ECMP-355: Tech Tasks

Tech Task #1: About Me

There are many terms that I can use to describe myself: daughter, sister, aunty, granddaughter, niece, friend, teacher, student. I have one semester to go before I achieve my undergraduate degree in elementary education.

I feel, both personally and professionally, that technology is advancing and that we need to prepare ourselves for this new generation. Technology in the classroom opens many doors to the future of our students.  I believe that it is our responsibility as educators to demonstrate the positive attributes of the cyber world, as it is relevent to our students. I feel that the use of technology in the classroom allows all students to interact in the classroom setting in some way or another.

Through my experiences in education, both as student and educator, I believe that technology in the classroom should be embraced rather than feared. It is an excellent tool that meets the needs of diverse learners! There are so many learning opportunities that come from the use of technology, some of them include: the use of YouTube videos to emphasize a concept; Skyping with a class across the province, across the country, across the world; Smartboard lessons and games for various topics. If done effectively, the possibilities for technology in the classroom are endless.

Of course there are some negative factors concerning technology, and more specifically social media, in classrooms concerning privacy. Cyberspace can be a scary place. It is my belief that students can learn a lot about the proper use of social media in the classroom, together with and/or demonstrated by a teacher.

My “technological literacy” is fairly average. It is my hope, however, to gain an understanding of and effectively use different online medias that can be utilized in my future classrooms. My expectations for this class are simple. I hope to accomplish the creation of a successful professional blog and gain a bounty of online educational resources over the course of the semester. Also, I would like to learn more about technology in general, and learn ways of applying it and using it within the classroom environment.

Tech Task #2: “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube”

As I watched the video “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” one thing that stood out to me was how YouTube is much more than just a website for watching and displaying videos. In fact one might title is an online community. Originally I thought of YouTube as a way for people to show and express different aspects of themselves to the world. What I have come to realize is that YouTube provides a way for individuals to socialize and connect with people from all around the globe. One concept that I truly appreciated within the video was how all it takes is one person to inspire thousands of others. I was moved by the collaboration piece, inspired by MadV, where people around the world wrote powerful words of inspiration on their hands:

                              “One World; Be Heard; Believe;

                                           You Are Not Alone; I Believe in You;

                                                         Love Yourself; Love All the People.”

Tech Task #3: Budget Spreadsheet

For Tech Task #3 we created a “budget spreadsheet” using  google.docs. I was successful in learning how to create and manage a spreadsheet. Also, I realized how phenomenal google.docs is as it allows you to create and share your information with others!

Tech Task #4: Priceless

This was the first time that I used the Photo Story tool, and I had a lot of fun creating and sharing this video. I would love to do something like this in my future classroom! Enjoy!


Tech Task #5: Slide & A Message

While I was doing this tech task, I found that both the image and the quote are reflective of what it takes to be a phenomenal teacher. It is our job as educators to inspire and lead the way to students full potential.

Candle Analogy

Tech Task #6: Digital Stories

This tech-task was a neat experience. It is an interesting concept to explore the use of digital story telling by selecting appropriate concepts to explain the idea you are trying to convey. This was a fun experience!

Tech Task #7: Podcast

Using Aviary, I was able to create a short podcast based on the story “The Three Little Pigs”. I used four different sound clips to create this mash-up and I had a lot of fun doing it! I then linked my Myna account to Sound Cloud as a way to share it!

Tech Task #8: “The Door Scene”

This was one of my favorite tech task’s so far. Allie, Tara and I created this video twice due to a “technical error” , but all in all the second video turned out very well.

Tech Task #9: RIP A Remix Manifesto

RIP: A Remix Manifesto

For this tech task we were asked to watch the video RIP: A Remix Manifesto.

One question that I chose to focus on was in Chapter One of the study guide to the RIP: A Remix Manifesto video. The question asked “do you think that if you manipulate an existing song enough you can eventually claim it as your own creation? Where do you draw the line between copying and creating?”

I think that individuals who remix and manipulate old music into new rhythms and beats should be given credit for their new creations as it takes a great deal of knowledge and skill to create good remixes. In one respect I understand that it can be upsetting to have something that you created re-altered or remixed into something different, enforcing why I feel there should be some credit given towards the original artists of the music being used in remixes. Many people are possessive about their creations and understandably so, but in this day and age, sharing and collaborating is a reality of the 21st century.  I do not feel that it should be illegal to remix or use music from other artists around the world, as the potential to recreate sounds and music into something new is endless. In this generation there is a significant change in the development of the culture, as we live in a “digital age”, and because of this, it is important to share and collaborate as one. The narrator of the video explained that copyright as being a barrier for “creators” and if remixed or created into something new, there is potential for corporations to start lawsuits. The picture above is an image from the video, and it explains the concept that “culture always builds on the past” and yet “the past always attempts to control the future”. Something that troubled me was the fact that  the people who created new music mash-ups from older songs were in fear of having their projects shut-down because of copyright law. The narrator stated that copyright is out of control as it is in search of profit, implying that the purpose of copyright is more for making a profit rather than giving credit to original artists. I am uncertain as to where to draw the line in terms of creating and copying, but I do feel that remixing music is a reality in our current generation.

Overall, this video was very interesting to watch and I am glad that I had the opportunity to think about copyright in a much more detailed light.

Tech Task #10:Learning Management Systems Evaluation

Recently in ECMP-355 we have been exposed to two different Learning Management Systems. For our tech task, we were asked to compare and contrast Edmodo and Schoology in small groups. Our group created a Google Document that compares and contrasts both Learning Management System’s, which can be accessed here. What I particularly like about both systems is that they are private and that the teacher can monitor what goes onto the “online classroom” wall so to speak. I tweeted asking fellow educators which LMS they would prefer to use, and one response was that Facebook is a better option because that is where the parents are.

Both LMS’s appeared to be very similar to Facebook, as both allow profile pictures, groups, and wall posts, while also having access to class discussion on the main page.

Ideally, I feel that these tools are intended to create a safe online space for classrooms, and is a space where students can access homework, ask questions, and get clarification from teachers and peers.

Evaluation of Edmodo: I really like the layout of this LMS. It is similar to Facebook. It is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and allows both children and adults to access information quickly and sufficiently. My favourite service on Edmodo is the access to assignments. I feel that having its own separate page allows children, parents and teachers to know exactly where to find assignments and other information pertaining to classroom tasks. Edmodo offers an online calendar that allows students to refer back to it for due dates and upcoming events. Another convenience to Edmodo is that it allows teachers to enter grades into its own separate page. One thing that Edmodo seems to be missing, however, is the ability to share and collaborate with other teachers. In Schoology the teacher can invite other teachers to join the classroom page whereas in Edmodo you cannot.

Evaluation of Schoology:

In comparison, Schoology is a similar educational online tool. I was not as fond of this LMS as I was Edmodo, mainly because of the appearance. I found that the set up was a little confusing in comparison to Edmodo. One service that I particularly liked about Schoology was the ability to allow other educators to join your homepage. This would be particularly handy if a class had more than one teacher! However, once a student posts something on the site, only the teacher who created the account can make changes to the content.

I can understand that value of both Learning Management Systems, as they allow a class to come together through the use of an online space. I feel that both enable all students to participate and to have their voice heard. All to often we forget that some students are too shy to speak in a whole group discussion in the classroom, but through the use of this social learning media, I feel that all children  have more chances to share their thoughts.

In my future as an educator, I can definitely see myself using Edmodo as an instructional online tool for my classroom. I feel that this would be a fabulous space to create a digital classroom.

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