Well hello, my name is Kara Miskolczi. I am currently in my second year of my Bachelor of Education degree, with a major in secondary math and a minor in social studies.
A little bit about me is that I am actually from a small town called Englefeld, SK. Although I love small town life, the city has been growing on me a bit. I am a very active person, but with Covid-19, I cannot participate in my usual rec volleyball or other games, so I have had to get creative in keeping myself active. Recently, I have been skating on ponds around the city in search of the smoothest ice. It is hard to find activities, so if anyone has any other suggestions, please drop me a comment! I am also a math tutor as well! I have been tutoring math for almost a year with all ages.
If you want to learn even more about me you can visit this page that has a few more fun facts and photos!
I took EDTC 300 last semester and really enjoyed it. This time around I want to learn how to actually teach about digital citizenship and literacy while using the technology and tools we used last semester. I want to be able to implement the learning into teaching as I begin to get more engaged in a classroom setting. Last semester we explored possibilities in teaching these subjects, but never got to experience teaching them, so I think this would be something I want a little more experience with.
I want to continue to build my PLN through more blogging, tweeting, and connecting with my fellow classmates. This will help expand my PLN and engage me with more people which is super important for me now and in the future. Having these connections can help with classes, resources, professional development and more.
I want to develop my own standards for when I feel technological use is appropriate in a classroom setting. For me this means understanding exactly where I stand on important issues involving technology is schools. This could include my personal view on cell phone usage.
My name is Kara Miskolczi. I am an education student at the University of Regina. I am working towards earning a Secondary Education degree with a major in math and a minor in social studies. In addition to teaching, I also aspire to coach volleyball and badminton in the future.
Originally I am from the small town of Englefeld, SK. Being from a small town of about 250 people, I am used to knowing everyone around me. Moving to Regina was a huge change for me, but so far, I really enjoy it. Sports were a major part of my life. I was an avid volleyball and badminton player. I still play for fun, but definitely miss the competitive aspect of the game. Athletics taught me about leadership, sportsmanship and other important life skills, but it is also how I met my closest friends. I want to be able to help kids achieve goals and learn what I learned through sport by coaching.
— My mom and oldest sister are both teachers. In addition, my other sister is currently in her internship in the final stretch in becoming a teacher. So, basically my entire family consists of teachers!
— I love dogs. When I was at home, I had 2 dogs, Milo and Micky, and also dog-sat for my oldest sister who has two Australian Shepherds, Sadie and Penny. Milo is a Boston Terrier mixed with a Jack Russel Terrier. We rescued him from the Humboldt SPCA, and he is a total cutie who really only wants love and food. Micky is a Sheltie who we have had since he was a puppy. He is super high energy and absolutely loves ball and Frisbee.
— I am a math Tutor for kids from kindergarten to grade 12.
When it comes to my experience with technology, I like to think I know a lot. My dad is an IT and has shown me how to solve computer problems and play around with programs. It has become a hobby of mine to play around with computers and programs, and even got into a little bit of learning how to do simple coding. Throughout my life I have used the internet and technology to learn so many things. I taught myself how to play songs on guitar, self-taught myself math concepts, and even taught myself basic Spanish before going on vacation to the Dominican Republic. Digit resources are so vast and useful for anything you need.
I have never really thought about having a blog. I think it will be nice to be able to look back at my time throughout my school to see how much I have grown from first year all the way through internship when I get there. I hope to learn how to blog properly and set out meaningful contributions to the digital world.
This weeks debate were also on very interesting topics. I have to say I am glad that week 2 was just as interesting as week 1. Our topics this week were:
Topic 1: Social media is ruining childhood.
Topic 2: Surveillance of student data and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety.
Topic 1 started with a pretty heavy agree, and I have to admit, I also thought that I would end up agreeing with this statement. From everything we talked about, I actually ended up changing my mind. The main reason I ended up changing my view was one question: What is a good childhood? A good childhood from 10 years ago could be way different than a good childhood now. Just like how everything else evolves, childhoods should evolve too. I grew up without a cell phone in hand. It was not until grade 8 that I got my own. My days were spent outside, playing games, and the occasion computer game. Today, a happy childhood would look similar, but kids will record the stuff their doing. Children are also able to talk and communicate with each other even if they cannot be together and play. Although childhood looks different from mine, it doesn’t mean it is “ruined”. One article talks about how parents are romanticizing their childhoods. This article talks about how this could be potentially damaging. 20-50 years ago, there was not as much access to information and it felt safer in a sense, but realistically, the information was just not known. Again, just because childhoods look different, it doesn’t mean one was better or worse than the other.
The second topic up for debate talks about surveillance of students. This was something I knew schools did, but I did know know the extent that some school went to. I think that I am a bit of a fence sitter on this mainly because I think there is a line. I think while students are using school devices or school resources, like Wi-Fi, students work should be monitored mainly to keep records from a liability standpoint. We talked about how schools have a liability to keep kids safe, this includes at recess, in class, and on the internet. Of course this monitoring should mainly be keeping students off of websites with dangerous, distracting, inappropriate, or harmful content. This could be done by blocking websites. I think it is important to talk about student-teacher trust, openness, and acceptance. This conversation revolved around sexuality. If you were a student in a conservative area, you may not feel comfortable researching your sexuality. This is where trust and an open-mind from teachers need to be in place. Sadly, not everyone is accepting and until we have an ethical system, monitoring students may be oppressing them. I think monitoring should only be to keep records of anything for liability reasons.
This week the EDTC 400 class started our debates and discussions about education technology in the classroom and teaching with technology. This was so exciting to listen and be apart of. I cannot wait to be apart of next weeks debating! The topics discussed were as follows:
Topic 1: Technology in the classroom enhanced learning
Topic 2: Schools should stop teaching “google-able” facts
There were so many different points raised throughout the course of both discussions. I wanted to point out a few key thoughts from either side of the discussions that really stuck with me. These points are not necessarily pro or cons, but got me thinking and resonated with me.
Topic 1: The discussion focused a lot on how technology can be a major distraction for students in the classroom. Phone usage, laptop distractions, or even playing with calculators cause major distractions for students during a lesson. Of course this is also a question of how teachers can limit usage at inappropriate times. This is something, as a teacher, that I would have to figure out in the classroom setting. Another point that was brought up was how students with disabilities can use technology to become engaged and included in the classroom. The idea of text to speech, audio books for students learning to read to follow along to or for students learning English. Lastly, we talked about virtual learning like field trips and labs. For smaller schools that do not have as much funding, these can be great options for students to have these experiences without the expensive costs. What is really interesting to me is how closely all of our points were linked to the suggested articles. We did not do readings before coming into the debate, but much of what was discussed was backed up by the suggested articles.
Topic 2: This discussion was very focused on the why verses the how part of learning. A lot of what was discussed came in mathematics. If students know how to use a formula, then great. The problem is they may not be able to apply it to real world problems. If they are able to have a deeper understanding as to why the formula or algorithm works, even if it is the most basic understanding, they will have a greater chance of success when applying it. Pythagorean’s theorem came up many times. Right now many of my classmates and I are taking Math 231, which is geometry proofs. We learned many different ways to prove Pythagoreans theorem. To us this was very different and seemed complicated for a grade 8 or 9 to learn when they are first introduced to it. Then we remembered the box explanation that gives students a much better understanding of why A^2 + B^2 = C^2. Another thought that came up was learning specific dates and history. History is arguable a google-able subject. This is true. You can google the date and move on. Understanding why the event happened takes a little bit more research, discussion, and interpretation. To me, and for the most part, the consensus of the group, it is not that students should necessarily stop teaching google-able facts, but they should maybe stop putting such an emphasis on testing those facts. Instead they can focus on the understanding the student has. This article talks about how we could be scrapping the memorization of the multiplication tables. What I understand from this is that we should not be solely focused on memorizing, but focused on building strategy for understanding and coming with the right answer (as discussed in above during the debate)
It is really hard to pick sides, because there are so many points I agree with on both sides. I don’t want to be a fence sitter, but my thoughts coming out of the debate were mixed. For the first topic, I agree that technology can be an amazing resource in teaching and learning, IF USED APPROPRIATELY. For topic 2, I think teachers should turn their emphasis to ensuring understanding, rather than purely testing on google-able facts. Of course each of these ideas are to a certain extent. I say this because the phrases “to what extent”, and “where do we draw the line” came up quite often. To me this is up to the interpretation of the teacher. I think the google-able facts give context to the course, but we should not necessarily be testing on these facts.
I may be in my second year of education, but I had not planned a lesson up until now. EDTC 400 gave me a chance to experience my first lesson plan. My partner Brandon and I were tasked with creating a digital literacy mini-lesson that connects to a grade and class of our choice.
Both Bandon and I are in the secondary program, so we chose grade 10. We were not really sure which outcomes and indicators we could connect this to, so we decided to come up with a general idea for our digital literacy outcome.
For us, getting started was the hardest part. We both had never made a lesson plan before and were not sure how to get started. After looking at the digital literacy curriculum, we chose to focus our lesson on fact checking and fake news. Fake news is a major concept that has been a major part of everyone’s lives. We thought this would engage students in a topic that they could be interested in.
The idea we came up with helped jumpstart our planning. It came pretty easily from there. Surprisingly to me the hardest or most time consuming part was hashing out all of the details, making sure the power-points, menti, and any other presentation pieces work smoothly.
The part I liked the most during the planning process was actually creating the visuals to go along with the actual information. I have always felt that the visual part of the presentation is what keeps students engaged and interested in the lesson. Speaking of engaging the students, we wanted to make fact checking as fun and exciting as possible because many students feel that fact checking is very boring. The best part of this lesson was definitely the final creative aspect. We asked students to make memes based on fact checking. Of course our students were our EDTC 400 classmates, but they definitely delivered!
You can check out our lesson plan here. It is the Digital Literacy, EDTC 400 mini-lesson.
Of course this was our first time teaching a lesson and I was very nervous and excited to see how it would go. Brandon and I tried our very best to be as prepared as possible. We even wrote ourselves a rough script which you can see in the lesson plan.
Overall, Brandon and I felt that our lesson went way better than planned. Honestly, I was very impressed by how our lesson went. The timing worked out perfectly. We even had just a little bit of extra time for some groups to make more than one meme. I am very proud of our lesson. For our first lesson ever, I don’t think it could have gone any better.
Technology is one of our most versatile and unlimited resources in the world today. We can do so much with it. Although there is a lot of good that can come out of technology, there is also some scary realities of technology.
For example, phones are a great communication tool. We can communicate with people around the world with the touch of a button. The problem is newer phone that have games and apps can be addicting. According to faces magazine, the average person spends about 3.5 hours a day on their phone. I am admittedly on an average week can spend up to 7 hours on my phone on Tik Tok, Instagram, Netflix, Snapchat, and more apps. My average from the first week of January 31 – February 6 was about 4 hours and 10 min. This was one of my highest weeks. Obviously it depends on the amount of hours I have at work (as I am not allowed on my phone at work), and how much homework I have to do.
I think we need to be careful about the amount of time we spend on our phones. I know the more I spend, the worse I feel. It is because I am not active or doing anything good for myself. When teaching about technology it is important to talk about regulating time on devices. It also means teaching self-control. It is very easy to jump onto your phone and spend an hour on it, but what if we try not to do that and use that time for something more productive.
Technology can be an asset for teachers when used in the proper way. Some teachers tend to stray away from using technology in their classroom because they are unsure of where the best place is to use it. I think we need to not only educate students on how to properly engage with technology (i.e. digital citizenship and acting responsible online), but also educating teachers in the same way. Many teachers are still unsure of using technology because it grows and changes so fast. Educating is not just for students, but also for teachers.
My second Sask edchat was a bit different from the first one I did. The first one was focused on topics that where directly related to teaching and learning. This one, on the other hand, was about mental health. The topic was connected to school and how we can help with mental health in schools. There were a lot of great ideas and interesting people contributing to our chat.
It was a great time to talk about mental health. One, it is the middle of winter at a time where we are not seeing many people because of Covid. We are also adjusting to a new semester and that can be overwhelming for many people. I have been having a hard time juggling work, school, and assignments. On top of that, I also have my regular housework and I want some free time for myself. As I have been adjusting to the schedule of the new semester, I have found myself to be very burnt out. I work as a tutor afterschool until 8 pm. I come home just to stay up late and work on assignments of have class until 10. It makes me very tired and the next morning I have more class and have to work on assignments. This happens to everyone, and I haven’t felt like I was taking care of my mental health. This edchat helped me figure out things that might get me back on track and feel motivated to do my work.
For one, I realized that I haven’t had time to exercise as much as I usually do. I also realized that I should plan out my week and talk to people to help me out. This edchat came at a perfect time for me. I began to create my schedule and plan out times for things that make me relax and make me happy. I implemented this a bit this week (as I am finishing this post about a week after the edchat), and so far, I have been feeling happier and more motivated for my work. Hopefully I will continue this plan and continue to feel as motivated.
This week I took a look at my online presence. I wanted to know what my digital identity looks like from the outside. I actually have a pretty good idea of this from EDTC 300, when I worked with someone from my class and we sleuthed on each other. It gave me a good idea what others see about me online. For one, most of my social media is private and just for me and my friends and family. I like to try to keep my personal and professional life somewhat separated for privacy reasons. If I am posting photos of my life, my students do not necessarily need to see it.
Looking at what most people can see about me on social media, they will find an education student who is working hard to gain her degree. My blog, YouTube, and Twitter are directly related to my learning and education as I grow into a teacher. All these places on the internet are for my education, teaching, and where more professional topics are discussed. Of course it does have some information about my life, but I think it is important for people to understand a little about who I am if they are going to be looking at my content.
My Instagram and Facebook are both private. When it comes to Instagram, I only post every once and a while. My posts are usually just things I want to document about my life. I only got Facebook to use for group projects and I enjoy using it to connect with family and friends. My Instagram can only be accessed if you send me a request (I only accept people I know), but you could see my Facebook a little bit easier. If you are friends with one of my friends then you can see my profile. I have not really posted on there anyways, so you would only see my profile photo and cover photo. I do believe that if I wouldn’t want someone to see it, then why post it, so everything I post on social media is appropriate by my own standards.
I like having a more private space that is separated from my professional life is nice. It can serve as a break from the professional life and allow me to connect with my friends. There are a few things I can do to improve. I want to just build my professional online network by making a few more accounts on new or other social media sites. Those accounts can be used to show my professional progress as a teacher, and document my resources and ideas. I think there is always room to expand my digital identity.
At the beginning of the semester we were told to pick a skill and learn it using technology. It could have been anything, but I narrowed it down to choosing ASL. Initially, I thought how hard can it be? It’s like learning French. I was very wrong. It was so much different.
For one, ASL is not a verbal language, which to me makes it much harder to remember the signs. In verbal languages, I can at least make connections to English words. In ASL this was much harder. There were a few that were like this, but trust me the signs are very different from what you think they are. One example, if you look back to Week 2, the number 3 still throws me off!
If you also looks back to my week working with colours on Tik Tok, you might be able to notice that the colours do not really relate to anything, so it was a lot harder to remember them, and I still have trouble.
Overall, I found learning a language online, harder than it would be in person. I have learned French in school, and one pro of being in person when learning is that you can converse with your classmates for practice. I was fortunate to have a friend who was also learning ASL, but it was very hard to find people to practice ASL with. Without consistent use and practice of the language, I find that I forget a lot of signs.
Despite all of the setbacks I think I learned a lot about ASL. Looking back, my goal was to be able to have basic conversations in ASL. I think I was able to achieve this goal (see video below). I wish I was able to have a few more conversation words for more complex conversations, but overall I am super happy with my progress.
I also wanted to look into being able to sign mathematical words like multiply, divide, add, subtract, and numbers. I was able to learn the numbers from 1-100, although I do have to look back fairly often to remind myself. I did however have a hard time finding math signs, so I focused more on my numbers than the other signs. I do want to continue and be able to tutor math using some ASL.
Now, let’s talk resources. Over the course of the semester, I used a number of different resources. These include YouTube, Tik Tok, many different apps, Quizlet, and searched photos. One resource that I wish I did use, but honestly never thought of, was websites and other blogs. I cannot believe I did not check out websites that could have been full of good information! I think as I continue to learn, I will have to check out the websites one of my classmates had been using. Also, we talk so much about collaboration in class, I am a little disappointed in myself for not checking out other ASL blogs (besides my classmates).
My Top 2 and Least Favorite
Overall, I liked using YouTube the best. It really fit my learning style. I liked to see the signs over and over again, in slow motion and rewind as much as possible. YouTube had all of these features, plus a amazing selection of youtubers you were sharing their ASL knowledge. Check out the channel I found most helpful here.
Coming in second place, I would say Tik Tok actually, which sort of surprised me. Some things I liked about Tik Tok was again the sheer number of people creating ASL content was way bigger than I expected. I also liked that I found people who were also learning just like me. The short length of the videos was a big pro for me. It made it easy to focus on a few signs at a time instead of 15 signs from one category. The only drawback to it was that if you missed something, you had to watch the whole video back over again. I guess that could be a positive too because you are getting lots of practice! You can take a looks at my Tik Tok post right here!
Taking the least favorite spot has got to be using apps. Now for learning any other language I know there are great apps like DuoLingo. Unfortunately, there has not been a great app made for specifically learning ASL, at least not one on google play store (not sure about the apple app store). All apps I tried were hard to navigate, had to pay for most of the signs, only had photos, and were just not ideal when learning the language. I think they would work best as a review tool or like a translation dictionary if you forgot a sign. To read more about learning from apps click here.
Throughout my weeks I have posted a few videos of my progress. Here is a link to all my blog posts for my learning projects. Throughout the posts you will find a few videos showing my progress. The video below shows me and my classmate completing a goal of both of ours. That is being able to have basic conversations in ASL.
Check out my conversation as well as some other signs I have learned!
It seems like just yesterday we were starting our first EDTC class. The semester went by so fast, and I am so thankful I got to be apart of this class. I am sad that it is ending, but guess what… You have not seen the last of me ED Tech! I am so excited to be taking EDTC 400 next semester and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me!
For my summary of learning I decided to team up with the friends I have made through class. Paige Hamann, Brandon Rumford, and I tried out yet another website that we thought brought our presentation to life! It would also be cool for students when making presentations. You can check it out here! We met through Google meets, and used Audacity and DaVinci Resolve to edit our audio and videos.
Without further adieu, please enjoy our Summary of Learning for EDTC 300!
This week my classmate, Brandon, and I shared our knowledge of ASL. We also agreed for our last post we will include some sample conversations that we would be able to say in ASL. We are in the process of putting together all of our learned signs and making a script of conversations.
Sadly we will not be able to get together due to Covid-19, so we decided that we would zoom call and record our conversations using one of the tools given to us in class. It will be a little bit more of a challenge, but we will try to make the best of it! It has been so fun collaborating with eachother so far. It was cool to see the different approaches we both took to learning ASL.
Although our approaches were similar, we definitely did not learn in the same order!