Throughout this semester it has been busy and full of learning. We used multiple applications and sites to contribute to each others learning including: Twitter, Slack, and Blogs.
The thing I found most challenging to keep up with was my peers blog posts. We had to contribute a lot on our own, but to follow everyone else's posts and comment/ask questions was hard to do.
Although it was challenging, I did manage to share resources and comment on my peers posts through the slack community as well as Twitter and some blogs.
I have created a Google Slide to document just a few of my contributions to peer learning throughout this semester.
I found that Twitter and blog comments were the most useful for myself personally, but overall it was a good community that we built together.
I felt that I contributed a great amount to our EDTC 300 class and for what I did share and comment on, it was thorough and genuine.
I also have a lot on my Twitter. I shared many articles, resources and tweets that I thought were beneficial to myself and others in the field of education.
A big thank you to my classmates for making this semester rich in resources and learning.
Good luck in all of your future endeavors!
Tansi!! This is my last post of my learning project. I will be doing things a little differently and I actually created a vlog to close off the project.
Thank you for following along on my learning journey!
After a quick six weeks, here I am! Alive and well.
Initially I was extremely nervous about taking this course as I was not sure what to expect. I was totally uncomfortable with technology and did not want to struggle to get through a course. Luckily, this class taught me so much, starting from the very basics. We began talking about how to use twitter and also how to blog. We went from that all the way to coding.
I learned about myself and my own personal digital footprint and how I can use my online presence in a positive way. I created an amazing PLN (personal learning network) with my twitter account and started following some informative blogs through my new feedly account. I also learned about an awesome site called Tweetdeck to help me follow along easier with edchat's on Twitter.
A big topic of conversation throughout class was that of our world being "participatory" and how things are progressively getting more digital and it seems everyone has another life online. Managing our own personal online footprint is important, but also teaching our students how to be responsible and safe online.
Because education is a lot different in a digital era, we as teachers need to recognize the importance of technology and teach our students to be digitally literate. We watched and read many different things online about the dangers of the internet, including The Sextortion of Amanda Todd and How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life by Jon Ronson. This information and reality made me wonder what my online footprint looked like?.. This scared me because I realized that I should already know the answer to that question. This brings me to the activity that we did in class on "cybersluething" each other. I was surprised at how uncomfortable I got at the idea of someone looking into all of my online activity, but then I had to ask myself why that made me uncomfortable when I was the one who put all of that information out there for the world to see.
Another major part of this class was to create a learning project. I was attempting to learn Cree using all online sources and in some ways it was much more difficult than I expected and in others it was a lot easier than I expected. I originally thought I wouldn't be able to find many resources online to learn Cree because of language loss, but I quickly learned that there are quite a few great resources to learn this beautiful Indigenous language. For me personally, I also learnt that it is not easy for me to learn through an online format and I require some face-to-face in order to be successful.
All in all, I had an amazing experience throughout this course and I am leaving it with many amazing resources that I will carry forward into my future experiences and classrooms.
So, for my very first time trying to code it did not go as planned.
I had to use the Hour of Code on this coding website in order to learn how to do it. I'm pretty certain that the first time I even learned about what coding is was this year. I realize how ridiculous that sounds because of how relevant it is in our everyday life but I have to be honest here.
I created a YouTube video of me attempting to learn how to code that I linked on this blog post. If you look at this Code.org website, it kind of made me feel bad for not understanding it at first because the pictures they use to promote coding are of young children doing it.
It took me a few attempts before I could even start recording myself doing this even though the hour of code literally takes you through the process step by step.
It blows my mind that some kids can just pick this up with no issues and I had no idea where to begin. We live in a truly digital era and it shows with our students.
This experience made me realize that I need to keep learning and building on my skills in order to be able to help myself and my students. Coding is so relevant to our everyday lives and I think there is a lot of future jobs that will include coding and so if our students are interested and want to learn and create, then I think it is important to incorporate that into their learning.
Learning Project- Cree
Up until this point, throughout my learning project I have been using an online textbook for the most part. It was working quite well for me, but I knew I needed to use some other sources in order to truly document the process of learning something new online. A great resource I found is a website full of videos helping you learn Cree. The website is nehiyawewin. This website helped me out a lot while practicing with my pronunciations because not only did it describe how the words should sound but you could actually listen to the videos and recordings as you went through the different chapters. Not only does this website have some awesome verbal chapters, but it has a lot of information and background as well. There is information on the language and culture and provides some resources that are available to everyone.
Another great resource to help you learn Cree is a Cree Literacy website. This website includes:
Reading Plains Cree in SRO, Listen to Spoken Cree, For Language Learners, Cree Books, Cree Place Names, Seasonal, and more. This website was helpful in the sense that I got some awesome resources for my future classrooms and it has a focus on beginner language learners which made it easier to follow and understand.
I have also used the Cree Dictionary to learn about some specific words that I wanted to know. Not only this but there is a Facebook page that I follow where people can ask how to say or spell a word in Cree and there is a lot of good information on it.
All you have to do is request to join the group and once you are accepted you can start reading through the posts and you can even post and ask questions. It seems as though the group answers questions efficiently and accurately. Although Facebook may not be the first choice for learning a language, it was a resource that came in handy at times.
Another site that is useful in other ways is the SICC or Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Center. This website is not directly to teach Cree but for continuing my learning journey after this class I can use this website to contact elders and get more information on people that could help me learn as I learn better with an instructor.
There is also the Gift of Language and Culture website that provides a link to YouTube videos that direct you through the language. This website was helpful to me throughout the process of learning Cree.
The problem with a lot of these websites is that they are very similar and have similar information. But of course, if you utilize them all and work hard you can learn how to speak Cree.
I know that it is extremely important to keep up with what is happening in the world..but how can we do this in a way that we know what we are reading is true and accurate information? It seems as though every year we talk more about how important digital literacy is for people. I'm not talking about just adults, i'm talking about how important it is that our children are also digitally literate.
As a pre-service teacher this is something I have thought a lot about but hadn't looked into too much until now. I don't know that I was aware of how critical it is to teach students how to be digitally literate. My students will constantly be bombarded by information from all over the place and it is my job to teach them how to navigate through that.
I looked at three different sources to help me with this blog today.
1) How to Choose your News which is a TedEd video by Damon Brown
2) Developing Critical Literacies: What We Need to Know in a Fake News World by Alec Courous and Katia Hildebrandt
3) How do we Teach Students to Identify Fake News? by Alec Courous and Katia Hildebrandt
In Damon Brown's Ted talk he speaks about how we choose our news. Nowadays, mass media spreads instantaneously and their are many corrupt people, various perspectives and biased opinions.
Brown says, "when you can't get the direct story, read coverage in multiple outlets which employ different reporters and interview different experts. Tuning into various sources and noting the differences, let's you put the pieces together for a more complete picture." In order to be reading and taking in accurate information we need to do web searches and make sure that information is verified. With the freedom that we now have to information, we must be responsible with it.
As Dr. Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt state, "in today's world...the line between real and fake news seems increasingly blurred and uncertain". That is why it is becoming more critical to teach student's how they can decipher between real and fake. There are definitely some benefits and drawbacks to a world where anyone can publish anything. Hildebrandt and Couros recommend using fact checking sites such as: Snopes, Politifact and FactCheck.org as well as using a reverse image search.
In another article done by these two, they talk about some great strategies to help teach students how to identify fake news. The article is titled, "How do we teach students to identify fake news? In a world where it is increasingly dangerous to simply trust what we read and see". Hildebrandt and Couros recommend moving beyond some of the traditional evaluation checklists (e.g, RADCAP, CRAAP, CARS) as they are outdated and not effective with the level of fake news that is now available. We must also prioritize helping our students to develop effective investigative techniques where they can get comfortable using other information verification websites such as FactsCan, Snopes and Hoax Slayer. Another thing that students can learn to do is read laterally in order to find accurate information from a number of sources. Something that in my mind that is one of the biggest things for students to learn is how to differentiate between fact and opinion. As a teacher something that we can also do to help our students understand the importance of digital literacy is by including real life examples of fake news that we see daily into the classroom.
"Ultimately, in a world where it is increasingly dangerous to simply trust what we read and see it is critical that students are taught to approach the world around them with a healthy sense of skepticism to avoid being mislead, duped or scammed" (Couros & Hildebrandt, 2018).
I am a middle school teacher and so digital literacy is going to be a major part of my classroom when I start teaching. The NCTE states that students in the 21st century should have experience with and develop skills around technological tools used in the classroom. I believe that students should not only understand the technological tools used in the classroom but other tools that they use in their everyday lives. As a teacher I can help my students use this technology in a positive way in order to help them be successful, positive participants in life in the 21st century.
Back at it again this week with learning Cree... I decided to make a YouTube video to try and publicly pronounce some short sayings.
I tried my best to say "My name is Reagan" and "I am originally from Foam Lake".
Nitisiyihkâson Reagan. Kayahtê nitohcîn Foam Lake.
I know that my pronunciation may be a little off. I tried my best to say the words correctly but I was simply using the information I found in my textbook, Mâci-Nêhiyawêwin: Beginning Cree.
Within this textbook there is a lot of information, but so far I have been focusing on the Cree SRO consonants, vowels, minimal pairs and vocabulary. It unfortunately has been a battle to try and get the pronunciations correct. I have been video taping myself and listening trying to get it and I am having difficulty getting away from my English vowels.
I have gotten a lot better, but there is still a lot of work to do and I will undoubtedly be continuing this journey long after EDTC 300.
I was going to share some more vocabulary that I have learned but I wanted to keep it short for this week and continue to work on them.
I will be starting to use the Solomon Ratt videos more now so that I can hear how things are supposed to be pronounced and get a bit better instruction rather than just reading a textbook.
How much do you really know about your digital identity?
In today's world, things are more digital than ever before. It seems as though anytime I go anywhere with friends or family we are documenting our experiences on snap-chat or Instagram. I'm wondering how that may affect our relationships to each other and why it is so important to do that. Is it for the attention we get from others? Are we creating a picture of our lives that showcases only the positives to others in order to be accepted? I have been reflecting on why I feel it necessary to be sharing on social media and I honestly don't know that I have an answer to that. I know I want my friends to see what I am doing all the time but I can't place why I want that. I have also noticed that I tend to only share pieces of my life that are positive and fun. I do not have many vulnerable posts about difficult times in my life.
Previously in my life I was going through a challenging time and was actually diagnosed with depression but no one would have been able to guess it by the posts and way I portrayed myself to the people around me. This is something that I am seeing more and more in people and it was a very real situation for a girl named Madison Holleran. I recently read an article titled Split Image and it was a story of a girl who died by suicide but everyone around her was shocked because of how great her life seemed. On Instagram, "Madison Holleran's life looked ideal: star athlete, bright student, beloved friend. But the photos hid the reality of someone struggling to go on" (Fagan, K., 2015). This is something that was all too real to me because this girl was a varsity athlete...like me. She was always happy and a bright student...like me. She was a friend and daughter and loved by all...like me. But she was battling something dark and dangerous all on her own. This is where my story changes because I was lucky enough to have someone next to me who guided me through and got me the help I needed, but all too often people suffer in silence and can't go on.
So why is it that we have these online identities and sometimes even multiple online identities?
I do not have an answer to that question but apparently this is something that is more normal than you think. In an article titled "Having Multiple Online Identities is More Normal than you Think", by Nicole Lee, she talks about how having these online identities is much more common than we may think. One quote she stated was, "though my Instagram is account is public, it isn't meant for my family to see". To me this is confusing because if something is public then how can you expect your family members not to follow you. I feel as though my accounts online are all there for anyone to see and I generally keep my real life linked closely to my online life. Although this may be true for me, many people say that they use their multiple accounts to reach and communicate with different kinds of people. I honestly didn't understand that until I began thinking more about how I use my Twitter account as a professional growth tool and a space to build a community online.
I It is something that has allowed me to grow as an educator and also connect to some amazing and experienced teachers, admin, etc. So part of me is starting to understand the multiple online identities because it allows you to connect to others with similar interests that may not have been possible otherwise. It does also make more sense to have these multiple identities because, "people have diverse, rich lives that aren't contained within a single idea and personae." This makes me wonder if I need to start having more interests besides education and sports, ha ha!
This brings me to an activity that we did in class. We were asked to look into someone in our class to see what we could find for their online identity.
I was going to look at a girl named Larea Johnson and see what her online presence was like. I found out that Larea has a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and WordPress account.
Through Larea's social media I was able to find out that she is a pre-service teacher and an education student at the University of Regina. She is 22 years old and her birthday is on November 15th. She grew up in Assiniboia, SK, but also did some of her education at Briercrest. She has two brothers named Matthew and Carter and her parents names are Monty and Kimberley. I also found out that she is currently in a relationship with Nathan Lewis.
Larea loves her family, friends, boyfriend, the lake, home (Assiniboia), travelling and volleyball.
My overall impression of Larea strictly from her online presence is that she is young, professional, family oriented, happy and athletic. If I was strictly looking online to hire someone, I would hire Larea. She has no posts that are inappropriate from what I found and she promotes herself in a positive and professional manner. Larea tends to be an under-sharer. I was unable to identify what she does for work outside of school or much of her interests by her profiles.
This was an interesting activity because I wonder if Larea's online identity portrays her reality or if she only shares certain things online.
I am thankful that English is my first language because I can't imagine trying to learn it with all of the weird sounds, spelling and grammar. Although this is true for me, I believe that Cree is also a tricky language to learn. The only other languages I have experience with are French and Spanish. French I took in school and a little bit in University but I found it fairly straight forward, and Spanish was not too bad either especially with my previous English and French knowledge.
Cree has some similarities to English when it comes to similar words or same words meaning different things. Another similarity is the minimal pairs that exist between the two languages. Minimal pairs are two words with only one sound difference.
Some examples from the English language include: pat: bat, fit: sit, fat: fit, pot: pit.
A few Cree examples are:
nahapi - sit down
nahâpi - see clearly
atim - a dog
akim - count him/her
ôma - this
ôta - here
asam - feed him/her
asâm - a snowshoe
pisiw - a lynx
pêsiw - bring him/her
niya - me/I
niyâ - lead/go ahead
pasow - s/he smells it
pâsow - s/he dries up
There are many more minimal pairs within the Cree language, but I just wanted to show you how things can get mixed up quite easily and make it challenging to learn.
In addition to minimal pairs, there are also minimal sets and near minimal pairs. This can create problems in spelling and understanding as shown in the following:
acâhk - star
ahcahk - spirit
akik - mucous
âhkik - seal
niyânan - five
niyanân - us
ohcîw - s/he is from
ôcêw - a housefly
Because of these minimal pairs and sets, it is important for anyone trying to learn Cree to be vigilant with their spelling and practicing all of the time.
If you have any tips or more resources for me, please let me know!! All of the things I learned this week came from the amazing textbook: Mâci-Nêhiyawêwin: Beginning Cree by H. Monty Montgomery , and Dorothy Badry.
I look forward to sharing more of my learning with you!