Like an Alien in my Own Country


A Portfolio on a Cloud?!

Caveat

In order to embarck on this journey from earth to asteroid B-612, the best route to follow would mean that you begin with the posts on the main page.  These are all of the essential stops that I took to create my Baseline…To get the full effect you may begin with the posts from bottom up and then take a look at the Inner Alien page.  Please end the trip by taking a look at my Earthly Tech Footprint page, both below this page on the side menu!

I have been teaching in Canada for seven years and in that time I have been one of the more techno-savvy in my school, even though my ability is quite limited.  I believe the biggest reason for this is that I do not have any reservations when trying something new and know that it will not explode in my face if I make a  mistake.  This is the same attitude I try to take with all of my learning and teaching. Thus; I want to try to make this apparent when presenting my findings…and often makes me feel like I am from another planet!

Why do I say this…and why am I an Alien?  I have ideas that have been validated daily when apart of this cohort.  I teach in a different way already and always receive such blank looks when trying to relate my practice to most others  When discussing some of my ideas with colleagues it seems as if I am totally lost in their mind, but they are always fighting to keep their teaching methods, ideas and practices in the twentieth century, let alone dipping a toe into the twenty-first century.

How do I know this you might wonder?  From comments from colleagues such as, “Shakespeare never needed a computer to develop his craft” or “Einstein used only a paper and pencil and look what he was able to do!”  The same person uses a tape recorder to teach listening skills and all students are to create their own recordings onto a tape cassette.  When I suggest the use of a tool that may improve or invigorate students, I hear one of the a fore mentioned quotes.  Why is the use of technology so disconcerting for these professionals?  I know that it means altering their day or year plan slightly, but I think that it is more than that.  I believe that it is generational, like in Prensky’s contention, they share similarities with his “digital immigrants”, the only difference is that immigrants work hard to overcome short comings and these people often find ways around the problem by falling back on what they feel comfortable doing.  Although their teaching methodology is sound and ability to convey their message engages and leads to many successes, it is difficult for them to understand my enthusiastic push towards a new horizon and ultimately leads me to take solace on asteroid B-612…totally Alienated!

Where in the Solar System was I?

At the beginning of this journey I taught using what I knew well.  Classes used the internet and pages that I guided them to, did research and few went so far as using PowerPoint, but without my guidance.  Students were engaged and enjoying what they learned, but I was pulling them through and not allowing them to discover too much.

More recently my teaching philosophies have changed along with the way I teach.  My idea is to use various methods by creating numerous teacher directed lessons interspersed with many student directed activities.  An emphasis is put on introspection and student wonderings, along with the careful guidance of the teacher as mentor.  I have also moved from doing what is safe and easy to taking risks by using many new ideas for the first time.  Some of the following are examples of the path that wanted wear, done with a new-found fervor that these courses have ignited!  I believe that my vessel was not empty, but just seemed that way because I lacked the confidence, support and impetus that the journey required!

The Capacities

Engage in a critical cycle of action–reflection to understand and develop your practice

My blog has become a receptacle for reflecting upon deep issues that may be expressed to others.  I try not to hold much back, but what I do not many can handle not even other like minded Aliens.

Participate in and help develop learning communities to support your teaching practice

With in my class I have begun to develop my second learning community with my initial community being our cohort.  I have also began to reach out to other bloggers to extend this community.
 

Research educational theories and philosophies to inform your use of technology in the classroom

I have looked at numerous theories that involves brain research and engagement for better learning, to contemporaries blog posts on sharing of invigorating ideas to the creation of wikis to keep the wider community up to date.
Explore the possibilities of technology integration into your curriculum

Division three has already began blogging, using technology to deepen understanding and as a means to engage and as a choice for students to show case their learning through stop motion video.  We have also developed a wiki that will keep parents informed of our learning, while providing a safety net for any of their technological shortcomings.

Evaluate and participate in new media interactions in education

Division three has moved to writing blogs and the next step is to reading posts, wikis and blogs and posting comments.

Integrate existing and emerging technologies in your practice to support student learning

Division three and I have been able to create the following examples which integrate technology into our learning processes!

This is my example for the students…

This is one of my grade four students examples…

This one was developed by some of the grade threes…

Divisionawesome

Divisionthreesville

Learning Statements…

I am learning that :

Technology is a powerful tool for some in the class, but could still be powerful for all!

I am learning to:

Integrate various advancements into my practice, while allowing for a little more passion and excitement to take us on a journey.

I am learning about:

All of the cloud based tools that we have used in class, how they can be useful to my own learning and helpful to my students.

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