Category Archives: EDTC300

Week 2 Guitar Post

Aloha! This week I decided to start finger picking with guitar tabs to the song “Hey Mama Wolf” by Devendra Banhart. A great song with a great rhythm! It’s a little fast for a first song, but I figured I might as well start somewhere. By clicking on the link above, you can see the tabs I used, but this is basically all you need to know: 
I started the “session” by filming a song that I knew already so that you, the reader, can get an idea of what I can do already. You can also see my “baseline” post here!
As I say in the video, the song I decided to play for you is “Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. If you’d like to strum along to this song too, these chords are easy to follow and accurate! My apologies for the sound being low in the video, apparently the microphone on my iPhone is better than my computer.

After playing a “warm up” song, asked my expert-guitar playing boyfriend, Matt, to help me with learning to read tabs. I took a video of this short lesson, and then two more videos of me learning to finger pick on my own. I’m going to repeat this process for the rest of the week with this song and hopefully next week’s introduction video will be me picking these tabs in perfect rhythm!

What I found was the hardest about this session was being patient with myself. I remember learning chords in a day, and then being able to switch, sing, and strum easily! But finger picking is hard for me, and even these two chords are going to take longer to learn than I initially thought. However, I think that once I get a basis for picking and reading tabs, I’ll be able to pick up others easily. My apologies for the boring videos, but I think that this “evidence” will be pretty cool to see at the end of this project when things have (hopefully) gotten faster and smoother!

That’s all for now! If you’d like to hear the song I’m trying to strum along to you can find it here.

Maple

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Class 4: Twitter in the Classroom

On Thursday, I joined my first Saskatchewan Education Chat on Twitter. It was a really great experience because it gave me the opportunity to consider a topic that I wouldn’t have otherwise (paperless classrooms), and chat with other professionals about it around the province! Afterwards, I made a lot of new connections with the people in the chat, including a vice principal in a rural school (maybe a job in my future?).

After reflection, I would say that the chat is a great way to get educators connected, and using Twitter to do it was actually really easy. I was surprised with how well I was able to stay up to date with the questions and comments, and I was really surprised how many responses I got on my comments! Today, days after the chat, I’m still getting comments and likes on my posts from the chat. It’s really great that people are keeping the conversation going! Below are two posts I made on Thursday night about technology in the classroom.

In general, I know that teachers have encouraged students before to use Twitter as part of their studies. I think that if I were to encourage the same, I’d make a hash-tag for the class that they can follow throughout the year, like we do for our University class, EDTC300. A hash-tag is like a tag for a post that keeps the post organized in categories of interest. We used the hash-tag #Saskedchat for our educational chat on Thursday night, feel free to follow along!

Teachers use Twitter for many reasons, according to the article here. If I made Twitter my database for due dates and class questions, my students would have lots of reason to use it. I believe in helping young adults create positive digital identities, and by using Twitter professionally I think we could accomplish this together. Students today would be growing up in the age of technology, and it’s a teacher’s job to guide them through it, for future employers and future goals.

Here’s a video of a teacher practically using twitter in the classroom:

The teacher argues that by only allowing 140 characters in responses, students feel less pressure to perfect their answers and focus on what’s important. This allows more students to share their voice in the end. I believe that this kind of method is what more teachers need to be aiming towards in regards to progressive education.

Before this class, my Twitter was a dead-zone. I had an account that I was keeping online in case I ever felt like being active in it again. But my community didn’t use the platform, so I had no reason to be on it! After learning how many educators use Twitter for sharing resources and connecting with each other, I am excited to start Tweeting again. I really liked Twitter when I used it previously and I love the creativity we can have with 140 characters. Check out my Twitter page here and follow along!

Class #3: Feedly Account

I decided to make a Feedly account in order to more efficiently find teaching (and learning) resources for this class and the rest of my career as a teacher. I quickly got addicted to the site, and have been finding articles for my personal interests, like decorating a classroom and upcycling! Basically, I chose my content as follows:

  1. I made a category called “EDTECH” and searched for articles that would relate to educational technology
  2. The articles I chose were ones that I found interesting just based on their small blurb
  3. Then, I looked for more articles and created two more categories, “Classroom” and “Inquiry Project”. I chose these because I was finding resources for teaching that I wanted to use later, as well as articles for my EDTC300 inquiry-based project, learning to play guitar.
  4. Lastly, I made a board called “EDTC300” and I added articles to it that I had read more carefully I thought they’d be good to share on this post!

Above is a screen shot of my daily feedly dashboard, lots of resources to choose from! The first resource I’ll share with you is found here, and Vicki Davis writes it. The article explains the software, “Sown to Grow”, an application that allows for students to track and see their progress throughout the year. The author argues that the act of tracking and reflecting actually makes the students learn better.

Sown to Grow allows for teachers to understand the student’s struggles with content, by tracking the students feelings as they learn. This allows for teachers to give more time to specific areas that might be causing the students trouble before test time. As Davis writes, “You must relate before you educate, and this software helps build that important student-teacher relationship around learning” (Davis, 2018).

To break it down further, each student would have an account that they can access through a device like an iPad. The students would be in charge of adding their grades to the iPad, and then submitting their feedback and reflection. This is a quick process for the students, but over time it will show how they have grown, and where their challenges might be overall.

The next article I will share with you is, Give Greatness Contest by Angela Watson, found here. This writer discusses the importance of showing gratitude for teachers, as a good colleague. She highlights the issue of burnout that a lot of teachers face, and believes that we can combat this issue with more celebration of teachers in the field.

Watson explains a contest that is close to her heart. The makers of the SMART Board, Smart Tech, present the contest to teachers. The idea is that we praise a fellow teacher and as a prize we can win technology for our classroom, and for theirs! “The contest aims to recognize inspiring educators who go to great lengths to help their students, families, and fellow educators, and who make a real difference in the community” (Watson, 2018).

 

 

 

 

 

Baseline

I started thinking about what I wanted to do for this course project way back when I initially registered for the course. I’ve had a hard time choosing, and I thought that I was going to go with macrame. Then, I changed my mind and decided to learn something that I already have the resources for. I love photography and have a pretty good camera and a couple lenses, so I thought that would be a good choice. Although, I don’t think I could fit 30-40 hours with photography, and I wanted to do something “different” than the rest.

So then I landed on “upcycling” clothes, the concept of making new clothes out of old clothes. I have a sewing machine, and I’ve been meaning to use it more. But I was worried it would be a waste because I don’t really like upcycled clothes and I would probably spend more money thrifting clothes that I like as they are! So finally I decided on the much overdone, but maybe undervalued project: guitar.

My father taught me to play guitar when I was 13, ten years ago, and I loved it. The only problem is that I only know five chords and I’m not even sure if I’m doing them right. He’s a great guitar player and I’d love to learn to play with him. Eventually, I’d love to learn to finger pick. So I will start with a song, which I haven’t picked yet, learn the chords perfectly, and strum along. I’ll keep doing this until I know at least 75% of chords (some chords you hardly ever play, so I don’t think I need to learn them all in this class). Then, I’d like to start learning to finger pick.

Watch me go!

Introduction

Hi Class,

My name is Maple Baxter, and I am very excited to be meeting all of you and starting this course on educational technology! I am an educational assistant with Regina Public School division, and I work at the Autism Resource Centre as an Interventionist. I have one client and he is truly the best. My passions include sports (biking, swimming, soccer, running), arts (crafting, photographing), and spending time with my friends and family. You’ll notice that I’m fairly extroverted and I have lots of questions to ask all the time, so forgive me if I get annoying (but please help me, I love to learn)!

My experience with educational technology is limited. I’ve used this blog for other classes, but that’s basically as far as it gets. I’m excited to start using my “teacher twitter”, found here, because most schools in Regina Public have a Twitter account themselves. However, I do love blogging! I find that I love writing when it can be fairly ‘informal’, and it’s a great way for me to get my ideas out. I also love to document and record, so this is a great way for me to track my own progress with education.

I definitely see the relevance and importance in having a blog as a professional. The E-Portfolio is a new concept to me, but I think that in this digital age it’s better to be proactive with what’s posted under your name. Like Seth says in his blog, it’s better to have something positive about yourself rather than nothing at all because people WILL LOOK.

As Dan writes in his blog post,  “By claiming your web presence, you’re protected from other people, with the same name, claiming it before you. You also gain control over how you’re perceived online, and thus what employers find out about you when they conduct their search” (Dan Schawbel, 2011). This being said, I would love to walk into a job interview, hand the interviewer a business card with my name and website on it, and say “go crazy!” Having the confidence in your online presence this day and age is huge because accompany values who represents them, and this applies to schools as well.