This week I, along with Jocelyn and Logan taught our mini-lesson on digital citizenship. Overall, I must say that I was really happy with the result. Of course, teaching about this topic was something that was out of my comfort zone, but I ended up learning a lot throughout the experience and I gained a lot of valuable knowledge from it. Even throughout the lesson, I felt like I was learning a lot from my classmates who were participating in it and I feel like that is one of the biggest positives of the activity.
On another note, I also really enjoyed getting the opportunity to explore new educational technologies, specifically with NearPod. I am not sure how I stumbled upon it to begin with, but it is something that I will definitely be using in the future. It had a lot of great functions and the more I explored, the more I found I was able to do with it, and it can definitely be adapted to fit all subject areas.
Being that there were three of us teaching the lesson, there are definitely adaptations that need to be put in place should I want to teach this in the future, but I believe that will not be too difficult to do, as the main bulk of the lesson in very student-led.
In the end, I was happy with the outcome of our lesson, and I gained a lot from the experience. Now I get to sit back and let everyone else teach their lessons!
This weeks class was extremely interesting as we looked at the impacts technology has had on our lives and in our world. The debate we had on “should we move back to a time before the internet” was really the highlight. Although I do not think anyone would genuinely be willing to admit that they would want to give up on the internet, it did raise a lot of really important topics and issues that our technological and “connected” world has created, and they are especially important to consider as teachers.
One of the big questions we have to consider is how much school should be responsible for teaching and preparing students for this new world we live in. While of course, we are not our students parents, and we should not decide for them how they should use their technology, I do think we should be responsible for teaching students how to navigate the internet and teaching them about digital literacy.
It honestly is crazy to think how fast technology has grown on the planet, and especially in schools, I think it really took people by surprise, and forced them to adapt quickly. Near the beginning I think the main focus for teachers and schools was to do everything they could to take cell-phones out of the hands of students and we still do see this today. On the other hand, many schools have learned to embrace these devices over the years, and we even see them being used as a tool to enhance teaching and learning.
As we discussed in class, students are only getting younger and younger when they get their first device. What this means is that not only is it becoming harder to keep under control, but it also means that it is becoming so much more important that we begin teaching students about the dangers on the internet, especially because for many students, no one else is going to do it for them.
As you may recall from one of my previous posts, Social Media has never been a big part of my life and in fact, I made the decision over a year ago to cut it out of my daily life. With that being said, I did also talk about in my introductory post that one of my goals though this course is to start looking at social media not as a “time-waster”, but instead through the lens of a teacher, who is able to utilize Social Media to build a community and gain knowledge from others.
Of course, one of the ways I can do both of those things is through the SaskEdChat. This was my second time being able to participate in these discussions and what I must say, is that I forgot just how much knowledge I was able to gain from just spending an hour in the chat. I think one of the most amazing things was seeing the diversity and unique perspectives that each person was able to bring to the discussion. From my fellow classmates, to teachers who have been in the profession for many years, each person added so much insight into the questions that were asked.
Another aspect that stuck out to me, was just being able to talk about such an important topic, that being around mental health. I believe that bringing these topics out in the open and not being afraid to discuss them is crucial, especially as educators who are going to deal with many students, each with their own unique situations. Being able to talk about these topics I think is one of Social Medias biggest benefits, especially in our current situation with Covid. However, I think it is important to point out that the we need to be careful not to leave these conversations on Social Media, and that there needs to be action that goes with our words.
Overall, I had a great time participating in the SaskEdChat and it has shown me once again, just how Social Media can be used to benefit us as teachers, through collaboration and discussion. Once again, if you would like to connect on Twitter you can follow the link here.
Looking at the topic of having a professional online identity is crucial. Social media in particular has become a massive part of our world and I have heard it been said many times that it is one of the first places employers will look when considering you for a job. Obviously, this makes complete sense due to the fact that our social media accounts are a way of revealing how we want others to see us. It also reveals our values, beliefs and attitudes towards other people and the world.
I must say that this topic about being aware of what we do on social media is not a new one to me. I was involved in soccer for over 10 years of my life, and as I began to get older and the potential for universities and scouts to gain interest increased, I had coaches and other professional speakers who would talk to me and my teammates about this exact thing. I would say that I have always been cautious about the things I do on social media and making sure that what I wanted to be seen was seen and that my more personal accounts stayed private (even though I am still cautious about what I post on both).
With all that being said, social media has never been a large part of my life, and for the last year or two, I have, for the most part, stayed completely off of it. I would however still like to be aware of how others view me online, and I am reminded of my EDTC 300 experience where we were asked to google ourselves and see what things showed up and I would once again like to make this a reminder to myself to do that often. I would also like to challenge myself going forward to look at social media as a place for building my professional identity as a teacher. This will not only be helpful when future employers want to look me up, but it will also be a useful tool for me as a teacher to provide me with resources and a community of other professionals that I can lean on.
First I am excited to get back into learning about the various educational technologies again. For the last year or two, I have almost completely removed myself from social media, because for the most part, it was just becoming a time waster. With that being said, I know that social media can have a much greater purpose especially as an educator, and I want to focus on relearning how technology can assist me rather than waste all my time.
My next goal is to understand the pros and cons of technology in the classroom, and I specifically am referring to the Great EDTC Debate assignment. I feel like this assignment can really benefit me as an educator, and will help me gain a better understanding and form my own opinions about many topics that I probably never would have even considered in the past so I want to use it as an opportunity to grow as a teacher and shape my pedagogy.
My final goal this semester, not just in this class, would be to start shifting my focus and looking at my classes through the lens of a teacher. Not that I wanted to, but I feel like, in my first couple years of Education, I have had the tendency to be stuck in a student’s mindset and think it’s really important that I start shifting my focus. I want to use my opportunity to mentor the EDTC 300 students as a way to do that.
That is all I have for now. I would like to use this first post as an opportunity to help me towards one of my goals, and so if you would like to, feel free to follow the link to my Twitter here. I look forward to connecting with you!