Tech Task #10: Everything is a Remix

Photo Credit: vasyasvl via Compfight cc

    This series “Everything is a Remix” Parts (1),(2),(3),(4) was very captivating and interesting to listen to. It was great to see someone take the stance that creativity is just the progression of different ideas already established. In part 2 of the series, the author had even stated “creativity requires influence”. It was very interesting to see how new and popular films and music had either directly used a portion of already created material or remixes of such material. In part 2, it had even given the statistic that 78/100 of today’s top selling film productions were knockoffs of already created films. The reason I found this series so interesting and relevant is because it had emphasized that some of the best inventions, songs, films, and ideas are knockoffs or remixes of already existing material. This really challenges the concept of plagiarism and copyright. While the series was not encouraging plagiarism, it was challenging the idea that there is no such thing as a completely unique idea. Another of the interesting comments the author of the series made was that “copying is how we learn”. He emphasized the point by providing the idea of taking notes- you copy your notes and study them until you’re educated and comfortable enough to go off and make your own valid statements about the topics. The creator of the series had also stated if he had tried to create this series 10 years ago he would have failed… but because of the work other people have done, he had the resources to use and create this series. One of the main points of the videos I liked was that it brought a new viewpoint towards creativity. The 3 elements of creativity that the series had stated was copy, transform, and combine. With this, it shows that to implement creativity, you first have to use and transform others’ previous work. This whole concept brings forth the question about copyright… is it really their unique idea that wasn’t also copied off others? and isn’t it best when collaboration takes places where ideas can be transformed to be better and suit our needs more completely? Some interesting things to think about…

Tech Task #9: Youtube- more than just Cat videos

Photo Credit: Viktor Hertz via Compfight cc

Youtube is well known for being the best place to watch hilarious cat videos that will instantly make you smile. Although this is one of the reasons I love it, it is just one of the many. I probably use it half the time for entertainment purposes and half the time for educational purposes. Youtube has statistics many companies would dream for: having 24 hours of video time every minute, 2 billion views per day, and that Google had purchased Youtube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. With these kind of numbers backing it up, its not hard to believe how useful of a resource this could be for teachers. Probably half of all my lesson plans contain Youtube clips that help students learn the concepts in a different way. I’ve used it teaching microscopes, decimals/percents, and as brain breaks.

Not only are they great for getting concepts across for younger students, I still use Youtube in University today to understand some of the difficult chemistry topics. There is many professors who post videos explaining almost every topic . These are nice because you are able to pause the video and learn at a slower pace if needed. Although you have to keep in mind, some of the content of videos isn’t monitored and therefore may not be 100% accurate, if you look at the number of views (higher views=usually more reliable) and take everything with a grain of salt it can be used as a strong resource. One of the best channels, which I have used in both high school and university, is the Khan Academy. Khan academy is a non-profit organization that provides free education for over 50 subjects; furthermore, the founder Salman Khan is a graduate MIT and Harvard Business School and has even talked on TED talks. All of the Khan Academy’s videos are posted on Youtube and my first choice of resource for then I need help understanding things.

Although Youtube, as a resource, risks validity, the benefits of using it in the classroom much outweigh this small risk. So long as teachers are watching the video before they play it for the class, that risk is lessened. Giving students the opportunity to see and visualize things they normally wouldn’t have been able to see is a great benefit to using Youtube in the classroom. There are tons of lists on Google about how teachers can use Youtube in their classroom which only further proves how useful it is. I would even argue it is a better resource for learning than Twitter is… :O

Quizlet- Tech Task #8

Quizlet– An online program that helps teach vocabulary in a more interactive way!

What this program offers is step-directed ways of learning vocabulary. The steps that it includes is online flashcards, learn (a section that helps practice the meaning and the word), speller (an auditory spelling test of the vocabulary words), a practice test (including written questions, multiple choice, matching, and true/false), scatter (a page that has the definitions and words that you drag and connect to its partner), and a race (this lets the definitions scroll by on the screen in which you are supposed to text the vocabulary word before it disappears). Something really cool about the race game is that if you get it wrong it makes you copy out the answers twice for you to learn from the mistake.

This program has sets of words and categories already made, or, you can create your own for your class to use or for your own purposes.

This is a free-program that allows students to have different platforms for learning and practicing. You can choose to include images for extra support as well.

Home page:                                                                                    Flashcards:

Home page    flashcards

Test:                                                                                   Scatter:

quizlet3  scatter

Race:

race

Overall: I would definitely use this in my classroom when I’m teaching my students the foundational chemistry vocabulary. This is a much better approach then having them simply memorize the vocabulary. This tool is much more interactive and interesting then more traditional methods of teaching definitions. Students are able to learn at their own pace and with their preferred approach to learning, whether that be the race, spelling test, or scatter, they are still getting the same information taught to them as everyone else.

Codeacademy (Tech Task #5)

The tech task this week was revolving around coding in computers. The two options given were scratch.com or codeacademy.com. I had tried an hour with scratch.com and was got no where. I had thought I had made a fairly acceptable game (dressing a polar bear in different costumes), but one I tested it….It didn’t work…at all. So after this I decided it was time to “scratch” the scratch.com idea. Once I had started codeacademy.com I was feeling a little bit better with this tech task. Codeacademy was very close to the code class I had taken in high school.

After the half hour walk-through, here is my project.

Enjoy!

 

Can Cyberbullying be Prevented? (Tech Task #3)

Cyber Bullying
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6790694167_3d2626a1df_m_d.jpg

As someone who grew up during the evolution of technology, I can see both the positive and negative consequences to the ever-growing use and growth of technology. After watching the video “The Sextortion of Amanda Todd” these consequences became even more apparent. As I am maturing past my adolescent years, I can still remember what it was like to be that age- the age where curiosity develops and the effects of actions are ignored. During the teen years, it is very hard to remember that everything we do has a reciprocal outcome. This was a lesson Amanda Todd quickly learned.

October 10, 2012 Amanda Todd’s name hit the news- this was the day this young, vibrant girl committed suicide from learning this lesson. Prior to this event, she had created a Youtube video explaining what she was going through regarding bullying, a video that has received over 8 million views. Amanda Todd was somewhat in the same generation as I was where technology was developing and everything was new and exciting. Todd had started experimenting with Youtube, after receiving a webcam, and posting videos of her singing various songs. After some time, she got sucked into BlogTV- a site where people connected with people all over the world through webcam. To progress the story, she had fallen victim to a group of people called cappers (people who trick underage girls to strip on camera then blackmail them as a result). Regretfully, Amanda Todd had flashed one of these individuals once and would forever live to deal with the consequences. The picture of Amanda Todd was spread everywhere, even claiming its own Facebook page. The amount of bullying, both occurring online as well as at school, was what pushed Todd to the absolute edge where the only way she felt she could get out was by taking her own life. While Amanda Todd’s video and suicide had brought further attention to the severe situations of bullying, many teens and young adults face this on an everyday basis. One regretful decision of flashing the camera will forever haunt Amanda Todd, as she soon learnt that after something is put up on the internet, it very rarely goes away.

After viewing this documentary, I was left feeling angered and upset. I was angry because it is very maddening to hear about individuals whose sole purpose online is to sexually blackmail young teens. The chaos caused by these people will usually forever stay with their victims as they deal with the aftermath. I was also upset because, due to the newness of technology, police are struggling to be able to catch these people. I would never doubt the hard work police men and women do, but I feel like these acts of bullying get under-prioritized compared to physical bullying- when in fact Cyberbullying is often “more devastating and long-lasting“.

So, how are police and people supposed to prevent something they don’t fully understand? As a teacher, it becomes obvious the importance of teaching students about their online identity and the consequences that come with it. It is important as a teacher to both show the benefits and opportunities technology can present, but with this lesson should follow a lesson about the aftermath of such technology. It is often suggested that to stop cyberbulling, the individuals should just logout and stop using the form of technology that they are being bullied with- this I find a very naive idea. Instead, with education these kind of situations can be prevented from even occurring in the first place. It is also important to establish a safe and kind environment for all students in the school so there will be less desire to spread hateful messages and cause harm.

As a future teacher, I feel even more motivated to make a difference in my students’ lives. With education and a safe, welcoming environment I am hoping to equip my students with the knowledge on how to avoid cyberbulling and stop it from happening within my group of students. Cyberbulling is a serious problem in today’s generation, and with every problem there is a group of people working to make things better- I aspire to be one of these people.

Here is a list of sites that can help you, if you or someone you know, is being cyberbullied:

1. Internet safety

2. Cyberbully help

3. STOP Cyberbullying

4. Ryan’s Story– another victim of Cyberbullying

Is OpenStudy open to student learning? (Tech Task #2)

Studying book
Photo Credit: fanz via Compfight cc

As a student, you might not always have a teacher or peer around to be able to ask questions. While looking through the list of 50 Educational Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About, I was intrigued by OpenStudy. I had never heard about OpenStudy before looking on this list and was quite interested to find out what it was. The site describes itself by being an open community for students/learners to ask each other questions as well as help answer other members questions. OpenStudy is a free site that either makes you make your own account using an email, or to sign in using Facebook. OpenStudy states it has over 1 million students in over 160 countries with 190 study groups. When I investigated further, I had understood that it is broken up into categories or “study group” such as mathematics or chemistry, and after entering a group you were able to either post your own question or answer someone else’s. I wanted to experiment with the site a little and so I posted one question (which was answered in 2 hours) and then answered one. This would be a really great resource for students who were feeling absolutely strained and couldn’t ask a better source. It does help that the subjects are divided into groups but you don’t know how reliable and true of an answer you are getting. With this being its downfall, I do however really like the idea of group learning. It is a positive thing to see a site that is completely centered around group learning- and also a site that shows student initiative to their own learning. I don’t know if I would actually use this in my classroom, but I would show it to my students so they could use it when they wanted to. However, I would use it for my own learning if I had a question during the weekend and couldn’t figure it out another way.

Here is a video that also shows what the site is about.

After more research, some more helpful resources include:

1. LessonCast– a free website that offers creative ideas for lesson plans submitted by teachers around the world

2. Glogster Edu– a free site that enables student/teacher learning blogs

3. Storybird– a great site that allows the user to create picture stories

4. Flashcard Machine- a site that enables the teacher to make online flashcards for the students

5. Edmodo– a teacher/student version of Facebook that allows the teacher to send reminders, post assignments, etc.

About Me

Hello! I’m Taylor Hardy and I am a second year education student at the University of Regina. I came to Regina after graduating from my small town school in Naicam. I come from a very loving, crazy family which includes 2 great parents and a younger brother and younger sister (both of which are taller than me and don’t let me forget it). I enjoy reading, sports, all types of games, and spending time with family and friends.

Every since I was in Grade 3 I knew wanted to be a teacher; however, it wasn’t until my Grade 12 year I made the decision to major in Chemistry and minor in Inclusive Ed. A common question that I get asked, usually with a confused look, is why I chose Chemistry- the reason is I have always enjoyed math and science and Chemistry was the perfect combination of the two. After having a great high school Chemistry teacher I decided I wanted to make Chemistry not such a scary subject for students- I want to make it fun and leave my students asking more questions and wanting to find answers. The reason I chose my Inclusive Ed minor is because I truly believe everyone can learn and no one should be left out just because of their differences. Inclusive Ed involves classes about differentiated instruction and methods to teach all types of learners. I believe with the right accommodations and adaptations every student can learn. I have the belief that education is so significant towards the people we become. I am a strong believer that everyone should have access to education no matter their ability, culture, language, etc. My motivation to teach is because I love to help and inspire others to take initiative in their own lives to pursue the things they are interested in: there is never a hopeless situation!

My experience with technology has been somewhat positive. I’ve been the type of person to follow the trends (sometimes regretfully- as some are just silly) but I’ve understood mainly only the basics. While I do have knowledge with Twitter, wordpress is new to me. Therefore, my recent frustrating experience with technology would be last Friday when I had tried to set up my blog for another class (I should have just waited until Monday for the tutorial). Although it wasn’t as tricky as I had thought, it had taken me almost all afternoon to set my theme and a few pages. Now, it seems quite simple and straight forward.

Technology in the classroom… a somewhat scary thought for me. Although I’m fully on board for computers and controlled technology in the classroom, it is intimidating for me to believe my students having their cellphones would be positive. I can see cellphones as very distracting devices, although they can be used to access information. If I was able to see BYOB in action, and be mostly be positive, I would probably warm up to the idea more. I am open to change, if given proper instruction and knowledge about the topic. I am very interested in what I will learn in this class as well as how I can bring this information into the classroom.