How did I contribute? … Well let me tell you all about it!

This semester has taught me a lot about the power of social media. I am aware that I have expanded my knowledge and I hope that I have also contributed to the learning of my fellow students. I feel as though we all carry different knowledge and experiences with us. I appreciated the multiple interactions that this course has allowed me to experience.

I am going to begin with my Twitter journey. Twitter is where I feel that I have grown the most. The last tweet that I sent before this class began was in April 2015. We started our Twitter journey with a mock twitter chat.

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This definitely peaked my interest. I was a bit overwhelmed by our first Twitter chat as there was a lot going on. Once I downloaded Tweet deck – this made it a lot easier to follow.

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I enjoyed these chats I did participate in them as much as I could. It was a great way to share your opinion and listen to what others thought and had to say.

I also found Twitter to be a great platform to share social justice stories which is something that I am very interested in. I followed some very informative accounts such as The Human Rights Watch, The UN, etc. This provided me with very interesting information that I truly enjoy sharing with others to keep us all informed.

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I definitely will continue to use Twitter to keep me informed and share information with others.

I also used Twitter to connect with other students and share articles that I found very useful and interesting. This is a great way to share ideas, tips, and interesting articles with other students in my class. I enjoyed using the #ECMP355 and #ECMP455 to easily share this with eachother.

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Lastly, I used Twitter to share posts that I had written occasionally! This is the post that I had written after Katia told us about the Catfish who harassed Alec.

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I also feel that blogging was a vital way for us to connect and assist eachother with our learning. Blogging is something that I have grown to enjoy and have definitely improved upon as the semester progressed. I loved when I would receive comments on my blog. I also enjoyed commenting on other students blog. This is something that I religiously did weekly. I truly enjoyed reading others posts and providing my opinions.

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These comments were a few examples of the types of conversations that occurred on a few of my posts. These next few photos are different comments that I wrote on my fellow students blog posts.

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Commenting on other’s blogs was a great way for us all to interact with eachother and provide the knowledge that we possess.

Zoom proved to be an effective way for all of us to connect. Using Zoom we were even able to connect with Carol Todd!! This is a very useful tool that I honestly knew nothing about. I feel as though we all contributed to eachother’s learning. I know that often we did not take the mic, but we did participate regularly via use of the chat box. We learned a great deal of applicable information about different programs that we can utilize within our classrooms.

Lastly, Google Plus was a great way for us all to connect and help eachother or share interesting articles. I found help a few times! I would simply ask a question and check back an hour later and there would be multiple responses provided for me! I also enjoyed that people posted interesting information.

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A large component of this class is all about learning ourselves and contributing to the learning of others. I have completed a Google doc which includes many different examples of my contributions to the learning of others. 

As this class ends, I reflect upon the semester and how much we have all learned! Thanks to all of my classmates for assistance with my learning and I hope that I contributed to yours along the way!

My crochet career is over…. for now!

So, over this last semester I have gone from someone who knows zero about crocheting to someone who knows a bit about crocheting! I am by no means an expert! I have also discovered that I do not really enjoy crocheting… I know a lot of people crochet to relax themselves. This is not really my way of relaxing at all!

 

This is not my face while crocheting ever…

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(image from: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com)

It is more along the lines of this…

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(image from: www. wagnernutrition.com)

As of right now, I have made the executive decision that crocheting is not quite for me! Maybe once I start collecting a few grey hairs and am enjoying retirement I will be more invested!

That being said, I did learn some neat things. The most beneficial piece that I have learned was that I can incorporate crocheting (simple) into teaching. I followed some neat blogs and I created some “interesting” squares!

Overall, crocheting is not my thing… but I truly enjoyed myself! This was a positive learning experience and I discovered that I have grown myself as I thought about my key learnings.

My key learnings:

  1. Use the Assistance of the Internet – Without the internet, my learning would have occurred at a much sloooower pace. The internet has opened up a vast amount and variety or helpful ideas. Personally I found blogs, videos, articles, photos, diagrams, FAQs, and step by step instructions. These were all extremely helpful in their own ways.
  2. Be patient –  I have a hard time being patient and waiting to get better at something. I want instantaneous results. This was clearly not the case! It is important to remember not to get frustrated when things do not quite work out the way that you wanted them to.
  3. Don’t be afraid to seek help from outside of the internet  – Technology has obviously assisted me the most throughout this Learning Project. That being said I also seeked assistance outside of the internet. I incorporated help from my mother-in-law. Having hands on, direct help with instant feedback definitely assisted me!
  4. Don’t be afraid to share your progess – At the starting I was a bit embarassed to share my odd misshapen crochet creations. After I shared them and got super positive feedback, I became not as self-conscience because I realized that we are all in the same boat. A lot of us ventured far out of our comfort zone.

Courageous Carol

The name Amanda Todd has become synonymous with cyber-bullying and bullying in general. This young girl had been put into a compromising situation that ultimately led to the loss of her life. The video that she created to tell her is story is heartbreaking to watch, and the pain she was feeling is evident.

Last Wednesday, we were given the honour to listen to Carol Todd speak to our class. My initial reaction is that she is so passionate and positive. Her daughter’s story is extremely tragic and a hard story to tell. Carol spoke so candidly and shared amazing analogies that will definitely stick with me.

These are two examples of the way that she broke down heavy topics into a simpler way to understand. These two really stuck with me. I can imagine when I have children and we go to spend the day at the playground, I will absolutely be that paranoid mother. I will check out the playground for any hazards, and watch for people hanging around as well. Alternatively, when our children are online it is very challenging to control their digital playground as the perimeters can be endless. I know that when I have children I will absolutely do my best to monitor what he/she is doing online. I know that we can not monitor everything, but I definitely will try my best. That being said, it is up to us as teachers (and parents) to talk to our students/children and educate them about online safety in the best way that we can!

I can not begin to imagine the trauma that Carol has experienced. Losing a child is something that no one should ever have to go through. I am so impressed by her strength and courage to share her story and to speak to online safety.

I thoroughly enjoy reading Carol Todd’s articles about her daughter and about the entire situation. This one she shared on her twitter page. I highly recommend you read: Why Would A 35-Year-Old Dutch Man Sexploit My Daughter Amanda?

To end, do not forget that we are all unique – we are all snowflakes!

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Spreading the Knowledge

After learning about crocheting in the classroom last week, I decided to view the different resources that are available to teach children. I realize that I am not a natural but I have mastered the basics. If put into a situation I could teach the basics to students, and I honestly think that this is something I would do.

I have found this blog on Feedly called Nattypat. This blog caters to all ages but uniquely there is an extensive section that caters to teaching children age 7 and younger how to crochet. I love this site because it provides very slow instruction. It has written, diagrams, and video instruction to assist in your teaching. Once the students feel comfortable there are patterns that they can follow to create simple hats, scarves, slippers, and maybe one day this adorable little dog…

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(www.nattypatcrochet.com/blogsp/)

and maybe one day they can achieve this Yoda cell phone case…

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(www.nattypatcrochet.com/blogsp/)

So cute!

Incorporating crocheting into the classroom is something that I had never considered, now I realize that this absolutely is an asset! Some students may even develop it as a self-regulation strategy!

I know that I will continue to work on my technique and strategies (I still need a lot of work), but it is something that I will definitely throw into my class room now and again!

Coding – it’s not all bad!!

Alright, so when we talked about coding last week in class – I’m not going to lie I initially was freaked right out! How… Whaa…. Bahhh…. Buuuuut I have learned that its actually not the worst thing invented. I got interested in playing this sweet Frozen game and it was not too bad. They even give you congratulations when you do something good! Makes you feel all sorts of special!

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Look at that nice congratulation document! All in all this coding game was quite enjoyable. As I weaved my way through puzzles, I actually found that I was enjoying myself.

I tweeted this article out that I thought was extremely interesting.

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I was curious as to how this occurred. After reading through the article I came to have a great deal of respect for Gupta and what he is working on. This first quote I enjoyed.

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He encourages children to embrace the tech world! He stresses that this does not increase their screen time by hours. What he wants is…Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 3.36.12 PM

Basically he has created a way to incorporate the use of robots in the classroom. Seriously read the article, it may be a lot easier than you originally thought.

The point of this post – you can include code into your elementary school teaching! Do not be afraid!!

 

Starting Young!

It was brought to my attention this week that in some schools knitting and crocheting is being taught! These skills are being “woven” (I am so punny) throughout the curriculum! I love this idea and am super jealous of these stellar kids, who are going to grow into people who make the best homemade gifts. Here is one article of many that I have found!

Specifically Waldorf schools seem to encourage crocheting, which is the focus of the above article. I find this sentence insightful.

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You can see that they are quite well vested in creating coozies, hats, and squares. So far my skills have allowed me to make squares. I absolutely will take lessons from these students. Throughout the article it is evident that the students love their crocheting and knitting time!

Growing up in a small town school, I did not have the luxury of a home economics class. I feel as though I missed out on a few home skills, that I would appreciate being able to do now. Just look at these kids crocheting like little pros!

These kids are putting me to shame and I am a bit jealous! I better get back to work AKA struggling!!

Playing Princess

I viewed the CBC Doc Zone documentary Sext Up Kids. Initially I felt a bit shocked but the more I thought about it – the more it makes sense. As young girls I am sure the majority of us innocently played princess! Little did we know that we were being groomed to the ideation of looking and acting a certain way.

A quote that stood out from the documentary was, “little girls are going from toddlers to teenagers with just about nothing in between.” I agree that this is true. I reflect on my time as young pre-teen girl. I would revel in the thought of spending my days outside. I never obsessed over make-up and clothing. I look back at some photos from school – and clearly style was not a priority for me… yikes. During internship I did notice the girls looking a lot different then I had at that age. Girls are definitely dressing up and wearing make-up which makes them appear a lot older than they are.

I think about who the young women are looking up to! These singers, actresses, and models often portray a hyper-sexualized, unrealistic image! I was thinking about Cosmo – a magazine that i had read occasionally. I pulled up a google search and these were the first few that popped up!

Images from http://www.cosmopolitan.com

If you notice the titles of the articles about sex, they all seem to be catered to pleasing a man, ex. 50 Ways to Seduce a Man, 75 Sex Moves Men Crave. You get the idea. What is this teaching young girls? The target audience is geared towards “young adults.” Obviously there is no way of monitoring this. The majority of the women on these covers are also scantily clad and posing in a sexual manner.

I am a bit concerned when I have children. I hope that this hyper-sexual world that we live in begins to level out! I am not sure that this will be the case. I know as teachers we can have these conversations to shed light on positive digital identity, self-esteem, and self-worth. I truly believe that these conversations need to begin at home. Being open with your children as they grow up is key!

This is a heavy topic, so I will leave with a bit of humour. This humour is coupled with disbelief. In this video men play the part of women in different popular ads. As you watch, note the way that you feel!