The End is Here

This semester I learnt a lot about myself, and I learnt a lot about educational technology from my classmates. I am sad that this class is coming to an end because I found that I learnt so much about how to use technology in my future classroom. I also enjoyed being able to read resources and information from my classmates through their blogs and Twitter. In times like this I now know just how important it is to stay connected. As an almost teacher I have began to realize how important it is to compile resources, and this class was great for me to find resources.

I found that I contributed to others learning on two main platforms: my twitter and my blog.

Twitter:

On Twitter I contributed to others learning by sharing different resources that I found on applications such as Feedly. I also found different resources on Twitter. One aspect of my educational philosophy revolves around inclusion. Inclusion is extremely important to me and I have become extremely passionate about it. I did my Internship in a Functionally Integrated Program (FIP), where I learnt just how important inclusion is. Throughout my Twitter I wanted to ensure that I had posts about inclusion and how it benefits everyone. I have attached some screenshots of tweets that I made about inclusion below.

On my Twitter I also shared different resources that I mainly found on Feedly. Through Feedly I found different websites that had different tips to help with technology and other education related material. Everything that I shared I thought would be really useful to others, as I found it useful. Below I have attached some tweets that I made sharing different resources.

Blogs:

The main way that I contributed to others learning through blogs was by using my own prior knowledge. If someone was writing a learning project post on something I had some knowledge on I was always willing to help if they needed. I would also share tips about crocheting because that is what I was doing for my learning project. If someone mentioned in their blog that they were struggling with something and I knew how to possibly help them I would give them tips. Below I have attached pictures of different blogs I commented on.

Thank you for reading my blog and following along on my journey through Edtech 300!

Coding Chaos

This week I attempted to code using the website code.org Hour of Coding. I found coding to actually be quite difficult because I have never coded before. I decided to try out the Play Lab because it seemed like something I would be able to do. However, I was so wrong. I did not realize how difficult coding was until I actually tried. The first few levels that I did were pretty easy, so I think it gave me a false sense of confidence. As I continued on with the puzzle I just could not figure it out. I got to level 4 before I had to stop because I just did not understand it. I think what threw me off the most is that I did not really understand what they were asking me to do. I thought I was doing the right thing, and then it would tell me to try again. I got so frustrated that I just had to give up.

I personally do think that coding can be really important. As we move toward a more technological world coding can be an asset in many different jobs. I think it is also really useful for our students to know because it really makes you think. Well it made me think anyway. Knowing how to code programs can also be useful or students as it provides them with some useful knowledge, and something that could be an asset to them in the future. If I were to teach students how to code I would need to take a class on it or something, because as of right now I have no idea how. However, it is something that I want to learn, so if I get the opportunity I definitely want to take a class or spend some time figuring it out.

Attached is some of the progress that I made:

This was the first level. All I needed to do was write hello, which was quite easy
For the second level I needed to make both actors say something. Again, I found this one easy.
This was the third level. I had a little bit more trouble with this one. At first I did not realize she needed to go towards the flag, but once I figured that out I got it quite quickly. I also did not know what the pixels did, but I realized it is has far they go.
This was level four. For the life of me I could not figure it out. It said that the two actors needed to meet, and when I did that it said try again. I tried so many different things but nothing worked.

After I tried coding I realized that I would need a lot of practice before I became any good. But for now this is a good start.

Wrapping up my Learning Project

Prior to this class I had never attempted to crochet before, so I was an absolute beginner. I decided that if I wanted my project to be successful I needed to take things step by step. I started by looking up videos that would would help me, and I needed them to be as simple as possible. I then came across this YouTube channel by Bella Coco. I really liked this YouTube channel because there was a ton of videos on how to crochet, and the beginner videos were just what I needed. She also had videos making each project that I wanted to complete, so this became a great source for me. I also used different articles that I found helped me. This one was about making a dishcloth, and this article was about how to make face scrubbies. Both of these were items that I made throughout my project. My final project that I decided to make was a blanket, and although I did not finish it in this class, I plan to finish it since I will stuck at home for awhile.

Below is all of my progress that I made this semester.

I started off my learning project by learning different stitches that would be essential to any project I wanted to create. I learnt the chain stitch and the single stitch. I knew that both of these stitches would be really useful in my future projects, especially the chain stitch. The chain stitch is used to start off almost every project, so I knew I needed to know how to do it really well.

My first chain stitches
My first single stitches

Once I was comfortable with my stitches, I decided it was time to learn how to make a real project. I decided that I wanted to make a dishcloth because I wanted something that would be practical. My first dishcloth turned out a little bit lopsided because I was having a hard time with my tension. However, for it being my first ever dishcloth I was pretty proud of myself. The next dishcloth that I made turned out really good, and once I was comfortable with the pattern I kept making them. I made around 10 dishcloths because they were quick, and I started to get really good at it.

The YouTube video I used
My first dishcloth. It turned out a bit lopsided
One of my favourite dishcloths that I made.

The next project that I decided to take on was a face scrubbie. I again thought that this would be a really useful thing to have. However, this project did not turn out as well as my dishcloths. I tried really hard, but I could just could not figure out how to crochet in a round pattern. I tried for a while, but I decided that crocheting in a round pattern might be a little to advanced for me. So I decided to go back to a square pattern.

The video that I used for my face scrubbie
My face scrubbie

For my final project I decided that I wanted to make a blanket. I knew it would be harder than the dishcloth, but it was a pattern I was comfortable with so I knew I could be successful. I had to learn a different stitch for my blanket, but once I got the hang of it, it started to become really easy. However, the sides of my blankets started to get wider and wider so I am trying to figure out how to even it out again. Since I did not have time to finish my blanket, here is the progress that I have made so far.

The video I used
My progress so far
A close up of my blanket

I used other articles and resources on top of these videos, as mentioned earlier, but I really liked how these videos explained each project.

Thank you for following along on my learning project journey!

Digital Literacy

My major and minor in my program is social studies and inclusive education, so looking at digital literacy and fake news looks very different in these subject areas. In my social studies classroom, digital literacy is extremely important when looking at articles for research or even politics. Where in the inclusive education setting the focus is more on the use of technology and how to be safe on the internet. In the article “Fake News, It’s Complicated” I really like what this author says, “Every time we passively accept information without double-checking, or share a post, image or video before we’ve verified it, we’re adding to the noise and confusion. The ecosystem is now so polluted, we have to take responsibility for independently checking what we see online.” It is so important that we teach students how to properly check their news to make sure it is correct. This is also important no matter what subject or grade area you are teaching. Showing students examples of fake news, and how to spot it is a great start to teaching about digital literacy.

In social studies I think it is really important to teach about digital literacy and finding fake news because the study of social studies is all about facts and events in history. During my internship in a Native Studies classroom we did a lot of research based assignments, and students needed to do their research themselves. It is important that students know what information is reliable, and what is not. Before any research the teacher should go over how to spot fake news.A way do this is to look at examples of fake news, and go through why they are fake. Another place where digital literacy comes into play is when we are looking at politics. The article about how we teach students to identify fake news talks about how we should teach students to identify bias. This is especially true when looking at politics because different political and news websites show different bias. The same article talks about how we can create a media bias chart to help students with this. One goal of social studies is to teach students about citizenship and voting, so it is important that students know how recognize bias when looking at different political parties.

During my internship, I got the opportunity to work in a Functionally Integrated Program (FIP), which is a classroom for students with intellectual disabilities. During my time there I started to notice that my students did not really use the internet for news, but instead they used it to communicate with others and they used social media. I realized that it was really important for me to teach my students how to be safe online, and to be more exact, teach them about talking to strangers on the internet. The way I went about this was that we went through different worksheets talking about social media and how to safely use it, and then we looked at examples social media accounts. Showing them these social media examples was really good, as I highlighted to them how important it is to only talk to people we know on the internet. This was a really good thing to talk about because I do not think my students had ever talked about it before. The final article I looked at said something that I thought was really interesting, “One of the major changes is the prevalence of easily accessible digital tools that allow anyone to create realistic but false messages, videos, and voice recordings”. This quote goes for more than just news, but also people who can make fake accounts, and that was I really tried to get across when I was teaching this subject matter.

Learn How to Crochet

Below I have attached my YouTube “tutorial” on how to crochet. In the video I show you how to make a slip knot, chain stitch, single stitch, a variation on a single stitch that I used for making dishcloths, and a UK treble stitch. These are all of the stitches that I have used in my project so far. I apologize if it is hard to follow, I tried to film it four times before and I kept confusing myself each time. I definitely tried my best!

Let’s get Fuzzy

This week I started to make my final project, which is a blanket. I figure that this is going to take a long time, so I want to start early enough so that I can finish my blanket by the end of this class. I think that I am going to still and try and make smaller projects, like my face scrubbies, but my blanket is now my main priority. I started out my project by going to Michael’s to find some blanket yarn. This project is a bit more expensive than my other projects, so I took my mom with me because I had a coupon for 40% one regular priced item, and we both payed for yarn so I could get it cheaper. I bought four balls of my blanket yarn, but now that I have started I realized that I might need more, because I want to make a really big blanket.

I then got started on my project. I first watched a couple of videos on how to crochet a blanket, and for the most part I found that they were using a Half Double crochet stitch. This was a completely new term and stitch for me, so I figured that I should practice the stitch first before I hop right in and try my blanket. I found a video that showed exactly how to do a Half Double Stitch, so I started with that. I do not have any pictures of my stitch because I took it apart because I knew I would need all of my yarn, and I forgot to take pictures.

The video I used for my Half Double stitch

Once I had practiced this stitch, I figured it was time to start my blanket. Since I knew the stitch pretty well, starting my project was pretty easy. This stitch is really nice for a blanket, because it is nice and tight so the blanket will be warm. The video that I used was only for a baby blanket, so I doubled the pattern size. The video said to chain 53 to start, and I chained 106 because I want it to be big and warm. I am slowly starting to make progress, however for some reason my rows keep getting wider and wider and I have no idea why. So, I have spent some time trying to figure out how I can shorten the rows to kind of even it out again. I have attached some pictures of my progress below.

The video I used to start my blanket
My first couple rows of my blanket
My progress so far
I closer look at my stitches

Cybersleuthing

This week I had the chance to cybersleuth my good friend Tori Peterson. I follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and I am friends with her on Facebook. So, I figured that finding out information about her would be pretty easy because I have access to all of her social media accounts. I started my sleuthing experience by looking at her Facebook, and Instagram. In the back of mind I was constantly thinking “what does her online identity look like? or is it professional looking?” With this in mind I jumped right in.

I started with her Facebook and Instagram account. One thing that I noticed is that she has posts from a long time ago, and sometimes older posts could be embarrassing or not appropriate. However, all of her older pictures were just her making memories, and none of it really stuck out as inappropriate to me. I also noticed that on her Facebook and Instagram page is where she shares a lot of her personal experiences. On her Facebook she also uses her middle name instead of her last name, and I am assuming this is so students cannot find her, but I am not totally sure. Overall, when I looked at these accounts I found nothing that was out of the ordinary, and it all looked quite professional.

I then took a look at her Twitter. This account was different because it was mainly professional and really only shared things related to teaching. This makes sense because we are obviously using Twitter in our class as a way to build our digital identity. Comparing her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram account made me think about the article about having multiple online identities. One quote that stuck out to me was, “Different sites, different audiences, different purposes,” from the same article. I feel like this really related to Tori’s digital identity, because it is clear that her Twitter and Facebook/Instagram have different audiences and different purposes.

This activity was a great way for me to think about not only someone else’s digital identity, but mine as well. Like I said, as I was looking through Tori’s accounts I was constantly thinking “is this professional?” Once I looked at her accounts, I then looked at mine and thought “is there anything on my accounts that should not be there?” I personally did not find anything, but with our digital footprint being everywhere, it is always important that we are checking to make sure what we are posting is appropriate.

Face Scrubbies: 1 Sarah: 0

This week I attempted to make myself some face scrubbies, and let me tell you it did not go well. I figured that making face scrubbies would be a good way to learn how to crochet something that is round, and I personally thought that it would be really easy. However, I am so used to crocheting dishcloths, which is a square pattern and the round pattern just confused me. I think that one of my problems was that I practiced the stitches that I needed to complete for my other projects before I actually attempted the project. For my face scrubbies I just jumped right in and figured that I would learn the stitch as I go. So, if I attempt to try and complete one I think I will need to practice the stitches before I jump in.

While I was attempting to complete this project I used two different sources. The first was an article about how to make face scrubbies. I wanted to try out a new source, but I have not quite figured out how to follow a crochet pattern. You can see what a crochet pattern looks like here. I find them quite confusing, because I do not know all of the proper terminology or stitches yet, so to me they make no sense. So, instead I went back to my trusty YouTube channel. I find that I best learn the stitches visually, and I have a hard time finding other YouTube channels that are easy to follow. Even the YouTube video that I did use was difficult to follow because I never knew where I was supposed to insert my crochet hook, as it was not very clear. I spent around an hour trying to figure out how to make a face scrubbie, and after that I just gave up because I was getting frustrated.

|The Youtube video that I used
My first attempt at a face scrubbie

My plan for next week is to possibly try and attempt to make another face scrubbie. But I might also try to start a blanket. I want to make a blanket for two reasons. The first is that I just really want a new blanket. The second is that I think it will be good practice to try new stitches in a shape that I am comfortable with. Stay tuned next week to see what I decide to do.

The Benefits and Dangers of YouTube

This week Tori and I chose to do a text message conversation about the benefits and dangers of YouTube. Our rational behind it was that one of us was a concerned parent, and the other was a teacher. We made sure to include different types digital citizenship when explaining why YouTube can be a useful place in the classroom. The pictures of our conversation are below.

Crocheting: The Movie

This week I tried a movie editor tool called Movavi to track my progress so far. Since I was creating a video I wanted to pick a skill that I had mastered, so I filmed myself making a dishcloth. I was overall generally happy with how well the Movavi app worked. It was extremely user friendly. I started by first recording the video I wanted to use with my laptop web cam. I did this because I knew if I was making a time lapse video it would need to be pretty long and using my phone just would not work. Once I finished my video, all I did was speed my video up from 100% to 400% to make a time lapse. Overall I am happy with how it came out. The only problem that I have with the app is that you need to pay to use it, so I was using a seven day free trial. In my video below you will see that there is a watermark that shows up and goes away all throughout the video. Overall, I found it easy to use, and if I was going to use it a lot I would definitely pay for the full version.

My time lapse

I only did three rows of my dishcloth in the video because I normally make dishcloths in multiple sittings, so I did not want to film a two hour video. Secondly, the process is virtually the same after the first couple of rows, so doing the entire thing would be a little pointless.

Next week I am going to try making a face scrubbie, as my end goal is still to be able to make a toque. Stay tuned!

Everyone Gets a Dishcloth

This week, I continued to work on making dishcloths, and to be honest I not cannot stop making them. It has become such a hobby for me, and I am always working on them when I am watching TV, or have free time. This is exactly why I wanted to learn how to crochet, so that I could find a new hobby so I am not on my phone all the time. I have also started to offer my dishcloths to all my family members. My parents, grandma, Aunts, everyone gets a dishcloth! I keep making them so quickly, I know that there is no way that I need five or six dishcloths.

Since I learnt how to make dishcloths last week I did not use any new sources to learn. I just wanted to spend this week making sure that I mastered the skill before I moved on to my next project. Last week I was having problem with my tension, and my cloth started to go all lopsided. This week, this did not seem to be a problem. However, I found that some of my cloths were looser than others, and as I continue making them it is something that I want to work on. I also kept forgetting to count how many rows I did, so my cloths also ended up being different shapes. I think that I need to count my rows, and then stick to that pattern just so I can stay consistent. Below I have attached all of my different dishcloths.

My first successful dishcloth for my Mom
My second dishcloth for my Mom
My third dishcloth for myself
My fourth dishcloth for my friend
My final dishcloth for my Auntie

For next week, my plan is to start crocheting in a circular shape, so that I can start learning how to make a toque. Before I start my toque I am going to first make a circular face scrubbie. Stay tuned!

All About Twitter

Prior to this class I have never used Twitter as I honestly have no idea how it worked. Now that I have a spent a bit of time figuring out what it is all about, I believe that it can be a really useful tool both inside and outside of the classroom. One thing that I really like about Twitter is learning about different education resources. As long as you follow the right accounts, the amount of new things that someone can learn is endless. Being able to find different resources all in one place is a great benefit for all teachers.

Right now I am currently only using my Twitter account for this class. I like to spend time scrolling through what my classmates have posted, to see what their perspective on certain topics are. I also try and post different resources or articles that I think are cool or useful to other people and myself. I often go on Feedly to find different articles because I have all of my education articles all in one place. Since I did my internship in a Functionally Integrated Classroom, I am also always looking at the hashtag inclusion. I do this so I can different ways that I can make my classroom as inclusive as possible, and I find this topic so interesting.

In the future, I can definitely see myself using Twitter in the classroom. I think that having students do a Twitter chat would be a great way to engage students in a different form of class discussion. In my past experiences, students seem to be more engaged when they can use their phone or laptop as a tool to help with learning. As a social studies major Twitter could also be used as a way for students to look up and read about different articles and current events. Using different hashtags, or looking at what is trending would be a great way to engage students. Having so many different resources in one place could be a great thing for my future classrooms.

I also found the Twitter Chat that we did last week, to be really interesting, and a really cool experience. I really liked how to we could chat and connect with people across the country, because without Twitter we would not have been able to do that. I also enjoyed being able to read all different perspectives on a certain question or topic. However, I did find that the answers came in really fast so it was often hard to read all of them, while also writing my own answers to the questions. Overall, I think that Twitter chats are a great way to connect with people, in a way that just is not possible any other way. I hope to participate in more Twitter chats in the future.

Learning to Crochet: Third Time’s a Charm

Well I did it! This week I taught myself how to crochet a dishcloth, and I am pretty proud of my results. I managed to make one complete dishcloth, but it was far from perfect. I am going to keep working on my dishcloths next week as well. To start, I looked at different videos and articles about making dishcloths, and I picked the one that was easiest to follow. I found one article that had pictures, but I found that it was not very detailed, and the ruffled border at the end looked too difficult for where I am right now. I then found another article by bluprint, but again I found that there was not enough pictures or details for me to be able to successfully complete my project. So, I turned back to my trusty YouTube channel for this project. Since this was my first real project, instead of just practicing stitches I wanted to be ensure I would be successful. Since I am left-handed finding resources that apply to me can also be difficult. I have attached below the video that I used for my project.

This YouTube video and channel have quickly become the staple behind my projects just because they are so easy to follow. I also prefer using videos over articles because I get the chance to see how a stitch is actually being done, instead of just looking at the picture. I still enjoy looking at other resources to learn new things, but this YouTube channel just works for what I am doing!

Now to my dishcloth and what I actually accomplished this week! I had to restart my project a couple of times because I kept messing up, but eventually I started to get the hang of it. Once I finally got going on my dishcloth, I thought that I was doing really well until I stopped to look to see that some rows were way shorter than the other ones. I think this is because my tension got a little messed up, and I started to pull tighter once I got the hang of what I was actually doing. I still went ahead and finished it, because I thought that the border that I was going to put on at the end would straighten it out, but turns out it was too far gone. Although it was not perfect I am still proud of my dishcloth!

My first dishcloth

This week I also started my second dishcloth, but I did not finish it. I enjoy crocheting so much, it is starting to feel like a real hobby and it helps to keep me busy. My second dishcloth is coming along much better, because I now know that I need to make sure the length of each row is consistent. For next week my plan is to finish this current dishcloth, and start one more just to make sure I have mastered the pattern.

My second dishcloth

Thanks for reading!

Our Digital World

The internet can be both an amazing and scary place. There is so much information that can be easily accessed, and this can be extremely beneficial in today’s classroom. I know for myself I have used many different websites to teach myself the material that I will then be teaching my students. For example, Crash Course videos have become a staple when I am teaching Social Studies. However, the Wesch video discusses that the internet is not just used for retrieving information, but it is also used to link up with people like never before. This is so interesting because our students are able to access information that we may have never seen before.

The use of technology is pretty much mandatory in today’s classroom. With my teaching experiences being in an Inclusive Education classroom, and Social Studies classroom, technology has shaped how I teach greatly. In my future classrooms, regardless where or what I am teaching technology is going shape how I teach. New apps and programs are constantly coming out, so it is hard to know exactly how my future classroom will look. One thing I know for certain is that videos will always be a staple, because linking up with other people who have different experiences and knowledge is so important. For school in general, technology will continue to be used in classroom, but it will also be used to keep school safer. As we talked about in our classroom, cameras are constantly being used to monitor student safety, and I have no doubt in my mind that this going to continue to happen. Technology and participation with technology is always going to be essential in classrooms.

The Wesch video also discussed how easy it is to collaborate with people all around the world. I personally know someone who gets up at 4:00am every morning to go online and teach English to students in China. This type of participation with the internet used to never be possible, and now teachers are able to make extra money teaching students on the other side of the world. To me, that is so cool!

In class we also talked about the dangers of social media, and participation on the internet. I think it is essential that teachers, explain both the benefits and dangers of technology. With this new world of participation cat fishing, and fake news has become so much more common, and students need to be educated on the dangers. Technology is an amazing tool, as long as we know how to properly use it.

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“facebook” by jamesmenera is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Learning how to Crochet: Round Two

This week I continued learning different stitches, and I am pretty happy with the progress I have been making so far! Crocheting is a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I am happy that I am learning so much. Last week I learnt how to do the chain stitch, which once someone does it, it starts to look like a chain. This type of stitch is incredibly important because it is the base of every other stitch. I practiced this stitch more this week, and then I started to add new stitches to my basic chain stitch. I continued to use the same YouTube channel, but I also added a new source this week as well.

My first couple of Chain Stitches

The stitch that I mainly focused on this week was the US single stitch or UK double stitch. This stitch was much harder, and took me quite a while to learn how to do it properly. I feel that I am going to use all of my yarn before I actually start making my project, because I am practicing so much! For this stitch I used an article all about left-handed crocheting. Using this article was really helpful because instead of a quick moving video it just had pictures, which I was able to use to compare to my different stitches. I still used the YouTube channel to actually learn how to do the stitch just because I find it easier to learn when I actually see someone doing it. The double stitch involves building onto the chain stitch, and working the stitch through what is already there. I also learnt how to add on a new row to my project. This was super helpful as I feel that I am moving closer to actually being able to make something that can be used.

To the left is my first attempt at three rows, and to the right is my second and better attempt at three rows.
The video I used to make my US Single Stitch

My plan for next week is to learn the stitch that is actually used when making dishcloths, as I feel that I am close to actually starting my first real project.

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