Summarizing the Semester

Throughout the semester of #EDTC300, I have learned a great deal about online presence and the effect it has.  This effect can be both positive and negative.  I also learned a lot about myself in this process.  I learned about blogging and how hiring teachers look at your online identity as a strong basis for hiring you. Finally, I continued to form my teaching pedagogy and develop it to what I think is best for my teaching.  Through this, I would like to highlight the importance of online safety to my future students as this world is being taken over more and more by online identities.  It is important for students to be educated as early as possible.  I created this video linked below on my learning throughout the semester.

The video begins with a thank you to @kbhildebrandt for her amazing work and help this semester.  Katia really opened my eyes to the online world, as I have been pretty skeptical about using technology in the classroom and prefer more traditional methods.

The video goes on to explain my process in using wordpress to create my blog and eportfolio.  Having a blog is something very beneficial in the world of teaching which is something I learned this semester.  It is basically having an online resumé that people can look at.  I really enjoyed posting and building this blog to really give readers a picture of who I am and what my teaching pedagogy looks like. 

After a brief description on how we used creative commons for our media, I went on to explain our use of twitter in the class.  Interacting with fellow teachers is very important in teaching.  Fellow teachers have excellent ideas and different insights to help with teaching and to develop personal teaching pedagogy.  I highlight how useful it was to interact and share with my classmates on twitter, as well as commenting on each other’s blogs.  I know I learned a lot from my classmates.  I hope they learned lots from me too.

I then go on to explain a lot of cool topics we discussed in class, such as: the sextortion of Amanda Todd, and how we NEED to teach students online safety from a young age, cybersleuthing, and useful online teaching tools like scratch and kahoot.

All in all, I am very thankful to Katia and my fellow classmates for everything they shared this semester.  I really learned a lot and enjoyed working with everybody.  

Flippin’ Out pt.12 (Final)

My Summary of Learning:

Over the course of completing my learning project, which was learning how to perform a backflip on solid ground, I have learned a great deal about documentation in workouts, how to display it on a blog or website, and also had a great deal of fun in the process.

Week 1: Flippin’ Out pt.1

I outlined my plans in how I have always wanted to do a backflip, but never learned how.  I highlighted the fact that I am very active, and still compete competitively in sports, which gave me an advantage in knowing what kind of exercises I needed to do in order to prepare my body and prevent injury.

Week 2: Flippin’ Out pt.2

During the second week I mainly focused on the research behind what I was doing.  I found several YouTube videos on drills and a few technical things that I would need to complete my task.

Week 3: Flippin’ Out pt.3

Week 3 was a work week.  I put the previous videos I found into action.  I performed many drills that helped me practice the biggest challenge I faced, which was the rotation. I had no problems with the jumping part as that is my specialty in sports.  I just needed to do some core work and practice to get my essential backflip muscles into shape.

Week 4: Flippin’ Out pt.4

This week was not as productive. I was able to do lots of training and strength exercises to prepare my body.  The track lifts I do translate quite well to what I need to do for a flip, so I was able to perform some of those

Week 5: Flippin’ Out pt.5

For week 5 we were instructed to find an app that will assist us in our progress.  The main problem I was having at the moment was time.  Between track, school, work and time with family and friends I was having troubles making time for my learning project.  This is where I introduced the “Structured – Day Planner” app.  It is an app in which I can better organize my time to make sure I fit in time for my learning project.  I received great feedback from my classmates and still use the app to this day.

Week 6: Flippin’ Out pt.6

Week 6 I put good use to the app mentioned in week 5.  I made time to do more strengthening exercises.  I also began focusing on mobility this week, particularly in my knees and hips.  Having strong hips and mobile knees is essential in preventing injury in jumpers. This i s something I have learned over my years as a jumper.

Week 7: Flippin’ Out pt.7

Week 7 I landed my first backflip.  It was on a trampoline, but it showed that I have got the motions and the strength down.  It is now purely a mental thing of doing it on solid ground.  I was also browsing through the Tik Tok app and found some good, easy drills that broke down the backflip into much simpler terms.

Week 8: Flippin’ Out pt.8

Week 8 is where winter really started to set in.  I was no longer able to practice outside as I has been.  With track I still needed to lift.  I started going to Anytime Fitness, which provided a good space to do exercises.  In terms of track, it was a de-load week, so I had to take a break from as intense of activities as I had been.  For this reason, I did not try any more drills.

Week 9: Flippin’ Out pt.9

This week I performed some of the drills shown in the videos from previous weeks.  I uploaded them to YouTube and have them shown below

Week 10: Flippin’ Out pt.10

This week was another de-load type week.  We changed our lifting program for track, which was great for my flip, but also made me super sore.  Other than strengthening exercises, I was not able to make any further progress in my flip.

Week 11: Flippin’ Out pt.11

This week was our track fitness testing.  My week was spent preparing for that.  An update on that since it is now complete.  I set a personal best in 3 of the 4 tests, the biggest being in the broad jump.  I am very pleased to see this progress and it proves that the work I have been doing is paying off.

Week 12: Flippin’ Out pt.12 (Final)

I have good news and bad news. I am now able to complete a backflip on solid ground!  The bad news is, I got in trouble from the gym for taking videos of the drills in week 9, so was not able to take videos as that is the only place I have access to with a roof high enough.  Nonetheless, I learned a lot through this project.  I learned a lot about my body and what my strengths and weaknesses are.  This is a huge step forward.  I also learned a lot about documentation and how to organize my blog.  I was able to incorporate new ideas I had never thought of before and make real progress in using technology as a tool not just for myself, but for the people involved around me.

Contributions to Learning

Throughout the course of EDTC 300, my classmates and I have worked almost hand-in-hand to assist each other in our learning.  This is one of the strong suits of online schooling.  It allows my classmates and I to be in contact with each other, and share resources to help us in our teaching journey.

One big idea that I used to help my classmates was regularly commenting on their blogs via the EDTC 300 website.  This was a window in which I could provide them with feedback, and monitor how they were doing in regard to their blogs.  This went both ways of course.  I had classmates commenting on my blog and offering me feedback in my projects, which I found very helpful.  I like to think that having access to each other’s’ blogs, was very useful as we were able to implement ideas we get from other classmates.  It gave us all the tools we need to make our blogs the best possible.

Another tool this class used was Twitter. I was very new to Twitter at the beginning of EDTC 300. In addition, I have never been one to post a lot on social media, so having to post regularly was challenging for me sometimes.  I feel as if my classmates were also in the same mindset. This allowed for a similar effect as the blogs.  On my twitter, I was able to share lots, including some educational resources.  By following each other on twitter and regularly finding educational idea, we were able to help each other in developing our personal teaching pedagogy.

One other way that I was able to help the learning of others was centered in one of the posts we made for our learning projects.  We were to find an app that would assist us in completing our projects.  In our 5thlearning project post, I introduced my classmates to the app called “Structured – Day Planner.”  This app is very useful for an organizational tool.  I was having trouble fitting the learning project into my busy schedule, as were many of my classmates. This app allows you to plan your day in advance and follow a stricter schedule.  I have found it very useful and have received lots of positive feedback from my classmates who decided to try it out.

Overall, the EDTC 300 course provided lots of tools and resources for my classmates and I to share ideas and concepts that helped us further develop our teaching pedagogy.  We shared resources and analyzed each other’s profiles to ensure we had the best resource possible.  I learned a great deal from my classmates, just as I am sure they learned from me.

“Scratch”ing the Surface of Coding

Back in high school we created video games, using a program called ScratchScratch uses a coding mechanism to allow you to manipulate an object to behave in the way that you want it to. In Edtech 300, we also used scratch to demonstrate a model of coding.

            My Scratch project, which is linked below, is a solar system model.  I have the sun in the middle, then a random planet, and the Earth.  I made these planets revolve around the sun in a circular pattern, just as it does in our solar system.  I learned a lot of new skills on how to code and make the object do what I told it to.  I did not realize all the features that we could use to manipulate, such as rotations, circular motions, and even making the implement talk.

            I have never thought of using something like this in the classroom, even though my previous teachers have.  There are lots of essential computer and problem-solving skills that coding can help build.  Some of these skills include: Problem-solving, thinking ahead, creativity, and basic computer skills to name a few.  It can also be used in a mathematical sense.  From what I saw, scratch is all about creating patterns and manipulating things to follow those patterns.

            All in all, even though I did a short sample project for scratch, I think there are many benefits for teachers implementing it into the classroom.  Scratch is a very useful tool that allows students to be creative with technology in the classroom.

Flippin’ Out pt.11

Not much to write this week in terms of the progress in doing a flip. It has been a weird week in terms of training. We have our annual fitness test on Thursday this week, otherwise known as “quad testing.” In this test we are to perform a 40 meter sprint, a broad jump, a 3-hop test, and a backward shot put heave. These tests are scored on a point system, and are a good judge of physical fitness.

Our coach keeps a record of our results each year, so we are able to see how we have progressed over the previous years. Ive the course of the week, we have been reloading our bodies and making sure they are as ready as possible for the tests. This is especially important as we do not have any other competitions this year. This is the closest we will have to competing, so we are treating it as such.

It is for this reason that I have not made any progress in the flip. I have simply made the week all about my quad test, which has taken up all of my athletic priority. I look forward to documenting more progress next week, but for this week I have not.

Flippin’ Out pt.10

Since my last update on my backflip progress, changes have been made in the track and field world.  Our training is broken into 6-week blocks.  We just began the next block, which means we change our lifts, and they generally get harder.  To sum that all up, I am extremely sore, and have been for the past couple weeks.

This has not stopped me from making more progress in my backflip.  My project has been centred around training to prepare my body for the execution of the flip, which I plan to complete in the next couple weeks, before the semester ends.  The new lifts have been excellent for this. I have incorporated lots of abdominal exercises, as well as lot of jumping exercises.  My favourite one being the power clean.  This exercise is a full body exercise that rapidly builds power, which is exactly what I need for the flip.

Moving forward, my plan is to take good care of my body and adjust to the lifts I am doing in order to be in the best possible shape for the flip, although I feel like I am there. I just need to make sure that I stay healthy and do not suffer any setbacks. I am really hoping gyms and athletic facilities do not close, as that would throw a major wrench in my plans.

Digital Literacy: Fake News Ruining the Web

Having a good understanding of online dangers and fake news is of utmost importance in schools.  This is especially true in high schools.  In times of crisis like today with the Covid-19 pandemic, fake news is a hazard that people must be aware of in order to prevent panic worldwide.  However, “the term fake doesn’t begin to describe the complexity of the different types of misinformation (the inadvertent sharing of false information) and disinformation (the deliberate creation and sharing of information known to be false)” (Wardle, 2017). It is a danger that is often overlooked, but is perhaps the worst aspect of the online world.

It is so easy for anyone to add information to the internet, whether it be real or fake.  The issue here is to do with screening that information that is fake, and identifying it before it goes viral.  An example of this is the current Covid-19 crisis.  News about vaccines, or different things that prevent the spread are constantly being added to the internet.  It is even written that alcohol helps prevent the virus.  All this false information creates a ‘boy who cried wolf’ scenario.  Nobody knows what to believe anymore as what they have been told has been false, but they cannot identify truth.

Another issue with fake news is identity fraud.  People constantly use pictures or profiles of others to surf the web and stay under the radar.  This makes it “easy to clone a website and get a similar-enough URL to create a fake site” (Dawn, 2020).  Countless big names have been involved in scandals from rape, to fraud. This can ruin people’s lives.  It is even a danger to have personal information on your computer.  That idea seems ridiculous, but scammers will stop at nothing to get what they want, even if it means ruining the lives of others.

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/dangers-of-fake-news-and-what-steps-can-be-taken-to-minimize-its-impact/

There are many ways to combat the idea of fake news.  To put it in simple terms, “Narrowly defined, “fake news” means a made-up article with an intention to deceive, often geared toward getting clicks” (Shulten & Brown, 2017).  By looking for small, intricate details, one can easily identify a fake profile or news.  Things to pay attention to include: the date of the post, when the person registered their account, in the case of a famous person the account should be verified, or for the references used in the post.  By taking all these factors into account, generally one can tell if the account in question is real. 

Fake news is a major danger in the online world.  With all the information stored on the internet, nobody is safe.  This is why it is of utmost importance that students are taught the dangers of the online world in depth.  Mistakes online can change their lives forever.

Works Cited

Dawn, I. (2020, February 20). What’s News: Fake, False, Misleading, Clickbait, Satire, or Carefully Reported?Retrieved from Tilt: https://uminntilt.com/2017/02/20/news-fake-false-misleading-clickbait-satire-or-carefully-reported/

Shulten, K., & Brown, A. C. (2017, January 19). Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News. Retrieved from nytimes.com: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/learning/lesson-plans/evaluating-sources-in-a-post-truth-world-ideas-for-teaching-and-learning-about-fake-news.html?_r=0

Wardle, C. (2017, Febuary 16). To understand the misinformation ecosystem, here’s a break down of the types of fake content, content creators motivations and how it’s being disseminated. Retrieved from First Draft News: https://firstdraftnews.org/latest/fake-news-complicated/

Cyber Sleuthing and Digital Identity

The internet is a very scary place.  While you can learn lots about a person, I believe you can never truly know a person from what you see online.  Photos you find online are simply what people may or may not want you to see.  This is true in “Split Image” by Kate Fagan.  It illustrates a story about a young girl named Madison who tragically lost her life due to negative commenting on her photos on Instagram.  She appeared to have a picture-perfect life, competing for Penn running and having many friends.  However, the “[p]hotos from Madison’s Facebook and Instagram completely concealed her reality” (Fagan, 2015).  This just goes to show how little you can know about a person based on what you see online.  Sure, there may be lots about a person that you can find online, but I do not think that even scratches the surface of what a person is truly like, and what is going on in their life. A quote that really speaks to me about this is from Monica Lewinsky, where she states, “I was seen by many, but actually known by few” (Lewinsky, 2015).  This quote came from her speech title “The Price of Shame,” where she highlights the impact of social media and how people are perceived by their online identity.  I do not think what you find online really dictates a person, and is just a small insight into who they truly are as a person.

On that topic, we were asked to google one of our classmates for my #EDTC300 class.  My partner was Mason Boyd, who I struggled to find, as “Boyd” is quite a common last name, with lots of very influential people with a lot of articles.  One to note is Carol Lafayette-Boyd, who is a multi-time world record breaker in track and field.  This made it difficult to find information on my classmate Mason.  I could not find him on social-media, however I did find some local curling articles that show he was a regional-level curler here in Saskatchewan.  I also found his sister, Sydney Boyd, who mentions in her eportfolio that she has a younger brother named Mason.  Like Mason, she also studied education at the University of Regina.  This is all I could find about Mason.  It was very minimal, which goes to show that there is not always lots of resources to find every person online.  

Works Cited

Fagan, K. (2015, May 7). Split Image. Retrieved from ESPN: http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12833146/instagram-account-university-pennsylvania-runner-showed-only-part-story

Lewinsky, M. (2015, March). The Price of Shame.

Flippin’ Out pt 9

This week was a very productive one in my progress to doing a backflip. I was able to gain access to anytime fitness in order to practice the drills that were shown in my previous post.  The videos of these drills are linked below. 

         Overall, I feel like I am ready to perform the flip.  The only thing standing in my way is the mental aspect.  As long as I have a proper spotter, I am confident, I just need to find that person.  

         Like any other activity, there are things I can still work on that I see when looking at the videos.  I have plenty of height on my jump, and have no problem performing the jump and tuck. The biggest issue I see was the back-somersault motion.  The way I see it, I roll backward in a very awkward way.  It takes me a while to roll backward, when it should be a smooth motion with little to no hesitation.  

         Nonetheless, I believe that if I keep working on the motion it will become more natural, and I will be able to do the motion better when I eventually decide to actually attempt the flip.  I am very happy with the progress made this week, and I look forward to continuing making progress.

Flippin’ Out Pt.8

This week was a productive week in my journey to do a flip, while also very unproductive at the same time.  I have been instructed for this week to be a “deload week,” which means I am supposed to take it super easy in order to prevent injury.  So, from a physical standpoint, I was not able to practice any jumps.

            However, this did not deter me from making progress in doing my flip.  Recently, as the weather has been getting worse, I have been waiting on access to the University’s indoor facilities for an indoor space to practice.  Now that I have that access, I realize just how strict the Covid rules are, and am not able to use those facilities.  In turn, I purchased a gym membership to Anytime Fitness.  This gym has a nice little area that is solid enough to jump on, and when paired with mats, safe when I fall attempting my flip.  Now that I have access to this facility, I am patiently waiting on my deload week to be complete, so I can begin performing these exercises shown in the videos below, and hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks, actually attepting and completing my flip!