Archive | January, 2012

The Beauty of Dreams- Tech Task #5

31 Jan

One thing I have always believed in throughout my life is the power of dreams. No, I am not talking about the skewed images of real life that we drift through as we sleep, but rather our hopes and desires for the future. It is these visions of the future that allow us to become motivated to make a change. All we need is the courage to take the first step, and as future teachers it is not only our job to take that first step ourselves, but teach our students to do the same.

Whenever you doubt your vision of the future, I hope you can look at this picture and remember to believe in the beauty of your dreams ūüôā

 

The original photo before editing can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/96146111@N00/4562836924/ if you are interested!!

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Respect Your Elders!

24 Jan

“Respect your elders!” How many times did you hear this growing up? I know that I did a lot, and I am not denying that we should. Our elders have went through a lot of things that we have not and a lot of things that we have or will go through, and they can have a lot of valuable advice. There is one thing, however, that many elders may have the wrong idea about: technology.

Today while checking my Facebook page, I stumbled upon a picture that my aunt had¬†posted from the Facebook page¬†called “Famous Quotes to Inspire You”. ¬†¬†This is what the picture and corasponding quote looked like:

This quote sure inspired me, but not in the same way that I think it was ment to! Do not get me wrong; I do respect that my elders had to go through school without the wonders of technology,but it is respect in the sense that I feel a bit sorry for them! Through my previous years of schooling, I would have found this quote a lot more true in thinking that we do have it a lot easier in school with technology at our side. This class though has opened my eyes to how much technology can expand education and learning! Were our elders able to continue their learning out of the school by just clicking a button? Could they communicate with¬†experts thousands of miles away to gain more knowledge on a topic of interest?¬†Were our elders able to¬†post videos or blogs¬†of their learning experiences¬†so that¬†millions of people could have the opportunity to help them on their learning journey? Did they have unlimited sources of valuable information available to them at any time¬†in just¬†seconds? So yes, I do respect that our elders had to go through school without Google, Wikipedia, and the countless other technological wonders that are available to us in the present day, but I also feel incredibly sorry for¬†opportunities they missed out on ūüôā

Tech Task #3- University = $$

24 Jan

Tonight in ECMP 355, we learned how to use Google Docs and then were¬†asked to use the program in our tech task for the week. Although this program is rather boring, it taught me some essential skills I need to be a teacher. Google Docs and other programs like it are very helpful for keeping track of marks, money, and much more. In this example we were given the costs of an average student’s university fees for one semester and asked to make a Google Doc for them. If I learned one thing from this assignment it was that University costs too much money …and this wasn’t even accurate to the amout I pay ūüė¶

Espa√Īol – Adding Some Spanish Flare to My Life

24 Jan

As our final project in ECMP 355, one of our options is to learn to do something using online resources as a guide. I was elated that this was an option, since about a year ago I made a “bucket list” (things to do before I die). Many things on my list required time to learn and being a full time student, I do not have a lot of extra time to learn things outside my classes! This project allows me to concentrate on my classes and learn something I want at the same time!

At first I knew exactly what I wanted to do: learn to play the guitar like my sister! But after talking to some other people, I realised that this was a very popular choice and I wanted something a little more original. I then considered learning violin since my great grandpa played and it is also on my list, but I wasn’t sure how mush my roomates would appreciate my “music” as I learned. Then I though of the perfect thing: becoming bilingual.

Of course I know that this project is not lengthly enough to make me complely fluent in another language, but I am excited to learn the basics of another lanugage and culutre. I chose Spanish because this summer I am travelling with ISV (Internation Student Volunteers) to Ecuador for five weeks. I am SO excited for this oppertunity! One of the national languages of Ecuador is Spanish, so it will help me a lot in thos five weeks to know it! Learning Spanish will also help me a lot as a teacher seeing that many people are moving to Canada, even here in little ole Saskatchewan, from numerous other countries as immigrants. Even knowing a bit of another language helps with barriers that language differences will cause. I am so excited that this project will help me in so many areas of my life!

  

Here is Ecuador if anyone did not know where it was located.

I have found some youtube videos that will help me learn the alphabet, the numbers, and some basic words in Spanish. If Anyone has any other resources or tips on how to make learning a language easier please comment and help me out! Thanks and wish me luck ūüôā

Tech Task #2- An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube

20 Jan

Wow. I am not going to lie; when I first saw that we were assigned to watch a video that was fifty five minutes long, I was a little hesitant. When I finally sat down today to watch it, however, those fifty five minutes flew by faster than I could have imagined. This video was amazing! Never have I been so intrigued or inspired by a presentation on technology before. I have always been quite sceptical about technology and how much our generation seems to lean on it. I more often saw it more harmful than good. This video, however, opened my eyes to the other side of the debate.

Never before had I considered YouTube to be a community. I always saw it just as a place to watch funny videos. I did not realise all the people that rely on it not only to join in the community aspect but to learn more about themselves. The ‚Äúinvisible audience‚ÄĚ that is mentioned allows you to be yourself and reflect on yourself through the camera, but yet you are still connected through thousands of people so that you do not feel entirely alone. I find it very interesting how Wesch mentions the difference between what we express and then what we value; we express individuality but value community. We are able to express what we really feel in front of an audience without immediately getting judged. This is what I feel as I write this blog; I am able to express myself knowing that others will view it, but yet at the moment I write it I am free to say what I want without judgement.

It is also a little weird for me to watch people putting their whole life online in places like YouTube because of the way I grew up. When I was still in school, my parents and teachers were constantly warning me about online predators. I was warned to never put too much information about myself online, not to contact people I did not know; the list goes on and on! But now, people are not only writing information about themselves but loading it on YouTube where they know possibly millions of people can view it. Is the internet making us a more trustworthy society? Were my parents over protective about the internet or is everyone else just being naive? This is still what I am cautious about. Yet although I am cautious, this video got me in one of my extremely motivated ‚ÄúI‚ÄôM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!‚ÄĚ sort of moods that it makes me want to jump right into the YouTube vlogging world! (Yes, I know that was extremely cheesy, but I truly get into these sort of moods every once in a while!)

I always thought of technology as a way of tearing us and our relationships apart. Now I see that maybe it is the new way of bringing not only those we know, but those all over the world, closer together. And that is truly amazing.

CUL8R Proper English

17 Jan

If you’re not¬†familiar with texting or instant messaging, the title of this article probably¬†looks like just a bunch of jumbled letters on the screen. However, to the new generation, it is a whole new language all on its own that is gaining every day in popularity. The abbreviations¬†such as “C” instead of “see” and “L8R” instead of “later” are used in instant messaging and texts every day by numerous people. At first look it may seem pretty unintelligent, but once a closer look is taken they are actually pretty clever.

In ECMP¬†class on Monday, we watched a¬† video¬†segment of David Crystal, a linguist, talking about the myths and realities of text messaging and tweeting. For those of you who haven’t seen the video, here is the link:

Crystal points out a lot of interesting things, but the one that really sparked my curiosity was how the best text messagers are actually the best spellers. When hearing this at first, you might think what I originally did; that can’t be true! Text slang is used just to be in on the trend or when you are too lazy to spell a word. Crystal however makes a very good point: in order to shorten the word in the clever way that text messaging does, one first must be able to spell it. He also points that technologies such as cell phones, computers, etc. cause children to read more. Sure, they are not reading novels but still they are reading a lot more than we think about. Technology is doing a lot more for literacy than we give it credit for.

This brings me to my next point. Last semester, I got the privilege to visit a private school in the community in my one education class. This school was a small but amazing community where all grades from one to eight learned together, music was used in multiple subjects, life skills such as cooking , washing, and gardening were taught, and so much more that is not usually offered at a normal public school. However, there was one catch to this school: there was no technology. Only one computer was present in the classroom, and that was only to be used for the grade eight student. No television or videos were watched. Even talking about technology was discouraged. The influences of technology were seen as negative towards young minds because they discourage creativity and appreciation for the natural world.

At first, I thought this ‘no technology rule’ was brilliant. It allowed the class¬†to come together as a community and was a refreshing break from the rest of the world’s craziness about gadgets. Now that I have stepped into ECMP, however, I am starting to think differently. My questions to you is do you think technology in young minds takes away from creativity and the natural world? Should there be limits set to how much technology children of certain ages should be exposed to? Please comment and let me know what you think!

This is Me!!

12 Jan

Hello!! I’m a first-time blog user by the name of Brenna¬†Moser. I grew up in small town Saskatchewan an hour south-east of Regina. During highschool I loved anything to do with singing and drama. I was also co-chair of our student council which gave me great opportunities such as leadership skills and being able to attend the national student leadership conference. Now that I have graduated, I am attending University of Regina and taking my degree in elementary education. I am so excited to take everything that I’ve learned here and¬†teach one day! On my down time, I love to swim as I have been a speed swimmer and a water polo player in the past and am presently a lifeguard. I also have recently discovered Zumba and am taking classes at the University. It is so much fun and a great work out! Other than that, I absolutely love to hang out with my friends, my family, and my dog Bella as they are my whole world.

When it comes to technology, truthfully I am usually pretty lost!  I use the internet mostly for Facebook, YouTube, email, and of course finding articles on the online library for school papers. During elementary school, we had a great computer program and I learned to use programs such as Powerpoint, Word, and many other programs that are unfortunately not used much anymore. Through high school, however, I pretty much stayed at the same level I was at in elementary school.  

Many teachers today have a negative view on technology in the classroom. They believe that technology is distracting children from learning. Opposite to that, I believe that as teachers we can use technology in the classroom to aid learning. This doesn’t just mean computers either; mobile phones, i-pods, etc. can all be used educationally to a certain extent. For example,¬†using certain online programs such as Reminder 101 can help remind students about upcoming tests or projects. Some students learn musically, and i-pods can be used during work periods to block out distracting noise and help them concentrate. Programs such as you tube can not only demonstrate to students concepts in a different and more refreshing way than a teacher but it can also help us as teachers better understand a topic. The options are endless. Plus, many students¬†interests are growing in technology, and if we use technology in our classrooms than maybe we can also capture more students’ interests.

Saying this, in this class I want to learn how to properly and appropriately use these technologies in my classroom. Right now I am very slow at figuring things out on computers and I want to become more comfortable with that so that I will be comfortable showing it to my students. Hopefully in the future I will be much more talented at handling technology than I am in the present!