allows students to have access immediately to education in every facet from teachers and learners all over the world.  The information is instantaneous and generally speaking, free to share!  This gives access and opportunity to people all over the world to learn from each other and gain knowledge that they may not have had access to otherwise.  OER’s can be updated all the time too which gives students and teachers the peace of mind that they are using the most up to date resources in their teaching and learning.  What it comes down to, is that now with the use of OER’s we have full, immediate access to learning 24/7 from the comforts of our own homes.  The world is our oyster and not just for those who can afford it.

Dolla, dolla bills y’all!  Let’s be real…school and text books or access codes are VERY expensive!  There have been many classes that I have taken where I have spend upwards of $100 to hardly open the book and have the professor suggest online resources anyway as they are more up to date.  The use of OER’s gives students the opportunity to benefit from the most up to date resources without spending the money on paper copies that will sit and collect dust afterward…not to mention the great impact that this could have on our enviroment – save paper, save trees, save our air from the pollution that processing puts out, etc.  Okay, okay, you may think this is a stretch, but look long term!

In my opinion, I love the idea of Open Education and think it opens doors to new and exciting opportunity in ways the world has yet experienced.  We will see the best the world has to offer, and not just the best of those who can afford to go to school as it is now.   As educators we need to EVALUATE our sources regardless of where we are finding them, find the best available (which I hope we’re doing regardless of whether they are OER’s or not) and utilize them to inspire and interest our students in being life-long, self motivated learners.

I want to leave this post on a positive – check out the little video below that does a nice job addressing the world of Open Education.

Thanks for checking out my blog this week!

Dani ❤

“Educating the heart, without educating the mind,

is no education at all”

-Aristotle

“If you wish to be a writer, write.” -Epictetus

Image Via: Here   Feature GIF Via: Here 

Half way through our learning project?!?!  Where is the time going?!  Now that I am given some time to reflect on this journey, I have to say, I am so incredibly thankful that I was given the push to change my current classroom practice.  I think sometimes we get in a rut once we have taught for many years and it’s hard to step outside of what we know and out of what works.  My Facebook page, although I adore it as a tool to help engage parents and allow them to have meaningful conversations about their child’s day, it was a routine I was very comfortable with and therefore was never motivated enough to change.  I always wanted to have the kid’s write and take photo’s for our page because I value what the kids notice in our day that I might not.  When I am running  the show I frame the day however I choose, everything is through my eyes only.  When the kids take over we all get the opportunity to experience things through their eyes – see what they see and what is engaging to them.  The joy they find in the small things is so refreshing.  I think this project, even in its early stages has reminded me that my classroom needs to be a student centered place full of exploration and inquiry.

 Image via: Here! 🙂 

I have given my littles very few guidelines as to what they can take photos of, or what they can include in their writing aside from : be kind, be creative, be appropriate and tell us something cool about your day.  The results have been amazing and the kids are so excited for their turn.  The parents have been incredibly receptive to the experience too – they have expressed how much they love seeing what interests their children throughout a day.  I had 19/24 families send back the permission slip I sent home for this project – I was really happy with that as I was unsure if families would be comfortable with images of their child being shared online in a more open concept.  Once I posted our “Internet Safety Tips Video”  I received 2 emails from families who then wanted their child to participate.  Sometimes I think families need to see the technology and practice in action to know that it is worth while, connected to curriculum and meaningful.

Now, everything hasn’t been just butterflies and rainbows – I have absolutely ran into bumps along the way!  Below are a couple:

  • Kids are using a VERY expensive piece of technology.
    • I am entrusting one of our brand new Ipads with the kids – we spent a whole class learning how to use it, how to handle it, what to do and what not to do.  Time well spent as if something happens to it, we don’t get another
  • I can’t email or text myself photos off the Ipad.
    • For whatever insane reason, we as a school do not have control over what programs/functions the Ipads have.  If we want a new program, or to change any function on the Ipads we have to email support, wait, wait, and keep waiting and then have them approve it and then it goes onto all the division purchased devices.  That being said, I can’t conveniently send myself the photos and videos from the Ipad once the kiddos take them – I have to Google Drive them a few at a time, download them, save them and then upload them to my facebook.  There are also no editing tools on the Ipad if I needed them…

Below are some examples from my first few authors, they have all been asked to use nick-names for this project as my permission slip mentioned no names would be directly associated with photos:

Today we welcomed “Star” as our Facebook Author/Photographer! Enjoy her photos! “Star” got the opportunity to take photos of whatever she chose today – here are 11 of her choices. “Star” was very responsible with the Ipad and made everyone feel welcome by being included the process. 🙂

“I just loved tacking all off the piters” – Star

(I just loved taking all of the pictures)

Image may contain: 1 person   Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and indoor No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: 20 people, people smiling  Image may contain: one or more people

Image may contain: indoor  No automatic alt text available.

 

Today we welcomed “Inky” as our guest author/photographer! “Inky” had so much fun taking silly photos all day long with his friends.

He says: “I want to play games. Math and free gym and recess and morning work and agenda were my favourite. I liked the story too!”

Thanks for taking over for the day “Inky”. 🙂

Image may contain: 1 person  Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: drink and indoor  No automatic alt text available.  Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and indoor

Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting, table, child, indoor and closeup  Image may contain: 2 people, closeup and indoor

Today we had “Karate Kid” take over our Facebook page! He was a sneakster with the camera catching lots of friends on camera and video. Thanks so much “Karate Kid”, it was so cool to see what you noticed throughout our day.

He says, “Ole the kides on fasboke are qiyit. Bo not go on the site you bot now.”
(All the kids on Facebook are quiet. Do not go on the sites you don’t know)

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling Image may contain: one or more people   Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

 

To come:

  • Have my kiddos video tape themselves reading – either level appropriate books or their own works!
  • Cycle through more amazing author/photographers.

 

Thanks for checking in on my learning journey,

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

Lights, camera, action!

Hello #ECI831 and beyond,

In case you were having trouble keeping safe and happy online, check out the video below that my grade 2’s made to help!

Thanks for watching! We hope you learned something new  😉

Dani ❤

Ps.  We made this beauty in one take!  Quite an accomplishment with 6 and 7 year olds!

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

 

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