The Wrap-Up: What did I Learn?

Alec asked up to summarize what we did in the course and what we learned and some of the barriers to our learning, so here are my thoughts on the overall experience in ECI 831.

What projects did I do?

1.  Cupar Staff Blogsite – overall this experiment was not very successful, the staff are just not there yet, I am going to try again in the fall and maybe approach things a bit differently to try and create some more interest.

2.  Facilitated a presentation on “Technology and Kids” at Cupar School one evening.

About 25 parents showed up to view a presentation on the title above and I had Alec as one of our guest speakers.  Although we did not promote the positive as much as the negative side, parents were very happy to have had the information presented in our community that evening.  The highlite of the night was watching two of my students present their work on the construction 10 wiki and how excited they were having the opportunity to use it regularly in class.

3.  Construction 10 Wiki

This was by far the best thing I have ever done in education in a long time.  I spent a great deal of time setting up the Wiki for my construction 10 class and interacted on a weekly basis with the students in the class.  We used technology to set up safety videos, we blog, we research and write all on the wiki site.  And my students love it!  So do I!

What did I Learn?

1.  I learned some new tech skills.  How to blog, use wiki’s, use google reader, embed files, use youtube and many others.

2. Understand how social Learning Networks work within the scope of education.

3.  How to use social learning tools in a classroom setting to help support your teaching and student learning.

4.  Not to “FEAR” technology!  In fact, I learned to promote it in a positive way becoming an advocate for is OSS use in schools.

5.  I have become more literate on technology and education issues in general ie. cyberbullying

6.  Most importantly, I learned how to connect to my students in a way I had not done before, by using technology in the classroom.

What were some barriers for me?

1.  A rather large lack of prior knowledge and skills on the internet certainly played against me, I realized quite quickly that I was at a totally different learning spot than many of the other students in the class.  Although it may not appear like I learned as much as others, believe me this was a rather large learning curve for me personally.  In fact I did not even have internet at home, but I am happy to say we are going online on April 17th, my kids can’t wait, nor can I.

2.  That posed my second barrier, I could only work while at school in my office, because all the other computers are filtered and would not even open Mozilla at all, so I had to get my tech guy to open up my machine just so I could do the course.  This was a hard lesson to learn, because I had to always get to my office to work.

3.  I also coached 3 hockey teams in our community and took another masters class, this proved to be very time consuming for me.  But, doing this class online allowed me flexibility to coach, something I love to do.

4.  Finally, my motivation was to finish, as this was my last class, but I can happily say that I am officially done after Wednesday’s night class.  I will have my Masters degree complete.

Final Thoughts

I am very grateful I took this class because it forced me to work with technology and take me out of my comfort zone.  I really have learned so much and most importantly how to use technology in my classroom.  I am thankful that I took this risk and I can’t wait to continue with my journey at home on my own computer – stay tuned April 17 is just around the corner.  A big thankyou goes out to Alec Couros for being a patient, understanding and terrific teacher!  Thanks Alec!

Corey Terry

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April 8, 2008 at 10:46 pm 6 comments

My Last Post

Wow – this class seemed to just fly by.  I have to admit I really didn’t listen to well to Alec’s presentation tonight, I had a really difficult day in the office 4 parent issues, 2 rather large ones.  I arrived at 5 to 7 and couldn’t get into lumminate, so I fumbled around and it worked, and then everyone was in ustream, so I fumbled around and finally got in there and then skype would not connect for me – frustrated by this point and missed Alec’s first 15 minutes and pretty much just clowned around in the back channel – just being honest!  I am completing my masters degree this week in Ed Admin and I am very proud of my accomplishment, not bad for a kid that was expected to by in jail by age 18 – those darn teachers will right you off if your not careful.  Any how 3 university degrees later and a successful career, I have had time to slow down a bit and reflect on my accomplishments and I have done well for myself and I really didn’t have much of a start in life – education was the cornerstone to my life and my success as a person.  Never stop learning!  I don’t image too many people will way in to read this, but I sure feels good to write it, and I want to thank Alec for pulling me through a rather large learning curve with technology and yes, the internet gets hooked up at home on April 17th.  My kids can’t wait – nor can I.  Take care all – hopefully I see you around the net.

Corey Terry

April 2, 2008 at 2:06 am 5 comments

SLA – Science Leadership Academy

I enjoyed listening to Chris this evening, but I really enjoyed the back channel chat.  I am interested in knowing more about peoples thoughts on how much privacy their child should have?  As a principal I think about the privacy thing all the time, even when I am using my wiki.  One of my students posted some hockey chat sites on the class wiki, thinking I am a big hockey nut, but one of the chats was simply not school appropriate and very poor in nature.  I deleted it from the wiki and then spoke to the student about it.  The student didn’t even really read the chat, they just posted it.  Innocent enough but, what if a parent read the link?  I may be doing some explaining.  What is for certain, if you are going to use these tools you must spend time educating the students often on appropriateness.

March 26, 2008 at 2:41 am 5 comments

Responsible Digital Citizen

I finally found out what Folksonomy means, how people sort stuff out!  Tonight’s class was very real, as it got to the point of alot of questions I have about using free internet tools in education.  How information used to be organized no longer is relvelant with todays information explosion, therefore it seems sense-less to hinder people or try to filter students and teachers from learning at there own rate with free tools on line.  I guess copyright is an issue, but I think we fear it too much!  Alec wrote last night in the back channel, that we need to teach kids how to be “Responsible Digital Citizens.”  I really believe that is the way to go and hopefully things will continue to open up with free shareware online.

March 19, 2008 at 2:36 am 3 comments

Technology and Kids

Last night went very well, as each we had about 20 parents show up at the school for a presentation on technology and kids.  The first hour was spent on educating parents on the negative aspects of the internet, and the last hour was spent on the positive aspects of the internet and kids.  Our presenters were Kelly Ireland, Edtech teacher from PVSD, Alec Couros came via skype and ustream and spent a few minutes presenting to the group.  Finally, two of my students presented on some work they have done with the wiki in class.  After speaking with the parents afterward, they really enjoyed learning about all the possible pitfalls of technology and speaking with the students they really enjoyed discussing all the positive aspects of technology.  So, it was interesting to see the different perspectives of the parents and students.

March 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm 6 comments

PLE = Personal Learning Environment

Stephen laid out a very impressive piece of work outlining his PLE (Personal Learning Environment).  A rather lengthly discussion ensued in the back channel around the idea of the PLE and PLC and if groups are based more on emotion vs. networks based on cognitive?  Interesting perception, if true, one can not ignore the fact that the PLE is certainly a network not a group.  So one can certainly argue that networks reach a different perspective with others, vs. a group (PLC) being a good example is based more on emotion.

March 12, 2008 at 2:55 am 3 comments

Technology and Kids

I have been busy working to set up a cyber-safety presentation with one of our edtech teachers.  We are presenting it to our community parents on Monday March 17 @ 7 pm.  We hope many parents will come out and view the presentation, we are presenting not only some of the lessons and issues around technology, but as well, all the positive learning that can occur as well.  Stay tuned for the details of how the night goes!

March 12, 2008 at 12:31 am 7 comments

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