Final Reflection Post about EDC 601

When starting to think about writing my final refection post I
went back to my original aims for the course and read them over. The sentence
that seemed most pertinent was . . . . . . the course is giving me the
opportunity to take some time to update my knowledge about the tools available
to me as an educator. I do feel as though this course has opened up my world to
new technologies. I have completed numerous projects for the first time, for
example Pecha Kucha, Screencast, Podcast and made a collaborative Wiki. It has
also enabled me to transfer these skills to my class blog, for example I have
used Slideshare.net to upload all my PowerPoint that I use in my Wellness class
and I have put them on my blog which will make them much easier to access for
all.

The next step for me as an educator is to encourage social
networking and collaboration online within my classes. I plan to incorporate a
project idea that can encourage online comments on my blog. Revisiting my
original aims I need technology to be purposeful rather gimmicky so I want to
make sure that I can incorporate some of these technology tools in a meaningful
way in the classroom so this is why I decided to complete a teacher’s
collaborative project rather a student based one for a final project. The
collaborative Wiki is very relevant and useful to me at the moment because it
is giving a framework to our masters Action Research Project and it will allow
other teacher access to a useful resource. I definitely will use the Pecha
Kucha presentational technique and Podcast in my classroom next year and having completed them myself first it enables me to show my examples to the students.  I also really like watching other people’s Pecha Kucha presentations,
especially the ones that used it as a technique for the Open House for parents.
The presentation lends itself to a snappy, interesting and visually stylish
presentation but using images instead of words.

Another interesting element to come out of the course is my
professional blog I would like to continue to develop this with Twitter and the
reading of other professional blogs because I am interested in sports, running
and nutrition and I would relish the opportunity to improve my working
knowledge. I will also develop the blog to include my resume so that when the
time comes for recruiting to another school I can use it as an online portfolio
to include documentation.

So in summary I have learned to use and incorporate many new
technology tools and skills within my professional and teaching worlds but definitely aim to continue to develop them further. I can also reflect that I have most enjoyed working in groups with other colleagues which also goes back to my original thoughts that it is great to plan and work with other people to
implement technological projects.  It enables you to have the face-to-face time and you can also problem solve together but you also have the benefits of developing the use of cool technology to become better educators.

Action Research in Action

We have been working on our last collaborative project and we have produced a wonderful wiki for our colleagues to help them with their Masters Research Project.  We created pages for each 0f the steps of the Action Research process: Getting Started, Finding a Research Question, Finding Related Studies, Planning a Strategy, Managing Data, and taking Action.  Then for each page we have tabs for our specific projects: Student Stress and Relaxation and Reading Strategies from Screen.  We have included text, articles, links, images, powerpoints and video.  We hope this helps our fellow classmates!!

 

 

ipad apps . . .learning in class

Today we worked with the ipads and had fun exploring all the different apps that are fun and creative to use with our classes   . . .  . . .this links into my aims for the course because I am spending time exploring the application and uses of technology within the classroom.  It is good to be the person creating the product so it helps us appreciate the steps of the process.  Here is our comic strip we created . . . .

 

Pecha Kucha: KidzYoga in Schools

I have completed my first Pecha Kucha . . . 10 slides in 20 seconds . . . enjoy viewing it.  It is worth practicing the script so that the timings work out ok.  I enjoyed watching everyone else’s presentations due to the diversity of topics and styles.

Screencast: How to post tables/charts in a Wiki?

I completed my first Screencast today  . . . I have to admit that this is completely new to me  . . . yes I have watched YouTube movies explaining how to do various things but making one myself is completely new.  It is long and I made a few mistakes with the steps I needed to take but I am PROUD of my achievement!  I chose a topic that has been frustrating to me  . . . how to post tables/charts on the Wiki . . . for my masters course we have to complete a post each week.  The process has many steps so I have explained the process in my Screencast.  I hope it will be useful for my fellow colleagues who complete the course next year.  Good luck!

Web 2.0 Part 3

After reading an article by Mark Prensky taken from Educause (see link below) who the founder of is the author of Digital Game-Based Learning and the founder and CEO of Games2train.  He discussed the need for the curriculum to be engaging and stimulating for the digital natives of today.  He describes different groups of students and that the types of students “that tune us out” need immediate stimulation and engagement in schools. 

His explanation is the way that students today have something in their lives that is in engaging and creative and he gives the following examples, some may download songs; some may rap, lipsync, or sing karaoke; some may play video games; some may mix songs; some may make movies; and some may do the extreme sports that are possible with twenty-first-century equipment and materials. But they all do something engaging. As 21st century teachers this gives us a constant challenge to update ourselves and provide engaging methodologies.  However, I do still believe that the personal connections that we make with students are the single most important variable in the classroom.  It can influence their level of motivation, enjoyment and ultimately understanding in the subject.

Taken from the site:

So we have to find how to present our curricula in ways that engage our students—not just to create new “lesson plans,” not even just to put the curriculum online. The BBC, for example, has been given £350 million by the British government to create a “digital curriculum.” They have concluded that almost all of it should be game-based, because if it doesn’t engage the students, that will be £350 million down the tube, and they may not get a second chance. But they are struggling in this unfamiliar world.

Sports and Hydration

Having recently completing the Camsur Marathon and also being involved coaching Middle School cross country.  I have been interested in how to train and run races in hot temperatures.  I have always been interested in competitive sports and nutrition and when the swim coach Andy Astflack passed on this information I found it interesting so I will share with you the findings from his experiment.  He did a experiment to see how much they sweated during training because everyone sweats at different rates.  They were weighed before training, then again afterwards.  We also measured how much they drank.  He was surprised how much weight they had lost during a training session.  He also found that some drank too much and put on weight which is not ideal either. Research has shown that an athlete who has lost 2% of their body weight due to fluid loss fatigues significantly faster than a person who is remains hydrated while exercising.  I like this type of action research and would like to try this with my Middle Schoolers to show them the importance of hydrating during sport.

Sport Dietitians has some great resources. 

 Click on this link to direct the students to particular fact sheets about individual sports.

From the site.  Drinking fluid during exercise is necessary to replace fluids lost in sweat. This action will reduce the risk of heat stress, maintain normal muscle function, and prevent performance decreases due to dehydration. In most cases during exercise, the rates of sweat loss are higher than the rate you can drink, so most athletes get into fluid deficit. Therefore, fluid guidelines promote drinking more fluid to reduce the deficit and potential performance detriments associated with dehydration.

However, it is also important to acknowledge that it is possible to over-drink during exercise. This highlights the importance of getting to know your sweat rate and knowing how much you should be drinking.