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Bitly is changing lives?

Okay, maybe Bitly isn’t changing as many lives as the title may suggest, but it is however making teaching a little easier.  I know the days of guiding your teachers to a website step by step is somewhat in the past, but I know for sure it will be now when the links to websites that I need are shortened to just a few characters.  Signing up was easy and free so basically anyone can do it!

So just to be clear Bitly shortens URLS for yourself and makes it easier for you to make longer tweets!  For some more uses see the video below!

According to their website their extension is changing lives for business people, and companies around the world.  With their Bitly URL count being a HUGE number somewhat puts it into perspectives… BUT is something this easy so life changing really as good as it seems?

The Reviews that I found here are mostly positive, but also mostly from large business people who are using bitly for marketing and getting their brand around.  There are obviously some special tricks that I need to learn about according to some of these reviews — Like being able to make sure a client clicks on the link and doesn’t just ignore it… client or parent if you need something read maybe this is the way to do it…

Wow, this video is amazing for some easy tips and tricks for us to learn and follow along too!

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ECS 210

What perspective are these books read from?

How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?

I have always been somewhat of a book nerd, talking to the school librarian about her newest book and recommendations that she has for me to read next, and finding my own series and reading it from the first page to the last page of the last book.  My mom was always reading so it is something I fell in love with at a young age and even today when I am not too bust reading text books you will usually see me reading some form of book.  How I read the world, I guess as a young child to now I usually read like sad stories about people that are somewhat realistic.  In elementary and high school I would read war books, settling books, books about people struggling.

Biases that when thinking hard I am aware of, but definitely not proud of are:

People from other times, countries, and races are sad, not in the fact that their life is sad but they have bad things happen to them.  That maybe they deserve pity because of their misfortunes.

I bring to the classroom through reading, is that people who are white have relatively good lives, and if they don’t it is usually their own fault.

I think in many ways I have began to work against these biases (and I am sure I have a lot more and just aren’t thinking of them) is becoming educated.  I believe who I am has a person as improved the more educated I have become.

B. Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

Through school I only remember reading about middle – upper class white people, they were the utmost importance.  White people mattered and always have mattered over everybody else…  (what bologna)

EDTC 300

Approach with caution

I do write this blog with extreme caution, and as I write it I am carefully considering each and every word that I type.  The internet is a very powerful tool that if not used appropriately can destroy lives within seconds, but also has the potential to save lives as well.  It is a very overwhelming thing that sits in our laps, in our hands, or on a table, desk, etc.  When used for evil can causes heartache, embarrassment, shame, and hurt in an instant.  I have been the teenager that was behind a computer whose life could have been destroyed, or who could have destroyed a life, when hidden behind a computer screen I felt like I had power – why they knew who I was, my name was not hidden in anyway.  Unfortunately with technology it is not forgive and forget anymore, technology has the power to haunt and remind you of everything that you try to forget, now Facebook wants to remind you what you did last year, two years ago, etc.

I fortunately have not had an encounter with an individual attempting to destroy my life, and thank my lucky stars for that.  I appreciate the help that is out there now and the voices that are being heard about this potential issue.  The Monica Lewinsky video goes to show the power the internet had, lets be honest even before it was a thing.  It is terrifying the effects of shame that is placed upon someone because of the internet, everyone makes mistakes life is about living, learning, and growing as human beings.  I think sometimes the negatives of one life is more focused on then all the good, because society loves gossip and they love drama, so screwing up once feeds society.

The Jon Ronson video explains how the twitter world can destroy a person’s life before a plan even lands.  It describes how society feeds off of someone else’s mistake and blows it up.  How lives can be destroyed because of a tweet within seconds.  We must always remember that our words have power, and things that are trending online are always at the top of the list for people to see as soon as they log on.  One tweet can shape how society views you in the moment, and for the rest of your life, because once one person who doesn’t like it sees it, it will forever be online.

The Amanda Todd, the legacy, and Carol Todd all offer insight into how one mistake can haunt you and ruin you, that in one brief second your life can be ruined because of someone else.  The YouTube video that has gone viral shows the pain that one may go through because of an instant in their lives, how a story becomes “never ending”.  How learning where people live, and knowing how to destroy their lives and doing it is overwhelming especially if it is a child behind the screen.  Teaching people about this is something the Carol Todd stresses, and I feel like because of the harm that this tool can cause it is important to teach about it, and share with others because in an instant someone’s life can forever be changed.  Kids make mistakes, adults make mistakes, and everyone in between so I think it is awful that one moment in between can determine someone else’s outcome.

I truly appreciate when Carol Todd was approached with negativity and cruelty she replied with grace and acceptance, and determined that the person who was behind the rude remarks was someone who needed help and I also think that so many people just need someone to help them through the hard times.  Also her four walls, really puts into perspective the “four walls” of dealing with situations and the opportunities that people are faced during the hard times.  But at the end of the day everyone has a story like Carol Todd states, and no one should be judge because of one chapter in their story.

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The potential for teaching while cross country skiing!

In high school, the only things I remember as outdoor education, or environmental education is cross country skiing.  There are so many learning possibilities while out on the tracks, however we never really took the learning opportunities unfortunately.  However, I remember my interest in the trees and and being out in the openness.  I remember looking and wanting to learn the trees and more about the land, because as many of Kimmerer’s stories share there are ample learning opportunities that can take place while in the outdoors.

beauty of being outside and in the soft snow.

ECS 210

Is there really only one way to do math?

Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics — were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?

For many I feel like you either love math or hate math and there isn’t really an in-between, honestly before coming to University I hated math and was pretty sure that I was going to fail university math!  However, that was not the case, it wasn’t the case because I had a teacher that was willing to work with the class, who answered all questions before moving on and who worked through the textbook at the class’s speed and not the teacher’s.  Math through high-school was always worked through at the teacher’s pace or the math genius pace, never at the pace of the typical child.   Also, my university teacher gave me marks wherever he could, as I was working through the equation and for the answer, where my other teachers always expected it to be done there way with the right answer.  In high-school I was told not to waste the teacher’s time and my own by taking calculus because I wasn’t “smart” enough – even though I liked math, I loved working through the questions and when I finally got it and that light bulb went off, it was the best feeling ever, but no I was told not to take it.  So, registering for math in university with those haunting words “you’re not smart enough” I was stressed and on the verge of an emotional mental break down and guess what….  I passed the class with flying colors and it was the class I have done the best in – so who was not “smart” enough?

I think so many teachers have the expectation that if they throw a bunch of math up on the board explain it then the students will pick it up and you can move on, but for so many math is a process that takes time.

After reading Poirier’s article: Teaching mathematics and the Inuit Community, identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics and the way we learn it.

I think the most important thing that stood out to myself, was that they never called on a student who didn’t know the answer.  I think having children explain the question to their peers sometimes is the best teacher.  Putting students on the spot however is not an ideal situation for anyone.

Another thing that stood out, which doesn’t challenge Eurocentric ideas but it just puts more focus on the struggle that so many systems face.  Is the fact that even though you can find a student’s strength, you still don’t focus on it.  I think finding every students potential and the scaffolding off of it is beneficial for their learning!

The last thing that stood out to myself was the amount of materials they used to teach math – it wasn’t just a white board, pen, and paper it was materials and hands on learning.

EDTC 300, Learning Projects

Let’s sign some songs!

Hey guys, I am going to spruce up this blog some more so please, please give me some trick and tips.  This week I learnt some songs in sign language, and I was REALLY shocked to see that they didn’t include signs for every word, so then how do people who are hard of hearing really know the song??  This is I found really unfortunate but then also found it was easy for myself so I guess that was a plus!

The first song I learnt was “Baa baa black sheep” I chose this song only because it was definitely one of my favorite songs to listen to when I was younger, and really thought it was going to be easy to learn and remember! However, I found it super easy to learn but because you literally only sign: black, sheep, master, dame, little boy, lane, three and yes.  So I had to obviously learn only 8 words!

The second song I chose was because it was on the right hand side bar under “Up Next” so definitely took the easy way out on this one!  Also, I am actually kinda shocked because I know when I have sang this song for the kids at the daycare I work at, I was honestly expecting the same signs that I would use whenever I sang it, however this was not the case!  I really like how Abbey in these songs introduce the actions before singing the song!  This song had a lot more signs for the words and also found it interesting that a lot of the signs “made sense” in my head for what they represented which made this song easier to learn!

Ok, so last but not least for this week’s learning videos that I study was the song “You are my Sunshine”, because honestly who doesn’t love this song!  But this song to there are hardly any signs for the whole song, which has to be difficult.  But this lady is awesome for going through each song slowly first then going through the song after teaching it.  Which I guess is something that I learnt when I was in ECE classes, I was taught to teach the words slowly then to do the song as a whole after – so really why would it be different if you are teaching the song through signing or words!

WOW, take a side step right now! Abbey, is so instructional and her explanation of where your hand should be facing while doing numbers really told me how wrong I have been doing them! FAIL!  Oh well, I live and learn and now I know how to sign PROPERLY my numbers from 1-20 because of how informative she is!

 

This week’s learning really was fun, and something that I will use within my classroom if I teach the young enough grades (lets be real older kids wont want to hear my voice), but I guess would they have to hear my voice if I chose to just teach the song through signing?  Food for thought I guess!

I hope you enjoy the videos and learn a song to two, because this lady is awesome and I even found myself searching her channel (I think that’s what it is called.  If anyone who is doing signing wants to check her out, the link for her channel is here!

EDTC 300

The Perks of YouTube in the classroom

This week’s blog post is a conversation that Hayley and I created between a parent who is concerned about the use of YouTube in her child’s classroom and the teacher.  We have included some links and videos to back up our thoughts on the benefits of YouTube.

Teacher: You must be Regan’s Mom. I heard you have some concerns about the class?

Parent: Yes, I have some concerns about the use of Youtube and the lack of security that it offers, what if my child is exposed to inappropriate topics?

Teacher: Well, let me start out by saying that digital citizenship is a new component of the curriculum that all students must take part in. As for the use of Youtube I feel that the benefits in the classroom outweigh the risks. Just take a look at the article “Technology in the Classroom: 5 Undeniable Reasons to Embrace it”

Parent: What benefits could possibly be more important than the safety of my child’s personal identity?

Teacher: First, personal identity in real life is not separate from online identity. Giving students early exposure to YouTube in a classroom setting allows them to learn how to use the resource safely and responsibly. Teaching my students how to be responsible digital citizens is my aim with using YouTube. Creating a positive digital footprint is more important than ever, and using a resource like Youtube makes for lasting memories and a great learning opportunity.

Parent: There are people are there that could watch my child’s video and it will make it easier for them to kidnap, blackmail, and the video will be online for the rest of their life! Also, how can you ensure that your students are on task when using a “resource” that has millions of videos that don’t relate to what they are learning.  

Teacher: Yes the internet is not forgiving in that what happens on the internet can not be reversed, but teaching your daughter that crucial lesson in the classroom and not from unfortunate experience is the reason why digital citizenship is so important. As far as kidnapping and blackmail goes, I’m teaching your daughter that if she wouldn’t feel comfortable having an image or text on a billboard, then it certainly doesn’t belong on the internet. YouTube is a resource full of distractions I’ll give you that, but with my close monitoring I hope to instill positive behaviours that prevent wandering cursors.

Parent: Well, Regan is also telling me that you are expecting her to research and teach herself about planes, isn’t it YOUR job to teach her about these topics or definitely not the internet, how reliable can the videos on youtube really be?

Teacher: Yes, this project is true. I’ve found that when students are given a choice about their education, such as Regan’s choice to research planes, they become much more enthusiastic and excited to learn about the assigned topic. The students can tailor their learning themselves and the individualized topics mean more to them. If I was the only source of information I would not have the time or resources to peak each of their interests. One of the components of digital citizenship is to teach students which sources are reliable and which are not. The internet may seem like it’s only filled with fake news, but in reality there are some amazing sources and great information if you know your way around. 

Parent: Wow, I didn’t know that.  This is all really good information.  But don’t you think this also limits relationship building between classmates?

Teacher: Actually, I believe it expands the potential for relationships to be made. Your daughter has the potential to become friends with someone halfway around the world, or just connect with classmates on a deeper level via the internet. She can create relationships that never would have been possible if it weren’t for YouTube, the students can work together to share videos and to teach each other their research projects via their youtube videos.  

Parent: Thank you Miss Hodson for taking the time to meet with me, I really appreciate the information that you provided to myself.  

Teacher: Your welcome. If you’re still not convinced may I suggest checking out this video on the positive effects of YouTube in the classroom. 

ECS 210

Treaty Education is for ALL Students Not Just First Nations Students

I strongly believe that teaching treaty education is important for all people who are living in Canada, and the United States, in the regions when Indigenous peoples were forced to assimilate, where their culture and language were stripped from their very hands.  I think the history of Indigenous people is a very crucial part of history that has shaped Canada to be the way that it is today and teaching about this history gives people an understanding and eye opener when it comes to our not so perfect history.  I think regardless of who your students are as long as they are living on treaty land they should be learning the history about Treaty Ed or Indigenous history.

Similarly as being all Canadians, we are all treaty people, we reside and thrive on the treaty lands that we somewhat received through misconceptions with Indigenous people.  Those misconceptions are Europeans created the treaties to be a contract to share the land and resources with Indigenous people and the Indigenous people believed that by signing the treaties they were gaining new relationships and new family with the Europeans.  So, as long as we live on the land I believe that we should thank the Indigenous people that we took it from and work on re-conciliating our relationships with Indigenous people.

I was able to hear Dwayne Donald speak at the University last week and felt like his teaching style was a beautiful way to approach treaty education – to teach about the land through being on the land.  Teaching about the land surrounding your school some way, some how it is going to turn into treaty education because of the history that it embedded in our soil, in our land.  I also found it very interesting when Claire was sharing with us that her back wall in her classroom is covered with the curriculum documents and that she crosses out each outcome that she reaches – this is a great idea to avoid confrontation, as long as you can show that you are following curriculum then you have something backing you up.

 

Now in response to the letter:

I would maybe take a step back and start from the beginning – to teach about the history of Indigenous people and our land and how we established this land through the misconceptions and lies that were told.  These students are obviously unaware of the history or have not been properly taught about Indigenous history in the past.  I also would try to educate the COOP surrounding the importance of Treaty Education, attempt building a personal learning network on Twitter to talk and share the struggles that you have surrounding Treaty Education and as Claire said follow #100daysofcree.

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On the Fly Learning

I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to listen to Dwayne Donald’s speech, I appreciated that it was a last minute thing that Audrey felt that it was important.  I also think that his speech was crucial to my specific learning and I personally got a lot out of his talk.  I think it really hit home with myself when he was talking about the handshake after signing the treaty and the fact that the Indigenous people thought that they were building relationships with the Europeans, but the Europeans had believed it was to share land and resources with the Indigenous people.   So, as someone who is interested in the various sides of the treaty signage, and the history and hardship that Indigenous people have suffered in the past I felt like this speech was beautiful and eye opening.  My visual representation is a sketch down representing this moment in history that changed the lives of so many people.  Dwayne’s speech although it wasn’t the planned event for the day, turned out to be the turning point of so many of our educations (I am sure).  I know personally for myself and my classmates we were moved and moved by everything that he shared, and the way that he teaches really put a different teaching style into perspective.

EDTC 300, Learning Projects

One, two, what!?

Ugh! Guys this whole signing numbers is very difficult and the ASL app didn’t give me enough information on how to make the numbers once I got to double digits so I had to research elsewhere in order to properly do them! This video from YouTube seemed to help, but I only wish I could slow down his actions! Numbers, I find are fairly easy once you get the basic hand movements and gestures done, and once you finally get how to do double digit numbers then it is smooth sailing to the next set (tenth digit, ex. 30).

The only struggle I have with my numbers are the numbers from 10 – 20 and only because the gentleman in the video goes too fast and do we really have to wave them three times, maybe I guess I should research more!

I unfortunately didn’t get a video done this week, only because I had no one to video tape it!!! But stay tuned you never know what is in store for next week!