ECMP355

Summary of Learning

This is my final video summary of what I learned in my ECMP355 class

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Trip with a Stranger – Random Act of Kindness

My friend Durston made a great blog post about a trip with a stranger. Many people are hesitant to pick up a stranger or even talk to a stranger! Picking up hitch hikers and strangers used to way more common. Same with casual conversations – when you step into an elevator people seem nervous and avoid eye contact in hopes of a peaceful ride – why is that?

Here is Durton’s blog post:

        This weekend I went back to Moose Jaw for a little breather and to see my friends to try and relieve a little bit of stress that I have been feeling lately from school.  Today I woke up and saw my mom and sister for lunch where we talked about school and the future.  The two stresses that have been flooding my mind lately.  I left Moose Jaw and about 5 minutes out I passed by a hitchhiker standing on the side of the road thumb up.  I drove by mindlessly thinking about school and the stresses I have for the next couple weeks.  As I drove by I thought, “I should have picked that guy up.”  So the next pass over I hit I made a U turn and I went back and picked him up.
When I pulled over you could tell on his face he was relieved and grateful that I had pulled over which instantly made me feel good.  He got in the car said thanks and announced his name to me, “Chris”. At first I just said I’m heading to Regina and I hope that is fine and he was appreciative and said yeah man any little way helps.

We begin talking and I find out he decided 4 days ago to go across Canada and try and make it to the east coast.  Friends and Family don’t know what he is doing.  The only one who knows is his girlfriend of 7 years who is supporting him 100% in his journey.  He was in Canmore, Alberta hiking and snowshoeing, but due to avalanches and bears coming out of hibernation he said it just didn’t seem worth it right now and he’ll go back in July.  For now he is just living for the moment as he has nothing but a backpack and an optimistic attitude.  He filled me in that he travelled 250km last night and rewarded himself by sleeping in a motel. 
After I picked him up the stress about school melted away due to his positive attitude towards life.  He asked me about my dreams for travel and when I told them he really encouraged me to go through.  He told me about the 8 people that picked me up before him and that this was his life experience before applying for his dreams to become an RCMP.
  This guy was a positive energy that I think I needed at this stressful point in my life.  He was grateful and his stories just restored my faith that there is goodness in the world still.  I enjoyed this guy’s company and drove him all the way Balgonie.  He is doing a great thing for his life and when I dropped him off at the side of the highway we took a picture exchange information, but I couldn’t help but be jealous of his carefree attitude and the experience he was gonna have over the next month or two.

 

 

Code!

I have a few friends who are programming engineers and the thought of coding has always blown me away.

One of my friends Jason Wist recently got to help out at Ladies Learning Code. He had a great time getting others to learn HTML/CSS and got put in a video.

Here is the Video:

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Ladies Learning Code is a series of workshops throughout Canada. This was the first event in Regina and the video is what people thought about it!

If you want to learn more and find workshops in your area at you can take a tour around this website: http://www.ladieslearningcode.com

My friends Jason and Patrick volunteered their time to help out and the space they used was at iQMetrix in Regina. I have a few friends who work and have done work place experience at at iQMetrix and love it.

For more info:
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/edenthecat
tumblr: http://www.edenthecat.tumblr.com
facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/edendoesstuff
facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/edend…
website: http://www.edenrohatensky.com

It is always great to see progression and empowerment in Saskatchewan!

Twitter Trends… as a writting prompt!?

How have I not thought of this before! I found this on the DS106 assignment page.
You create a story or poem by using the trends on your twitter account.
The only thing I find that could be bad about this is if there were any negative/offensive trends. Controversial is always fine and good to have in middle years and high school classrooms but not negative items.
Here are my current trends:

Phil Jackson and Auburn have been arguing about basketball for hours!! Back and forth…. back and forth!!! They cannot seem to find a common ground. They agreed to disagree for the moment because Teen wolf was on T.V – not their favourite show but they strangely found it to be very addicting.  They realized they had a common love for T.V and film. Maybe they could settle their difference about basketball because they had so much in common.  The news came on after Teen Wolf and they were devastated. All this shocking news about the Ukraine and Crimea was really upsetting for them because they have family who knows people who are over in the Ukraine.

The story could go on and on but you get the picture. I think this would be a really cool activity for students in grade 6 and up.  If students do not know what one of the trends they have easy access to look it up. It is also a buy in because it will be current news that will likely interest them and have lots of pop culture embedded into it.

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Professional Development

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Sir Ken Robinson speak. I have heard him speak via YouTube many times throughout my university career on TED talks but it was really great to hear him answer some questions and speak directly to schools in Saskatoon.

A few main things that have stuck with me from this event were:

If students are disengaged they may seem bored and not be learning. You can’t change students so you need to change the way you are teaching. You have to give students a ‘buy-in’ and help them feel motivated to learn/work.

Not every student plans on going to post secondary. There are also many different types of schools not just university. Sometimes you need to prepare students for the work force and get them through school and not just push and teach for university.

There was also another amazing speaker that I have never heard of before- Pasi Sahlberg! I found it fascinating the differences better different education systems. He has been involved with The Finnish school system.

I have also thought that it is important to have humour and a light hearted attitude while teaching and in life in general. Something that has always stood out to me in Sir Ken Robinsons presentations and now also Pasi Shalberg’s presentation is the use of humour. When they talk it is not only informative it is extremely enjoyable. I have always felt that middle years students appreciate humour, kind heart, and positive attitude.

Here is the Program from the event and a YouTube clip of one of Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talks

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One colour at a time

For my TechTask for my ECMP355 class I decided to choose assignments from DS 106. There are so many cool ideas for visual assignments and I often find myself playing around with different picture apps and things similar to photoshop. I think this would be a great site to allow students to use for different projects. It gives them lots of ideas and choice and allows them to be creative and let their personalities shine through. I find students often get stuck for ideas and once they have a prompt they get right into it.

The first assignment I completed was all called “Focus on One Colour”. The assignment asked you to take a picture and make it black and white, but keep one colour. I used to always want a camera with this setting one it that you can just keep a certain hue and the rest of the photo will turn black and white. There are often poster sales at the University that have images like this.

One app you can use is called Color Splash. This app is able to make a pretty cool looking pictures!

I decided to take a picture of gingerbread that I made over the holidays. I first decided I wanted to pick pink as my main focus colour. This made me think of a breast cancer awareness ad campaign. I often see pictures that are black and with with pink in them on billboards, flyers, magazines etc that are aiming their focus on breast cancer.

The next colour I chose was blue.  This made me think of your ‘typical gender stereotyped’ baby shower invitation for a boy. That was the first thing that came to mind when I first saw the image.

Taylor Hardys look at how Minecraft can be a tool in the classroom

Today I came across Taylor Hardy’s blog post about Minecraft. I was immediately attracted to it because a lot of  students I have had in the past have been into it. I first heard about it the beginning of 2012. I honestly thought it was MindCraft when I was in my pre-internship. I have created a a guessing game with different words on card and had written mind craft on one of the cards and my students let me know that it was in fact Minecraft.

I never considered it as a teaching tool. However, a huge part of teaching is keeping things interesting and relevant to the students.

Taylor has written a blog about how Minecraft can be useful in the classroom. I think teachers need to get to know there students and what things interest them. I think if lessons involved things such as mind craft you would have a good buy in for students.

Here is Taylor Hardy’s blog post:

Wow. So I never would have guessed I would be writing about this topic since I initially hated Minecraft and had never understood why my brother enjoyed playing such a pixelated game; however, my thoughts are changing. I had initially googled Youtube as a great teaching resource but was surprised when an article about “Minecraft being the ultimate teaching tool”  came up. After reading the article and watching the video I got to thinking that maybe my opinion about the game had been wrong this whole time.

To explain, Minecraft is like a huge online lego game. You have your character who can build, harvest, dig, swim, and many other things. There isn’t a particular object to the game besides stay alive and have fun. There are certain challenges you can take on (like defeating a dragon), but really the game centralizes around your own imagination. I had asked my brother once why he liked it so much and he had simply replied he enjoyed building whatever he wanted and playing with his friends to do so. I was amazed to see some of the houses, castles, and mines he created and how much time that went in to those.

Here’s a video I found on Youtube that helps show the game experience a little more and also show how creative the players can be. It’s a parody of the song “Wake me Up” done with Minecraft game play:

I was amazed with how much work and time that must have went in to this video. The combination of the lyrics, and videos, and putting it all together would be timely; however, the product is just so cool! Referring back to the article I had read, it had stated a few specific examples of how Minecraft is actually being used in the classroom by 20 000 students today:

1. Probability- build a random animal dropper

2. Physics- measure the time it takes a block to fall and then talk about gravity

3. You can build almost any historical architecture or build sets for Shakespearean plays

4. Use the block to talk about area and volume

5. Create art and put it in a gallery

6. Teach a different language with in-game signs (boards you post notes on)

One of the huge benefits to Minecraft is the flexibility is encompasses. It can literally be altered to fit so many different subjects and objectives while keeping students engaged and excited about learning. One of the main points the article had stated was the importance and benefits of the students being in charge of their own learning. Reaching out to students’ interests and teaching within those domains is always a positive teaching method and one I aspire to use.

While there are many regulations and lessons that need to come before the lessons with Minecraft can take place, there seems to be many benefits to using it in class. While it does not work for every subject, it is definitely interesting to think about how it could apply to my teaching. While I don’t find myself drawn to this video game to play in my spare time, I can now understand why so many kids enjoy it- the freedom to build and play however you imagine. This to me is a very interesting thought and possible teaching tool.

Google Search

Have you ever googled your name for fun? Just to see see what would come up? Well I have done this quite a bit before. Today I did it for my ECMP355 class. At first I just google my name my ‘teacher’ facebook page came up. Other than that nothing about the real Kylie Biggs came up.

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I then decided to look my name up with different cities I have lived in. A few different things came up from these searches. It was a rather nostalgic experience. These are the different things that came up:

1. My name with my the school and year I graduated high school from along with about 15 other classmates names

2. Two photographs of me in high school. One of these photos was surprising to see because it was taken by a friend I have not talked to in many years.

3. A note I wrote to my deceased friend’s family in grade 11 that I wrote at his funeral. This one came as a big shock to me.

4. My blog (this blog!)

5. My students art I have posted on my blog came up under the image search

I created an about.me page as suggested by Sue Waters. I googled my named after making my page but it did not come up on the google search.

http://about.me/kyliebiggs

Did anyone else see if their about.me page or any other recently created bio pages came up on there google search?

How to Blog Like a Boss

My Education Computer Class (ECMP355) had an online session with Susan Waters. She talked to our class about how to become a master at blogging! I found this session to be helpful as a new blogger and I will share some things I have learned and change about my blog.

I now know about categories and tags. Categories is like the index in a book and general. Tags are the like what in the back of a book and specific.

I learned how to adjust the size of my poll that was powered by Google drive. You just need to change the numbers in the embedded code.

I currently have the tagline “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important. -Bill Gates” Sue said that your tagline should be what the blog is about so I am debating changing my tagline.

I have also began to link items and know how to do so properly. I have Susan’s name and Google Drive link on this post. Before I would have probably just typed the website in but now I know how to make it so you just click on the words and it will take you to the website.