Mentor and the Mentees!

 

 

inspired star wars GIF by Hyper RPG
Photo Credit: Giphy

Well the time has finally come to complete my final blog on mentoring this semester. This semester in EDTC 400 we got the opportunity to mentor 4 students from the EDTC 300 section. I was lucky enough to work with Sarah who was learning how to make Mennonite dishes, Lisa who was learning how to code, Debbie who was learning ASL with her family, and Olivia who was teaching her adorable dog new tricks. Throughout the semester I was able to provide resources, help to provide comments on their blogs, answer any questions that they might have had, and overall just provide support for them in their journey through EDTC 300. sarah

 

Overall I loved the process and I had four fantastic mentees and really loved gaining a different perspectives and a chance to get to build a professional and personal relationship with a group of students who I might have otherwise not  gotten the chance to ever communicate with! lilisa tw

maya rudolph encouragement GIF by The Grinder
Photo Credit: Giphy

 

While I’m not going to say this was a perfect semester or that there was not challenges with this process but overall it went very well. Some of the challenges came from myself. Finding time to read, support and comment could be challenging with other assignments, blogs and my own tweets but it just taught me to have better time management skills and I often posted these comments as I took breaks from my other homework and studying. I was challenged sometimes as I would read and tweet and just like it or retweet it without commenting as well as reading blogs and mentally commenting but not actually posting my comments (which I realized I did quite a bit). And then finally the challenge of some blogs maybe being a little late or not having a tweet to comment on but I would just have to encourage my mentees to keep posting or tweeting. sarah

 

What I loved and found rewardisarah twitterng of the process is that I was able to build four strong personal and professional relationships that I most likely wouldn’t have had if not for this process. It really helped in my building of my PLNol

What I learned about the potential of teaching an online class is that it is very important to have communication both ways. Sometimes you can feel as though you are just talking into cyberspace. I learned the importance of being very specific in comments because sometimes they can be confusing to just read and that providing examples is super helpful. Debbie

Overall what I learned about teaching through this process is that it is very important to provide lots of examples, a lot of support, and constructive feedback! It is very important to build these relationships with your students and be there to support them in their journey.

Overall I honestly loved the mentoring process this semester! I was a little nervous at the start of the semester and wasn’t sure how this process would go. Please check out a detailed list of all the mentoring I did throughout the course!

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Depending on Technology?

This week’s blog topic “We have become too dependent on technology and what we really need is to unplug”: agree or disagree?

This week the topic was an interesting one. We have often here about how it would be best to unplug and give up technology but is that really the best idea. Noah and Morgan debated this topic this week.

Lets start with the agree side and the first article “How much is too much? Technology in the Classroom“. It discusses the idea that “Why Johnny can’t add without a calculator”. This one is an interesting one to me being a math major. I was taught in elementary school to never use a calculator then in high school I always used a calculator but then in university calculators weren’t allowed in certain classes. This one is hard to me because while I think that students should be able to know the skills how to add but a calculator could beneficial as well.

Now looking at the disagree side and the first article Is Technology Good or Evil?  In this article is says “Technology can give you cancer, and technology can cure your cancer. So it’s not about whether technology is good or bad; it’s about what we decide to do with technology that matters.” This quote really stands out to me because just like everyone else in our lives there are benefits and disadvantages to it.

The next article How Technology Has Helped or Bettered Our Society? one of the ones that stood out to me was “Education
With the new technology of eLearning, student now actually can have visible reasons for everything that exists in the world.” Without technology we wouldn’t be taking this class.

Now I think that unplugging can be beneficial for a short time or a break but I don’t think it is a long term solution. Much like Brooklynn said unplugging is a Band-Aid fix. Technology is not going anywhere and it would be difficult to try to navigate society without it.

Summary of Learning

Well the time has finally come that the end of the semester and it is time to post my summary of learning. While it is extremely difficult to summarize an entire semester in 5-7 minutes I sure gave it my best shot! I hope you all enjoy my summary of learning!

Check out the site where I found all the gifs for my video! As well all the places I found the pictures used in my video!

  1. The great debate
  2. Mini lesson
  3. Digital literacy
  4. Digital literacy
  5. Mentoring
  6. Twitter
  7. WordPress
  8. PLN
  9. Disagree debate

Social Media and our Childhood

The good ole conversation of social media. Both Shantel and Cassidy did a fantastic job with this week’s debate! This weeks debate topic of “Social media is ruining childhood” was an interesting one to me. Growing up I never had social media and I still don’t really use social media. The only source of social media I use is my twitter account. I’m not against social media but since I never grew up with it I never saw the need for it. Like most of my classmates, I do think social media had many good things to offer. Looking at how we use Twitter for EDTC classes I love the collaboration and support that is offered. I do believe that social media is not all sunshine and rainbows though. I think that there can be a lot of problems when it comes to social media. I think we have seen how social media can be a really bad thing.

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Social media on Smartphone
Social media concept with speech bubbles on smartphone

 

I think the one main way that social media is “ruining” childhood from the first article “Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?” is the mention of cyberbullying. We of course know the stories that have played out largely in the media about cyberbullying. The Amanda Todd story, the TedTalk by Monica Lewinsky, and the Tyler Clementi story are all examples as to how cyberbullying can happen through social media. The article also mentions how what people post can affect them the rest of their lives if it is negative. A statement made in this article is “At such a young age, children do not understand the repercussions of their actions on social media, creating a ‘digital footprint’ which is hard to erase and can come back to haunt them.” There is also the mention of FOMO (fear of missing out).

 

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Now for the disagree side. The article “Positive Effects Of Social Media On The Youth” discussed the way for students to make friends. It helps to build relationships and can be helpful for communication as well as things such as jobs and work. It allows us to communicate with people who we may not be in the same location as to make things easier.

 

I do not think that social media on its own is ruining childhood. I don’t even think social media is ruining our childhood. I think that through the right education social media can be a great resource and can really benefit our society. Much like all our past topics, technology itself doesn’t make people do specific things. To make social media as a benefit it is important for us to help our students to learn about the benefits and dangers and teach students how to use social media to their advantage.

 

 

 

Is technology an Equitable Force?

 

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With this weeks topic of “Technology is a force for equity in society” we listened to two fantastic debated by Robbi and Doug. Both debates were done very well and really made me think. This week I again thought I had my mind made up and I think I left without a true answer to which side I’m on. I of course voted for one but the more I think about it I again go back to the thoughts of whether it is technology they is creating equity in society or if its how its used.

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Beginning with the agree side of the debate Robbi had provided very helpful resources. The first one “How technology can boost equity in education”  provided one example pf how technology is starting tp deliver more classes through video conferencing. This one is pretty obvious to me as how technology is creating equity in society. Just thinking about this class and how it allows students who don’t live in Regina or who work during the day to be able to take classes without having to travel or leave their home. Robbi mentioned her own experience with working in a small town and small school and her own experience with her students and online classes. Not having certain classed offered allows her students to take online classes to be given the same opportunity as students from bigger schools and cities.

Now with Doug’s side of the debate and disagreeing that technology is a force for equity

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in society this was initially the side where I believed that I was going to agree with. Now of course this side of the deabte can go back to our initial conversations of whether it is truly the technology or if it is how the technology is used. The first article I looked at was Educational technology isn’t leveling the playing field. One thing that stood out to me in this article was the statement “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.” We have often talked about the fact that not every student has the same opportunity and resources. It comes back to what we were talking about when there were many laptops that were dropped off to countries the kids who didnt know how to use them but it was thought it would better their lives. The other article that was posted was Lack of Rural Broadband Access Creating Divide Among Canadians. This article disscueed that many communities may not be abke to support the technoloy. One statement that stood out to me was, “Many of the province’s tiny fishing villages don’t have access to broadband internet, stuck with the dial-up internet most Canadians left in the last millennium.” By not having the ability to support the technology it is hard to think that technology is helping to make force for equity.

 

Overall this debate was really well done and really got me thinking! Great work to both Robbi and Doug!

 

The Big Mix-up

For this weeks debate we could have had a big disaster but luckily both Brian and Emily were great at improvising under pressure. We had what seemed like two very different topics turn out to connect it each other very well

Lets begin with Emily’s debate about the Faustian bargain. Now I had no idea about what the Faustian bargain but as Emily explained it as basically selling out and selling your soul. We discussed the idea of standardized tests. One of the articles that Emily shared was Why standardized tests are worthless. This article provided insight as to why standardized tests can actually create more problems than it solves. This article provided many examples of why standardized tests can be more detrimental to students then helping them. Some of the examples that stood out to me are that students and teachers may be more likely to cheat because they know the importance on getting high marks on these tests. As well as teachers teaching to the test. Now this is an interesting debate and it is one that I think requires a lot more time and research but I ultimately think that this is a topic that I agree with.

 

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Now discussing Brian’s side of the debate. This debate was about “Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids.” Now this is a topic that I heavily disagreed and continued to throughout and after the debate. The information provided in the debate just continued to reinforce what I already thought. The first article provided was The benefits of sharing student work in online spaces mentioned having students share their work through blogs. One thing that stood out to me in this article is the comment made, “It’s exciting to see learners seek out feedback and place value on receiving comments from diverse settings.” I think this is similar to all of us when we are writing our own blogs for classes and receiving feedback. It mentioned how it can help students go back and look back on their work. I often think of things like Class Dojo where teachers are able to share students work for their parents to see.

 

The second article Teachers, Take Care Of Your Digital Footprint makes me think of what we are trying to with this class with creating a positive digital identity. Having students share their work can help students start to create the own digital identity.

Both Brian and Noah mentioned that it may push students to create better work which I also thought was a good point. I also think back to something that Jordyn posted on twitter about how students can put a note on their work that they want to share and the teacher will make a post about it.

Overall we had two very string debates today and turned out to have a very strong conversation even though we had two different topics.

 

Is Technology Healthy or Not Healthy?

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This weeks debate topic of “Technology is making our kids unhealthy” was the debate topic that I participated in. I was on the disagree side of this topic. This debate was one that I thought would be close and while more people voted for the agree side it was close. During our discussion, a lot of good points were brought up. A lot of questions were brought up about whether the technology was actually making kids unhealthy or if it was just an excuse. In the one article, Digital technology can be harmful to your health that Jordyn posted it mentioned how kids are becoming sedentary and are developing bad sleep patterns from using technology, you can see how it can promote an unhealthy lifestyle. While I do think that technology can promote unhealthy lifestyles I don’t think that it is the root cause and I do think that it can help to promote a healthy lifestyle. One of the articles, Fighting Childhood Obesity With Technology: 5 Interactive Tools To Help Children Stay Healthy provided many options for tools and apps that can help kids become healthy. The tools that this article provides are:

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“Kids Wearables” – These are a lot like Fitbits but are designed for kids from LeapFrog as a health tracker that has specific activities and challenges. It mentions in the article how this is good for students who attend schools who no longer have recess
“TinyBop’s anatomy app” – This app is designed to help teach kids about the “different functions of the human body”
“Super Stretch Yoga” – a yoga app for young children to develop healthy habits
“Smash Your Food” – Encourages families to “smash” unhealthy foods to learn about nutrition”

 

Another article I found, Wiring your future: How technology can impact long-term health actually mentioned how if technology is used wisely and properly it can actually be a benefit to your health. While I ultimately don’t think that technology can, either way, make kids unhealthy or healthy, I think that it contributes to both ways. Depending on how technology is used it can either be a benefit or detriment to your health. It is up to us to as educators to help to provide our students with the knowledge and tools to use technology is a beneficial way.

Check out the other article that I found for this debate:

Strategies for using digital technology in healthy ways