ECMP 355

Learning Never Stops… Final ECMP 355 Post

This semester has flown by and I can’t believe that I am now posting my last blog post for ECMP 355. I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this class and getting to tell my friends that I had to do my homework for the day and tweet. I learned a lot about digital citizenship this semester and noticed how to better portray myself online as well as how to teach my students someday about  the importance of this. The following video is my learning summary for ECMP355 – Fall 2014. A big thanks goes out to my instructors for presenting this class to us and another thanks goes out to my peers who were great supporters of my learning and others learning this semester. Hope you enjoy the video!

Feature image credit goes to Creative Commons

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More Digital Stories

I wanted to share a cute ToonDoo that I created. I enjoy the season of Christmas and therefore I wanted to share another Christmas inspired item. I thought that it was particularly punny

cool-cartoon-8202783

I know you are probably shaking your head at how ridiculous that was, but I hope I made you chuckle or even crack a smile. The following two small video stories are from my personal past. I decided that it would be cool to look back at my time on Instagram. The following video was create with my Instagram photos with an app called Flipagram which is available for Android, IOS and Windows mobile devices.

Hope you enjoyed these two digital stories. Let me know if you have used either of these apps and what you used them for. Look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Story Telling!

Featured image credit goes to Creative Commons.

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Christmas Inspired – Digital Storytelling

Presents

This is the six word story that I decided to create. One of my most favorite things in this entire world is to give other presents. I love to see the reactions of others when they open the gift and it is exactly what they didn’t know that they wanted. Within my family, I have come to be known as the gift giver as I will randomly get a family member something small and significant even when it is not near the Christmas or their birthday. I was once told that I spend too much money on others, but in reality most of my gifts are handmade and very inexpensive to me. The young girl in this picture reminds me of a girl that I use to babysit. I had never had a younger sibling and she did not have an older sibling and magically we just connected. I was very excited to give her a birthday present one year as I got her a small sisters necklace. We use to be neighbors and in many ways, I spent so much time with this girl that we were family. She is eight now and now that I have moved away from home, she calls me sometimes to check up on  me.

When I was asked to create a six word story for class, all I could think about was Christmas and therefore I thought about presents. This made creating the story very easy as it is clear, every time you open a present, you go through this emotional roller coaster. Looking at the present you feel excited, as you start to rip open the paper your heart flutters and hopefully when you open the gift, it is exactly what you wanted.

As Christmastime is approaching, I hope everyone has a great holiday and enjoys their emotional roller coaster as you open those glistening packages that await under the tree!

Happy Gifting!

Feature Image Credit Goes To Creative Commons

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Stitches and Seams – Finishing The Dress

As I work on my dress again and I am to the point where I am ready to stitch the pieces together. This is the point where I had to set up my sewing machine again since it was packed away during my move.  I thought that this was a perfect moment to document my learning so far by including a short video of me preparing the sewing machine once again. (I am proud that I have the system down to a science).

During my move, I misplaced my tripod, so I had to enlist the help of my roommate for videotaping the following pieces. Before starting to sew my dress I had to choose what type of stich that I wanted to use. I decided on a straight stitch followed by a zigzag stitch. Once I was done my stitches, I unpinned my material and put the pins away. I am very excited because I can see the basic shape of my dress. All that is left to complete this is finishing edging around the arms and at the bottom of the dress.

To finish my dress, I had three things left to do: 1) pin and sew the bottom of my dress so that It looked nice and was custom to my height, 2) pin and sew around the neck and arm holes to make the dress look polished, and 3) try on the dress and admire my work.

While I was finishing the bottom of the dress, I had to enlist the help of my roommate again to help keep the pinning straight. After I pinned to bottom edge, I sewed and cut the excess material off. When this was completed, I moved on to the neck and arm holes on the dress. I used my eye as a guide to measure the seams, and I feel that I did a great job. When my dress was completed, I cut off any excess strings and then tried on the dress. I love it so much, that I have decided that I am going to wear it to my last day of ECMP class in which we are gathering in person. Below is a picture of my completed dress to which I am very proud of and I can now say that I completed by goal of sewing a dress. IMG_0839

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Never Enough Pins!

Before I started to make my physical dress, I searched up on YouTube how to cut out patterns. I learnt that weights or pins were great for ensuring that you cut out a proper pattern.
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IMG_0805From here I took my pattern out of the package and cut it to my desires. I followed the size 8 dress size to make sure my dress would be made to my size. When the two pieces for my dress were cut out, I was confused as to how this pattern would create a dress. I stopped for a break at this time while I had a snack and thought about it. I felt embarrassed when I realized the answer because it was so easy to see. I ended up laying my fabric out on my working surface and folded over one edge so I had an overlap, the size of the patter.IMG_0807 IMG_0806IMG_0808

Next I laid my patter on the fabric and made sure that I placed it as close to the edge as I could to avoid wasting fabric. I pinned my pattern for the front of the dress down to both layers of the fabric. Next I took scissors and cut out the material on three sides. I did not cut the rolled overlay side of the fabric as this creates a connecting portion of my two pieces. After my piece was cut out, I unpinned the patter from the fabric and set the piece to the side. Following this, I laid out the rest of my material and folded it in half to create the piece of my dress. Like the process from creating the front piece of the dress I pinned the pattern to the material, cut it out, unpinned the material and set the piece aside. This left me with the two pieces that were necessary for creating my dress.IMG_0810

Now it was time to work on the body of my dress. I was ready to start sewing my pieces together; however, I realized that I was unsure which way to lay the dress so my seams would be on the inside and not the outside. I thought that my best answer for this question would come from a sewing expert, so I called up my mom. She helped me understand that the two pieces of material needed to be pinned face to face in order for me to be able to sew a hidden stitch. The following video shows my process of going from two pattern pieces to creating the body of the dress, in preparation for stitching it together.

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Picking And Choosing… Journey Towards The Dress

For my ECMP 355 final project I chose to learn how to sew. I later decided that the way that I would demonstrate my learning would be through the creation of a dress. One of my hardest decisions through this process was deciding what kind of dress that I wanted to make. I went to Fabricland to look for a pattern and some material. While I was flipping through the pattern book, I came across a maxi dress pattern. I have always wanted to wear a maxi dress; however, due to the proportions of my body these dresses are either too long for me or too wide. I thought that this was a perfect opportunity to make one that fits just right.Pattern Maxi Dress Pattern (Front)After deciding that the maxi pattern was the style of dress that I wanted to create, I set out to the back of the store to find some material. While looking at the back of the pattern, I was slightly puzzled at figuring out the size of dress that would fit me. I must have had a confused look on my face because a sales representative walked up to me and asked if she could help me with anything. I was slightly embarrassed that I couldn’t figure out my size of dress. The nice representative helped me figure out that I wore a size 8 dress and that I needed 1 2/3 yards of material to create my dress. I started to look round for material that I liked.

My common sense kicked in while looking at the pattern as I realized that I would need a stretchy material so that I could get the dress on. I ended up finding a few stretchy pieces of materials that I liked; however, I was unable to decide between two of them. Finally I chose to take both on the basis that I planned to make another dress and further practice my new skill. Once I had a representative cut the material to my desire amount I headed for the front of the store. I was very excited when I approached the till to purchase my fabrics and it turned out both of my materials were 70% off and my pattern was regularly $17.95 and it was on sale form $7.95. I was happy that I found two types of fabrics that I liked and they were on sale.

Costs of learning are always better when you get them at a discounted rate!

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The Overwhelming Itch From Scratch

As we were asked in class, I checked out the app Scratch. I worked to create a small story using the coding prompts. When I started using the app, I was slightly frustrated because I did not know anything about coding. Once I played around with it a little bit, I started to find it easier and easier. I hit a rough patch when I tried to turn my character Max the fish around in the prompts. I ended up affecting other parts of the code which made me very frustrated. I will admit that I did take several days to make my small video because I was frustrated a couple of nights and moved on from it. I will also admit that this was not my most favorite app to use because I am not totally into video creation in the first place. On that note I realize that this app is a great starting point for learning how to code. I was discussing with my brother, a coding expert, about this app. He told me that this app is a great place to start when teaching coding; however, according to him, this is not the proper way that code works. In other words the actual process of coding is not this “simple” but Scratch shows the basics of the flow of coding.

I think that this app would be useful for working on a coding project over a extended amount of time to allow for users to fully understand the uses and consequences for each command. I am glad that I had the experience of creating a small video; even though I was very overwhelmed by the process. I have a question for you, the reader. In this modern day, we try to show kids at a younger age how to code and use computers. My question is, what is your opinion of exposing children to technology to children at a young age and what do you think the implications of this are?

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out my scratch project entitled Holly The Grumpy Fish.

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Google Does It Again… Introducing Google ChromeCast

Today, I would like to discuss this wonderful device that my brother picked up from Best Buy for $40.00. It is a cool USB device called ChromeCast from Google. I have a Chromebook myself, so I was excited to try the device out; however, I was unaware of the sheer bliss and amazement that I was about to experience! Below is a picture of this beautiful device.

ChromeCast Device

ChromeCast is used to stream items from Edited Chrome Browser Screen Shotyour Chrome browser, Chromebook, iPhone, Android or other smartphone devices to your TV or any device that can plug at USB port into it. The device plugs into the back of your TV and can be controlled by your phone or Chromebook. This screen shot to the left shows how the screen shows the stream button on the Chrome browser that allows you to connect to the ChromeCast. You can stream YouTube video on your chrome cast and it will play as you can IMG_0830continue to do other things on your computer or browser as long as you do not close the tab that has YouTube open in. This would be very handy for watching online tutorials and doing work on your computer as well.

Another awesome feature for the ChromeCast is streaming your web browser to the device. If this device is connected to a projector, it could be used through wireless to connect computers to a projector. Since the ChromeCast ChromeCast Idle Screenconnects directly to the internet, it does not rely on your device to stream it. This means that your computer is freed up to do other things. One problem with this is that this makes getting something like American Netflix a lot harder; however, not impossible.

ChromeCast also allows you to use a feature called PhotoWall. This app is available for IOS and Android. When creating the photo wall, on a mobile device you name it and stream it to your ChromeCast. A code and an web address to access the photo wall. While creating this, you are able to select that you would like to create a YouTube video following the photo wall time that summarizes the photos that we sent to PhotoWall. The following photos highlight the process to set up a photo wall as well as the video of my test run PhotoWall that I did with my family, using their mobile devices. IMG_0925IMG_0926 IMG_0927 IMG_0928 IMG_0929IMG_0838IMG_0930IMG_0931IMG_0932I am a big fan of the ChromeCast and how easy it is to use. I love the idea of multitasking using this device as it connects to the internet remotely and does not rely on your computer to run this. I am curious if anyone else has tired out a ChromeCast and if so what are your thoughts about it.

For more information about the ChromeCast check this Google link!

Happy Exploration!

Categories: ECMP 355, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Completion Of The Double Layered Square Circle Skirt

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy as November is filled with midterms and assignments in preparation for the end of the semester. In this swarm of activity, I made sure to find time to continue to continue my learning for my learning project. On the other hand, I neglected my duty to post my progress and in doing so, this post will explain the last few weeks of my learning project as a whole.

As I am working towards sewing a dress for my learning project, I decided that I should make a smaller project before to give myself practice. I was on Pinterest one day, looking up ideas for beginner sewing projects and I found a few posts on skirts. Each post that I looked at ensured me that skirts are one of the easiest project for beginners working with a sewing machine. When I tried to decided on a particular style of skirt, I found a pattern to create a square circle skirt. Looking through the instructions and the information on this link, I noticed that the pattern for this skirt contained very few materials and seams. In my search for more information on this style of skirt, I found another instructional website that altered the pattern by making it a double layered square circle skirt.

I started my project by reviewing the instructional website and clarified what materials I needed and how I could break up my project to be able to complete it within my available time in my crazy busy schedule. Once I made a list of materials that I needed, I went out to Wal-Mart and purchases a package of material, along with enough elastic for the waistline and some pins. The picture below displays my collection of materials that I needed for this small project.

Materials NeededOnce I had all of my supplies I unrolled my material and laid it with the pattern facing down on my working surface (my kitchen table).

Green Material Laid Out On Table Bowl and Ruler

I ran into a bit of a problem. I realized that I did not have a tape measure, so I had to improvise. I use my current belt to wrap around my waist and then I used the ruler (right) to measure how big my waist was. I then found a bowl that measured approximately the same circumference as my waist. From here I found the center of the material and placed the bowl upside down in the center.  I used the ruler to double check that the bowl was in the middle.  After this, I used a pencil to trace around the bowl on the material.IMG_0768IMG_0767

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After this, I took my material and cut out the circle that I had drawn. Once this was completed, I set that piece of material aside and laid out my second piece of material. I followed the same steps with the second piece. After laying out the material, I placed the bowl in the middle and traced around it. Finally I cut out the traced circle. The pictures below demonstrate my steps.

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Once these steps were finished I took  the first layer and the second layer and laid them on top of each other on the table. I laid the second layer on a 45 degree angle. IMG_0774As the picture to the right shows, I made sure that the cut out circles in the middle lined up with one another. Once the edged were lined up, I used pins to hold the material together. IMG_0777From here I grabbed my piece of elastic and cut it to fit around my waist plus half and inch on either side for overlap. IMG_0779I then pinned the elastic ends together with approximately a half an inch overlap to create a circle  and then sewed the elastic. Once I had my elastic circle I placed the elastic in the middle of the cutout and then used pins to attach the elastic to the material with a slight overlap. I founded a instructional site that helped me further understand how to attach the elastic to the material properly.

 

Through this process I learnt that the pins work better if they are placed on an angle so that the sewing machine does not catch on them when you are sewing. I used a straight stitch at first to IMG_0782hold the elastic to the material and then I used a honeycomb stitch after. while I was writing this blog, I knew what the stitch looked like, however I did not know the name of it, but I found it one the Singer Website. I now had my basic skirt. I tried it on to make sure that it would fit.

When I was done the body of my skirt, I wanted to make the edges look nice. FullSizeRender (1)So I put my skirt on my table upside down and spread out one layer at a FullSizeRendertime to fold over, pin and sew the edges of the skirt. The following pictures show my edging and my final skirt.  When this was done, I had create a fun, cute skirt that I made all on my own.

This was a great experience to create my own skirt from scratch. I think that it was a great idea to create a smaller project before starting my dress.I learnt many new things during this process that will benefit my process of creating a dress.

FullSizeRender (3)rsz_img_0800 Learning is fun!

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Meet Thelma..

Thelma is a new arrival to my family. For those who are wondering, Thelma is my sewing machine. She was place on my mighty craft table only a few short weeks a go and so far she has been a wonder. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have always wanted to learn how to use a sewing machine. This is one of the many reasons why I am excited to have Thelma in my life.

Looking at my project to learn how to sew, I knew that once I had acquired a sewing machine, like Thelma, I would need to learn how to run her. This was a great opportunity as I found great resources on YouTube that allowed me to get a basic understanding of the main components or parts of the sewing machine and how to thread and get my sewing machine set up. First and for most, I looked up the parts of a sewing machine. I am vaguely familiar with a sewing machine as I took part in home economics in high school; however, I spent very little time working with the sewing machine. This meant that I needed a refresher. I found a great site that was entitled the Anatomy of a Sewing Machine. This website has a labelled diagram with detailed descriptions about each part of the machine. After I had pulled Thelma out of the box and got her set up, I needed a refresher on how to thread the machine.  I searched on YouTube how to thread the machine  and I found a great videos by Youtuber FilmedCoUk which has great instructional videos for how to do a variety of tasks. The first video that I looked at was the Start Sewing Video. This video was very helpful.

Once my machine was threaded, I used a scrap piece of material that I had and tried using a few different stitches on my machine. The following video is a quick view of me threading and practicing working with Thelma. I would like to quickly point out that this is the evidence of my practice of threading an preparing the machine.

Now this video was short, but those hands in the video are mine as I worked to set up the machine. So far during this learning project, I have been fairly lucky with the difficulty of my project; however, I know that as I move forth in my project to create a skirt and then a dress that things will become more difficult.

Categories: ECMP 355, ECMP 355 Final Project | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk Youtube

This week in ECMP 355 we were asked to pair up and explore the pros and cons of using a particular tool in the classroom. For this, I paired up with Chelsey and we decided that we wanted to cover the tool YouTube. From personal experiences, we know that parents tend to have a opposition to YouTube due to the quantity of videos available.

After Chelsey and I decided to tackle possible oppositions to YouTube we decided to make a short video explaining our points. As we are both creative and enthusiastic about learning and becoming educators, we thought that we should try and have some fun with the material. We ended up shooting our video in front of a world map which led us to the topic of Brasil.

How does Brasil relate to YouTube you may ask, well take a look at our video below and find out! Feel free to leave comments about your thoughts on using YouTube in the classroom and enjoy our video!

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MediaSmarts Incorporated Into Teaching

This week I explored the MediaSmarts Website. My initial thoughts about this website was that it is confusing. I found myself confused as to where I should go next as the menus and layout of the website were difficult to sort through. Once I managed to find my way around, I found some interesting ideas.

The MediaSmarts website includes a variety of great resources and guides for educators who are trying to teach their students the importance of technology and how to use it properly. One tab contained the outcomes for digital and media literacy within each province. Under Saskatchewan, I found that the tabs were divided into different grade. This tool could be used to help guide educators as they explore digital literacy as pertaining to their students. I think that the ideas that are purposed in these grade levels provides teachers with a starting point of how and where they can teach digital literacy to their students and integrate it into their curricula.

The MediaSmarts website covers many topics including ones that are brought forth through media’s influence such as body images of young students. When trying to help promote a healthy self-esteem media can be a major impact therefore it is important for teachers and students to challenge media and understand what impossible standards this sets for young students. I think that this heading under media issues is very important to discuss in schools as the media greatly impacts a students view of themselves and the world around them. As an educator, I would use this information to help integrate a lesson discussing how media alters and changes images which create false representations of the idols we see in the media. I think that using the internet and exploring media websites and articles would be very beneficial for this topic.

As I mentioned before, the MediaSmarts website is a host to many topics. I found another heading about cyber bullying. As we now live in a digital age, it is important to teach students the proper ways to act on the internet to insure a decrease in cyberbullying. I know that cyberbullying is a large issue and it is hard for teachers to monitor; however, I would use information from the MediaSmarts website on cyberbullying to help inform my students of the consequences of posting hurtful or cruel things online about others.

I think that the MediaSmarts website gives many great ideas for educators who are trying to get a grasp on digital and media influences that are occurring with their students. I know that the information on this website contains great resources that would be a great starting point for teachers.

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The Importance of Digital Citizenship

This week I watched the Fifth Estate’s documentary on  The Sextortion of Amanda Todd. This video is not only sad to hear about the struggles that Amanda and her family went through, but it is also unfortunate to hear that there are people in this world that take advantage of vulnerable girls such as Amanda Todd. I found this video interesting and it bring up the topic of digital citizenship.

When I think about being a digital citizen, I think about the way in which you present yourself or create and image of yourself online. I know that many people have a positive image online where they are able to openly express themselves in a way that is safe and respectful for themselves and other. On the other hand, there is a growing population that believes that the internet is a place where you can be whoever you want to be with little to no consequences. I know that is important to be mindful about what you post online. I am a big fan of the idea that when you post something online, you should ask yourself, “Is this something that I would be okay with anyone in the world seeing.” By asking yourself this, I think you will be more aware of what you are putting online and therefore assuring that it is appropriate.

Learning about what it means to be a digital citizen is important in this era as we are constantly surrounded by social media and the internet. Clearly the age that children are exposed to the internet is rapidly decreasing. This early exposure brings forth new challenges as parents and teachers to inform children of the risks and consequences of using the internet and social media improperly. In my mind, it should be a mandatory part of the curriculum that children must learn about the proper ways to act and develop their image online.

As it is sad that incidences such as Amanda Todd’s story occur, I think that an early exposed and frequently reinforced education on the digital world would greatly benefit the generations of tomorrow as we must do out best to keep children safe and aware of the world we live in.

Check out The Sextortion of Amanda Todd Documentary on the Fifth Estates website linked here.

Categories: Class Topic, Digital Citizenship, ECMP 355 | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Creating an Engaging, Welcoming and Fun Learning Enviroment

HOW DO WE CAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF OPEN, NETWORKED, AND PARTICIPATORY COMMUNITIES IN OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS? 

In a classroom setting it is very important that those involved, learners and educators, feel welcomed, safe, appreciated and intrigued by their environment and those who are a part of it. Each of these components contribute to the well-being of a classroom. A lack of one of these can result in a negative experience, in my opinion. So now it is time to talk about how to make a learning environment such as a classroom welcoming and safe.

When discussing the feeling of being welcomed into a classroom and feeling safe we are talking about the environment both physically constructed and socially constructed. Visually a welcome classroom is bright and warm in colors. There is nothing and shows favoritism of any person, class, gender, race or religion. In a classroom, the works of learners are proudly displayed for all to see. The classroom arrangement is focused around groupings that allows learners to work with smaller groups to encourage them participate with  few people and eventually feel open enough to participate in large group activities. It is important to have learners feel safe and comfortable in the class so that they are willing to grow as individuals and take charge of their own learning.

As learners feel safe and welcomed in the classroom, they also need to feel that their thought and opinions matter. This is very important at a young age as we see self-esteem issue arise from learners feeling unappreciated by their peers. By getting to know your learners and interacting with them on a daily basis, you help foster positive thoughts and feelings which can contribute to an increased self-esteem development. By drawing attentions to the strengths that each learner has gives them an opportunity to showcase their abilities and what they are proud of. Every learner is capable of amazing things. As we know, not everyone can do the same things, henceforth why we are humans and not clones.

One of the downsides of differences in a classroom is that a single set way to work, learn or interact with others may not be the best fit for all of the learners. For this reason there are problems with learners feeling under engaged as they find the material too easy or too difficult. Differentiated instruction was created for this reason. To ensure the success for all learners, it is important to engage and give opportunity for all to participate.

Now let’s talk how technology can help.

In a classroom, technology is a great way to promote differentiated instruction by allowing learners to use their individuals strengths to help guide their learning. A variety of technological tools such as laptops, tablets, smart boards etc. can be used along with applications that allow learners to formulate their own thoughts and opinions about a particular topic. This can be used to help evaluate learner’s knowledge.  Technology has made differentiated instruction a lot easier to accomplish as tools have been created and released to help learners display their knowledge in many formats. Technology gives learners the power to recognize what their strength are and be proud of what they can do or the knowledge they have.

Featured Image from Creativecommons.org

Categories: Class Topic, ECMP 355, Technology | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The Search and Find For Online Resources and Articles — Feedly Edition

On the internet today, you can find information on anything that you are looking for. For educational reasons it is important to make sure that the information that you are looking at is trustworthy and valuable. On Feedly, one of the many types of RSS readers, there are many different articles and links to a variety of works. I searched Feedly in search of educational articles that discussed education, technology and the changing world in general. To me, I find that it is important to look for articles that not only apply to my life, but also the life of the people around me. I was able to find a few different sources that I browse regularly.

First off there is Edutopia. This is a very source with informative and educational articles. When scrolling through my Feedly, I realize that many of the articles that I bookmark are from Edutopia.  The Edutopia website has articles that range form curriculum and classroom management to student engagement and bullying prevention. This website is a great resource because it covers a wide range of topics that are all relative to the world of educations, teachers and being in the classroom.

Next up is the Edtech Magazine. This resource includes great articles and discussions around technology in and around the classroom. This online magazine resource is home to articles describing technology that is being integrated and used in the classroom along with advancements and new ideas about technology in the classroom.  As a teacher in this modern age, knowing what is the up and coming for technology in the classroom will help in the way you run your class. New bits of information or tools that you can use to help with differentiated instruction and other teaching methods are always encouraged. I think that it is great that a website such as the Edtech Magazine exists because it gives you an example of what pieces of technology are being used in the classroom not only near you, but in the world around you.

How did I come to find these websites and resources you may ask, well it all started on Feedly. I started my search very general with a search for “Education” and “Technology”. After that I started  to look deeper for more specific sources such as “Technology in the Classroom”. I tried to stay in the parameters of technology and education; however, I also found some basic resources that were based around the world of education, which I did find suitable as well. This was the beginning of my search on Feedly, but I plan to continue searching and expanding my searches to find more valuable and trustworthy information that is out there that helps me on my journey to becoming an educator.

Categories: Class Topic, ECMP 355, Feedly, Technology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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