Friday, April 5, 2019

Summary of Learning

Well folks, looks like we made it...



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We're THERE!

Time to see what we learned!
I won't delay mine anymore:



I realized after almost completing my video that Powtoon only allows the free videos to be five minutes.  I could have made more than one, but I tried to condense it and keep it all together.  

I would also like to apologize for my voice - if it sounds like I am trying to be raspy, it's only because of my cold and to avoiding coughing...

As I say in my last slide, thanks to Alec and my fantastic classmates, you made it a great semester!




Sunday, March 31, 2019

See you in the future...




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I like this better than goodbye.  Chances are, I will see you in the future! I've had classes with some of you, so maybe that will happen again, or I will see you at work, or maybe just in the Twitter-verse, but I will see you again!

These next couple of months are bringing big changes for me.  I will be going off work soon and I will be having a baby, I will be passing this class (hopefully!) getting another credit towards my Master's...
I won't see the same faces on a regular basis, but I will get to see a new one everyday!

Now, onto synthesizing my thoughts on this class and blended learning!

After taking this class and having the in class discussions - my views on what can be blended learning has expanded immensely.  I hadn't thought of programming such as drama classes being offered online, until we went through some of the online options.

Even with our own programming and my classmates projects-- I was surprised to see such a range.  Last week I was reading about some online counselling content.  What innovative and neat ways to reach our students.

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Plus doesn't it feel great to be surrounded with like minded professionals? I think tech is helping reach our students like we've never been able to before, and yet, there are definitely a lot of wary individuals.  Not to mention the lack of tech support and funding... but here we are- making these projects work in our classes.

I've had some positive feedback as of late with grade 10 tours coming through our school. They were some of my former grade 8 rotations.  Their looks of recognition of the classroom, as well as remembering what I had taught them made me very optimistic of the future. They remembered their five day rotation with me (and technology) and enjoyed it. 

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In conclusion, this semester has given me some great resources, a hopeful attitude, some new blended lessons for my students, and another great group of colleagues with the same goals.

I hope to see you in the future! (Online, or IRL)




Saturday, March 23, 2019

Walk Through & Course Prototype


Hi and welcome to my course walk through!

Welp, we are getting closer to the end, which means two things. One -- time to finish up our projects and two -- another semester has flown by!

Before I get too far, I will link my module one:

Module #1

I also will link my course profile blog:

Course Profile

If you are following (or have been following) you may notice I didn't achieve all of my goals, such as Adobe Animate, but I am still happy with the results of my course modules!

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I was hoping for a John Locke giphy about him going on his walk about, to connect to my walk through, but this will have to do...

I also don't want to give too many spoilers (or repeat myself too much) to my walk through video so I will post it below:

Walk Through

Hopefully I have summarized my course modules in that video, but I just want to add that I feel they were successful.  I set out to ultimately make learning easier in my five day rotation for the grade 8's. I also wanted an additional tool they could use to reference while going through the rotation, and I believe I did that.

This is my module two:

Module #2


I hope this is an organized & succinct list of all the things you need to understand what I have worked on this semester.  Please let me know classmates if I can make anything more clear!

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Thanks everyone for following in this learning journey!



Friday, March 15, 2019

Online Interactions

Remember the days of MSN Messenger?


Photo Credit

Some of you will, some of you won't, but for those of us who used it, it's probably where we first learned to type.

Now that I am looking back, it reminds me of Facebook statuses. That's probably where they got the status idea! Typical Mark, always ripping people off...

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Anyway! Let's talk online collaborative learning! Let's talk student-instructor implemented interactions!

Since the beginning of these modules, I have started using Google Classroom, as part of my tech implementation in the classroom.  I was just thinking (while marking) how convenient the mark entry on Google Classroom is.  I can send them their mark and ALSO write a comment, if I like. This has been especially helpful since with some of the art that gets submitted to me, I can tell them where they lost marks.  I used to print it off, write it on there, but often it wouldn't make its way back to the student. Now, they will see it next time they open Google Classroom - or more likely - will get an email notification.  I have been really enjoying the usability of Google Classroom. I like that it prompts me when I get assignments turned in & they are in stable place. No more "Ms. Wells, my paper assignment has been misplaced!"
Now they either have a digital copy, or they don't. Definitely less "lost" work.

I liked in our reading when they said:

"Another important factor is that in the OCL model, discussion forums are not an addition or supplement to core teaching materials, such as textbooks, recorded lectures, or text in an LMS, but are the core component of the teaching. Textbooks, readings and other resources are chosen to support the discussion, not the other way round."

Although, I don't use Google Classroom as a forum exclusively, students use it in support of the other materials I bring into class, and we can use it to discuss together.

This week I also asked my students a question through Google Classroom, and instead of having it private, as it usually is set, students could add to one another's answers. I believe this helped scaffold the lesson for some of the students. 

Just like when we used to have important MSN conversations, or convos, as I called them, and we could add more than one person in.  #oldschoolcollaboration 

After taking this class, I am definitely open and looking forward to using more of these type of programs in my class.   Padlet, or comparable programs, seem like a good way to get your students discussing, even on days where they are feeling shy or quiet. 

Well, gtg!  Ttyl!


Sunday, March 3, 2019

These Are The Days Of Our Lives


Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives...


…and these are the days of our lives.

Is anyone else feeling like we're running out of time??! For this semester, or perhaps year, or maybe just today?

Also, isn't sand plural? Something else to add to the list of looking into…

So, getting on to this week's focus… Feedback from our module one!

Overall, it seemed positive, so that is good news. Sometimes, something seems clear to us, only to find out others maybe don't feel the same… However, this time, it doesn't seem that was the case. So, phewf, that is one thing to cross off the list.

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I got some very helpful feedback suggested adding notes or captioning to my module, which I think is a great idea!  Last semester I had two deaf & hard of hearing students in my class and finding videos with no captioning was always a bummer, so what an excellent idea.

Another idea that was mentioned was tying it into an ELA class.  That is what I would do for an older grade, such as grade 11 & 12, but with such a short amount of time with the grade 8's, it's virtually impossible. Which made me think of Days of our Lives and the intro.  

I used to watch a lot of Days of our Lives when I was growing up and as a kid, the summer seemed to stretch on forever. Now, I get the intro video.  Moments are fleeting, people! 

I had one question about access, and how only RBE members can see it.  That works fine in class, because my students are in grade 8, in the system.  I actually prefer it that way, as I have their photos on the site for 5 days, and so I like to limit the access for their privacy.  I won't need to demonstrate that in the modules, as it just applies to when I actually teach the course. 

Anyway, looking forward to continue working on modules and getting more items crossed off my to-do list.  

Coding For Dummies



When I was around ten years old, I was lucky enough to have a computer, with internet, in my room! This meant I played a lot of computer games, (such as The Sims) and explored an early and mostly ugly internet. By ugly, I mean webpages were pretty ugly looking for the most part, and nothing like today's. I also played checkers against people around the world, and I tried my hand at creating a website.  My website was also ugly, and the theme or focus of my website was Pembroke Welsh Corgis! I had my own particularly sweet one named Buddy, and obviously not a great imagination. 

Why didn't I think of Facebook or something cooler or more profitable?!

This is Buddy and me, the day we brought him home.  Note: my super cool jelly shoes.



Anyway, this is where I first ran into coding.  I could figure out enough code, copied and pasted, and some guess work to align paragraphs, change colours of the background, and text.  As I mentioned, it was not a great looking website. Mostly had stolen photos of Corgis, probably some weird background colour and not a ton of content (from what I remember.)  Unfortunately, I have no idea what my domain name was, and although I tried a quick internet archive (something I learnt about in this class), no luck in finding it.  It's probably for the best. 

Fast forward to today, when I teach a Graphic Arts class and would love to have a coding component in my class.  Unfortunately, I don't know where to start, and although it's not in the curriculum, I think introducing it to my students is likely critical for their future graphic design jobs. (Depending on what kind of graphic design they end up doing.) 

I would also like to get my own kids into coding, so I figured I should learn something about it first.  I don't remember much from my Corgi webpage days, and so the sites I've been introduced to in the last week seemed like a great place to start. 

Code.org seemed like a good place to explore for this blog post!


I started exploring the middle to older grades content and really enjoyed the layout of the content. I like that they have lessons that are "unplugged".  I know some teachers and parents in our class are sometimes concerned with how much screen time kids are getting, so having paper and pen activities seems like a great way to curb some of these concerns. 

Here is one I found that I would like to use in my class:

Unplugged Graph Paper Assignment

Not only do they have loads of lessons and games for the students, they also list things like  "Cross Curricular Opportunities", and since my Graphic Arts is paired with an English course, these are the kinds of things I like to see!

The course I focused on had journal entry options for each step of the way. This is also useful as my students have a journal for class. I really like the look of this website and the usability.  I am hoping to try out some of these express lessons and get to at least lesson six:

Creating Art with Code

I look forward to reporting back with how the lessons are going over with my students.  I have implemented 15 minutes on proper typing in my class, called "Typing Tuesday" and the students are really responding. I am hoping to do the same with the coding, spending 20-40 minutes a week on these lessons to get students introduced and maybe even comfortable. I just need to come up with a clever alliteration, and I will be ready with all of these already planned lessons!

Webpage coding Wednesdays?

Please let me know if you have any good ideas, clever classmates!!!





Sunday, February 3, 2019

Digital Instruction... Put on your hard hats.


This week I decided to try out option two! I chose to look at an online course, review it, and see if it has value for my class.

This week was also exciting for another reason, we started semester two, and I am teaching a class called TV/Radio.  I have taught this course before, but it has been a couple of years.

I've decided to review the YouTube channel called Film Riot. It seems to potentially have a lot of videos I could show in my TV/Radio course.



The first video I watched was titled "iPhone Filmmaking: Your Camera Doesn't Matter"...

This is something my teaching partner and I have been thinking about.  Should we send students off to make videos using only their devices? We have a few cameras, but certainly not one for everyone.  





This particular video was informative and I think the students would enjoy watching it. I immediately sent it to my teaching partner.

This is quite a popular YouTube channel, with close to a half a million views on most videos I clicked on.  The host is a fast talker, something I appreciate, and does a great job of making content interesting.  I also like that they have a range of different videos for all things film making. I could definitely see myself showing certain clips in class, or allowing the students to pick and explore on their own. 

The production value is good, they have a sponsor and lots of views which tells me this is likely their full time job(s).  This was actually recommended to me by a student, so I know that students would enjoy this kind of channel. 

I would say overall, it will definitely positively impact my class and I don't see any downsides to having this as a resource in my class. Having said that, it will be used occasionally, and not as a replacement for me or my teaching partner... It will be used as a tool... (please keep reading...)

As for this weeks reading and implementation of technology in the class, whether it be audio, video, or BOOKS... I think of them all like tools. You should experiment, mix it up, use all kinds of tools in your classroom. If I may make an analogy for a moment, no construction company is building a house with just a hammer. We, as classroom teachers should be the same.


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Woo hoo!