Thursday, March 7, 2013

It is all over...Or is it just beginning??

Well I4ed is officially over and hopefully the wonderful and brilliant Mike Nantais will grant me a p+ for the course (that isn't sucking up, is it??).

Actually I really enjoyed the course and looking back over it and also the last 2 years of my education degree I really have learned a lot.  Even now as I am preparing for my last student teaching placement I find myself much more confident and using better teaching methodology within my unit plans then I did when I started.  Another thing that I find myself doing is waiting to plan my units.  Why you may ask? Well unlike in my first placement, I want to wait and get to know my students before I plan to much.  I want to see how the interact, what learning styles they have, and what each student brings to class before I plan too far ahead.  For this placement I find myself gathering strategies rather then specific resources for my units.  Yes I have basic unit plans and timelines but nothing concrete and even what I do have "planned" I plan to change as I get to know the students.

This is the most important thing that I have learned in my education...

The student lead the learning, the teacher simply guides them in the right direction.

Technology is great in aiding me with this.  I know that if a topic comes up that I don't know a lot about but the students want to learn about, I can easily have access to the information and possibly network with experts to guide them to through the learning.

I plan to use technology in my future a lot.  It causes tons of engagement by the students and allows me to connect with educators teaching the same things that I am.  This makes my life easier and the education for my students better so I feel it is a win, win, win!

Also I plan to keep blogging through my placement about what goes well and what doesn't.  I am also planning on posting my lessons, notes and resources that I use for this placement on here that I found to be successful.  I hope by doing this that whenever another teacher is teaching what I am they can come here and gather some ideas and resources.

Creating lessons can be very time consuming  Lets save our energy for what we all love to do, teach!! No one honestly loves spending hours planning but we all love watching our students learn.  This is why I believe in sharing what we do in class.  This will save everyone's time for what they really love to do!

Lets work smarter not harder!  Save our energy for what is really important...Our students!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Summative Piece!

Here is my video for my summative piece for I4ed, I can't believe my career as a student is over and my one as a teacher is about to begin.

Anyway I hope you enjoy the video!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The future: The Entrepreneur

What does the future in education look like?  Well if you look at the Horizon wiki and read some articles from there you realize that everyone has a slightly different idea of where education is/should be going.  Two things everyone agrees on is that what is going on in schools today needs to change and that this change will come with the use of technology.  I believe these things too, but I will get back to them later.

What I really want to talk about in this post is about jobs.  I was listening to the radio the other day and I will admit it was an AM talk radio show (in my defence it is the only radio station I get when I travel to visit my fiance).  Anyway I was listening to the radio and this young 22 year old guy came on complaining that there is lots of jobs out there but not that many careers.  He worries that even when he does school he won't be able to get a reliable, well paying career job that he can raise a family on.  This got me thinking, is this true and if it is, how can we, as educators, prepare our students for a world like this.  The conclusion I came up with is that we need more entrepreneurs.

The best way to predict the future is to create it. 
– Peter Drucker

Being an entrepreneur takes many characteristics like: bravery, interest, passion, commitment, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, money management, marketing, networking and hard work.  It also takes understanding hard times and that not everything is going to come easily.  It also needs a person who can deal with failure and grow from it.

The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect. 
– Adam Osborne

Do you think our system is preparing our students for these things???  I don't.  Entrepreneurs are the backbone to every society.  They are the ones that create new jobs, challenge establish business to do better and allow people who enter the company to move up the ranks and have good paying jobs/careers.  We need these people but our schools are not inspiring or preparing students for this.  The no fail policies and virtually no penalties for handing work in late is not the way to make independent, accountable and resilient entrepreneurs.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas Edison

So how does technology in education fit into this??  Well I believe that with the use of technology in our classrooms we can foster creativity, interest, and problem solving skills within our students.  Technology allows us to assign different kinds of assignments other then essays and powerpoint projects to show their knowledge.  They could make videos, write blogs, create websites, infographics, cartoons(even if they can't draw).  They can also get knowledge through novel ways like emailing experts, skyping in other classes or polling people(i,e, create a poll everywhere, print it on paper and set it up around the school, mall ect. and collect data on your poll everywhere site).  We no longer have to rely on secondary sources of information but can find primary ones if we only use our creativity, problem solving and (here is a new one) networking skills.

The other thing the internet allows is for the students to find their interests and passions within a subject.  I think everyone can become interested in any subject but maybe not every topic so with the use of the internet the students can research a topic they are interested in within a subject instead of learning with whatever topic you, as the teacher, choose to teach the content with.

So I hope it is clear, but I really think that if we use technology appropriately in the classroom we can inspire students.  We need to do more then just for streaming YouTube videos, but need to get students creating things, networking and gathering primary information in ways or on topics that they are interested in.  This way the next time I'm listening to boring old AM talk radio I won't hear about a poor 22 year old who can't find a career because he would have created one for himself!

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. 
– Vidal Sassoon

p.s.  If you ever want to find some good quotes on entrepenuership and motivation chack out these 2 websites!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Great Presentations Today

WOW have we all come a long way.  Mike must be so proud of all of us!

For those reading that don't aren't from #I4ed, today in class we presented group projects on different internet/educational related topics.  The content in these presentations was great but I think more importantly was how they were presented.

We had one group do an amazing google doc powerpoint presentation that incorporated wordles (Mike's favourite, so I am sure you will get a p+) and pictures that made the presentation engaging.  On top of this they ran a todaysmeet during their presentation so the class could ask questions and comment.  Great idea to keep your presentation fresh.

Another group did a google doc as well but they brought in battles between members to keep the presentation exciting.  Also the graphics they used were awesome.

The next group blew everyone out of the water(except for the video presentation but we will get to that).  They created a wiki that they had to fight to get published publicly to the web (thanks for that added work).  They had tons of resources and easy to follow guides to how to use their wiki and information.  They even created a short video to introduce their pirating talk.  They put tons of work into their presentation and I will definitely be "creative commonly" using their site in my future!

My group did a glogster but we started by using poll everywhere to engage the class and get a starting point for our topic. We then used wall wisher to gather thoughts after the presentation.  I liked our ideas but everyone was way more creative!

The final group topped the charts with their satirical news report on cyber bullying.  It was funny, well edited and very creative.

I know Mike didn't want a retelling of what the presentations were about so I hope this counts because I wanted to draw attention to the types and quality of presentations that were created, and we are not experts.  Some of you did not even know google docs existed till 2 months ago.

I think it is so exciting what can be created with a little creativity, freedom and the fun of using technology.  I can only imagine what our students could create if given the same freedoms and knowledge that we are given in this class.  We HAVE to be those teachers that allow BYOD, promote the GOOD of the internet, not not not STEAL from the internet, not FILTER everything, and THINK about cyberbullying seriously.

  We are the future and judging by the presentation today it looks bright!
Great job everyone!


Inforgrams are cool and a very interactive way to integrate statistics into the class.  Since they can be easily created by students they would work well as a way for students to show information about a topic.  I see tons of uses with this technology in a math class but also in science classes.

I plan to use them as a form of a summary of a class or topic.  The students will have to summarize the information gathered in the class.  They would also be required to add in something that was not taught in class (conduct some research)  This would make for a great project.  It would turn out to be like a tech version of a KWL!!!

There are also some great infograms that are already made that you could use as a visual way to show information that you are teaching in the class.

This infographic could be used during the ecosystem unit in grade 12 biology.

The students could research on why the animals are endangered and what is being done about the fact they they are endangered

Here is one that could be used when talking about pH.  This happens in grade 10 science and grade 11 and 12 chemistry.

A great site to get some science based infograms is:

Here is one I created about how I love to travel, I hope you enjoy!!

Untamed Science

Untamed Science is a podcast that I found on i-tunes.  It is created by a group of scientists and educators along side movie making experts.  They cover mostly biology topics  but also chemistry and physics. The videos are very engaging.  They tend to be about 5 minutes in length so they fit well into any class. They have have a great website as well where you can access the podcasts, lesson plans and other interesting information about science.

You can access them by their youtube channel as well:

It is a great podcast/youtube channel that I highly recommend any high school science teacher to keep up with!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013



I have a few plans to use animoto in my upcoming placement and I hope you all will to!

Check out this video I created using Animoto about how to use Animoto!!

It is so easy and the videos look great, I think my students will love creating them.  By combining pictures and text the students can easily express their knowledge on any topic.  It is a great alternative to a power point presentation.  It also helps those students who do not like speaking in front of the class..

I really could talk about this web resource for hours but I think the best thing is to try it.

NOTE:  When you go to try it make sure you use the education site otherwise you will only be able to create a 30 second videos instead of the 3 minute videos you can create on the education site.