Saturday, January 27, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #3

In the past (and, for that matter, the present), I've used Word for all research papers I've been required to write. There was a time when Word was the only application I knew how to use. Since then, I've acquired skills in Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher. I have different "faves" for different tasks, but the one I use most often is probably Publisher. 

In any case, as a student, I've used Word for papers. I've seen professors use Word for many things, from the class syllabus to class calendars. Frankly, I'm not a fan of Word when I need to incorporate graphics (I prefer Publisher or PPT for those tasks). Word tends to get persnickety about adding images and sometimes blocks me from doing what I want to do with graphics. It also gives me a hard time with fonts I want to use as images. For that reason, I've learned to use programs that are much more graphic-friendly, such as the ones I've already mentioned. 

The issues of copyright are interesting to discuss and reflect upon. As a TPT Seller and creator, I'm very familiar with copyright issues and with incorporating attributions somewhere in my work. Most Sellers I buy clipart from have some TOU (terms of use) that require anything from simply stating that you used clipart from that Seller to incorporating the Seller's actual logo in my work. Now, some Sellers like to request that people incorporate a link to their store on top of that, but that isn't something that can be legally enforced. 

Furthermore, this blog itself was designed by me but I couldn't have done it without using graphics, clipart, and fonts from another TPT Seller. I actually obtained her permission to use her clipart in my banner at the top of this page and she didn't really care about attribution (probably because my blog doesn't get even the traffic her blog gets). 

Implementation issues - So, one of the biggest issues I see that need attention are: 
  • Cyberbullying - In the classroom, I can prevent this by making sure to have a relationship of some sort with all my students at least to the point where they'd feel comfortable letting me know they're being cyberbullied right in my classroom AS I'm teaching lessons. 
  • Student Privacy - Since I don't plan to teach K-12, I won't need to have much interaction with parents (ever...), so the best thing I can do is obtain permission from my students to post/share things they send to me. I can also make it a requirement that they use applications such as Twitter or join the class FB page to ensure that anything they post is material THEY want posted and not just something I've decided to share. 
  • Piracy - I can help my students make sure their laptops and other devices are only used on secured networks when students are in my "care." 
I do feel like some of these implementation strategies don't necessarily apply to the students I will be teaching, since I plan to teach in the realm of higher education (meaning, mostly adults or at least students over the age of 18). I think this changes a lot of things, but I'm imagining myself as a K-12 educator when answering these questions. 

Posts I commented on from Week 2: Gabrielle's and Jessica's

Monday, January 22, 2018

EME2040 - Twitter (Part 1)

For part 1 of this assignment, we're to share our Twitter handle with the class.

On Twitter, I am: @lessons_pajamas
Find me here ---->>>

EME2040 Blog Post #2

This week, I began reading in our textbook (Teaching and Learning With Technology) and must write a response to our blog post prompts.

A) I would say teachers are influenced to use technology because a) it streamlines everything into easier platforms and b) it's what students are used to using. Teachers have the ability to use technology for everything from administrative tasks and lesson planning to actually implementing the lessons and interacting with students. Students are influenced to use technology because it's what they are used to using in their "off" time. When not in school, many students can be found playing games and communicating with friends through their cell phones and/or iPads and/or computers. It's practically a given. Because of this, students are more drawn to lessons and activities that involve technology. According to the text, teachers use technology for admin tasks, presenting lessons, prepping lessons, communicating, and teaching. Students use technology for participating in lessons, communicating, and learning.

B) ISTE Standards - So, one standard that is meaningful to me is:

Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
This standard essentially says that educators can use technology to create an atmosphere where students will take ownership of their learning, whether in a group or on their own. I like this one because I feel it's very true! I've personally seen it in my homeschooled kids and in the kids I tutor in person. Through the use of technology, students are able to take something they're familiar with (say, their iPad) and use it to learn more about something they want to know. The only downside to this is that technology changes or "crashes" and if students are only used to relying on technology for their learning, they're relying on something they have no control over.

A standard that seems outside of my skillset:
Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
If I'm being honest, I'd say almost ALL of the standards for "Educators as Designers" are outside of my skillset. At least, if we're talking about creating interactive multimedia activities. I'm very skilled with Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Publisher), but even within these, I know there are many things I don't know how to do - such as creating interactive games/activities that are iPad-friendly. I wish I knew how to do this stuff, but I don't and don't really have time to learn it, so I end up relying on those who do to create materials I need.

C) To be a "digital native" means to be someone who was not only at the beginning of the digital age but also someone who practically knows no life outside of digital technologies. Digital immigrants, on the other hand, are those who try to learn and understand things from the perspective of the natives. This is a perfect description for teachers and most adults because we're stepping into the world of students and want to make lessons and learning relevant to them. To do so, we need to familiarize ourselves with things the "natives" already know. We're "immigrants" into their worlds.

I do agree with these terms. As a college student, I'm a digital native. However, as a homeschooling educator, mom, and adult, I'm a digital immigrant. (I guess it just depends on who I'm compared to...) I've definitely seen differences in how I use technology and how the digital immigrants in my life use technology. Most of my observations come from watching adults who don't have teenagers to guide them in using some aspects of technology (I have 4 teens who clue me in!). I'm not going to be teaching K-12, but there's a good possiblity I'll be teaching at the university level (that's if I go into teaching at all). That said, I'm SURE students will have a leg up on me and that I'll suddenly become a major digital immigrant in their world! 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

EME2040 Blog post (Week 1 & Learning Styles Quiz results)

This semester (Spring 2018) is my LAAAAAST semester of undergrad. Finally! Finally, finally, finally...I will hold that Bachelor's degree in my sweet hands (actually, it'll hang on the wall or counter). I'm currently finishing up coursework for my Bachelor's in Social Sciences with a primary concentration in Sociology and a secondary concentration in Public Administration. That's a mouthful that basically means...a degree in Sociology and Public Administration. From there, I hope to enter UCF's English MA program and eventually be a candidate for their Ph.D. in English Rhetoric and Composition. The ultimate goal is to become a college professor teaching English and literature.

My prior experiences with technology include Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PPT, Publisher, to be exact) and online blog-building platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress. As a writer and copy editor, I work on the computer all day. Part of my job involves blogging for a few clients, so this is pretty second nature to me! I am familiar with Wordpress and see its benefits, but I also prefer the Google integration of Blogger.

I hope to learn how to better put to use technology in the classroom. While I have no intentions on teaching in the K-12 sector, I know that institutes of higher education can benefit from technology as well. For instance, this class is delivered asynchronously (100% online), which means I'd better have a clue about how to use the computer. I'm honestly not sure why FSU requires I take this class given that I've taken umpteen classes online, but it's a grad requirement so here I am! I hope to learn something new in this class...something I didn't already know. While I may not learn how to use technology, I hope to learn how to integrate it according to best practices in the realm of higher education.

As a class assignment, I was required to take a learning styles quiz, which I found very interesting. Below are the results of my quiz:

According to the information below the results, I'm definitely a visual and "sensing" learning. While I'm not sure what sensing means, it's apparently the opposite of intuitive. I can't say I'm surprised by the results; I've always referred to myself as a visual learner. I "see" things better than I "hear" them, and I definitely have a photographic memory.

All in all, a fun activity!