Reflection on the Course

As this course has come to a close, I would have to agree with John van Galen in his assessment of EDC 601, which is to say this has been one of the better … if not BEST course I have taken for my SUNY masters program thus far.  I have been challenged and the learning curve has been steep but as an educator, I will walk away with skills and knowledge that will better assist me in moving my classroom into the 21st Century.

My Aims were to:

  • To be more adept at integrating technology into my classroom.
  • I want to learn HOW to blog more with purpose so that I benefit as an educator and hopefully inspire my students.
  • I want to work my way through being a Google Ninja. In doing so,  I can begin help my students  to become Ninjas too :)

Thus far… I am still working at being a Ninja… BUT I have been trying to upskill myself on all things Google each day.  Carmel mentioned in her course reflection that she would allot time to blog… 2 hours a week… and I realize that while it was my goal to be a Ninja by the end of our sessions it just wasn’t realistic as I have been assisting full time with the HS play extra hours have been going there…and so I will carry on … attends the Google Summit in November and as time permits… work on my Ninja bits!

I have learned to blog with more purpose and am able to ponder what I say to make it meaningful.  I have learned to spice up and add bling to my blogs. I changed heaps of items such as pictures and colour and added twitter feeds and subscriptions etc to make it the bomb! I’m proud of what I have achieved… blogging alone has kept me at bay for ever and NOW, I feel success when working on WordPress. My ISM blog is still not up to scratch but I have been able to apply skills from here to that blog and made it work…better

I have learned to make a Pecha Kucha which I prepared for my students and to whom I have since showed it… and as a result… many kids are bringing me quotes and truly taking that have been inspiring them!  Screencasting, my new found love will be used again FOR SURE, particularly with my ELL kids who may need more scaffolding with given tasks.  I’ve now made a podcast using iMovie and have really stretched myself when it comes to using twitter and learning to tweet. Tom shared a link about the original TWITTER which has also been instrumental in my desire to access and utilize twitter more.  I even learned about Compfight and will continue to be wise with the use of pictures and copyrighted materials.

Blogging while a challenge for me has truly opened u the realm of being collaborative with my peers…by looking at other blogs and seeing where individual interest lie, I have learned HEAPS and HEAPS.  I dare say I learned about thoughts and ideas that I previously had no idea even existed.

I feel prepared and I feel ready to use technology more adeptly and wisely and am confident that my students will be inspired.

It has been great. Thanks Steve for ALL your patience and continued support 🙂

Eric

p.s. Blog Background picture is mine 🙂

Screencast

I am a calendar freak and love all kinds of calendars to order my life… before I was hooked on Google, Outlook kept me sane.  I love the colours, invites, bookings and the way I can have multiple options for the different parts of my life.  Each school year, Grade 5 students begin their year looking at Organization and why it is important in the world. I set them up with Google folders to assist them with all they need in their various subjects…this year I have taken it one step further- voila, a Google Calendar tutorial for my students:

Pecha Kucha with a Purpose

Creating the Pecha Kucha for class was an experience to behold… Day 1, I spent racking my brain for a topic.  Trying to be coherent, wise and meaningful after a full and exceedingly late night the night before did not bode well for the Pechakuchaing process. I spent hours trying to sort my pictures to find images to go with what I’d planned.  I’m just glad we only had 10 slides not 20…HAHAA I’d have been there for weeks.

Friday afternoon, the week following, became the time to rework, sort, curse and cry. Not for lack of direction but for being SO BLOODY slow…and needing perfection.  Hours after work- 9 pm to be exact, I left for home and spent MORE time… ensuring what I wanted to say had meaning and value.. and looked wonderful… Many thanks to my fiance, Alvin, for HIS tech support… or I’d never have finished.

Saturday came and my guts CHURNED… I am a confident speaker BUT I had worked so hard to be coherent, wise, meaningful and insightful and it took all my mental prowess to be “on” and ready.  I wanted to have a Pecha-dilly thingie to share with my classes- not the IT class but the students I teach.  Speaking to kids… is a walk in the park… my peers… another story.

So I hit the key F5 and the rest is history… I was successful and succinct.  I kicked proverbial butt and made the grade for the course but more importantly for me. I told the story that needed to be told.

I have shared my presentation with both my classes AND I will use this tool for presenting .. in the future to help students focus on what’s important and pare out the bits that need to be cut.

Enjoy.. and if you’d like a live show… email me and we can set it up:

“Inspiring Kids”

Grr – I need to move faster…better

I am overwhelmed… trying to move as fast as my 44 year old brain can go and trying to process all that I have learned as of late, in this class.  If I sit and stare at my screen, I panic, if I roam the hallways… I stress EVEN more… so I need to refocus, re-energize and rethink where I am headed today. 1st step is to ground and center myself: OM – peace out!!!

Om Lily

Siem Reap – Dec. 2011
personal collection

Now I am ready… and as I have grounded and focused and breathed…I will sort my screencast out. The dilemma is BELIEVING in myself and REALIZING I DO know heaps of stuff in the realm of tech.  NOW … to choose and create something that is useful valuable and can be used in the future!

Podcast Revisited

Years ago… not when I was a baby as that would be ridiculous…but back when Jen Juteau was an integral member of the G5 team, I learned about podcasting. In truth, I was still very much honing my IT skills and at that time, I felt powerpoints were the BOMB because I had never really done much with IT  in my previous school.  For us, bandwidth referred to how big an orchestra seating area was … and how many musicians could fit across the stage for a presentation… I KNEW NOTHING and was open to LEARNING ALL when I came to ISM.

When Jen, introduced us to the idea of creating podcast with our students I was excited and aghast all in one fell swoop. I had no idea what a podcast was let alone ever believed I could teach my class to create one. With fear and trepidation, I  began the journey of having my students create podcasts that showed three perspectives on a given event that had CHANGEd our world.

To be honest, Mr. Sturgeon was the man to lead and my kids were the ones to execute… and Mr. Eric (that’s me) did a lot of smiling and nodding…I faked it well and pretended like I  was the one leading the proverbial flock so to speak.  I wasn’t looking for kudos for a job  well done…for something I knew nothing about, rather, I was worried I would let my kids down because the technology was beyond my scope of expertise.

Jump ahead four years to 2013 and I can now say- with pride and gained wisdom – that I TOO can podcast with the best of them. I feel that working outside the box, using authentic tasks to build understanding is is the best way to learn; for me as a teacher to be engaged and enjoy my process as well is icing on the cake. In creating our podcast for this SUNY class I have learned many skills that I thought I were beyond me.  I was able to get over my fear of using iMovie and actually began to see it’s merit and value in the classroom. I may need a few more trials to get up and running so that I can actually TEACH iMovie… but I am so much closer to and more confident in my ability to use this brilliant medium for presenting information.  I learned how to splice, cut , edit add text and do voice overs. In working with my group I also learned to plan, execute, delegate, share responsibilities, collaborate and generally have a blast with learning. Question is…do I see value in the learning behind the lens… you bet! I can’t wait for a space and a place to use this amazing tool with my classes.  Not unlike Pecha Kucha with it’s simplicity and profundity, I am continually enlightened to the fact that a picture, “is worth a thousand words.” A podcast speaks volumes.

My ELL and my native English speakers alike will benefit from using podcasts, both video and audio to share their ideas and learning with the world.  I am truly excited to be able to have yet another inspiring tool for my toolkit. KIDS WILL LOVE IT!!!

Shift Happens

The last few days in class have been über exciting for me as a learner. The time I have spent on my own searching, reading, exploring and trying new things has also inspired me to use and incorporate my new skills as much as I can each day. I’m SOLD and will continue to encourage my students to challenge themselves to be open to using the technology they have at their fingertips as well.

 I have learned HEAPS about blogging, PLN, Twitter, all things Google, Digital Literacy, being a Google Ninja and so much more… each piece of this new puzzle is slowly fitting together and making sense to me.

…AND I have made tons of progress. I KNOW I can do so much more on a blog and with technology than I ever could before. Somedays, it has felt like a slow, arduous, uphill climb but with determination comes success.

In Grade 5, we alway show the video called “Shift Happens” at our Open House for parents.  I linked the 1st version I ever saw of this video on Jen’s wall in her post... about digital natives.

Since that version of the video was made… the world that learners inhabit has changed exponentially! As learners are challenged beyond the box, I too am challenged to keep up with the Shift that Happens…

“Did You Know 2013”

Eric

Aims

I need to ponder this once i have it sussed…

Pondering – clarified

…And so… I think more than enough time has passed AND I am able to have more of this tech stuff sussed. However, my brain is FULL…almost fried in fact. I have been trying to grasp where this class is taking me how to make sense of my learning from an ed tech perspective.

I began this class and was extremely excited by the plethora of possibilities of where my learning would take me. At the same time, I was not completely sure how to narrow topics, ideas and the like into manageable, attainable aims that I could pursue.

Picture Source: http://goo.gl/XzuhIB

Fried brains 🙂

My Aims for this class are:

To be more adept at integrating technology into my classroom.

I want to learn HOW to blog more with purpose so that I benefit as an educator and hopefully inspire my students.

I want to work my way through being a Google Ninja. In doing so,  I can begin help my students  to become Ninjas too 🙂

Picture Source: http://goo.gl/XzuhIB

birde

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