Quest 3 – Navigating the World (Through Technology)

Our world has changed so much even since I was in school. The technology that is apparent in our classrooms now, such as casting from your phone and enabling touch screen on the whiteboards has baffled me, containers full of iPads for the students to use, apps for the whole class to learn together at once (such as Raz-Kids). These are just the options for right now, what will come in the future? What will schools change in the future when we become teachers? How will we use all of this technology to the best of our advantage to help and teach the young? All questions to ponder and quickly because times evolve very rapidly. I think that the possibility of having smart schools or even smart classrooms will become a very near realization to us, new teachers, having to advance with the times as everyone has. I do think though that things might not change, or won’t change as much as we’re thinking because, in reality, school is a way to get away from the screen (not in our pandemic currently), it’s a way for students to get together and work in person with others in their class towards a shared learning goal with the HELP of technology. I don’t think that inviting too much technology would be a good way to go about education as I have noticed a struggle with keeping up on zoom and during the whole pandemic, school got a lot harder for everyone.
Emily Steinberger | Photo Editor

Whether or not we can change that by planning for that sort of thing is a different story as we were not fully prepared to go online.

Digital Identity will be able to go very far in the future, we’ve already seen this before in articles recently where doctors/nurses/pharmacists were losing jobs because they are bragging that they were going to forge their COVID-19 Immunization cards. People lose their jobs over things they put online now and that’s scary to think about. However, if we educate kids to be mindful online and apply things such as the THINK before you post concepts and help the students at an early age with their digital identity, I think we’ll be okay.

What do you guys think? Let me know!

Starting Line – Base Skills and Where I’m At

We’re back with a week’s progress of Volleyball. Firstly, I knew that there were multiple different versions (court, beach, and grass) but I did not realize that the fine details to train for each individual one would be different (might delve into this later on in my journey). However, after researching each individual training method, the different balls they use, and certain techniques, I realized that there were still the fundamental moves that I needed to work on because I have a baseline knowledge of them.

Bumping/Passing – the core part of this is your ‘platform’, the flat base for the ball to hit to go in the direction you want, making sure that the ball hits your forearms as you want it to hit the flattest part of your arms to get the most control. I watched this video and tried to figure out what my preferred platform was, as I’m still experimenting, I’m not sure which one I like the best yet. Another thing I needed to get out of my head (that was mentioned in the video) was that when you pass, you’re not supposed to swing your arms. Even if I was consciously trying not to swing when passing, I was still doing it a little bit and will need to work on that further, trying to focus instead on using my whole body to get the momentum to the ball.

This is me trying my best to keep my platform flat while also trying to focus on getting the ball where I want to go without swinging my arms.
My beginners platform and me passing to the side of my house and continue to do that till I dropped the ball.

Setting – I am super excited to learn more about this area because I think that it is the second most interesting position to play in (in my opinion – Libero being the first, but I DO NOT have the skills to do that right now). I haven’t really researched this one that much yet because I read that passing and serving in the beginning stages are probably one of the most important skills to get down before continuing, however, I do practice ‘setting form’ from time to time.

Me setting the ball to a designated point on the wall, form might not be good as I haven’t researched it quite yet.

Serving – Serving has been one of the most difficult things to get into so far because I have not played a ball sport in a VERY long time, so the coordination to get a serve right is extremely hard for me, but watching Koko Volley on YouTube (this specific video) has been extremely helpful. She breaks it down into parts to practice each stage of the serve and then finally connect it all together. Since I do not have a net and am primarily practicing at home, I got the height of a normal Volleyball net and measured that out in relation to my house and figured out where I have to hit when I serve to know if I made it ‘over the net’ or not. It’s also been helpful for setting and passing because most of those require going over the net as well.

As for this week, I am going to try and practice everyday and focus on one skill during that hour+ of training, while sprinkling in a little of the other skills if I want something different. Right now I have a really cool drill for passing where my brother stands behind me and throws the ball at the wall and I have to try and pass it to the designated spot on the wall as a sort of hitter coverage drill (if our hitter gets blocked and it comes back to our side of the court). This makes me focus on reaction timing to figure out where the ball is going to go once it gets ‘blocked’ and how fast I can get into position to pass the ball back. Something else I was really interested in doing is the drill of ‘Bump, set, spike‘, and seeing how many times you can do that over and over again, as I have only been able to do 1 successfully, hopefully by the end of the week I can do 2 or more consistently!

This week for research I am going to try and look up more passing drills and more ways to serve! Overall, I’m super excited to continue practicing and getting outside since it’s been really nice lately. Thanks for joining me this week! もう 一回!

Interacting with Influential Quest Givers – SaskEdChat

Twitter has been a very interesting learning curve the past couple of weeks. In the past, I’ve only used it to stay up to date on video game knowledge and art and have always thought that people could just post what they want saying what they want, and not get any repercussions for it, which turned me away from the educational/political aspect of it, however, this past week, interacting with teachers from all over has taught me that they are there to help and provide any resources that might help other teachers get what they need. Building this community now is actually very influential because now I have some resources for my classroom that I could use in the future while just browsing social media? Easy win for my future self, if I do say so myself. SaskEdChat was a really overwhelmingly positive experience for me because everyone was sharing their opinion and being mindful of others while respectfully talking about certain topics, which should be more commonplace in our society rather than hiding behind the screen and typing what you want. Everyone was so supportive of one another and when people would comment on tweets it felt like I was having an actual conversation with a human being rather than a picture on the screen. I highly recommend these types of experiences because I came out more validated, while also bursting with new ideas and more resources to use in the future!

Here is a tweet by Trina Crawford, one of the moderators for the SaskEdChat, and the wonderful bulletin boards she has at her school. Having this idea permanently on Twitter allows me to come back to it whenever I want, whether it be a year from now or 10!

Twitter in the classroom is an interesting topic because I think it could be really useful in keeping students engaged and on track with their progress. It would be a really good way to show the timelapse version of a student’s learning because once they’re done your class or school, you can go through all of the tweets from when they first started and look at how far their understanding has come or how much their perception has changed on a certain topic! I’ll definitely be using it as a tool to track progress, even if it is small, just like we are doing with the learning project!

Quest #1 – Conquering Feedly

Hi all!

Today’s discussion is on the widely used RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed reader, Feedly. While it says really simple, I’m pretty sure this is a point at how everything is conveniently grouped together, because I had a very difficult time using Feedly and trying to set up feeds and picking out reliable sources. When you make a new feed and search what kind of tag you want to follow, it gives recommendations on which people post about those kinds of tags, but what it doesn’t tell you is whether or not they’ve posted in years, so some of my math feeds are pretty empty because people haven’t posted in those feeds in months. So far though, my Educational Technology feed has actually been super useful, I’m pretty sure this one I just followed the big group feed, so I know that there are multiple articles being posted during the week so I didn’t have to worry. This Educational Technology feed has been insightful for multiple reasons.

  1. It provides articles for a WIDE range of grades so whatever grade you could be teaching, this will surely have an article for you!
  2. A lot of it is super knowledgeable about the current pandemic and has a ton of links to articles that are ‘up with the times and keeping how hard the pandemic is on all educators. It’s got a lot of articles about educating in the pandemic and has provided more resources to lessen that load on us as a whole!

I only have these two feeds for right now, and I am actively trying to look for more engaged feeds, so if you have any recommendations for anything at all, let me know!

Out of the House and onto the Court

I am going to start this by saying that I used to be fit and into sports, but as high school went on and I lost interest in most fitness-related things, I grew to like more sedentary activities, video games for example. However, during this pandemic, one of those sedentary hobbies (watching Anime) has led me to a new interest that I am very excited to start and to learn – which is playing Volleyball! I am not going to lie, I definitely did not think or even consider playing volleyball before watching this anime (Haikyuu!!), but it has sparked that kid in me that used to like sports, games, and the thrill of competition. The show is actually really inspirational because it teaches that not giving up and playing to the best of your own ability is really beneficial. The main character is often found saying もう 一回 (mou ikkai) while he practices, which in English, is “One more” or “Again”. He shows how perseverance (practicing on his own after required practice has already happened) is required to truly learn a sport.

For this project, I would like to learn how to play every position that is usually on a volleyball team to a basic level, decide a specific position I like playing, and then get better at said position. Since it is now nice outside, I get to get out of my house and sedentary lifestyle and start this sort of ‘fitness’ journey while also having fun and learning a new sport. I am very excited to start and have already purchased a ball for myself that I’ve kind of used briefly in learning how to bump, set, and serve.

Red Volleyball
My starting volleyball I bought for myself when I wanted to start playing (in January).

When I was thinking about doing this for the project, I knew it was a perfect time, because I would get to watch the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and be able to understand what was going on in an Olympic level volleyball game, even if my knowledge of the game is low compared to that, it’d be much farther than it would be if I watched it without doing research and playing on my own. I also have an array of YouTube videos and tutorials that I can watch to get myself acquainted with the sport, one specific channel being Victoria Garrick, a former Division I volleyball player. Since the start of the pandemic, she has released a bunch of videos aimed at new players and how to train for Volleyball from home, which I thought was right up my alley!

Welcome to my journey into the sport of Volleyball! もう 一回 !

Start of My Teaching Campaign

Hi there! My name is Hailie Pennington and I am a second-year Education student at the University of Regina. I am currently enrolled in Secondary Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry. I am a very excitable person who loves to learn new things and very often gets hyperfocused on things that I find fun and engaging, for example, in certain video games I will spend many hours learning and trying to master the concepts of what is offered in-game, until a point where I burn out from it and have to take a very long break from it. While this may seem like a bad thing, I think it’s got some good to it, as I can truly know what I like and am interested in if I come back to certain things or don’t suffer from burnout from them. I just get really excited about new and interesting things! I am a relatively introverted person, who likes to read, play games, have fun, and spend time with my family and dog (his name is Cooper, the amount of pictures I take of him is ABSURD).

picture of white dog with paws on couch, sticking his tongue out to the camera, while looking longingly away from the camera
My dog, Cooper, this is my favourite picture of him!
Family sitting in the grass by a river at Wascana Trails
The only family picture I could find of us, but I think we look cute here.
(Taken by JLW Photography)

I grew up in a very technologically advanced household and so technology is not something foreign to me, however, the topic of educational technology is new. I really only knew about it when my mom would talk about how she was going to teach her class with some new and upcoming app/game (Minecraft being the specific example here). I only learned that it was something that could help teach students all sorts of things in their classes, math being one that I was intrigued by. I think the concept of using blogging or ePortfolios as a new way to apply for a job or as a resume is a very intriguing concept as well. While I am skeptical, I am open to the idea because, with the way technology and society are advancing, it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility. I don’t think anything is really ‘out of the realm of possibility at this point, just how long it will take to get there is really what I want to know. I think being able to open up the options to having an ePortfolio or looking at a professional Twitter will open up more opportunities to people who lack knowledge on resumes or specific professional ways of having connections in person. This will open up the opportunities to have connections via online discussions or opportunities for field experience based on someone’s full ePortfolio/Twitter. I am not good at keeping on track with blogging and blog posts, but I do think that it will be necessary for future endeavors so I will do my absolute best in learning now so that I can be at least a little bit ahead of the curve when the time does come. I will post more insightful opinions and foster discussions here and on my Twitter, so be sure to check both out!

I hope you have a great day/night wherever you are!