Summary of Learning

 

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Tech Task #10

Facebook… Twitter… MySpace… Skype… Social Networking sites that make teachers cringe. But why?

Perhaps it is because we don’t fully understand how to use these tools to our advantage. Perhaps it is because our students are more fluent with these sites than we are. Perhaps it is because we are hesitant to venture into the “unknown“…

Regardless of the reason for avoiding social networking sites in the classroom, it is a teacher’s responsibility to remain current, to be aware of the new tools that are available, and to be a life long learner. Avoiding social networking sites because they “have no use in the classroom” (which really means you don’t know how to use them properly) is like saying that you do not want an upgraded version of a textbook because you are more familiar with the 1980 version.

At what point does the need to expand one’s learning and accept radical things like social networking sites as a useful resource become more about the teacher than it does the students?

Social networking sites are useful resources for teachers.

To quote M. M. Madan:

In general, social networking provides new ways to connect and share information and create networks of interest.  So, while in more traditional learning environments much of this must be orchestrated and planned by the instructor and organized through the grouping and pairing of students, when using a social networking tool this level of connection can happen immediately.

Picture it: Watching live footage with your students on some monumental current event that is happening while you are in your classroom. What a teaching opportunity! Instead of learning about something after it happens, Social Networking sites and media in general provide teachers the opportunity to teach in real time… This is something that has never been able to be done before, and it is an opportunity that needs to be taken!

Instead of repeating what has already been said, check out this video:

All in all, social networking sites should not be avoided simply because FaceBook has given them a bad name. There are ways to incorporate these sites into the everyday classroom that will help expand the knowledge available to your students… And that’s one of your roles as an educator, is it not? 🙂

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Final Project

Well ladies and gentlemen, we’ve done it! We’ve completed our final project and we are very excited about it. Hopefully some educators out there will find it useful when looking for a strategy to teach reading.

Have a look, we are pretty proud of it!

Teaching Reading: Three Strategies

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Social Networking to Enhance Political Campaigns?

Stephen Harper has 100,000+ followers on Twitter, Michael Ignatieff has just over 69,000. Stephen Harper has 43,000 likes on Facebook, Michael Ignatieff has 41,000. Can this reflect the way Canadians are feeling towards the upcoming election?

Apparently not.

According to a segment that was broadcasted on CTV’s Canada AM this morning, the number of followers may not accurately reflect who has the most followers. It was said on the show that while Stephen Harper has more followers, a lot of them are inactive — meaning they are not actively following Stephen Harper and his “tweets” or “posts”. Ignatieff, however, has a much more active audience.

Check out this short clip that was aired on Canada AM this morning, it’s pretty interesting:

Go to http://www.ctv.ca/canadaam and on the right hand side under the heading “Canada AM & Jeff’s Videos” look for a video with the title  A Look At Social Media and The Federal Election.

How do you think social media and networking will affect this year’s election? Do you think they will be able to reach more (normally apathetic) groups (ie: young voters)?

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OMG OED!

The Oxford English Dictionary has been updated! Words like ‘LOL’ and ‘OMG’ have been included in the recently published version (March 24, 2011).

Check out this blog post (I came across it because it was Freshly Pressed yesterday!) OED

How do these new additions, among others (ie: muffin top) affect us as teachers? Are we going to have to modify the way we teach Language Arts? Do you think these changes may affect us at the University level? Something to think about…

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3 Weeks Left!

Wow, where has the time gone? I can’t believe that there is only 3 weeks left of school, and then I will be a graduate of the U of R’s Education Program.

Although it may seem like the time has flown by, as I reflect I realize that getting here was quite the journey… It wasn’t until my last semester in High School that I started looking at prerequisites to get into Universities, and fortunately all I needed was one extra class (Bio 30) and I was able to pick it up. Then I decided that I was going to take a year off and figure out what I wanted to do, but a representative from the University of Lethbridge came to our school so I went to listen to hear her speak. At the end of her session she gave us an application form, so I filled it out. A few weeks later I received my acceptance letter.

Since the U of L did not have an immediate acceptance into the Education program, I studied English for my first two years. After that I could apply to the Education program, but I was too afraid of taking a prerequisite for the program (Ed 2500) because it required presenting in front of my peers. I waited until my last semester of my 4th year in Lethbridge until I took that class. Since it was my last semester I decided to apply to several education programs, not just the one in Lethbridge. I applied to the University of Victoria, University of Lethbridge, and the University of Regina. I applied to the middle years program here at the U of L but was offered a spot in the elementary program. I accepted it, and two years later, here I am!

Relating this to students, sometimes they may need just a little bit of extra time to figure out who they are and where they want to be. Some students may not find these things out until they get there–much like I did. I believe that patience and encouragement are two of the most important attributes that a teacher should have. With these two traits, anything is possible.

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How To Teach

I was browsing a few blogs and came across a post looking at the idea of hiring actors to teach–after all teaching is just communicating ideas and concepts efficiently, is it not?

Check out the post.

I was reading through the comments and one of them said: to teach something, all you have to do is be one lesson ahead of your students!

What do you think? Do you agree? I know that there will be times when I wont be familiar with the content that I am expected to teach, but is this a good philosophy to have? I know when I read that comment I felt a little tinge of anger start to rise in my stomach, but I’m curious to know what you think?

to teach something, all you have to do is be one lesson ahead of your students!
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