Monday, February 27, 2012

Digital Story Telling: E-Book

I am of South Korean decent. I was born in Canada, raised in Chicago, raised in Korea, and then educated throughout my high school and University years in Canada again. When I tell people of my backgrounds, they are usually familiar with Chicago's location, Toronto, and Hamilton's location, but not of Seoul's. I always need to explain that no, I am not from North Korea because it would be illegal to leave that country. So I like pointing on a map where Seoul, South Korea is. Nowadays, everyone knows where Seoul, South Korea is. A huge portion of Teacher Candidates have experience teaching English there. Anyways, here are some googlemap satellite views that show where Seoul, South Korea is actually located. Then, it shows my actual house! Enjoy! :)

Professional Advisory: Electronic Communication, Social Media from Ontario College of Teachers

The video posted on YouTube by the Ontario College of Teachers is about using technology and social media within the classroom. The video is called Professional Advisory: Electronic Communication, Social Media from Ontario College of Teachers

If there's one thing I'm very thankful for is the progressive attitude that the OCT has for using technology within the classroom. It's true that if we can't avoid it, we should enjoy it or make it useful. OCT is realistic in their thinking. They are thinking about the future of the students as well as the teachers' role to prepare students for the future. Technology and social media will never die down. It will only become more dominant and widely used as time goes by. It's crucial that we as teachers are familiar with these things ourselves to be able to communicate with students how to use technology to benefit their growth. If we don't guide them, who will? Parents these days are tempted more than ever to spoil their children with the latest technology and cool gadgets. Therefore, it's so important that teachers 'Keep up with the times!'

It would be great, however, if the OCT could back up their beliefs a bit more.. There are currently many courses and Professional Development opportunities to familiarize yourself with the wide variety of technological tools that are out there, but it's hard to access them. Many schools are limited in their budget for new technology since it is pricey, and many times short lived (new technology is always on the rise). But it's still refreshing to know that the importance of technology incorporation in the classroom learning environment is prioritized, valued, and encouraged!

I'm glad to be a part of a forward thinking organization.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Professional Learning Community

I've attended Brock's Professional Development Day on January 12, 2012.

I've had the opportunity to attend 3 workshops that day: School Health and Safety, Communicating with Parents, and one related to Report Cards and Assessment.

I've particularly enjoyed the School Health and Safety session because it was a topic that I haven't been exposed to at Brock. We discussed the different issues related to student health, staff health, the safety level of the school environment, the safety of students in relation to their health, the safety of teachers against health related issues as well as against law suits, and how school boards attempt to maintain a balanced level for all of these areas.

Our speaker, Rebecca Menzies, had shared with us (in a creative and interactive way!) what school boards may require of teachers, what teachers today are doing to meet the school boards' standards, what are safe and ethical practices when it comes to the students' health and safety, and the common mistake that many teachers make.

It was a lot of information to digest in a short amount of time, but we've definitely left the session with new knowledge and a more directive approach towards the students' health, safety, and well being. The only thing that we all would have liked to see more was for Rebecca to get to our questions... As a class (?) we've generated many (great) questions about conducts, health related issues, and safety issues in public and catholic schools, but Rebecca simply did not have the time to answer most of them. It would have been great to leave with answers to the questions we had, but we still learned new things nonetheless.

Here is a picture of Rebecca Menzies and I, after the session!

Monday, February 13, 2012

EduBlog Reflection

Through the creation of my EduBlogs, I've learned that blogging isn't as scary as I thought it'd be. Also, it's a lot more convenient and useful for the classroom than I thought it'd be. I've been required to use blogs since my undergrad, but never got too familiar with it thinking that I'd never use it again. However, I can actually see myself using this in my next block!

In my previous block, I had trouble keeping track of which students were absent and required extra handouts from the previous days, but with Blogging, I can ask students to visit the blog when they miss class and download any necessary handouts. Also, it can keep them up to date and I can also allow parents to see what our class is doing and what their children are learning.

This technology can be integrated into almost any and every course I can think of. In my edublog itself I've used it for Language and Geography. I've also seen examples of Mathematics and Physical Education. I think the sky is the limit really.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Useful Online Tools for Ontario Teachers

In our Technology class we've discussed the different tools that can be used effectively to teach the Ontario Curriculum in our classrooms. I didn't know there were so many different types of interactive activities that Ontario Teachers had access to; for some we even have accounts that we're not aware of! It was an eye opening lecture as we learned how to effectively use these tools, and to be honest, because there were so many, I did feel a bit overwhelmed.

Every Teacher in Ontario has access to, and an account with, Bit Strips - a tool where you can create your own comics based on your learning goals and lessons, and where students can join the online community/class to create their own for consolidating their learning as well.

Notwithstanding how I felt when faced with so many new tools, these sites are extremely easy to navigate and use; even for us technologically-handicap teachers. Click here to view the different online tools and feel free to become familiar with them today! The slide for Bit Strips contains instructions on how to access and activate your free account to create a virtual classroom for your real-life classroom! You have absolutely nothing to lose, and so much to gain! If not for yourself, do it for yor students!

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