Summary of Learning, EDTC 300

Here is a video that I created to showcase some of the amazing things that I have learned in my Education Technology course with the University of Regina.

This course has taught me how to properly utilize technology in the classroom as well as an educator. I am now able to communicate with other educators to share ideas and have numerous new ways of bringing technology into the classroom.

Many of the tools that I was introduced to will be very useful for my internships as well as when I head into my teaching career in the next few years. On top of this, I was able to build on my video editing and website/blog making skills. I cannot wait to share these new discoveries with my peers and to experience these tools with my students.

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Contributing to the Learning of Others

Throughout my EDTC300 course, I have been able to both share and gain new knowledge with many of my classmates. I have included some screenshots to showcase some of the contributions that I have made in both the learning of others and my own learning.

The first tool that I was able to use for this is Twitter. Being able to start conversations with my classmates through replying to their shared knowledge, this allowed me to build new relationships with future teachers.

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I was also connected to many people outside of my class through the Tweets that I was posting about education and technology. For example, a former teacher had given me a shoutout, and I was also connected with a local teacher who messaged me to connect over coffee.

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I was also able to connect with language learners and educators through posting about my learning project through the use of hashtags.

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Lastly, Twitter gave me the opportunity to participate in Twitter chats such as #Saskedchat and #5thchat. These connected me with many other educators and allowed me to share and receive new knowledge.

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The Google Community was another tool that got me connected with my classmates and was a space where I was able to ask questions, such as technical difficulties that I was having. Overall, it was a great way to help my classmates with any questions that they posed.

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Lastly, my WordPress blog was another space where I was able to share so much knowledge, as well as engage in conversations and encourage my peers.

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Each tool that I was introduced to during this class has helped me share resources to other educators in order to connect and share ideas. I have also learned many ways to share my knowledge in more attractive ways, such as the article that I created for my learning project titled “5 Great Apps for Learning Spanish”. I have also explored creating YouTube videos for app overviews such as Duolingo and Busuu. You can find this video by clicking here, along with some others.

If I Can Code, So Can You!

Today was my first coding experience, and I was able to complete a One Hour Code! After a bit of frustration and confusion, I was actually able to complete a coding session of a Frozen themed tutorial.

This website is for beginners who can learn to code in an easy way with hints and tips, and is also very fun for younger students as well!

At first, you begin with a very easy task. You must move the given blocks around to fit your character’s movements.

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You can then view the coding of your completed level to further understand what formats are used in coding.

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Each level gets slightly more difficult, and even to the point where I was stuck for a few minutes. It takes patience to complete a coding lesson, but it worth it in the long run.

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Level 12 was difficult, but with the hints I was able to figure it out. As a teacher doing this activity with 20+ students, I would strongly recommend having a cheat sheet with you at all times in order to help students who may be falling behind.

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Finally, the last one gave me the opportunity to have fun with my new skills and to create my own design through entering various codes into the right column.

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Afterwards, I received a certificate of completion which is a nice touch to the entire experience. This would be great for students and could be printable for them to take home as well. As adults, it is also great to have coding skills in this technology-filled world, so give it a try!

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Learning Spanish in 6 Weeks (Final Post)

Throughout this 6 weeks, I have been learning Spanish through both Duolingo and Busuu. Starting out with absolutely no knowledge in Spanish, I began with Duolingo, which was a fantastic tool to slowly build up my skills in basic words and phrases.

Both apps are available on the computer and your phone, which means that you can learn anywhere, and any time. I have given a brief overview of both tools in this video:

Duolingo was a great tool for me and one that I will use in my classrooms in any way possible. There are also so many ways to learn, such as podcasts, stories, lessons, chats, and more.

Busuu is another one of the apps that I recently explored and found that it was very useful for learning dialogue and conversation. There are so many levels that you can go through and they are all applicable phrases that would be used while travelling (ex. who am I, what do I do, etc.).

At the beginning of my learning project, my goal was to be able to order at a restaurant in Spain. Duolingo had various food levels that were very helpful for me in this area. I now am able to confidently say the following phrases, along with many others, and cannot wait to show off my skills in future travels.

  • How much is it?: ¿Cuanto cuesta? (KWAHN-toh KWEH-stah)
  • That was delicious: Estuvo delicioso (est-ooh-vo del-ish-ee-oh-so)
  • I am vegetarian: Soy vegetariano/a (soy veg-et-air-ee-an-oh/ah)
  • A menu: Un menú (oon mey-noo)
  • A drink: Una bebida (oon-ah beh-beed-ah)
  • Beer: Cerveza (ser-vay-sah)
  • Red or white wine: Vino tinto or blanco (vee-noh teen-toh or blahn-coh)
  • Water: Agua (ahg-wah)
  • A coffee: Un café (uhn cah-fey)
  • Sandwich: Torta (tore-tah)
  • Chicken: Pollo (poy-oh)

(https://www.tripsavvy.com/spanish-language-basics-3150603)

Overall, I am so pleased with this project and how quickly I was able to learn a new language. I went out of my comfort zone and am excited to continue on in my journey in learning Spanish!

 

 

Reacting to an Anti-Tech Teacher

It is always important to be prepared to address our peers that are anti-tech. Through giving them resources and offering them help, they may realize that their ideas about technology may be false. Here is a scenario of two teachers interacting that may help you if you ever come across an anti-tech teacher (credits to Kali Day for co-writing this with me):

Ms.K is a very traditional teacher. She does not care for technology use in the classroom and takes away the students devices before each class. She has never cared to learn about any of the new digital tools available for teachers and does not understand how technology can be more effective than a paper and pencil.

Ms. D is a tech-savvy teacher who loves to use technology in the classroom, believing strongly that it will benefit her students in the end to be tech literate. She is always trying to find new ways to integrate technology in her classroom, and this year decided to use Google Classroom for much of her class work.

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-A conversation between Ms.K and Ms.D in the high school in which they both teach at:

Ms. K: I cannot understand why my students keep talking about your classes and how fun they are. They must not be learning anything if they are on the internet the whole time.

Ms. D: Oh Ms K., they’re just on Google Classroom. It’s a place for the class to meet online. I can post lesson material like Powerpoints and documents for them to see, and they can hand in assignments and receive feedback. Plus,I can send out reminders to them!

Ms. K: Aren’t those reminders just giving them an excuse to have their phone out in class? I make sure my students keep their phones put away during class so they aren’t distracted by things like that.

Ms. D: Well you’re right there, Ms. K., but the students are probably going to be on their phones anyway, no matter how hard we try to get them off. Why not embrace what’s already happening and use it to engage students? At least Google Classroom gives them something to do on their phone that isn’t just texting or social media, and it can help them to understand how useful technology can be for things other than those.

Ms. K: Well, I have seen Google Classroom and it does not look efficient at all. It would take me too long to add all of my content onto each class when I could just keep my Powerpoints and Word Documents. Also, if I need to remind or inform my students on anything, I can do so in class. If I used Google Classroom, I would be encouraging my students to go on their devices instead of learning the curriculum. It does not seem like a tool that would benefit me or my students.

Ms. D: Well it might take a little while for everything to upload and add, but in the end it is a great time-saver! If everything is on Google Docs, it makes it easy for students to collaborate on a project without needing to get together. And as much as we like to think we’re being heard in class, how often do students forget about important events and due dates? With Google Classroom they have access to the classroom calendar so they never have the excuse of not knowing when something is due. Plus, it has the added benefit of keeping students who may be sick or away caught up on class activities!

Ms. K: I guess that is a good point. If I would be saving time and keeping students up to date, then maybe I should try Google Classroom out. But I am a bit nervous to start using my computer, I do not know much about technology.

Ms. D: I can come and help you after class tomorrow and we can run through it together! There are so many neat things that you can do with Google Classroom, and plus, you are saving paper! It is also very private, so it can be a safe place for your students to learn about digital citizenship, which I can also show you tomorrow! You should read this article that I found this week about 6 reasons why Google Classroom is such a great tool for teachers! (http://www.gettingsmart.com/2016/11/6-reasons-google-classroom-great-tool/).

Ms. K: Okay, that would be great. I am excited to check this new tool out! I think that my students will also be excited to hear that I am engaging in technology as well. Thanks!

5 Great Apps for Learning Spanish

Continuing my journey in learning Spanish (Week Six), I have decided to explore some more of the apps that are offered for my learning project. I have created a list of some of the apps that I thought were the best for learning Spanish at a beginner level.

1.Rosetta Stone

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Description: This clean and organized app takes you through lessons with lots of images and voices. Each lesson is about 10 minutes long, but helps build your basic phrases and vocabulary! However, the app does expect you to have some knowledge of some Spanish before the first lesson.

Price: As far as I can see, everything is free!

 

2. Bussuu

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Description: This is such a great app. They test you at the beginning to see where your skill level is at and then start you at a specific level. Everything is relevant and fun, and each level includes vocabulary, dialogue, a quiz, and conversations. I highly recommend this app!

Price: Every lesson is free, but you can also get premium for $6.67/month with a yearly contract.

 

3. Duolingo

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Description: We can’t forget about Duolingo. This app and website are amazing for learning so many languages. With lessons full of images and voices, this well-organized app has helped me learn the basics of Spanish in just a few weeks. Highly recommended for beginners!

Price: Free! You can also get Duolingo Plus for $7.99 with a 6 month contract that will eliminate ads and allow unlimited lessons on your phone (they are already unlimited on your computer).

 

4. Learn Spanish

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Description: This app is a fantastic travelling tool! Although it does not offer lessons, this app provides all of the phrases and words that you may need while travelling. You can access these terms either by listening to them or reading them.

Price: The first seven categories are free, and the rest of the categories require premium for $6.99/month.

 

 

5. Mondly

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Description: This fun app lets you learn Spanish through lessons or conversations (see below)! What I specifically enjoy about this app is that each word can be clicked on to display all of the various options for that one word (see above). This way, you will not be confused by the many options for words in the Spanish language!

Price: The first three categories are free, and the rest of the categories require premium for $3.99/month with a yearly contract.

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Building a Professional Digital Identity

In my own experience, I was not exposed to the term “Digital Identity” until I entered high school. By then, cyber-bullying had become unfortunately very common, which led to many presentations about the dangers of postings certain things online. Now, technology has allowed people to ruin their careers, images, and identities, in just a matter of minutes.

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As educators, I cannot stress enough how important it is to:

1. Be aware of the issues on social media

2. Address these issues to our students, and

3. To be a great role model through our own digital identities.

I have included various images from my own presence on social media, and the things that I have allowed everyone to see about me. I believe that certain accounts should be available for students to follow in order to be a strong example for them (ex. Twitter, WordPress, etc.). However, with that said, some accounts may be kept private, but should always consist of content that would be okay for my students to see (ex. Instagram, Facebook, etc.).

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I also believe that the negative impacts that social media can have on students should be brought forward through class discussions, guest speakers, and professional videos. Jon Ronson talks about the dangers of social media and the effects that one post can have to a person on a Ted Talk. You can watch this video by clicking here. Monica Lewinsky also discusses these impacts through her own experiences. Monica’s speech is so impacting as she speaks of her experience after the media had transformed her life for the worst. You can watch her video by clicking here.

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With that said, we need to teach our students how to properly create their digital identities. Our example is a start, but we also need to help them develop an image of themselves that is professional. Yes, professional… even if they are in grade 5. I say this because nothing leaves the internet, and one mistake can identify someone for the rest of their life.

All in all, the media can be a great place for networking, communicating, and learning. However, it can also be a place that destroys careers, relationships, and digital identities.

 

 

Digital Identity- What’s different?

Is your digital identity any different than your real identity? Many believe that digital identities take place in another dimension than our real identities, and can display an entirely different person than we truly are. After searching my own name, I realized that I had a presence on the media as an employer, student, future-teacher, friend, and more.

When “Shaelyn Knudson” is searched, I am quickly able to find my blog, my Twitter, my Facebook, and other articles that I have written or been mentioned in. As I observed the way I appeared online, it got me thinking about the many different ways in which I present myself.

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Paul Gordon Brown‘s article how we are now able to switch our roles within apps and even messages. For example, within a few minutes, we can play the role of a “daughter” by texting a mother. Next, we can be posting a photo to Instagram of our night out. Then, we could switch apps and apply for a new job on our LinkedIn account.

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Technology has not only allowed us to task-switch in a matter of seconds, but we can also relationship-cross by participating in multiple networks at a time. It is also notable that technology can now even be worn (the Apple Watch or Fitbit) or even used to communicate with (Siri or Alexa).

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Also, remember that online shopping that you recently did? Now you are seeing various ads for this company everywhere you go. The point is, we are surrounded by the media, and we do not just have one identity in it. Our physical identities are becoming intertwined with our digital identities, which is creating a new sense of identity for ourselves that has never been done before.

You can Gordon Brown’s article in full by clicking here.

Also, here is an amazing speech covering all that you need to know and understand about digital identities by Alec Couros. I strongly recommend watching!

Exploring Duolingo Tools

Hola! This week, I decided that I would explore the many different tools that Duolingo has to offer. The first tool that I explored was Tinycards. This is an app that recaps your vocabulary learned from each Duolingo level. It is full of images and is a fun way to remember Spanish words!

Secondly, I explored Duolingo Podcasts. Full of various stories that are narrated in English with Spanish characters, these podcasts are an awesome way to keep your Spanish skills through listening to them wherever you go.

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Lastly, I wanted to show you all the Duolingo Stories. These are short stories that ask you questions through a mini conversation. Although I have tried all of these tools, I may have to advance a bit more in my Spanish before being able to properly complete them. However, they are all great and highly recommended tools to learn new languages!

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Here is this week’s video that will walk you through all of these tools that Duolingo has to offer. I also have a fellow classmate who walks through Duolingo herself this week. You can access her blog post by clicking here. Have a fantastic week!

Spanish, Questions and Possession

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This week, I am continuing in my journey of learning Spanish. As I get further down the list of levels in Duolingo, I have found that it gets more difficult each time. The reason that is gets more difficult is because each lesson incorporates words and phrases from all of the previous lessons. For example, in the Food 2 level, I am being asked to translate sentences such as “I do not eat red onions for dinner, I eat mushrooms and drink wine”.

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However, I am very surprised at my progress in learning a new language. I am able to form complete sentences and would be able to have a very basic conversation. With 8 levels down and 53 levels to go, I am raising my goal to completing one level every two days.

This week I wanted to display my progress in questions and possessions. I have been working on editing my videos to make them a bit more interesting and would love to hear some feedback! I also plan to explore Duolingo Podcasts and Duolingo Tinycards, which are great tools that I believe will help me learn in a new and exciting way. Enjoy!