missmillerslearningjourney

My ideas, thoughts, and experiences

Author: msemilymiller (page 1 of 3)

Where am I now? – Final Blog

As I began these courses at the beginning of July, I thought that transitioning into this program would be easy. I have only been out of the post-secondary world for five years and felt like my classroom experience, leadership exemplars, and ability to hoop jump would guarantee smooth sailing throughout the program. I was incorrect. The platform, layout, and thoughtful guest speakers have allowed my classmates and myself to reflect on our own pedagogy, consider new ideas and perspectives, and be vulnerable to sharing the strengths and struggles that go on in our own school contexts. EDCI 515 and EDCI 568 specifically, have pushed my thinking in ways I was not expecting.

At my school, I am not only a classroom teacher, new administrator, but the technology support teacher – a role I took on from a colleague as after she left on maternity leave. Being a millennial, I have an understanding of technology and digital platforms. But as I learned throughout this month, there are many other things I need to consider in my role.

My school has a range of technologies that we are working with – iPads, Chromebooks, and personal devices of students as they bring them from home. We have had staff and classroom conversations about how the technology is to be used, however, I think going forward we need to be more clear and intentional with our use of technology school and district wide. Throughout the revised BC Curriculum, digital literacy has been included, however, I had no idea that there were international standards for technology integration  that we should also be referencing in order to ensure students are capable learners in the twenty first century. I hope to share this with my school staff. And to build off of that, I am planning on developing a school technology agreement with my staff. As a collective, we need to decide what our shared understandings, government and district privacy policies, creative commons, copyright, and our school expectations around technology are. We cannot continue to be willfully blind. Now that I have been directed to this information, I feel obligated to share and ensure, as educators, we are modeling safe and respectful technology for our students. As Jesse Miller says, “we cannot change the world of technology that we and our students live in, therefore, we should be focusing on building networked citizens” (personal communication, July 9, 2019)

As society is delving deeper and deeper into the world of technology, it is important to be intentional in our teaching. As Dr. Martin Weller mentioned, “we need to think critically about the resources and tools that we are going to use” (personal conversation, July 22, 2019). This means, to find the balance – not cut it out completely, but also not to champion it blindly.

One of the benefits of digital media is the ability to connect through social spaces online. Christine Younghusband explained that through the use of Twitter she has been able to make connections with educators around the world which has grown her own wealth of knowledge and understanding on different topics. Through our exploration of academic articles such as ‘Twitter Use and its Effects on Student Perception of Instructor Credibility’ by DeGroot and VanSlette, I have begun to understand the use of social media for digital scholarship. Something that I continue to struggle with though, is considering whose voices are heard through published research online. In my experience, research favours a certain demographic. I believe that in order to develop a clear and unbiased understanding of something, we need different perspectives. It becomes tricky, however, to get gain a variety of insights in digital scholarship when there are some cultures that are “still predominately based on orally shared intergenerational knowledge” (Bowers, 2018). This starts to create a gap between cultures and generations. Digital scholarship should be used to connect people, not to drive them further apart. As Dr. John Willinsky put it, “how can we use open digital scholarship to become a better educated society?” (personal communication, July 23 2019).

Another idea that has transformed my thinking over the past three weeks was when Shauneen Pete said that it is an educator’s responsibility to get informed and educated about Indigenous history (personal communication, July 16 2019). First of all, Indigenous knowledge is “not a uniform concept spread across all Indigenous peoples, it is a diverse knowledge that is spread throughout different people in many layers” (Onwu & Mosimege, 2004). It is not the responsibility of the first peoples to educate us. I have been feeling this idea inside of myself for a while now. In B.C. there is a big focus on Indigenous ways of knowing as it has been embedded in all aspects of the curriculum. Support teachers and district principles have been hired, but they are constantly being pulled in so many directions. How do we gain knowledge without putting pressure on our local communities as a result of being uncomfortable with our settler history? Through Shauneens’ sharing, I have realized that we should connect and learn through story (personal communication, July 16, 2019). That is how she communicated her masters and doctoral theses and shared her story with us. Based on her suggestions, I have added a list of books that share stories of different perspectives that I hope with confront and challenge my settler identity.

Listening to some of the guest speakers this week, have also led me to question the learning design that takes place in my classroom. Coming into this program, I have five years of teaching experience, have taught in IB schools {Level 1 Trained}, have participated in a district inquiry club, and helped to create and integrate an inquiry cycle at my school. Listening to Jeff Hopkins speak about how he has thoughtfully designed spaces, places, and people to create an environment of inquiry at his school is phenomenal. I appreciated his thoughtful prompt in his TedxTalk – “the world is changing so fast, is our learning serving a purpose in this world?” (TEDx Talks, 2014). If I think about my own classroom, I would have to say no. Students are learning what is in the curriculum in a combination of ways, but I do not think that they see a connection between what they are learning and how that applies to the world around them. I do understand that I need to consider age and stage of my students and how they are able to inquire into the world around them. I have a wide range of learners in my classroom, as most teachers do. I have readers, non-readers, English language learners, native English speakers, students with Ministry designations, some without designations, and students from a variety of home lives. Recently, I heard about this visual that helps educators to plan competencies and curriculum for a unit of student exploration. Picture an upside-down triangle split into three equal sections; in the biggest section at the top, the teacher will write what all students will understand, in the middle, the teacher will write what most students will understand, and in the smallest section at the bottom, the teacher will write with he or she wants some students to understand. This allows educators to plan for a wide variety of learners and to provide effective learning activities for all.

Trevor Mackenzies’ sharing also reminded me that I was on the right track when scaffolding my students through inquiry activities throughout the year (personal communication, July 15 2019). I am hoping that this next year, with older students, I am able to start in the guided inquiry section and move more quickly into the free inquiry portion in order to provide opportunities for my students to explore their own passions and interests – similarly to the PSII students with Jeff Hopkins.

How these understandings are shaping my research area of interest

There seems to be research about the importance of play and inquiry in the classroom for primary students; but how does that translate to intermediate students? As I transition into an intermediate classroom this year, I am hoping to take some teaching and learning strategies from primary and applying them in the middle years. Outdoor exploration and free-play are of particular interest to me. Over the past few years, I have noticed an increased number of students who are unsure and uncomfortable in nature. As I am exploring, there are many factors to consider for this, but one of them is the increased use of technology for our students.

Through the exploratory outdoor play, I am hoping to increase students’ sense of place and connection to the environment. This approach is closely linked to the First Peoples Principles of Learning. Along with the integration of effective applications, I hope to use technology to capture, record, and reflect students’ experiences in nature. Through the interconnection of these two approaches, all learning is accessible and it allows for an even playing field with shared experiences and natural differentiation. With this two-pronged approach, I hope students create a strong understanding of themselves through ‘two eyes’, as Colin Madland shared – one colonizer perspective and one indigenous perspective (personal communication, July 16 2019).

Because being outside and engaging with technology is an experiential process, I think the inclusion of multiple research methodologies would allow for a well-rounded understanding of the topic. I am looking forward to my literature review as I am wanting “to understand what has been doing before, the strengths and weaknesses or existing studies, and what they might mean” for me (Boote & Beile, 2005). The mixed methodologies approach will help to provide quantitative and qualitative data for me to analyze. Built into this approach is validity, trustworthiness, credibility, quality, and rigor (O’Cathain, 2010).  The action research approach might also be beneficial as it would allow me to move through the process of questioning, testing, gathering results, and moving forward, similarly to Dr. Simon Breakspears’ Learning Sprints. In order to enhance my understanding of students’ experience of outdoor learning, I could also engage in a phenomenological approach to gathering data. This would, rightfully so, put students at the center of the research.

As my students and I delve into the world of social media and sharing, we need to be conscious about the use of technology. My educational technology pedagogy is aligned to the SAMR model of technology integration (Hamilton, Rosenberg, & Akcaoglu, 2016).

I believe that it is important to use technology for modification and redefinition of learning activities as opposed to using it for the sake of a new and exciting app. I think it is okay to move through the different types of technology integration at different times, but we should be aiming for the top two tiers of this model. And in order for technology use to be effective, educators need to be proficient in the tools and the ecosystems in which they exist (Alec Couros, personal communication, July 8 2019). In my search for effective tools, I will need to ensure that the platforms comply with the FIPPA standards. As well, alongside teaching the use of the app, my students and I will have to explore what it means to be digitally literate in the twenty first century so they know the ‘manners’ of online communication.

What I hope to aim for with the interconnection between outdoor free-play and documentation and reflection using technology, is ensuring balance. There seems to be a focus for primary students on experiential learning and in later intermediate it seems to be on technology. How can we find a balance of both in the middle years? What should students be engaging with and for how long? I look forward to continuing to develop my understanding and adding new insights and approaches to my journey as an educational researcher.

 

Resources

Boote, D. N., & Beile, P. (2005). Scholars Before Researchers: On the Centrality of the Dissertation Literature Review in Research Preparation. Educational Researcher, 34(6), 3–15. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X034006003

Bowers, C. A. (2018). Ideological, Cultural, and Linguistic Roots of Educational Reforms to Address the Ecological Crisis: The Selected Works of C. A. (Chet) Bowers (1st ed.). https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315193403

Guskey, T. (2002). Professional Development and Teacher Change. Teachers and Teaching, 8, 381–391. https://doi.org/10.1080/135406002100000512

Hamilton, E. R., Rosenberg, J. M., & Akcaoglu, M. (2016). The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) Model: A Critical Review and Suggestions for its Use. TechTrends, 60(5), 433–441. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-016-0091-y

O’Cathain, A. (2010). Assessing the Quality of Mixed Methods Research: Toward a Comprehensive Framework. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie, SAGE Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioral Research (pp. 531–556). https://doi.org/10.4135/9781506335193.n21

Onwu, G., & Mosimege, M. (2004). Indigenous knowledge systems and science and technology education: A dialogue. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 8(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/10288457.2004.10740556

TEDx Talks. (2014). Education as if people mattered | Jeff Hopkins | TEDxVictoria. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O5PK6LsymM

EDCI 568 – Assignment #2

Overview

In 2013, educational researchers at the University of Southern Australia – Marj Fracis, Kathy Paige, and David Lloyd were interested in learning more about middle years’ students’ experiences in nature. Therefore, they decided to engage in a small scale case study. Marj was inspired by her own nature experiences in childhood and how that developed into her personal passion for environmental science. They were also influenced by the sweeping educational movement in Australia towards place-based learning (PBL) practices when teaching to help cultivate safe, positive, and healthy learning opportunities for students.

Unfortunately, they had been noticing that “increasingly, children today are becoming disconnected from the natural environments resulting in a diminished sense of self, place, and community” (Francis, Paige, & Lloyd, 2013). For a variety of reasons, students are having fewer direct experiences in natural environments, which can have negative impacts on their health, concentration, creativity, and sense of well-being.

They first started noticing during their pre-service teaching that not all students respond to learning in natural environments with positive attitudes or enthusiasm, which affects the effectiveness of the PBL approach to learning initiatives. This lack of connection and identification with the natural world around them is “likely to impact the most heavily on decisions, planning and design of human settlements which continue to place a greater strain on the ongoing natural and physical systems that enable the Earth to maintain life, challenging the sustainability of the natural world” (Francis et al., 2013). Therefore, there is a worry that if students do not develop a committed and connected relationship to nature, they will not take measures to protect from further decline in the future.

This specific case study focuses on the ways in which children play and experience natural environments during free-time activities. Its aim is to inform place and community-based learning practices that will create better nature-based opportunities for children and young people in the community It has been shown that learning is strongly connected to play and it’s important to know how students’ initial experiences are shaping their perceptions, ideas, attitudes, and concepts about nature (Francis et al., 2013). According to another researcher in the field, when children engage with natural play environments, there are seven ways in which they will direct the play: adventure, fantasy/imagination, animal allies, exploration, creation of a special place, and creation of small worlds (Sobel, 2008).

This study was conducted within a project called ‘Citizen Science: Urban Ecology Network in the School of Educational Aspirations Project [SEAP]. Participants in this case study were twenty-five year six and seven students within one classroom in a SEAP school (Francis et al., 2013). The class moved through this case study in two phases. Phase one began with a drawing activity which included a place in nature, how they used the outdoor space, who shared the experience with them, any animals or creatures also in the space, and what manmade structures (if any). In addition to the drawing there was an open ended questionnaire portion of phase one. In phase two, only a small portion (seven) of the students, were involved in focus group interviews (Francis et al., 2013).

In order to sort the qualitative data, the drawings were classified into two main categories: domesticated and wild nature settings. See examples of the difference between domesticated and wild nature settings below.

Overall, according to this small sample size, “wild nature settings were preferred as subjects for drawing and sharing experiences about nature experiences (15) over domesticated nature settings (10) – with some students expressing concern and reluctance to include domesticated nature settings when comparing their own experiences to peers” (Francis et al., 2013). The difference between the two nature settings becomes more notable when considering how students accessed nature experiences and the types of activities in which students engaged in. The majority of students accessed nature experiences as semi-structured outings or family gatherings at places of interest or for specific purposes (Francis et al., 2013). These activities were mostly directed by adults (e.g. bushwhacking, sight-seeing, exploring, fishing, camping, playing ball, etc.). This finding reveals that there is a heavy reliance on families to transport students to spaces and place where they can engage in what they value, as a nature experience. During these activities, play tended to be organized and supervised by adults. It also shows a lock of opportunities for creative and imaginative play in nature. However, this study also showed that students have an awareness and empathy towards nature; they understand the risks that the world is facing and the impact humans are having on it (e.g. concerns of animal extinction) (Francis et al., 2013).

My Story and Connection to this Topic

 For the past five years I have taught a combined grade two and three class. Recent research has noted the positive impacts of play for young learners. Therefore, I have been incorporating into my practice more and more. But I have noticed that some students have a difficult time engaging in ‘free-play’ and need frequent opportunities to practice. Each year I have also noticed that when I take students outside, there are a growing percentage who do not know how to ‘play’ outside. They are unsure how or what to play and some are disgusted by the thought of being dirty. I understand that not all students enjoy being outside, but where does that feeling or thought come from? In North Vancouver, B.C. we are extremely lucky because we are surrounded by nature all the time. We have mountains on one side and ocean on the other. Therefore, I find it difficult to comprehend why some students are not engaging with nature. And why are other students becoming disconnected with the natural environments around them? There are so many different variables that could contribute to this change in environmental identity – technology, culture, parenting styles, socio-economic status, and more.

In addition, I have noticed students more engaged in technology outside of the classroom and in the home. Information comes out at sharing time as well as trickling back into the classroom when their morning discussions revolve around a video, song, game, or app they have been engaging with. I reflect back on my childhood and I remember playing outside in the cul-de-sac with neighbours for hours until it was time for dinner. I remember having our family computer in the common area and having a time limit for our use. Technology and outdoor education seem to be on opposite sides of the education spectrum. What I want to know more about is how families, communities, and educators can get to a place where there is a balance of the two, especially in the middle years.

Area of Interest, Research Problem, Purpose, and Questions

 This year I am transitioning out of the primary grades and into intermediate in my urban elementary school. However, there are some aspects of primary education that I believe would be extremely beneficial for intermediate students as well. One of these areas is play. I am hoping to look at how to effectively balance outdoor education with educational technology instead of it being one or the other, or that overexposure to one is to the detriment of the other. This is important in order to develop students into a well-rounded individuals who have a strong sense of environmental identity, as well as develop critical thinking and problem solving strategies through the use of educational technology tools and applications. Some of the questions that I am starting to consider on this topic are:

    • Is there evidence of the increased use of technology for students, as a factor of the decrease in a lack of environmental identity?
    • How can you effectively engage middle years’ students in outdoor play?
    • How can you incorporate grade-level curricular learning outcomes into outdoor play?
    • How can you use educational technology resources to capture and report on the learning in an outdoor play setting?

More to explore on the topic

Journal Articles

Role of Significant Life Experiences in Building Environmental knowledge and Behaviour Among Middle School Students by K. Stevenson, M. Peterson, S. Carrier, R. Strnad, H. Bondell, T Kirby-Hathaway & S. Moore (2014)

The home electronic media environment and parental safety concerns: relationships with outdoor time after school and over the weekend among 9-11 year old children by H. Wilkie, M. Standage, F. Gillison, S. Cumming, & P. Katzmarzyk (2017)

Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces by A. Shackell, P. Doyle, N. Butler, & D. Ball (2008)

Play, Learning and the Early Childhood Curriculum by E. Wood & J. Attfield (2005)

The importance of outdoor play for young children’s healthy development by G. Bento & G. Dias (2017)

Contrasting Screen-Time and Green-Time: A Case for Using Smart Technology and Nature to Optimize Learning Processes by R. Schilhab, M. Stevenson, & P. Bentsen (2018)

New concepts of play and the problem of technology, digital media, and popular culture integration with play-based learning in early childhood education by S. Edwards (2015)

Place Based Learning and Inquiry in a Digital Culture: Honouring Student Voice Through Digital Storytelling by M. Sauerborn (2015)

 

Teacher Resources

http://www.metrovancouver.org/events/school-programs/K12publications/GetOutdoors.pdf

http://resources4rethinking.ca/media/B2N_Into-Nature_English.pdf

 

Student Activities

-nature walk with camera or plant guide

-scavenger hunt

-plant identification apps

-digital recording device

-digital microscope

-BookCreator for stories

-Edutopia Pinterest board

 

Experts in my #PLN

Twitter                         Instagram

@msflett                                 the.nature.atelier

@Roomtoplay             opalschoolportland

@CreativeSTAR                     natureplaykids_

@SylviaMarieKing                 nurturing_with_nature

#outdoored

#outdoorlearning

 

Blogs Posts

-Creating Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs through Outdoor Ed

-Getting kids outdoors with tech

 

Other

Movie – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1567665?ref_=vi_close

 

Resources

Francis, M., Paige, K., & Lloyd, D. (2013). Middle years students’ experiences in nature: A case study on nature-play. Teaching Science: The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association, 59(2), 20–30.

Sobel, D. (2008). Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators. Stenhouse Publishers.

 

Kitchen Stories

Director Bent Hamer’s movie ‘Kitchen Stories’ is based on a real-life social experiment conducted in Sweden during the 1950’s. Post World War II, a research institute is looking to modernize the home kitchen by observing a handful of rural Norwegian bachelors. See a quick trailer below.

As we were watching this movie, our professor prompted us to reflect on three questions, which we then shared in a small group discussion today:

1.) How does this film connect to the topics we have been learning in the readings?

We started out this course learning about quantitative data collection. Academic research is filled with quantitative data studies and it provides so many advantages to the ever changing science of the world. However, as we have learned about more research methodologies such as quantitative, action research, and self-study, it is moving in the direction of the researcher being integral and at the center of the research. By doing this, it allows the researcher to understand much more contextual information.

For example, something that kept coming up in discussion today was there were a couple instances in the movie where the researcher asked the homeowner questions, as their relationship developed, that he would never have understood by just sitting and observing for days on end.

As Leanne and her group mentioned in their break out discussion today, is that the movie is a great satirical representation of an ‘old style’ of research. Quantitative data has a place and a purpose but we need to understand, as researchers, and George mentioned this last week in his discussion, that when we focus solely on that kind of data, we might miss the humanity in the people that we study. Brene Brown has a great line about this in her 2013 Tedx Talk called ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ – “stories are data with a soul.” I think that comment is so profound and hits right at the core of what we need to understand as researchers. In order to develop a well rounded understanding of a concept, we need to understand our place and our role as researchers.

2.) What does this film pull at? How do you do research?

Something that become quite apparent to me throughout the course of this movie was the importance of the chair. A tall chair is built in order to observe a willing participant in this study. The researchers are given strict instructions to not have any contact with their participants as this taints their data.

However, what is made painstakingly clear, is that human beings are social beings. We are wired for connection and some of the researchers in the movie have a hard time abiding by the guidelines. In my small group discussion, Dale brought up a great point. He said that as soon as the researcher and the participant acknowledge and nod at each other, the objectivity of the research is null and void. He likened this to the feeling of waking up early before everyone else on Christmas morning to find your presents and when you go back to bed you have to pretend to fall asleep when your parents wake up. All the while, you are second guessing yourself about what your actions should be because someone is watching and you feel the need to act in a certain ‘correct’ way.

3.) What does it pull at for you or remind you about your work and your practice?

As I reflect on myself as a teacher and researcher, I do a lot of observing and quantitative data collection. However, when it comes to assessment, that quantitative data falls flat and doesn’t tell the whole story of a student. However, I am able to do so from the anecdotal notes I take and conversations I have throughout the year. I am realizing that I have incorporated these research methodologies into my practice without even knowing what they are.

School Structure Redesign?

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a flame” (Hopkins, 2014).

In our class discussion with Jeff Hopkins today, each of us were intrigued and interested about the amazing things that are going on at the Inquiry and Innovation school he has created. He has moved through multiple roles within the public education system from classroom teacher, to administrator, to superintendent. However, he was never able to find a position where he could really make a systemic change for students in the way he saw needed to be made.

He realized that people didn’t need to hear him talking about it anymore, they needed to see it being done successfully to implement it on a larger scale. Therefore, he built – and they came. Today, Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry (PSII) has upwards of 80 high-school students who are all engaged in personal inquiry projects. These projects move way beyond the four walls of their building but reach into the community around them.

If you spend some time perusing the @PSII Twitter feed, you will see student examples of high level inquiry projects and learning such as this:

As we rapid fired questions at him this afternoon, I began to put together some of the driving factors for what makes their space and place effective. Here is what I came up with:

  • Students are not designated or grouped by grade or ability level
  • Using students interests as a springboard into deep learning
  • Gives students an understanding of the purpose of learning
  • Gives students an understanding of who they are and how they contribute to the world around them
  • Connection, collaboration, and community and build into their program (teachers, students, families, outside community)
  • Trust is built in naturally, but it is key to educator and student success within this program

These are just the main ideas that kept resurfacing throughout our conversation. I appreciated the detailed information Jeff gave us about how his school runs. He also provided us with some documents that PSII have been developing over the last few years that might be of interest if you want to know more about them!

I look forward to brining these ideas back to my school, thinking about how we could take aspects of this and apply it to our location, and hopefully talking a group of my colleagues into visiting PSII in the future! *fingers crossed*

Inquiry Discussion with Trevor Mackenzie

Trevor Mackenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt (with the help and inspiration of Sylvia Duckworth) have used sketchnotes in their books as a way to capture their teaching learning in an easily understood visual. I am going to use their visuals as a jumping off point to discuss my thoughts, past experiences, and hopes for the inquiry process in my classroom going forward.

10 REASONS…

Trevor started out with this visual and asked us to reflect on our own teaching and come up with one or two of these that are evident in our classrooms. Personally, I chose number three. If you were to walk into my classroom and hang out at the back for a week, you would notice that I am intentional in my community building and fostering connections with each one of my students. As this grows and develops over the year, students become more comfortable to take risks in their learning. Therefore, they are more engaged in what they are doing. That in conjunction with planning exciting and fun activities throughout the year such as: a hands on dissection of a local Coho Salmon, making root beer floats to explore the properties of solids, liquids, and gasses, and participating in the creation of an art piece by Qwalacktun (Rick Harry) that is now on display at the West Vancouver Police Department.

In taking more time to look at this visual, and hearing reflections from my classmates, I am realizing that I need to take the time to be more intentional in some of the other areas. And as Trevor Mackenzie noted, these things do not happen every day but over time and you will develop strategies to put into your ‘toolkit’ of how to emulate those characteristics in your own classroom.

This would be a great visual to reference with a whole staff in order to identify where staff individual strengths lie and where they feel they need more work/support. It would open up a great dialogue and naturally flow into individual, small group, and whole group professional development.

TYPES OF INQUIRY

This visual demonstrates the different types of inquiry. Throughout the year, Trevor moves from one to the next – starting at structured and ending in free. His context is a little different because he is a middle school teacher and has limited time with his students in the week.

As an elementary school teacher, we have the flexibility to be wading in and out of these different areas throughout the days, weeks, and months. Personally though, I find that I spend most of my time in the shallower end of the pool. With my young students we move through the first three levels as the year progresses. There are so many foundational skills that we need to develop as a group before they are even ready to think about free inquiry. My grade two and three students are developing their questioning techniques, practicing their non-fiction reading skills and strategies, learning how to take notes, learning how to research online, digital literacy, and the list goes on….However, my goal this year is to make it to the deep end! I am moving into an older grade level and working with colleagues that are excited, supportive, and experienced with inquiry in the intermediate classroom.

What about Inquiry in Kindergarten? One would think that everything in Kindergarten is inquiry based learning, and to some extent it is. But in order to make it relevant to students, it needs to be meaningful. If you are a Kindergarten teacher in B.C. and you are wanting to know how to implement an inquiry mindset into your classroom, take a listen to Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt discussing her thoughts on the KindSight 101 Podcast last summer: Episode #32.

HONOURING QUESTIONS

I find this visual so helpful as a reminder of making the thinking and learning visible in the classroom. I was inspired by Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt’s amazing Kindergarten room (you NEED to follow her on Instagram: @inquiryteacher) and created a ‘Wonder Wall’ on the old blackboard that covers one wall. The students pondering faces were adorable, however, I never used their thinking bubbles. The students would come up with questions and I would write them on the board or put them down on a KWL chart. I like the idea of having a wall, but when the kids are so little, it becomes a teacher make work project to write down all their questions that come up at random times during the day.

However, after seeing this visual it got me thinking. As I am moving into an older grade, I am thinking that it would be so cool to have a virtual ‘Wonder Wall’ where students are curating their wonderings, research, and findings on a digital platform where myself and parents can check in at any time!

Trevor also mentioned the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) as a way for students to developing their questioning ability. This technique allows for students to come up with as many questions as they can on a topic, allows for identification of open and closed  questions, and discussion of the importance of both, and prioritize the ones that they come up with.

THE INQUIRY STUDENT: CAPTURES, REFLECTS, AND SHARES THEIR LEARNING

This visual is so straightforward and easy – but a great reminder about what to do at the end of a learning cycle in order to deepen the understanding. Rebecca and Trevor suggest ways in which students and teachers can capture the learning, prompts for reflection, and some avenues for sharing it out.

Often I find that students learn new things in class but don’t always know the purpose, especially in socials and science. Really, the whole purpose of learning is to acquire competencies to communicate, think, and build and nurture relationships with ourselves and each other. In order to make learning relevant to them, students need to know what the purpose of the learning is, how to capture that learning effectively, reflect on the importance, and be able to share it with a particular audience (parents, peers, other teachers, people around the world).

Voice and choice is an important concept for teachers and students. Teachers need to be modeling this to their students in their teaching by taking risks, sharing, and teaching in different ways. Therefore, at the end of a learning cycle, students can start reflecting on their own about who their audience is and what and how they are sharing their understanding of a concept. I want to try out some of these applications with my students this year. That way, I am demonstrating my own ability (to my staff AND students) to be vulnerable and try something new.

As we listen to more and more guest speakers share on the topic of social media, a common thread that keeps coming up is ethics and privacy. I need to make sure, for the sake of my students and families, that these great technology initiatives and apps are within my districts privacy policies. This is even more important as I move into my role as administrator. Myself, as well as staff, students, and parents needs to have a clear understanding of our responsibility , the rules and policies in place, and a mutual agreement of how we are going to use the materials we have. I am thinking of putting the outline of a technology agreement together in discussion with my school community so that everyone is on the same page and clear about what is going on online.

THE POWER OF A PROVOCATION

The power of a provocation provides students with an opportunity to engage in something new and exciting. Students are immediately engaged and naturally curious. There are so many examples of provocations out there:

– Field Trips, Experiments, Challenges (STEM, STEAM), Hands on activities, Explorations, Book, Photo, Video, Artifact, Special Guest, etc.

Trevor mentioned that in his middle school class, he sends out a ‘What are you passionate about?’ survey to all his students at the beginning of the year. This gives him to opportunity to target students who seemingly don’t have passion while also weaving in the interests of other classmates.

And sometimes, provocations are unplanned. A phrase that I really enjoyed from Trevor was ‘the magic pivot’. In this, he was referring to the ability to drop everything that was previously planned, and go with the students interests. It is a hard thing to do, especially in the older grades where there is so much content to get through! But WE KNOW that students are more engaged in their learning when they are interested, passionate, and hands on.

I definitely struggle with this one. I am still very much a student product of the system that I went through. I sometimes fall back on easy and reproducible activities in the classroom and get wrapped up in the stress of having to get through all of the curriculum – core competencies, curricular competencies, and content. My goal this year is to push myself in some of the other inquiry domains that Trevor and Sylvia show in the first image in this blog post.

My confidence and understanding of inquiry based education is always evolving and I am looking for implementing some of these new ideas into my school community!

Unsettling the Settler

In one of our classes this week, we had the opportunity to hear Shauneen Pete speak. As my classmate Heather mentioned in her blog post, Shauneen didn’t come with any PowerPoint or slides to speak to. She shared with us a story – her story. As she mentioned at the beginning of our session, sharing stories is the basis of connection and helps us to understanding who we are engaging with.

She started her career in education wanting to make her students teaching and learning experience better than the one that she had received. Part of that, is ensuring that ALL students get exposure and learn about Indigenous content and come to terms with their own settler identity. She has bravely and courageously pushed the people around her into that uncomfortable place of learning in this particular area – unsettling the settler.

Something that she said that really resonated with me and something that I have been grappling with is the growing pressure we are putting on our local Indigenous community members. Our responsibility as allies is to do the work ourselves – do the research, read the books, have the tough conversations. And then reach out to community members for follow up discussions on things we are still struggling with. It is not their responsibility as community members to teach us the history.

I have been on this journey for a while now, and I recognize that I have a long way to go in my guilt, discomfort, and understanding in order to move more towards reconciliation. Therefore, I have collated some of the resources I have found on the topic, strong Indigenous community members and educators on social media, and some books that I have picked up recently for my continued professional development.

Teacher Resources

 

People to add to your PLN (#Twitter)

Bradley Baker (@bradleyrbaker): District Principal in the North Vancouver School District, 2017 Governor General of Canada’s Leadership Council Member. Proud member of the Squamish Nation

Jo Chrona (@luudisk): Curriculum Coordinator for the First Nationals Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

First Nations Education Steering Committee (@FNESC)

Senator Murray Sinclair (@SenSincmurr): Member of the Senate of Canada, retired judge, and former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation  Commission of Canada

Reconciliation Canada (@Rec_Can): Company that was born from the vision of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph (Gwawaenuk Elder). Using the platform to lead the way in engaging Canadians in dialogue and transformative experiences that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

The First Peoples Cultural Council (@_FPCC): Provincial Crown Corporation formed by the Government of BC in 1990 to administer the First Peoples Heritage, Language, and Culture Program.

Strong Nations (@strong_nations): Publisher of Indigenous books. Based in Nanaimo, B.C.

Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education (@noiie_bc): Voluntary, inquiry based, network of schools in British Columbia. Creators of the Spirals of Inquiry.

Indigenous Education Network (@IENatOISE): Indigenous Education Network at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

UBC Indigenous Education (@IE_UBC): Local Indigenous content and information about focused courses provided by UBC.

 

Reading List

Already read…

Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith

 

The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew

 

 

21 Things You Didn’t Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph

 

 

Price Paid by Bev Sellars

 

 

Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids by Deborah Ellis

 

 

Up next…

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by DiAngelo, Dyson, and Michael

 

 

Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada by Lowman and Barker

 

 

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips, and Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph

 

 

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

 

 

 

*This post will continue to be updated as I come across new and interesting information and resources*

EDCI 515 – Assignment #2

Introduction

As Mary McAtee states, “before starting any piece of research, it is important to identify clearly just what the purpose of that research is. It is only when this is done, that decisions about an appropriate methodological approach can be made” (McAteer, 2013). The researcher’s choice of research methodologies could have a large impact on all aspects of a study. Therefore, it is important to be clear on the purpose in order to choose the methodology that will produce the desired data and information. In this blog post I will first summarize the aspects of action research. I will then compare it to a quantitative research study and examine the impact to the researcher, research, researched, and reader would be if they had chosen an action research approach instead.

Overview of Action Research

Action research is vastly different from other research approaches. According to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research, action research is a “type of applied research designed to find the most effective way to bring about a desired social change or to solve a practical problem, usually in collaboration with those being researched” (Coghlan & Brydon-Miller, 2019). This involves going through a process of ongoing reflection. This research approach can include quantitative and qualitative data, however, it is not the main goal or the focus of the research. The main goal of this approach is to make an improvement to personal practice, as opposed to policy. In education, this approach can be used for the information gathering about how particular schools operate, how they teach, and how students learn. But this approach is not specific to education and can be used across other fields of study.

Below are some visuals that have been used to portray the process of an action research process.

Whichever model or schematic researchers decide to use is personal choice. Each image demonstrates a “cyclical, iterative process of research where the initial focus of the research is subject to ongoing review and reflection through the repetition of plan, act, observe, and reflect” (McAteer, 2013). Also, as represented by the schematics pictured above, this type of research is complex, challenging, confusing, and rarely predictable. It is a dynamic and responsive approach to learning and can change directions through the exploration process.

Overview of Chosen Article

The chosen comparison article is called ‘Using Technology-Enhanced Inquiry Based Instruction to Foster the Development of Elementary Students’ Views on the Nature of Science’ (Schellinger et al., 2019). In this study, researchers were wanting to find ways to improve young students’ views and understandings of nature science. And were hoping that the use of an inquiry based platform and integration of technology would increase students’ engagement with the topic. Their two research questions were:

RQ1: How do elementary students view of nature of science change when they engage in a digitally supported scientific inquiry oriented curriculum that takes place in a formal and informal setting?

RQ2: Which views of nature of science are the most challenging for students to learn when they participate in a digitally supported, scientific inquiry-oriented curriculum that takes place in a formal and an informal setting?

The researchers in this particular area were using the science-based curriculum, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to identify the specific outcomes they wanted the students to demonstrate throughout this learning experience. They put together multiple choice questions that aimed at measuring the student views of nature of science and a total of 5 points was possible when all five items were combined. A contemporary score signified the best quality answer and received a one on the scale.

In a three week time span, a group of one hundred twenty-nine grade four and five students participated in three modules of scaffolded learning through an online platform called Habitat Tracker which was supplemented with a field trip to a local wildlife center. This epistemic-social approach to teaching and learning allowed students to “engage in discussion, reflection, and/or argumentation about nature of science through group interactions to form individual meaning” (McAteer, 2013).

What would happen if…?

As outlined above, the research done by Schellinger et al. (2019) is definitely quantitative in its data collection and analysis. This type of research allows for researchers to outline a specific question, set out guidelines, and measuring tools in order to track data. However, was this form of research the best way to gather this information and provide quality information to educators in the field? What would happen if the researchers had instead chosen to undertake an action research approach?

How it could change the 4 R’s of Research (Thom, J., 2019)

Research

This study comes from the “review of 105 emperical studies published between 1992 and 2010 on the views of nature of science to point towards attending to the epistemic-social aspects of learning nature of science through inquiry as critical to changing students nature of science views” (Schellinger et al., 2019). Therefore, the research question that come as a result is: how does the use of inquiry oriented technology improve students engagement and understanding?

In comparison, the action approach to coming up with a question would be reflective of personal practice and self-identifying teaching and/or learning gaps. If the educators were starting out with a question, it would be in relation to the teaching and learning that is going on in a specific classroom(s). Following that, the researcher would then need to reflect and explore what the present situation is in the classroom and ways in which to find out and collect that data.

Researcher

In this study, Jennifer Schellinger and her fellow researchers are academics at Florida State University. The data and information they are collecting is aiming to change teaching frameworks and policy for science education in order to better meet the needs of students and their developing understanding of concepts.

If this were to be an action research method instead, the researchers would be the school teachers that are looking for more effective ways to teach students the nature of science curriculum and how to improve their personal practice. This change immediately alters the direction the research would take as it needs to take into account the educators values, biases, and purpose of the information gathering. In order to follow an ethical research process, it would be beneficial for the educator group to bring in a research consultant that is well versed in the principles and practices of action research.

Researched

In the quantitative technology study, Schellinger and her colleagues collect specific data at the beginning of the program as well as at the end of the three week rotation of modules. The data gave very specific answers to whether students had increased their contemporary understanding of nature science. For some areas such as purpose of science and definitions of scientific theory the students’ contemporary understanding improved (Schellinger et al., 2019). However, in the other three areas, there wasn’t a significant change (Schellinger et al., 2019).

If the action research approach was used, researchers would be able to move through research cycles determining which platforms, programs, and teaching techniques are most effective in developing students understanding of all the components of nature science. They would not be limited to one option. However, that means that this would likely become a multi-year exploration of the best teaching practices for a well-rounded science program.

Reader

The intended audience for Schellingers’ et al.’s work was other academics in the field and gives ideas to other researchers about how to progress this learning further (e.g. look for and/or develop technologic supports that focus on a wider range of nature science concepts). In addition, the data is telling other researchers in the field that they are on the right track with the incorporation of technology as it increased student engagement through excitement, quick data analysis, and a built in learning community. This data is easy for other researchers and academics to understand, but not other educators to translate into their classrooms because there were gaps left with the insignificant data changes for three of the outcomes

On the other hand, the reader of action research data is the researcher(s) that are conducting the study because the methodology has the researcher at the center as it is a thoroughly personally reflective study. By collecting clear and detailed information, partaking in thoughtful reflections (e.g. diary) and keeping track of data as the researcher moves through the inquiry process, readers can easily track the purpose, supporting information, approaches, and changes to approaches as the learning develops. The data could be shared with interested colleagues, but it is for the purpose of personal practice improvement and not to instigate systemic change

Conclusion

The examination of a quantitative research study through the lens of action research highlights the advantages and challenges of both methodologies. Quantitative research requires specific types of questions, structured approaches, and data collection; action research relies heavily on the researchers’ personal values, beliefs, and biases in order to be effective. Action research, similar to mixed methods, allows for researchers to get a clearer representation of all the information through detailed reflection whereas, quantitative research is limited in its findings because some contextual information is not gathered. As evidenced by this paper, the choice of research methodologies significantly impact the 4 R’s of Research: research, researcher, researched, and reader. Therefore, these four aspects should be carefully considered when choosing an appropriate research methodology.

Class Discussion

After presenting this information to my classmates today, we discussed some of my critical thoughts, questions, and ethical dilemmas brought up by other researchers. (Nolen & Putten, 2007).

▰Was this a worthwhile study?

▰How did they choose the Habitat Tracker?

▰How would the outcome change if they created the online tool?

▰At what point does teaching become research?

▰Where does the accountability for this research lie?

▰Is the research reliable?

▰Are teachers properly trained to see the possible ethical pitfalls in such research?

▰How are the rights and freedoms of the researchers participants (the students) protected?

See information shared with classmates below.

Resources

Coghlan, D., & Brydon-Miller, M. (2019). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446294406

McAteer, M. (2013). Action Research in Education. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781473913967

Nolen, A. L., & Putten, J. V. (2007). Action Research in Education: Addressing Gaps in Ethical Principles and Practices. Educational Researcher, 36(7), 401–407. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X07309629

Schellinger, J., Mendenhall, A., Alemanne, N., Southerland, S. A., Sampson, V., & Marty, P. (2019). Using Technology-Enhanced Inquiry-Based Instruction to Foster the Development of Elementary Students’ Views on the Nature of Science. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 28(4), 341–352. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-019-09771-1

Thom J., (2019). EDCI 515: E-Research: Harnessing and Understanding Technology in        Research. July 4 lecture notes. [Course lecture].

Literature Review – What’s the purpose?

Literature Review Overview

In our EDCI 515 course this week, we were given the task to read ‘Scholars Before Researchers’ by Boote and Beile to learn more about literature reviews. Literature reviews are commonly written at the beginning of research articles as a way to share collated information on a specific topic. According to the authors, literature reviews should “advance our collective understanding, a researcher or scholar needs to understand what has been done before, the strengths and weaknesses or existing studies, and what they might mean” (Boote & Beile, 2005). In research, specifically educational research, it is challenging to communicate with the diverse audience. Therefore, authors cannot assume knowledge, methodologies, or even common problems. Because of this, the need for a thorough literature review helps to even the playing field for everyone.

However, these authors have found through personal experience, that a large percentage of literature reviews are poorly planned and written and don’t meet their expectations for appropriate and holistic reviews. Boote and Beile quote a fellow researcher in the field, suggesting that “literature reviews should meet three criteria: to present results of similar studies, to relate the present study to the ongoing dialogue on the literature, and to provide a framework for comparing the results of a study with other studies” (Creswell, 1994).  A past criteria was adapted and incorporated into a 12-item scoring rubric which can be grouped into 5 separate sections (see below).

The researchers deemed this rubric effective after they applied and analyzed doctoral dissertations and found that the mean scores across all institutions were surprisingly low. However, because of the range of outcomes, they knew it was going to be an effective tool.

Literature Review of Interest

Since my teacher education days, I have been curious and interested in inquiry based teaching. My younger siblings attended an IB PYP school in West Vancouver and it was fascinating to see their interest, engagement, and knowledge of concepts increase throughout the years (until they reached high school – but I’ll save that for another blog post). Since becoming a teacher, I have integrated inquiry methods into my classroom. The launch of the redesigned curriculum has also allowed for more inquiry and competency based teaching and learning to happen in learning spaces. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching and build a stronger understanding of my role in an inquiry classroom.

I found an article online that reviews the literature on the role of the teacher in inquiry based classrooms. I am going to use Boote and Beile’s literature review rubric to evaluate, in my perspective, the validity of the information provided (Dobber et al., 2017). See the image below.

I found this article very thorough in its background research, clear in their inclusions and exclusions of data in their collection, and specific in their communication of the results of their findings.

How does a literature review impact the four R’s?

I can see how the inclusion of a literature review can be extremely helpful in creating a well rounded contextual understanding of a specific area of interest.

Research – As mentioned in the Boote and Beile’s article, “a thorough, sophisticated literature review is the foundation and inspiration for substantial, useful research” (2005). By including a literature review into an article, it provides researchers the opportunity to see what has already been done in the field of study and identify where gaps are in understanding. By figuring that out, the researcher then has a clearer picture of what kind of research methodology would be the best approach to target the question.

Researcher – The incorporation of a literature review will help to build the researchers background knowledge on a topic and to build their foundational understanding in order to make effective research decisions.

As referenced in our recent readings, anyone can be a researcher, as long as you follow the protocol and structure of the methodologies.

Researched – One of the benefits of a literature review is it automatically forces researchers to look for information on the topic before moving forward with their own data collection. Information has to be systematically sorted, organized, and analyzed in order to understand the specific problem and subjects to include in the research.

Reader – By including a literature review to writing, it allows the reader to have a clear understanding of the background and history of a topic and why the researcher made the choices they did. It also allows for a cyclical process for the reader of the data to initiate research into the same area where there continues to be gaps or confusion. It also provides the reader with a  clear history of where they need to check to get background information.

Personal Reflection

As I reflect on the readings and guest speakers this week, I have noted some personal growth in relation to myself as a researcher, the research, the researched, and the reader of the research.

  • All of the research methodologies have advantages and challenges. Something that George Veletsianos noted in his conversation with us this week was to remember that when we are collecting quantitative data, we  can’t forget about the humanity in the study of people. In order to have research that is well rounded and provides context, researchers should include qualitative methodologies as he does with his personal interviews (mixed methods).
  • I think the incorporation of sources outside of the academic world could provide some great insight into topics of research. Someone in class brought up a great point that one of the Inquiry books they were reading by Trevor Mackenzie had only a handful of academic sources and instead, referenced thoughts, images, and examples from blogs and social media sites online. Is there much research to integrate sources like that into academia? If so, what are the guidelines around it?
  • As I begin to learn more and more about the different methodologies, I begin to think about my approach to my classroom. As teachers we are always collection quantitative and qualitative data in order to progress and plan for what is next. These mixed methods and action research methodologies are all new to me and are providing me with ideas about how to be intentional about what I am doing with that data.
  • Honestly, my assessment has definitely declined over the last year or so. Learning about these methodologies makes me think about what data I am collecting over the year, what I am doing with it, and how am I using it to guide my practice. How can I move through the action research process with the inclusion of quantitative and qualitative components?
    • action research to determine how I can improve my teaching in order to reach my wide range of learners more effectively, without completely burning out
    • quantitative data collection for students and their understanding of topics (sent out on FreshGrade at regular intervals)
    • qualitative data collection for students and their parents in order to get insight into their developing understanding of concepts, problem solving, and collaboration
    • action research as a school to move through how we come together to build a stronger community to improve the learning for our students

 

Developing a PLN

As Diana Forbes mentions in her research article, “Professional Online Presence and Learning Networks: Educating for Ethical Use of Social Media”,

“In teacher education, uses of social media include the production and sharing of content, discussion, and interaction with content, and collaborative connection with other social media users” (Forbes, 2017).

Twitter is becoming an avenue for professionals to share their learning, ask questions, and develop a social network in their field of interest. Users are encouraged to use social media to understand and communicate ideas which promotes openness by making research and resources available to anybody who is interested. It is now rare to attend a workshop or conference where there isn’t a hashtag  where participants can share their experiences and moments of learning. In addition to being a place where groups can congregate and share ideas, it also allows as a ‘backchannel’ of communication with or between people (Forbes, 2017).

Although it is great being able to connect with the local educators in my relatively small school district, I have now built connections with people outside my district through various professional development opportunities. Therefore, it is great to scroll through and get inspired by what others are doing in their classrooms in their school. So often as teachers, I feel like we get stuck inside our classrooms doing the same things. Being on Twitter and other education based social media sites allows for educators to get a glimpse of what is going on in other peoples classrooms.

I hesitantly joined Twitter in November 2012 and have been using it for a variety of purposes throughout my teaching and learning journey. As I scroll back,   I notice that I started using the platform as a way to view what was happening in the field of education in my district. I liked posts, retweeted some, and commented on others –  hoping to make connections in the district I was just starting my teaching journey in.  As I have progressed in my teaching, Twitter has grown right alongside me. I started sharing more of my own content such as field trips I was going on, inquiry lessons I had tried in class, hands on activities that my students enjoyed. Through these posts, I was able to garner support and feedback from the people around me. In addition,  I was able to connect with teachers, admin, and special guests coming in and out of our district. Through following special guests, such as Janice Novakowski, I was then able to connect with people in her PLN that are interested in the same things I am doing. Something that has grown in Twitter over the last few years has been the use of weekly chats to connect with educators across the province/country/world (e.g. #edchat, #kinderchat, #edtech, etc.).

I have even noticed a difference in my use of Twitter over the last week and a half. Being a remote learner in this program was difficult at first as I am a very social person and need to connect with my peers in order to create an effective learning space for myself. Therefore, having our cohort hashtag (#tiegrad) has been amazing as it has allowed me to connect with guest speakers and  my fellow classmates, see what is going on in their specific contexts, and see how they are connecting their class learning to their areas of interest. I appreciated everyone’s feedback on Saturday morning when I was feeling especially tired and stuck in a ‘world of procrastination’.

As much as I value and appreciate Twitter for it’s sharing and community building capabilities, I am hesitant as it becomes another time sucker as I scroll through on a Sunday morning before I get out of bed. I am learning to prioritize the ways in which I want to communicate with people around me.

In addition, it adds to the confusion of developing boundaries between peoples personal and professional lives. My district administrators have seemed to find that boundary. On their Twitter accounts they are only sharing out the amazing things that educators and other administrators are doing in their buildings.  A few of them have Instagram accounts where they share more personal family and life moments. As I move into this new administration role, I appreciate seeing the balance of both – and building in boundaries in their professional and personal sharing.

The ethics of Twitter use becomes more of an issue if you are using it as an educator and are in communication with your students. As an adult, I appreciate the communication and connectivity of Twitter, especially in this program. However, if I were going to use Twitter as a way to teach students about the respectful use of social media, I would use some of the items suggested by Alec Couros and Jesse Miller – mentioned in my blog posts (hyperlinked to their names).

What about students developing personal learning networks (PLN) online? Check out this podcast episode by InnovatED Image result for apple podcast logocalled ‘Surprise: what happened when my student created her own personal learning network’ to hear first hand the student experience with developing a digital PLN. Click the podcast icon to listen and let me know your thoughts!

 

Finally, something that was new to me this week was Tweetdeck! I love being able to curate specific people, groups, and tweets in order to follow what is going on in that area of interest. It allows me to see a quick snapshot of what is going on in my specific areas of interest, so I am not taking up so much personal time scrolling through content. See a screenshot of mine below (10/07/2019).

However, it then spiraled me into a deep dive of Twitter to see who else is out there and grow my own PLN. Below I have curated a list of people, hashtags, and personal blogs that are constantly adding to my professional practice as a BC elementary educator and leader. Here is just a snapshot, but there are so many more! (*And sorry I have not directly linked them all there, there are just too many!*)

People/Institutions

@_valeriei, @technolandy, @ChristineYH, @BreneBrown, @IE_UBC, @SELearningEDU, @courosa, @ereid38, @TomSchimmer, @SteveWyborney, @EdCampBCCC, @BCnumeracy, @LearningForward, @WabKinew, @FNESC, @IndigenousEdBC,  @bradleyrbaker,  @noiie_bc, @jhalbert8, @kaser_linda, @OpalSchool, @strong_nations, @trev_Mackenzie, @Usingtechbetter, @tweetsomemoore, @fayebrownlie, @TIE_BC, @akijae, @shareski, @anniekinders, jnovakowski38, @MediatedReality, @cdnedchat, @makerspaces_com, @bcedchat, @LFee17, @gcouros, @rbathursthunt, @ltnpbs (Lynne Tomlinson), @SLShortall, @JanetMHicks, @UBCmfenton, @DiscoveryEd, @chrkennedy

Hashtags

#edchat, #bcedchat, #kinderchat, #edtech, #EdLeaders, #FormativeAssessment, #SEL, #classroomdesign, #PLN, #inquiry

Blogs

Culture of Yes by Chris Kennedy

The Principal of Change by George Couros

Trevor Mackenzie’s Blog

Inquiry Mindset by Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt

Cult of Pedagogy

The Cool Cat Teacher Blog

 

I hope that this list of inspiring educators allows you to spiral into developing your own Personal Learning Network!

A Conversation with Jesse Miller

In todays EDCI 568 class, we had the opportunity to have a conversation with nationally renowned lead educator on the topics of internet safety, privacy, and professionalism, Jesse Miller. He is the founder of Mediated Reality, which is an education company focusing on new media education for the different stakeholders in education.

One of the first things that he said, which I thought was very poignant, was ,

“it is detrimental, what we are doing to kids. When we compare our experience with technology with the access that students have now, is not fair” Jesse Miller (09/07/2019)

I think this is such an important message to convey to educators and other adults alike. Students only know what they are exposed to and we, as a people, have to learn how to cope with what we have been given. Therefore, we as adults need to share best practices on the topics of safety and privacy that we have learned in the process of technology development over the past decade.

Related image

In his presentation, Jesse presented the following ideas that educators need to focus on in 2019 in order to support students in their understanding of safety, privacy, and respectful use of technology.  Under each heading, I have collated questions to consider and resources geared towards K-7 educators.

In 2019 we SHOULD focus on:

I found this image and thought it would be a great one to share with Gr 4+ students as they are spending more and more time on social media accounts – where a lot of them are image based.

Find poster here.

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