What does participation even mean?

In this fast paced world where we value instant gratification above most things, it should be no surprise that we participate in our world differently than generations previous.  Participation as described on a global level is entirely different than when your teacher asked you to participate in the fifth grade thirty years ago.  While students used to participate in body by raising their hands today we see  where participation looks like the click of a button or the upload of a video where you no longer have to demonstrate your understandings live, but you can record and upload whatever your are learning about and potentially have an audience of millions.

In my future classrooms this globalism and participation through technology can be hugely positive.  As Wesch noted, students have the opportunity to connect with people from across the world who have similar interests and receive feedback.  He noted how viral videos have the ability to spread joy when people are bold and brave in front of a camera.  On the other hand, global participation can have an incredibly negative impact when people use technology to bully, or post inappropriate content which can ruin careers in minutes.

In saying all of this, it’s important that educators teach students about their digital identities and give them room to explore for themselves.Students need to learn about how to build their online presence in a way that preserves privacy and also displays responsibility.  The issues that young kids often don’t realize is how permanent their actions online are. As we discussed in class, even “private” posts can be screenshot-ed and posted anywhere for anyone to see.

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I don’t have much of a green thumb

Learning new things can be a bit overwhelming for me, so choosing to learn to cross-stitch felt like it was the happy medium of difficulty.  I knew that I would have to work at it to be successful, but I was also pretty sure I was capable given the right resources.

I started with some aida cloth (in case you’re curious what in the heck aida cloth is, it’s linked.  I had no clue what the fabric was called, I had just seen my mom use it!) some scissors, a dulled needle meant for cross stitching, floss of various colours, and I began Googling “free cross stitch patterns” because I’m a student and paying for anything feels like too much.  It was also a good reminder that so many things are free online when you dig a little for them!  At any rate, since I had no clue where a good place to start was, I just picked a pattern and looked to see if I had similar colours to make it work.

**Side note about the pattern I chose: I’ve literally killed every plant I have ever owned (with the exception of the ones that are still hanging on for dear life currently) and my family likes to bug me about it.  SO I chose this aloe plant and I’m excited that I can’t kill it!**

Stretching the aida cloth onto the hoop was the next challenge that I faced and to be quite honest, I don’t really know if it’s exactly perfect, but I went with it anyways.  Hopefully by the end of this series I’ll know a little more! My next question after I had downloaded the pattern and stretched my cloth was, where do you start?!  Luckily Youtube could help a sister out and I found this guy cross stitching a lady bug.   I followed his start up process and so far everything seems like it’s flowing smoothly.  When I reached the end of my floss (thread) I didn’t have a clue how to end it and begin again, but this lady did, and I’m grateful that she shared her knowledge!

In short the steps that I have taken were as follows:

  • raid your mother’s sewing room
  • Google patterns and pick one that’s probably easy (but really just pick any one you like and hope it goes well)
  • search how to stretch aida cloth onto cross stitch hoop
  • cut your cloth to the right size
  • tighten hoop
  • measure where the middle of your cloth is so that you know where to begin
  • follow the directions from Phil’s Next Kick

Here are some photos, if you’re curious!

 

“it’s just not my thing”

“It’s just not me” was always my reason for staying as far away from Twitter as possible.  In the seventh grade I had a teacher who asked us to create a twitter account for our “computers” class.  His requirement was that we had to tweet once a class and could explore anything “school appropriate.”  Looking back, I think this man was awfully brave entrusting us with an online identity and trusting that we would use our accounts productively.  Of course, with anything done in the pre-teen years, there is always a cringey feeling looking back, but thankfully, nothing too wild.  I mean as much as “I’m bored” isn’t a great tweet, I could have said worse things.  The point in sharing this story is that when I found out being active on Twitter was a mandatory component to this class I felt a little nervous.  I really don’t like busting out of my comfort zone where the whole world can literally read my debut, but here we are.  I’ve done some Googling to hopefully assist me in my journey with some practical tips and in general not looking sounding like I have literally no idea what I am talking about! This link here actually was really encouraging for me to read.  I love that this article addresses how our world is changing and how we used to have to rely solely on in-person interactions or networking, but now while we still have access to those resources, we also have the ability to look at ideas from across the globe.  As a pre-service teacher moving to very rural Saskatchewan in the fall for internship I am sure that using Twitter as a networking and resource sharing tool will be really helpful.

All of that to say, tweeting is still an activity which I overthink, and draft multiple times before settling on something that I think might sound half ways #smart but where I was once closed off and refused to try, I now feel like I can see the pros to this platform.

Being a part of the #SaskEdChat was a whirlwind experience! As I read through classmates blogs about the experience I was thankful that I wasn’t the only one who felt like my head was spinning.  It was neat to see so many educators from across the province join in, and some from out of province too to discuss education and various topics within.  I found that as people were tweeting in answers that I just wanted to read what others had to say more so than I wanted to contribute myself, but slowly, when there were questions that I felt like I had an answer to, I also shared my own thoughts.

In the end, social media isn’t my go-to and it doesn’t come naturally to me, but I recognize that there are so many benefits and it is worth giving it a try.  In my own classroom, I think it could be a useful tool to share strategies and resources that are working for me, but I think in an elementary setting I would be very cautious to use it in other ways.  I feel like kids at that age might benefit more from learning about what their digital identity can be and how they can use their presence positively before giving them freedom to explore.

Until next time,

 

Organizing the chaos of media

 

 

 

If you’re looking to streamline your news sources into organized chaos Feedly is for you!  I explored a little bit of Feedly for education resources and articles.  In all honesty, I had no idea who to follow or what information was going to be credible, so I just started exploring and following different sources.  My theory is that I will either really like the information and resources that they produce, or I will have the opportunity to hear another perspective and I can probably still learn something either way…and there’s also an unfollow button, so that’s helpful!

I explored the “Cult of Pedagogy” page a little bit.  What intrigued me first was the word cult in the title, so I had to see what it was all about.  The feel that I get for the account is that they post about an article per week with controversial issues.  One I read was called “How one District Learned to talk About Race” as I read through this article and others I like the way that they don’t shy away from hard topics or social issues but rather that they are willing to be a platform for all voices and issues to be heard.  I also felt like this source was likely a good one to look at considering the following that they already have.  I am excited to dive further into the content that they have and to see what other resources and articles that I will come across!

Until next time,

Adventures of a left-handed cross stitcher

As a child I can remember watching people knit, cross stitch, crochet, and sew and thinking that it must be terribly boring to do one thing for so long. At different points I tried to learn to crochet, but I got a little bit frustrated trying to do everything “backwards” from everyone else. A decade later, here I am, learning how to cross stitch and hoping that the those who claim to be lefties can teach me how to do this.!

My plan is fairly simple, I have bought the thread, canvas, needle, and hoop.  I’ll need to find a pattern (or I guess if I get good, I might have time for two!) and I’ll get to work on some practice pieces before attempting a project that hopefully I can frame and hang.  I’m a fan of the seventies vibe right now, so if this whole project is fruitful it just might save me some money too! Since I really have zero skills in this area I don’t want to make more of a plan than this, I’ll play it by ear and keep you in the loop with some photo evidence!

Until next time,

 

my name is Larea, and I’ll be your host

Hey everyone! my name is Larea.  I am the middle child of three, and the only girl.  I grew up on a farm outside of a tiny town in southern Saskatchewan.  While many people can’t imagine living in a place where wifi isn’t a thing and even having service for your phone isn’t a given, I couldn’t imagine life any other way–although after living in the city I have come to appreciate quicker Internet!

My experience with educational technology as a student was limited to the computer lab with old desktop computers, or laptops that functioned half of the time, and the occasional Smartboard.  As a pre-service teacher there have been a few classes where I have seen iPads in use to document students learning through apps like SeeSaw.  As for class blogs or teacher blogs, I have not worked with a teacher who has used one.  ALL of that to say, I’m open to learning about how to effectively use technology in the classroom.  I recognize that it is a part of our daily lives and can help us to network and find new ideas.  It is also important that we teach students how to use technology for it’s benefits and teach them about the impact that their online presence can have–both positively and negatively.

Until next time,

Credits to GIPHY