Reflecting on The Journey

To be honest I have been looking forward to this last post as I feel as though I have changed perspectives before and after being a part of this course. Although I had always known I wanted to be a teacher that strays away from the traditional means of simply lecturing students by filling their brains with facts that they are to later “regurgitate” on tests and exams, I honestly never really knew how to do this and where to begin.

This course however, was the first time I really was able to understand how to turn theory into practice. I say this as the incredible teachers discussed in course (such as Aviva Dunsiger http://adunsiger.com/ and Cathy Cassidy http://mscassidysclass.edublogs.org/ ) along with the teachers I have found through my own online exploration, use platforms that I, myself use on a day-to-day basis that I would NEVER think to use as a means of educating students of the 21st century. These incredible educators are using web 2.0 tools like Twitter, Skype and Instagram as a means of allowing their students to connect to the world, reflect on what they know and what they have yet to learn and share their learning experiences with their families, friends and the rest of the world.

The goal of CHYS4P27 is to essentially to teach potential educators on 21st century literacies. Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s (2014) Chapter 6 state that todays children and youth are ALREADY 21st century learners, and we know this through their involvement online, as digital immigrants who have and continue to push societies “assumed truths” that children and youth are vulnerable “blank slates”. Below are links to some outstanding children of all ages, who are using their 21st century literacy skills to better society and challenge such discourses:

Kid president’s ideas on how to change the world:


Adora Svitak’s Ted talk that child thinking should not be underestimated “Being Called Childish”:

Malala Yousafzai: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

With this Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s (2014) state that as potential teachers we must “embed our powers and beliefs in our practice to shape the new story” (p. 149). It is for this reason that I cannot imagine the course being structured any other way. For some, this was their FIRST experience with blogging and documenting educational experiences online. Through my experience within class, it is evident that some of my peers automatically placed a negative stigma to this, as it was something they had never done before and were skeptical about not receiving straightforward grades the way essays and final exams are structured. Personally my response to this is that we are NEVER going to be able to teach using differentiated and innovative teaching methods, if we cannot simply be open to a creative a different means of partaking in a course, like this one.

21st-century-teacher-effective
(http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=https://allthingslearning.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/21st-century-teacher-effective.jpg%253Fw%253D604%2526h%253D453&imgrefurl=https://allthingslearning.wordpress.com/2011/10/&h=453&w=604&tbnid=wxzNUZjk8TxmlM:&zoom=1&docid=qLS5NS0uJGIZzM&ei=a7P8VJCfOsS0yAS_6YKABA&tbm=isch&ved=0CCkQMygNMA0)

Instead of simply preaching the notion of becoming a 21st century teacher who uses innovative methods to try to meet the needs of 21st century students, WE MUST PLACE THIS INTO OUR TEACHING PRACTICE and come out of our comfort zones! For my peers reading this, it is incredible what a change in perspective can do to you as a student and as a potential teacher. I would recommend that you head on over to page 152 of Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s (2014) textbook to learn more about teacher Shelly Wrights from Saskatchewan. Shelly has created a graph that displays her shift in thinking, after changing the way she approached teaching her class from a traditional lecture style class, to innovative educational experiences like blogging (p. 152).

As I explored the Galileo Website and watched Amy Parks Discipline-based Inquiry Learning, I found her experience VERY similar to that of Shelly Wrights. Within the video Amy states that her initial approach to teaching “traditional style, sit and listen methods” left her students disengaged and uninterested. Parks states that it was not until she entered Calgary Science School (now known as the Connect Charter School) that she really made a connection between educating students whilst simultaneously instilling a sense of excitement to their education.After being mentored by the Galileo Education network, Parks used the 8 dimensions of Discipline-based Inquiry learning to…
1) Reflect on her own practice (what has worked vs. what has not)
2) Design worthwhile tasks for her students
3) Stray away from just “fun” activities with no educational value. Instead Parks was on a mission to keep education exciting WHILST ensuring students are partaking in deep and authentic learning opportunities!
This video was the first time I had learnt about the “flow zone”, which in an educational setting involves a student 100% immersed into their work, in which they loose their sense of time and space! A student within this zone, will take his/her work beyond the classroom walls as they relate to, and find genuine meaning to what they are doing. What an incredible term and what an incredible educational experience for a student! Please check out the video of Amy Parks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVhKTMFCgq0

inquiry-based-learning-a-perspective-6-728                                 (http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/inquiry-based-learning-a-perspective)

Project Based Learning (PBL) may also be a way to allow your students to learn whilst addressing real-life problems and developing metacognitive and critical thinking skills! Taken from last weeks “online lecture”, this dynamic classroom approach allows students to use their 21st century literacies to produce various work products! One of my favourite PBL examples taken from the Hightechhigh website was “A Hero in My Eyes” by 8th graders at High Tech Middle. This project had students think of an individual who had impacted their lives in a positive way and express this using a visual representation. Students were to interview their hero, create “plans of action”, draw sketches, take pictures and write reflections, to best express who the hero is, and the role this individual had on their life. Check out this incredible and innovative lesson: http://www.hightechhigh.org/unboxed/issue3/cards/3.php

This has been a great course; it has allowed me as daughter, sister, student, digital citizen and as a potential teacher, to use my daily digital resources to better myself and my educational paradigm. I hope to only “go up from here” through continuous exploration of the ways in which I am able to educate and change the lives of my potential students. I will leave you all with a quote taken from Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s (2014).


“Twenty first century educators open their classrooms to the world; they often have a class website open to parents- indeed to anyone” (p. 153).

References

Drake, S. M., Reid, J. L. & Kolohon, W. (2014). Interweaving curriculum and 

           assessment: Engaging 21st Century Learners. Toronto, ON: Oxford University
Press.

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Branding Yourself Online

Hello World!

With so much emphasis on education online, and allowing students to use Web 2.0 tools like Instagram and twitter as a means of teaching and learning… I could not help think about the term discussed in lecture of “branding yourself” online. I say this as this concept looks to how, once you post something online, it will ALWAYS be there and WITH THIS students should be learning how to safely post, share and be part of the world wide web. The idea of “branding yourself” reminded me to the term “digital footprint”.

Google-digital-footprint-1

(http://langwitches.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Google-digital-footprint-1.jpg)

A digital footprint is like a mark of a footprint left in the sand, as they are marks left online. To be specific digital footprints are traces and pieces of information that are left as “footprints” on the World Wide Web.
Cyber Space Safety Net has a blog spot dedicated to digital footprints: what they are and how to safely use them check out their resourceful link and the image taking from their blog:

https://cybersafetynet.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/year-5-whos-watching/
digital-footprint-1

I have come across a video by the YouTube user Digital Native that introduced me to the term “Digital Dossier”. I cannot even to begin to express how shocking I found this video, as I learnt that before even being a born you have already become a digital citizen with the posting/sharing of things like sonograms for example… incredible, never considered this!

PLEASE PLEASE check out the video, I assure you your perspective on “branding yourself” will completely shift

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79IYZVYIVLA

I cannot even express how important it is to educate yourself about such things to learn about HOW we can leave positive digital footprints that will ultimately help us, and not harm us. This is especially important for my peers looking to work with children, in hopes of becoming innovative teachers for example, who plan on implementing social media and technology in the classroom. With this, WE NEED TO ENSURE that students are leaving positive digital footprints by teaching them about netiquette.

Netiquette is a term that we can use to help us better understand HOW to leave such positive digital footprints. Network etiquette known, as “netiquette” is the do’s of behaving online and ensuring digital citizens are safely and appropriately partaking in online activities. The Albion website lists numerous ways to use netiquette on the World Wide Web, but personally, one of my favourite tips that I found substantially important was the idea of “being human” online. To be specific, this idea states that it is important to always remember there is always someone on the other end of the screen, so when you say something or post something, someone on the other side of your screen is going to read it/see it/hear it/watch it.
So with this, you must ask yourself: would you say this/show this/do this to someone who standing in front of you? If you answered no, then why would it be right to do this to someone across the screen from you?

You can find more netiquette tips on: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html
I’m SO glad this term was discussed in lecture, as my blogging experience has allowed me to educate myself a little bit more on the HOW easily we are leaving marks online- without even noticing it! I have learnt SO MUCH from this concept, and for whoever is reading this; I truly hope I have taught you a thing or two about branding yourself, digital footprints and netiquette!

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to leave me some comments, tips, maybe even personal experiences you have had with this topic!

Until next time,
Zein!

References

Cyber Safety. (2012, May 10). The cybersafety net. WordPress. Rreietved from
https://cybersafetynet.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/year-5-whos-watching/

Digital Natives. (2008, august 13). Digital dossier [Video file]. Retrieved from

5 W’s of Curriculum Integration

Hello again!!

As I read through this week’s assigned chapter from Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s (2014) Interweaving curriculum and assessment: Engaging 21st Century Learners, I really enjoyed chapter five’s focus on curriculum integration. What I found interesting is that the five W’s of curriculum integration discussed in this textbook come from the author’s experience working with educators nationally and across the globe. This is something extremely relevant to someone like me, wanting to implement innovative teaching methodologies LIKE an integrated curriculum for example, when traveling internationally and teaching in different counties across the globe … (hopefully, that is the dream at least).

With this I will be discussing The 5 W’s of curriculum integration, they are as follows:

The first W, the who, places emphasis on the educator (or group of educators planning the integrated unit), this is important as the teacher SHOULD geniunly want to implement this approach to better his/her students additionally, the writers of the curriculum should hopefully want to cooperate and be willing to integrate the curriculum (p.121)


480px-working_together_teamwork_puzzle_concept
https://insidetheclassroomoutsidethebox.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/480px-working_together_teamwork_puzzle_concept.jpg)
The second W, the what, focuses on the idea that an integrated curriculum doesn’t have a set feature. Instead educators can: make changes to what they have already done OR plan an integration based on students concerns/interests and use this as basis of finding a fitting curriculum (p.122).

kindergarten-integrated-curriculum-source
http://www.glogster.com/stephsnowschool/kindergarten-integrated-curriculum/g-6lu2cnv3qvmq5etd0e4a9a0)
Where is the third W.Below were some of my favorite suggestions provided by the textbook to help teachers deal with issues regarding WHERE to implement such an integration… these were taken directly from the textbook.

“How do students paint a mural about their science inquiry? Try the hallway” (Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s 2014, p. 122),

“How do students integrate technology if there is only one computer in class? Try using the one computer to Skype people from around the world where the class is the audience” (Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s 2014, p. 122),
– I personally LOVED this suggestion, as it shows you that the “where” can even be The World Wide Web (which does not necessarily mean somewhere the students have to physically go). This way students can use platforms like Skype to digitally travel and learn about different countries across the globe!!!

The section on the where also looks at teaching students outside of the classroom, this place-based education is a great way to teach students through hands-on, experiential learning, as opposed to sitting in their seats, listening to facts and information projected on a screen on written on a blackboard.

SkypeInTheClassroomhttp://tomj.wikispaces.com/Skype+Training)

Next is the why, why do we need an integrated curriculum? Why is it important. Well, as we have been learning in lecture so far, we are teaching 21st century learners who are not the same students that were taught 20 years ago. Today’s generation of children and youth are tech savvy, critical thinkers, and should be taught accordingly by basing this education off of their strengths and interests to ensure academic achievement! Students will also be more engaged and interested in their learning when it is meaningful and relevant to their lives!

21teacher4
https://plptristate.wikispaces.com/file/view/21teacher4.jpg/87050031/21teacher4.jpg)

Finally, time is everything. With this, the when places importance on schools giving teachers “similar schedules to have preparation time to work together” (Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s 2014, p. 123).

Working_together( http://quoteimg.com/working-together/questgarden.com*105*51*2*100712065245*images*Working_together.gif/questgarden.com*105*51*2*100712065245*process.htm/)

To be honest I had always wanted to implement an integrated curriculum into my own potential classroom, but never knew how. Today as I sit here and type this blog, I can safely say that chapter 5 of Drake, Reid and Kolohon (2014) has provided me with 5 stepping stones known as the 5 W’s of curriculum integration. I have a learnt that you cannot simply jump into such an integration, instead scheduling, planning, analyzing, critical thinking and a great of self-reflecting needs to be done in a well organized manner to ensure the integration process is appropriately being implemented to guarntee that  students are being taught in a manner that totally supports them and promotes their success!

GREAT chapter, learnt a great deal about integrating the curriculum!

Zein

References

Drake, S. M., Reid, J. L. & Kolohon, W. (2014). Interweaving curriculum and assessment: Engaging 21st Century Learners. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press.

Interesting Educator #4

I’ve found yet another interesting educator!!!

Mrs. Obach uses her online blog as a “daily dairy” for her grade 2 in class experiences… As I read through this blog, I learnt so much about Mrs. Obach’s experiences as a teacher. She states that this is her first time teaching grade 2’s and when comparing her experience to teaching grade one last year, she expressed in her blog that….

“students are more confident exploring math ideas with larger numbers and they are tackling more challenging operations (such as multiple addend addition)” (Mrs. Obach, Jan 26 2015).
http://mrsobachsclass.blogspot.ca/
I would like to contact Mrs. Obach and learn more about how she has used the media and technology as a means of teaching her grade 2’s…..

Here is a link to her Twitter account….

https://twitter.com/LeahO77

Mrs. Obach has created “Kid Blogs” that are attached to her abovementioned blogs. On such platforms, each child is able to blog themselves, how remarkable!

Such an innovative teacher!!!!

Zein

Jigsaw Activity

Last week in lecture we used a Jigsaw activity to learn about the different 21st century literacies. Instead of being assigned all the readings for all the literacies ourselves, this tactic allowed us to come up with definitions and examples of the literacy assigned to us, THEN, we were paired with 1 person from each literacy to create a “jigsaw” and share our information.

I couldn’t help but relate this to Drake, Reid and Kolohon’s (2014) notion of formal and informal curriculum. I say this as the activity allowed us to learn about the different literacies from one another: each presenter shared his/her findings in a unique way that best suited their literacy. Through this, we learnt how to use our social skills as a means of educating each other. I say this, as instead of strictly presenting then moving on to the next person, we socialized and openly talked about the literacies and how they impacted us and how we felt about them. We were having a natural conversation whilst focusing on the 21st literacies at hand and, this can be see as an informal way of learning, as it is not directly following a syllabus of course guideline.

80informal-investmenthttp://eppic.biz/2008/12/06/curriculum-architecture-design-and-formal-learning-vs-informal-learning-in-various-learning-contexts/

What I enjoyed most about this activity was that everyone presented this literacy in a unique way. Our media literacy presenter, created posters that she stuck on the wall. Our global literacy presenter cut up small globes and stuck points on each globe as a means of visually representing the focal point of global literacy. The environmentalist literacy played a video of children learning about extinct crabs in the United Arab Emirates!

I cannot help but question WHY this incredible means of creating a jigsaw activity is not widely used in today’s classrooms. What an incredible way for students to….
1) get to know each other
2) learn more about concepts by listening to different perspectives
3) teach their peers about what they learnt
4) and learn how information can be presented in multiple innovative ways.
I enjoyed the jigsaw activity and will definitely be using in my potential classroom!

kto-jigsaw-activity                                                                   http://kto.tiu11.org/images/kto-jigsaw-activity.png
Great lecture,
Zein

Interesting Educator #3

I have found YET another interesting educator I would like to follow…

Take a look at the following links

https://twitter.com/beverly_ladd

http://kidblog.org/BeverlyLaddsClass/

This grade 2 teacher is an active twitter user, tweeting about her students daily activities. Instead of creating an associated blog to her twitter (as my other 2 educators have done) this teacher takes a different approach and has created a “Kid Blog” just for her students. Within this platform, students have the ability to post and publish all  by themselves. Tabs within the website allow the public to see the posts of each students within the classroom!

What a creative way to introduce the second graders to the World Wide Web and basic ways to manage their work online!

Excited to follow this blog, as it progresses deeper into the school year!!!!
Zein

Interesting Educator #2

My night exploration has led me to yet another incredible teacher who has placed her classroom on two social media outlets: BlogSpot and twitter!

Ms. L, located in Surrey, BC, Canada has a grade one and two classroom ONLINE…..

Check her out…

https://twitter.com/MsLsClass

http://mslirenmansroom.blogspot.ca/

What I love about her BlogSpot is that she provides several tabs that allow the public to learn about things like: the goal of the blog, visitor etiquette, different technologies used in the classrooms, learning links for parents and even previous posts of her past classrooms that were successfully shared on the World Wide Web!!!!

I will be following Ms. L’s digital outlets and I can tell that she updates daily, as her last blog post was published on Jan 5, 2015 (4 days ago), in which she shared her an image of her students learning, and taking part in fun measuring activities! A student from her classroom named “Aneesha” also tweeted today, Jan 9 2015, (9 hours ago) stating that “I am learning about measuring tools” with an attached twitter picture of rulers, clocks, scales and calendars!

Excited to stay updated with Ms. L’s class!
Zein

What is Financial Literacy?

Hello!!!!

Today I completed my first assigned reading of the course, and I was SO intrigued by the content that I decided I wanted to write about it in my blog!
Before I start however, I will introduce you to some of the 21st century literacies, these include: critical literacy, technological literacy, multicultural literacy and many more!

I was assigned financial literacy, something I honestly had never even considered before. Through my three readings, I learnt that financial literacy is an important skill that is often completely underestimated in the schooling system today. The article by Kezar and Yang (2010) help understand the importance of financial literacy by considering elements such as how to handle debit, consumer choices, reducing debt and even something relevant to a university student’s life (LIKE ME), which is how to live on a student budget.

Financial Literacy has made me metacognitively thinking about my own thought process by asking myself the following questions:

Do I think I am financially well educated?

Where did I learn what I know about finances? (I haven’t taken a math course since 2010)

How am I able to implement financial literacy into my teaching practice and educational philosophy?

As I concluded my readings, with McCormick’s (2009) emphasis on educating children and youth about financial literacy at early stages in their academic lives, I totally stood by all the important elements taken from this article, such as: starting financial education early, making it relevant to their lives and motivating them to constantly educate themselves about the importance of financial literacy. McCormick’s (2009) article motivated me to explore the role of financial literacy in our education system and this online exploration led me to the Money As You Learn Organization. The goal of this website is to assist teachers, educators and even parents of relevant and effective ways to incorporate financial education into their everyday lives. The website allows you to first choose the targeted age group you want to help educate, then accordingly lists important skills required to be finically literate and goes one step further by providing activities to make this happen…
I TOTALLY recommend checking out this website, I found it incredibly helpful!
http://moneyasyougrow.org/

That is all for today!
Zein

Interesting Educator #1

Hello again,

I wanted to share an incredible blog I found on Edublogs, I will attach the link to the blog here… http://mscassidysclass.edublogs.org/page/2/

This is Mrs. Cassidys Blog, in which she has been routinely posting the everyday school experiences of her Grade 1 class! Although her last post was on December 23rd 2014, her older posts indicate that she is an active blogger constantly inviting the public to learn about the daily activities that occur within her classroom.

What is remarkable is that Mrs. Cassidy has also created separate learning pages of her students on the right hand side. She has created individual pages for each of her students, allowing parents for example to find their click on their child’s name and check up on how they are doing in class!

Throughout my exploration I also found that Mrs. Cassidy also has created a Twitter account for this Grade 1 class… https://twitter.com/mscassidysclass
Her last post was published just yesterday (Jan 6 2015) indicating that these students are still active online, willing to share their educational journey with the World Wide Web!

Zein