ECMP 355, Responses, Uncategorized

Why teach social justice

In my ECMP 355 class, we were discussing the place social justice should hold in the classroom; which is something that has become an important issue for me in the past few years.  I tend to be the one that speaks up when I see forms of oppression in my daily life or on social media Social Justice/social issues should have a prominent place in the classroom if you want to make your classroom a place where all students feel safe and accepted or if you want your students to go on and stand up/support people in their community in the future.  Our students will have been subjected to many varying opinions on these issues from Tv., the internet, friends, and family so introducing issues such as homophobia, racism, etc. must be done with compassion and mindfulness.  Having students write journal entries about how they feel about what they are learning would allow not only for the student to explore their own thoughts regarding the subject, but also allow for the teacher to check in and see where the students are at.

I believe that the most important thing regarding social justice in the classroom is that it has to be integrated; rather than it only being a one-day thing.  I plan to integrate social justice into my own classrooms by making social justice issues prevalent in my classroom and by creating a space where issues such as oppressive words can be discussed.  One way I could create this space is by including these posters

I also plan to incorporate social justice issues into my lessons.

Allen Turing lesson

Stereotypes lesson

I hope that by not shying away from social justice issues in my classroom, and by approaching them with consideration and awareness of my students; that I can set them on the path to understanding their own opinions thoughts and biases related to these issues and create more mindful and engaged citizens.

ECMP 355, Responses, Uncategorized

Starting from scratch

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For my ECMP 355 class we were challenged with using Scratch; a coding site designed to teach students basic coding skills. At first I found this very difficult as I have never coded before and kept restarting the project. As a visual learner it was difficult for me to use with just the written instructions I found on the site so I ventured to YouTube where I found this video. Once using this video I was able to complete this project in a way I was happy with.

I believe that Scratch can be a great tool to teach students how to code if students are given the resources they need to use the website.  Coding is important for students in today’s world because as we’re becoming more technology centered more jobs are requiring the knowledge of coding.  Code is another language that is becoming more and more  necessary to communicate as a digital citizen.  Here is my project; let me know what you think!

ECMP 355, Responses, Uncategorized

The Delivery

For my ECMP 355 class we were challenged to create a five card flickr story to demonstrate our use of digital storytelling. Mine is titled The Delivery.

Five Card Story: The Delivery

a Five Card Flickr story created by Lexi Milligan

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by bionicteaching

One gray and dreary day Lucia was told by her mother to deliver a cake to their new neighbor the elderly Mrs. Stueck. Now Lucia was not normally a fearful child but there was something about that house that unnerved her. Not wanting to disobey her mother she set off to complete the task at hand…that is until she reached the gate. You see; the gate was old, grey, and run down; something Lucia knew was a sure sign of a haunted house. Her nerves getting the best of her she decided it would be best to try the back door, but to reach the back door Lucia had to go through the deserted alley and past many cold metal fences. As she was just about to knock on the door Lucia heard something creeping down the alley, and with the cake still in hand ran from the horrifying creature that must have been chasing her. Out of breath and exhausted Lucia reaches the park just down the street and collapses onto the bench next to the tree, and eats the cake. For it’s tiring work trying to deliver a cake.

ECMP 355, Responses

Ed Tech and today’s parents

Recently I read this blog post about how teachers/schools can use technology to increase parent engagement.  I found this useful because in my own school experience parental involvement was minimal right from elementary school.  It was 2000 and at the very beginning of the push for schools to go paperless which is great; what wasn’t so great was that the tech hadn’t really caught up and many homes didn’t have computers quite yet.  Rather than finding other ways to communicate with parents they relied on having students writing notes about school events in their agendas and hoping parents remembered to check them.  The article goes over 5 tech that can be used to connect with parents including social network accounts, iTunes U, Remind HQ, Seesaw, and Blippar.

I use remind HQ currently to get updates about #Saskedchat  and love the system.  I have known for awhile that I want to use it as a tool to remind my students of homework or just for class/school updates, as I know as a university student there have been a few times where I could’ve used a reminder about assignments, room switches, or even if a class is cancelled.  I also love that it is a safe and secure system with no students receiving your number and that students can get the reminders as texts to their phones. The idea of using remind for parents is one I had never thought of before but would be great when needing parent signatures, snow days, and big homework assignments, and would allow parents a glimpse into their child’s school life.

I also like the idea of a class social network account, and would probably go with a class blog and Twitter account.  I like the idea of parents getting to see what their child is working on in real time. And as a student at Globe Theatre School seeing snippets of our classes on their youtube channel was always really exciting.

Posting short videos like this of drama students rehearsing a scene or English students giving a presentation would both be beneficial for students who could watch their rehearsal back and learn from it and to parents who can see their child’s learning in progress. A class blog would also allow parents to come to you with any questions or concerns they may have about the lessons rather than hearing something from their child.

The other three I can’t quite see myself using in my classroom as I think that too much tech may overwhelm parents who do not have as much experience in using technology. iTunes U, Seesaw, and Blippar are also less common and thus there would be more of a learning curve for both teacher and parents.

ECMP 355, Responses

Digital citizenship in the high school classroom

The Ministry of Education here in Saskatchewan is making digital citizenship a mandatory part of our curriculum as per the digital citizenship continuum; using both the continuum and the Saskatchewan curriculum I was able to create some lessons to teach in a grade eleven English classroom.

Lesson 1 

Outcomes and indicators

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Connection to the continuum:

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I would use this lesson at the very beginning of a class; as it sets the tone for use of technology in the classroom.  For this lesson I would begin by explaining what terms of service are and where they can be found; then moving into a class discussion as to why these may be important.  I would then have students go online and find a terms of service page and write a journal entry/blog post about what they found/why certain points may be in the terms of service.  The next day I would work with the class to create a terms of service/responsible use policy for use of technology in the classroom.  This policy would then be displayed in the classroom and sent home to parents, and be a guide for students as to responsible digital citizenship.

Lesson 2

Outcomes and indicators


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Connections to the curriculum

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For this lesson I would have students in groups of two or three research one of the following topics in regards to online activity/digital citizenship (piracy, gambling, shopping, online fundraising, digital currency) and create a powerpoint based on the information found.  After they present to the class each student would write a blog post/journal article looking deeper into one of the topics that interested them.

ECMP 355, Responses

Does Twitter belong in schools?

The following conversation has been written in two parts to examine potential perspectives on a classroom Twitter account. Madison Osterhout has taken on the role of a questioning or concerned parent, and I have written the response as a teacher, to advocate for the use of Twitter.

It is important to recognize that not all parents or staff may be ‘on board’ with the use of Twitter in schools, at least not initially. As with any tool or pedagogical technique, we as educators must thoughtfully consider why we do what we do, and be able to explain our reasoning to others when necessary.

Dear Teacher,

When my daughter came home today, she told me the class will be using “a classroom Twitter account.” She’s excited, but I have reservations. Namely, how is Twitter of value to students? And why does it need to be in school? In my opinion, kids are spending far too much time on their devices nowadays. It’s all I can do to get my kids to look up from their phones when I am trying to talk to them. It just seems that social media is taking over and we’re losing something as a society. Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, and those other social media sites at all hours, filling up every spare minute of their day. And now the thought of it being a part of my daughter’s schooling, too? I just don’t understand. I send my daughter to school to learn, not to waste time online. I’m just not certain that it is a wise use of class time. I certainly respect you as an educator, and hope this letter is not taken in the wrong way, but I am hoping you can help me understand. Like all parents, I just want my daughter to receive the best education possible. 

Thank you,

A Concerned Parent 

ECMP 355, Responses

Feedley – an important resource for ed tech minded teachers

I chose to explore Feedley because I liked the clean and organized layout. I then searched the words Education, Ed tech, and Education Technology and found many education-related sources. One of my favourite sources I found through Feedley is the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning feed, as I have found the entries very useful. The best part about this source is that every month they have a “new educational web tools series” every month; describing and explaining a list of tech tools related to a specific topic; for example this months topic featured “five interesting tools to use for different educational purposes”. Feedley is a good place for new and pre-service teachers to go when wanting to integrate ed tech into their lessons, as it acts like a jumping off point by giving a wide rage of ideas and uses for the wide variety of ed tech that is out there.

edit: I had this set to post on October 18th, 2015 but it never showed.

ECMP 355, Responses

The balance of teaching digital citizenship

I watched the documentary The Sextortion of Amanda Todd found it extremely eye opening, as I didn’t know the whole story behind her suicide; the extent the extortion had gone to. If you don’t know the story already Amanda Todd was a young girl who was extorted and bullied into committing suicide after pictures of her flashing were released online and sent to people at her school; with the extorters goal being to get more pictures. This documentary really affected me; I felt a lot of anger and disappointment towards the RCMP who told her parents asking for help for their underage daughter who was being extorted that “if Amanda does not stay off the Internet and/or take steps to protect herself online there is only so much we as the police can do”(The Sextortion of Amanda Todd); this essentially teaches kids to not come forward with issues surrounding the internet as they would have to give up their online identity. I also felt both hope and sadness; hope when I did research afterwards and found that there is a person believed to be connected with Amanda’s extortion in custody (Vanmala and Lundman), and that law enforcement will take future cases more seriously, and sadness because this all came much to late to save Amanda.

Knowing that there are places on the internet where adults will gather and coldly and methodically plan the extortion of a young girl is extremely terrifying, and made me realize the importance of teaching online literacy/digital citizenship in my future classrooms. This is important because hopefully we can encourage our students to both become a part of the many inviting communities that can be found online and to alert us if they find something that they are uncomfortable with rather than trying to deal with it on their own. One thing I worry about is how to teach my students to be wary of the internet without making it seem evil, as I know in my educational experience this was not the case; our teachers didn’t know the internet very well if at all and taught us to stay away from it. This teaching method led to us finding our own way into the vast areas of the internet with no support system. It seems like a delicate balance between teaching them about how to be safe/create positive digital identities while supporting them through their exploration.

“The Sextortion of Amanda Todd.” The Fifth Estate. Prod./director, Tamar
Weinstein; prod., Rachel Houlihan. WEB. CBC, 2013.

Vanmala, Surbramaniam and Lundman, Susan. “Dutch man suspected of tormenting Amanda
Todd had 75 other victims, Facebook report says.” CBS News-Canada. CBS News-
Canada, 5 December 2014. Web. 18 October 2015.

ECMP 355, Responses

My first foray into the Twitterverse

My Twitter page says that I joined in 2011 but I don’t remember ever using it until this class. I love technology but I didn’t like Twitter’s 140 character limit on how much I could say; although now that I have the knowledge of how to insert links I enjoy it a lot more. I have began following many people related to social justice including Bill Gates, The Dalai Lama, sjechat, and Miss Representation and love how these pages open my eyes to the numerous social justice issues I want to dress in my teaching. I love Twitter’s ability to connect people; for example I tweeted about learning to knit for this class and was followed by knitting profiles that I might be able to use for my learning project. I also really enjoyed our Twitter conversation during this weeks class, and love that people from around the world were able to join in our conversation. This is why I am excited to use Twitter in the classroom, as the opportunity for connecting with different people and seeing different viewpoints is extremely valuable.

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