Alberta Diploma Exam

When I wrote diplomas it was 50% of my grade. As a student that was very overwhelming. You could essentially fail the whole course all from one exam. And that one course could determine if you continued school after high school. As a teacher it put a lot of pressure on them because they has to cover a certain amount  of work load and make sure every student knows all the concepts fluently because if they didn’t they could fail the entire course.

I fully support diploma exams being changed to 30%. It allows so much more wiggle room for both the teacher and the student throughout the year. The pressure is taken off of each party. It also allows for more assignments within the course for more opportunities for the students to practice concepts they could possibly have problems understanding. This change in percentage should have changed many years ago. Overall I believe that there is no negative aspects to the exams being changed to 30%.

Check out this link for more information on Alberta Diploma Exams

EDTS 325 Reflection

Looking back at the past semester I have noticed some huge changes in my views of technology in the classroom and in general. When I first started this class I was very overwhelmed with the idea of using technology in my future classroom, but that has significantly changed.

Something that has made a great impact would be using Smart Notebook with my lesson plans. Starting this class I never used Smart Notebook, finishing this class I find myself using it for other assignment other then technology assignments. Once you figure out how to use this program it becomes very easy to use and one of the first programs I would use over others.

I enjoyed the way this class was set up. At times it was overwhelming because everything seemed so new, but once I calmed down the concepts were easy to grasp. The only thing I would change about this class is more time at the beginning of the course for some of the difficult assignments such as the blog assignment. Overall this class was very helpful in educating me in new technology.

I’m excited to use the movie maker in my classroom. First glance at this assignment it seemed to be very difficult but once I started to use the app it was very simple and user friendly. This was one of my “aha” moments.

This class has prepared me to use technology efficiently in my future classroom.  Although I have gotten plenty of experience with different apps and programs, technology at times can still be overwhelming and a little bit scary. But I look forward to seeing what new technology comes out and how I can use that technology in my future classroom.

Easy Video Creation: Stop Motion

Stop Motion is an amazing and easy app that creates movies fast and efficiently. It is so easy that I created a very simple movie in about 10 minuets. Click here for my short creation! The app consist of taking multiple pictures and once the person thinks they are done you can put all the pictures to create a movie. After the movie is created the person is allowed to edit the movie with music and picture. The person can also make the picture show up faster or slower. This app was fun and easy to use. I would definitely use it again!

In a classroom setting the students can record a play that they created with either clay or the students actually acting it out. This allows the students to have different media in the classroom.Because it is so easy not only older students but for younger students could use this because it has very simple concepts. Another aspect that is very handy would be that it is not hard to share it, with only a few clicks it is shared with email or on YouTube. This makes it easy for the teacher to get access with the students creation!

This app was fun and easy to use. I would definetly use it again!

Cool Tools for School

After exploring many websites on Cool Tools for School  I have narrowed three websites that can be very useful in the classroom.

Slide Show Tools

Slide Share. This is very interesting website that could easily be used in the classroom. This website allows for power points to be shared to other users. This could be very handy to share with students who have missed classed. Once the student creates an account the students can then review what they have missed. It is also one of the only websites that it compatible in many different types. Not only is this helpful with students but also with teachers. This website has a whole data base of power points with a wide range of topics to choose from, if the teacher is unable to create their own power points. This website is something I could see myself using in my future classroom.

Video Tools

Animoto. This website was a very interesting website to help create videos. Once the student creates an account they are able to easily create videos. This could be very helpful to allow other medias when resenting a project. It allows the students to have options. This website is unique because it lets the students put the video on other websites. It becomes very convenient for the student then.

Image  Tools

Flickr. Once the students create an account they are able to edit any photos they like. This would work really well with lesson involving comic strips. It gives the students who feel they are not good at drawing a different option while still doing the assignment. On the website there are different techniques that could be used to edit the picture that not all websites have.

Over all I would recommend going to the website Cool Tools for School and seeing all the different websites they have put together for teachers advantages.

Online Teacher Services

There are many different website that have interactive website to involve your students in the classroom. I will be review a few that I found as a teacher, and as a student.

Poll Everywhere

This is a very common website used by not only teachers but by students as well. Set up as a teacher seemed to be relatively easy. When used is a classroom it only works with students who have mobile devices, so that could be a downfall when using it. Although that can be difficult in the classroom it is and easy way to get the students involved with easy to transition into other topics.

Padlet  

I did not like using Padlet. As a teacher I was unable to do any different types of questions other then opinion questions.If I was just doing an opinion question, this website would work great. It also way not very easy to set as a teacher. If I was a student using this website I think it would be a new media which can make the class a little more interesting. If used properly it could be helpful in class.

Socrative

This was a little difficult to set up, but once you got the hang of it was easy. The students needs some sort of moble device or tablet with the app to participate in this activity. Because of this it can create some difficulty. As a teacher I was able to create different types of questions making it easy to have some variety. I would use this again in my future classroom.

Plickers

Plickers was my favorite because it didn’t involve the students needing any electronic devices. All the students need are a piece of paper that the teacher prints off. When the teacher takes a video of the students holding the paper up the phone or tablet recognizes what their answer is. The only problem with this is that there can only be multiple choice questions. This was not the typical interactive website. Although it took time as a teacher to set up it was worth it!

Google Forms

This is the simplest to set up, and probably the easiest to do in the classroom. It also had the most varety of different types of questions you can use. Once the form is made you can easily share with your students, to either do in the classroom or on their own at home. Very easy and fun at the same time!

Answer Garden

I did not like this website in a teacher perspective or as a student either. As a teacher you were unable to save anything because everything was online. Any answers that were made by the students were lost. As a student there was no choice of questions because it all just went to a word cloud. If an answer was wrong it would be mixed up with right answers and couldn’t see the difference. If all the teacher was looking for was a word cloud then this website would work great.  Overall I would not recommend this website because it is so restrictive.

Kahoot

Once you figured out how to use this website, it was very easy to use, with many varieties of questions to use in the classroom. As a student it was something new and eye catching. The only problem was that the questions and the answers were not on the same page, so the students had to remember what the question was and then answer. It would be easier if they were on the same page.

Overall if I had to pick my top three it would be, Plickers, google forms and Poll everywhere. They were definitely the easiest to set up as a teacher and the most interactive as a student.

Blogs

What I have learned in my blog experience is the beginning is hard to set up and can be confusing at times but once I figured it out it seems to be easy to work. Looking at other blogs I have noticed that it is a place where teachers can get information. Not only do I want to other people to benefit from my blog I also want to benefit from other people’s blogs. These are my top three blogs.

David Truss

The Principle of Change

World Education Blog

David Truss is one of my favorite of these blogs. Not only does it have a vast amount of information but it is easy and interesting to read. For example he talks about the transformation in the education system. He believes that with more funding school will be able to fully flourish, and that schools are finally spreading fund in proper ways. He says ” believe that public education is an obligation of a free society. I believe that there is amazing potential to be innovative and transform the way teaching and learning happens in our schools. I believe we not only can, but should provide a flexible, dynamic and adaptable system that is more personalized for our students. I believe that to do this we need to properly fund public education. And, I believe that our students, our children, deserve the best education that we can possibly give them” This website does not only provide techniques teachers could use in the classroom but what teachers are thinking about their careers.

The Principle of Change is also a really good blog to follow. This blog keeps up with all the latest trends and evaluates those trends. For Example it says  “Teachers love Twitter, and although there is great learning that happens there, many educators have created opportunities for themselves simply being connected and networking with other people.  I know several teachers that have obtained positions in new schools because they had someone interested in their work that they shared through Twitter” This blog helps teachers show what they might want to use in their classroom.

World Education is a blog that is very interesting for multiple reasons. One reason in particular would be that it does not only cover education in one country but all over the world. For example it says “The 5th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014 was released on 8 January 2015 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Report highlights continued gaps in learning, access and equity for children aged 3-16, especially in the transition to post-primary education”. This blog allows for some comparison to teaching techniques that you do within your own classroom. It branches out your worldview.

Overall there seems to be a lot of different blogs that are out there to help teachers in their teaching career. With only a short looking around they are easy to find.

Technology in Education

The thought of using technology in a classroom on an everyday basis scares Word cloudme a bit. The idea of using it once and a while is fine but because it takes me so long to create something with it, it seems a little pointless when I can just figure out an activity to use in the classroom instead of on smart board.  Although I am a bit terrified to use technology everyday in the classroom I think it is something that can be learned and will ultimately help the children in the long run.

In classrooms teachers are starting to use the term BYOD ( Bring your own device). Technology is everywhere in this generation. Although this is true I personally do not believe in BYOD. For example what if a particular student does not own an electronic device? Or what if a student forgets that device? Does that mean students have to share or the school provides the electronics. If so that can get pricey for unnecessary equipment that could be used in better ways. In the article Digital Citizenship it explains that students are spending an increased amount of their time online. Wouldn’t it make more sense to get the students out of their desks in an interactive activity where they can actually put into action what they are learning. Overall it is really about the students and what is best for their learning.

This blog seems like something that is a place to help improve myself and maybe even benefit other teachers from my experiences. It will be a professional place where parents of my student and other co-workers can read. I hope to blog as much as I can within my teaching career.