When asked in class this week to reflect on what I know about coding I realized how little I know, yet I rely on coding in my everyday life when I am online. Coding sounds like a very complicated task and it has never been something I have dove into because of the complexity of it. Our task this week was to go on a coding website to try out some easy coding tasks. This sounded very intimidating until I got on the website. I chose to try out coding on Hour of Code, when I entered the website there was an abundance of options for simple coding teaching guides.
They all looked very appealing, but as soon as I saw the Flappy Code guide, I knew that was the one I wanted to complete. I remembered playing Flappy Bird back in jr. high before the game was taken off of the app store, it brought back some fond memories.
As I started my coding task, I was quite pleased with the amount of instruction that was given. The instructions would appear at the top, once you believe you had completed the proper step, you can run the game and see if it works. In order to move on to the next step, you need to successfully complete the step you are on.
Steps 2-5 allowed me to set up the game. I was able to set what happens when the bird hits the ground, what happens when you click, what happens when the bird hits an obstacle, and I was able to set up the scoring system. Whenever the bird passes through the objects, a point is earned in the game, but if the bird hits the ground or the object, it is game over.
When I reached step 6, I was very surprised that it was getting me to choose the amount the bird flaps in the game when you click. I was honestly unaware that there were other speeds that the bird could go or that was an aspect of the game that could be adjusted.
Steps 7-8 incorporated background changes into the game. As you can see in the images below, I was able to change the background to the ocean as well as a cave. I found this step very interesting because I could initiate scene changes to happen when the bird moved through an object or when the bird hit the ground. In step 8, I was also able to change the character. There was a long list of characters to choose from, such as Santa, but I chose to go with a bunny!
Step 9 allowed me to change the outcome when the bird hit an object. Instead of ending the game, I was able to reset the score to zero. The player could continue playing, but would lose all points once an object was hit. I personally think this would be SO frustrating while playing, especially if you accumulated an immense amount of points and lost them all.
Step 10 was a ton of fun! In this step, I was able to create the game from scratch however I wanted. I used a ton of the codes I was taught over the past 9 steps, including changing the character, the setting, and the speed of the bird. When I tried it out, it worked great! I did try to screen record... but I personally suck at the game and could not make it past the first obstacle no matter how many times I tried! So, instead of posting a five second video of me epically failing, I thought a screenshot would do.
After this experience, I have realized that code doesn't have to be complicated, it can actually be a fun experience. Code is very important within our society since it centers around technology. technology is constantly evolving, and code is the only way it can advance like it has been the past 15 years. Incorporating these games into the classroom as a fun activity is also very important because it shows students that code isn't something to be scared of, it is something to embrace and appreciate. I will definitely be using Hour of Code again!
The topic of digital literacy is an important one as society is deeply embedded in technology. While I was growing up, technology was rapidly evolving, but teaching about digital literacy was never incorporated into any lessons we were taught. We were always told to "use reliable sources" but were never educated on how to detect when something online is a reliable sources. As a future educator, I know that digital literacy needs to be taught within the classroom.
These lessons need to begin as early as Kindergarten or Grade 1 as kids now a days have access to the internet at early ages. I believe that this type of lesson is best taught during an English Language Arts class or a Social Studies class, it can be incorporated with projects or reports the children need to create for the subject. For the purpose of this post, I would like to discuss digital literacy in a grade 5 classroom.
How can we educate grade 5's on digital literacy?
Grade 5 is a good age to start giving the children their own tasks to research the reliability of sources. Before sending them off to do this, it is important to sit down as a group and review exactly what needs to be looked at when looking at a source. In the article "How do we Teach Students to Identify Fake News" by Dr. Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrant, they discuss the idea of bringing real-world fake news examples that the students would encounter in the classroom to apply their skills in determining why it is fake. There are a few websites that would be helpful resources to teach the class as a whole. Can you Spot the Fake News Headline is a quiz that can be done as a class. It provides a few news headings and as a class, you need to determine what news headline is the fake one. This will build up the skills within students to steer clear of headlines that are fake news. Spot the Troll is a website that incorporates Twitter/Facebook profiles into a quiz. Some of the profiles will be fake/spams while others will be real. As a class, you can investigate the profiles together and vote on whether it is fake or not. Majority of the vote will be the answer you use, the website will tell you why you are correct or incorrect and highlight the aspects of the profile the viewer should be focusing on. After examining these quizzes as a class, the next step would be allowing the students to go online and examine a few articles that the teacher has chosen. They would be able to put their skills to the test and examine these headlines/articles and come to a conclusion on if it is fake or real. In the (National Council of Teachers of English), it states that students need opportunities to synthesize information, I believe by following the ideas provided for teaching digital literacy within a grade 5 class, the students would have the opportunity to do so.
Since a lot of individuals currently teaching or pursuing education to become a teacher did not grow up learning digital literacy in the classroom, it is important that we educate ourselves prior to educating our students.
It is no surprise that people now a days like to do some sleuthing on the internet prior to meeting new people and even after meeting them. I have to admit that I do partake in this, but I don't normally sleuth too deep. The usual spaces I check are Facebook and Instagram, but today I decided to take a deeper dive into online sleuthing. I chose to do some investigating on my sister, Carlee Fero, as I am always lecturing her on what she posts online. I googled Carlee's name and here is what I found...
The first thing that popped up was Carlee's Facebook profile. When I clicked on the link, it brought me to her profile. It looks like she has her privacy settings fairly tight on Facebook. It does not state her employment or where she lives. It does state that she attended St. Stephens Jr. High as well as Bishop Grandin High School which are located in Calgary. I was fairly impressed with the lack of information available.
Her Tik Tok account was the next thing that popped up on google. Her Tik Tok is not private, so all of her posts are available to the public. I know that most Tik Tok accounts aren't private because the whole point is to create content that others can view and like. Carlee has over twelve thousand followers, so I was fairly impressed by the amount of attention her account has gotten. Her account states her age as well as where she lives. She is twenty years old and lives in Calgary, Alberta.
Her next form of social media that popped up on google was her YouTube account. She had no videos posted, but does follow a ton of channels. There wasn't really any personal information on her YouTube account.
I was very surprised that Carlee's Instagram account was the last form of social media to pop up on google. Her account is public so anyone is able to see all of her photos. She has posted on this platform very few times, but all of her posts are about her life. She has many photos with her boyfriend as well as her family.
After examining all of these sites, it seems as though Carlee leads a fairly private life. It looked as though she used Tik Tok the most, but that is the current app trend within society, so I wasn't that surprised. While examining the Tik Tok account, I thought about the article "Having Multiple Online Identities is More Normal than you Think" by N. Lee. In the article, she talks about the audience we create our content for on different social media outlets. While looking at Carlee's profiles, I recognized that her Facebook account seemed more geared towards privacy and family, while her Tik Tok account was geared more towards the public and getting likes on the app.
I am constantly telling my sister to be careful about what she posts and shares on her profiles as it could have a huge impact on her life. Not only do people have access to your information, future employers do as well. I have been in the office at some jobs when they pull up online profiles while looking at resumes and it ultimately becomes their first impression of you. I also warn her about the content she posts due to the recent uprising of "cancel culture" and the amount of individuals posting nasty comments and contacting employers of that individual if they don't agree with something they see online. The video "How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life" uploaded by TedTalk, came to mind when thinking of the current state of cancel culture. The video showed how one comment/tweet/post can cause a detrimental effect online, including backlash from random individuals. This is especially popular on Tik Tok right now, I have seen multiple videos with quite rude comments trying to destroy that persons life.
Overall, I think it is important for everyone to be aware about what they are posting online as well as their privacy settings on their accounts. It may be a good idea to go check out how your accounts are set up! Stay safe in this world that revolves around technology.
After reading Riddle's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship as well as the Saskatchewan K-12 curriculum, one thing became very clear to me, as educators, we are responsible for educating the students on how to use technology properly. As discussed in class, many parents of young children are unaware of the full extent of the internet and technology because it has evolved so rapidly in the past 15 years, it's a whole new world. It's important for us to educate not only the children, but the parents as well. As discussed, this can be achieved by hosting seminars after school hours for the parents to attend or sending out pamphlets home for the parents.
I want to discuss a few of Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship and how it can be intertwined with the Saskatchewan K-12 Curriculum .
Let's start with the first element of digital citizenship... digital access. I think this aspect of digital citizenship is very important, especially as an educator trying to incorporate technology into the classroom. This element applies to all students at all grade levels. We are responsible for knowing who has access to technology and who does not, we are also responsible for helping that student gain access or altering the work so that they are able to complete it.
The second element is digital commerce. This element refers to the buying and selling of products online. Educating students on online purchases can make them aware of the safety and security risks associated with it as well as the risks financially. This element is better taught in middle or high school, as students that age are gaining access to online shopping. In Saskatchewan, there is an Economics 20 course that is offered in high school, I believe this would be the best place to address digital commerce. Some outcomes for this course include the understanding of money and the market, which as we know is largely online now. Incorporating the dangers of online economics can make students more aware of their actions while online.
Element three is digital communication and collaboration. I believe online communication can start being taught as soon as children enter school. As we discussed in class on Tuesday, there was a kindergarten teacher that would hand our papers that represented a tweet and the students would each fill it out. The students began learning what was appropriate to be posting online and the teacher would actually post the students tweets on their class Twitter page. This ties into the English Language Arts Kindergarten outcome of composing and creating visual, multimedia, oral and written texts.
I do believe that all nine elements are extremely important to incorporate into the classroom and by incorporating them, the students have a better idea of how to be internet safe in this new era of a technological world. As educators, we are responsible to educate ourselves as well as the student and the parents. Technology is continuously evolving and it is our job to stay on top of it.
I am going to post a picture and I want you to look at the photo for a minute. How does this photo make you feel? What does this photo remind you have?
When I look at this photo, I feel nostalgia. I feel like I am five years old again in my Grandparents backyard running around. I can picture my Gramma following me around with this camera asking me what I am doing as we laugh together. I feel warm inside and my heart feels full.
This photo also makes me feel overwhelmed because I think about how far technology has come in the past twenty years. It's rare to see a video camera like this, society uses cell phones now to capture the moment.
I also start thinking about my education experience back then and the type of technology that was involved in our classroom. I am going to post a few photos of what technology looked like when I was in school.
You knew it was going to be a good day when that TV got rolled into the classroom!
I now think about classrooms today and the type of technology that is used in them and the type of social media that is available to students. Our topic for class this week revolves around the idea of technology and education. In the past fifteen years, technology has evolved rapidly and in turn, this has changed the world of teaching. In Michael Wesch's video "An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube", he states that 9232 hours of content are uploaded everyday. I can't even wrap my head around that number! I knew Youtube was popular, but was not aware about the amount of content people actually upload. I personally have not uploaded much to the platform, but I know that there are people out there that make a living by uploading videos to Youtube. There are even websites that contain tips and tricks to make money off of the platform. The number of videos uploaded per day shows just how much our society has evolved to revolve around technology.
Children are indulging in social media at younger ages, research shows that 90% of children aged 13-17 use social media accounts such as Facebook , Instagram, and Youtube. With children being so involved with social media, Katia discussed in class that teachers are needing to also be involved online and keep up with the latest trends. This will ensure the teacher can communicate and connect more with the students in the classroom. With that being said, it is also critical to talk about educators and professionalism when it comes to social media. It is very easy to find someone online and your online profile represents who you are. Teachers are held to higher standards within society and it is important to maintain a professional reputation and be cautious of what you post. The Youtube video below by Royce Kimmons explains the importance of online professionalism with teachers.
While it is important to be cautious online, having an online profile can be extremely beneficial as an educator. It can allow you to expand your network and connect with other educators in the field. It can help you stay up to date on current trends which can be important to incorporate into your lesson planning to keep children engaged and interested. Educators can also have access to tips and tricks for the classroom as well as activities to incorporate into the lessons. I have personally found Twitter to be a huge help in connecting with other educators as well as finding activities, tips and tricks to use in the classroom.
As educators, how can we balance the challenges of technology? This is a difficult question to answer! Balance can be difficult when it comes to technology. It's important to have a social presence, but it is also important to have a professional social presence as an educator. Technology and social media can be an amazing tool for educators if used properly!
This week we were assigned to use a new technology tool to help us document our progress in our learning project. Since my project is learning a new language, I knew a video would be the best option for me to show my Italian skills. I had never edited a video before this week, so I was a little nervous to try it out for the first time. I knew I needed to find an app that would be easy to navigate in order for me to be successful. After searching through the list of technology tools that are available, I decided to use Windows Movie Editor because it seemed like a very user friendly app. It was very easy to download and required no membership to use the software, which is a bonus!
When you first enter the site, this is the main page that pops up. In order to get to the 'Video Editing' section, you need to click the 'Video Editor' on the top task bar. I really enjoyed how this app automatically uploaded all of my photos and sorted them by date.
After getting to the 'Video Editor' section in the app, I uploaded my video to the app. I did this by clicking the 'Add' button under project library.
After adding my video, I was a little lost on what the next step would be. I knew my best option to learn was to watch a video online. I started searching Google to see if there were any video tutorials and I found one right away. I watched the short video "Video Editing in Microsoft Photos | Tiles and Text" that was uploaded to Youtube by Windows. After watching the video, everything seemed pretty straight forward and I was able to get started. I needed to start splitting my video up into separate frames in order to edit each frame individually. I did this by check marking the box on the frame I wanted to edit and then clicking 'split' on the storyboard tool bar.
Once you click 'Split', it will bring you to a page that isolates the frame you check marked.
In this window, you are able to play around with where you would like the first frame to end and the second one to begin. Once you have decided where the first frame will end, you click done and it will split the frame into two. This part of my editing took me a long time to do, even though my video was only three minutes. I had a lot of areas in the video that needed to be split in order for the editing to be done properly.
Once I had split all of my frames up the way I wanted, I started going into each frame and adding text. I was able to accomplish this by, again, clicking the frame I wanted to edit and then clicking 'Text' in the storyboard tool bar.
Once text is clicked, a window will pop up with the frame you chose.
With the 'Text' tool, you can add text to the frame you chose and you can choose when it pops up in the video. There were quite a few cool fonts and animations to work with, but it's important to use ones that fit your video.
Once I edited everything I wanted to, I watched the video in full to ensure everything was completed and flowed together. I noticed that something was missing when watching the video but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Of course! There was no background music in the video. I noticed that there was a 'Background Music' tab at the top of the page.
I clicked it and voila! There was a huge list of background music to choose from!
I found a tune called 'Happy Beat' that fit right in with my video and decided that would be the best one to use for the background.
The video was now complete! I clicked the 'Finish Video' button at the top right hand corner of the screen.
I was able to export the video right to my laptop!
After using this tool for my project, I know this would be a great tool for the classroom. It would be great to make instructional videos if students are working on a hands on craft/project. I know personally I am able to follow along better when I am able to play and pause instructions. I also think this would be a really great tool if the teacher is planning a game with the children, an interactive pause and play game could be created with this tool. With the ideas I have come up with, they would fall into the Modification category of the SAMR model as Windows Movie Editor allows for educators to redesign tasks at hand. Educators would be able to use this app to modify lesson plans and create a more interactive environment.
Overall, Windows Movie Editor was very user friendly and it was easy to navigate around after watching a short tutorial. I know my video could be more smooth, but hey, it was my first go at editing a video and I think it went pretty well. This will definitely be a tool I will utilize within the classroom and I would highly recommend it to all future and present educators!
Back in high school, Twitter was THE social media app to be on. It was where everyone was posting the latest news and it was a place to follow celebrities and act like we knew them personally (lol). Eventually, the app started to die out for that use, but over the past few weeks I have re-discovered Twitter for a new purpose - professional development in my career.
I never knew this side of Twitter, but it has become a helpful tool in my learning and in growing my network in the field of education. My peers and other teachers I follow are constantly posting new tips and ideas for teachers to use in the classroom. I have also found it to be a useful form to educate others with information I have found while researching on the web.
I had a very enlightening experience last night when I partook in my very first professional development twitter discussion with Saskedchat. Every Thursday from 8-9, individuals within the education field gather on twitter to answer the same questions based on the theme for that night. Last night, the topic for the night was Celebrating Gender and Sexual Diversity in our Schools. Throughout the hour, seven questions were asked and everyone tweeted with their own personal answer to the questions. It was truly amazing reading other points of views from individuals who are currently in the education field and from individuals who are future educators. Reading these answers allowed me to expand my knowledge and think outside the box. It also challenged me to think about my current knowledge on the topic and understand what areas I need to grow in.
Overall, I think Twitter is a great place to grow in your career and connect with other individuals within the same field. As educators, it's important that we work as a community to ensure our children are receiving the best possible education they can! So, if you are an educator or you are working towards becoming one, go get Twitter and use it to your advantage. Don't forget to join in on Thursdays from 8-9 on the Saskedchat account to join in on the conversation!
During class yesterday, I was introduced to a new website called Feedly. It has been revolutionary in my search for teaching tips and tricks. It was overwhelming the amount of information I could access off of this one site instead of spending hours on end scrolling through the internet trying to find the best websites for the information I was trying to gather.
The process for finding the information I was after was easy, after signing up for my account, I simply had to type in a key word for my search and BAM, everything related to that key word popped up. Websites on websites appeared with a small blurb of the main idea of the site. It made it easy to sift through the search outcomes and find the ones I wanted to follow. Once I found a few, I was able to add it to my page so I can continuously get updates from the website on my feed.
One of the websites I followed on Feedly is Classroom Freebies. I decided to follow this site because they post tips, tricks, activities, and ideas for the classroom up to four times a week. For example, some of the top posts on that page include poetry activities for national poetry month, tips for new teachers, and practicing phonics in the classroom. This site seems to be based on the model 'teachers helping teachers' and I know it will be helpful when it comes to being in a classroom and planning activities for the children! I highly recommend checking out this site as it is important to connect and share with other teachers.
Another website I have followed that I would highly recommend is TED-Ed! It is a site that was created around the idea of knowledge-sharing for teachers and students around the globe. As of today, TED-Ed has a global network of more than 250,000 teachers. The site posts roughly four times a week and the videos dig deep into interesting worldly facts. The facts are accompanied by entertaining graphic videos that are extremely engaging and make learning fun. For instance, the first video on the page talks about a skyscraper design flaw and how it almost destroyed the entire building. I chose to follow this site because I know these videos will come in handy when I am in a classroom setting and prepping for course work. Plus, a lot of the videos posted is stuff I don't even know about, and I believe it is important for educators to continue learning as well. You can never have too much knowledge!
Overall, as an educator in training, I highly recommend checking Feedly out because it will amplify your experience as an educator!
Hello! My name is Taylor Blake and I am currently a student in the Education program at the University of Regina. I am very passionate about education and believe teachers play a key role in childrens lives. I worked at a Boys and Girls Club location for four years, as well as completed a small practicum while at the University of Lethbridge. Within these positions, I was able to use technology to my full advantage by planning activities around ideas that were found on the internet. In a lot of situations, I was able to demonstrate activities through videos found online. Technology has been a huge help to my success in my job and in my practicum.
While I am not scrolling through the internet for the next coolest idea to show the kids, you can find me at home hanging out with my husband and dogs. I highly enjoy building puzzles, going for bike rides and hikes, as well as going to the gym.
I have personally only blogged during my practicum, but I found it a great way to document my teaching journey. I look forward to continuing to blog throughout this class and into my teaching career!
Please follow me on my twitter account as I continue to post updates on my education journey!