Over the summer I took EDTC 300 in which I learned about a variety of websites and other gadgets to help engage students.
Twitter– this is both helpful for students and teachers. There are hashtags and pages that share teacher resources and can make a community of teachers from all around the world. Twitter can also be used as a great summary resource. This teacher used twitter as an exit slip to make sure students were summarizing the main learning points of the lesson.
Local libraries– there are so many resources available to people with a library card. Library cards are free within the province of Saskatchewan, and a local library card works at every public library across the province and online. Applications such as Libby can open up the classroom library to a place that was not even possible.
Storyboard That– this is an online story board website. This can be used for brainstorming, especially when writing a story or creating a script.
Digital Flash cards– these websites can help students practice their information and gives another formative assessment for teachers. It is very beneficial for EAL students who are still learning the language alongside all of the other information they are learning. It also allows for audio and video recording for those who need to.
My coop teacher has students correct their own work many times, which gives the students a chance to provide their own feedback and understand where they need to improve on next time.
The class still has tests, primarily for math units, but there are other techniques she uses.
Assessment as learning
Within my field experience I did a lot of group work. This is both helpful and harmful because students get to share their ideas but it is harder to know if all the students are understanding the information. To make sure that I am assessing all students, I ask a question to a different student every time I pass their group. If a student is struggling to understand a topic I will as one of their peers to explain it to them (while I am still present just in case they do not say the right thing), this shows me that both of those students now have an understanding of the topic.
Assessment for learning
I was doing this primarily during my lessons to see where students are at when I begin the lesson and where they are when the lesson ends.
For this I use
Entrance and exit slips
Whip it (classroom discussion where students through a ball to each other to answer the questions)
Having short worksheet in which the students correct their own
Summative/assessment of learning
I have found that I prefer jigsaw style of activities for students to show their understanding. Students will do presentations and artist projects to show their understanding.
Real world examples
Plays or acting it out
Art piece that connects to their identity or an outcome
I struggled a little bit with the slack community in general. Many of the questions that my classmates had were either questions that I also had or questions that I did not have the answers to. Some of the resources that my classmates shared were helpful such as the website that Alexashared.
Some other classmate questions were somewhat simple answers but the answer was dependent on other factors. For example I only know about video editing on a mac because that is what I use so that would be an easy fix for someone with a mac but a little harder for someone without one.
I enjoyed commenting on my classmate blogs about their learning projects. Many of the posts were so descriptive and had great sources, it almost felt like I was learning along with them.
For example, I love following Mary-Anne’sproject because it kept me accountable for cleaning my house as well. At one point when Mary-Anne was preparing her camper I was able to give a few tips that I have learned over the years.
I enjoyed looking at the weekly blog prompt posts, especially those who were in a different grade area than me because they look at issues through the eyes of a different aged child.
I was able to connect with others even outside of my classmates on twitter. During my time in this course I was able to participate in 2 #saskedchats,the one we did within class and one on June 20, and the themes were new/pre service teaching and summer professional development.
There were times and questions were my job as a librarian and reading program coordinator came in handy.
I was also able to have great conversations with my fellow classmates about different topics.
Shared and met some current educators.
Even one of the local elementary schools in my city started to share some of my resources.
I will be totally honest, I forgot to screenshot a lot of my conversations (even though Katia told us not to forget). Many times it felt like a natural conversation so taking screenshots was not what I was thinking about, as I was actively involved with the conversation.
I found that portion of the class was vital, especially because it was online. We were able to make connections with classmates and other educators around the continent.
This week I started to learn how to code, which was one of the things that I was scared of at the beginning of this class. I chose to learn through Hour of Code playing the Dance Party game. Dance party is a coding game for grades 2-5 that has the user manipulate a mascot to do popular dance moves. Students learn to create a code through block coding meaning the person takes one block from the block station and moves it into the corresponding work station to make the mascot move. Within this example I was learning how to make a second dancer, which is really easy. All that was needed is another starting block but as you can see I some messed it up. My mess-up was simple, as I just needed to move one robot to the side, but it made me think how easily one line of code could change the entire goal.
Near the beginning I realized that only one block within the pattern matters and the rest can come in any order after. Within this one, the green block saying the amount of time before changing dance moves needs to go first because there is no indent on the top just the attachment on the bottom. These patterns are really good for students to find because it helps practice their problem solving skills.
As I was coding I realized that the website itself has a particular code that it needs to follow. For example, I tried to have my mascot move along to the treble of the music but that did not match the code that the website had which was the mascot first had to react to the bass of the music.
I was on level 5 was when I began to have problems. The point was to use the “every 2 measures” block but when I did the website must not have liked it because it would not let me move to the next station. I was able to move past it but I still do not know what happened.
A few years back the library that I worked at introduced coding for kids between the ages of 5-8. I was impressed with the outcome, there were at least 8 in each class. Students are able to be creative in new ways through coding and it helps strengthen their brains to look at situations in multiple ways. This article explains why every child should learn how to code, it even explains that coding does not need to be online but can be through paper and a pen as well.
So we have finally arrived at the end of photography journey (or it may be just the beginning, as there are always many new techniques to learn.) This past weekend was my sister’s high school graduation, which is held in a hockey rink (horrible for lighting). The ceremony portion is done with the house lights off and alternative stage lighting. I went back to the tried and trusted article of How to take great pictures in bad lighting and I also found one that outlined 10 Graduation Photography Tips.Though many of these tips were self-explanatory I found it helpful to refresh my knowledge to make sure I had everything.
The first photos were under the arch at the top of the stairs. This was difficult because I had to zoom in from far away. To paint you a picture I was sitting where the ice would be as my sister was at the top of the stands. Thankfully our last name is at the end of the alphabet so I was able to practice on a few students before she passed through the arch. I was able to get her in the pictures but I think that the focus missed her a bit and was more on the arch.
Thank goodness she was on the opposite side so the light was able to hit her face.
The second group of photos was her actually crossing the stage to receive her diploma. Though this had better lighting, the subject had to be in the right spot to be hit by the stage lights, meaning when she was coming and leaving stage it was hard to see her through the camera.
The second half of grad is called the grand march, where the graduates are in their suits or gowns and walk around the rink. Though the house lights were on during this portion making it easier to see, the lights were on everywhere meaning the crowd could be in focus when I was hoping to get a photo of someone walking by. They also go in reverse alphabetical order so I did not have time to practice on other people before my sister processed. The first two photos show how different a change in the light meter can do. In the first photo the light meter was centered at zero but as you can see it is very bright and almost 2D, the subject look flat to the background. This was due to the light meter miss reading the amount of light, because of the large white screen in the background. With the second I moved the light meter to around -2.5 to help even out the light. I love the set-up of this shot because of the blurry foreground that helps to frame the photo.
By the time I got to the third photo I had figured out the perfect light ratio so that the subjects were light but the background was not. The fourth photo was a complete accident but I love that it just shows the raw emotion.
The final part of grad is the dances. So my father and sister were so nice to me that they dance right under the stage lights so the lighting was much easier.
Around this time, I was close enough to my subject that I could use my flash and it focus on the right area. It just happens that my sister has a sensitivity to light because of her concussion so she graciously wore her sunglasses. I was also able to drop my ISO to make the photos less grainy.
The two weeks that prepared me the most for my final week were week 3 (Sunsets) and week 5 (portraits). Week 3 taught me who to take pictures in bad lighting and to adjust my light meter quickly every time I moved. Week 5 of course taught me how to take pictures of people but I also learned how to make my camera take multiple pictures at once.
The sunset week. This maybe one of my favorite weeks because I had such a short matter of time to get these photos but it was so cool to see how I could and did improve. This was something I had never done before so it was so cool to see the process that goes behind a picture like that.
To start my dive into fake news I thought to check my Facebook to see if I was being fed fake news and if so what was it about? Though I did not find much, I found that there was a lot of creditable news centers, such as the Leader Post being shared around but the articles were five plus years old.
Within the article “How do we teach students to identify fake news?” it explains that students should be taught to find biases within media. I made a lesson plan for grade 8 health students to find Saskatchewan biases, particularly in the news. Students may not be able to see how a news article is manipulating them to lean one way or the other on a topic.
In grade 8 ELA, we practice pre-reading skills all of the time, before reading anything we went over all of the areas of the text, including table of context, photos and page numbers. This is something that could be used when finding news articles including looking for the authors, headings and photos.
The following two outcomes from the grade 8 English curriculum ask students to view and react properly to text (which can include news articles)
Select and use appropriate strategies to construct meaning before (e.g., previewing and anticipating message), during (e.g., making inferences based on text and prior knowledge), and after (e.g., paraphrasing and summarizing) viewing, listening, and reading.
View critically and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of visual and multimedia texts including videos, television broadcasts, informational presentations, dramatic presentations, websites, and news programs to locate and interpret key messages and details, to develop conclusions, opinions, and understanding, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the text.
At the beginning of the year I would have my students complete a quiz similar to “Quiz: can you spot the fake news headline? to see what my students look for in news articles. I would start by having the students take the quiz individually, then as a class going over every area and ending by taking a different quiz as individuals to see if they could use the techniques they developed.
When creating research assignments, especially for younger students, giving students the links to websites to use for research will help them to know what is credible before they start searching through other websites. Having the five C’s from John Spencer’s video hanging up in the classroom as a friendly reminder of what to look for when they are researching.
The biggest questions that students need to learn is “why”, in particular “why is this content being made”. As Claire Wardle explains in her article, there are 7 types of Mis and Disinformation, which help to show why the content is being made.It would be interesting to see if students would be able to put different articles onto the spectrum they provide.
With anything a student reads, it is important to have them read it with an open mind but understand that all news is made for a reason
This article gives a based understanding of what to do when taking portraits.
To start with portraits, you need asubject, and in this instance, my sister so graciously agreed to be my subject. Next islocation, where are these pictures going to take place. I would recommend going outside since lighting inside can both be difficult to manipulate and can look harsh on the subject’s face. It just so happened that we were camping this weekend so the trees were a great background.
Camera settings, this is very important. When taking portraits, you want the ISO to be as low as possible, for a reference it sound be between 200 and 600. If you shoot with higher ISO there is a greater chance that the results will be grainy, which looks even worse on a person’s face.
The biggest thing when taking any portrait is that the eyes need to be the focus.
There are two basic forms of portraits: action and posed.
With posed photographs you need to decide how close to the face you are shooting, meaning is this going to be a close up or a full body shot.
I started with full/partial body shots. (sorry for the weird poses, but she was singing Waka Waka by Shakira while dancing)
With the first two pictures they were cropped weird. With the first picture, though it does follow the rule of thirds, her leg and arm guide the eye away from the main focus of the picture. The second photo is cropped better but just like the sunset photos; she is right in the middle so the photo is not portioned right. With the third picture, I finally thought to change my levels, so this shot was taken with me sitting on the ground and looking upwards at the subject.
Then we went to close ups and headshots. (and again she was singing)
With these the background does not matter very much because there will be very little of it shown in the photo. These are the photos where the eyes are so important and need to be showcased.
These can either be really great or really bad, it is hard to get an in between. I would recommend setting your camera to take multiple shots, also known as burst mode, when you hold down the trigger so you can catch every part of the movement. You have a lot more photographs to sort through but you have better odds of getting the just right shot.
I guess that my last blog did not post properly so here it is.
This week I was asked to search Hyomin Moon. My technique for this was to use the steps that I have learned from the TV show Catfish on MTV. The steps begin by finding all of the information or profiles you have contact with, being her blog and twitter, then check other social media platforms to see if there is anyone similar. Take the information from the online profiles to google, such as searching the school they are affiliated with or doing a reverse image search on their photos.
I started my search by going onto her professional blog. I knew prior that she was in her third year of middle years’ education at the U of R. On her blog there she has a page explaining who she is and a little about her life growing up including the fact that she was born and raised in South Korea but has lived in Regina for more than five years.
I went to her twitter page next, since it was so nicely advertised on the side of her blog. As I was looking through her account, she is mostly following those within our EDTC 300 course as well as some teachers that are active on twitter.
After the blog and the Twitter account, finding another social media platform was difficult. I try a few different combinations of Instagram handles that could match her name, but I was not able to find any. The other network I tried was Facebook. There were two different profiles with the name Hyomin Moon, one is from Korea and the other was a faceless profile that attending school at the University of Regina.
I finished by doing a basic google search of her name followed by Regina and Saskatchewan. Due to the fact that he last name is moon, most of the result were about the moon phrases.
It is clear to see Hyomin’s digital identity is quite small but professional, there is nothing on the social platforms that her students or parents of students would not be able to see.
This got me thinking whether it is better to have a small or large online identity. As Jon Ronson explains in his TED talk, we surround ourselves with like-minded people, and we are able to feed off of those people. Having a smaller online identity can allow one to make more personal connections with each other, but those people may not help you grow as a person. But on the flip side is it better to be more known and open yourself to the world of cancel culture. I think it truly comes down to what you are comfortable putting online, but understand that things can also end up online without your permission.
I also decided to do a quick google search of myself. Coming into this I knew that there was another Sarah Wright that is of similar age to me living in Saskatchewan (no we are not related), so I knew that when googling my name, I would need to put Estevan after it. I also have the joy of sharing a name with the actress Sarah Wright Olsen so it is a little harder to find myself online. When googling Sarah Wright Estevan on google images the articles I am link to are involving my job at the local library, my old dance recital photos and the Women of Today Awards; the google search is quite similar.