Technology Skills

Here is a list of technology skills that this class has taught me throughout the semester. I have compiled this list to show all that I have learned regarding tech and the digital world. Tech Skills

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Reflecting on the Education Technology Class

Reflection is something that I have struggled with as a person for a long time. Having to look back and really think about things has never come easy to me. But here we go…

I remember signing up for this Education Technology class as it was a “required class” and it was unavoidable for me. I was definitely less than pleased, and would never have chosen to take this class voluntarily. But I can say with confidence that I am glad that I was forced to take this class. I have been exposed to tech in a way that I haven’t been before, and being put out of my comfort zone in the fact that I do not have a good relationship with technology by any means. I get frustrated, and annoyed with programs, slow internet, and technology in general, but despite this I have become far more confident with my skills with numerous programs, and technology. Though, I will never get over my frustration with bad internet connections!

This confidence that I have attained means so much to me as not only a student, but also as an aspiring teacher, and person in general. Being able to know how to create a video, and use QR codes, is something I never saw myself becoming proficient at. And screen-casting?! I never ever thought that I would be able to do something as advanced as that in my wildest dreams. Now I have the ability, confidence, and capacity to use technology in ways that I didn’t think that I would be able to ever as I was “bad at computers”. I am no longer bad, but I am okay at computers now, and that really does mean a lot to me.

Knowing that I can effectively consume, and create, content online and in the digital world is freeing and impact full in the long run looking forward to my career and life that I have ahead of me in this increasingly digital world that we live in.

So, after doing this reflection on my time in this education technology class I think that I have seen myself have a lot of personal growth not only in regards to technology, but also in myself with; communication, confidence, and openness to new things. I have become more effective in how I communicate, more confident in myself with tech (and in general), and with my openness to new things and experiences that put me out of my comfort zone. Especially blogging…  I never thought that I would be someone to say that I have a blog, in the literal sense, and also in the sense of being open and candid with my thoughts and feelings about things.

Long story short this class has taught me so much about technology (obviously), teaching, and myself as a person. I am very thankful for being forced into taking this class, because without it I would have never been exposed to all of the interesting education tech tools that I was exposed to.

Digital Citizenship – Digital Footprint

As someone who is in their 20’s I like most other people my age am on multiple social media platforms. When thinking about my digital footprint, I have to think about all my posts, comments, photos, and anything else that I have put out there into the internet world. I do think that my digital footprint is something that I am comfortable with, as I don’t post inappropriate online because I believe that there is a time and a place for certain types of pictures and posts. In my own personal life I don’t think that it is good to display things online that are questionable. I keep my language clean, photos clean, and I try to always stay respectful and professional in how I interact with other people online.

I think that I will need to continue to grow what professional content that I have online as I continue through my journey towards becoming a teacher. There is always room for improvement, and I will continue to get involved in professional teaching content online with the online community with other educators across the country and the world.

I could strive to keep utilizing my professional twitter to connect with other educators, and to learn and share new ideas. My Pinterest is also a platform that could be useful for finding and sharing interesting new ideas for teaching, organization, and almost anything else. The blogging world of educators, and teachers is also a way that could be used to improve the educator impact of social media for the day when I am asked the question about social media as a teacher looking to get hired.

Overall, my goal for when it comes time to be entering the education world as a full fledged teacher, is to have a network of professional content about teaching, and the education world in general online. This is not only good for my own professional development, but it also does reflect well for when hiring committees do a quick google search of you.

 

Digital Citizenship – Phony Websites

This week we explored the world of digital citizenship. During our exploration we looked at several websites that after further investigation were totally fake!

We were supposed to go as fast as we could on a “web race” and we were none the wiser at first. This is something that is shocking as a future teacher. If a class full of college students could be fooled by a websites like these, how much easier is it to fool younger kids still in grade school?

This really raises some concerns in regards to digital citizenship for students in the future. In my opinion I think that is its the job of both parents of students, and teachers to teach students about digital  citizenship. We as educators need to do our part to teach our students about internet safety, knowing how to tell if a website is real or not, strangers online etc. I think that when as a teacher you allow you students to do research online you have to teach them about what a reliable online source looks like so they can avoid being fooled by some of the really convincing websites that could easily fool them at first glance.

Digital citizenship is a part of life that is becoming more and more a concern for people of all ages, especially young people. We as future educators need to stay up to date, and in the know with digital safety for ourselves and for our students.

Screen-casting is easy!

This week we explored the world of screen-casting. Before this week I didn’t really know much about screen-casts at all. I decided to use the program Screen-o-matic to make my own screen-cast. This program was super easy to download and operate, and the free version was perfectly usable for a customer like myself. After making my short video where I explain via screen-cast how to use the cloning features on the Smart Notebook program, (You can CLICK HERE to see my first ever screen-cast!) I easily downloaded the video file onto my computer hard drive, and then it took less than 15 minutes to upload the file onto YouTube for easy sharing!

I think that after exploring screen-casting myself, I could see myself using it in a classroom in the future. I can imagine that there are many possible ways that screen-casts could be used. But one specific way that a screen-cast could be used in a class is that you could show how to use computer programs,  or navigating an educational website that could be difficult for a student to work through on their own, especially if a student(s) were absent from class. All in all, I think that this type of media is a very useful and helpful tool for people to use. I look forward to seeing how I can utilize them in my future as an educator.

Bringing Tech to the Students

We were able to experience a wide array of interactive systems that could be used in the classroom first hand. We got to see them from both the student and teacher’s perspective. This gave me a unique experience and there were many things to be learned from all of these Ed Tech programs. These are some of my thoughts and feelings about what are the highs and lows for several of these systems and what they have to offer.

Teacher Use

Poll everywhere was my personal favourite interactive system to use. I found that it was fast and easy to use, it had good capabilities under the free version, and is available on mobile and on the desktop. Quizlet was by far the hardest interactive system to use from the teacher perspective. I found it extremely difficult to use and navigate. Even though it is nice and versatile for questions, the difficulty I had getting it to work is just not worth the hassle.

Student Use

Quizlet live and Kahoot were my personal favorite interactive systems to use as student. Both of the systems had easy and quick question options for getting the class involved and engaged in the subject matter. Quizlet did a really great job of integrating term review, collaboration, matching, and flashcard type questions. As a student I would love to have this integrated into my learning. Kahoot was also one of my favorites for student engagement, group collaboration, and a fast paced trivia option for the classroom. On the other hand, Pear Deck was one of the interactive systems that I enjoyed the least. I didn’t find it engaging and it seems like a lot of piddling around for not very much engagement and enjoyment in the classroom. I would not enjoy Pear Deck in the classroom as a student I would infer.

Flexibility

Spiral was my personal best interactive system for flexibility and variety of questions. It had more than one option for types of questions, and this is something that I really like in a program. There is more freedom when you are given options for types of questions, and this is more realistic for real life in the classroom. Not every question fits into the same cookie cutter mold. The system that I liked that least when observing the variety of questions and the flexibility in that regard was Pear Deck. I didn’t find it to be good at using different types of questions, and I would probably not want to use it in the classroom since I feel like the program is limiting in that regard.

Feedback/Diagnostics

The feedback given from Spiral was also something that would encourage me to use this in the future as well. The downloadable spreadsheet that is available is a great way to take away from the use of the program and integrate assessment into a fun game or activity. On the opposite side of the coin, Wizer was a program that I did not enjoy in the least. There is no teacher feedback available afterwards and this really takes away from the use of the program in the classroom. This in my opinion is not an interactive system that I think is very teacher friendly, and I would probably not use it in the future.

The interactive systems that I would most likely use in the future in a classroom are; Socrative, Kahoot, Poll Everywhere, Spiral, and Quizlet after I get the hang of it. Overall these interactive systems were decently user friendly, had a variety of question types available, and decent teacher feedback that can be taken away as well. These programs all have their strengths and weaknesses, but the number one thing about all of them that I really enjoyed was how engaged they made me feel in the topic or subject. I think that if you can get the students involved and excited about learning, that is the most important take away.

Stop Motion FUN!

This week we explored the concept of iPads in the classroom and their various uses. We took a look at some apps that can be used to put the creation into the hands of the student.

I was tasked with picking an application that can give students the ability to create and be creative. To not just be consumers, but to also be creators. I chose the app Stop Motion Studio to make something interesting to show how easy it can be to create.

I decided to use the stop motion to show the steps that go into making guacamole, which is one of my personal favorite things to eat and make! I found that the application was easy to use and navigate, as it has a user friendly interface. Taking the pictures, adding in music, and adjusting the speed was easy as a few taps of the finger on the screen. After creating the video which took only about 45 mins, downloading the video and then uploading to YouTube only took a few more minutes! You can click here to see the video that I made to see how it turned out!

I think that this application could have many uses in the classroom. For example; growth of plants, progress of projects, movie making, etc. There are unlimited possibilities for something like this.