Close Community

I am now amazed at the fact how all sorts of people can connect with one another. Yes, this is a realization that I think I’ve made a while ago but this recent incident made this concrete.

An educator blogger named Shane from New York mentioned me in a post and linked my “About” page to it. See the article here. He talked about me and what I taught in my internship and mentioned my interest in technology in the classroom. It’s so neat to have my blog mentioned in another person’s — and for an amazing reason! Reading his post made me realize that through technology and blogging, we are closer than we think to others around the world. We can share ideas and thoughts.

I thought it would be nice to mention him in a post, too. And he expanded my professional community by mentioning two other unique edubloggers in his post! Thanks, Shane!

This has been another thought process from Helyn.

Padlet in the Classroom

I was introduced to a bunch of useful teaching tools that use technology. I was immediately drawn to the first one – padlet.com — where you have a wall and can post anything on there. Whoever has the link can post on there, too.

This would work great in any classroom because it would give students all students a chance to contribute to a class discussion. You could easily use it for brainstorming. For an English classroom setting you could brainstorm story ideas in a fun and unique way. For my first wall, I decided to do a “bucket list” style. Anyone could contribute their ideas on what would make a fulfilling life for them. I added a few ideas and I believe I’ll ask some of my friends to contribute their ideas. You can view and contribute to my wall here. Below I’ve posted a screenshot of what my wall looks like!

BucketWallStarting off a unit in English would be easy, too. You could have students brainstorm at the beginning of a new novel about what it was like to live in the 1930s (if you were doing Of Mice and Men). It would also be a neat to do as an ice breaker at the beginning of the school year.

I will definitely use Padlet when I am in my own classroom. Even if students are doing their own independent research project, it would be a fun way to display the information they find on the subject. It’s an awesome program!

Googled Myself

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Googled Myself

So I Googled myself and was pleased at the first few results that came up.

The first three links that came up are definitely me but then the next two after that…not so much.

The first post that comes up is my Pinterest page which is fine and I have no problem in showing to people. It basically consists of ideas for my future wedding and teaching ideas.

The next one features a poem that I wrote for the University Poetry Slam last year and I like the poem so I’m fine with people being able to see that.

The third one is of another one of my Google+ profiles — one that I don’t really use. I might try and figure out a way to remove it.

Further down the page features a scholarship I won from grade 12. Overall, I’m pleased and content with what I found when I “Googled” myself.

Tech Survey Results

So it’s been roughly a week since I posted my New Tech Survey and I decided to do the results today and talk about them a bit. 

I had 8 responses total including my own response. 

My first question – Have you heard of Prezi? I had 7 Yes and 1 No. That’s interesting to me that the one person hasn’t heard about Prezi. I figured it was a pretty common thing for teachers like me to know and be somewhat familiar with. 

2nd – Do you like using a powerpoint program? There were 7 Yes and 1 No. I figured that in a world where technology in the classroom is being pushed, there might be all “Yes” answers to this question. Apparently I was wrong. I’d be willing to ask this person why they don’t like using powerpoint. For me, I find it really easy to just whip up a powerpoint and have it ready to go for my lesson. I don’t have to bother writing on the board or anything. 

3rd – Have you heard of Hootcourse (Twitter-based program)? I had 1 Yes and 7 No. The one yes was from me. As for the rest that don’t know about the program. I find it really useful for if you are using Twitter in the classroom and want a way to send out a tweet to everyone. So what you would do is you would have students sign in to Hootcourse with their Twitter account. It’s essentially like a little community that brings Tweets to one place and where you, as the teacher, can fire out questions and assignments without having to get everyone’s Twitter names in the question. Very handy. 

Number 4 – Would you use Twitter in the classroom? 6 people said Yes and 2 said No. I think that’s a fair answer. Twitter definitely isn’t for everyone. I’m not a huge twitter person myself but I think for something like an ELA class or Drama class it would come in real handy. 

5 – Would you use YouTube in the classroom? All 8 people said Yes they would. I believe it’s a great tool to use for Educational purposes. There is so much on YouTube that it make teaching and learning so much easier. You can give the students visuals to what you are trying to teach them. 

My final one – Do you care if students have their cellphones in the classroom? 

These were the answers: – No, as long as they are participating.  – No, doesn’t matter.  – I don’t mind. – Depending on how they were using it. – No, as long as the students are not using them inappropriately or at the wrong times. – I don’t think students should use their cellphones in class. – Not at all! I love to have mine! – Yes. – Not if they are using them appropriately.

Very different responses. I suppose it would be the individual’s opinion on them. I think that as long as you have some firm rules on them, then you should give them the choice whether they let it affect their learning or not. I would try to use it positively in my classroom but I don’t think I would ban them out of my room completely. 

Overall, very interesting responses from my survey. I realized that there is lots that people don’t know about! I’m eager to learn more about different ways of incorporating technology into the classroom in a positive way. 

Phone face?

Another blog post I read gave me another idea about technology and the scary realities that seem to be happening.

I believe people are having trouble communicating with one another and not knowing how to be outgoing to meet new people face to face. I don’t like the idea of people hiding behind their phone the entire time. It’s scary to imagine a place where there is no more face-to-face contact with people. 

On a more interesting not, I’m not a huge fan of texting. Really. I’d rather call someone or make plans to meet up with someone through text message. I get really bored of texting people and want to end the conversation as soon as possible just because I have something else to do in the “real world”. Maybe it’s just the generation that I’ve grown up in — the 90s? Since I didn’t get a phone until I was 15 or so, maybe that’s the reason? I’ve grown up to not be so attached to it. 

Maybe this new generation that’s coming has started with phones at such a young age that they will be really dependent on them. Any answers on that one? 

Food for thought. 

Final Thoughts

I wanted to write another post to finish up anything major that happened during my last week of pre-internship. 

On Thursday, I had one lady who thought I was a student. I was with the drama 10 class and they had to  go to the computer and do a survey on technology. The lady who was running the survey online looked at me and asked, “So are you not doing this? Do you need a computer?” I was a little bit shocked because I was wearing a high-waisted skirt and heels and I thought I looked fairly professional. I did find it a bit funny, though, because I guess it means I still I look young!

On the same day, I gave students a choice in period four! They were finishing up an assignment and by the end I went around to a couple of students who I knew were not finished the assignment and said, “You can either hand something in now, not hand anything in, or email your main teacher by tonight with the assignment and then she can pass it on to me.” Some of the students knew what they were going to do right away and so most of them handed in what they had finished. 

In that same English A10 class, this one student kept getting distracted by his two friends. This final class, I went up to him and said that maybe he should think about moving to a different location to work alone — like the front of the room. He agreed. When I spoke to my co-op about this, she said that he knows that he needs to work by himself and sometimes he will take initiative and move himself. I said that we should have moved him from the beginning but she said that we shouldn’t always baby them because they need to learn themselves. I did agree with her. 

Overall, a great experience! I really enjoyed it and my co-op was fantastic. My adviser was also fabulous!! I really enjoyed the school and getting to know my students. They were a lot of fun and I would definitely go back to that school.