My Summary of Learning for EDTC300

I have enjoyed taking this class this semester and I have learned about many new, fantastic pieces of educational technology which have all been added to my ‘teachers’ toolkit”.

Follow this link to watch my Summary of Learning video!

I will also attach a link to my script for the above video here, as there are times in the video when the audio cuts out, for reasons unknown.

Thanks for following my journey through EDTC 300!

Final Networked Learning

At the beginning of the semester, Katia told us, “Keep a log of your contributions to others’ learning”. She also told us that some of us would forget to do this, and I have to admit, that I was one of these people (to an extent).

I always had that piece of advice in the back of my mind, but when it came to answering questions on Slack, I either did not know the answer to the question needed, or someone always already beat me to the punch. I did, however, ask questions on Slack, which in turn, contributed to the learning of myself, as well as to the learning of others, as it seemed that others were having similar problems. I will attach screenshots to this conversation.

Another way that I contributed to the learning of others was through Twitter. I have to admit that I did struggle when it came to keeping up with my Twitter sharing. Although I was not a regular Twitter user, I did share and comment on classmates posts, and a screenshot of that will be attached.

I also contributed to the learning of others by commenting on classmates’ blog posts. I will be attaching screenshots to my comments on Brooke, Nelly, and Jaidyn’s blog posts.

All the evidence and screenshots to the items mentioned above will can be found in this Google Doc.

Learning Project Wrap Up

As some of you may already know, this semester for my personal learning project, I had decided to teach myself American Sign Language (ASL).

I started out simple and taught myself the ASL alphabet. I was fortunate enough to have support from my sister while doing this project, as she joined in the learning. My sister has also always wanted to learn ASL, so we decided that this is something we would do together.

We practiced the letters of the alphabet by signing and spelling words to each other, seeing who could spell and ‘read’ the words the fastest.

Once we were confident with the alphabet, we moved onto basic colours and numbers 1 through 20. I have to admit that the numbers are still a bit fuzzy, but for the most part, I think I have them figured out.

Throughout the semester, my sister and I looked for various online resources to support our learning. In the search process, we downloaded dozens of apps and watched many, many ASL YouTube videos. Not all of the resources, however, were helpful so when we found a reliable resource, it was exciting!

In our searches, we came across one of my favourite resources which is a free online ASL course offered by Gallaudet University. I really enjoyed this resource because it is taught all through video with no audio and very little subtitle text. It really encourages the user to pay attention to facial expressions and the physical signs, much like those who are deaf or hard of hearing. It was only through this resource that I began to learn ASL grammar. This is something that I had been struggling with prior to finding this website, because all the other resources never really touched on grammar or sentence structure, so I didn’t know how to put my sentences together.

As we come to the end of the semester, I realize that I still have a lot of learning to do in ASL. I have decided that even though EDTC 300 is over, my learning project is not, and I look forward to continuing my journey with ASL. Because of the constant signing between my sister and I, my 12 year-old brother has developed an interest in ASL as well, so I look forward to teaching and learning alongside him too!

Thanks for following my journey!

Coding with a Space Monkey

This week, we were asked to spend some time learning about and working with code. Personally, before this week, I have had zero experience with code. I never really learned anything about it (that I can recall) in elementary school, and in high school, computer science was offered, but I did not take that course.

So, I decided to familiarize myself with this new(ish) concept using Code.org‘s coding game about a Space Monkey Adventure!

This game has a suggested student level of grades 2-8. In the game, you need to use code (aka a language the computer understands) to get the monkey to move around space to collect bananas. At first it is pretty straight-forward, and as you progress, more obstacles get thrown your way, and it starts to get complex. I liked that this game took into consideration the large suggested age-gap. For some of the younger users who may not know how to read, spell, or type as well as older users, there is a read-aloud instruction option, and it also gives students the option to type out the code, or click a correct sequence of buttons to produce the right code.

I think that this is a great way to introduce children to coding and I think that they would have a lot of fun with it.

Continuing to Learn Sign Language

This past week, I have been continuing to learn American Sign Language through the online course that I discovered and talked about in my last learning project post. Things with this online course have been going well and thus far, I am finding it to be very helpful.

This week I have been working on Lessons 3 and 4 in Module 1. In these lessons, I have been learning how to communicate about personal pronouns, how to introduce yourself, how to tell someone how much sign language you know, and the beginnings of learning to construct sentences in ASL.

Overall, I am very happy with this resource and am finding it to be a great resource! Next week, I plan to move into Module 2, titled “Making an Encounter”.

Cyber-Sleuthing Activity

This week we were asked to think about digital identity and the ways in which we are presenting and representing ourselves through our online identities. Kate Fagan made an interesting point in her article, Split Image, when she said that “Everyone presents an edited version of life on social media. People share moments that reflect an ideal life, an ideal self.” I think that this is very accurate for most people online, and is very impactful. Generally, I am a pretty private person and I don’t post or share too much on my social media accounts. I have always been conscious about how my online identity could affect job opportunities, both positively and negatively, so I always try to post with that in mind. I have also recently discovered Facebook’s privacy setting where you can pick and choose who you want to share certain individual posts with and who you want to block from seeing them. With all that in mind, I am curious to see what my cyber-sleuth partner can find out about me.

For the assigned cyber-sleuthing activity, I partnered up with Brandon. I have to admit that I felt a bit weird and almost kind of creepy as I was googling his name and looking through his social media accounts. From google and social media, I found out that his hometown is in Ontario and that he moved to a small town in Saskatchewan in 2010. I found out where he went to school and that he was a cross country and volleyball athlete. I also was able to find out who his parents, grandparents, and other family members are, through information given on an obituary.

All in all, I think that this was an eye-opening experience and I noticed that most of the information I found wasn’t even put out there by Brandon himself, but rather by other people.

ASL Course

Last week, I began looking around for more resources other than YouTube to help me learn ASL. Last week, I talked about some apps that I had found, but unfortunately, they weren’t as helpful as I had hoped they would be. So this week I began to look for other online learning tools and I came across a free online ASL course offered by Gallaudet University. To participate, you have to sign up for an account, and then you have access to a range of free lessons and modules.

This is one of the better and more helpful resources I have found for ASL thus far. I like that all their lessons are done through videos without any type of sound and they are sometimes accompanied by subtitles, but not always. At the end of each module, there is always a recap and quiz, which helps you to know what you have learned and what you might still need to practice more with.

As far as I can tell right now, there appears to only be 4 modules, and I am wondering if after these 4 have been completed, if more will become available or if you will have to pay to continue, or if that’s simply just all they offer.

My plan for the next week is to continue using this course to build my knowledge base in ASL.

Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

The use of digital technologies is beginning to start at a younger age than ever before. It is now becoming increasingly important to begin educating students about digital citizenship starting as soon as kindergarten.

For the purposes of this blog post, I have decided to take a look at Saskatchewan’s grade 2 curriculum and Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship to see how I could incorporate digital citizenship in my classroom and into various subjects. I have chosen to look at three elements of digital citizenship, and they are listed below.

Digital Etiquette:

The Digital Citizenship Continuum document outlines that children in K-2 should be aware that they need to treat others as they would like to be treated, both in real life and online. This would fit well with Health Education outcome USC2.4: “Examine social and personal meanings of “respect” and establish ways to show respect for self, persons, living things, possessions, and the environment.” Indicator J: “Discuss and provide examples of treating others as one would like to be treated.

Digital Rights and Responsibilities:

The Digital Citizenship Continuum document outlines that children in K-2 should understand that technology is a privilege and that there are responsibilities that come with using it. This would fit well with Social Studies outcome PA2.3: “Analyze rights and responsibilities of citizens in the school and local community.” Indicators C: “Relate the rights of citizens in the community to their responsibilities to the community” and Indicator D: “Identify opportunities for sharing responsibility in the school and community.”

Digital Health and Wellness:

The Digital Citizenship Continuum document outlines that children in K-2 should understand that spending too much time on digital devices can be harmful to your health and should take regular breaks to stretch and get some physical activity. This would fit well with Physical Education outcome PE2.2: “Analyze daily habits and actions that demonstrate personal engagement in, and taking personal responsibility for, leading a physically active life.” Indicator B: “Explain possible consequences of specific active and inactive behaviours (e.g., walking to school, playing computer games often) and habits (e.g., always stopping at stop signs when riding a bike) as they relate to the promotion of an active life.” and Indicator E: “Examine how automation (e.g., snow blowers, escalators, tread mills) and information technology (e.g., computers, heart rate monitors, video games, television) have an impact on how active people are.”

Apps for ASL

For the majority of this Learning Project, I have been using YouTube to teach me American Sign Language. While I have found this to be an extremely helpful resource, with an abundance of information and videos, this week, I have decided to look for some apps to help me.

The first App I chose to look at was called “American Sign Language MAL”. The app initially caught my attention because I noticed that there was a flashcard function. After downloading the app and using it, though, I found that it seemed kind of outdated and not very user friendly. I took a look at the flashcards they had on there, and while the cards themselves were ok, the quiz using the flashcards was a bit confusing and overall, not very helpful.

The second app I chose to look at this week was called “Mimix Sign Language Translator”. What originally attracted me to this app was the avatar who will sign what you as it to and then you are supposed to mimic it back. It appeared that the user is supposed to be able to speak a phrase into the microphone for the avatar to sign, but I was not able to get that function to work, so I’m not sure if that was a technical difficulty on my end or on theirs. I was still able to type phrases into the text bar, and I liked that the text was highlighted as the avatar signed the corresponding word. Something I didn’t like however, was that the avatar signed to quickly and her signs were not very clear. If there were a few minor fixes, I think that this app would be a useful one!

The third app I looked at this week was called “Sign School” and I think this was probably my favourite and it is likely to be the app I would use most often. This app is basically like an interactive ASL dictionary. It’s pretty easy to navigate, and they have 100s of words and phrases on the app. Each word or phrase is accompanied by a video, and users have the option to play the clip at regular speed or slow it down. I like the app because I think that it’s a super handy tool to have in your pocket if you want a quick reference, or even to look up a specific phrase that you may not already know.

I will continue to look for more apps and resources as I continue to teach myself ASL.