I have enjoyed the experience of both my mentorship projects this semester. Although, I did not get to interact much with the students and teachers directly, it was a great learning experience for me. I learned many things about teaching with technology and incorporating technology into the classroom. Also, I learned about how hard and time consuming mentorship projects can be to arrange and organize schedules for meetings. I learned about how life is very unpredictable and things come up at school or home. As well, technology does not always work successfully when you need it.
For both of my projects, I created a second blog for us to use it as a communication tool. I posted a few reflections about our experiences together, shared information and pictures about myself with the students, so they could learn more about me. Both teachers commented that the students enjoyed watching my introduction video!
My friends from Knoxville, Tennessee…
I enjoyed working with Teryl Magee and her grade four students. I was able to successfully connect with Teryl and the students once through Skype. It was a struggle for us to balance our schedules and find time suitable for both of us talk. As well, we had several troubles with Skype and we were unable to connect the first two times. When we finally did connect on the third try, I was very excited to talk with her students and answer their questions about Canada. In the few minutes we talked, I think that all of us learned new things about living in Canada and the United States from our conversation. From my experience, I can see the benefit of using a mentorship program with students to learn more about other cultures or countries in the world.
My friends from Coulee Dam, Washington…
I also enjoyed working with Sheri Edwards and her grade six students. We decided for this mentorship project that I would help her students create news stories for their classroom wiki. Through my blog, the students were able to learn more about me as well as, I provided them with ideas and questions to write their stories on. As I mentioned earlier, time is a factor with these projects and the students have only started writing their stories. The interviewing and writing process took longer than originally expected. I have read through their drafts and I can see that in a few weeks the students will be ready for me to help edit their writing. Even though my ECMP class is finished, I plan on continuing this project and working with Sheri’s students. I really like reading their news stories and learning more about their school and community.
I want to thank both Teryl and Sheri for opening up their classrooms and inviting me to take part in this learning experience. This mentorship hase not only taught me about the specific projects we worked on together, but the endless opportunities technology has to offer in the classroom. Through our emails, Skype calls, tweets and blog comments I have gained a wonderful understanding of how these teachers value technology and support it in their teaching practices. I know that in the future, I can contact them for support and resources to get my own lessons and projects started in my classroom. Thank you both for all the support and guidance this semester!
To read more about our projects visit Miss Teale’s Blog
I recently received a email from my professor Alec Couros about a video on digital dossiers. The video really made me think about the digital identity I am creating for myself. What is the identity I am leaving for others to see and follow? My identity now? For the future? I have always been a bit hesitant with trying new technology programs and I do sometimes worry about giving too much personal information out for others to see. I think part of my fear is not understanding the positive or negative effects that come with using technology. I grew up in a rural community and the opportunities for using technology were limited. I never did have much experience with using technology until my university years.
When I started university, my goal was to take some computer classes to expand my knowledge on using technology and become more aware of how to safely use it. I am currently taking my second educational computer class and continually learning more useful information. I find that the more time I spend exploring and trying new things, the more confident I am with using the tools and programs.
I am definitely building my digital identity through the various projects I am working on and the communication tools I use on my computer. I feel that I have found a whole new set of resources through communication with people from across the world. By using tools like twitter, skype and blogs I can connect with people that I normally would never be in touch with. All these people can offer support and advice on my concerns or questions about technology. It is great to have online support and learn from their experiences. Thanks everyone 😀
I know that there are worries and concerns of privacy when using technology, but I think that it is important that we use technology. Technology is apart of our lives in many different ways and it will only become more advanced. I think people need to become more educated, so they can successfully use technology in their lives. I think about my career in teaching, what opportunities or limitations will I have working with students and technology? Will I be able to do the activities I want using technology? I hope that I will be able to incorporate technology in my classroom and teach my students how to safely use it. Many children use various forms of technology, so we (educators) need to teach them all the positive and negative effects associated with using these programs, so they can make good choices and use them safely. As well, I think that it is important that they understand that they are creating a digital identity whenever they use technology.
I think that times are changing and people are becoming more comfortable with technology. I can definitely see the difference in my own family. My parents are not big into using the internet and they still have dial up internet on their farm! My mother worries about anything I do with technology. She always asks, “is that safe?” and warns “be careful!” It is really hard to tell her about the exciting projects I work on for my computer class. On the other had, my five year old niece is already using the internet with her mother. She knows how to turn on the computer and what to click on to get to the internet. It is interesting to think about my niece’s digital identity and how fast she will be involved with many aspects of technology.
This is a really good video to watch and reflect on your own digital identity. Think about the tracks you are leaving behind. How often do you leave messages or send pictures to friends through email or text messages? This video reminds me to think about the technology I am using because it will show in the tracks I leave behind. Watch the video below and reflect on the following questions: What digital tracks are you leaving behind? How are you creating your digital identity? What is in your digital dossier?
Last week, I received an email from my Professor Dr. Patrick Lewis from the University of Regina. His email was in regards to a blogging program that he does with his second year education students at the university. He offers the blogging program for his ELNG 325 class, which focuses on teaching writing.
I had completed the course a couple of years ago and when I took it, I was involved with the test run for the blogging program. We were the first group to start blogging with Kathy Cassidy’s grade one students. I can remember how exciting it was to work with her students and get that hands on experience with young writers. For my class, we each had a blogging buddy that we responded to their blog a few times a week. When I first started, I remember how hard it was to translate invented spelling and understand what my buddy was trying to tell me. As time went on I definitely could see an improvement in their writing from all aspects. My buddy’s spelling was better, he had clear thoughts and ideas, as well he used punctuation. The program definitely had benefits for both the grade one students and the pre-service teachers. At the end of the semester we went and visited the students at their school to celebrate our blogging journey. It was a very rewarding project and I am lucky to have been able to experience it. I am glad to see Dr. Patrick Lewis is continuing to work with Mrs. Cassidy’s grade one students on their writing process.
Technology definitely opens the door to new and exciting learning experiences for both teachers and students. It is amazing how a simple blogging program can provide so much learning for everyone involved. I hope you check out the program my professor has developed with Mrs. Cassidy’s grade one students. It is very inspiring for teachers to start blogging with their students.
Here is a link for the K12 Online Conference that Dr. Patrick Lewis and Mrs. Kathy Cassidy put together about the blogging buddy program.
Here is a link to Dr. Patrick Lewis ELNG 325 classroom blog.
I have to admit that a few weeks ago, I was really nervous to about working on my PLN. What is a PLN you may ask? Well before taking this class, I had no clue what is was either. PLN is a personal learning network and for my ECMP 455 class I will be assessed on developing my PLN. I had no idea where to even start finding people interested in sharing their ideas and supporting me through my struggles, so I took advice from others and tried a few new things. I started using twitter, which I love to use for talking to educators around the world. As well, I am finding that my blog is really opening up a whole new support network for my career. I am so thankful for all the people that have taken interest in my posts and send me comments or advice in my blog or on twitter. I can honestly see the point of developing a strong PLN because it helps give me the confidence and support I need to try new things. I admit that starting this class I was a little doubtful about building my network, but now I am excited to find all these amazing people and resources. There is a lot of support for teachers using technology and I am glad to have already connected with these wonderful people 😀
On Wednesday our we had a very exciting online ECMP 455 class. During our Elluminate session, we had educators from all over the world join us to share information about how they are currently using technology in their classrooms. It was amazing to hear about all the wonderful things teachers are doing with their students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in various subjects ares. I was especially excited to hear about all the primary grade activities because I am currently finishing my Early Childhood degree, so I want to find ideas for my future classrooms.
The purpose of our class talking with these teachers is that we are going to start a mentoring program with their students. The assignment varies depending on the age level, school and teacher. Our job is to work with the teachers and students on the current programs they use, as well offer any suggestions or new ideas we may have. Many of the teachers have a classroom wikis or blogs for their classrooms. This is a learning opportunity for everyone involved!
Also, it is definitely an opportunity to build my PLE and PLN (Personal Learning Environment and Perosnal Learning Network). I have already been in contact with a few educators on twitter and I am so excited to talk more with them to get ideas and resources for teaching my students. I am looking forward to this mentoring program working with new teachers and students. This is an amazing opportunity for me to make connections with these people and gather resources for my lessons. I know this is only the beginning to my personal learning network!