Tech Task 10 ..Schoology Vs. Edmodo

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SCHOOLOGY

EDMODO

Benefits

  • layout is very easy to navigate
  • provides  detailed features such as attendance, quizzes and assignment sections where each student can submit work

Negatives

  • if the teacher does not change certain settings it is possible for the students to leave random comments on anything that the teacher posts
  • A bit too similar to Facebook layout
  • The codes that students needed to enter a class were very long and difficult to remember.
Benefits

  • step by step help is provided when you first become a member
  • teachers can personalize their profiles with avatars and other information
  • very easy to set up a class

Negatives

  • does not have an attendance feature
  • The quizzes feature does not provide a wide variety of question types



Although the two websites are very similar and seem to offer many of the same options we have decided that if we had to choose we would probably choose Schoology. We were impressed with the quiz section and also the attendance feature. It is very easy to navigate and add different courses that students could be apart of. When we first were able to take a look and explore both of these websites we were very impressed, but we felt like we probably won’t use them when we are teachers. We would like to use them, but in most schools there is already an online program set up that teachers use to record student progress and attendance.  These programs that are currently being used are not as detailed as Schoology, but still allow the students and parents access to their attendance and grades.

If we do use Schoology in our classrooms  we would like to take advantage of the quizzes and assignment section as it would allow our students to have access to the class at anytime and anywhere. If a student was sick in bed they would still be able to submit their assignment through the use of Schoology. Overall we think that these websites are awesome and could be a great tool for teachers. It would be nice if the programs that are being used in the school systems were more like Schoology and Edmodo.

-Madison, Courtney, Janelle

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Don’t be afraid of teachable moments…

I’m 2/3 finished my pre-internship 3 week block. This past week I had a moment in one of my lessons where a student challenged what I was teaching and felt that I was wrong. It was on the topic of colonization and First Nations people of Canada. Immediately I froze up. As soon as I heard the student say “that’s Bullshit” I froze. It scared me, I thought to myself  Oh no what do I do?  I tried to explain my point further to the class and asked the particular student why they felt that way. The student continued to argue with what I had been teaching about and eventually my co-op teacher stepped in to help. I am so thankful that I have such a great co-op teacher because I completely froze up. The co-op had tried to see the student’s point of view and also tried to help get my point of view seen. The student eventually stopped arguing, but I could tell that they were only giving up because they were  sick of talking about it. The student felt opposed to something and I feel like I should have maybe took the time to figure out why and dig a little deeper into their opinions and feelings.

Looking back on this moment I feel like it could have turned into such a great lesson on white privilege.

Maybe the reason I felt afraid is because:

  • I didn’t have a strong enough base relationship to talk about those kinds of things with my students yet
  • I had no idea as to how the students would react to the idea of white privilege
  • I didn’t want to bring up such a tough topic in someone else’s classroom.
  • Or because I am new at this teaching thing and have no idea what I am doing yet.

I feel like a baby fawn trying to walk for the first time. Teaching is new to me, it’s sort of awkward at times and can be a struggle when you have little experience.

I am looking forward to the day that I will be able to have those great moments with my classroom. Sometimes the best lessons to be learned are those that weren’t supposed to happen.

-Madison

Pre- Internship Update..

Hi Everyone.

I am currently in the midst of my 3 week pre-internship block. So far, so good. I am really enjoying my experience. I am happy to say that yes I do like teaching. Coming into my pre internship I was a bit anxious as many people would say to me “well it will either make ya, or break ya.” I was worried that once I actually got into a classroom and had the chance to teach that I would have second thoughts about my career choice. I look forward to each new day of teaching and am really enjoying my planning process. I have been able to do some interdisciplinary planning already and I am loving it. I want my students to be able to make connections to different areas of study and also to their lives. I am very excited for my next week of teaching as I have chosen to teach about a controversial topic in the curriculum. I am going to focus on tragic death and suicide from the grade 9 curriculum and tie it into the grade 9 social curriculum.  I am so excited about my interdisciplinary teaching that I haven’t really had time to worry about teaching this topic.

If anyone has any advice or resources they would like to share please feel free.

I hope to keep you all updated throughout the rest of my 3 week block.

-Madison

Find out What Makes Your Students Tick.

Take a look at the video below. This teacher needed to find something to engage his students. He did just that. He found a way to use hip-hop to teach his students. I would love to do this, use something that we don’t associate with traditional education and turn it into something that helps our students develop their learning in a meaningful, engaging way.

-Madison

Is Health Important to You?

Health…. it’s the foundation of who we are.

Why does this seem to be so hard for some people to understand?

I am a health major in the secondary education program at the U of R. I have become very biased to health education as most of us university students do with our major area of study. I feel like health is more important than any other subject. I know I sound completely crazy, but when you really sit there and think about it I think that you too will come to this realization. Without health who are we?

We need to be able to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others, we need to be able to focus on ourselves and figure out who we are. Health teaches us how to live, how to make informed decisions,understand our own identity, create meaningful relationships, deal with conflict, become critical thinkers, take action for change. This stuff sounds pretty important to me, how about you?

Why is it that the subject area of Health has been pushed to the wayside within the Saskatchewan school system? I am currently in my 3rd year of university and have just began my 3 week pre internship block. I was expecting to be placed with a co-op health teacher. I was a bit surprised to find out on my first day that the school I will be teaching at for 3 weeks does not have a health teacher or health class. Seems kind of strange right? there is a grade 9 health curriculum set out by the ministry of education, but there is no health class.

One of the teachers at the school thought it was so strange that most of us pre interns were majoring in the area of health education.

 “why would you major in health? why do they even offer that as an option at university? you will never find a job being a health teacher”

This is what we we heard when we entered the school. Most of us health interns were pretty fired up as we have a particular passion for health awareness and education for the young people within Saskatchewan. It is kind of disheartening to enter a school a school community that doesn’t share this passion. And people wonder why students struggle at school and have trouble learning. I wonder if those same people have taken the time to think about that student’s dimensions of wellness. Have they even thought about that students determinants of health. Do those people even know what those words mean?

If we want our student’s to succeed and be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow we need to be able to give them the education that they deserve. Health is so much more than eating a piece of fruit everyday.

The amount of time that is set out by the ministry for health education is much lower than the time provided for science, math and English language arts. My question is how will a student be able to do a calculus problem, or write and essay on Shakespeare if they are hungry because they have an eating disorder, having suicidal thoughts, addicted to drugs, worrying about telling their mom their are 3 months pregnant etc..?

Health….. it’s the foundation of who we are.

So currently there are some obstacles and barriers to health education. As a pre-service teacher I am feeling a bit powerless in regards to breaking down these barriers, but I am up for the challenge. I want  to create an awareness of the importance of health education and strive to promote it within the schools that I will teach at in the near future. I believe that once I become more comfortable with being a teacher and the school system I will be better able to address these issues that  I feel very passionately about.

I challenge all of you to do the same…..Are you up for it?

-Madison

Ignorance is Bliss right?

What are we really looking at for First Nations education?.

Hey everyone check out this blog post. I appreciate that the author addressed  the current issues of racism within our society. As teachers we need to be able to create awareness and address racism head on. Like Kirk said

You can’t just show up and expect your class to hold hands and sing songs about how every culture is important, and then racism is solved altogether.”

We need to be able to find a way to educate ourselves so that we can educate our students.

 

-Madison

Is Kony Balogna?

Tonight in my ECMP 355 class we had a discussion about the viral video Kony 2012.  The discussion was pretty intense, some thought it was a joke, some were very supportive and others think that its horrible that awareness is just surfacing now. My stance on the topic is I think that it is pretty cool. I may not know exactly if I am sold on the whole “lets get Kony” idea… Who knows if the information is correct or what is really going on over in Uganda? I tried to do a bit of research on the internet. These are some of the things I found…

  • Kony is dead and has been for years
  • Kony isn’t in Uganda anymore
  • Kony doesn’t have an army anymore

Needless to say this information isn’t all that important. Yes the story may seem a bit fishy and yes there are tons of people who think the whole thing is a scam. Hey maybe it is ….right?

…but the reason that I think it is amazing is because I am taking the time out of my Monday night to write about it and millions of others around the globe are probably doing the same.  Regardless of what anyone thinks, their opinions cannot change the fact that  this video has made a huge impact on the world. 74 million views on Youtube in just a few days. Wow the power of social media is changing the way the world works. 

Even if the video does nothing to help track down Joseph Kony, it has raised awareness of something.  This just shows how easy it is to bring awareness to other things in the world.  There will always be haters who think that there should be more awareness brought to issues on our own continent. This video shows you exactly how these issues can be addressed. Why don’t the haters take some action and raise awareness of these more local issues instead of criticising one group’s attempt to change a little bit of this crazy world.

-Madison

Google Docs…. Rocks.

Okay so I’m sure all of you have heard of or used Google docs by now, but I just wanted to share how I use it now and how I plan to use it in the future.                                                        

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I have just started using Google docs for this past semester of university and I just think that it is so awesome. Group work is no longer a chore, all group members can meet online, add their parts and even chat with each other if need be. As a pre service teacher I have already used Google docs to plan lessons with my partners for pre- internship. I can see myself using it in the future as a teacher; it is perfect for working with colleagues and it also offers an opportunity for teachers to monitor students progress during a group project. Let me know why you like Google Docs and what you use it for.

-Madison

Tech Task 9

Hey everyone, this is my response to a question that is based on the documentary  RIP: A Remix Manifesto

Chapter 3

General: Do you believe that creativity is limited if you don’t have access to tools,
technology or libraries of content (i.e. musical samples or video clips)? Would your
creativity be redirected into another medium, or might it cease to exist without this
access?

Yes I believe that creativity is limited if we don’t have the tools an technology. These things are used to inspire and encourage people to be creative so to say that we have no access is a bit disheartening and quite frankly doesn’t make much sense to me. Apparently money is the only think that matters in this life. It’s disgusting.

In my assessment and evaluation course this semester we have learned about the importance of giving students samples so that they can see someone’s previous work, and possible build off that or make something totally different. The samples are used to inspire students and get them on the right track. If a student copies one of the samples identically I guess you could say that there is a bit of “copyright” issues. But we try to encourage our students to use someone else’s work to create something even better. So when the kids want to do this with music or video they legally will not be able to do this. Its all so confusing and the laws seem to be infringing on a student’s right to learn. Every child has a right to education.

Creative and critical thinkers should be valued in society and as a teachers we are supposed to shape young minds to be just that creative and critical. If our sources of creativity are taken away how do we encourage it in the classroom. The law (government) is contradicting the education system….. which also happens to be the government. Funny how that works isn’t it?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

-Madison

Blogfolio in the Works!

Hey everyone!

So I have started adding more things to my blog I have a few different pages now that include,  a huge page full of educational resources for teachers, a portfolio from an ECS class, and my own teaching philosophy. Please feel free to check it all out and let me know what you think!

I plan to keep developing my pages as I come across new resources and also create more work. I will soon be adding some of my lesson plans and unit plans. Stay tuned.

– Madison