Google Classroom it is!

On Tuesday evening, we learned about CMS/LMS/VLE platforms. At first, I felt overwhelmed with the variety of platforms we covered during class and in such a short period of time, simply because before Tuesday I had never heard of Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle or Edmodo let alone used any of these online platforms before. As a primary teacher, incorporating technology into my classroom to assist with my everyday teaching can be a difficult process. Therefore, when integrating technology into the classroom I try to find programs that both my students and I will be able to utilize, whether together in the classroom or independently at home.

In choosing the online platform for our course prototype project, Jayme-Lee, Andres and I decided to explore a platform that we could see ourselves using within our own classrooms and to support student learning. Therefore, we decided to work with Google Classroom for our course prototype project. All three of us have not worked with Google Classroom before, so we were eager to discover what this platform has to offer. Today, my group and I were fortunate enough to meet with a colleague of ours who uses Google Classroom regularly with his students and was able to provide us with a detailed tutorial. While navigating through Google Classroom, we learned how to create an account, create assignments/documents as well as how to invite teachers and students to join the site. Teachers and students can be invited to join simply by entering their email address. Moreover, we were able to discover that this online platform has many valuable features and is very user friendly for both teachers and students.

Google Classroom is an online sharing tool where teachers, students and parents may have access to view/upload videos and assignments in the form of Google documents and PDF’s. Furthermore, teachers, students and parents can also view due dates for created assignments which encourages student accountability. Google Classroom is a great tool for immediate assessment, allowing teachers to edit student work and to provide feedback. Google Classroom can be accessed from a variety of devices such as computers, tablets and mobile phones. For students who have access to mobile phones, they can even receive alerts notifying them that their assignments have been edited by their teacher. Google Classroom also provides a calendar to organize deadlines and has an attractive yet simple layout.

Although it is still early within the semester, my group and I will continue to explore Google Classroom to see if this platform will complement our course prototype project. At this time, we intend to create and upload our modules, activities and evaluation tools onto our Google Classroom site. By each having access to our Google Classroom, we will be able to collaborate ideas and share documents which we will all have access for viewing.

After reading “Beyond LMS”, a post by Audrey Watters, it became clear to me that LMS has many advantages beyond the classroom. With technology advancing every day, it only makes sense that students gain access to information and their studies beyond the classroom and textbooks. Watters states,

“Ed-tech must be not become an extraction effort, and it increasingly is. The future, I think we’ll find, will be a reclamation project. Ed-tech must not be about building digital walls around students and content and courses. We have, thanks to the Web, an opportunity to build connections, build networks, not walls”. 

Therefore, if we create an environment where our students have access to their studies outside of the classroom, perhaps we can encourage students to be independent learners and to help them realize that technology can be beneficial to their education.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Prototype project for blended learning, take one!

First off, I would like to start of my post for this week by saying it is great to be back online and taking another course with all of you fine folks! I have had the opportunity to read through many of your posts and have to say, I am feeling very inspired! Many of you seem to have some wonderful ideas for your prototype projects and all this motivation is encouraging! I am very eager to learn from all of you and look forward to everyone’s final products.

As for me, I am extremely fortunate to get to work alongside with Jayme-Lee Lazorko and Andres Araneda once again! Not only are they both amazing teachers, but they are also my co-workers. Together, we teach at Elsie Mironuck School. This has allowed us to stay in close touch with one another and collaborating ideas about our prototype project has been a simple process. This semester, we have been asked by Alec and Katia to create a course prototype which should entail specific lessons, activities and assessments. Jayme-Lee, Andres and I have decided to focus our prototype project around Blended Learning. Together, we appreciate how blended learning offers a combined learning experience, specifically a balance between teacher lead hands on interactive activities with digital based instruction. Moreover, we respect blended learning for offering students an equal learning experience, despite geographical location or socio-economic status. These are factors that we agreed are important and would like to see within our course prototype project. We have also chosen to focus our material at the middle year’s level. Although the specifics about our course prototype are not yet set in stone, we decided to focus our project around the English Language Arts curriculum. Seeing that technology plays such an important role within this subject area, we agreed that creating both interactive and digital lessons and activities would contribute to generating a fluent and dynamic learning experience for our students.

As for the tools we intend to use for our prototype project, we discussed using the following programs: Kahoot, Google Docs, Read & Write for Google, as well as WordPress. We chose these tools based on the activities we would like to see performed within our course prototype but also because using these tools allows us to track our students progress as well as assist them in their learning. We also chose these programs because they offer the ability to receive instant feedback for both teachers and students. Furthermore, parents have access to see what their children are learning/doing in school. My group and I are open to any suggestions you may have about any online programs you have used and found to be helpful within this subject area, so please share your ideas with us!

At this point in time, we have not thought a lot about the tools we intend to use in order to assess student learning. However, it is still very early within the semester and we welcome any ideas you may have to offer! What type of assessment tools would you use for the online portion of our prototype project? Please comment below and thank you!

Let the learning begin in EC&I 834!

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Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Roxanne Leung, I am a Grade 3/4 English teacher at Elsie Mironuck School. Before teaching Grade 3/4, I taught Core French among many other subjects for six years. Although I enjoyed teaching the French language and culture, I was ready for a new experience and gladly accepted a classroom position at the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year. I truly enjoy having my own classroom as it offers a different kind of experience, allowing me to create closer relationships with my students as well as establish routines. Aside from my profession, I am also a wife, daughter, sister, and soon to be mother. My husband and I are expecting our first child in April, 2017. We are beyond excited and simply cannot wait to meet the newest addition to our family!

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This is my seventh master’s class and third EdTech course with Alec and Katia. I really enjoy taking online classes with Alec and Katia as these classes allow me to balance work, school as well as my personal life. Furthermore, I am able to learn in the comfort of my home yet remain connected to so many wonderful individuals, some within my current profession and others that offer new experiences/perspectives in regards to education. I have to admit, when I first began taking online courses I was beyond nervous and extremely self-conscious as I did not (and still do not) consider myself to be too technologically-savvy. However, with help from Alec, Katia, and my classmates, I have grown both technologically and professionally. Technology is used often within my everyday life and I am learning how to use it for educational purposes in order to expand my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and find helpful resources which I can use to assist in my teaching. You could say, before I only used technology for entertainment purposes but now I truly see how crucial technology and the internet is when it comes to finding useful tools that offer different learning experiences that are beneficial to both my-self and my students.

Throughout this course, I hope to learn many things in regards to both blended (face-to-face) and online learning as well as effective assessment/evaluation strategies to follow. For this course, I have set three goals for learning. First, I would like to explore new teaching resources and programs that can be incorporated into my classroom to assist within my day to day teaching, specifically at the primary level. Second, I’d like to become more active with my twitter account as well as participate in more Twitter Chats, as I have had the opportunity to participate in two and found them to be extremely engaging and useful! Lastly, I would like to gain new ideas about how I can create and present my summary of learning project. Within past classes, I have used a program called Animoto that displayed my learning in the form of a slide show with a voice recording. I have also created a Podcast in the form of an interview conversation. Both of these tools were quite simple to use as well as an enjoyable way to display my learning. However, I would like to try something new this semester so if any of you have any ideas for user friendly programs, please let me know. I’d love to hear any ideas you may have to offer!

I am really looking forward to this semester! I am excited for all us to grow both professionally and technologically together. With that being said, let the learning begin! Thanks for stopping by everyone!