Days 10-13

Ok.  I know I’m cheating by clumping some days together.  I accept that.  Would I like to write every day?  Yes.  What’s stopping me?  Nothing. So here goes.

Day 10:  Sharing 5-4-3-2-1

5 Random Facts About Me:

  1. When I was around 1, I had a cast on my leg and I’ve never entirely been sure why.  After about 6 weeks or so, I kicked it off.  It flew across the room and landed in perfect shape, no cracks or breaks.  I still have it – signed and everything.
  2. When I was 13, I purposely separated myself from my cousins while visiting one of them who lived in Toronto.  I had never been to Toronto before (I was from a very rural area), and wanted to find out if I could get myself from downtown back to my aunts’ home on my own.  I was successful.  And also in trouble.  Admittedly, I deserved it.
  3. I was in a 7.4 earthquake in Turkey.
  4. The year prior to the earthquake, I was in The Ice Storm of Eastern Ontario/Quebec.
  5. If I could get any tattoo, it would be of a lighthouse.

4 Things From Your Bucket List

  1. Hot air ballooning over a desert – Cappadocia would have been my number one choice but it has been getting too congested so somewhere else.  Haven’t decided yet.
  2. Sailing.  Never done it.  Want to.
  3. Go back to University.
  4. Australia.

3 Things to Hope for as an Educator

  1. That my learners have the opportunity to complete the program in the workplace.
  2. That the workplace experience expands (more options).
  3. That I can arrange guest speakers that motivate and inspire the learners to pursue their dreams (which I also hope to do, but would also appreciate corroboration).

2 Things Laugh/Cry as an Educator

  1. I’ll have to come back to this one.  You want me to share my emotions?

1 Thing You Wish More People Knew About Me

I’m passionately committed to this calling; I can’t always distinguish between work and play.  I know that this revelation might fly in the face of the above sentiment, i;e;, not willing to share emotions, and to be honest, it does feel a little weird.  Almost uncool.  I mean, in the staffroom, you don’t want to appear to love your job too much, right?

But here’s a secret.  I do.  I can spend hours reading through other blogs, articles, learning new technologies, and planning how to apply this knowledge in the classroom.  I’m often asked “well, how long did it take you to prep that lesson”, and of course, the inevitable “you didn’t work on that over the weekend, did you?”.

I own it.  I’m not cool.  I like my job.

DAY 11: Favourite Part of the School Day

photo (6)For me, and I know that I’m a little different than others responding to this blog challenge, it’s the hands on component.  After we’ve done the skill building exercises, discussed the theory of a particular challenge – when the learners are actually producing, that’s when I can really see what they have been able to absorb.  I can watch how they interact with each other in a team to problem solve, to work through possibilities, and to build the leaning tower of straws.  Or produce their “how-to” videos.

And then I hear those magic words:  “It’s time to go?  Are you serious?”  That’s when I know that they were fully engaged.

DAY 12: 5 Year – Teaching Changing

Okay, here’s where I can talk tech again.  Keep to the theme of this blog.  A wise man once told me that technology will never replace teachers, but teachers who use technology will replace those that don’t.

The classroom, as we see it, is changing quickly, as is the pace of technology.  It can definitely seem overwhelming, because there are so many apps, avatars, LMS’s, blog tools, interactive games, etc. that a teacher can use, that it sometimes can be frustrating.  How do you know where to invest your time? You don’t want to spend hours learning a piece of software that soon becomes outdated?  But maybe that’s not the point.

Learning to learn technology is key.  Learning how to navigate this awesome, connected, and fascinating world can only serve to help both the instructor and the learners.  I have not yet had a single student say that their experience using the LMS wasn’t worth the work.  I think I’ve mentioned this before in this blog; even the learner with the least amount of computer experience has told me that she learned skills that she knows are in demand, and was proud of this.

How is teaching going to change in the next 5 years?  Web 2.0 will morph into something else.  Increasing scope of materials available for classrooms.  Increased connectivity.  Increased emphasis on accountability of educators – tracking learning, tracking teaching, etc.  I think accountability is a good thing.  Keeps the fires burning.

Day 13: Top Edtech Tools I use In the Classroom

Absolutely, without question, is my LearnIT2Teach Moodle 2.0 LMS.  I can not envision having a class anymore without an LMS.  And I’d prefer it to be Moodle.  If funding gets yanked for some reason or another, then there are other options out there (Edmodo, Schoology) that I would use.

Another Edtech tool I use every single day in my classroom – does a Smartboard count?  It is on, and used every day.

Why?  The learners have access to course materials, videos, review activities; they can discuss concepts, create their own classroom glossary complete with pictures, and they can message me.  The calendar tool keeps them all apprised of upcoming events, assignments due, guest speakers, etc.  The learners feel a sense of ownership of the class when they are connected with an LMS.  They contribute.  They complete a task and receive feedback via email.  They can work through optional assignments on their own.  I can direct them to tasks that will help to work on their individual language challenges.

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