Online Learning

Currently, I am in my second online class with Alec. Last semester, I took  EC&I 830: Contemporary Issues in Educational Technology with Alec. Reflecting upon my experience the very first class with Alec and comparing to now is like night and day! Referring back to my very first post in EC&I 830 I can confidently say I have come ALONG way. I have learned so much about the productivity suits and social media sites we use in class.


Learning about all these tech tools has also made me step out of my comfort zone in terms of using technology in my own classroom as well in other graduate classes. I feel as if Alec’s classes has opened a new door and has allowed me to look at learning in completely different ways.



The presenters Sapna, Hu, and Nataly did a fantastic job this past week presenting about online and distance education classes. I definitely have mixed feelings about these types of classes. As mentioned in the chat, cheating could potentially be a problem. I have taken a couple of online classes in my classes and I can confidently say I have been 100% faithful, but I cannot speak for everyone. Kyla M raised a great point in the group chat during the presentation. She states that “also true of regular school too… I have had students who couldn’t string together a paragraph in class but could magically produce full essays if they were allowed to take it home to work.” No matter how you look at it, there is potential for unfaithfulness.

On the flip side, the group discussed many benefits of online learning. The required reading this past week called A Review of Benefits and Limitations of Online Learning in the Context of the Student, the Instructor and the Tenured Faculty outlined several benefits of online including educational benefits. Below, is a snippet taken right from the article in which outlines some educational benefits…

In addition, Daniel mentioned the fact that the many EAL learners use online learning to help them learn English. He states that “many people learned foreign languages via shortwave radio programming.” Kyla also states “Classes such as Alec’s allow to flexibility assignment completion, independent learning, and an ability to connect with classmates outside of “classroom hours” via Twitter and the Google + Community” in her blog post! I can totally agree with her. Overall, I enjoy online learning and will continue to use it in the future. 

What other benefits do you see from online learning?!



Is multitasking a GOOD thing?

My Initial Thoughts on Multitasking..
When thinking about what multitasking actually is, I think about an individual doing a number of tasks at one time. I would consider myself a great multitasker.

For my high school and university career, I was a server and always needed to complete many tasks in a certain period of time. I also think as a teacher, I feel like I am CONSTANTLY doing many tasks at the same time throughout the day. In saying this, I am glad we had to reflect on multitasking this week as I have always wondered about the benefits and value of doing it ALL the time. I feel as in some situations multitasking is much necessary and inevitable. However, in situations where you can have a choice on whether or NOT you need to multitask, I wonder if doing one thing at a time would be more valuable or beneficial to your time and sanity.

After watching the Single-tasking Is the New Multitasking video,  I can totally to relate to him when he was giving examples of how many tabs he has open at the same time. As I am writing this reflection on google docs, I have eight additional tabs open…OPPPS!! AND I am also watching the Vikings game (woohoo they won).

DOUBLE OPPS! While reading through other blogs, I realized Joe and I share a similar experience as he states “so Adam thinks he’s pretty hot stuff having 6 whole tabs open. I’ve got 8 tabs open right now. BROWNS Make that 9, just checked on my Cleveland Browns.” To funny. In a way, I do think multi-tasking can have some benefits, especially when our lives can be crazy busy. As Peter says in his article Data Snapshot: The state of productivity suites in the workplace,Over the years, technology has been pivotal in helping organizations and individuals complete tasks more quickly while exerting less effort.” There definitely a time and a place for it.

But going back to the question Alec raised this week, is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions.  I totally think it CAN be. I think it all comes down to self-control. 


Like James said in his video, if we can encourage ourselves to work with necessary tabs open while doing homework or when at work, people would get MORE done. I mean, on the flip side, it can be very difficult especially when a lot of the time one thing leads to another on the internet.  

In terms of creating a world of multitaskers that don’t accomplish much, I totally think some people have fallen under this category. I think this week myself and my group members  (Amy B Colette, Kyle) did a great job presenting a variety of different productivity suits and extensions that are being used by millions of people.  James inserted a slide in his video that I think was bang on. The addiction to social media starts young and continues on as we get older. I don’t think we yet fully understand the effects multi-tasking / off-tasking has on us!

After reflecting on this topic, I am definitely going to consider doing less multi-tasking! Do you consider yourself a multitasker!? Do you think multi-tasking is a good or bad thing??

My Thoughts on Sesame Street and Traditional Teaching

Before I begin, I just want to say I was a HUGE fan of Sesame Street and I loved watching it as a kid. I remember watching it every afternoon as I went to kindergarten in the morning. I feel like I did not realize how much learning was going on when I was watching it. I have always wondered why I was soooooo smart………JUST KIDDING HAHA!!!!

Here is the quote that we were asked to reflect on this week:

“…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents” This quote can be found in the following article:  Learning in the Age of Television, Neil Postman 

Neil Postman, who was an educational theorist, raises a valid point about the way in which our children could be educated during their school career. I believe that educators should use a variety of instructional strategies and methods in their classroom as all children learn in different ways. To me, one way of teaching is no better than the other. It totally depends on the learner as  one child may learn completely different from the other.

I think the main point Postman is trying to make here is that traditional ways of teaching is not the only way to teach. I feel like he was trying to make other educators aware that learning can be fun, just like the in the show Sesame Street! Back then however, I think it would be very difficult for teachers to change their “traditional” ways of teaching as that’s all they knew. In saying that, I don’t think Postman wanted the educators to change their ways completely, but just to recognize that all learners won’t necessarily learn the same way.

Even back then when technology and resources were sparse, Postman still believed that education could be fun by using a variety of instructional methods and materials. I think Brooke is on point when she states that “today’s technology capabilities are likely beyond what Postman imagined for education in 1985 but many of the positive implications of AV technology remain relevant.” I definitely think  now a days teachers understand that the traditional ways of teaching is not the only option for teaching. Many educators, including myself, are much more open to inquiry learning, using technology, incorporating manipulative, as well using audio visuals as we just learned all about.

A great article was posted this week called The Importance of Audio Visual Technology in Education. As we know from the wonderful presentation this past week by Michael, Joe, Sam, and Kyla M , using audio-visual  resources can benefit our learners in many ways. It states that a“ wide selection of AV tools make teaching and learning a rich and enjoyable experience, inspire learners with creative and innovative multimedia activities and will also save time in lesson preparation. The ability to share this information will eventually create a ‘global curriculum’”. In saying that, light shines on the fact that educators are continuing to and be open to using a variety of teaching methods in the classroom rather than just the old ways.

I thought it might be fun to interview my parents on their thoughts about Sesame Street. I read them the quote provided … “We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents”. Here is what they responded ….

Mother (who is a teacher)
– I put it on because it made learning fun at home
-you can find a balance of using  teaching methods in the classroom
-you can maintain interest level when it’s fun
– education is not always fun, sometimes you just need to teach something
-people have great memories about it

-wanted us to watch it because it was educational
– enjoyed watching it himself
– always liked to ask questions about what was going on

In the end, I believe that both traditional ways and modern ways of teaching are important in order for a child to be successful in school.



My Google Extension Exploration!

Alec presented us with a great deal of classroom resources/teacher resources this week! I decided for my blog post that I am going to experiment with some of the Google Chrome Extensions Alec has provided for us. I have not used any of the extensions presented in either my personal or professional life. Instead of investigating all of them, I am going to choose three that I am most interested in using in the future. I will reflect on my initial thoughts of the tool, how the tool could potentially improve student learning in the classroom,  and the privacy issues the tool may have.

First, I explore Distraction Free Youtube (DF Youtube). I use YouTube 6/7 times a week in my own classroom. I am constantly bombarded with advertisements and commercials when showing a video. I feel like this extension will be an awesome tool for the classroom!

My Initial Thoughts How can this tool improve
Student learning?

Issues of privacy

  • Love this tool.
  • Make planning online projects easy as there will be no worries of unwanted pop-ups/adds
  • Super easy to navigate as a teacher.
  • I often use YouTube to show video and need to skip over advertisement in the middle of my video. I now would not have to worry about that!
  • Students will be  free from distraction adds that pop up
  • Comments are hidden and so students will not be able to see inappropriate comments IF any.
  • Students will have more learning time!!
  • My initial thought is that there are very few privacy issues.
  • My only concern may be if children accidentally view an inappropriate video.
  • According to the creator, no history is tracked.

Grammarly is the next extension I chose to explore. I am always looking for different ways to teach and help students become better writers! When I saw Grammarly  on the list, I instantly wanted to explore it. On top of wanting to become a better writing teacher, I am always looking for ways to improve my own writing skills!

My Initial Thoughts

How can this tool improve
Student learning?

Issues of privacy
  • I would definitely use this tool when writing papers!
  • Has many users and therefore seems credible.
  • I did notice  when testing out the free version it only had so many features. It kept trying to upcharge me.
  • Haiming Li from our class said it perfectly! “It’s not only helped to check wrong spellings but also it gives me lots of grammar. suggestions such as articles and syntax” …students can very well benefit in this way!
  • Students can become better writers by going through their errors and making them correct
  • Encourages students in a positive way to improve their writing.
  • Not MANY concerns
  • May be concerned about the privacy of my own/students papers as they are being inserted into the web.

Lastly, I explore Tweetdeck.  Tweetdeck is definitely something I could see myself using in the future. I have heard many great things about the way it is set up and used.

My Initial Thoughts

How can this tool improve
Student learning?

Issues of privacy

  • Love the format of Tweetdeck, It is super organized.
  • You can choose your interests and it will automatically sort the tweets into categories
  • When taking an Edtech class with Alec, will be super easy to follow classmates tweets and follow along with any tweet that is being posted by them (track hashtags)
  • Can be beneficial when using twitter as a classroom/school communication tool for parents.
  • For older grades, it can be a away they can keep track of school announcements and due dates
  • Once it on there, it’s ON THERE.
  • If students “accidentally” tweet something they are not supposed to, it is hard to control that as a teacher.
  • If YOU as a teacher accidentally tweet or share something could get in trouble.  

On a side note, I found a great article that outlines 50 ways you can use twitter in the classroom! Check it out…

Overall, I have enjoyed all of the google extensions that I have explored. I definitely will be taking the time to check them all out as I am always looking for ways to incorporate new and engaging ways to use technology in the classroom!

Which google extensions were your favorite and why?!

My Teaching Philosophy!

Wow! This week’s zoom session was interesting to say the least! It was very insightful to learn about the many of the educational theories that have existed over time and how some of their beliefs have carried over into today’s educational world.

I definitely think my teaching philosophy and beliefs have shifted and changed over my five years of teaching experience. My first year of teaching my goal at the end of the day was just to have a plan for the following day. As well, to create the most engaging lessons I possible could with the materials and resources I had at that time. Over the years however, my philosophy has become much more clear as I now have a better sense of what I truly believe as a teacher. I  have a few underlying beliefs that I can describe for you in a few points. These include:

  • I believe that every child in the classroom should feel SAFE and welcomed.  
  • My three classroom beliefs are Respect Self, Respect Others, Respect community (the following is a picture of the beliefs posted in my classroom). I believe that it is my duty to model these important concepts in the classroom.
  • I believe that every child should be set up for success regardless of what their challenges, strengths, and needs are.
  • I strive to make sure every child should leave the classroom with a smile on their face everyday.

I think my beliefs continue to deepen as I continue my career as an educator.  Are your beliefs somewhat similar or completely different than the ones I have outlined? Which ones do you agree with the most and which ones do you disagree with?

Switching gears here to Alec’s presentation on Presentation on educational theories of knowledge and learning. There was one particular theories in which I could comply with. The way Robert Gagne described how an instructional period should be set up made complete sense to me.

The process he describes is very similar to the way I set up and plan for any type of lesson in my classroom. I believe that providing learning guidance and feedback are two of the most important steps in this process. Ongoing informal assessment is key to the success of our students success in the classroom.

Lastly, the readings/ resource Alec has posted thus this far have been very insightful. Over the course of my masters classes, we have talked and learned about many educational philosophers. The resource Alec posted called A map of learning theories is an excellent resource! I find it presents the philosophers and their believes in an easy to read and straight to the point matter. As I read read through the map, I find myself saying things like……Oh! Right, we talked about Piaget in EC&I 804! Vigotsky believed in zone of proximal development ! Oh, right Dewey is all about experiential learning……..we learned about him last semester.

                                                        Which article stood out most to you?!