Building my PLN Through EDTC300

As part of my online learning experience for EDTC300, I was required to begin developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) for myself. I have learned that having a PLN is a valuable tool for one to have, and I am proud to have begun the process of building a strong one! In an article that explains PLN’S from teacherchallenge.edublogs.org, it stated that “the PLN consists of relationships between individuals where the goal is enhancement of mutual learning. The currency of the PLN is learning in the form of feedback, insights, documentation, new contacts, or new business opportunities. It is based on reciprocity and a level of trust that each party is actively seeking value-added information for the other.”

Blogging on my eportfolio, comment on my classmate’s blogs, talking on Slack, and interacting on twitter are four of the main ways that I have begun the process of developing my PLN through EDTC300.

Building and Expanding your Professional Learning Network

I have listed some of my most proud interactions throughout the semester below:

Blogs:

I would have to say that blogging was undoubtedly the most time-consuming portion this semester, but definitely worth every second! It has allowed me to establish positive relationships with fellow classmates and connect with others. It is also lovely to have my learning journey through EDTC300 and other classes documented in one location. I created my blog in ECS100 last semester, and have seen it improve in many ways since the start of EDTC300. My blog is undoubtedly something I will continue to use soon as a resource database, and document my learning in a variety of classes.

My Blog:

When classmates commented on any of my blog posts, I made sure to accept their feedback, answer any questions they may have had, and thank them for their thoughtful responses.

Commenting on Classmate’s Blogs:

Each week I made sure to comment on at least 5 classmate’s blog posts on their work and give both constructive and positive feedback on their learning project posts and required blogs for the class. It was nice to be able to follow along and see the progression of some of my classmates with their learning projects throughout the semester.

Slack:

Slack is an instant messaging system and a location that can be used for messaging, files, and tools. It is essentially a type of chatroom as an alternative to using email. I didn’t use Slack much this semester, but when I did, I found it quite handy to easily have the contact information of my classmates, mentors, and professor all in one location. My primary use for Slack was to access the recordings from each class and to lend a helping hand if any of my classmates needed it.

Twitter:

Twitter is surely the online social media network that I used the most this semester. In the beginning, I found it quite overwhelming to scroll through my feed and through all the information, but after a short time, I found myself spending quite a bit of time on it. Each day I check my other social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, but I found Twitter being put into the mix once I started using it. I discovered that Twitter is what has helped me to develop my PLN the most. I have had my Twitter account for quite a while, but just this semester, I became more active on it because of EDTC300, and I am sure glad I did! It is surely something I will continue to make use of.

Commenting on Classmate’s Twitter Pages:

Tweeting Resources

Twitter has also been an excellent spot for me to build my bank of resources, and even to gain some from others!

Building new Connections With Fellow Educators:

I am proud to say that making use of Twitter this semester has helped me develop new connections with fellow educators online (even my history teacher from high school)!

#Saskedchat

During EDTC300, we participated in a twitter chat as a group in one of our classes on February 5. At first, I found them to be quite overwhelming and hard to keep up with, but a short time after I found it to be such a positive educational experience that I joined many more on  February 20, March 10 & 19, and April 2 & 9.

In conclusion, I could have posted way more photos of my interactions and the development of my PLN, but I’d have a crazy long blog post, so I better not! Taking EDTC300 has helped me learn how crucial it is for someone, educators, in particular, to have a well-developed PLN. I am thankful for all the opportunities that EDTC300 has offered me to build my own PLN and to help me assist others in building theirs too!

Here’s to the End! (But not Really…)

As this semester comes to a close, so does my time in EDTC300, which also means the end of my learning project. Having the opportunity to learn yoga during my second semester of University has been an experience like no other. With yoga, I have had the chance to learn that my body is capable of so much more than I ever thought it was, I have been able to gain valuable feedback and positivity from my peers, learned how important it is to be in the present moment. Most important of all, that patience is vital. Going beyond all that I have accomplished with my yoga, I have also gained a higher level of confidence, showing my progress to others online, socializing and giving feedback to others on their projects, learned where and how to find useful resources online, along with learning to edit videos! I pushed myself beyond what I thought I would in this class and successfully learned how to edit several videos to document my progress throughout the semester and upload them to Youtube. It is safe to say that learning Yoga has been a fantastic adventure, and I am happy to say it is one that will continue after my completion of EDTC300.

Learning Project #1- You’re Doing What?!

  • Introduction to my project
  • What inspired me to choose yoga
  • What I hope to achieve through my project
  • Finding resources which could be helpful for my journey

Learning Project #2- I did it! Well sort of…

  • Positives and negatives about my first resource
  • My first step of learning
  • Story-time
  • Finding out that I can challenge my body

Learning Project #3-  A Rough Start…

  • Rough week due to being very sick and having a lack of energy
  • Sharing beneficial resources
  • Continuing to enjoy the positivity and spark that yoga gives my body
  • Expanding my yoga vocabulary by sharing a resource and summary on my favourite pose

Learning Project #4- My Fourth Week of Flowing Forwards!

  • Practices continue to feel very beneficial, still using Yoga with Adriene
  • I began to practice yoga on my own without videos
  • Used yoga blocks for the very first time
  • Challenging my balance and testing my frustration
  • Sharing images of my progress for the first time

Learning Project #5- Experimenting with Yoga and Video Editing

  • Using iMovie to edit a video of my practice (step-by-step)
  • Testing my patience through iMovie
  • Tried out a video from Yoga with Kassandra
  • Happy that I successfully edited my first video (with challenges, of course)!

Learning Project #6- Finding my Flow

  • Migrated back to more of Adriene’s videos
  • Becoming more comfortable taking photos of myself in different poses and stretches
  • Using the internet to learn stretches and proper techniques to use with yoga blocks
  • Making use of the yoga resources at my gym (mats, blocks, etc.)
  • Feeling my flexibility increasing
  • Finding out that my body has begun to crave more yoga and movement

Learning Project #7- Happy Practice = Happy Moments

  • Trying out a new practice from Sarah Beth Yoga
  • Sharing updated progress photos as a follow-up from a few weeks back
  • Seeing progress in my body and its posing
  • Realizing that yoga is something I will continue to pursue after the conclusion of my learning project

Learning Project #8- Channelling my Inner Cat-Cow

  • Joining a community called Yoga Journal on Twitter
  • Setting a goal to learn three new poses a week
  • Sharing more progress photos and new poses I have learned
  • Attended my first in-person yoga class
  • Created a video to demonstrate how to do my favourite yoga pose (cat-cow) step by step
  • Having a setback with my project since my gym closed due to COVID-19 (my gym has a full open room with equipment, which is where I usually practiced)

My Top Takeaways:

-The internet is full of resources and is one giant resource in itself. Before my yoga learning journey, I had seen yoga online before but didn’t think it would be valid through a screen. Throughout my research and learning journey, I have realized that the internet is a great way to learn almost anything new because of the thousands of resources available such as videos, images, websites, etc.

-This learning project has taught me that it can be more difficult than you think to present yourself online, but it is nothing to be scared of. Initially, I was afraid to post images and videos of myself online to document my progress. Still, through time, it played an essential part in deeply benefitting me and my learning journey. When I created a new post each week on my blog, I always had classmates offering tips and positive encouragement.

-Before starting this project, I can say that I definitely underestimated yoga. Learning yoga was a commitment of my mind, spirit, and soul, but also my time. There were days when I found it challenging to fit in my practice or when I felt discouraged that I couldn’t do a pose correctly, but it has all been worth it. Yoga is something I have been eyeing up for a long time, and I am so happy I chose to go forward with it as my learning project. I will always be grateful to have had his opportunity to push my learning to a whole new level with only a screen and a yoga mat. I am proud to say that I feel as though I have come a long way since the beginning and that yoga is something that will be following me into my future.

I am so happy with how my learning project turned out. Still, it would not have been possible without my very supportive EDTC300 classmates, and for Katia for allowing me to challenge myself by learning something new using the online world. I am thrilled with how I have progressed with my yoga practice throughout the semester, and I can’t wait to continue my practice and new skills well into the future!

Namaste!

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I’m Crazy for Coding!

This week in EDTC300, I had the opportunity to try coding for the first time, and it was amazing! Being a first-year university student, coding is a concept that I was not at all familiar with before beginning EDTC300. I never tried it in school and not in university so far until now. For my first go with coding, I chose to use a coding puzzle from Code.org called Code with Anna and Elsa. 

Here is how it went!

Step 1: Make a single line that seemed easy enough!
Step 2: Create two 90 degree angles which can be connected together to make a square. It also seemed easy enough!
Step 3: Put 4 lines together to make a square.
Step 4: Use the repeat block to create a square, rather than creating a new sequence for each side.
Step 5: Just as I thought I was getting the hang of it, the next part of the puzzle asked me to create 3 squares, ensuring I turn 120 degrees before each square. My frustration began to rise at this point!
Step 6: Make a snowflake using the repeat block. At this point, I felt as though I had definitely underestimated coding. As someone who had never had experience with coding, I thought that this was an excellent place to stop until I become more comfortable with coding. I felt that this was an excellent start to my coding journey!

Here is a video of my progression through each level of the puzzle. Although there were several stages left, I felt as though I had made a good start for my first time coding, so I decided to stop for now. I stopped at the sixth level, because I had absolutely no clue what to do, and felt very lost. As if the frustration wasn’t real enough, I thought I was smart enough not using the tutorial videos with most levels, now I know that I should have watched them… not so intelligent Jaelyn! Oh well, live and learn.

Another thing I learned is that coding is most definitely not as easy as it looks. As I said, I had zero experience with coding before this assignment, so I feel as though the more I try it, the more I will be comfortable with it. I do feel as though I made significant progress for my first time.

In terms of the importance of coding, I believe that it is a crucial skill for one to have. Especially since we are becoming more and more immersed in the digital world, children need to be able to use and know how the technology around them works. I also believe that younger children learn to code, the better. As someone who only recently learned to code at nineteen years old, I found coding to be quite the challenge, to be honest. Learning the skill of coding at a young age would help to prepare children for several opportunities in life and in their schooling with different classes and skills such as communication, Math, English, etc. Coding is a lifelong skill with endless possibilities!

I also found this article that goes deeper into Why coding is an Investment into Your Child’s Future. I’d recommend checking it out!

How do you feel about coding? Have you ever tried it before?

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

//Jaeblack bunting flags

 

 

 

 

Deconstructing Digital Literacy

The definition of Digital Literacy from teachthought.com says that “digital literacy is the ability to interpret and design nuanced communication across fluid digital forms.” Digital literacy is not only crucial for everyone to have but is especially an important skill to be taught inside and outside of the classroom. Now more than ever, students and educators alike, are depending on the web for a wide variety of information and resources. We must understand digital literacy as it becomes more of an essential ability in our world today.

I am currently enrolled in the Secondary program with a major in Health, and minors in Social Studies and Inclusive Education. I feel as though the concept of digital literacy is something that will play a significant role in high school classrooms when I am teaching in one of my own. Students are exposed to a wide variety of technology such as iPads, Chromebooks, Laptops, and even their personal cellphones. Along with technology, high school students also use technological programs such as Twitter, Google, and Youtube, to name a few. With using technology and the applications that come with them, it is essential that students and educators are aware of online safety and can tell the legitimacy of whatever it is that they are using. With legitimacy comes fake news, which has a more substantial online presence now than it ever has before.

Fake news is news or stories created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers.  It is something that we must teach our students about because it is becoming more prominent in the online world to easily trust everything we read. We must help educate our students that not everything they read online is reliable, accurate, and valid information. It is just as essential to give them the proper learning and tools to help them filter the truth online, from the trash.

The following from an article on edcan.ca are strategies and ideas can help students identify fake news and become critical readers of the world around them :

  • Move beyond traditional – and often ineffective – information evaluation checklists
  • Prioritize helping students develop investigative techniques
  • Teach students to identify bias using tools like a media bias chart
  • Bring real-world fake news examples that we encounter everyday into the classroom.

Another resource that can help teach students to identify fake news is through the Five C’s of Critical Consuming. The video is nice and short but provides a strong message and learning tool throughout. The Five C’s of Critical Consuming are:

  • Context- When was it written? Where does it come from? Have the events changed since then?
  • Credibility- Does the site have integrity? Does the author cite? Is it an advertisement posing as a news story?
  • Construction- What is the bias? Any propaganda?
  • Corroboration- Make sure it isn’t the only source making the claim.
  • Compare- Compare to other credible sources.

In terms of the Saskatchewan Curriculum, digital literacy can be related to many subjects. In my own opinion, as long as some sort of technology is being used in any subject, digital literacy can be incorporated and related to the subject area. Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, you name it, digital literacy can and will play a role in each one. When teaching about digital literacy, it is vital that teachers are educated on it themselves, and treat it as a serious subject matter, not just something that is looked at once, and never again (similar to online safety). Students need to know that the internet isn’t always fun and that there are times when being online can be scary.  Show them a variety of news articles with different headlines, and have them distinguish real from fake. You would be surprised at what leads students to sometimes think that something as complex as a news headline is real when it is indeed fake.

There is an article written by the NCTE that discusses ways to make students aware of the dangers of providing information from unreliable sources. They talk about how students used things such as online media, blackboards, and mobile devices to help them in their learning. These goals can be incorporated into our own classrooms by having students do an online search and create presentations with their findings, using blackboards as a vote whether a source is reliable or not from its title or website, or even have students use their own mobile devices to share.

Digital literacy is critical to teach to our students and is something that they will use both in and out of the classroom. Providing learning opportunities with digital literacy will allow our students to be comfortable in distinguishing between what is real and fake that they see online, ultimately helping them see Beyond Fake News while ensuring their own personal safety too.

Here is a link to a video I found on Youtube that helped me better understand digital literacy and why it is important!

I also found this additional article to be beneficial in further expanding my understanding of digital literacy.

How are you helping deconstruct digital literacy in your own classroom?

Channelling my Inner Cat-Cow

I am happy to say that the past couple of weeks have been very productive in terms of my Learning Project!

As I was scrolling through Twitter, I came across an account called Yoga Journal. It is a page that shares not only useful tools around yoga but with overall well-being too. One thing I also love that they do is that they interview different yoga instructors from around the world. It is super cool to see how yoga is different around the globe, and this is a community I cannot wait to keep using to enhance my practice.

Yoga Journal on Twitter!

This week instead of doing practices from Youtube, I decided to do some deeper digging on the internet and look for other resources. My prime focus for this week’s practice was to work on my formation and strength. After finding the Yoga Journal on Twitter, I did some more research on the internet and was able to find their website, and I wish I would have found it sooner! The site has a list of poses with names from all levels. I thought I would give some of the intermediate ones a shot, and I think they don’t look too bad.

Along with the list of poses, they also have videos, tips, meditation, and more on their website. Safe to say this resource will be coming in handy in the next few weeks! I am going to set a goal for myself to learn 3 new poses each week and share them with photos, to see how much I can teach my body.

Boat Pose
Bow Pose
Camel Pose

Just over a week ago, on Friday before my gym closed due to the COVID-19 concerns, I attended an in-person yoga class at the gym I go to. I built up the courage to participate in my first yoga class on my own, and it is something I will surely do again. In terms of difficulty, I found it to be quite simple since the main focuses were on breath and proper positioning. The instructor asked the other members what they wanted to work on during the class, and me being there for the first time, I just went with the flow and did what everyone else did. It was so refreshing and eye-opening to do a class in person, rather than off of the screen. Like I said, I can see myself going to another class if I need some time of relaxation and stretch, but in terms of difficulty, I may keep attending them once COVID-19 is over, and the gym opens back up, to see what else is in store for me.

Since I didn’t want to take any photos during my yoga class, I thought I would create an informational video on how to perform one of my favourite yoga poses/stretches called the Cat-Cow. I find it very beneficial when I need a good stretch in my lower back, to work on my breathing, or just to ease any tension. I hope you enjoy it, and that is all I have for this week.

Do you have any useful yoga resources? If so, feel free to share them below.

Stay tuned for next week’s post to see what I learn and find out next!

Namaste// -Jaelyn

Becoming Aware of my Own Gender- ECS110

How did you come to be aware of your own gender? In the post, discuss what difference your understanding of your own identity/positionality might have for you as a becoming teacher.

I can easily recall the day I became more aware of my own gender. When I was in elementary school, guessing about grade one or two, I was outside during afternoon recess with my close group of “girlfriends” at the time. The girls began to talk about another one of our classmates negatively, so I removed myself from the situation and walked over to the group of my male classmates playing soccer across the playground. I was curious as to what they would say if I asked if I could play with them, but I decided not to worry and walked towards them anyways. When I reached the area where they were playing their game, I called over to my friend Jack and asked if I could play. The response I received from one of the males in the other class is something I will never forget. Jack answered, “yes, of course,” but then Ben said to Jack, “why are you letting her play? She’s a girl.” At that moment, I became agitated and wondered why I was being excluded from the game. 

It took me a while to realize why I was excluded from the game, I then realized that it was because of my gender. It was all male students playing soccer, so they didn’t want to have a female involved in the game.

As I was doing the reading from this week, I found that I was able to relate my story to the statement from page 108 that states, “but what is emphasized between boys and girls varies.” I realized that sports were always something that was always emphasized with the male students I went to school with, but never the female students. It helped me understand why the boys were so uncomfortable with me joining their game as the only female player.

Another statement that I was able to relate to my story is the one from page 103 that says how the “water is difficult to see while we are swimming in it.” When Jack gave his response to Ben, I was quite upset at what he had said at the time. Now that I am older, I have learned that there may have been a reason for him to say what he had said. Maybe that is all he knew, or perhaps that is how he had been brought up? It may have been hard for him to realize that what he said was wrong because that is maybe all he knew.

In terms of what difference my own understanding of my own gender will be for me as a teacher, I now know that everyone has different experiences that allow them to understand their gender in different ways. It is important that I as an educator am accepting of all of my students and their learning experiences. Just because I learned about my gender one way, doesn’t mean that all my students are going to have the experience like I had. It is also crucial that my students know that I will always be a set of ears and a voice for them always.

Female Gender Symbol | Female symbol, Girl symbol

Happy Practice = Happy Moments

This past week for my yoga practice, I focused on the technical and strength aspects of yoga. I also took a step out of my comfort zone and instead of using a video from Yoga with Adriene, I chose to select a video from a new instructor’s channel named Sarah Beth Yoga. On her channel, there are tons of yoga videos! I am now doing intermediate vinyasa routines, so it was nice to experience practice from someone new! I went with her Full Body Yoga Flow Flow Intermediate Vinyasa Routine, and oh my goodness, did I ever feel the heat! Although the video was a short 20 minutes, I was definitely sweating by the end. One thing I liked with Sarah’s video is that all the moves felt more connected in a sense, and she also gave visual modifications if viewers were struggling with a particular pose. I am happy I tried out one of Sarah’s videos because it worked my body, to say the least, and can see myself using more of her videos soon.

This week I also thought it would be fun to make some progress update photos for myself. If you have been following me along my journey, you will see that the images I have posted below are the same photos in my post from a few weeks back, but with improved progress. I went back to the pictures I took of myself before and recreated the images with hopes to be able to see the progress that my body has been feeling. I am so happy to see how far I have come since I first started practicing yoga! As much as I do enjoy learning from online videos and practices, I have found it beneficial to also take a step back and work on my poses with the guidance of my body too. Being able to see my progress has helped me realize the passion I have gained for yoga thus far in my learning project, and how it is something I will pursue and continue into my future. Here’s to even more progress and happy moments with the weeks to come!

Namaste// – Jaelyn

Left-side Dancer Pose (Leg is up higher, and body appears to be more relaxed.)
Right-side Dancer Pose (Body is leaning out further, and leg is extended out more.)
“Malasana” or Yoga Squat Pose (Both feet are flat on the floor slightly improved extension from the lower back, and slight improvement of the chest is more opened up. Although elbows need to be tucked into knees more and pushing apart.)