Category: EDCI 572 Digital Implementation

Going Back To Our Roots

My prior thoughts:

This weeks discussion has been one that I have absolutely LOVED as a grade 3 teacher. We discussed the concept of Maker Spaces and learning through play. Maker Spaces aren’t something I am necessarily familiar with but given our discussion I have dabbled with it unintentionally. The whole idea revolves around engagement and inquiry. Allowing the students to discover by manipulating and creating from their own ideas with small amounts of guidance. Now I am no expert on this specific idea and I have done a little bit in inquiry. The connection to teaching was obvious this week. I didn’t want to stop there though, I wanted to figure out how I could bring this idea to families and parents while I am teaching online.

Through reflection, my thoughts now:

In trying better to understand Maker Spaces not only through readings and discussion, I truly enjoy Ted Talks. They often give a combination of visual examples and ideas that have already been done in the schools. The idea of Maker Spaces allows for the creativity and problem-solving skills that we are trying to get our students to indulge in. The Ted Talk I watched is presented by Vipul Redey. He speaks to the past of how Leonardo da Vinci used what he had around him in order to create what he saw in his mind.


My Key Connections:

Vipul Redey in his Ted Talk says “children are in their very nature, makers. They are drawn by their innate curiosity to make sense of the world.” This is a huge key factor in teaching. We often speak of allowing students the freedom to learn. We are meant to ignite the passions within them so that they are excited to learn. Often times though, we end up feeling like we (as teachers) are not doing anything if they are taking all the control. We have questions such as how do we mark them? How do I help them if I don’t know all the content about the subject? How do I keep them on task? Whenever teachers are asked to relinquish control they can nervous and truly question if they are doing the right thing.

People, Children, Child, Happy, Kids Playing, Cute

Learning Through Play:

What was your favorite thing to do as a child? Usually we hear people say play games, play outside, go camping etc. The reason is because we were able to play and able to explore without the fear of failure or expectations. We often turn students away from play and place paper in front of them and ask them to be wildly creative and fearless but only in the way we want them to. Makers Space, Inquiry and learning through play eliminates those preset expectations. This doesn’t mean that expectations don’t exist because they do, but they are not set to limit the students ability to explore. Instead they are set to ensure that students find success. In terms of the teacher, it is okay for them to be uncomfortable at first. It is okay to defy some peoples expectations of what school is meant to look like. It is okay to allow the students to teach you. It is amazing how much information is in both a teachers and students brains and it’s even more amazing to watch how they support one another. Play is a key part of life and allowing students to use that fundamental aspect of they nature to learn is by far one of the most important things we as teachers can do, in my opinion.

Reverting Back To Data

What I thought:

A couple of classes ago our instructor asked us to watch a Ted Talk about data collection. To be honest, I was confused as to why. Of course as teachers we collect data in terms of grades or where students are in a variety of subjects. But how did these two ideas connect? How could data collection relate or even inform my teaching? It took me a while to write this post simply because I had to take so long to process and determine what the video meant to me. Perhaps it would be helpful to know which video I’m talking about.


New thoughts through reflection:

Perhaps there is a correlation between data and teaching. It could have been obvious to others but I did not see it at first. When going through this video several times I start to ask myself, how does this relate? All of a sudden it hit me that he’s talking about people. Not specific people but people in general and how we’ve moved through time, adapted and changed. One part that really stood out to me was the idea of diversity within a country. In one part of his video he shows how diverse Africa is in terms of its needs. He split apart Africa into its various areas and spoke to how aid must be varied in Africa depending on the region and that regions specific needs. There are regions with more money and regions with less money and thus they should be given aid differently depending on their needs. So, I finally connected the dots and thought, this is the same in Canada. A large country with various places all needing different things. I started to scope it down from large to small and thought first we have Canada, then B.C, then Langley, then my school and finally it ends up in my classroom. I thought about taking this visual Hans Rosling used to separate Africa and using it within my own classroom. You could use it to determine whether students are given basic needs or whether they’re lacking them and how that could effect performance. You could also look at the variety of family sizes, housing and income etc. All these things determine how a class composition is shaped. Through a long winded thought process and discovery, I now see how collecting data and ‘knowing your students’ creates the conditions to have the best informed teaching.

Unprecedented Times

Current Situation:

During this week people are encountering an unprecedented time where social distancing is a continued safety measure. Since this is occurring all schools within B.C. have closed.




Question Mark, Pile, Questions, Symbol, Ask, Help

The question then begs, what will teaching look like when teachers return to school? Will it be a question of working from home or working within the classroom? Are we going to be mandated to use a particular online learning service such as MyBluePrint or Google Classroom? All districts and provinces will be different in their approaches. Seeing as I am on Spring Break now, which doesn’t have a normal Spring Break calmness, I am unsure of what will be expected of me when I return to work. I also wonder how long we will be required to teach online everyday? Will it be the 6 hours of normal schools time? If it is, I for see many many issues that will occur.

Options and Considerations for Online Curriculum:

Given that my district has focused and implemented MyBluePrint as their online learning space I am going to be using that to provide online learning tools. On MyBluePrint, you are able to assign lessons or activities. For example, I would record myself doing a read aloud, asking questions and ask the students to submit a typed response on their MyBluePrint to answer the questions I have asked about the book. I could even have them pose questions themselves about the book. In doing this, we can then have discussions about the questions or connections that we have made during the reading. Following this, students could be asked to submit a written reflection about a topic that I assigned to them that involved the book. Another thought I had around using MyBluePrint, is that I could send out a picture of a Story Workshop I have created and have the students write a story using that they see in the picture.

For math, I could utilize platforms that my students are familiar with such as Math Playground or Greg Tang Math websites. This will allow students to focus on specific concepts while playing games just like we would in the classroom. Furthermore, using the MyBluePrint platform I could pose open ended math questions to which students would respond with explaining their thinking and problem solving. They could provide a video or picture as well to demonstrate how they solved the problem or what questions they encountered. Students could be sent home a copy of math games and asked to play with them their parents or a sibling. How this would occur if students didn’t have a printer would be another question to consider. It is one I don’t necessarily have the answer to just yet.

Other considerations could be sending out YouTube videos, National Geographic links or using  the Digital Resources Page that would allow students to watch videos based on science or social studies curriculum. Given that I had already planned to incorporate a science specific inquiry project. Students could be given directions and resource links in order to complete this project at home. They would be required to send in weekly updates on their research, questions they have, a visual plan of how to create their project, a video of their completed project and explanation and finally a reflection. All of these pieces could be submitted on MyBluePrint.

Learn, Student, Laptop, Internet, Online, Books, Woman

Overall Thoughts and Feelings:

Of course this is a stressful time for everyone but given that I have been doing my masters which specifically focuses on technology I feel that I am prepared enough to have a starting point. I will absolutely encounter hurdle after hurdle but I believe I have some necessary tools at my disposal in order to provide students with basic education. I believe it is essential for teachers to open their minds and share, share, share their knowledge so support one another during this time.

Digital Story Telling

I have never heard of Digital Story Telling before and I am still slightly confused by the concept. However, my take on it is that one uses technology or digital media in order to tell their story. For example, you could host a podcast talking about your love of cooking and amazing recipes you’ve tried. My digital story telling would focus more on education, being a grade three teacher. I find the idea of digital story telling and interesting one as B.C’s grade three curriculum is all about story. It speaks to how we, as individuals, have our own stories to tell. It is also an interesting concept when bridging into First Nations learning. I still am unsure of how I would use this in my classroom. but I feel that is due to my lack of knowledge about the subject versus the actual use it has. I look forward to seeing how I can use digital story telling in my teaching and especially finding out how it can aid my students.

Online learning and play

This last week we have been discussing the different pro’s and con’s that online learning can provide. When doing online learning one must have drive, dedication and interest enough in actually completing the courses set out for them. I myself found this a struggle in my undergrad because I would take courses online that didn’t interest me but that were requirements. In now taking an online masters program, I am finding that I truly appreciate the openness and freedom that I have. Since I am interested in my masters I find that I am always prepared and interested in the topics that are discussed.

In taking this idea I am curious as to how online learning can work from k-12 when it is fully online. I am curious more towards primary education when online. A new BC government document came out called Play Today that outlines the very important pieces of play that aid in learning. The question becomes if students do curriculum or learning fully online, how do they incorporate the play based learning that they need to develop? I suppose this is where parents come in. If parents are involved then I supposed it becomes more of a blended learning environment versus a fully online one. Can a fully online course exist for primary grades? I currently don’t see how it can but again, people have amazing ideas so perhaps that will be able to create something that changes my mind.