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Lila Gaertner's Education Portfolio

"Education is a journey, not a race"

Month

May 2017

Participation in Technology

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Jimmy Benson Flickr via Compfight cc

This last week, I was given the chance to listen to a guest lecture from Dr. Alec Couros in my ECMP355 class. He had some interesting points about technology and how it has evolved over the years. After his lecture I downloaded the Distraction Free extension on Chrome for YouTube, because I think that it will be a great tool for my future classroom while watching videos for educational purposes. Something that stood out to me in Alec’s lecture was the idea of having a positive identity online and teaching your students to have one as well. Alec also talked about catfishing in his lecture and I already knew a bit about it before he went deeper into it, but I did not know the extent of it. I was surprised that people can basically steal your identity online and pretend to be someone else in hopes of getting something (most likely money) from you. I learned that some people are more easily targeted and that the people who catfish you can take your photos once you put them online because they are there for anyone to take. Therefore, I have learned that once you put something online, it is always online. I also learned that I need to make my photos private on all of my accounts. As a future teacher, I will also make sure that my students are aware of this because they need to know that they need to be careful with what they place on the internet and make available to the world.

On a more positive note, in the video called “An anthropological introduction to YouTube” with Michael Wesch as the Keynote speaker made some great points that technology has indeed advanced in many ways over the last couple of decades. Wesche also makes a good point that anyone with a webcam is more empowered to share and express their ideas more easily and freely over the internet. They are also able to share their voice and presence, feel a sense of community that they have never felt before and even feel more involved, connected, accepted, and accomplished by posting on YouTube. Something that I found interesting was that Wesche said that the internet is no longer about linking information, but about linking people and this is very true to this day there are many forms of social media that keep people connected and linked, such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, blogs, etc. These forms of social media, along with many others, are ways for people to connect with others and build their PLN. By connecting themselves to people, they are able to connect themselves to other resources and learn more from others around the world faster than ever before. I find it interesting that people will try to connect with more people over the internet because they feel a loss of community, but at the same time by creating an online community, they may be loosing their “face to face” community.

Overall, I took away the idea that technology has affected us as human beings positively and negatively over the past many years, but my hope is that, I can use technology positively in my future classroom.

Stitches, Stitches & More Stitches

Well, it’s week three here everyone and I am excited to say that I have found a lot of resources that have helped me to learn the basic crochet stitches. For example, this week I learned how to crochet a single stitch pattern, relearned the double stitch and, learned the treble stitch. I used all of these stitches and created them into washcloths. These all took me quite some time to do each of them, but it was so worth it. Out of all of my wash cloths that I made, I would have to say that I like the double stitch the best because it was faster than the single stitch and not as loose as the treble stitch. Below are my final projects.

As I was learning how to start a crochet project, or in my case a washcloth, I was able to learn how to start a project by using Ashleigh’s YouTube Channel called Sewrella. Through using Ashleigh’s channel, I was able to use her instructional videos to teach myself how to get my yarn “joined” onto the hook by making a slip knot. I was also able to learn how to make a chain stitch, add another row to my project, and fasten off the ends by weaving the extra yarn back into the washcloth. I also learned from Ashleigh how to do a single crochet stitch, a double crochet stitch, and a treble crochet stitch. Ashleigh also has other videos on crocheting like learning how to do a half double crochet and a magic ring or circle.

Here is the first video of Sewrella’s Series called “Crochet Beginner Series”. You can find the other videos that I used from her channel in the above paragraph.

Now that I know how to make the single, double, half double, and treble crochet stitches, I can start to tackle beginner projects that have different patterns now. I think next week I am going to teach myself how to make a Granny Square.

Until next time everyone!

App Review: Prezi

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I have personally never used Prezi before, but I have seen it used in some of my University classes and even in my Pre-Internship last year. First off, I will give you an overview of Prezi. Then I will give some advantages and disadvantages of using Prezi. I will end with my overall rating.

What is Prezi?

  • An app. that allows you to create a more cinematic and engaging experience for your audience while you present your ideas.
  • It lets you choose between the freedom of the cloud, the security of your desktop, or the mobility of the iPad or iPhone.
  • Prezi is 3D and you can guide your audience through a truly spatial journey. (Zoom out to show the overview of your Prezi, zoom in to examine the details of your ideas, or simply move freely through the Prezi and react to your audience’s input).
  • You can work online or offline.

As I have been searching to learn more about Prezi this week, I came across a really great resource that goes over some of the advantages and disadvantages of Prezi. I added them to my list bellow.

Advantages

  1. Breaks the Mold – It is not your typical side based presentation. It’s updated and fresh!
  2. Free and Web Based – The basic Prezi package is Free! And it’s more available for those who do not have access to the payed program PowerPoint.
  3. Can Link Text and Images to Movement – The movement can relate to the terms and examples in your Prezi, which then creates a visual link for the students.
  4. Appropriate for All Ages – Prezi has simple icon-based design tools.
  5. Shows Students You’re “Up-to-date” with Technology – Let’s your students know they can try something new too!
  6. Easy to Share with Colleagues, Class, or Friends – You can share easily with friends and co-edit with people around the world.

Disadvantages

  1. Can Cause Motion Sickness – It may jump from one screen to the next too quickly for some people.
  2. More of a Learning Curve – You may not have time to learn the tool as well as you would have liked before you use it.
  3. Web-Based – You or your students may have limited wireless internet access or no access to a computer when needed.

Overall, I think that Prezi is a great tool to use as a professional educator in the classroom and it’s also a great tool for students to use for school projects as well. Students who have access to the internet and a computer, of some kind, will be able to access this for their own personal projects and group projects at the same time (co-edit). Therefore, I would rate this app as a 4.5 stars out of 5 because there are many more advantages to this app than disadvantages. Also, it is a modification or transformation of PowerPoint by being upgraded as a presentation tool, but is also made into something new for students to learn to use inside and outside of the classroom.

Thanks for reading!

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And The Learning Begins

To start, I want to thank Ashleigh for helping me out with this crochet project because her blog post on The Whoot website was what helped me learn three easy steps that will help me learn how to be well on my way to crocheting multiple projects.

These three easy steps to learn how to crochet are:

  1. Get Prepared
  2. Learn the Basic Crochet Stitches
  3. Learn to Speak the Crochet Language

Therefore, over this past week I have been focusing on learning the basics of labels, abbreviations, and symbols on balls of yarn. There were a lot of things that I did not know how to read before starting this task because I have never taken the time to stop and learn how to read the labels, but now that I have started, I can’t stop! Haha! Overall, I could not believe how many abbreviations there were for crocheting and how many things I need to pay attention to or learn before I actually even start my crochet projects.  To be honest, I felt a little bit overwhelmed with the amount of resources and symbols/terminology that I found. So, I have narrowed it down to a few resources that helped me learn what I was hoping to.

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To start off my learning, I started to “Get Prepared” this week, by learning that crocheting is just a series of knots and that there are many types of knots (stitches) that we can make as we use a crochet hook (which come in different sizes). I also learned that traditionally people will crochet with yarn, but some people, will crochet with rope, string, or twine! By using these knots you can create patterns, which then create different crochet projects.

Next, I went shopping for some yarn at a local store in Tisdale called Pearson’s and picked out six small balls of yarn for practicing and six bigger balls of yearn for the baby blanket that I plan to make my sister. I already had some crochet hooks from past projects, so I felt pretty prepared with all of my supplies when I got home.

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Once I started more of my research, I found out that there are different weights of yarn that go nicely with making certain projects. For example, 6 on the label means Super Bulky yarn, which would be great for making a baby blanket. See picture to the right for chart I found from The Whoot. Below, is a picture of one of the labels from a ball of yarn that I may use for a blanket. You can see that it is a level 6 for weight, it is made from polyester, and I need to use a 8mm crochet hook to compliment the yarn size for my project.

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My next step, was to start to prepare myself mentally by learning the crochet symbols, abbreviations, and terms. Below are some resources that I found that benefited me.

Here are the sources for the pictures above.

  1. Crochet Symbols & Directions Chart
  2. Frequently Used Abbreviations
  3. Crochet Cheat Sheet

After all of this research, I think I am ready to take the next step that Ashleigh suggests and learn more about the “Basic Crochet Stitches”. Stay tuned for more crocheting!

Twitter Has Tweeted

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Before this class, I did not have a Twitter account, but now that I do, I am beginning to see how it can benefit me as a future educator. As I have been exploring and using Twitter these last few weeks, I can see that not only is Twitter a great place to find educational resources to broaden my knowledge, but it is also a great place to reflect and increase my engagement beyond the classroom, gain professional development opportunities, receive positive feedback and constructive criticism from other educators, build connections and communicate with colleagues, ask for help and suggestions, build my PLN (Personal Learning Network), and get my name “out there” in hopes of getting a future career as a teacher.

I am not sure yet how Twitter could be used in the classroom, but I could take a guess and say that I could use Twitter to get my students involved in creating their own PLN’s at a young age (This would be with my future Middle Years students). If my students wanted to learn more about a certain topic for class, I may even direct them to Twitter so that they could gain resources from there. As far as professional development goes, I believe that there is a lot to learn from your peers, colleagues, and friends. Like David Truss said, “Twitter can also be used as a tool to connect and learn with and from other educators and social learners”.

This evening, I was given the opportunity to take part in a Twitter Chat with #saskedchat through TweetDeck. Through this experience, I learned that Tweet Deck is an amazing tool that can be used for teachers to have valuable learning opportunities from each other. It is also a great way to enhance your personal Professional Development as an educator. I also learned not only how to participate in the chat, but how to expand my professional development by reading what my peers and colleagues thought about technology in the classroom. Overall, I can say that being a part of this Twitter Chat was a very beneficial and enjoyable experience and I will definitely partake in another #saskedchat again.

Ready, Set, Crochet!

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Well, it has taken me a while to decide what I have want to do for my learning project, but I have finally decided to learn and teach myself how to crochet. My mom actually tried to teach me how to crochet once when I was very little, but I think that since I was only 11 years old, I was not patient enough to learn how to crochet. Then when I was 20, I was taught a bit of the basics of crocheting from my friend Briana whom I had met at school, but again, I was not very successful in sticking with it and trying new things. I was however, successful in a way because I was able to learn how to make a double crochet square (Whatever that means! Haha!). So, now that it is five years later, I am willing and eager to pick up some new yarn and crochet hooks to learn more about crocheting.

I am hoping that by the end of this learning project, I will be able to read and understand crochet labels/patterns, know the crochet abbreviations, and be able to create multiple projects such as: wash cloths, bookmarks, headbands, and a baby blanket for my sister by using the different crochet patterns (single, double, triple, etc.). Stay tuned as I learn more about crocheting and post about my crocheting learning project. 🙂

Joining Feedly

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Well, I signed up and joined an RSS reader called Feedly. The process was pretty easy to sign up because I just joined my Feedly account with my Google account. As I was searching around on my new account, I decided to follow several blogs such as: The Edublogger, Beauty That Counts, Lifehacker, Etsy Blog, Crochet in Color, TED Education, and ED News. All of these seemed to interest me because I am interested in education, Mary Kay make up, life hacks, Etsy/DIY crafts, and crocheting. I think I will follow more blogs as I go, but for now I will stick with these. To find all of these topics I simply used the Feedly search engine to find the different blogs that had topics that interested in. I believe that the Education blogs that I will read on Feedly will really help me as I expand my knowledge and wisdom of Education.

One blog that I found was called “Crochet” and it had a post called “Dainty White Belt“. I found that this was a post that caught my eye because I want to learn how to crochet for my learning project for my ECMP 355 class. While looking at this crochet post, it redirected me to another website, which then told me the step by step process of how to crochet the twisty belt. The post also included pictures of each step to make the belt. Right now, this belt looks difficult for me to learn, but I think that once I start with the basics, I will be able to learn the crochet abbreviations and then I will know how to take the simple steps by reading the pattern or label to then create the final product. I believe that this blog overall will help me with my learning project, by providing me with simple step by step instructions on how to crochet, so I look forward to starting my learning process.

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ECMP 355: Intro to Me

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Hey Everyone,

I am from Tisdale, Saskatchewan and I am currently in my fourth year in the Middle Years Education Program and I love playing with technology. I have not always been great with technology, but people seem to say that I have a talent for it. I think that is just because of the practice and willingness I have to learn more about technology. My experiences with educational technology would include blogging on my Education Portfolio, uploading my own personal YouTube videos, and using hashtags. I will have to admit though, that I had been putting off the idea of getting a Twitter account because I thought that it was a pretty useless form of social media. But now that I needed to have an account for this class, I gave in and created one. If you would like to follow me on Twitter, feel free to take a look at my account so far. Even though I have only had a Twitter account for about a week, I can say that I am enjoying it and can already see the benefits of having an account. I am enjoying the idea that it is broadening my networking abilities and providing me with resources to aid myself in my future education career.

My thoughts on blogging are mostly good ones because I have had two years of practice perfecting my own education Portfolio in my other education classes. I am looking forward to this semester of blogging because I know that I can still learn more about how to prefect my blog posts and Education portfolio. I also find blogging to be relaxing and a way for me to be creative, network, share my knowledge, reflect on my past teaching experiences, gain feedback from others, and learn new skills in technology and communication. I am also excited about learning more educational technology tools, so that I can incorporate them into my future classroom.

~ Lila Gaertner ~

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