Personal Reflections and Growth

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MY FINAL PROJECT INTENTIONS

Overview

I would like to make a school web page and focus on Teacher Recruitment.  As an administrator for several years I have experienced both face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews and interviews away from Dillon (such as Saskatoon) to make it more convenient for teachers so that they do not have to travel long hours.  The problem with this though is that we are not giving those teachers a chance to visit our community and our school.  They have no clue what the community looks like and where Dillon is.  Therefore, I like to invite teachers into the community by creating a web page that will include photos of the community, school, school events and map.

 Purpose/Objective

The main idea behind this web page is to make teachers aware about what goes on in the community and school and to provide them with lots of pictures about students, community events and the environment.  I feel it’s important for teachers to have a good sense of the community and what it would be like if they were to move to Dillon.  Teachers usually have to make a big commitment to move into small town and its’ just not comfortable for someone just to move into a small town without knowing anything about the community and people.  It’s also important to point out the culture of the community and the language that is spoken.  Many people wander what its like to move into a small town and I think it’s important to know the status of the community and have an understanding of what it’s like to be resident of Dillon. 

I like to provide some photos as well as an interview with teachers that were here for so many years and teachers who were here for a short time and speak on behalf of their experiences and what its like to live and teach in Dillon.

 Tools

I’m not quite sure of what tools to use yet, but I like to try voicethread, video clips and pictures.  I’m not sure what else I can use besides these tools. 

Note:  As per our skype conversation, there is no web page for the school and you suggested a wiki for this project.  Whatever works will do for me.  I’m willing to tackle this and take on the challenge.   I’m quite excited about this project but I will certainly need guidance and direction as to where to start and what to do, to get ready for this major project. 

HERE IS THE LINK TO MY PROJECT 

http://buffaloriverschool.wikispaces.com/

I hope you have the opportunity to read my Final Project Outcome.

MY FINAL PROJECT OUTCOME

Overview of My Project

I’ve always wanted to make a school web page and inform non-residents of what Dillon is like and share some of the events that happen in Dillon.  As an administrator, I was concern about Teacher Recruitment.  We struggled throughout the school year trying to get teachers to apply to our school.  Our physed position has been open since the beginning of the school year and also a position in the junior high level.  Buffalo River School is always seeking for teachers and as an administrator, I realize there has to be a better way of letting teachers know what the community and school is like without coming to Dillon.  Therefore, I decided to make my own video about the school and community.

Description of Learning Outcomes

First of all, I am very new at current technology, but I must say I have very good typing skills.  I was not sure where to make a school web page.  If you Google Buffalo River School, you will get an empty page with just the school address.  Marnie suggested to me a “wiki”.  I decided to give it a try.  I had no idea where to start but headed on a journey of my own.  As I decided to create my home page, with the school logo, school address, and mission statement, it felt great.  Trying to insert a school logo was a struggle.  Inserting a picture into a wikispace was difficult, especially if it’s not compatible with the web page.  I had to convert pictures and resize them before wiki could accept it.  Of course, once I got it, it was an accomplishment for me.  Next, I wanted to include Buffalo River School colors; blue, yellow and white.  I spent a lot of time on this, and finally got the design that I was satisfied with.  I would have liked all the pages to be the same style, but I’ve tried and tried and I was not successful.  I’m not sure why the first page worked, and couldn’t do it for the rest of the pages.  Therefore, I used plain pages.

Making a Video Using Windows Movie Maker

A person who produces videos and publishes movies must have one thing that is so important and that is PATIENCE.  I felt I was not getting anywhere with this.  The video I published on youtube is my work.  I have spent many hours putting this together.  Again, I did it on my own.  It was a great accomplishment once it was done.  I immediately shared it with co-workers, friends and family.  They, too, were impressed.

The struggle I went through in creating this video was not fun.  If I did not have the patience, I would have never completed it. 

First of all, I have 8mm cassettes from camcorder, of community events, cultural activities and special events.  Of course, when you want to showcase your community, you want to show a variety of things happening.  I had to cut a clip from here and there and so forth.  Before, I go on any further, you must know this.  With my luck, I have a camcorder at home and no where on the camcorder was a connection to a computer.  I’ve searched for a camcorder and could not find one.  It was either a compact one or it was similar to the one I have.  I knew the school had one, but there was no line for it.  I finally found a line that worked.  Whew, that was a relief. Next I went through all the tapes I had and picked out the ones worth showing, uploaded to my computer, then to moviemaker.  As I started this task, I knew my journey was slowly fulfilling.  Collecting clips and pictures was fun and interesting.  As you can see on my video, some of them are recent.  I went through town and took pictures and video clips.  That was great.  Now I’m ready to import pictures and audio.  There were many trial and error situations that made learning and exploring fun.  The editing, timing, cutting-out and paging were some of the things that I had to take into consideration.  Adding text and song to the video was not as bad as the rest.  Every step of the way was a learning desire for me.  I have not made many mistakes, but I did not know how to make a movie.  As I kept replaying and editing it, I became better at it.  I decided to add transitions.  I thought this was so cool.  I used almost all of the transitions that were there.  It captures the viewers and it makes a video look nice.  I was feeling pretty good and my journey became fascinating.  Now my movie was complete.  Of course choosing a song had to be relevant to my community.  I chose the song, “Relatives” by Leonard Adams because it was lengthy and he sang the song in Dene.  

Uploading to Youtube

I knew how to upload a video onto youtube, because I did this once.  I was sure I could have published it without having any difficulty.  But, no, that didn’t happen.  I had to convert the video to windows video media from windows movie maker.  Once again I had to find a way.  I downloaded a site that did not work and searched other web sites to try and convert this.  I checked out youtube tutorials and there it was.  Wow, I got it!  I stayed up until 1:00am on a work day trying to finish what I started.  I converted the movie then uploaded to youtube, waited for about half hour making sure it’s uploading and excited at the same time because I knew I was about to finish my project that I took so long to do.  Next day, I inserted the link to my school web page I created.  It felt great.  Now I had to work on my other pages, but creating this video was a great accomplishment for me.  Now, I can make more and even use them in my presentations.

Personal Reflections

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it!  Patience is the best virtue when working on the computer, via website.  If I did not have the patience, I would not have completed my project.  Some quotes worth sharing:

“Patience is the best remedy for every trouble”, by Plautus.

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success”, by Brian Adams.

Due to technical difficulties and the time I spent in producing this movie, and considering the due date, I was not able to make a voicethread as I hoped to.  I definitely used it in my blog I must say that this journey was a good learning experience for me.  I learn a lot and I know if I was to make future movies, I could make it a lot quicker since I have the knowledge and experience.  I am fortunate to have had this opportunity and I am sure I will use this knowledge to make my career path a success and use it in my field of administration.  Making wikispaces is one thing and making a movie is another thing.  I killed two birds with one stone.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It certainly has been a busy week for me trying to figure out why the internet, why the computer is not complying with me.  Oh it’s not the computer, it’s the problems with uploading, downloading, converting, analyzing and so forth.  I find it very frustating at times and yet I still manage to give my one hundred percent to figure things out.  What’s the saying, bin’ there, done that!  I am definitely learning from my mistakes and do better the second time.  I’ve been exploring many things in block 7 and could not figure out which one of the PD’s I wanted to take up.  Instead I found myself all over the pages and everywhere else and did not even bother to choose.  It was overwhelming at times, but I rather check out everything else, before I get started.  I spend too much time exploring and playing, which was fun, of course, now I’m just completing things.  I really enjoyed what Marnie  had for us in terms of professional development.  I did not realize there were so many opportunities out there, “on the web” for us.  I’m beginning to feel I can do a lot of things on my own, and that makes me feel good.  I explored the 23 Things, and it was very similar to what we are doing, but yet very interesting.  I would not have mind taking on that challenge myself, if I didn’t have so much work to do.  I think that will be a great tool for the teaching staff that would like to upgrade themselves with technology.  I recommend the 23 Things to people who like to challenge themselves and explore things on their own. If you think you know everything there is to know about the web, then think again.  LEARNING NEVER STOPS! Here is the site to 23 Things.

http://k12learning20.wikispaces.com/23Things

Technology keeps getting better and better, I hope!  I just finished watching the table top tech.  That is so amazing.  I can’t imagine how our homes will look like in the next twenty some years.  I wouldn’t mind having a table full of pictures and video clips.  I have so many pictures that would look good on my table or my coffee table.  Do you feel the same way?

Aha! After so many times of trying to make a wordle page and paste it to my blog, if was just a simple thing to do.  I’ve worked days and whenever I had the chance to go on the computer, I kept trying to snap a picture using that PRT SCR button.  Once I donwloaded javascript, that’s when the aha moment was suppose to come up, but it didn’t.  I’ve searched the internet to find out how this button works over and over again.  After many trials and errors, I mean many, I finally got it.  It was not at home where I tried to make it; it worked for me at a friends house.  But you know what, when I got home, I tried it again on my computer and it WORKED.  How in the world did I make it work?  I really surprised myself.  I guess I was doing the right thing all this time but I could not find the paint icon under the start button, but what I did not know too, was once I got on the paint icon, I had to go to file and then paste, bingo! and it worked.  It took me about a minute to do.  And guess how much time I spend doing this?  I would think at least five hours or more of trying to figure this out.  It was a real hassle, but what and AHA moment for me. 

Adventure 1 & 2

Copyright, copyleft, creative commons, source, plagiarism, etc.  I cannot imagine how this can be controlled.  There are millions, there are tonnes, there are many images, text, videos in this 21st century and how is it possible to control who, when, why someone elses work be used for your own to create and use.  I guess we need to be careful and do things the right way.  It would be very important that teachers let students know how sensitive this could be.  I have learned a lot of things that I didn’t know before about copyright, copyleft and creative commons, etc.  I did not realize how important it is to know how to be information literate.  I’ve added some images to my blog from google images without thinking about these issues at that particular time.  I just copied and pasted it to my blog, it was that simple.  I guess now, if I’m to do the same thing, I would have to check for copyright and be more careful about it.  I have to admit, I was not information literate.  When I see a lot of students using other peoples work without permission, especially on Bebo where they can add lots of images and work and so forth, I wonder if they know themselves that they are in the wrong.  The video that Marnie provided for us to watch on Larry Lisseg was unique, but at the same time, wondering if it was published with permission. It’s amazing what technology can put together and be creative.  President Bush and President Blair song video was hilarious.  I’m fortunate to learn about these things now and be able to share it with my staff and students.  Marnie, you have provided us with many links and lots of information about how important it is to have students learn about using other peoples work.  I am certain that I will be making good use of the information I know about internet literacy.  The stuff you have provided is worth the time.  I am also certain that many students at my school are unaware of this.  We do not have a computer teacher and no one to give technical support; therefore students are mostly navigating the internet without understanding the legalities of it.  

Developing Critical Literacy Skills for the Internet

I think this is a major concern to parents and teachers.  I personally need to know which web sites are trustworthy and which are not.  There are many  scams and hackers out there that its just unbelievable.  I feel its very important for teachers to have some knowledge about this before letting students go on their own on the internet.  We can easily get fooled by many advertisements on the web that we must learn what is worth checking.  I really think the URL could be a good place to start.  Some of them are so fancy as it is that you would want to check it out, but watch out, it could be a scam.  What do you think?
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope to provide you with a link that I just created on voicethread.  Hope you enjoy it.  This happened in Dillon Lake where I have a cabin.  There are all kinds of fish there and I like to share this with all of you.  I went through a lot of trial and error first before publishing this. 
Hooray!  I finally did it!  I cannot believe how much frustration I felt trying to add this to my blog.  I guess I was having technical difficulties.  I went to a friends house and did this and had no problems.
I haven’t been very successful with my creativity ideas.  I was hoping to add a wordle to my blog but with not much luck.  First of all, I can add text to the create a wordle page, that was fine.  Then, I proceeded to the next page, where there was an “X” on the left hand of the page.  I could not display my wordle page.  After spending so many hours trying different things besides wordle, trying to upload a video through utube, I finally managed to download Java.  This allowed me to redesign my wordle page after loosing everything.  So there I go again, hoping to add this to my page.  I checked Rhedas, to see how she got hers on her page, so I thought I will try the same thing.  Now my prt Sc button is not responding,  After several attempts, and still trying, I’m not getting anywhere.  My frustration level is climbing and have no one in Dillon to consult with.  Ive been trying to upload a video on utube, even that is not working for me.  I’ve tried several computers, I’ve tried converting, like Marnie suggested, but no success.  I’m still trying, because I have a video clip that I like to show about my granddaughter dancing. 
On a different note, my husband and I went out hunting and saw him shot a moose.  It was an experience I will never forget.  We were both on a snowmobile and I was the passenger.  It was a rough snowmobile ride ever, in about two feet of snow.  It was amazing. 
February 13, 2009
Constructivism 

 

 

 

I am a believer of the constructivism theory and in order for teachers to collaborate, connect and communicate with their students; we need to ask ourselves as educators what we can do better today, than we did yesterday.  As educators I think it’s important to reflect on our teachings, our teaching styles and how we talk to our students during our lessons or presentations.  Are we setting the stage where we are the authority and really believe in the teacher-centered style, or are we influenced that student-centered environments work best in the classroom where students are given the opportunity to build knowledge, be creative and participate?  Making a connection with students is very important if we want our students to be successful.  We must make learning fun and meaningful for our students.  Educators that believe in constructivism theory must take a lot of time planning.  Planning is the key to success, whether it may be an outdoor event, a math lesson or an activity.  Students learn in many different forms of teaching styles, and as educators we must be creative and show and present many teaching styles as we possibly can.  My co-worker talked to the staff about constructivism and this is what he had to say, “Are there lessons that should be highly teacher-directed and use repetition and rote learning activities to help students master certain “factual” content (e.g. arithmetic multiplication tables or certain decoding skills in reading)?  Of course. However, it is important to note that Saskatchewan’s curricula are based on the educational philosophy of “constructivism”.  Constructivism is, by definition, student centered.  It recognizes that it is the student who learns and the teacher cannot simply pour knowledge in the student’s head.  The role of the teacher in a constructivist classroom is to capture the student’s interest and attention; have the student reflect on what he or she knows about a topic; pose a challenge that stretches the student’s knowledge, skill or understanding; and finally, assess and reward the new level of learning.  Many books have been written about how and why constructivism is the appropriate main method of instruction in our schools.”  I think this is very relevant to students learning in today’s society.    
Connectivism
It’s certain constructivism and connectivism goes hand in hand.  If we cannot connect with our students, we would be unable to reach out to them and learning will not take place.  There has to be some kind of connection between the teacher and the learner.  If students are experiencing boredom in the classroom, the educators are not connecting. 
Again, we must find ways to make teaching fun and meaningful.  By doing so, it takes time on the teachers’ part to gather whatever needed for the lesson.   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

BlogMeister

What a way to collaborate!  Wow!  I am so convinced that technology is indeed an amazing tool.  I checked out the class blogs from Regina and it gives a great insight about how intense technological literacy is taken place.  Students are so immersed in their learning that it makes learning fun.  Showcasing special events and hosting a celebration assembly every month is an interesting way of collaboration.  Students like it when they are in the spotlight and it also makes them feel special.  Our school has a monthly assembly where teachers recognizes students achievements and individual awards, I think it would be much more meaningful and extra special if we were to adopt the same event using a slide show presentation and showing students pictures.  Developing class blogs for students must be an awesome way to keep in touch with students and at the same time building self esteem.  Many students are not good writers, but when it comes to the keys on the keyboard, they have so much to offer.  I feel computers, especially blogging, is a fantastic way of building a connection with classmates and teacher. 

I was also struck by the numbers shown under statistics with the Cluster Maps.  It showed the latest active posting was 207, 082 from students and teachers; New blogs by the hour was 619, 751 blogs posted; Cloud=43 blogs posted in the last hour; 1, 502 blogs posted in the last 24 hours and 7, 294 blogs posted in the last week.  It is very active and more and more educators are using it.  To see remarking numbers in this area tells me something, it is a good thing to do with the students.

MY CLASSROOM SANDBOX

Some Reflections

I remember as I child, I use to love playing with sand outside my house.  I spend numerous hours building castles and pail houses to build a community.  Its so amazing how it took its shape and the different types of buildings me and my friends came up with.  I remember building fences using twigs to add texture and using some other toys to make our community real. 

I feel that with the classroom sandboxes we are building for ourselves is very challenging and unique.  I know I have difficulty at times with the computer and websites and at the same time struggling with the internet connection at home.  For example, I wanted to start a new page for this particular section but I’m struggling with it so I will use this same page to start my classroom sandbox.  I do not have a classroom but the building I work under is my entire classroom.  I am very  optimistic about computers and will learn whatever I can.  Technology is so advanced and its hard to keep up with it.  I think it will take a genious to keep up with all the gadgets and tools of this digital world to stay on top of it.  Yes its high tech for me and enjoying it at the same time.  I was always interested in learning about the computer and how to do things on the computer.  It wasn’t long since I had my own email address and learned how to send messages and attachments and how to upload pictures.  Technology is so amazing and can do so much in a matter of minutes and the whole world knows.  Its so amazing.   

  

 

Footprints in the Digital Age

I can imagine how intriquing the digital world is becoming for students around the world and how fast the pace is as compared to urban cities to rural areas.  Students who live in cities have many more opportunities and first hand at things that are technology related.  Students who live in a small town with no “Staples”, no “Compusmart” or absolutely no gadgets seem to be at the “bottom of the page” in learning about the new technology and have to leave town to purchase what they want.  I seldomly know of anyone who do on-line shopping here and I haven’t tried that myself.  Many students in this school are into Bebo and I have not yet come across any teacher in this school that has a classroom blog with thier students.  A young girl Laura, in the Educational Leadership has vast knowledge about technology and knows how to connect with people around the world.  The thing that I would be concern about, if this was my ten year old daughter would be the people she connects with and  who write on her blogs/page.  Not all people are civil and honest.  Laura is lucky to have her mother guide her through what she is passion about.  It seems like she has started a good blog what she called, “Twenty Five Days to Make A Difference”. 

The Following paragraph is taking from the article and sends a strong message to educators. 

More than ever before, students have the potential to own their own learning—and we have to help them seize that potential. We must help them learn how to identify their passions; build connections to others who share those passions; and communicate, collaborate, and work collectively with these networks. And we must do this not simply as a unit built around “Information and Web Literacy.” Instead, we must make these new ways of collaborating and connecting a transparent part of the way we deliver curriculum from kindergarten to graduation.

But to do all that, we educators must first own these technologies and be able to take advantage of these networked learning spaces. In this way, we can fully prepare students not just to be Googled well, but to be findable in good ways by people who share their passions for learning and who may well end up being lifelong teachers, mentors, or friends.

I think this is so true.  Many students are seeking ways to feel connected and replied to.  Internet is just the thing to collaborate, communicate and work collectively.  I see many students on MSN chatting with each other even when they are living next door to each other.  I see many students interacting on Bebo sharing profiles and pictures.  This is a very popular website in this community and  students are constantly updating information and viewing each others blogs and communicating steady.  They do have the potential to own their own learning, if its good.  If this is how they can relate to each other and keep the connection going, than its good.  But if this is the way to ridicule others, than its not good. 

 

 

 

http://www.uleth.ca/edu/currlab/handouts/aboriginal.html

 http://archives.cbc.ca/for_teachers

http://www.rootsofempathy.org/index.html   This site is awesome! Please make sure you check out the 10 minute video to understand what its all about.   I heard about ROOTS OF EMPATHY one night when I was watching CBC news.  Mary Gordon is the founder for Roots of Empathy.  I mentioned this to the Maternal Child Worker in Dillon and was fascinated about it like I was.  I would really like to introduce this to my school.  I think it would alleviate a lot of teasing, bullying and aggression that we find in our students today.

Here is a another video to support my belief about the ROOT OF EMPATHY.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ5uChwa_Aw

This video reminds me of my father.  He told me a lot of stories about the residential school.  He atteded the residential school for ten years when he was very young.  He had no parents at the time therefore he was sent to these federal schools.    http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/clips/4007/

We watched a video in one of our classes about David Suzuki.  It had to do with sustainability.  Heres what David Suzuki has to say about education and science.   http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/clips/3756/

I found a video clip similar to the one Mr. Kemp showed us in class about technology and how vast it has become.    http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=31a436a15661bb9737c5PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IS A MUST AT OUR SCHOOLS!  Here is just what it takes!http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=e59b19db2071d55955e9

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3 thoughts on “Personal Reflections and Growth

  1. Laurette, Leanne and Sharon told me about this education site and they really like it. I found quite a bit of good stuff on it. You might like it?? http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic69.htm
    I was wondering aboiut critical thinking, so that’s what they helped me with, but you might like it??? darcy

  2. Thanks, that is so cool. I didn’t really get a chance to check out the links, I just skimmed through it and it looks interesting. I’m sure I will make use of it.

  3. Laurette, I liked the Roots of Empathy website you linked to. I see why you’re excited by it. I think it’s neat that we are looking at ways to connect with students through technology and you have a link showing one of the most fundamental human connections, though babies. Great.

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