My Summary of Learning
Well, after what feels like such a short amount of time, it’s the end of the semester. For my summary of learning project, I worked with Melanie Darlington to make a whiteboard drawing video, which is something I’ve always wanted to try. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs you’d know I’m not very concise, so if you’d like to hear even more about my thoughts you can check out my additional thoughts down below. However, the wonderful video Melanie and I made is also available here!
Reflections on Twitter:
Throughout the semester, I worked on creating a Professional Learning Network on Twitter. Previously, I had avoided Twitter, as I felt like it was a difficult platform to navigate. However, throughout the semester I learned many valuable Twitter skills that helped me meet lots of other educators and learn some amazing ideas. For example, I learned about Twitter lists, which helped me a lot when I struggled to find my classmates’ posts. I think Twitter lists are one of the coolest things I learned about and could be used to create and join so many different communities. Twitter also exposed me to many different educators from all over the world and I got to engage with some great ideas and articles they shared. I also learned just how important hashtags are to building your community, and I learned how to use them to find people with my interests.
Reflections on Blogging
During this class, we were allowed to blog, something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Through the process of blogging, I learned a lot about creating an engaging post and the many ways to do this. Some of the tools I learned were adding links to text, adding many relevant photos, the different blog themes available, linking my Twitter to my blog, and creating interesting titles. The most useful tool to me has been linking to other sources directly in the text. I think this completely changes the look of your blog and makes it so easy for your readers to figure out where you got your information. The blogging was one of my favourite parts of the class, as I felt like I got to share all of my thoughts and have discussions with my classmates that were possibly too long to have on Twitter.
Reflections on the class via zoom:
During this semester, our classes all took place on Zoom. As someone who had plenty of experience with online classes, I didn’t think there was much more to understand about Zoom. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about many other Zoom features that I hadn’t known before. Some of the things I learned were about new updates that let you turn yourself into an animal or let you physically raise your hand and have a pop-up. I learned that there are many Zoom extensions that can make the class engaging even without face-to-face features. I also learned about the ability to change your background so it’s not visible to others or that the presenters can see our activity in breakout rooms. There are all things I had never experienced on Zoom, but that I think could make an online class so much more engaging as well as help protect our privacy online.
Things we found most important/topics we learned about:
One of the most important topics we learned about was digital citizenship. Digital citizenship is the continually developing norms of appropriate, responsible, and empowered technology use. One issue we talked about was cyber bullying and we discussed how this issue has affected many teens, such as in the case of Amanda Todd. One of my biggest takeaways from this was the importance of teaching children digital etiquette, communication, fluency, and privacy. These ideas all go hand in hand and help people learn how to appropriately interact with the online world while keeping themselves safe. As we learned from our cyberstalking activity, younger generations are creating digital identities younger and younger, and so it’s increasingly important we teach them how to adequately protect themselves. We learned about different ways to do this, like being mindful of what you post, turning your accounts private, or building positive digital identities for ourselves, which is what we’ve done through our blogs!
Our favourite readings/topics we covered:
My favourite topic we covered was the importance of coding. As I interacted with more math ed posts on Twitter, I started to understand how important fluency and language are to math. Computer science and math are highly related and based on similar language, so having an opportunity for students to develop these skills through something fun like “an Hour of code” or “Scratch” was something that really stood out to me. By doing my own activity on an hour of code, I was able to understand just how engaging it can be as well as how amazing it can be for students of all ages when it comes to understanding mathematical language and concepts. I also think it’s an amazing way to close the gender gap in certain STEM fields!
Things/tech we discovered:
Throughout the semester I learned about many amazing extensions, apps, and websites. One of my favourite extensions has been Screencastify. I can see this being one of the most useful classroom tools, as you could very easily make instructional videos for your students with it. It also is very useful for presentations like this and makes adding your voiceovers so easy. During my Personal Learning project, I was able to try many different websites such as Powtoon or Youtube editor. I also explored websites I already knew like Pinterest and Tik Tok from a learning perspective, which completely changed my experience. I got the opportunity to find many different communities and different learning formats. One of my biggest takeaways from this is that there are so many different ways to make the internet fit your needs and I feel much more comfortable searching these things out after this semester.
Our takeaways from networking
As a young person learning to be a teacher, networking has always really intimidated me. Throughout the semester I got to do this in so many different ways, such as Twitter, my blogs, and our classes. To me, networking is about finding your community and not being afraid to open up and engage with it. Through interactions on Twitter, I’ve realized there are many ways I can contribute to education even without having experience teaching in a classroom. I’ve been able to be more comfortable sharing my opinions by sharing articles I enjoyed, having meaningful conversations via comments, and asking questions about things I’m not sure about.