I can! Sort of.
I do have some experience teaching and learning coding in Internship using code.org. It isn't as daunting as it may seem! There are even unplugged coding activities to start with, and allows coding to be something that is more accessible to students. If I teach coding, unplugged activities will be what I use to introduce the idea to my students.
I've seen Hour of Code is action, but haven't tried it myself. Today that changed.
I chose an option that my Grade 7 students would likely be interested in and Language Arts, as that is what I am interested in. I chose the activity called Responsible Consumption and Production, as this relates to Resources and Wealth in grade 7, our current Social Studies unit. See for yourself what coding is all about. This was my second attempt (the first it wasn't recording properly). This is just a short snippet of the hour of code.
From this short experience, I learned that transitioning from the tutorial to creating the code myself was intimidating! Each little button and step took a lot of thought. I really like that the options are colour coded. Each of the options on the left hand side show colours as the mouse scrolls over and the corresponding buttons match. This made it easier when I tried to copy the practice blocks. Colours and visual cues really help me, and would help any students.
Coding is more important, and useful, than it may appear on the surface. There's even articles written as to why every kid should learn code.
Coding is fun, but it also provides valuable skills. Skills from all over curriculum outcomes relate to coding and the learning process that comes from the experience. For younger students, math skills connect - problem solving, patterns, counting, visualization, spacial awareness, etc. For older students, math skills connect as well - graphing and coordinates, problem solving, 2-D relationships of lines and angles and adding and subtracting integers. Specific outcomes for grade 7, for example, can be found here.
English Language Arts is another strong curriculum connection to coding. Students of all ages can learn comprehension, practice reading and following procedural writing. Creative thinking and design is another skill.
Also, the approach that naturally comes from using code offers new learning to occur.
This approach mimics the reality of adulthood and prepares them.
If that doesn't convince you, the world of technology as our future is inevitable. The logical step would be to set students up for success who will be engulfed in that type of world even more than we have been. Computer programming especially is a 21st century skill that not many people have on their resume.
As well, if not for anything else, trying something new is always beneficial.
How have I contributed to the learning of others in EDTC300? Check out this google doc to see all of my Twitter posts, blog comments and Slack contributions throughout the semester, give or take a few (I'm only human and sometimes I forget to screenshot things).
My most significant Twitter posts are these:
I selected these for a few reasons. The tweet that tagged Debbie Silver (top left) was a Twitter live that I watched. She is an American author that I saw present at the Middle Years Conference in 2018, so when I saw that she was speaking live I needed to watch! This tweet got me a new follower, as you can see in the reply, as well as some activity to spread my digital identity a little more.
My next tweet (top right) was one that I personally was struggling with so I was searching for opinions from fellow educators. Even though this was left unsolved, Iram, a colleague in EDTC300 related to my tweet and left a comment. This expands both of our digital identities a little more.
As well, my response to Paige S's tweet (bottom left) offered reassurance and feedback as to what school divisions actually look for, and the meaning of marks in the long run. This response may have been different from a fellow undergrad, but I think experience helped me to support her with this challenge.
Lastly, my tweet that connected to the SAMR model, as we discussed in class, (bottom right) was another significant blog post because it signified to me that I really understood the SAMR model because I could apply it to something I stumbled upon in my own reading.
My most significant blog comments are these three from Nelly, Iram and Logan's blogs:
I feel that these comment offered enough encouragement as they did to push to dig deeper into what they wrote about. After my comment on Iran's blog (middle), she used the resource that I suggested. You can find out how she liked it in this blog post, which I was so happy to see that my suggestion contributed to her learning process.
My experiences, through university courses and teaching has contributed positively to group discussions with peers, as some were just beginning their undergraduate experiences. Additionally, participating in class discussions also provided my classmates with a new perspective or idea related to the conversation.
Digital literacy requires a lot more skills nowadays to be considered truly digitally literate. Identifying fake news and navigating the added dangers of it is becoming more and more difficult with technology. It's critical to students safety that they are taught how to identify fake news.
I think, to begin teaching this to students, choosing and knowing how news is presented to us online is important. Fake news, and the news and posts that are shown to us online is for a reason, and we consciously decide what news to choose, as this TedEd video suggests. As we discussed in class, our 'likes' and 'reactions' to Facebook content, just as one example, tailors the future content we see.
Using language skills and analyzing sources fits in with the English Language Arts curriculum, especially grade 7, as an example. Of course, this should be introduced much earlier, but grade 7 ELA is within my wheelhouse. The possibilities of ELA curriculum connections include: CR7.2, CR7.3, CR7.4, CR7.5, CR7.7.
Using strategies to confirm and investigate meaning of various types of text summarizes these outcomes very simply, which is the intent of ELA, and developing digital literacy. This opens new opportunities as the NCTE Framework states,
To introduce digital literacy skills , I would use a comic as a hook for students. For example, this comic would be a good example to start with for older students.
To continue to keep students engaged, I would utilize this website. Using this, students can use their experiences with social media to the test to analyze fake social media profiles.
Once students have background on identifying news that is false, I would use this website to spot fake headlines as a large or small group discussion.
Additionally, this interactive chart can allow students to search independently for media bias.
Often, I find that important topics such as this one is taught as a "one off" lesson or unit, and then it's put on the back burner. This is a resource that could be used weekly either individually, in small groups or as a whole class to reiterate the important of digital literacy.
All of these tools fit in with the outcomes linked above as they vary as text and media.
Once these skills are introduced, students can practice it in every subject using all types of texts;
The importance of digital literacy is apparent in today's world.
After humming and hawing, I decided to use Fotobabble. I considered doing stop-motion, but with this blog post falling in the same week as Thanksgiving, I thought it would be best to use a tool that would serve the same purpose, showing visuals, but require a little less labour intensive. I think I found that in this app!
Let's take a look, together. To keep it simple, I recorded the initial tutorial using the built in iPhone screen record feature.
Right away, due to its ease of use (and its clever name), I would give Fotobabble 4 out of 5 stars. Additionally, photos can be edited on the app, captions and audio allow inclusivity of the audience. Really, it reminds me of a private Instagram account. Enough said.
The reason for withholding the fifth star, is because it requires an account. This feature ruins many tech tools for me.
If you're interested in what others are saying about Fotobabble, the reviews are difficult to find. Here is what others are saying about this tool from the App Store. And, more importantly, here is what teachers are saying about this tool at Common Sense Education.
Although this tool seems so simple, how it is used in the classroom is what really matters, in order to get the most out of it. Fotobabble has so many uses in the classroom that align with the SAMR Model, as discussed in class.
As a teacher, I could use Fotobabble as a way to record and present a read aloud. This would be especially useful for teaching expression, fluency and pronunciation while reading a passage. Or, for younger students, teaching these things with a story book. Students could go back and listen, and see the text/pictures as many times as they want.
Students may consider using Fotobabble as a portfolio to showcase their work. This could be photos of written work in ELA or Math, steps of an experiment, art work, etc. A simple way to showcase work and provide commentary.
Students could also use this tool as a way to verbally respond to prompts rather than writing or typing their answers. The prompt(s) could easily be shown as a picture while the student speaks.
I also imagine using this as a way to spark creativity with storytelling. All students may have to use the same photos, but each student's commentary of the way the photos connect, would be different.
I imagine this level of the SAMR model to include using Fotobabble as a way to virtually tour, and interpret, an art gallery. Students can take photos of the art they see and add commentary during or after the tour, or both. Their initial interpretation and, perhaps after having class discussions or doing research on each piece of art, their new interpretation can be added in afterwards. Students could even record an interview with experts outside of school and share with their classmates.
Stay tuned to find out how I use Fotobabble for my learning project, here.
Hey there! I'm Erin Zinger!
I'm pumped to be a part of EDTC 300. I feel fairly confident with using technology in the classroom and in other educational settings. My favourite app for personal use is Instagram, here's mine. My favourite educational technology, although I would argue that Instagram can be used for educational purposes as well, would be Padlet, Google Apps and Kahoot (sometimes). My blog has been a space for the past 4+ years where I've put my most important learning experiences. It has also helped me to feel confident in using technology for professional use - starting a blog has been intimidating! I think that teachers that blog are super cool (does that make me a cool teacher because I have a blog, lets say yes). And the author of this article agrees that teacher-bloggers are superb for 5 reasons. Check it out! My favourite teacher-blogger is teachmestyle. Maybe I can aspire to be her with my fashion DIYs during my Learning Project - stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!
If you think I'm interesting, feel free to check out my Twitter that is all about teaching. Enjoy!