Only 4 weeks left?!?!

My Week in Review

My goals for this week were to:

  1. Continue to attend and participate in prenatal yoga classes both through online resources and in my face-to-face communities.
  2. Post to my Instagram account at least 3 times this week, increase my followers to 30. Try to follow at least 70 quality accounts.
  3. Update my Instagram user description to show my purpose and connect with my PLN.
  4. Create YouTube showcasing 3 new poses I learned this week. Think of a quality title for my video to increase viewership.

I am happy and excited to say that I have achieved all my goals this week! Something I appreciate about the learning online process and using my blog to document my process is that I am held accountable. When I post my goals for the week, it helps me to stay focused and not loose site of my end goal. This is something I think would be important when working with students as well. Goals and posting about our goals to our personal learning networks helps keep us accountable. It gives you a purpose, an audience, and the support you may need.

My Successes


I am very happy with the YouTube video I made this week. I was able to add music, video, pictures, and a caption. I am hoping I get a few views on this video and even if I don’t it reminded me how easy it is to make a movie with Windows Movie Maker. There aren’t many bells and whistles, but it fits my purpose this week. Next week I hope to try a different movie publisher, such as animoto. Do you have any other suggestions that you think I should try?

The video was inspired by a prenatal yoga workout I had pinned on my Pinterest board called 5 Prenatal Yoga Moves Every Mama-To-Be Should Try. I have really noticed a positive reaction from my body when I practice prenatal yoga. Research says it should help with labour and delivery… here’s hoping!

Another success I had this week was growing my PLN on Instagram. I am currently at 31 followers and following 74 accounts. I am finding Instagram to be a good tool for connecting with others who are interested in prenatal yoga. I haven’t had much success growing my PLN on twitter in the yoga sphere, but I guess every tool has a purpose!

My Struggles

I only have 15 posts on Instagram. I thought I would have a much easier time documenting this process with pictures, but finding time and space to photograph and document everything is proving to be challenging. Maybe this is a limitation of Instagram and using photos to post this process?

Looking to Next Week

It is has to believe that there are only 4 weeks of classes remaining. As I start to look toward the end goal, I would like to find a way to create a final product that sums up my process. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do?

My goals for next week are to:

  1. Continue to attend and participate in prenatal yoga classes both through online resources and in my face-to-face communities.
  2. Pin a few more prenatal yoga resources.
  3. Get at least 20 posts on my Instagram account.
  4. Decide on how I will summarize my learning project.

 

 

 

 

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Creators & Sharers

The open education movement allows access to education on the internet. By allowing open access, we are breaking down the four walls of the classroom, allowing the marginalized to access education, and becoming a global community of learners, sharers, and creaters. Over the past few years there has been increasing popularity in creating open-access of academic journals, people participating and contributing to MOOCs, and information activism. By supporting the open education movement, we are breaking down financial barriers and progressing towards equal access for all learners. In order to continue this movement, it is important to teach our students to not only be consumers of digital content, but also creators and sharers.

Why Open Education Matters from Blink Tower on Vimeo.

Often it is assumed that because students are young, they are digital natives; however, they need to explicitly be taught digital citizenship. One of the key components to digital citizenship is understanding that other people have created and own content that is posted online and it is important to attribute their work appropriately. This can be started at a very young age by just writing the author and title of a book and it will grow from there. As well, students should know the difference between copying, remixing, creating, and sharing whilst developing the skills of content curation and how to use creative commons.

 

Share, Remix, Reuse: Creative Commons in Your Library from lkstrohecker

 

Below you will find a lesson to use as a starting point to introducing your students to creating and sharing online using creative commons. The lesson is aligned with the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum.

Knowledge: What will students understand?

  • Other people created and own the content that is posted online.
  • There are various ways of organizing information and we need to learn skills to find the information we are looking for. o I cannot believe everything that I find online.

Skills: What will students be able to do?

  • Search for copyright free images on appropriate websites and name their source.
  • Navigate appropriate websites as provided by the teacher.
  • Tell an adult if they find content online that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Creating and sharing are important components of transliteracy and digital citizenship as they give learning a purpose, an audience, and allow for connections. Through creating and sharing students should appreciate literature in all media forms. It is important not to get distracted by the “bells and whistles” of things and to remember your purpose. If we work together to achieve open access, we are working towards social justice.

 

 

Me Inspiring Me

My Week in Review

I have been sharing some of the same struggles some my classmates have been experiencing in past weeks this week. I found it really difficult to stay committed to my 3 days a week of yoga and posting it for my learning community to see. I guess this happens with the ebb and flow of learning, but I am feeling some pressure as this learning isn’t just for the sake of learning, it is part of an assignment and in the end a final evaluation.

Although I wasn’t able to commit to my 3 hour long sessions this week, doesn’t mean this project was put on the back burner. I feel like my yoga practice is starting to influence my life in a greater way than just being a learning project that will end at the end of the semester. The poses I have been learning from my PLN are often used sporadically throughout the day. For example, the other night I woke up at 3:30am due to pain in my lower back and hips (we are preparing to sell our house this week and I maybe over did it on the weekend). I could not get comfortable no matter how many pillows or times I flipped from side to side. So I got out of bed and did a hips, hamstrings, and lower back sequence in the living room and then returned to bed. To my surprise, the throbbing pain had dissipated and although I was not able to get back to sleep until around 5:30am, I was at least able to lay in bed and try to rest without pain.

As I was laying in bed, I had a lot of time to reflect on this learning project and it got me thinking of my pre-assessment. I decided I should do a reflection this week as a midterm assessment (as seen below). I also thought about the process of learning online. I have found doing a self-guided learning assignment, rather than one with more structure, such as a MOOC or creating something with a final product, is a lot more challenging that I anticipated. I am enjoying the process of learning something that I am passionate about and using my social network to learn, contribute, and create, as I believe this is lifelong skill that I will use again, but at the same time, this experience has been a struggle for me as I can only hope that my learning is evident through my twitter feed, Instagram postsPinterest board, and blog posts.

Midterm Assessment

 My Successes

During my learning project I have experimented with some different social media tools. I have enjoyed trying new tools and can see some of these working in my classroom in the future. Below are the tools I have tried out:

 hyperlapse Hyperlapse Hyperlapse allows you to easily shoot time lapse videos. Basically you shoot a video in the app and it allows you to speed up the video to varying degrees.

I have really found this app useful in sharing my practice as it allows me to video and upload my videos quickly.

 vidstitch Vidstitch Vidstitch allows you to post a picture and video as one in a collage. This mixed media is great way to showcase both videos and photos.

This app has allowed me to use photos and videos in a post, which really enhances the post.

 instagram Instagram Instagram is a social media site where you can share pictures and comment or like on others photos.

This has been the cornerstone to my project. The reason this outlet has been so important is because this is where I have been able to grow my PLN the most. I have been able to gain quality followers and have followed other accounts with like interests. By using appropriate hashtags, I have also increased the amount of likes I have gotten on my photos. Fitness is a major industry that is showcased on Instagram.

 Capture Twitter Twitter is a social media site where you can share updates with your network up to 140 characters. Quality posts are concise and contain quality hashtags.

Twitter hasn’t been the best outlet for this learning project as I find it hard to restrict my mini-reflections to 140 characters. I have followed some new accounts on Twitter that deal with my learning project and have found some great articles this way, but this is not my primary site for this purpose.

 pinterest Pinterest Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas.

I have really enjoyed the prenatal yoga resources I have found to this point on my Pinterest account. It is nice having one common place to bookmark my sources so I can visit and revisit them.

 

So far I have enjoyed posting about my learning project online. Although I have never met the people in my PLN and they show their support with a “like” or a “follow” they have inspired and pushed me to keep going on this journey. Getting a “like” when you are feeling vulnerable or nervous about sharing something has been more powerful than I would have thought.

My Struggles

Something I have struggled with this past week is posting my progress online every time I practice yoga and maybe that is ok. Many times I have practiced yoga using the open sources I have found on the internet, but have forgotten to post about it. I have enjoyed blogging about my progress weekly as it keeps me focused.

Another thing I have struggled with this week is the questions: Is anyone actually benefiting from this other than me? Again maybe it is ok that I am the only one benefiting from this and maybe I am impacting someone else just by posting my progress online that I don’t know about. In the end, this process is about me. I reposted a great photo this week on my Instagram account. As I continue this learning process I hope to live by this quote and focus on me.

inspire

Quote via YogaInspiration

Looking to Next Week

Here are my goals for next week, hoping by posting them online and for my PLN to see I will stay accountable!

  1. Continue to attend and participate in prenatal yoga classes both through online resources and in my face-to-face communities
  2. Post to my Instagram account at least 3 times this week, increase my followers to 30. Try to follow at least 70 quality accounts.
  3. Update my Instagram user description to show my purpose and connect with my PLN.
  4. Create YouTube showcasing 3 new poses I learned this week. Think of a quality title for my video to increase viewership.

 

 

Fear not.

I am feeling some of the same feelings I had last semester. I left EC&I 832 feeling digitally literate and confident with my ability to teach digital citizenship, but this week I was thrown a curve ball! I was introduced to many new social media sites and tools. I had heard about a few of these sites, but never really knew what they were, nor had the curiosity to check out.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Photo Credit: filipinooutsourcers via Compfight cc

Many of these sites, such as YikYak and 4chan, allow users to comment and participate anonymously. Nima Naimi says the anonymity offered by the app may lead to a lack of empathy and users saying things that they wouldn’t normally say in person. Participants in these communities can say and do almost anything they want without being accountable. So we should ban them and rid the internet of these sites, right?

Young people are also turning to the internet and social media to cyber self-harm. Students are inflicting psychological self-harm on sites such as Reddit, Ask FM, and Tumblr. They do this by creating fake online identities to attack themselves and inviting strangers to do the same. They may be doing it to finally open the conversation so they can get the help and support they need, they may be experiencing a mental health disorder and this is the most suiting outlet for them, maybe it is low self-esteem or depression. Needless to say, this is a growing issue and is impacting more and more teens and youth. So we should ban them and rid the internet of these sites, right?

Teens and students are also being exposed to porn and explicit images at younger ages. All you need is one kid in the playground going looking for the bad stuff and every kid sees it. Students are seeing stuff on the internet that they are unable to process and are confused about. Furthermore, one student can expose many others to these online searches. For example, just this past week at school we found in the search history on one of our shared tablets “porn” and some other explicative searches. Unfortunately, since this is a shared tablet and doesn’t require a log-in we were unable to find out who (out of the 3 classrooms using the tablet) was performing this search. So we should ban them and build restrictive firewalls of these sites, right?

The answer to all the above questions is NO. Of course we have to be aware of the complicated and sometimes complex issues that may come from these sites, but at the same time there is a bigger picture. How do we teach our students to be empathetic in online spaces? How do we combat issues such as cyber self-harm and cyber-bullying? How do we help kids cope with a digital deluge of inappropriate images?

The answer is not by shoving it under the rug and pretending it is not an issue. The answer is also not by banning students from using the internet and restricting all access. The answer is by teaching and modeling digital citizenship. If we don’t explicitly teach, keep the conversations open, and talk about the issues, we are leaving students to figure out these complicated and complex issues on their own. Something they may not be capable of doing at this point in time.

To be honest, I was quite shocked to hear of some of the popular sites and things available on the internet (even though I consider myself as quite tech savvy). I am thankful for this course and my learning project as it has given me a purpose to:

“Download it, try it, poke around, see how it works, see the kinds of things that are being posted,” he suggested. “And that’s just going to help you have a better understanding and open up a dialogue with kids.” – Dan Misener via CBC News

 

 

The tool may change, but the issues remain the same.

“If you’re going to ignore social media in the classroom, then throw out the ISTE Standards for Students and stop pretending that you’re 21st century.” – Vicki Davis

In A Guidebook for Using Social Media in the Classroom, Vicki Davis lists a bunch of hypothetical questions regarding letter writing, e-mails, and social media. I wonder if these were actual concerns for teachers when they thought about letter writing and establishing pen pals. If I think back to when I was in school, I actually think this was a concern. I remember writing letters in my Operation Christmas Child Shoebox and was told not to put any specific details about my identity (address, last name, etc.) in my letter. However, this form of writing was very powerful and since I am talking about it right now, it definitely had an impact on me.

media

Jason Howle via https://flic.kr/p/e5wZ3t

The “fear” of taking learning outside of the 4 walls of the classroom has always been there. There are risks in everything we do. We cannot allow the “fears” of using social media in the classroom outweigh the benefits. Students will be exposed to social media and engage and create a mediated online identity whether or not we include social media in the classroom. It is our job to help them become digital citizens and digital leaders. As Vanessa said, “the use of social media in the classroom can and should be promising. Like the calculator though, unless students are taught how to use it effectively (as students), it has the potential of becoming problematic.”

Many kids are leaving social networks and transitioning out of broadcast social media (Facebook and Twitter) and switching to narrowcast tools (Messengers and Snapchat). They are personalizing their social media experience and prefer to share more transient posts with their closest friends rather than portraying a sanitized split life. Some 13-year-olds check social media 100 times a day, when they are not posting on social media, they are lurking. With that being said, I am sure the tool in which students use to participate will continue to change, but the social lives of networked teens will continue to encounter complicated and complex issues.

Students will participate in social media either way… How can we harness the power of social media in our schools? How can we teach students to use social media effectively? Why is it so important for us to explicitly address the complicated and complex issues of social media?

There are many risks and benefits of allowing children going online, as teachers and parents it is our job to model and teach students how to participate online appropriately. We cannot ignore social media in the classroom, in the school, and the impact it has on our students lives.

 

It’s a double-edged sword

My learning project is a bit of a double-edged sword, but first a look at what I accomplished this past week…

Last week I was a bit worried about my process on my learning project. I would consider myself an overachiever, which can sometime be problematic. I am also very product motivated and look forward to the end task, so it is sometimes hard for me to focus on the process, even though that is what I encourage my students to do and is one of my foundational beliefs about education. With that being said, I set some goals for myself last week that would emphasize the process of what I am learning and make my learning visible.

My goals were to:

  1. Practice prenatal yoga 3 times this week (one face-to-face session, one YouTube session, one session on my own). SEMI-ACHIEVED – I was able to practice more than 3 times; however, I did not make it to a face-to-face session. The timing for the Bodhi Tree prenatal yoga class was not working with my schedule, so I decided to look elsewhere. I am signed in for a class tomorrow at Everyday Sacred and look forward to giving it a try!
  2. Play music when I am practicing on my own to help with mindfulness and focus. ACHIEVED – This really helped me focus on the task at hand. It also told my husband that I was busy and he shouldn’t bug me :). 
  3. Videotape at least one of my sessions and post onto my Instagram account. ACHIEVED – I did 2 hyperlapse videos this week and posted them to my Instagram account. This was WAY out of my comfort zone, but a very neat experience!
  4. Post at least 3 times this week to my Instagram and Twitter account using the hashtags: #eci831, #learningproject, #babybootsyoga. ACHIEVED – I posted more than 3 times this week. I also tried to grow my PLN by following other yoga accounts and using hashtags… more below on this one.
  5. Complete a vlog at my check in next week that includes my week experience and 3 new poses I have learned. ACHIEVED – See below!

Now back to the title of this post… There are two reasons I would say this project is like a double-edged sword.

Reason #1

As I mentioned above and in a few of my other blog posts, I am trying not to get caught up in the final product aspect of this project. It would have been way easier for me to choose the other option of the major project and integrate social media in my teaching practice or integrate/develop open educational resources related to my practice. I have some experience with both of these routes and have been successful implementing them, so I could have just continued on that path and know I was headed for success. However, I chose the other option where I am expected to learn and share online. Although this process has proven to be a struggle at times, I am very thankful I chose this learning process and experience the learning process while thinking critically about it. I believe through this learning process I am examining the idea of rhizomatic learning and I am connecting though social media in my “classroom”. It may have been easier for me to participate in a MOOC, integrate social media in my teaching practice, or develop OERs, but to actually go through the process is a learning experience I will never forget.

Reason #2

As I mentioned before, making learning visible has been a challenge for me in this learning process. Last week I made a goal to ramp up my online presence on both Instagram and Twitter to build a new PLN. In the past my PLN was solely for educational purposes. The people I followed on Twitter and through other networks all dealt with my teaching practice. If I was learn something new, it would be limited to the course and the people in that course to find my information. How hypocritical of me! Here I am preaching to my students and fellow course mates about the importance of a PLN, yet I limited my PLN to only education. So this past week I began following yoga accounts through various social media tools.

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Photo Credit: qp1977 via Compfight cc

I also learned firsthand about the power of the hashtag. I wanted to build my network on Instagram and gain more followers, so I tagged my posts with some key hashtags. I have been getting more ”likes” on posts and I now have 22 followers! This may seem small to those people who are Instagram famous, but this is a huge accomplishment for me! Using appropriate hashtags is essential to your online presence when trying to connect online.

Now here comes the double-edged sword… I am feeling nervous about sharing this process online and with my new PLN. I am usually quite reserved, don’t post many photos, and keep my identity (online) quite neutral. I have my privacy settings high and don’t overshare. So to be sharing this vulnerable learning process with the whole world is a huge learning curve for me! Additionally, I don’t really know who is following me and there is always the risk of people “stealing” your identity. But at the same time we face these risks whether we are private, public, online, or offline. It is better to take control of your online (and offline) identity, know the risks, and be aware.

 

“Baby” Steps

yoga1

This was the first week of my learning project and man did the time ever fly by! My goal is to practice prenatal yoga three times a week. I was able to squeeze in 2 and a half sessions this week. You might be wondering, what is a half session. Well… I was unable to do a full hour session, but I did do some yoga poses after my Bootcamp class on Thursday morning. I had also planned on attending prenatal yoga at Bodhi Tree, but unfortunately failed on this aspect because I was held back helping with extra-curricular activities at school.

My Week in Review

Thankfully because of open source education on the internet, I was able to find yoga resources to enhance my practice this week! I started out this week researching the Do’s and Don’ts of prenatal yoga. I have practice a bit of yoga in the past, but never on a weekly basis. Luckily it came to be easy as I have always been athletic and quite flexible. Yet, as I have said in some earlier posts, my body is changing A LOT, so some of the things that used to come to me easily… now have me huffing and puffing!

yoga2My first full session involved me using Pop Sugar’s Hip Openers and Hamstring Stretches For Expectant Moms. This was such a nice session! After this session, I was off to prenatal class at the YMCA and had to sit in a chair for 1.5 hours and to my surprise, I felt good sitting for that long… so it must have helped my hips and hammies! Something I was a bit challenged with during this session was timing myself to make sure I was holding the pose for long enough and staying committed to completing the whole sequence.

Due to my challenges, I thought I would try a YouTube video for my next session to see if I had increased focus, mindfulness, and better form. I found the Prenatal Yoga Routine: Calm Interior (2nd Trimester) and after skimming through the video, thought I would give it a try. I enjoyed having someone to listen to and keep my on track and the 45 minutes flew by! My one complaint was I didn’t really enjoy the sequence. There weren’t many poses I was familiar with and I found it hard to follow exactly what the instructor wanted me to do.

My mini-session was more of a Yin type of yoga where you hold the pose for 3-5 minutes. I thought I would focus on hips and hamstrings again as I believe this is where most of my issues are coming from. I chose to do the frog pose, swan/sleeping swan, and baby dragon. I also used the foam roller, which felt AMAZING!

My Struggles

instagramSomething I am struggling with is documenting my process to demonstrate my learning. I am hoping my posts on Instagram and Twitter are enough, but I am finding it hard to take photos without a photographer! I also was hoping to do some video, but I am not sure how I would make this happen without someone to videotape me. I am finding myself respecting those self-made Instagram stars now who have mastered the selfie and videotaping on their own. Does anyone know if there are any apps that could help with this? For example, sometimes I see people with fast forward videos on their Instagram and I would like to do something like this.

Another struggle I found this week was making time to practice prenatal yoga. I know it will come easier as it becomes a habit, so I am sticking to my commitment!

Looking to Next Week

Here are my small, yet attainable goals for next week (now that they are out there for the whole world to see… I better stay committed!):

  1. Practice prenatal yoga 3 times this week (one face-to-face session, one YouTube session, one session on my own).
  2. Play music when I am practicing on my own to help with mindfulness and focus.
  3. Videotape at least one of my sessions and post onto my Instagram account.
  4. Post at least 3 times this week to my Instagram and Twitter account using the hashtags: #eci831, #learningproject, #babybootsyoga
  5. Complete a vlog at my check in next week that includes my week experience and 3 new poses I have learned.

 

Write On: Improving Student Writing

“Remember what writing is for: to share what we see, think and believe, and invite response.” – Blogging in the classroom: why your students should write online

Over my career, I have noticed a common trend in my students when they enter into my classroom. They DISLIKE writing. Sadly, they often come into my classroom with a negative view of writing and when asked to complete the beginning of the year writing assessment, the room is filled with moans and groans. (I hate to admit it, but I was one of those kids too). Just like Elizabeth, writing has never come easy to me and I often struggle with writer’s block, so I can relate with my students when they come into my classroom. Usually by the end of the year my students leave the classroom with a new outlook on writing.

Some of the common trends I see in the classroom that spur on this hatred of writing are:

  • Too much focus on conventions or as Heather says, the writing process. Teachers love their red pen and LOVE marking every error on students writing; however, this is such a small part of the process of writing. In fact, it is on small part of the 6 traits of writing. In my opinion, ideas, organization, voice, and word choice are WAY more important than if you are forgetting a period.
  • Students are told what to write and their only audience is the teacher.
  • Authentic and real-time feedback is often limited.
  • Often the pre-writing process is not authentic and has too much teacher input. This causes students to get stuck on what to write about because they are trying to write what they think the teacher wants.
  • There is a disconnect between reading and writing.
  • When students are allowed to use digital tools to publish their writing it is limited to word processing.

Improving student writing has been a priority within our school division the past few years. At the same time our division has implemented a variety of new technology tools to help enhance and transform the way we teach and learn. One of the ways to leverage student engagement in writing is through collaborative writing tools that help build writing communities. Who are our students writing for? Who makes up the audience? How do they make the audience care?

“It’s not just 21st century skills but 21st century connections and how to make them.”  – Vicki Davis, Reinventing Writing

By reinventing writing and using collaborative digital tools within the digital writing workshop along with traditional methods, we are fostering community, allowing students to explore various perspectives, and with that acquire and synthesize new information. Using digital tools in the classroom doesn’t mean that you can sit back, relax, and let the tool do all the teaching. The teacher must be an active participant by facilitating learning, intervening when necessary, and providing relevant feedback.

It is also important not to get caught up in the bells and whistles of the digital tool. Some key questions to think of when integrating digital tools are:

  • How will this tool further student-centered learning?
  • What outcomes will this tool help to leverage?
  • How is this tool connecting students and creating collaborative learning?
  • Did I sent out information about the tool to parents?
  • How easy is it for me to set up this tool?
  • How easy is it for the students to use it or navigate the platform?
  • How will I monitor student work and passwords?
  • What is the terms of use of the tool?

(Questions from: Writing Assessment & Digital Tools Workshop by Regina Catholic Schools)

When we use digital tools and engage in authentic writing experiences, we are redefining the author’s chair. In my experience a great way to provide purpose for writing and an authentic environment for writing is through a blog. Blogging provides a place for students to develop their voice, make meaningful reflections, connect and collaborate with peers, curate content, and develop transliteracy and digital citizenship. By building your PLN on Twitter and using hashtags, such as #comments4kids, you will be able to connect your classroom with other classrooms around the world to make this process even more exciting, authentic, and engaging.

Connect, Collaborate, Communicate: Learning and Knowing in a Digital Age

This past year I have taken on a new role as teacher librarian at Sacred Heart Community School. I felt like I needed a change from being a classroom teacher. As a classroom teacher I was able to encourage my students to become networked students, but I felt like I was in a rut and was not engaging as I had in previous years as a networked teacher. I was looking to connect with others within the school and take on the role as an educational leader. I thought the role of teacher librarian would be a perfect fit.

As a Teacher-Librarian I have the unique opportunity to:

  • manage library services while working closely with students in a variety of capacities
  • implement technologies in our learning areas and be proficient in those technologies in an instructional environment
  • plan collaboratively to enable students to explore and answer questions, connect with each other and the world (create instead of consume)
  • encourage a love of reading and support the development of reading literacy skills
  • become an instructional leader

The role of the TL supports the and is evolving to embody the ideas explored this week in the course readings about the pedagogy of abundance, the theory of connectivism, rhizomatic learning, and the evolution of 21st-century social media literacies.

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Networked Teacher by Alec Couros

A Pedagogy of Abundance

As I am new in this role and open to change as a person, I think the pedagogy of abundance is a very positive shift in our education system; however, I know many TLs are finding this shift very challenging and troublesome. The pedagogy of abundance breaks down the four walls of the classroom AND the library. The library is evolving from a place where you go only to consume information to a place where you can also create information. TLs are no longer the keepers of information, but rather engage with teachers and students in resource based learning, problem based learning, and inquiry projects. While engaging in learning, students are encouraged to develop and modeled information processing abilities while sifting through excessive abundance of information. The ultimate goal is for students to develop multiple literacies, and teach students how to use technology to find information and with the information the ability extract and synthesize it to formulate new meaning.

Theory of Connectivism and Rhizomatic Learning

As students are engaging in learning through an abundance of information, they should also be making connections and collaborating. This is important because not only do we learn inside ourselves, but also outside ourselves. Allowing students to participate in rhizomatic learning and personal learning networks, such as we are in this course creates an authentic experience that is adaptable to personal contexts. Connections and learning takes place in a variety of communities both online and offline, such as blogs, cooperative learning groups, Twitter, conferences, etc. One of the most important things to remember when thinking about connectivism is the tools themselves are not as important as the connections made possible by them. By collaborating, creating, and sharing, we are allowing our students to be successful as a 21st century learner.

“Formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning. Learning now occurs in a variety of ways – through communities of practice, personal networks, and through completion of work-related tasks.” Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age by George Siemens

21st-Century Social Media Literacies

As I stated above, the 21st century learner, teacher, and school is more than tools and technologies. Essentially, we are modelling and teaching students digital skills and multiple literacies. Howard Rheingold describes the social media literacies as attention, precipitation, collaboration, network awareness, and critical consumption. These five literacies are interconnected and when fluent in the literacies, students and teachers, are able to interact with the abundance of information and be connected in their learning communities.

I am so glad I took a step out of my comfort zone this year and became a teacher librarian. Although the role has been challenging and demanding at times, I believe it is a key proponent in transforming education to meet the needs of the 21st century learner.

Go with the flow…

 

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Photo Credit: Bekathwia via Compfight cc

I am so excited to start my prenatal yoga journey this week! This past week I took some time to plan out how I am going to tackle this project and set some realistic goals for myself. Pregnancy has really taken a toll on my body and can’t even begin to explain all the changes I have been experiencing, but a few stand out and I am hoping this journey will help me through the last 13 weeks of pregnancy!

Where am I now?

preassessment

One of the major changes I am experiencing is lousy sleeps. I have been more tired than usual being pregnant, yet I have not been able to get a good night’s sleep. Before expecting, I would get a solid 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I am not sure if not sleeping is part of the “baby training” you experience before giving birth, but I am hoping my yoga practice will help me regain my pre-baby sleeping habits and allow me to wake up feeling rested.

Another change I am experiencing is lower back and hip pain. I often wake up in the middle of the night with a throbbing pain in my hips. I am hoping with increased flexibility and strength I will be able to combat this pain (and maybe this will help my sleep problem as well!). I believe that my lower back pain is spurred on because of the extra weight I am carrying my mid-section and because I have remained active throughout my pregnancy. I am trying to stay in the routine of going to the gym, but with my changing body, maybe I am putting extra stress on my body and I need to pay more attention to the stretching and flexibility aspect, which is something I tend to leave out.

The last two categories of my pre-assessment deal with mindfulness and anxiety. I am someone that tends to go, go, go and I have a hard time saying no. I also put the needs of others before myself. I think by taking this time each week for me and to connect with Baby Boutilier will bring me mindfulness and prepare me for childbirth. I am going to take a class once per week at Bodhi Tree Yoga, the instructor there is not only a yoga instructor, but also a doula. It is my hope that through this class I will not only benefit physically, but also mentally and spiritually.

What is my plan of attack and how am I going to document my learning process?

I am hoping, should my body allow it, to participate in yoga 3 times/week. Two of the three times will be at home using open online sources (see below for a detailed list of sources) and one of the three times will be a local face-to-face class at Bodhi Tree Yoga.

On top of my practice, I will be posting my progress and sharing things that help me on my journey on my Instagram and twitter account. The hashtag I will be using to document my progress is #babybootsyoga.

I will also be posting weekly vlogs of my progress on my blog where I describe my successes, victories, challenges, and fails.

What sources am I going to use?