• EDTC 400

    Behind the Screen of Peer Mentoring

    The EDTC 400 class was introduced to this years EDTC 300 class in an interesting way. We were tasked with mentoring some students in EDTC 300 I got to contact and offer advice to several students. You can see their blogs by clicking the links below:

    I was so happy to offer support on their blogs, and giving them ideas for things to add to future blog posts. I also ended up sharing a link to the lesson plan my partner and I taught to our EDTC 400 class this year. The students in EDTC were posting about teaching digital literacy and citizenship. I thought it would be helpful for them to take a look at what a lesson could look like. It worked out perfectly! I also really loved seeing what students decided to do for their learning project. I reached out to those who were learning ASL to see if they needed any resources or starting points.

    I really felt that I was helping and giving support to the EDTC 300 students. It is very rewarding, even if most of the time I was just offering support of their content. I hope that the EDTC 300 students enjoyed my comments and enjoyed the class. I know I enjoyed the learning projects that most in EDTC 300 so hopefully they also did. I also hope all the awesome comments on their blogs helped them stay motivated and excited about their learning projects.

    I do wish that there were a few more questions from the mentees, but I understand that those in the class were the first ones they would ask. I reached out to them saying that if they need anything, they could message me whenever. Sadly, they didn’t need much help, but I guess that is a good thing! haha. Anyways I hope that the students I mentored got as great as an experience as I did, and I hope I kept them motivated and gave some good advice.

  • EDTC 400

    The Great EDTC Debate Pt. 4

    The last 2 of the debates were very interesting. The cell phone debate was the one I was looking forward to the most. So, here were our topics:

    Topic 1: Cellphones should be banned in the classroom – This one had 3 categories – yes, no, and only in k-8.

    Topic 2: Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression.

    Topic 1 had a lot of passionate responses. As a soon to be high school teacher, I feel that students should not have to hand over and lock away their phones all day. Phones and tablets serve many purposes like listening to music, using them in classroom games, and other things. I also think it is an issue of trust. At the beginning, I would not allow phones in class, and when I see students understand how my classroom functions, then I would let them use phones for certain things. Finally, when I trust that the students will not misuse their phones (playing games, texting, anything distracting), then they can have their phones. They prove I can trust them and I will reward that with giving them more freedom. I do think students in grade 8 and below do not really need phones, but again in grade 7 and 8 it can be useful for the same reasons in high school.

    Overall, I do not think students should be completely banned from their phones. It is their property, and teachers use and have their phones on them all the time. It would be hypocritical if we say students cannot have any access to their phones. I like the idea of cell phone pockets, and you just need to ask to use it while in class.

    Topic 2: This topic is a bit of a tougher one. I personally believe that advocating for social issues is very important, but I am not one who posts a lot of Facebook, Instagram, or any of my private accounts. On my professional account however, I do think it is important to bring attention to these issues. With this as well, I think it is more important to get involved in educating students on human rights issues, and actually doing something about it (participating in rallies, demonstrations, or donating, etc). I think being involved not on social media is more important, but social media is the best way to spread awareness.

  • EDTC 400

    The Great EDTC Debate Pt. 3

    The second last round of debates was a short one. Unfortunately, one of our groups were unable to present the other night. So next week will have the last 2 debates. One the bright side, it was my week lead the discussion.

    Our topic of discussion: Educators should share lessons, resources, and other materials that they have created openly online.

    The debate mostly focused on the difference between using open educational resources (OERs) and teachers pay teachers. If you are unsure of what OERs are you can learn more right here. A few of the points brought up were:

    • Teachers are underpaid as it is, so why can’t they make a little extra money off of selling their lesson plans.
    • New teachers need easily accessibly resources to help them get started
    • money saved by using OERs can go towards other physical resources (equipment, manipulatives, supplies, technology, etc)
    • With Covid, teachers may not know how to teach online. OERs provide free resources that allow teachers to become better online teachers, without spending money.
    • Allowing teachers to access free resources could make lazy teachers.
    • If you are making these lessons anyway, why not share them anyways.

    Of course there were discussion and rebuttals for each point, but in the end, most of the class agreed that teachers should share resources openly online.

    It was really fun to lead the debate. I had lots of fun creating my opening statement video which you can watch down below. I had not known a whole lot about OERs or how they worked. I think they are an important part of education and a great resource for teachers. It is especially a great resource for me as a new teacher. OERs can help me gain ideas and lesson plans for subjects that I am not quite sure how to teach, or not sure where to start.

    Next week is our last 2 debates that will wrap up our discussions about technology and the classroom. I can’t wait for next weeks because we are talking about cell phone use in the classroom. This topic is very controversial, and I think we will have a great discussion about it.

  • EDTC 400

    The Great EDTC Debate Pt. 2

    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.

  • EDTC 400

    The Great EDTC Debate Part 1

    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.

  • EDTC 400

    My First Lesson Plan

    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.

    Planning

    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.

    Teaching

    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.

    Check out some memes:

  • EDTC 400

    Time and Tech

    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.

    This is actually my screen time from Jan.31 – Feb 6. I chose a day closest to my average time. I am confused because how did I end up spending 57 minutes on SNAPCHAT?? The 2 hours of Netflix makes a lot of sense though.

    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.

  • EDTC 400

    Let’s Talk – Sask Edchat

    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.

  • EDTC 400

    Online Identities

    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.

  • EDTC 400

    Hello There!

    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!

    You can also check out my Twitter for more info.


    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.