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Darian Kaszas

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ECMP 355

IT’S BEEN A SLICE

Well, I really thought I was going to hate these spring classes, but I WAS WRONG. I really think that this class has helped me so much and prepared me in many ways for when I become a teacher. ECMP 355 was always extremely engaging and I was always ready to learn. I think that this class really made me think a lot about the things that I am doing online. It also made me think about what I’ll expect from my students when they go online. I think that it is very beneficial for me to be thinking about these ideas now rather than when I get thrown into a classroom and everything hits me like a train. I now know how important this class was for me, and how important it will be to my future students when we discuss these topics.

I did my summary of learning project with Noah Smith, we discussed all that we have learned throughout this semester. I am extremely glad that this class is available for students to take at the U of R as it truly gives you a whole different mindset towards technology.

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I Appreciate You All

SO I have a little issue here. We are supposed to be sharing our comments on other people’s posts in this blog post. I seemed to have forgotten who’s posts I have been commenting on. I know that I did comment on several posts, but can no longer find them. I did find one and remember it however (screenshot down below).

I really enjoyed this class due to everyone’s support with blog posts. I find it so amazing that we can all comment and help each other out. We’re like a big family, and we don’t even know each other. That’s really nice. I feel though that by doing blog posts, it opens up a whole new world. For me, if this were in class and we were sharing our learning project experiences, I would be too shy to help anyone out. For example, people that were learning certain instruments, I was able to comment on their blogs and share the resources I have learned from since I have a good background in music. I feel as though doing it online makes it so much easier and less nerve racking for me.

I enjoyed getting everyone else’s feedback on my blog posts. There were always those critical comments that made me go back and reflect on my entire life, but they are very good as they made me think differently. I really do appreciate the blog post “community” and how everyone is extremely connected and supported in that way.

We Should All Probably Become Activists

Social activism is obviously very important. Now that we are all so surrounded by technology, I think that social media is a very good place to share awareness to certain views and ideas. As teachers, if we are not posting about important matters and we are not being activists in some sort of way, we are ultimately showing our students that the matters are okay with us. Considering there are so many people on social media, it would be extremely helpful to stand up about certain issues such as racism. By staying silent, nothing will happen to the issue. Since our future students will all have social media of some sort, we need to teach them to use it in a way like activism, rather than a way to put others down, or even do nothing. We all have a large connection with the world through social media and technology, so it is extremely important that we take advantage of that and use it wisely.

Not Sure How This Cat Game Works…

This week, I tried out Scratch to see if I was able to do it, or if was simple. I think that it was really simple, but I still seemed to have trouble with it. I am not very technologically advanced, so I was slightly confused. I just made my cat run and spin around the screen while meowing basically. Even that, which seems to be the smallest task took me forever. I also needed to watch the tutorial side bar a few times (which was actually very helpful when you payed attention to them). I had a lot of trouble uploading a recording for my cat to say. I uploaded one of a child screaming really loud. I thought it was hilarious but it wouldn’t work to transfer over to my cat. Sorry I couldn’t make anyone deaf with that today. I think that I would like this website and it could be really helpful if I took some more time to get the hang of it. Even though I was playing around with the site for a long time, I personally was not picking it up very quickly. I think that this site would be very good and fun for students to learn about coding. There is definitely a lot of enjoyment that could come of this site.

We Should Probably Educate Our Students On Digital Citizenship

After watching videos that revolve around the ideas of the internet and how to be safe, I am able to understand even more why this is so important for students to learn about. The two videos that impacted me the most were the TED Talk and the documentary on Amanda Todd. These videos really showed the impact that the internet can make on a person depending on the way that it is used.  As for the victims in the two videos, what they were doing online was not the best choice. They each made a choice that should not have been put online. These choices therefore ruined their digital identities. The tweet that was made by Justine Sacco, caused her to lose her job. As for Amanda Todd, her choice that she made online caused her to be blackmailed for a long period of time. These videos are very good to learn from as they cause us to think differently. These videos made me think differently about how I was going to teach this tricky topic to my future students. We all obviously want our students to be safe, so we need to educate them well about the uses of technology.

Importance of Digital Citizenship

Most students that we work with now are digital citizens as they all use technology and most have social media accounts. This is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how we teach students about digital citizenship. Digital citizenship was somewhat brought up to me when I was in high school, but not enough to make an impact on myself or my peers. Obviously I have been keeping a pretty safe and appropriate digital citizenship, but that is not due to my schooling. A challenge that I see with schools teaching about digital citizenship, is that there is not enough time spent on the topic. It is easy for teachers to tell their students to be safe online and not post anything offensive or completely ridiculous. There needs to be a chunk of time that is spent with this. This topic doesn’t need to be its own subject, you can incorporate digital citizenship into almost anything. Students need to be able to actually practice and learn about what digital citizenship is, and how they can become effective citizens. It is very important that our students know how to be good digital citizens as we are now all consumed by technology.

My Digital Identity…

When told to Google myself during class, I had a minor heart attack. I was definitely afraid of what might pop up. Not that I post anything inappropriate or mean, I just did not want to be reminded of the statuses I posted to Facebook back in grade 9. Fortunately, those statuses were not what popped up. Basically, when I Google myself, my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WordPress websites come up. I am private on most of these social media platforms anyways, so I feel as though I don’t need to worry too much. When I Google Image myself, there are a few pictures of me, like four at most. The majority of the other images are of Hedley. Which I can say I am proud of, as I have been the biggest Hedley fan since I was in grade three. I’m assuming that the Hedley pictures are ones that I have posted or Pinned somewhere.

As for being a future teacher, I would not say that I am too worried about what my students or colleagues would be able to find. I have never posted anything inappropriate or hateful. There may be some things that are embarrassing to myself, as I was a child when I posted them, but nothing that I could get in trouble for or questioned about. I will obviously work on getting rid of the posts that my grade nine self posted, but I am not too worried about what is on the internet.

In Which Way Are We Participating?

The new culture of participation is definitely different from what I am used to, and from what I grew up with. In Wesch’s video that we watched, it involved people from all over the world singing and dancing to the same song. Although this technically is active participating, I feel as though it isn’t. When people are uploading videos of themselves singing or dancing to the song, they are participating, but maybe not in a meaningful way. From my own experiences of people I know, when there are opportunities to participate online like this, it doesn’t always go the way it should. I know many people who participate in these ideas by uploading videos for the attention, for the likes, and because it is the trend at that time. Basically to fit in and be noticed. For my future classroom, I feel as though this may be a good way of participation for those who are too shy or uncomfortable to speak or do a task in front of the class. Unfortunately, many children are more confident behind a screen, so this could work. It would also be a good lesson as to learning about what ‘real’ participation could be and what ‘attention seeking’ could be. In my opinion, these ideas are good to get people from all over the world to interact and come together, however, in many cases it is for the ‘likes’ and attention. As for schools in general, again, this could be used to get everyone involved. I personally do not think that this would be the best possible way to get everyone involved, but considering how far technology is progressing, this may be a good way to encourage participation in the near future.

I Think I Found Another Cool Website

This week I decided to try out Adobe Spark. I have never even heard of this website until now. When I first got onto this website, I was given three options. To make a video post, social post, or a page for web stories. I decided to check out the social posts first. From there, there are several other options to make a picture collage, invitation cards, greeting cards, posters, etc. The first thing that caught my eye was the picture collage. I just made a quick one of pictures I took in Banff (shown below). The picture collage was very easy to do. You just clicked on the squares and inserted a picture there. I was not a fan of the fact that you could only choose one picture at once though. I had to continue going into my library to find all the pictures. I then went into the Page category and made my own page (I wasn’t sure what to write about so I apologize for that useless story about me meeting stingrays). I really liked this category because it was SO easy to use and create your own page.

I think that these tools would be extremely useful for teachers in many ways. The two tools that I tried out would be helpful to myself I think. Teachers could use the collage tool to make collages of pictures from the classroom. You are able to title and date all of the collages and also add as many pictures as you want. These could be sent home to parents or even printed off and showcased in the classroom as a way to show everyone what is happening in class. As for the page, you could write about projects you are doing, a field trip you went on, activities you’re doing as a class, etc. These can be easily shared so that parents and family members are able to see what is going on in the classroom.

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