Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The End is Here!

It's here! The end is here! This is potentially my last blog post as a university student! This semester has been filled with exciting activities, some less than inspiring topics but plenty of learning took place. In ICT I feel like I can take a lot of what we talked about directly into my future classroom.
I am certainly glad I was able to take this class as I know if I was on my own I know I would have never got into blogging, and reading other blogs. I would have never created my own website and certainly would have never created an ePortfolio or even known what that was! Hopefully my class website building skills come in handy in the future as this is a great way for parents to find information as well as contact the teacher!

I plan to keep everyone's blogs on hand to check back on to find resources if I am feeling a little less then creative! So peers make sure to contribute to the online world, and hopefully I will be inspired to contribute myself! Plus its a neat way to see what everyone will be up to after graduation! I expect everyone will be passing along their knowledge to the young'ns of the world so don't forget to help other teachers out with your spectacular ideas!!!

I am going to miss classes but I am SOOO ready to be the teacher!
Good luck to everyone in their placements and in their future teaching careers!

The Final Product

As I mentioned last week we looked at video in the classroom and as a class we created our very own Academy Award winning videos. There were two groups, and the first group did a video about paying it forward or PIF. It was really good and  the editing was great I really enjoyed it! Here is a link to it, you should definitely check it out!

Our group decided to fall into the Olympic theme as the Sochi 2014 Olympics just ended. It was really fun to make and its just overall kinda goofy! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Being a Movie Star- Using Video In the Classroom!

This past week our class went on an exciting journey and started and wrapped up making a short video for an assignment. It was actually pretty neat seeing 12 university students get started immediately and have ideas flowing non-stop! Our group could not stop talking about all of our ideas and one thing lead to another and things were getting wildly out of control with laughter and ridiculousness. After all the giggling and brainstorming we decided on an Olympic themed video. It was lots of fun to shoot (because I got to be the athlete.) As I look back on the filming of the video and as we finish up the editing I think about how I could use this in MY classroom.

I believe video in the classroom can be extremely useful. For starters it gets away from straight pencil paper work. It brings in technology (ipods, ipads, video cameras etc) and uses a very different form of expressing ones self, besides drawing, or writing or typing. You have to use a whole different side of yourself to portray meaning. It can be a serious video, it can be a silly video, it can be an interview, there are endless possibilities! In my experience with making video, IMovie is super easy to use and it has templates for various kinds of videos.
Mike (our professor) has created a nice reference page for video in the classroom. Below is the link to the site. Take a look, and use it!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Future Class Website

I would consider this a template for a future class website. Here it is. SOOOO exciting I know!


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

digital stories, photo editing... the list goes on and on

This past week we were given some tasks that were fun, pushed my creative side and made me think a little deeper about how to use them effectively .

So we began the week with digital stories. A simple and unique way of creating a story with pictures and captions and a little bit of music to jazz it up even more. We were given a quick tour of different sites to create these stories on and we were off! I created mine on Animoto, I just took some pictures I had from a trip I went on, but them on a template and VOILA an interesting and unique way of sharing a story. There are plenty of sites and programs to create these unique stories.
You could use digital stories in the classroom for whatever purpose you wanted. It could help the students with their writing. You could create a digital portfolio of students work. You could also introduce a subject or topic this way. Your options are unlimted, and its fun and unique!
Here is my short animoto story!

Another short assignment we were given was to pick a photo and then an editing website and edit a photo in some way and play around with the various options. Again there are plenty of ways of integrating this idea into a class project as well as there are plenty of websites and apps to do this on. I chose picasa, but we also did one on pixlr.com.

The one with pixlr, we were given a statement "Learning is.." we were to finish the sentence, find a picture (www.compfight.com) that displayed how we finished the statement, and then we created a unique image. I made sure to give credit to the photo, and just added text. There are endless possibilities with photo editing! I found that I can play around for a long time with all of these apps. I prefer ones that are user friendly, as I am not a pro at this or anything. Easy to use and understand rank high on my list. If you have any other easy to use photo editing sites let me know!

Missing out and Reading up!

Unfortunately I missed a guest speaker (John Finch) we had in ICT last Thursday, January 30th. To catch up and get a summary of the talk I read a peers blog www.mrsduchart.blogspot.com. I found it an interesting read and an interesting topic.

Today students have unlimited to access to all types of information on the internet. The problem with this is that there is so much information that is false. It tricks students, and leads them to pages of often untrue facts and figures. As teachers we must guide students in the right direction. ICT in the classroom is how we will be teaching our students when my class of educators steps out into the field. As teachers we must create an environment where students use the internet with caution. John Finch suggested to the class that we teach the students to look at the internet and its vast array of information through three lenses;
Validity, Reliability and Currency. When we teach our students to use the information they gather using these three methods, we teach them to further there knowledge of the subject areas and ask deeper more meaningful questions after they find the information they are looking for. Hopefully this creates more well rounded, knowledgeable students.

As I was reading my peers blog I became quite interested in one in particular as well as I really liked the way he articulated his message. I had lots of the same feelings as him which include "How do I create a lesson that is unique and awe-inspiring for each class?" The answer being we should direct our students to learn and dig deeper into a subject on their own. One which gives them a desire to learn. What does this have to do with ICT in education you ask? Give Colin's blog a read and see what you think! (www.colinwollman.blogspot.com)

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A Class Website- A Look into the Future

Our ICT class was given an assignment that had me really thinking about how my future classroom would run. We were asked to create a class website for the future and hopefully our classes for the 2014-2015 school year. (Cross your fingers)  As we browsed through some examples of classroom websites that are in use we discussed what each of them had, what was important and what made it a "good website." All I could think when looking at all the sites was "Yup that one is good. I'd have all of that on my site!" and "Yup, that looks awesome, that must have taken a lot of time." So now that I know that mine would never live up to those expectations I chose the simplest and most user friendly site which was a weebly and began creating and designing. I thought well it can't be that hard to create a skeleton website for my classroom, you chose a theme, add some headings and VOILA! PRESTO! a classroom website. BUT as it turns out you can change things a hundred times, and still things aren't quite right.

It turns out a good website is one that does take time. And after reading some articles about why a classroom website can be useful I came to the realization that you can use this website to make your life as a teacher a lot easier. If the students know the website you can send them there and have all your links available through one page. This also helps, so that parents can check out what was happening in the classroom that day. Students can post various items and parents know where to find it and it is user friendly for those parents who aren't as tech savvy as their offspring. A class website is a great idea! I am a promoter and I have seen it work in classroom.

As teachers we must be aware of what we can and cannot post, what is appropriate and what is not.This could be a lesson in itself to our students about online safety and using the web for its intended purpose. Websites and blogs are a great medium for teachers, students and parents. I am excited to use a website to its potential especially in the classroom setting.

PS. I am still polishing up my site, but I'll post a link of it in the coming days! ALSO I hope to post some links of my peers websites as well! Stay tuned!