I get by with a little help from my classmates

I get by with a little help from my classmates

Here we are at the end of the semester… I can’t believe how time has flown by! However, I really don’t feel like this is the end. I have discovered so many amazing tools that I can use in my future classroom, that this is really only the beginning of my ed tech journey. I love that even though this class was online, I felt I could connect with my classmates in a more meaningful way than most in person classes. In this blog post, I will outline some of the ways I contributed to the learning of others and the interactions I’ve had online. Here we go!

Twitter

I think Twitter has been by favourite way to connect with others throughout the course. I jump on the app for 15-20 each day to tweet, retweet, comment and share. It was really fun building relationships with other educators through Twitter and I couldn’t believe how many great resources there were! Here are some examples of resources I’ve shared:

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Twitter is also an amazing way to speak out about social justice. During our semester, the #blacklivesmatter movement took off, and I believe as educators must speak out against injustice. As a future arts educator I believe the arts are a great way to do that. Here are some tweets I shared and commented on:

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I think Twitter is a great way to connect with others and build professional relationships as well. I got a chance to join in a #saskedchat and share my thoughts and experiences with other educators. I also got to connect with the makers of Videoscribe and let them know what I liked and disliked about their app. I even got a reply back!

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Twitter is something that I will definitely continue to use. I think it’s a really valuable platform for teachers to share resources, support one another and just feel like you’re not alone. To see more of my tweets or give me a follow click here.

Blogs

Another aspect of this class that I really (surprisingly!) enjoyed was blogging. I really like the platform of WordPress and it was fun sharing my thoughts each week. It was great connecting with my classmates and reading their blogs. I loved hearing about their learning projects and their thoughts on different subjects. Here’s are some comments made by others on my blogs:

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One the most favourite parts of my week was reading my classmates blogs and commenting on them. I feel like I gained so much knowledge from them and all of their learning project posts made me want to learn like 10 different skills! Here are some of the comments I made on others’ blogs (Celine, Tracey, Raylin and Jasmine):

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And lastly, a comment I made in on of my blogs, made it into Raylin’s Summary of Learning. Pretty cool!

Slack

I have to say I really did not engage a lot in Slack this semester, but I did use it to look for information from other classmates and share resources.

I made so many manful connections throughout this semester and learning ALOT through different online tools and apps. I never knew I could find such an engaging, supportive and professional community online, and I know it will help me so much once I start teaching. The things I’ve learned in this class are invaluable and I will take them with me into my teaching career.

That’s a Wrap!

That’s a Wrap!

여보세요!

In my edtc300 class I chose to study Korean for my learning project. Initially I chose to learn Korean because my husband is from there and he can speak the language fluently. I’ve wanted to learn it for quite a while, but I just never made the time for it. So I was really thankful to have this learning project to get me started! We also had a flight booked for Korea  (that was actually suppose to leave today), but covid happened and we obviously cancelled our trip. But we want to go next year so what I’ve learned will come in handy. It is the end of the class, but I will definitely continue learning more Korean!

I was surprised by how many free resources there were online, and how many different apps there were to help you learn a language. I definitely enjoyed some more than others, but I’ll talk more about that in my recap!

Image by min woo park from Pixabay

Week 1: Let’s Learn Korean!

In the first week, I immediately went to the only language learning app I knew of- Duolingo. At this point I knew how to say a few Korean words, but I had no clue how to read the characters. Here’s a summary of this week:

  • I enjoyed the short, simple lessons on Duolingo
  • I started writing out the characters I learned from the app in a notebook
  • I was having trouble remembering the sounds each character made
  • The lessons on Duolingo weren’t really teaching me anything

Week 2: Where Do I Even Begin?

This week, I continued using Duolingo but realized I needed to try something new. I turned to Youtube to figure out my next step. I thought I should learn from someone who’s taught them self Korean, to learn what to do and what not to do. Here’s what I learned:

  • Duolingo was confusing so I needed to try something new
  • I found a great video about that gave me some great tips for learning Korean
  • She recommended learning the Korean alphabet (Hangul) before doing anything else
  • My husband started teaching me about Hangul!

Week 3: Back to the Basics

This was the week where I felt I took a huge leap in what I learned. I basically memorized all the Korean consonants and vowels which made everything else make WAY more sense. I also searched for some more Youtube tutorials, and found some that were very helpful. Here’s a recap:

  • Decided that I needed to learn Hangul
  • Found an amazing video that helped me memorize it really fast
  • Duolingo made SO much more sense now and became a tool to help me review what I already knew
  • Impressed my husband by reading Korean off of shampoo bottles and face products in our house

Week 4: Videoscribe

This week, we had to choose an app/tool that would document what we’ve learned so far in our learning project. I chose to use Videoscribe, which is a whiteboard creator. I also found a great website called www.90dayKorean.com, which helped me make associations between Korean characters and English words. This was a game changer in my memorization of the characters, so I decided to make a video about it. This is what I learned this week:

  • The 90daykorean.com website was such a great tool to continue memorizing the Korean consonants and vowels.
  • I was really drawn to the final product of Videoscribe videos and I thought this would be a really great tool to learn how to use.
  • It was super simple to navigate and in the end gave me the look I wanted. You can check out the video here.
  • I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have the option to use Korean characters within Videoscribe, so I blogged about it. Videoscribe read my blog and tweeted me back.

Week 5: I’ve learned my ABC’s… now what?

This week I continued to practice reading Korean words. I found an app called Quizlet, which is basically a online flashcard app. I also felt like it was time to learn some grammar and memorize Korean words. I didn’t really know where to start so I went back to Youtube for some direction. I found a video that helped me know where to start. I was led to a website that teaches basic grammar called www.howtostudykorean.com. Here’s a summary of the week:

  • Quizlet was such a great resource. There were a lot of options on how to review the material that I learned and the flashcards were already created so I didn’t have to make them on my own.
  • The Youtube video was another great tool to know what was a good next step.
  • Howtostudykorean.com has so many lessons and units that start really basic and get quite complicated. I learned some great tips for learning grammar.

Week 6: Practice Makes Perfect

The last and final week of our learning project! This week I discovered a new language learning app called Memrise and found another Youtuber that shared some helpful hints for learning Korean. Here’s a recap on the final week:

  • Memrise was probably my favourite app yet. It was really easy to navigate and the lesson were short and simple. I felt like I learned a lot from this app!
  • One thing I didn’t like was that you couldn’t really get too far without having to pay for the full version.
  • The Youtube video gave me some great tips like to try singing along with Korean songs, talk to myself in Korean and write out more Korean words.

And that’s a wrap! I can’t believe how much I was able to learn in such a short time and it makes me excited to learn more, because I know I am just scratching the surface of the Korean language! Here’s a list of what I learned:

  • Memorized all of the Korean vowels and consonants
  • How to pronounce Korean characters
  • How to read Korean words
  • How to speak Korean words
  • Some simple grammar
  • Memorized the meaning of some Korean words

I couldn’t have learned everything I listed above without the help of some really great online resources. Here is a list of what I used:

And that is my journey of learning Korean in edtc300!

안녕!
Girls can code too!

Girls can code too!

This week we got to try out coding! As someone who took a computer science class in high school and one in university, I was really excited. I decided to try out Hour of Code so I’ll let you know what I thought!

At first I was kind of confused, but was just going along with it. I kept passing the levels so I knew I was doing something right!

After about the 4th or 5th level I finally figured out what I was doing (yes it took me that long!). What helped me understand was when the program told me what I was doing wrong and gave me tips on how to fix it.

Once I got to level 6 I was on a role and started to have fun with the program. I was able to customize the background setting, and change the sound the little flappy bird made.

At the last level, I could change even more things in my game. I learned how to change the character, change the obstacle and change what happens when you hit that obstacle. It was super fun! I even got an official certificate at the end. Maybe I’ll put it on my fridge 🙂

Overall, I really enjoyed the Hour of Code program. It made coding really accessible and fun. I think a lot of kids (and adults!) would want to spend multiple hours on the site. I’m also really amazed that it’s free as well!

As a mentioned earlier, I took computer science in high school and in university and I really enjoyed it. I learned coding in the C++ program and even though it was challenging, each coding assignment felt like a game and a challenge to overcome. One thing I noticed in my high school CS class was that I was the only girl. And in university women were definitely a minority in the class. I am really passionate about getting girls into fields like coding and engineering and I think this program would be a great introduction for them. I love how they gear certain coding games towards girls like using Frozen or Moana. I think once girls try coding out they could get hooked on it. This is something I’m really looking forward to introduce to my future students and get girls excited about coding!

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

I cannot believe we are getting to the end of the semester! It’s crazy to think about all we’ve covered and how much I’ve learned about the Korean language!

So far, I had the chance to check out a couple apps like Duolingo and Quizlet, lots of Youtube videos, and a really great website called www.howtostudykorean.com. In one of the Youtube videos I watched, the girl mentioned another app that she really loved, which I hadn’t tried yet. So this week I decided to check out the app Memrise.

My first impressions of the app, were that I really loved the look of the app and it seemed fairly easy to navigate. As I started the lesson, I was a little disappointed because I though I would only be going over the consonants and vowels, which I already know. I couldn’t find any option to skip ahead, so I didn’t think I would enjoy this app very much. However, right away they started introducing simple but important phrases, which I didn’t happen right away in Duolingo. They also had video of different people saying the words which was really fun.

After spending about a half hour on the app, I already learned a few phrases like 노래방 (karaoke room) and 사랑해 (I love you). And I could return to the list of words to review, when I forgot what they were. I also started learning some grammar, but didn’t get too far in that section yet. The only issue I have is that I’m not sure if I can go too much further without paying. The next section is ‘locked’ and the only way to move forward seems to be to subscribe for a full year. I have to look into it a bit more!

I also watched a great Youtube video with some tips for learning Korean. A couple that stood out to me were:

  1. Practice reading Korean along with song lyrics (I’m excited to try this one out!)
  2. Ask people to correct you. (My husband is great at this lol!)
  3. Talk to yourself in Korean (I’m not quite at the level, but I think this would be helpful.)
  4. Write in Korean (I want to start doing this more)
  5. Go to Korea (We were supposed to go at the end of the month, but covid happened😔)

That’s all for this week!

The Pandemic of Fake News

The Pandemic of Fake News

Fake news.

In recent years, we’ve heard those 2 words over and over again.

But what exactly is fake news and how do we teach our students how to identify it?

Image by memyselfaneye from Pixabay

Nowadays, fake news can take on many different forms. There is satire, content that is not necessarily fake, but misleading and completely fabricated information. Fake news is dangerous and if persuasive enough it has the potential to sway large groups of people into believing a certain idea. Studies show that “partisan beliefs and bias shape what we believe is factually true”. When we see an article that affirms the beliefs that we hold, we’re less likely to question it and more likely to share it with our friends. Claire Wardel provides an important tip in her article when tempted to share something. She states that:

“In the same way that you’re told to wait 20 minutes before you reach for a second helping of food, because you need to wait for your brain to catch up with your stomach, the same is true with information. Maybe you don’t need to wait 20 minutes before clicking the share button, but two minutes is probably sensible.”

If we take the time to digest and analyze what we read, we can make a more informed reaction rather than purely emotional. I think if more people chose to take this simple step before sharing something, we would see a significant decrease in fake news.

Children have this natural innocence and ability to take someone at their word and believe it to be true. Even though these are important characteristics, in the age of fake news and information wars we must teach our children to think critically and not believe everything they read. In the article, The Smell Test, they suggest teaching student as young as Pre-K how to identify fake news. They also suggest involving parents in the process, because how they react to news, greatly effects their children.

As a future arts educator, I think there is a lot of room to engage in this discussion through our curriculum. Here are some ideas in the different subject areas I will be teaching. In drama, I could run a process drama where we explore the idea of fake news and how it can influence society. In music, students could examine songs that contains misleading information and analyze how it has affected culture. And in visual art, we could analyze memes and the visual aspect of fakes news online. These are very basic ideas, but I really think there is a lot of possibility to teach about fake news in arts education. As students spend more and more time online we need to teach them digital literacy and how to think critically about what they read.

 

Undercover Cybersleuthing

Undercover Cybersleuthing

This week I had to chance to ‘cybersleuth’ my fellow classmate Sarah S. Like many of you I’m sure, I’ve had lots of experience cybersleuthing people online, but I never expected it to be a part of a class assignment in university! Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it and actually learned a lot about digital identity and how I want to present myself online.

Image by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay.

What I learned about Sarah was that it was really easy to acquire her personal info like birthdate, family members and where she went to high school. I also got a general feel for her personality and what she likes to do for fun. I found that I couldn’t get more info than that on Sarah’s Facebook and Instagram, but I really got to know more about her on her blog and why she wanted to be a teacher. I was particularly inspired by a post she wrote about why she wanted to become a teacher. You can check it out here: ECS-Autobiographical-Paper. From looking through Sarah’s blog I could really get a sense of who she is and can tell that she’s a really caring and empathetic person who will make an amazing teacher. Please enjoy this selfie she took with a quokka in Australia!

Image from https://www.instagram.com/p/B6puCRlAxc9zsBFMS4HK7cRmZm9kGi1IJvDgFQ0/

What I learned about digital identity was that social media can show a small portion of who a person is, but it will never give you the full picture. We can carefully choose what we want to show and even who who we want to be online. Digital identity is shaped by our choices on what we post, but it can also be shaped by what other think of us. Jon Ronson said in his Ted talk that we are living in a “surveillance society”, where every picture and word we post on social media is scrutinized and judged by others online. If people like what we have to say, we are retweeted, liked and praised. And if they don’t, we are still retweeted, but with the intent to correct, shame or bring us down. As we interact with others on social media and scroll through the collection of opinions, we have to remember that as Jon Ronson stated, we are all “grey areas” and a mix of “clever and stupid”. What we post online will never fully capture who we are as people.

What I learned about myself was that I have a lot of information online (and lots of embarrassing photos from my awkward years!). I’ve used my Facebook and Instagram to connect with friends, share photos and promote my music. However, most of what I post is pretty surface level and fun. Since diving in the world of Twitter in the class, I’m learning to use social media in a more professional way and also to speak more about social media. I’m excited to grow more in my digital identity and teach my students the importance of it as well.

To end I thought I’d share a picture of me with an Aussie animal as well!

Anti-Oppressive Education Online

Anti-Oppressive Education Online

This week has really challenged me to deep dig and ask myself some serious questions. After hearing the news of George Floyd’s death I was saddened and left wondering when is this going to end? As I scrolled through social media, many people were speaking out in different ways about this injustice. Some people were posting resources, some graphic/disturbing pictures and videos of the riots, some a black square and some nothing at all. This really made me question my role in anti-oppressive education online and also wondering why it made me uncomfortable. Here are some reason that I came up with:

I don’t know enough.

As a privileged white woman, I have not experienced racism in my life and I don’t fully understand what POC have gone through in their lives. As a future educator, I know I have to do the work and learn more. I’ve discovered some great resources that have taught me a lot and can help me facilitate discussions about race with my future students.

I don’t want to say the wrong thing.

I think this goes hand in hand with what I mentioned above, but in this past week I haven’t shared too much, because I want to make sure that what I say is genuine and would actually help the situation. Again, it’s been really helpful to check out resources that can help me out with this as well.

So after looking back at the past week, I know that it is very important for educators to speak out against injustice online. We have the responsibility to show our students and anyone else who may be listening what anti-oppression looks like. If we stay silent, we are allowing injustice to happen. I think we also have the responsibility to show our students how to respond with kindness and respect towards people who don’t share the same beliefs as you. I encourage you to read this story about a lady who had adopted a black baby and encountered a housekeeper that grew up believing very racist ideologies. Truth spoken in kindness and love can change people’s hearts. Racism is more than a person, it is systematic and has developed over many many generations. The more we educate others, the better chance we have at a unified world.

Found at https://www.hercampus.com/school/depauw/illustrations-embracing-diversity-against-racism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are some resources I’ve gathered throughout this week:

I found a great thread on Twitter about what white educators can do to respond to injustice.

A list of anti-racism books for kids.

Here is a list of black owned businesses to support in Regina.

I’ve learned my ABC’s… now what?

I’ve learned my ABC’s… now what?

I am very excited to share about some great resources I’ve discovered while learning Korean this week!

I’m proud to say that I’ve memorized pretty much all of the Korean vowels and consonants with the help of Duolingo and my personal tutor (aka my husband). And I can read most Korean words, but it is definitely at a snail’s pace. Like I said before, I really enjoy Duolingo and the short lesson format, however, I find I don’t really learn much from it, but I do find it helpful in reviewing what I know. I found another app called Quizlet that has ben really helpful. This app allows you to create your own flashcards on whatever topic you choose, or use ones that someone else has created. I loved this option because I didn’t have to take time to create the flashcards, they were already there ready to use.

I used a set that was already created.
This was a timed game to match the Korean character with the sound it makes.
I had to type out the correct Korean character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I chose a set that someone had already created about the Korean alphabet. There were a few options such as learning the characters (I already knew them so I didn’t use this tool), flashcards, write, matching and a test. The matching game was fun and challenging because they timed you. I got competitive with myself and tried to beat my record. I really liked the write option because I dowloaded the Korean keyboard on my phone and got to type out the answers in Korean. I really enjoyed this app because you have the option to learn new things and then review what you know.

Since I felt I had a handle on the Korean alphabet, I felt like it was time to move on to memorize what the words actually mean and to learn some grammar. I didn’t really know where to start so I turned to Youtube to find someone who had done it before. I found a video of a girl who was in the process of teaching herself Korean.

She had a lot of great tips that she used while studying and I have to say I was really impressed with her. She was learning Korean in her spare time while in still in high school! In the video she talks about Duolingo and she felt the same way as I did about it. She mentioned that she wanted to learn more of the why’s behind the Korean language and she found this free website called www.howtostudykorean.com. And I have to say- it is amazing! They have six units up on the website and each unit has multiple lessons with in it. They include voice recordings on the words so you know if you’re pronouncing them right and dive into detailed grammar. And did I mention it was free! I’m excited to explore this site more and learn the meaning behind the Korean language!

Found at https://www.howtostudykorean.com/unit1/unit-1-lessons-1-8/unit-1-lesson-1/
VideoScribe – a dream come true for visual learners

VideoScribe – a dream come true for visual learners

This week I made a lot of progress in my Korean skills!

I am still slowly learning all of the consonants and vowels, how to pronounce them and make them into words. But one thing I found really helpful was being able to associate each Korean character with an object, so I can remember what sound it makes. I found a lot of great associations here. This idea inspired me this week as I explored the white-board video creator tool called VideoScribe. I was immediately drawn to this tool because of the attention-grabbing graphics and the creative way it relays information. As I explored their website, I was amazed at how cool these videos looked and immediately wanted to make my own.

Found on http://www.videoscribe.co

As a very visual learner, I can agree with the last stat in the picture. I am WAY more likely to remember information if I can see it visually. So I decided to make a VideoScribe video! I have to admit, from watching the other videos, I thought there would be drawing involved, which got me really excited. However, there is no drawing involved and it is only an effect made by the tool. I quickly learned that all I had to do was insert text or images onto the screen, and it made it into a whiteboard effect for me.

This is a collection of images and text used in my video.

VideoScribe has a really user friendly format, that was easy to figure out and looked really cool. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to include Korean characters in my text, but they only supported English letters. So what I had to do, was save the Korean characters as images and insert them that way.

My video timeline.

As I inserted a series of text and pictures into my video, a timeline was created for me at the bottom of the screen. This showed me the order of each item and how long each one would be featured. I could go into each section and edit the timing as well. I frequently would play through my video as I was making it, to make sure it flowed well. Once I was finished, the last step was to record a voice over for the video.

This part made me nervous, but it was actually pretty easy. I was able to watch the video play as I narrated what was happening. I only had to do one take! In the end, I was really impressed with what I was able to make and really happy with the finished product. I would definitely use VideoScribe again, however I would have to pay since the free trail is only for 7 days. I think it would be worth it though because it is really easy to use and makes a beautiful video that makes learning fun. Here is the finished product – enjoy!