Cassandra's Education Blog

Wander with me on my journey...

Category: EdTech

“The Girl” by Dallas Green – performed by yours truly

Listen while I play the guitar…

Minecraft in Education

Today in our ED Tech class we had the pleasure of learning from a Spectrum High School student, three Colquitz Middle School students and one of the teachers from Colquitz. We discussed gaming in education and learned about the benefits of Minecraft and how it can be used in a school setting. The game is designed with a student and teacher login access where the teacher can control specific settings, such as, personal settings, world settings, player setting and player management. Within these settings, the teacher has the ability to apply limits or not for the students, for example, there are five different game modes in Minecraft, Survival, Creative, Adventure, Spectator and Hardcore. In class we learnt about survival and creative mode. In survival mode, players are to gather resources, build a base and keep themselves alive by nourishment and avoiding death, whereas, in the creative mode players have unlimited access to every item in the game. The teacher can control the weather, the ability to enter other dimensions, and to bring villagers and monsters into the game. The teacher can also set a timer to allow students to work in a competition style towards a goal or simply any timed exercise. To ensure students are staying on task and listening during breaks for teacher instruction there are tools that can help aid in this.  The teacher can “fly” over the Minecraft world to oversee students working and if needed they can teleport to the student or vice versa. As well, the teacher can freeze the students from the game to quickly get the students attention to give other instructions and save from having wasted class time. In the event that students are misusing or require more freedom in the game than their peers, the teacher can individually select specific options to make available or unavailable to any individual student. Minecraft can be used educationally in mathematics, sciences, history, reading and writing, Minecraft will also further improve the students quality of creativity, problem-solving, collaborations and self-sufficiencies in learning and other life skills.

 

Here is a reflection of my school visits to Glanford Middle School

I have had the opportunity to oversee a grade eight classroom at Glanford Middle School for the last three Wednesday visits. I want to begin by explaining how nervous and frightened I was to step into a class at that age as my first experience as a teacher’s assistant. After our first day with our partner teacher and students I was thrilled to be fortunate enough to be pushed out of my comfort zone, our partner teacher is demonstrating exactly what we are being taught to do when we have our own classrooms and students. Our partnering teacher has been an amazing role model to learn from, their use of various pedagogical approaches, exploratory speech in class discussions and their encouragement towards students learning shows how practical these skills are. In these short three weeks I have watched these children grow already and without a doubt it is in thanks to their teacher.

 

Growing up in school district 61 was very different when I was going through my K-12 education. I briefly went to Lakehill Elementary, McKenzie Elementary and finally Strawberry Vale Elementary which I graduated grade seven from. Following, I went to Colquitz Junior High and moved on to Spectrum High School for my final years. Looking back and comparing the grade eight students from Colquitz when I was a student to the grade eight students that I have been working with thus far at Glanford I can see the positive impact that has been made by the restructure of the school system. It has been an honour to work with these children and staff and has made me reconsider my “ideal” grade to work with in future endeavours.

 

Not only have I had the pleasure to work in an academic setting in the grade eight classroom, I have also had the opportunity to assist with the grade six dance club at lunch. I am looking forward to continuing this and gaining more experience with a school dance club that has a wide variety of levels. I was a competitive dancer and dance teacher at a studio, as well I was a teacher assistant at school dance from grade nine to twelve while in attendance. I hope to bring dance to any school I get to work with and am excited to get the chance to learn from the school dance teachers and see how they help to push and encourage students from all levels from beginners to skilled and competitive.

My first music blog, follow along while I learn the guitar

Welcome to my first music blog post! This is where you can follow my journey while I learn to play the guitar. I look forward to learning a new skill, but, at the same time I am nervous at how challenging this will be for me. I have never played an instrument before and would not consider myself musically inclined. With that being said, I was a competitive dancer for many years and also taught dance and choreographed pieces, so I know that I have a feel for music. This will be a completely different experience as I am the one making the music and not just moving along with it. I choose the guitar because my sister had one that I could borrow. Her and our childhood best friend both have tried to learn and have quit before becoming successful with enough skills to play a song. I hope to be able to teach them both one of my songs after I have mastered them myself. I am also a little nervous about how much my professor thinks I am able to do. I had a song with three chords that I chose to master. I thought I would work on the individual chords and strumming patterns without using chords for our midterm assessment, and then work at putting them together to make the song for my final. Our professor thought that I was capable of more, so we added another song to my syllabus. I was thrilled to hear that she thought I was capable of achieving more! I hope to accomplish all the goals I have set but do feel overwhelmed due to the amount of time I expect is needed to achieve these goals. Currently, I am enrolled in six classes at the University of Victoria and on top of that have a day for practicum, in order to stay afloat with my bills, I also have to work, I run my own cleaning company and as we all know business owners are very busy.

Understanding Privacy Online

In class we discussed FIPPA, which is the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. I have always been aware of being “safe” online, to me that meant to not give personal information to sites that you are not sure about their security and reliability. When I used to think of online safety and privacy I would also think about the traditional “don’t give your information to a stranger online”, as you can see, my safety concerns online only barely scratched the surface. Learning about FIPPA has given me a deeper understanding of the importance of online privacy and the protection of information. In a teaching role, I believe it is fundamental that we provide our students with all the pertinent information and skills so that they can make informed decisions. I feel the way FIPPA incorporates ideas of consent is also very important, in particular, the clarification and promotion of the proper way one asks for consent and what consent looks like in an online sharing situation.

Learning about FIPPA was very interesting to me, I believe it was a very important discussion to have and feel more confident in discussing online privacy with my future students. I am glad that we learnt about FIPPA and will be able to inform others of this information.

 

Welcome!

Welcome to my first education technology blog post!

This week has been exciting, I got my website up and running!! I learned how to use word press and create this website, how to make pages and load blog posts for public and private viewing.

This is my second blog post and I’ll be adding more for my other classes as time goes on. My tech class is providing me with the tools I needed to have all my information in one place, available for myself and all others to see.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you next time!

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my very first blog post!!

I invite you to follow along with me on my educational journey. I am now three weeks in my second year in the elementary education program at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

I have already had two visits to Glanford Middle School which have both been great experiences. I have had the opportunity to over see two grade eight classrooms and help with the grade six dance club at lunch. I start my morning in the first grade eight class and we start the day with a live video radio that is put on completely by the students. Each classroom watches on their projector screen and take part in singing happy birthday to students and staff of the school. The students putting this broadcast on include  other school announcements and important information, after the school news we start our learning with social studies. Our partnering teacher allows the students to work in groups to encourage learning opportunities for all students. After they brain storm they have a class discussion which helps all students to get lots of ideas written down, the teacher writes all these ideas on the board as they give their ideas so that all children can be sure to not miss anything.  After a short break to stretch their legs we move on to language arts where they have been working on an all about me project and some silent reading. We have watched videos on social media and its effects and had more class discussions on other topics.

Nutrition break is time for the kids to get outside for some fresh air, a good leg stretch and a snack. I find myself going outside for the same thing and interact with the children. It was inspiring the first day, I went outside and found the principal of the school outside saying hi and giving out high fives to the children!

We head back in for french class and the students seem to really enjoy this class, their teacher does seven minuet exercises where she starts with a sentence and builds on it so before the time is up they can have a short conversation with her. They all get involved by responding to her questions and statements out loud as a class. As long as they stay on task and fully participate at the end of each seven minuet interval they receive a point to cash in at the end of the year for a donut party!

Lunch time comes and I go to the dance studio to help with the grade six dance class, last week was the first meet and I’m looking forward to going this week! After lunch the class I have been with all day goes to the Mac lab to do their computer class. I go to another grade eight class that is in art that block. Last week they started working on their clay monsters, I’m excited to see how they are coming along when I go back this week! The last class of the day is a flex class so it’s up to the teachers discretion, last week we went on a walk with all the grade eight classes, this week we had them finish up some of their work.

I have been absolutely loving this process so far, I can’t wait for the weeks to come!

Thanks for reading,

see you next week!

Attributions

Header image by Flicker user morberg is licensed under Creative Commons BY NC 2.0. Modification made was to crop it to fit the header.