Tag Archives: PLN

Final Reflection


It is hard to believe this semester is over and I have finished all of my university classes.  It honestly seems like yesterday when I started my final semester.  I admit at the beginning of ECMP 455 class, I was nervous and unsure if I could handle the course load and assignments.  I look back now and I am so glad I undertook the challenge and tried something new.  I have never considered myself confident using technology and often would choose to avoid it.  This class made me realize that I avoid technology because it is new and always changing.  It is scary to me because I am unsure of the unknown.   I have learned that a person needs to become completely immersed into it in order to fully understand and gain confidence in using it.  I have always used technology in my personal life, yet I rarely thought about its role in education.

I have grown a lot since ECMP 355, not only with the skills I have acquired for using technology, but in my outlook as well.  My understanding and values of using technology have changed in the past two years.  I remember taking the last ECMP class and thinking of how good it would be to learn more skills for my benefit.  On the other hand, this semester was strictly focused on learning how to incorporate technology into the classroom.

This class challenged me to learn new skills and explore new tools associated with technology.  I think the style of an online class forced me out of my comfort zone and gave me the chance to try new things within the boundaries and support of my personal learning network.  I think if someone asked me to do these assignments previous to this class, I probably would have laughed because I never thought I could do it.

I have enjoyed all the assignments in this class because they fostered my personal growth and skill development.  The assignments supported my learning needs by allowing me to work at my own comfort level and by building on my technological skills.  These assignments encouraged me to further my learning and helped build my confidence with technology.  I enjoyed having the freedom to choose the topic of each assignment based on my personal interests.

The assignments were relevant and useful for teaching.  For example, creating our personal blogfolio is a tool to show our professional reflections while we learned how to use it in the classroom setting.   I enjoyed having the choice to create an idea for our major project.  for my major project, I decided to challenge myself  by teaching students an actual project.  I know from working with the students I have learned a lot about the advantages and challenges when creating digital stories.  As well, I now have an experience to reflect on for future lesson plans.  This project challenged me to learn a new skill as well as to realize the value in collaborating with others to create a successful project.  After completion of this assignment, I fully understand the benefits of including technology in the classroom.

During this semester, I have developed a strong personal learning network by communicating with other educators with tools like Twitter, Skype, educational blogs and email.  I have learned in this class how important collaborating and sharing resources with people is for a successful learning outcome with technology.  I have only started building my PLN and I know it will gradually grow with more years of teaching.  I realize having a strong PLN is beneficial just knowing someone is there to support you and offer advice for any problems you face.

Overall,  I have not had many challenges with using technology this semester.  The  major problem I faced was finding enough time to spend exploring and teaching myself about new programs and tools.  I enjoyed having the challenge to learn new things, but it was always time consuming to not only teach yourself something new, but then taking the time to reflect on it.  I learned how to use various programs and tools in this class including Google Apps, Twitter, Elluminate, Delicious, Wikis,  Photo Story 3 and Videos.  I learned new skills like how to upload videos to You Tube and embed videos onto my blog.  As well, I learned to acknowledge and reflect on my digital identity and the footprints I leave in the world.   The most important thing I have learned from this class is I am capable of using technology if I believe in myself and allow enough time for me to learn these new skills.  There are many tools and programs I would like to explore and learn more about when I have extra time including Google Earth, Audacity, Animoto and Bubblr.  Another challenge I had taking this class was conflicting schedules.  For my mentorship projects and my major project, it was always difficult to find time which worked for both myself and the students.  This caused the projects to take more time then originally allotted.

This class thoroughly exposed me to the expanding world of technology while allowing me to develop my technological skills on both a personal and professional level. My goal for this class was to gain confidence using and teaching technology to young students.  I believe I have reached this goal, but not entirely on my own.  My confidence has expanded through my exploration and learning in this semester.  I will take the knowledge and resources from ECMP 455 and use it in my classroom.  I want to thank Alec and Dean for their wonderful classes, as well as my personal learning network.  Their advice and support have helped me to learn and grow as a young professional during this semester.

I want to share this quote, which reflects my feelings for teaching and learning with technology:

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”

~ Anatole France


Mentorship Projects


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.

Thank you!

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

Inspiring Presentation

For our ECMP 455 class, we listened to inspiring stories from Darren Kuropatwa, Clarence Fisher and Kathy Cassidy.  It was amazing to hear what each of these educators are doing with technology in the classroom.  They all teach different subjects and grade levels, yet they have a common vision for their classrooms.  The vision of supporting their students and providing them with the tools necessary for successful learning.

I think the big learning moment for me was that there is no formula for incorporating technology in the classroom.  It will vary from teacher to teacher in how much or how little technology they use with their students.  Personally, I have been searching for someone to tell me what tools I should incorporate and how much technology I should use in the classroom.  I learned from this presentation that the answer is inside of me.  I have to decide as a teacher, what is important to me and what I am comfortable with using in my classroom.  I have to decide what tools to use for supporting my students learning.  Why would I choose not to include technology in my classroom, especially since my job is to prepare students for life long learning and teach them life skills?  I liked the point Kathy Cassidy made about, “I teach my students to live in a digital world.”  I completely agree with her because we are living in a digital world, so we should educate our students about how to use these tools in their lives.

Another important point to their presentation was collaboration.  They all shared comments about how they work with others for creating new ideas and activities in the classroom.  I have definitely learned from taking this class that building a strong personal learning environment (PLN) is very important for expanding my own learning with technology.   Also, I think that because my class is online, I am forced to rely more on my PLN to provide me support and resources for my own teaching and learning.  I think that I am lucky to have this class to develop my PLN and gather great resources before I have my own classroom.

It was very inspiring for me to hear them say start small and slowly build up to using more and more technology with students.   I know that starting teaching is gong to be very overwhelming, especially to try and incorporate technology into my lesson plans.  As a new teacher, I think that it is important to start my career with small goals and slowly take steps into incorporating more technology.

I learned many important things tonight about teaching with technology from these presentations.  Before starting this class, I always thought that teaching technology relies on personal skill level and experience, which I lack  both confidence and skills in.  One of the presenters shared this image below from flickr (by superkimbo) that is very powerful and inspiring to me.

I know that in order for me to succeed in teaching with technology, I need to believe that I can do it as well as develop realistic goals for my classroom.   Also,  I think that I need to reach out for support from my PLN and not be afraid to ask others for help.  I think this image says it all, using technology successfully is a mindset and we all are capable in reaching this mindset if we believe in it! 😀


Here are links to these wonderful educators classroom blogs: Darren Kuropatwa, Clarence Fisher and Kathy Cassidy

Midterm Review

I can definitely say that my last semester is going by really fast.  I can not believe that I only have a little over a month before I am completely done my university degree.  Honestly, I am feeling the midterm pressure and my stress level is high!  I have tried now for days to write a new post, but my life has taken me in different directions. On the weekend, I started to panic because I had a two day First Aid and CPR course, then I had to work on a group presentation, as well as two other assignments for Monday and Tuesday of this week.  Needless to say I did not have anytime to work on any projects for my ECMP 455 class.  I realized this week how important it is to keep up  with everything, yet there are times when I have to let go of somethings, so I do not burn out.

Also this week, I was able to see how important technology is in my life.  I have always said that I am not a technology person, yet I use it everyday.  I use it for various things including personal, social and professional purposes.  For example, my  group project relied on the communication of text messaging and emails to get through or presentation planning as well as share documents important to our topic.   Technology is definitely makes collaboration easy with communication tools so easily available.  As well, for our presentation we created a PowerPoint for a visual aspect in our presentation.  Our PowerPoint was a collection of pictures to support our information and we had no text on it!  I learned a few weeks ago in ECMP 455 the  importance of using quality images for presentations to capture the audience.  We found videos on You Tube to support our topic and music on the internet for the presentation.  Without technology, our presentation would have looked much different.

Another way I have been using technology is through email, twitter, skype and msn chat.  These past few weeks I have been relying on these tools to  help me with assignments and  planning.   Last Friday, I used skype to call Teryl Magee, a grade four teacher from the United States, to make arrangements for my mentoring project.  It is an amazing tool to use for connecting with others, which not only allows you to chat, but also use video.   From our conversation, we decided that I will be calling her classroom this week and discussing with her students facts about Canada.  As well, I will be sending pictures of Canada for them to see.

A major tool I use all the time is email, I find that I am checking my email several times during the day.  I use email to keep in touch with family, friends and peers.  For my other mentorship project, I have been constantly emailing with Sheri Edwards, to finalize plans for our project.  I will be working with her grade six students on their classroom wiki to create and edit a school newspaper.  For my mentoring projects,  I created a second blog to communicate with the students and an introductory video.  If you are interested in watching it, I posted it on my all about me page.

Technology also plays a big part for my teaching career opportunities.  Now, for all my interviews, I am contacted through email for job opportunities and appointments.  As well, school divisions post all their job openings and applications forms online for easy access.  A few divisions even have a complete online application process.

I definitely have learned a lot this semester about the importance of techology in the classroom as well as our lives.  Although I think that I am not a technology person, I need technology in my life.  By taking time to reflect, I use technology more than I ever realized.  My confidence is building from my experiences and the more time I spend exploring new technology tools and communicating with others the more I learn.  I appreciate having this opportunity to develop my PLN and I understand the importance of establishing a support system.  I know that the key to my success with using technology is collaboration and communication with others.  I know that this is only the beginning to my journey with technology, but I look forward to my continous learning through my personal learning network and personal learning environment.

Expanding My Network

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 😀

Mentoring Program

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!