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My Journey in Distance and Online LearningMy experience with distance learning goes back to my high school years in the early to mid '90's.  I decided to take a few of my grade 10, 11, and 12 courses via correspondence instead of in-person in the classroom.  The choice of assignments to complete and the flexibility in time of completion is what drew me to taking courses via correspondence.  The classes were not online, rather the material was sent via Canada Post.  In university for both my undergrad degrees, I did not take any classes online, all were face-to-face in the classroom.
About 4 years ago I started using Seesaw in my classroom.  My purpose for using it was so that students could create a digital portfolio.  I am not a fan of the pizza box portfolio and found binders to be a bit cumbersome during the student-led conference so I wanted something that required very little storage space and more engaging for students to add their work to.  I cannot remember where I had…
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Productivity: Multi-tasking vs Single-taskingI have never really liked the term multi-tasking.  I have never been able to do multiple things at one time successfully.  I often listen to audio books as I am cleaning, sometimes when I am planning, and mostly when I am cross-stitching but I often tune out the audio book and focus on the actual job that I am working on, causing me to miss large chunks of the story.  I can have multiple activities on the go, but I focus on each one at a time.  So basically, switching from one activity to the next and back again, but not really doing two or more things at once.  On the flip-side, single-tasking is hard for me to do too.  I often will have my phone near by when I am planning, writing a paper, or working on a project just so that I can take breaks.  I will go on social media, text people, and generally look up answers to random questions that pop into my mind. In the video for today's post, James Hamblin talks about how easy it is to get …
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Technology for Entertainment vs Technology for Education
I read Neil Postman's  The Disappearance of Childhood for a course I took for my education degree about 12 years ago.  Other than reading that book and reading a few articles that either reference Postman or have been written by him, I have not really dug into his theories of education too deeply.  From what I gather in the quote for our blog responses this week: "...We know that "Sesame Street" encourages children to love school only if school is like "Sesame Street." Which is to say, we now know that "Sesame Street" undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents", is that using television programs for educational purposes may not have been something that he would have supported. I did read on http://neilpostman.org/ that his book Amusing Ourselves to Death is "a screed against television and how it turns everything into banal entertainment - including education and …
This week I decided to play around on the Logo Interpreter and see how far I could get in the manual.  I made it as far as Exercise 11 and could likely have gone farther.  In general, I find that technology can be a frustration for me especially if it does not work the way: 1. I think it should, or 2. the way I want it to.  This particular activity had me over come some of that thinking.  If I was not successful the first time I tried an exercise, I tried again until I got it.  When I finally got the program correct and had the turtle do the right thing, I cheered like my favourite hockey team won the Stanley Cup (they didn't).  My biggest take away from this activity was not necessarily from the coding piece, but more about the persistence I needed to keep trying when I didn't get the program correct the first time.  I think an activity like this could be beneficial for school-aged children for a variety of reasons.  One, spacial thinking or visualization.  I found that I wa…
As I reflect on my teaching and how I think students learn best, I believe that providing learning opportunities that allow for students to build on their prior knowledge and to have hands-on experiences is essential.  Based on the Map of Theories, I see myself falling into the constructivism and experimental learning paradigms.  Students, in my opinion, learn through doing.  I teach at the lower elementary level and there is plenty of opportunity for students to engage in activities that allow them to manipulate concrete materials to support their learning.  As we adjust to Covid protocols, some of these hands on tools have had to change to virtual tools.  For example, in small group math instruction I would have students use manipulatives to practice the math skill or concept and to demonstrate their understanding.  As we are limiting contact points, students could use a virtual manipualtive site like this one to essentially do the same task as in pre-Covid times.  Students would st…
I enjoyed Neil Postman's perspective in his article titled "Five things we need to know about technological change" (1998).  He wrote about five ideas to consider when thinking about technological advances.  One particular perspective that he wrote about was to think about who advances and who is left behind when an advance in technology is made.  Postman used the example of the blacksmith "singing the praises of the automobile but who also believes that his business will be enhanced by it" (1998, p.2) and Postman states further that this was not the case, the blacksmiths business was not enhanced by the automobile, but rather the opposite is true.  This made me think of the automated check-outs that have been installed at many stores.  I often think about what advantage these machines create for people.  On one hand, I see the benefits to the company, they are advancing in the sense that they may save money in hiring less people to do a job that a machine can …