As a final assignment we were to put together a presentation to share online discussing what we learnt during this class, and then share it online.
This is my somewhat organic approach to presentation. I wanted to keep it natural, but just speaking to the camera feels somewhat uncomfortable. Saying that, I managed to touch upon the areas I wanted.
So today after working together for some weeks, I said farewell to my wonderful mentor Michelle Cordy and her exuberant students.
This endeavour has been an amazing way to learn, connect and teach, entirely within the boundaries of modern technology. I never physically met Michelle, or any of her amazing kids, but this, for the most part, did not cause any obstacles when it came to rich human interaction, and I feel we will remember the fun times we shared for many years to come.
So this is the final tech task, and now I am to offer some insight into what I wish my classroom to be like in the future.
Now it is difficult for me at this stage to fully conceptualize my classroom. Once I have finished my degree I intend to work outside of Canada, and teach at an international school. Those are the only absolutes. I feel what I should do here is imaging what I think should be the classroom, what should have been the classroom for me, and what I want for the young learners of the future.
Well I have to say that this ECMP 355, Computers in the classroom, class is inspiring stuff. It is making it very clear to me that the classrooms of the future are not going to be anything like what I experienced as a child. But it isn’t just technology that has seeped its way into education that is making change happen, this is amazing in itself, but it is the embracing of new methods and ideas, and the open-mindedness of the teachers of today. The dynamic of teaching, what it is to educate, the role in itself is being redefined from one of provider, to one of guidance.
This weeks task was to listen to the three speakers we had and discuss the ideas they had which were our favourites in terms of how they utilized today’s electronic advances and injected them into their middle years classrooms.
As part of my ECMP 355 – Computers In The Classroom – component of my degree, I was given an opportunity to experience a ‘mentorship’ environment. We were given a list of teachers which had kindly put their names forward, from a huge variety of teaching backgrounds, and we were to add our names to the list and then liase with our chosen mentors accordingly. I put my name against a couple, not really fully-understanding where this would go; there was one that mentioned iPads so I thought perhaps they would want some training on the iPad. As it turns out, this was a class where every child already had an iPad, and was part of a new program. As this was something I had never heard of before, I was excited to see how the class functioned with this unique hybrid of traditional class and new technology. Above is a video which Michelle Cordy, my mentor for this class, has produced, which gives you some insight into how she has integrated iPads into the classroom; she also manages a website called Hack The Classroom.
For this tech task we were asked to send a question to this week’s speaker, George Couros, via Twitter. As we have been learning about online bullying in another class I’m engaged in I sent a question regarding this particular topic.
I appreciated the speed in which George responded, literally about a minute. Also, I thought his response was insightful and reassuring, especially as he feels that bullying has decreased due to the existence of online presence.
The next section of the task was to ‘google’ ourselves to see what kind of presence we have. I took a picture accordingly.
The first thing to come up is my YouTube, which is fair, I’m ok with the videos it has displayed. My twitter handle and personal website both represent safe content as far as I’m concerned. The only thing I might change is the fact I’ve described myself as an artistic dreamer type, which is true, however from a career standpoint I might adjust that to something more professional.
For this task we had to experiment with QR code ideas and attempt to create an interesting use, or new idea with the QR concept. The QR code is an image that can be scanned by a phone which can lead to different results.
I created a quick QR code on one of the many abundant websites out there dedicated to creating the codes. I copied it onto Photoshop and designed a quick poster, then printed it and stuck it to our fridge. Watch the video to see the results:
The website I linked to the code has a mobile version of their site so it appears more appropriate to the user.
For part of this weeks tech task we were requested to blog from our cell phones.
For extra points we were to try to post an audio snippet from our phones and have them upload directly to WordPress. I learned that this can be done by enabling a feature from within WordPress, you then call a number from your phone, key in a special code, and begin your recording from there.
Below are the results. I wanted to see what it would sound like for live music, so I played some Guitar. I found that the voice part came out great but the music sounded distant and distorted, so I may try again in the future with the phone mic closer to the Guitar to see if that makes any difference.
Pleased to learn about this feature, may come in handy in the future.
For one of this weeks tech tasks we are to create a ‘personal recipe’ using the very interestingly diverse, online tool that is IFTTT (If This Then That).
So I went to create my recipe not really knowing what I was going to do and it gave me an option of many accounts I could add to it as my ‘this’ option, and chose an option of my recipe being enabled if I added a new photo to Instagram. After that was added it gave me the same selection of accounts to choose from, and that is when my idea came forth, something that would be of some use to me personally. I am always taking pictures and sharing them with my Facebook, it is an automatic option available, but my Auntie Wendy always misses out because she does not have a Facebook. So I chose Gmail as the account to be connected to the ‘that’ part of my recipe and filled in the relevant details including her email address.
Now this recipe is active, I can be pleased in the knowledge that every time I upload one of my photo ‘masterpieces’ my Auntie Wendy will be sent the very same picture via email for her to enjoy. With the advent of our new baby arriving in May, this has, and will be, a very welcomed opportunity for bespoke sharing.
The second online tool I used to tell a story is called One True Media. I found this site to be very similar to Animoto, in that you can upload images and create a semi-professional video with an array of free content, but didn’t appear as modern, it certainly wasn’t as functional as Animoto, nor was the final product as polished in terms of definition. As I had really created my story based off one of Animoto’s themes, I had to be more creative with telling the same story, as One True Media did not have a ‘Snow Globe’ theme per se. I addressed this issue by finding couple of relevant images from the previously discovered – and extremely useful – Compfight, and used those to replace the impressive animation that Animoto provided in my first instalment.