Week Three

This week in ICT began with guest speaker, John Finch, who is the coordinator for the Learning Support and Technology Unit with Manitoba Education. He came to scare us speak with us about copyright law in Canada and how it affects us as teachers.

What I learned:

It is our role and responsibility to adhere to the copyright laws that dictate everything from how we display our students’ artwork, to the resources we are able to use in our classrooms. Mr. Finch’s talk was eye opening for me with regards to just how stringent copyright laws actually are. However, I do understand that, as teachers, we must be aware of and respect copyright laws in order to avoid infringing on them.

Mr. Finch left us with the booklet, Copyright Matters, which outlines some questions and answers for teachers with regards to the Canadian Copyright Act.

This week we also began talking about creating a professional web presence. e-Portfolios are a great resource for myself as a teacher candidate to showcase my skills and express myself as an individual. In addition to a regular portfolio, an e-portfolio will provide an opportunity to share things with a potential employer that I may not otherwise be able to express in an interview. I think this is an especially useful resource because it allows the potential employer to recall information about you without having to request to see your portfolio again. By sharing your e-Portfolio link, they can access your information at any time. As teachers, our resumes and personal profiles are living documents. We are constantly enhancing our learning through further education and professional development workshops that offer new insights, which may even alter or personal philosophies of teaching. In this sense, e-Portfolios are an efficient way to edit, update and share our professional evolution.

Dr. Nantais shared several web platforms that we can choose from to create our e-Portfilios which I’ll share below ⇩

Weebly
Wix
Yola
Google Sites

Personally, I’m leaning towards using Weebly to create a personal website. This way, I’ll be able to create a modern, visually appealing place to organize and share my portfolio. I think one of the most surprising things I learned this week is that it actually isn’t that hard to create a good website and the idea is something I’m really warming up to, not only for myself, but also as a tool for my future students.

Week Two

This week in ICT we explored many online tools for content curation. Basically, curation is sorting and storing web based content and organizing it in a way that is useful to you. If you’re like me, you probably hadn’t heard of content curation before and actually might even be curating without knowing it! Pinterest is a great example of how curation works, and is probably one of the most popular curation tools that the web has to offer. Users are able to search for content, save the links and organize them in their online pin board. I know for myself, it’s been an excellent resource to find lesson resources and classroom organization ideas.

Here are some additional curation tools that we were introduced to in class:

Feedly
Symbaloo
Evernote
Diigo

Symbaloo was my personal favourite from this list. Not only is it visually appealing, but you can actually use http://www.edu.symbaloo.com and http://www.lessonplans.symbaloo.com to search and store education and teaching resources. The Symbaloo website can also be used as your home screen for navigate and access popular resources for yourself, and perhaps even your students to use on a classroom computer.

We were also introduced to Google Forms , another amazing resource that Google provides. I had to “Google” Google forms to find out what it actually is. Here’s what I found: “You can plan events, make a survey or poll, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way with Google Forms. You can create a formfrom Google Drive or from an existing spreadsheet that can record the responses to your form”. So there you have it. It is an awesome, interactive way to involve your students, young and old.

Week One

While I am not a “tech” person, I do recognize the important role that it has in the 21st century and that it does have a place in early childhood education, not only to facilitate learning but also to prepare students for life in the “real world”. I am anxious to learn about strategies and resources for incorporating ICT into my classroom that will enhance my teaching and student learning.

So far, we’ve been introduced to several resources that we’ve had the opportunity to use. Listed below is a description of these resources which include; Padlet, Google+, Wordle, Tagxedo, Blogger and WordPress.

Padlet

Padlet (www.padlet.com) is like an online bulletin board where students can go to answer questions, ask questions, express their thoughts or share various content. In class, we used Padlet as an admit slip to answer several questions. In this case, it was used as an introductory activity to share some details about ourselves.

Using Padlet for admit or exit slips can also be used as a great way to recap a daily lesson as well as assess student understanding. By having the option of posting anonymously, students wouldn’t have to “put themselves out there” which would allow myself as a teacher to better help those students. Another great activation strategy that Padlet would be ideal for is the KWL strategy. In the early years classroom, I might be the one in charge of posting what students know, want to know and learned about a topic. However, in a middle or early years, they could do this independently.

Google+

Google+ is another social media platform that enables users to communicate and share information and connect based on particular topics of interest. I think this is a great resource for older students to communicate and share information with classmates.

Tagxedo & Wordle

Both of these sites, http://www.tagxedo.com and http://www.wordle.com, allow you to create word clouds with the text you choose. You can get creative by choosing your own layout, font, and colours. I actually already had to opportunity to use a word cloud that I created on Tagxedo in my Evaluation and Assessment course. I used a word cloud as an activation strategy to introduce several new terms from a case study review before discussing them with group members. Word clouds would also be a great introductory activity for students.

Blogger & WordPress

Both http://www.blogger.com and http://www.wordpress.com are sites that allow anyone to create and publish their own blogs. As you can see, I chose to go with blogger because (from the limited experience I have with both sites) it seemed the most simple and user friendly. However, I do want more time to explore WordPress because it appears as though you can get a little bit more creative with the blog layout. In terms of blogging for teaching, keeping a class blog is an interactive way for teachers to stay in touch with parents and to allow them a peek inside the classroom each week.