Here is my digital story from ECS 210. At first it took me a while to get started, I didn’t know where to start what programs to use or anything, finally I came across this PowToon website and was able to make my video. It has a bunch of cool animations and other unique features and the best part is it’s FREE (unless you want to upgrade) So click below to check my video/slideshow out!
Growing up the only literacy I thought there was the basic one, which included reading and writing. I loved to read but I struggled with writing, I have never been a strong writer so I never thought I was fully literate. I now know that there are more literacies then the basic one, without them I can never be fully literate. Being in university I know I have physical literacy, financial literacy, and social literacy. I incorporate them into my everyday life so being a teacher I can naturally promote them into my lessons.
With the literacies that I struggle with I am worried about not being to help my students become literate in them. As a teacher I can’t let my fears and/or struggles create barriers for my students.
Being able to reflect is an important thing in our teaching careers. To grow as teachers we need to be able to reflect on oneself and “…we need to put front and center they very things we do not want…” (Kumashiro, pg. 41) Very little did I speak about gender, race and culture in my autobiography, even though I didn’t realize it at the time has had a huge impact on who I am now. I never considered myself “different”, I was a heterosexual, white female who grew up in the middle class. I fit into the “norm” of society and because of this I didn’t ever encounter discrimination. I will teach unfortunately many students who are faced with the problems that I didn’t. The lenses that I have been wearing have hidden a crucial part to some students lives and I need to take off my lenses that I have had on my whole life to really be able to educate my students.
When it comes to education, technology has been a huge impact. Teachers are able to communicate with other people around the world in a matter of seconds. For new teachers I think it is important to establish a mark in the social world, but it can be very intimidating to do so. We are told from the beginning of university that what we post stays on forever. This can be scary since you never want to post something that you will regret later on. But through encouragement from many professors I was able to start a professional online presence.
A great place to start is through Twitter, you can start your PLN by just reading and re-tweeting important tweets that you find beneficial. On tagboard.com you can search what hash tags you are interested in and all the tweets that use that hash tag are shown on one page. You can also see tags related to your search that might interest you. A couple of good hash tags to search are; #ecs210, #useful, #edchat. I’ve had Twitter for some time now but I still only comfortable with reading and re-tweeting other peoples tweets. The one tweet that I actually created was back in my first year of university when I saw an interesting post.
Some of my favourite tweets from other people are;
The only issue with twitter is that it limits your tweets to 140 characters. You have to be really talented to be able to get your point across in such a small frame. Personally for me, this is my I find blogging to be better. I have started a few different blogs in the past but I never seem to be able to stick with them. Hopefully with this blog I can continue using it even when this class has ended. One of my post popular blog post was one of my most recent ones, where at the end I asked “Do schools value grades or do we value student learning? This blog received a bunch of different comments that got me thinking about, how do we change how we value what is important to schools.. In our class we are also expected to read other classmates blogs. Reading other blogs is a great eye opener, you are able to get a different perspective on a topic which you may not have thought yourself. One blog post that I really enjoyed and commented on was by Leanne, she talked about how teachers are ones to jump to conclusions if the student is not a “good” student in the common sense way (so they are fidgety, loud, etc.)
When it comes to blogging though there are many different ways to do it. Another domain of blogs is through Tumblr. With Tumblr you are able to search hash tags or topics that you want to know more about and they will bring up some blogs that are related to what you have searched. Some useful blogs that I have found are Matthew Maddux, We Are Teachers, and Girl With a Lesson Plan. These blog range from useful tools to humorous stories to inspirational quotes and much, much more. A few of my favourite posts on Tumblr are;
Blackout Poetry (totally check this out!!!!)
When I first started Tumblr I used it for just personal reason. Looked up funny cats here and there but it wasn’t until I saw a blog about charts that I realized that it can be something more. I still thoroughly enjoy looking at cats but I also can see all the resources that I have access to at the tip of my fingers. Another website that I used for personal reasons at first was Pinterest. This site is useful for everything and anything. You create boards for your topic and then “pin” things to them. I started my own teaching board where I have gotten different ideas about classroom management, classroom decoration (see below), lesson planning and plenty more.
Overall there are many different ways to create an online presence. Most people who have created any social networking account have created some sort of PLN and the way we use the sites are going to determine how useful they are to us. For myself I am not at the point where I am creating my own posts/tweets. However I have created my own PLN where I am able to find resources and helpful tidbits. Hopefully soon, I will be able to feel confident and post my own ideas without being prompted.
A “good” student is usually someone who can listening quietly, write down notes, study and then do well on a test or assignment. The hand in their work completed and on-time, the don’t talk out of turn and listen to what the teacher is saying. Students are taught this from the beginning of school, what is the right way to learn. These students are the ones being privileged because the curriculum was designed for that kind of students. It was not designed for the students who are out spoken and can’t sit still for hours at the time. It isn’t for the students who can’t regurgitate the notes that was taught the day before. We are taught throughout our program that every student is different and that each individual learns different so then why can we expect all students to be by definition a “good” student. We have to change how we think by not giving students a “good” or “bad” reputation based on the definition above. Do schools value grades or value student learning?
In Kevin Kumashiro book “Against Common Sense” he writes about three images that make a “good” teacher. They are “teaching as learned practitioners”, “teachers as researchers” and “teachers as professionals”. At the U of R, in my experience I was able to fit into each one of these image at one time or another, however I do relate to “teaching as learned practitioners” the most.
In every education class no matter what age level or subject, there comes a point in the class where we talk about getting to know our students. This has been very predominant in both my math and physical education classes. I mean getting to know your students is the most important thing a teacher can do to better teach their lesson. All students learn differently, so obviously the same lesson won’t work year after year. Knowing your students is a huge thing to know in a physical education class. By knowing your students abilities you are able to plan activities so they are able to achieve success. So many students are sitting on the sidelines or dropping out of class because the class is dominated by the “athletic” group. By knowing your students you are able to adapt the activities so it isn’t dominated by one group.
I think that farther along into the career I get the more experiences I will have in “teacher as researchers” and “teachers as professionals”
Kumashiro defines common sense as what society defines important or right and should continue being viewed as that. Common sense is something that should be given attention because not all the times “common sense” is the right thing to do. Like in the book, Kumashiro talk about working in Nepal and how the students expected to memorize notes, do homework and then take the test. However as we know that just memorizing work doesn’t mean that you actually understand. Kumashiro also thought that his way was the proper way of learning because it was common sense to him. Where you grow up and how you grow up will define what you think is common sense.