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Where To Start..

I am so excited about this next year and the possibility of having my own classroom. I have so many amazing things that I am just waiting to try. I am already beginning to think about where I am going to start. I know that it is unrealistic to think that I am going to use everything that I have learned about in this past term in one school year. I am trying to sift through and decide what I may want to tackle in my first year of teaching. I am thinking that I want to dedicate myself to trying one or two things and really trying to make them successful in my classroom. One thing that I really want to try is getting my students blogging. I have really enjoyed having my own blog and I think that my students would also enjoy it. Now to take the time to really think about how I am going to introduce blogging and how I can incorporate it into my classroom…hmm….

EAL Wiki

I currently just finished up my English as an Additional Language course. This class provided me with resources and hands on experiences of working with students who english is an additional language. As we all know technology can provide us with so many wonderful resources and tools to help any learners. We started exploring how technology can help EAL students. As a class we worked collaboratively to create a EAL resources wiki. On this wiki each student in the class contributed two online EAL resources. It is amazing to see how many resources we found as a class that can help EAL teachers and students. With the number of EAL students increasing in classrooms each year it is important as teachers that we start to begin exploring tools that we can use within our classrooom to help out EAL learners. I want to share our wiki with everyone so if you find yourself needing EAL resources you have a great start. Please feel free to check out our EAL resources wiki. This once again has shown me how powerful collaboration can be and also opened my eyes to the abundance of resources online for EAL teachers and students!

Final Reflection

This class has really helped me to open my eyes to the world of technology and what it has to offer to learning and teaching. It was so hard to pick and choose what I wanted to focus on for my final reflection because I have learned so much over the past 4 months about technology. I created a voicethread to reflect on some of my favourite tools that I learned about from this class. I chose to use voicethread to reflect on my learning. I really enjoyed using this program because it was layed out great and it was very easy to follow and use. This is definatly a tool that I am excited to use within my classroom. I hope you enjoy my final reflection. Please click on the voicethread below to view my reflection!

I am really proud to know that in another week I will be finishing up my Education Degree and in a few months I will be finally convocating from the University of Regina. This is one accomplishment that I am so very proud of. I am also very proud that my degree is from the University of Regina because I think that they have a great Education program that really provides their graduates with the experiences that they need to become successful teachers. I really believe that I am graduating with a very strong teaching skill set and I am grateful for the hands on experiences the University provides us, some of my profs and my fellow peers who have helped me get to this point.

Reflecting on my teaching skill set I am now happy that I have another very valuable teaching skill to add to my skills and this is the ability to incorporate technology into teaching and learning. Our Ecmp 355 class has provided me with experiences that now allow me to have the confidence in using and incorporating technology into my classroom. I am so excited to get into the school next year and use this new skill that I have developed in my last semester of University. Thank you to Alec who has provided me with the wonderful learning experience that has helped me build the skills that I need to be successful with technology in the classroom.

Upon doing my final reflection one thing really stuck out to me that I wanted to share. Prior to this class I would say that I was stuck in a rut with technology and I found myself doing the same things again and again. And those same things were really not exciting and really did not apply to teaching. I am amazed that there are so many tools and resources that I had no idea about that can make teaching and learning so much more interesting and really so much easier! I am usually a person that plays it fairly safe and prior to this class I didnt really take many opportunities to step outside of the box with technology and try new things. This class has taught me that using technology is all about exploring and that exploration leads to discovering wonderful tools. With technology it is important to have an open mind and to just take the time to explore and most importantly just try things. I have found that not everything that Alec has shown me is going to work for me but there are many tools that will work for me. It is all about finding the tools that work for you and that will work within your classroom. Technology provides unlimited opportunitie and this class has really openened my eyes to how endless the opportunities really are!

I am now getting to the point where I am ready to step out into the world of teaching with all of these new and exciting tools and resources. I really feel that I now have a full bag of tricks that I cannot wait to share with my fellow colleagues and my students! I am so excited to take these new resources and use them within my classroom. I really feel that I now have the confidence that I needed to be able to guide my students to using all of these tools to their full potential. I am so happy that I took to time to explore these different tools because through that exploration I dsicovered many wonderful tools that I now cannot live without and that I cannot wait to share with others!

For my final project in ECMP 355 I collaborated with two other students to create a Wikispace on weather. This project has allowed me to take many of the resources and tools we had been learning about in this class and begin to see where they fit into teaching. We wanted to create a wiki that would show teachers how they could incorporate different technology tools into teaching about weather. This project has allowed me to explore with the different tools that we had been talking about and really begin to take the time to play around with them. This project also made me realize how easy it is to incorporate technology into many different topics. Creating this wiki was a great way to wrap up the semester and I feel that it really brought all of my learning together and allowed me to see how it all fits in teaching. I also am excited that our wiki is to share with other educators and hopefully through this wiki we will be able to show other teachers how easy it is to incorporate technology into their classrooms and this will provide them with some concrete ideas and examples to get them started. Our wiki can be found at elementaryweatheractivities2.wikispaces.com. I hope this wiki provides you with some awesome ideas of how to incorporate technology into your classoom when teaching weather!

Twitter

I finally decided that I would try out Twitter after hearing all of my friends who are now signed up and loving it! They kept telling me about the resources and help that they were recieving from using Twitter. I decided that I would give it a try and see what it was all about. I can already see the possibilities of Twitter and how it can be so beneficial for an educator. This past weekend we were working on our final ECMP 355 project and one of my group members sent out a tweet about our project. It was amazing to see from just that one tweet how many people went to look at our wiki and how people started sharing resources with us to help us out. Twitter is just another way for teachers to collaborate in an easy and non time consuming way. I am excited to see how I can use Twitter in the future to collaborate with other educators. This makes me realize how lucky I am to be joining my teaching career at a time like this because as I have learned in this class technology can help a teacher in so many ways!

Trying Out New Tools

For my reflection on learning for this class I decided to try out a few new tools while doing my reflection. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but was stuck on how I was going to make it all come together. I started exploring around looking at different options for my reflection and decided to create a voicethread. Althout it is still in the making I found voicethread to be a very easy program to use. Icouldnt beleive how easy it was to upload pictures to the program and organize them in any way that you want. This program also allows you to comment on your pictures in many different ways so you can share with others the significance of the pictures.  

I also used the program Jing for this project. Jing is another very easy tool to use which allows you to take screen shots and videos. I used Jing to take screen shots of different pieces of our semester that I wanted to include in my final reflection. Both of these programs provided me with the tools that I needed to be able to create the reflection that I had in mind. It is amazing how you can have something in your mind and there is always programs out there to help you create what you want to create. I encourage everyone to try these tools out because they are very easy to use and can be incorporated into your classroom very easily.

Beyond Your Classroom- Skype!

I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to learn more about Skype. I have heard about it but I have never had the opportunity to use it so I am happy that I finally had the chance to see it. I think that Skype is such an amazing way to collaborate with other classrooms. Technology such as Skype allows teachers to collaborate with others by talking with and seeing other classrooms while still being in their own classroom. What a great way to allow your students to connect and learn from others around the world. I like how the students get to hear and see the people that they are talking to. I was so excited to get to talk to Kathy Cassidy’s classroom. She uses technology wonderfully in her classroom and it was exciting to see how her students were so familiar with Skype and that shows how it truly works within the classroom.

I am excited to use Skype within my future classroom as a way to connect with others around the world. I have a friend that is teaching in England right now and I think it would be so neat to talk to her and her classroom to learn about teaching and learning in a different country. I think that it would be very engaging for students to learn from others around the world. It is truly amazing what technology allows teachers to do within their classrooms!

BibMe

I am so excited about finding out about BibMe. I always find that I struggle in creating bibliographies and I find that I end up googling examples, reading for hours and trying to put it all together. I find that it takes so much time and usually ends in frustration. I cannot believe that it is my fourth year of University and I am just learning about BibMe now. It is a website that helps you to create your bibliography in whatever format you need. I find that this will be such a time saver and I am excited to try it out. This is also a tool that I could use in my classroom because it is an easy tool that is very self explanitory that students will be able to use to create bibliographies. I have a few assignments left in my University career and one of them I need to create a bibliography using APA format. I am excited to use BibMe to help me create it as I was very worried about learning how to create a bibliography using APA properly.