Learning To Unlearn…

innovance
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As a future teacher, I will be bringing new ideas in to my classroom, and also, learn from new ideas from my classroom and students. Along with that, I must also learn to be an innovative teacher. According to Dictionary.com, Innovator means; to introduce something  new, make changes in anything established. I am a person who likes to voice what I think, most of the time, anyway. As a teacher, I must learn to teach the best way possible in order for my students to learn best. I must unlearn not to be afraid to try new teaching methods. And I must also, unlearn to try something new, fail, get up, and continue on.

First of all, this semester, in my Literacy in the Digital Age class, I have definitely been innovative as a learner. This class was mainly based on using social media, unlike your normal everyday class. Of course, through the use of social media,which I am not the greatest at,  also, came the discomfort of getting out of my comfort zone. The Daily create and Twitter were 2 of the projects which made me feel uncomfortable. With the Daily create, finding ways to explore different sites, coming up with ideas, getting creative, doing art, etc. were a few of the obstacles I encountered. With Twitter, it definitely was a new way of using social media. I had never used Twitter before this class. I even had to create an account to use for this class. Getting used to communicate with my classmates and the outside world through Twitter was super different. I mean, I rather be in a real classroom setting and discuss information face to face. After all, this is a great way to innovate, right?

Second of all, this semester I have learned that learning can take place everywhere, not just in a classroom setting. Learning is not being afraid to unlearn how to re-learn something all over again. “We have to unlearn the comforts of four walls that we have become accustomed to,” says Richardson’s  in his article “The Unlearning Curve.” It is about learning to see things in a different way, or willing to be open mind it about it. I believe that as teachers, we must be open to ideas towards innovation. We must try different methods of teaching, in order to get our point across, and as long as our students are learning to their best potential.

Finally, “through innovation, students have the opportunity to take charge of their own learning, and use presented information in their education,” says Couros in his article “The Mindset of an Innovator.”This sentence is the perfect example with this class. The project which comes to mind is our Individual Learning Project. We were given the option to choose something to learn and write about our experiences with the project. The innovation comes when we are able to choose something we are excited to learn about, and not something we must learn about.

I believe that through play and questions children learn best. If we give our students the tools require to learn better, they are more than capable to do so. We must understand that not every student learns under the same circumstances, and that not one shoe fits everyone.

Metaphor and Digital Story

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For my Digital story I decided to use iMovie to create a video with audio. I was supposed to focus on one Metaphor to create my Digital Story. Being a foreigner and experiencing “racism,” for lack of a better word, I focused my Digital Story on “Embracing melting pot in my classroom as a future teacher.”

Nowadays, the United States is experiencing more cultures and different races than ever. Along with that, children from different countries will bring their own beliefs, religion, culture, etc. into the classroom. As a future teacher, I must embrace this and welcome melting pot into my classroom. I believe each child is unique, and no one should be treated different because of their origin. As a teacher, it is part of my job to research for ways to help these students cope with the class. Wether it is by researching about their country and getting familiar with it, talking to members of his/her family, having resources in their native language, etc. I know that along the way the road will get bumpy. But as a future teacher, I must find ways to help my students to overcome whatever  obstacles they might face and find ways for them to be successful in my classroom.

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Here is my video about “Embracing melting pot in our classrooms.” Hope you enjoy it…🙂

 

My Digital Story

The End has Come Towards My Independent Learning Project…

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

It is unbelievable that semester has pretty much come to an end. And along with that, so has our Independent Learning Project. Towards the beginning of the semester, for one of our assignments, we were given the choice to choose one thing we would like to learn about! With such a wide range of options, and of course, millions of things I would love to learn how to do, I could not decide on just one thing. Several days later, after pondering what to learn, I came up with he conclusion I would learn how to crochet, something that was totally new for me. And today, 3 months later, I am happy, excited, and most of all, proud to say, I did accomplish my goal of learning how to crochet and made a beautiful head band with a gorgeous pink flower!!!

First of all, not knowing a single thing about crochet, I started by researching about this beautiful art. My ex-mother-in-law, (“teacher”) also helped me as a guide with this project. I began to watch videos about crocheting. All the endless projects one can do with crochet: flowers, headbands, hats, scarves, purses, and the list just keeps on going. First of all, I could not make up my mind if to do a crochet hat, scarf, or a headband. I started crocheting with a hat in mind, however, along the way I decided to change it to a headband with a flower. Being completely novice, finding time, having lots of patience, researching, and finding time to meet with my “teacher,” were just some of the obstacles and challenges I faced with this project. Of course, who said learning something for the first time is easy? However, I was up for the challenge, and now I feel proud of myself to say I have created a beautiful crochet headband.

Second of all, the first steps for me were beggining  by practicing how to make loops with the yarn and crochet hook.  For about a whole week I practice doing this. I would do a bunch of loops, and then I would undo them. I kept repeating the same process over and over again along with watching videos about crochet. I do have to admit that motivating myself to continue with this practice was hard sometimes. I was getting tired of having to repeat the same process over and over again. I wanted to jump into action and actually begin the real crochet that was going to create my headband. Slowly, and with an idea of what I had to do, I moved onto the harder part, making the loops and continuing my single or double chains, flipping the yarn over, etc. At the beginning and after many attempts, getting my thread tangled up, doing and undoing, missing the next hole and many many other problems I encountered, I was able to finish my beautiful headband with a flower. I have to say I even finished my headband way before the project was due. And to compensate for that and to get more practice,  I decided I would start a scarf. The picture below is the beginning of my scarf.

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

Overall, I have to say this Personal Learning Project has thought me a lot, it was fun and I really did enjoy it! First of all, being able to make choices is great. I think it is what makes the difference about learning something and how it is view. (Which it is something to keep in mid when we have our own classrooms, to give options to the students). Since I was really enjoying this project, I always looked forward to the next “lesson” and learning experience. I even finished my project way ahead of time and now I have began a second project. Incorporating Independent Learning Projects in the classroom is a great idea. I think it gives students control over their learning. Of course, there should be a time frame when certain work needs to be turned in

I can definitely relate this project and experiences in my life that have shaped who I am. I have worked hard in school and have done well, even while holding down three jobs. The struggle and the triumph have made me who I am. Once again I have to proof myself and others that I am capable of this doing this and more…

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Tech Tools For Sharing Learning

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘a picture can tell a 1,000 words?’ In the assignment for this week ,we were given three graphic/visual tech tools to learn about: piktochart, canva, and comic book/strip and the option to focus on one, learn about it, and create some kind of graphic or visual to share about our learning or experiences with our Independent Learning Project, which mine was learning how to crochet.

Piktochart, canva, and comic book/strip are online tools which help people to create visuals. Click on piktochart , canva or comic book/strip creation to learn more about these great tools. Personally, I decided to create my visual with canva. Canva is pretty easy to navigate through, of course, once you have it down. If you are new to these tools like I am, there will definitely be some challenges. Learning how to operate all the templates, images, layouts, texts, backgrounds, downloads, etc. can be hard at the beginning. However, once you know what each thing does, it should become easier. If you are unsure how to navigate canva, check this canva tutorial, it sure helps.  Crochet was something totally new for me. However, now after making a crochet headband with a flower, I have familiarized myself with this beautiful art. After using this canva tool, it helped me to organize the process of my crochet. It definitely helped as an infographic which allowed me to create a visual and it is easier to remember.

In conclusion, I do think there is value in presenting information with these kinds of visual/graphic styles. As a future teacher, it would be a great idea to get familiar with these tools prior to presenting them in class. These are great tools to be used in the classroom and help students tell their stories. It is especially, a great tool for those students who are visual learners. Using comic book/strips creations are great for those students who have problems with reading. By simply adding a few lines to their comics, it allows them to tell a story, of course, with the help of the pictures as well. So come and explore these great tech tools. Open a new tab, choose a design, get inspired, and of course, create!!!

Check out my //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” target=”_blank”>Crochet Canva

 

Podcasts and Digital stories

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I have never heard of podcasts and digital stories before. Now that I have done some research on them, I do have to say as a future elementary teacher, they can be used in the classroom, especially, since they are very informative.

Keeping in mind that some of these stories are not appropriate for younger children, for example,“Serial,” they can also be a very informative tool. Serial is a story about “the murder-mystery phenomenon produced by reporter Sarah Koenig of “This American Life,” which already was transfixing a wide swath of the adult population, according to “What teens are learning from ‘Serial’ and other podcasts article, by Mind/shift. Digital stories and podcasts have some great benefits in the classrooms according to Michael Godsey, who is a High School English teacher in California and has been using digital stories and podcasts. According to Godsey, “improving students’ listening skills is one of the essential components of the new education mandates, and using audio in the classroom can be an effective way to promote listening.” Best part of all, using digital stories and podcasts addresses  education requirements set by the Common Core state standards. Along with these benefits, students are also learning without realizing, how to be better listeners, writers, develop better reading skills, and most important of all, become better public speakers, since they are required to share and debate with their class findings of the stories.

Second of all, just like there are positive benefits with using podcasts and digital stories in the classroom, there might also be some negative aspects. Since learning through podcasts and digital stories require technology, students will need access to the necessary tools in order to complete assignments. By tools I mean, having a computer, internet access, being technology savvy, cameras, and most important of all, having the desire to do homework.

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As a future Elementary teacher, I think I would incorporate podcasts and digital stories in my classroom. As I mentioned previously, learning through using these methods can  have many benefits, especially, when it comes to listening, speaking, and writing. And once again, best part of all, it also covers requirements set by the Common Core state standards.

Finally, one of the biggest takeaway for me from reading podcasts and digital stories, is that it helps students to use their imagination while learning. It is great for those students who are artistic and visual learners. As students learn, they listen, express, create, focus and most important of all, have fun while leaning!

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Attention Log

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This week was mostly spent on the road. Since my son had spring vacation, my son and I traveled to Oregon to visit my parents, (a total of 2,500 miles). But I do have to say that through out the week I did use many technological devices. Along with the use, I also kept an attention log in order to keep track of the following things:

1. Date

2. Description of Physical Space and Device

3. Duration of session

4. What occurred

5. What you did

6. How you felt

7. What worked

8. What did not work

9. Other comments

The log was kept from Monday, March 28 through Friday, April 1st. I did used different devices during these days; including my smartphone, iPad, laptop, commercial computer, and GPS. Each device was used in a different space. The smartphone, iPad, laptop, were definitely used for homework, but of course, also, for personal use. I do have to say on my smartphone, every single night for about 15 to 20 minutes, while laying on bed I would check Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, I would only check new notifications and surf around to see what friends and family were doing. However, I do have to say that Twitter was only checked for homework and to see new notification from our wonderful class, #diglitclass!🙂 Since it was around midnight or so, most of the nights I was falling asleep while checking my social cites. However, whenever I found interesting information, I was definitely alert and eager to keep looking around.

The GPS was definitely used for “more” useful purposes, to be able to get to my destination safe and faster. My parents own a restaurant, so the commercial computer was used to put in food orders from our customers. Since I spent one whole week with them, I  used the commercial computer at least 5 hours every day.

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It is such a difference using technical devices for personal use, that when using them for “actual work!” Especially, when you are active and it is required to complete work. I have to say I am still very active on Facebook, and somewhat on Twitter. Once again, I only check Twitter for homework and once in a while I look around for Educational resources. As I said before, we must learn to use technology wisely, and not let technology use us!!!

Obsessed with Technology…

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It is absolutely astonishing how technology revolves around us, but it is even more incredible how vulnerable we are to technology. Nowadays with so much technology at our hands, we cannot imagine life without it. Everything we do and use involves technology somehow.

First of all, do I use technology mindfully? Well, I would have to say NO! When it comes to using social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. it is very easy for me to log in and blog about my personal life and such things I have done throughout the day. Many times we forget that everyone out there has access to information we share. And we must also remember that once we post information on the Internet, it is permanently, even when we “delete” posts!!!

Second of all, there are many times when we log into the Internet to do homework. But are we really doing homework all the time we are logged in? Or are we actually looking at other sites at the same time?  When do we need to stop multi-tasking? It is so easy to get distracted by so many advertisements, mail notifications, and many other things that pop-up in the screen. Once we stop concentrating on just one task, such as homework, it is so easy to get distracted by other things. In order to be more attentive and actually achieve the goal of completing homework, we must forget about trying to multi-task. Most of the time it ends  in a failure, nothing gets done. There is a great article by Mind/shift “what happens when Teens try to disconnect from Tech for three days,” which it talks about students at Convent & Stuart Hall in San Francisco, volunteering to restrict from using any kind of technology for three days. Aceret, one of the students, said, “with his technology distracting him, homework can take up to five hours, but without it he can whip out his assignments in an hour and a half.” Perfect example why we need to be more attentive and  prevent trying to multi-task. Simply, because we are not truly present to one task or another.

Finally, a great question we can ask ourselves is, what do we loose by being permanently tethered to our device? Well, basically everything, especially TIME…I would say. The simple fact of constantly checking our devices for new messages or such things, lets us forget about the real world! It prevents us from enjoying nature and from having real conversations with family and friends.

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In order to continue with this question, I decided to ask my parents who are somewhat “ignorant” towards modern technology.

My mom said, besides taking time, it definitely reduces life because of so much technology. What she means is, like it affects our vision from watching too much television, looking at the computer screen, etc. “I agree technology can be a great benefit, but it also takes from us,” she said.

My dads response was pretty similar to my moms. He said watching too much television, staring at the computer screen, etc. damages our vision. It also prevents us from accomplishing tasks we need to do throughout the day.

It is so clear that technology can come in handy, but if we abuse it, it can become a double sharp sword. We must learn to used technology, not let technology use us.