Social Media in a Frenzy!

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

Social media has rapidly evolved and become the new trend over the last decade. We wake up with social media notification, use it throughout the day scrolling and scrolling non-stop, and often fall asleep staring at the screen. What began with Facebook, now has expanded into a vast array of platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I always have a positive attitude towards technology and how it has improved our lives. When it comes to the use of social media, I would confidently say it is ruining our lives, at least for most of us.

For many young people, social media has become a crucial part of their life, something with which they connect and identify themselves with. It shapes the way in which they view themselves and understand the world around them. The huge influence that it carries on the youth, especially for children and adolescents, is undeniable.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

One of the most concerning issues with social media is the pressure of comparison and the unrealistic expectations it puts on the parents. The images that people post are not realistic due to the filters being used, creating unrealistic standards of beauty and happiness. Seeing these people as role models in life, creates feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem for the young kids. These unattainable high standards contribute to mental health issues. These high standards put pressure not only on the youth but parents as well. Constrained to fulfill the wishes of their kids, they might find themselves into immerse pressure and financial strain.

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Additionally, social media can greatly affect real life interactions. Face to face communication are replaced by digital exchanges, mostly emojis, which lack emotional depth. To make things worse, the family conversations between parents and their kids or siblings are slowly fading, eroding the ties of the family. We live under the same roof, share the same living room and yet feel isolated due to the time we dedicate to the digital world instead of dedicating time to each other.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

The addictive aspect of social media is another concern. Due to the time that children and young people spent, that interferes with important aspects of childhood, such as relaxing time, their studies, and physical activities. Social media platforms use algorithms that focus on users behaviors and preferences to keep them captivated for hours and hours.

During the debate on the impacts that social media has on the youth it was mentioned the documentary The Social Dilemma. This documentary explains the negative effects that social media can have on peoples’ behavior,  some of them similar to the points I have mentioned previously. One of the many things that stuck with me from this documentary was when one of the interviewers said that “if you are not paying for the product than you are the product”. This profound statement underscores a very sad truth about social media which is the users being exploited for the profits of these platforms.

While social media can offer various tools for communication, as mentioned by one of the groups in the debate, it is crucial to recognize and address the negative impacts on youth and adolescents.  Educating the youth on the risk that social media carries, restricting the screen time and setting boundaries on the themes and topic to explore can help mitigate some of these issues. By promoting better and healthy habits, we can ensure that technology can serve in a positive way.

Posted in Uncategorized

Can Technology Enhance Learning?

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

In today’s digital age, technology has become an inseparable part of our everyday lives, and education is no exception. From online resources, for both students and teachers, to interactive learning tools, technology offers many ways to enhance the learning experience. By integrating various platforms, we can create a more individualized learning environment that better meets  our students’ needs.

From my perspective as a Learning Resource teacher, I have witnessed firsthand how technology can significantly support the needs of my students. One of the standout tools I use frequently is Immersive Reader. This tool is particularly beneficial to students who struggle with reading. Immersive Reader provides features such as column width, page color, line focus and many more, which can make reading more accessible and less daunting for these students.

Additionally, Speech-to-Text plays a crucial role in providing help for the students who struggle with spelling. This tool allows students to express their thoughts and ideas and to convert them into writing, enabling them to focus on the content rather than worrying about spelling challenges.

On the other hand, Text-to-Speech technology addresses reading challenges by reading written text to students who struggle with decoding skills. This helps in breaking the reading barriers.

PowerPoint is another powerful  platform that I utilize daily in my job and which I believe helps students learn. The new reading program that I used daily, UFLI, has incorporated PowerPoint slides as one of the main ways of instructional materials. These slides offer an interactive and visually stimulating way to teach and revise various reading skills. This approach keeps students engaged and facilitates better comprehension.

The integration of these technological tools not only enhances the effectiveness of teaching but also accommodates various learning needs for the students. The integration of technology in my daily teaching helps create a dynamic and responsive environment, and also gives students the opportunity to reach their full potential and thrive.

During our debate about effectivenes use of technology, one concern was the lack of training for the teachers. During the discussion, it was brought up that teachers should use technology in an effective way that enhances students’ experience and not just for the sake of using it. Ayodele made a very good point, to which I agree, that teachers should not expect only from the school division to learn how to use technology. On the contrary, teachers should take the plunge and teach themselves to teach after their students.

The other side of the debaters gave their reasoning that technology is more of a distraction for the students than a learning tool. For this point, I would say that it depends on the students’ needs, what we are trying to teach, and on the skills that teachers have to incorporate technology effectively. The article Devices in the Classroom also points out that the problem is not the device but how we incorporate them in the classroom. So, as previously stated, teachers’ expertise is crucial to effectively integratin technology to enhance students’ learning.

In conclusion, I can say with certainty that when incorporated properly, technology can indeed enhance students’ learning. As a Learning Resource Teacher, I have witnessed the growth in reading skills for my students, thanks to the innovative tools technology provides. Despite the challenges in regard to teachers’ training, with self-commitment to professional development, we can overcome these barriers. Technology has the power to not just improve, but to transform education and to help students enhance their learning in ways we never thought possible.

Posted in Uncategorized

Enjoying Summertime with Technology!

It is summertime and I am really loving taking a break from lesson plans and posting assignments and worksheets on OneNote. At the same time though, I have started to feel a bit bored, so I was wondering besides going for walks what else could I do? Well, the first thing that came to my mind was reading books online. Even though I was trying to stay away from technology, it seems like technology cannot stay away from me. The first thought that came to my mind was to go and buy a book, however, recently I have started reading ebooks and I find them very convenient. I searched on Google and I was able to find a variety of books, and what is important in today’s economy, they were free, or very cheap to buy! The first book that I chose was The Joseph Blessing: Change the World with Your God-Driven Dream. I always dream for a better world for myself and the kids so I thought maybe this is the right book that will teach me how to change the world.

As I was reading my book the phone rang. My parents were calling me. Now that I am not working, video-chatting with them is the best part of the day for me. Technology has improved my life in so many ways and one of them is being able to connect with my parents daily through WhatsApp. This free app allows me and other users to connect with people through voice and video calls, anywhere and anytime all over the world, as long as there is internet and the app is available. Being on two different continents sometimes might pose challenges in connecting with other people, but not when you have WhatsApp.

Later that day, my daughter asked me if she could go and visit her friend. She lives in the other side of the city and even after more than 12 years living in Regina, unfortunately, I am not yet familiar with most of the places. But that is something that does not worry me at all, because GPS comes really handy for me very often. I set up the route, and made sure to check up for traffic delays, because it is summer and for Regina that means “it is construction time”. As I was driving, I felt a sense of relief knowing how modern technology would guide me to go safely to unfamiliar places around the city.

Photo by Cleyton Ewerton on Pexels.com

Supper time was coming, and I had no idea what I was cooking. I have an old cooking book that I have bought in Albania, but as I was going through I didn’t find anything easy. As usual nowadays, technology gave me the solution. I went on Google and I found a website with plenty of recipes. There were so many options there, but this time I decided to go for Greek Orzo Pasta Salad with Dill and Feta. My family loves feta cheese, so this recipe would give me absolute success for supper.

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano on Pexels.com

After a very delicious supper, it was time to relax. For me, one way of doing this is through watching documentaries about nature or animals. I went on Amazon and I was able to find Life on Our Planet; no better way to end the day.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

As I reflect on the various ways technology has been intertwined into my summer routine, I am reminded how necessary it has become in my everyday life. Whether it’s through the use of WhatsApp to stay connected with the loved ones all over the world, to navigating unfamiliar roads with GPS, discovering new recipes or finding captivating eBooks and documentaries, technology enhances and enriches my daily life in countless ways, offering me endless possibilities. As I continue to use these tools, it becomes clear that technology is not just a convenience- but a crucial part of my life that helps me thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cooking & Convo’s with Ilda and Erin!

This blog is done in collaboration with Erin.

Attached is our (myself and Erin) summary of learning throughout this class. We chat about numerous different topics that we learned such as Web 2.0codingAssistive Technology, as we cook using a recipe we found on the web. We made a few little changes, but the results were still amazing…thank us later 😉

Cheers to a great semester of learning!

Ilda & Erin

Posted in Uncategorized

Empowering Myself with AI!

My first time using AI was when my school division introduced the Magic School. Yes, I know I have been talking all the time during this course for Magic School, but that’s because I love it, as it has made my life so much easier. Where should I start?

As a Learning Resource teacher, one of my responsibilities is to create data collection for students who are on the Inclusion and Intervention Plan (IIP). Previously, it had taken me a lot of time to prepare these data collection sheets as they have to be individualized for each goal and, more specifically, for each student. Let’s say 5 goals per student X 40 students… I’m gonna let you do the calculation. This year, I used Magic School, and it saved me so many long hours of work and frustration. What’s more important is that the final result was much better than before. The forms I created are more accessible to fill in through the computer if you don’t want to print them, and you can edit them if necessary.

Magic School has also helped me create Social Stories for the students. Based on their needs, social stories can help students understand emotions, behaviours, and feelings, work through personal issues, and predict their actions regarding handling various situations. They are straightforward, and you can create as many as you want. The story below is the one AI—Magic School created for me. The command that I asked Magic School was: “Make a social story for Ilda on how to use AI.”

Here is the story:

I am Ilda. Sometimes, I use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help me with different tasks. AI is like having an intelligent assistant that can answer questions and give me information.

I can use AI on my computer, tablet, or even my smart speaker at home. When I need help getting started, I can ask my parents or teacher.

It’s great that AI can help me find answers to questions quickly. If I’m unsure how to use AI, someone can show me step by step. I can also practice using AI by asking simple questions first.

When I use AI, I feel excited to learn new things and discover information that interests me. If I have trouble understanding the answers from AI, I can ask for clarification without worrying.

I will work on speaking clearly and calmly when asking AI for help. I can also thank AI for providing me with the necessary information.

Remember, using AI is a fun and helpful tool for learning and exploring new things!

Magic School also helps me with lesson plans, IIP generators, assessments, rubric generators, customizing texts based on students’ favoured topics, and more. When this platform was initially introduced to us, all its features were available. Unfortunately, some of the features now require a subscription.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

ChatGPT is another AI that I use for my work. I use it to summarize lengthy articles, clarify, and answer questions.

So far, I am thrilled with AI but simultaneously scared. Thrilled because it has shortened the time needed for completing tasks and allowed me to spend time on other things. Having AI available 24/7 enables me to access it anytime and anywhere. Since technology is advancing rapidly, my only concern with AI is taking over our lives. We want technology to make our life easier, however we still want humans to have the upper hand on things. The video that the last group showed in the previous presentation, Evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI), says that “With the advancement of technology and a better understanding of the human brain, the capabilities of AI would change drastically over the years” (min 3:34). As long as AI changes the world to benefit us that’s okay but if it works against us that is what concerns me.  

The benefits of technology and AI are undeniable. We can all see how it has revolutionized our lives in many areas. However, we must ensure that we use it responsibly to maximize its benefits for the betterment of life and society.

Posted in Uncategorized

Coding, Are There Any Benefits?

https://images.app.goo.gl/LZX8A2rCsvfUb1437

Based on the Lakehead University coding is about giving instructions and crafting sets of rules that can be programmed into a digital device to perform.

My first encounter with coding was a few years ago with first and second grade students. My main reason for incorporating coding in my teaching was to better engage students in reading activities and letter recognition. The activity that I used was called Robot Mouse. Using a robot mouse, a mat, coding cards, reading cards, and remote-control students followed the instructions on the coding cards to move the robot mouse to the corresponding cards and to read aloud the associated word or letter. I have included a YouTube video below for those who would like to become familiar with this activity. The only difference is that instead of robot mouse, it is used a ladybug.

Code & Learn! Ladybug

Whenever students used the robot mouse for reading activities, they showed happiness and high levels of engagement. In one of the articles that Kelsey and Kanwal had for their presentation,  was mentioned how beneficial coding can be for students. One of these benefits can be the problem solving and critical thinking that students would have to learn. And I couldn’t agree more with that. When my students wanted to send the robot mouse in a certain word, they would have to think how many movements the mouse would go forward, left, or right to reach the destination they wanted. Engaging students with coding activities allowed them to break down the steps of a big problem into more manageable and smaller steps and to create a sequence of actions of how to solve the problem. It also allowed them to strengthen their critical thinking and to expand their creativity.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Code-and-Learn-Ladybug/658912911

When I incorporated coding in my teaching practices, I was able to see firsthand its benefits but some challenges at the same time. For the major part, most of the students grasped the concept of coding with no extra effort; however, for some other students coding ended up being daunting and challenging. Programing the robot mouse to follow the steps shown on the coding card was not easy which resulted in students being frustrated and resisting to not engage with coding and this particular activity.

When I was trying to explore what are some other benefits for coding, I encountered the below information in the Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD) website, and I was surprised to see how beneficial coding can be in various areas such as in:

Academics:

In math – it helps students apply math to “real-world situations” turning math into a fun activity for students.

In writing – it helps kids improve their writing skills by understanding the value of “concision and planning”.

In creativity – it allows students to use their creativity to find the solution for their problem, and it builds students’ confidence “as they learn to problem-solve through coding”

Another area where coding is very helpful is to build soft skills. The more students write complicated codes the better they become in focusing and organization skills. Coding sometimes becomes challenging for students due to the rules and steps that are necessary to build and follow. This helps the students to build resilience while working through these challenges. When students learn how to code they learn how to communicate their ideas clearly with the computer.

Coding can also pave the future of the kids by empowering their confidence and problem solving. It teaches life skills and offers more opportunities for a future careers.

As you can see, the values that coding brings are vast. Whether that is for academics, life skills, or just for fun, coding opens up a world of possibilities for our students and it empowers them with the necessary skills and mindset to thrive in whatever path they choose to pursue. Integrating coding in our curricula will help students to become participants and to see themselves as active contributors to the digital world. As technology is becoming an integral part of education, it is important to become innovative and creative and coding offers us this opportunity.

Posted in Uncategorized

YES, We Have Assistive Technology Now!

Option 1: What are your experiences with assistive technology, and what are some of the challenges and limitations?

Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels.com

Throughout this school year, utilizing assistive technology has become an inseparable part of my daily tasks. As a Learning Resource Teacher, part of my job is to help students with their literacy skills, whether through traditional methods or technology. I have to admit that technology was not my favourite method; however, that perception changed drastically when I was introduced to Magic School, an artificial intelligence platform. Not only did Magic School transform my views on technology, but it also made me eager to learn and expand my knowledge on various platforms and tools that are vital for my students’ success. Some of these tools that I have been learning and using daily with my students are Immersive Reader, Dictation, Speech-to-Text and Cpen. When I started using them, of course, there was a bit of frustration. However, after I attended a training offered by my school division, things improved drastically. 

In last week’s presentation, Assistive Technology was described as “any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.” This definition taken from ATiA (Assistive Technology Industry Association), states that assistive technology is vital for people with disabilities; however, the video that was also presented last week, The Myth of Assistive Technology, explains that assistive technology is not just restricted to people with disabilities but everyone can use it. Assistive Technology can enhance productivity for people without disabilities, while it “can make things possible” for students with learning challenges. Talking from my personal experience, speech-to-text helps me quite often to jot down ideas faster, whereas Immersive Reader helps me with reading books or articles, while performing other duties as a mother. Even though, nothing can beat the pleasure of reading a book on your own, at least this is my personal opinion, for my students this seems like a past habit because they will always choose audiobooks over paper books. As a teacher I find Immersive Reader a valuable resource because some of its elements are very helpful for students whose primary language is not English. Translating various texts or just words from the many languages available, having a picture dictionary and a reading coach, focusing on various parts of speech and syllables are some of the features that enable me to help the EAL (English as an Additional Language) students to overcome the barriers in English language and to set them up for success in their new journey.

 Immersive Reader is beneficial for students as well to help them overcome reading challenges and to promote independent reading and learning.

Cpen is also a useful reading tool for some students that I help with their daily reading. Last week’s presentation mentioned that Cpen was “designed to make significant changes in people’s lives.” This is true because it has greatly impacted my students, especially one of them. The students are allowed to use the Cpen at school, but unfortunately, they are not allowed to take it home. The good side of this is that one particular student loves to use the Cpen so much that she hardly misses any day at school now. So, not only has the Cpen helped her with reading, but it has also enabled her to improve attendance at school.

Despite the benefits for students and myself, sometimes these tools present challenges and limitations. Speech-to-Text does not present any major issues if someone has an accent, however if a person has a speech impairment, depending on the degree of impairment, there might be a lack of accuracy in the text. Another factor that can impact the accuracy of speech-to text is the high level of noise in the environment where the text is being recorded. 

One disadvantage of the Immersive Reader that was mentioned in the last week’s presentation was “using it the wrong way.” This means doing another thing while you are listening to a text. In my daily teaching, I have seen this happen, but very rarely. Most of the time, students really enjoy listening to text and being engaged with reading.

As for the Cpen, one limitation is that it reads one line at a time and only certain types of fonts. The charging does not present a big challenge as long as the teacher remembers to charge it at the end of the day. The cost might be a limitation for some students though. 

Despite being confusing and not very easy to navigate at times, assistive technology offers immense values that can improve the learning experience. It can empower ALL students, and not only, to enhance their everyday learning and living. By providing tools tailored to individual needs, assistive technology opens up new opportunities and possibilities, making learning and education more accessible and inclusive for everyone.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Effectiveness of Assessment

“process of gathering data to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of student learning”

(Harris and Hodges, 1995)

Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels.com

In the evolving landscape of education, the integration of assessments represent challenges and opportunities for both students and educators. Joe Bowers’s statement that “Assessment is not a spreadsheet, it’s a conversation” put me in deep thinking and made me realize that he is right.

We use the assessments to gather information about the students’ learning and to guide our teaching practices, but have we ever wondered about the effects that these assessments have on our students? To go further, is there any way that we can make the process of assessing students less stressful and more meaningful for students? I have been an educator for 15 years, and in the last years I have seen that whenever you tell the students that they are going to have a test or quiz or any form of assessment they will stress out. And I don’t blame them. We have one size fit all assessments that do not take into consideration factors such as previous knowledge, language skills, and abilities.

When we give an assessment to the students without considering these individual factors, we create a system that does not truly reflect the real potential or understanding of the student. This approach assumes a uniform baseline for all the learners and does not take into consideration the personal journey for each individual learner. To address this limitation, we should approach assessment in a different way which is more personalized and that embraces the unique skills and knowledge of each student. Tailoring assessments to the individual knowledge and building on the previous skills of the students should be an integral part of educational practices. In this way, educators should be able to get a more accurate understanding of what students know and do not know.

Furthermore, language proficiency plays a crucial part when assessing students. Recently, there have been so many students coming from various country, whose primary language is not English. Some of them are very fluent in English but there are others who are not. Assessing these students in the same way as we assess English speaker students is not fair to them. Incorporating multilingual assessments will enable to break the language barriers and to ensure that students can show their true understanding and knowledge. With the advancement of technology and with so many AI platforms, some of which were mentioned in the last week presentation, educators should and MUST be able to offer the opportunity to the ELA students to have assessments that makes their sharing of knowledge easier and to truly demonstrate what their really know.  

Additionally, acknowledging and accommodating various learning abilities is crucial. Rather than relying solely on traditional written assessments, such as quizzes, essays, multi choice questions, educators should offer other forms of assessments, like project-based assignments, oral assessments or any other form of assessment that allows the students to show their knowledge that aligns with their strengths.

Moving away from one size fit assessments is essential for a more just way of assessing students and creating a more effective education system. Embracing personalized assessments that take into account individual strengths and weaknesses of the students will show more accurately students’ knowledge and skills and will better help teachers to plan for their students.

The article, Understanding the Role of Assessment in Learning explains the importance of assessments but in the same time emphasizes the importance of shifting the way how we assess our students. A video from Eric Mazur, which is included in this article, introduces us some critical aspects on assessments.

I would like to conclude this blog with Eric Mazur’s words as I find them very encouraging to think that “…unless we rethink our assessment our assessment will continue to fail to indicate who is really going to be successful in life and who is not”.

Posted in Uncategorized

 Social Media, the New Chaos!

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

Our interconnectedness has been solidified in our lives heavily through Technology and Social Media. We live now in an age where we have instant access to each other, news and entertainment. In many ways, it has significantly improved our lives. We are connected to an unlimited network of knowledge on an unlimited amount of subjects. However, with these many benefits there is bound to also be a wide range of risks that we must consider. Our dependence on technology is rising and that can be seen through the newer generations. As they have access to technology and social media earlier in life, they are much more prone to the risks. This is why we must become educated and informed about what these risks entail, so that we can stop ourselves from becoming victims.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

An immediate threat of these risks is seen in the younger generations, most prominently Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Their access to technology and social media at younger ages has greatly influenced the way that they have grown up. A prominent example of this was shown in the movie The Social Dilemma, in which it was stated that depression and suicide in young girls spiked greatly with the introduction of social media. Also, it was mentioned that the generation as a whole was struggling with romantic relationships and self-esteem issues due to social media. It is important that we understand these consequences so that we may also understand how to combat them. This includes teaching our youth about their online presence, that what they upload, and post has an effect on others lives. Similarly, we must also teach youth that social life can exist outside of the digital world and that depending on social media gratification is dangerous. Overall social media will evolve faster than we can keep up with it, but that does not mean that we should stop protecting ourselves from any of its current and future harms.

The Social Dilemma brought up very good points on how social media can be used to destabilize or put strain on society and social organizations. Now the movie brought up points of threat to democracy and civil war, which I personally find believable but also extreme. What I want to focus on is how social media can be used to manipulate people to take sides on issues. We can see this happen a lot in politics, in which many times people of opposing political views would rather insult each other than discuss their political ideas. Another example could be seen with Covid 19, in which people were heavily divided on issues of vaccines and masks. While the problem is not having opposing views, it is how we act when we have them. What is beginning to occur is that rather then try to find solutions or common ground we divide ourselves further and become even more opinionated. This is dangerous because it creates enemies out of friends. Unfortunately, social media is a powerful tool for this division due to its ability to spread to many people at instantaneous speeds. Things such as hate speech, online harassment and fake news are becoming more common for everyone who has an online presence.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

In our schools social media can be a powerful tool in helping kids socialize and connect with each other outside of school hours. Its ability to help a person connect with others is immeasurable. With that, however, come also the side effects of being constantly connected. Things such as cyber bullying and online harassment are becoming more prominent in schools. Also, kids are becoming more reliant on social media to socialize and losing critical skills in how to make real life relationships. Things such as anxiety and depression are also on the rise due to social media. As a result, it is becoming ever important for parents to also be informed on their children’s online activity. Not only so they are not victims of the risks but also, so they do not become the harassers. Social media is an expansion of the world, and with it should also come regulation. We should see technology and social media as powerful tools that can make our lives much better, but that also come with responsibility in how we use them.

Posted in Uncategorized

Education Tools, Which One Do I love Most…?

Technology has revolutionized the traditional way of teaching and learning, offering many tools and platforms to enhance education. Digital tools are becoming inseparable in everyday life, so it is almost impossible to see life nowadays with them. I had difficulty figuring out which tool or platform was the most important for me because I consider them all very important.

As a teacher and parent, I believe EDSBY has crucially changed the way teachers communicate with parents and how parents access school-related news and information. Getting and submitting information in real-time, checking the grades and assessments that are due, and delivering messages are some features that make EDSBY an essential platform for me. 

Going back to the time of COVID-19, Microsoft Teams was a new way of communication between colleagues and students. Being able to access all my students through the screen and share ideas was something that I never thought about. Yet, that reality continues nowadays, making communication much more accessible and manageable. Being able to meet without having to leave our class or home and share information and links has never been easier and faster. Microsoft Teams’s features have made this platform very important and helpful for me.

YouTube is another tool that I use frequently and which both students and I enjoy it. There is nothing that I can’t find on YouTube for my teaching purposes, from songs about letters, numbers and stories for different purposes and so much more. I find YouTube videos make teaching more entertaining and engaging for the students. Who wouldn’t prefer to learn the sounds through Jolly phonics? Not only do students get pumped every time they hear the songs, but most of the time, I enjoy it more than they do. Singing, dancing, and doing the action for each sound is an appealing way to teach the student.

The article below explains the advantages of using YouTube in the classroom, and I couldn’t agree more with all of them.

Other tools I use frequently are OneNote, PowerPoint, Microsoft 365, Word, PechaKucha, Seesaw, Planboard, Canva, and various tools for Assistive Technology. At least, these are the ones that I was able to recall. I felt good about my knowledge as I thought I was not a beginner, but when I read one of the articles posted in week 6Best Tools for Virtual and Distance Learning, I realized the vast range of available tools. No matter your knowledge, it is almost impossible to know all the platforms and tools that technology offers. However, staying curious and willing to be a lifelong learner will be vital in helping me to navigate the world of educational technology. 

I want to close with the video below by Gino Camp. Gino says that the challenge is to design the right combination of online and offline elements depending on our learning goals and the tools that we have available. That means we need to evolve as teachers and learners and reflect upon what we do and why we do it.

Posted in Uncategorized