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Lila Gaertner's Education Portfolio

"Education is a journey, not a race"

My Thoughts on Digital Citizenship

Digital Quote

Ken Whytock Flickr via Compfight cc

You might be wondering, what is digital citizenship? Well, its hard to define because there are many components to explaining digital citizenship, but from my understanding, digital citizenship is “the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior related to technology use, including digital literacy, ethics, etiquette, and security”. However, I have been learning that just as “good citizenship” is more than not breaking the law, “digital citizenship” is more than just avoiding harms online. Technology has the ability to enhance and magnify the ability of youth and adults to contribute to and serve in the community and even in the world, but youth and adults need to work together to consider and create more ideas around how technology can be used for good — to facilitate collaboration, creation, communication, and positive contributions to family and civic life (DIGCIT). Digitalcitizenship.net puts it another way and says that, “Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately”. They also say that, “Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology” and I agree!

I think that as a future educator, it is important that I am able to teach my students the importance of being responsible and having a healthy relationship or presence online with technology that they may use in and outside of my classroom. In my future classroom, I would make sure that my students were aware of: what it meant to have their own digital identity or presence online, the positive enhancements that technology has provided us with, and the negatives or dangers that technology may bring if we are not careful with how we use technology. I realize that learning about digital citizenship is very complicated, so I would also like to go over the nine elements or themes of digital citizenship with my students as well.

These nine elements of Digital Citizenship are:

  1. Digital Access
  2. Digital Commerce
  3. Digital Communication
  4. Digital Literacy
  5. Digital Etiquette
  6. Digital Law
  7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities
  8. Digital Health and Wellness
  9. Digital Security (Self-Protection)

Lastly, I can see that this broad topic of digital citizenship may have some challenges, but I believe that it is an important topic to talk about since technology is so commonly used now in and outside of the classroom. I agree with Jason Ohler’s blog when he says that “we must help our digital kids balance the individual empowerment of digital technology use with a sense of personal, community, and global responsibility.” And since school is such an excellent place to help kids become capable digital citizens who use technology not only effectively and creatively, but also responsibly and wisely, we must help them live one, integrated life, by inviting them to not only use their technology at school, but also talk about it within the greater context of community and society. To connect this to the Saskatchewan curriculum, I would integrate this topic into some Social Studies units because it gives students more opportunities to think about the social aspects of our world and own identities online. Integrating this topic into some Health units would also give students the opportunity to discuss how to maintain a healthy physical and psychological life in a digital world and the effects of cyber bullying.

I hope this blog post gives you a better idea of what Digital Citizenship is and how it is important to teach in the classroom.

Thanks for reading! Till next time!

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Cyber-sleuth: Pam Milos

Alright, this may be weird but, I was asked to cybersleuth someone in my ECMP355 class this week. If you are wondering what cybersleuth means, it’s basically when someone does detective work using the Internet to find out who they are and what their digital identity is online. So I asked Pam Milos if I could cybersleuth her on the Internet to see what I could find out about her. When I first Googled Pam Milos the first thing that came up was her LinkedIn account. On that account, I found out that she works at Kelly Services as a receptionist in Regina, Saskatchewan. She has also attended the University of Regina in the Faculty of Arts and she has a Diploma in Sales and Marketing from Robertson Career College.

pam.jpgNext I noticed that I could not find Pam on Facebook. It is either because she does not have Facebook or maybe she has her settings set very privately, so that people have a hard time finding her. Good idea Pam! I did, however, find her on Twitter and her account handle is @PmilosX6. Twitter was where I found a lot more information about her. Through this form of social media, I found out that Pam was born on June 15th; she lives in Regina; she is married to John Milos; she has 4 boys and 2 girls; she is a student at the U of R; and she is interested in elementary education, the Arts, history, speed skating, quilting, crocheting, and the CFL (Pitsburg Penguins). It is also through Twitter that I found Pam’s blog. On her blog, she has more information about herself and posts about her ECMP355 class.

Overall, I found this cybersleuthing an interesting experience. It was fairly easy to start looking up Pam’s information about herself, but she does not have a whole lot of things posted of her, especially photos, so it was hard to find out a lot about her. This is probably a good thing because she is being wise with what is being posted online of herself, which will be there permanently. I would say that Pam has a professional online presence and if I was cybersleuthing her as an employer, I would see that she has presented herself in an excellent way because her main online presence is for professional purposes.

Thanks Pam, for allowing me to be a detective today.

Till next time!

Granny Squares & The Magic Circle

So far this crochet learning project has been fun. It has been time consuming and not always easy because I have had to start over a few times with different projects to make sure that it looked perfect, but overall, this has been a great learning experience for me. I can’t believe that I am already half way done my learning project because I don’t feel like I have been working on it that long and still feel like there is a lot to learn. This week I decided to focus on teaching myself how to make different projects using a specific technique or pattern, so I ended up teaching myself the Granny Square and a Magic Circle. I found that these two projects were similar in style because they both used the “In the Round” technique.

While I was searching for resources to teach myself, I looked back at the blog called “Understanding Crochet Diagrams: The Key to Breaking the Code” and found it to be very helpful. This blog reminded me of the language used in patterns and it reminded me of how to use symbols to decode which stitch to do for working in “a round” pattern. Other than circles, there are other shapes that are worked “in the round” like octagons, flowers, hearts, and even squares(ex. the granny square). These different shapes are also often shown in diagrams where the symbols represent the stitches. Below is an example of a Granny Square diagram that I found from the cite mentioned above.

Granny-Square-Chart.jpg

Some pointers that I found helpful from The Craftsy Blog when creating my granny square and magic circle were:

  • Identify your starting point (generally the center) and follow the diagram working counter clockwise.
  • Do not turn your work, unless the pattern tells you to.
  • Rounds may be numbered or designated by alternating colors. (Like the pattern above.)

I also found a great tutorial on YouTube that showed me how to crochet a Granny Square. The video was done by Bella Coco and it is called “CROCHET: How to crochet a granny square for beginners”. I found this video on Ashleigh’s blog here. As I was learning the granny square, I found the pattern easy to catch onto. It took a couple of tries to get it right, but I finally made it. I decided to do three rounds of my granny square, so that it was just the right size to be used as a 4 X 4 coaster. Below is my process of my granny squares.  

To learn the Magic Circle, I watched Sewrella’s video called “Crochet Beginner Series Part 8: Magic Ring or Magic Circle”. I also found another video that helped explain how to crochet in the round here. After I tried the magic circle, I tried crocheting “in the round” around the 7 double crochet stitches that I made to make the magic circle. As I kept crocheting around, I found that the yarn naturally started to curve and make a mini toque. I am guessing there are other patterns for toques where you start with 15 or even 30 stitches in your magic circle, instead of 7 like I did. Here is a link that you can use to find some beginner crochet hat patterns that work “in the round”. Below are pictures of my progress with the magic circle.

Overall, I feel so honoured and privileged to be able to learn visually from YouTube because I am a visual learner and if I had to try to teach myself to crochet from a book, I probably would have given up in the first week of starting this challenge. But I am glad that I have not given up because I am learning so much and I am having a lot of fun along the way.

Till next time everyone! 🙂

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

Prezi.jpg

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.

Yarn-Cheat-Sheet--550x298

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.

20170521_181445.jpg

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

#saskedchat

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. 🙂

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