Category Archives: Blog Posts
For my final project in ECMP 355 I chose to take part in a learning project. I have always loved watching cake decorating shows on TLC and thought I would enjoy learning how to decorate cakes myself. Lets just say after taking part in this I am much more appreciative of cake decorator’s work on those shows. It isn’t as easy as they make it look!
When it comes to baking I am no rookie. I have always been known for my chocolate chip cookies, cheese cakes, and trifles. I never did ice cakes or decorate them much though, instead I would make death by chocolate or a trifle in bowls and this required no decorating.
I began my learning project with the intent to learn more about decorating cakes with fondant icing. I was given a recipe to make fondant from scratch but thought for my first cake that it might be best if I bought some from Bulk Barn. I began watching videos on how to apply fondant to cakes. I discovered I needed to first ice my cake with butter cream icing and then apply the fondant. My first cake turned out better than my second. For my second cake I wanted to make a square base and stack a round cake on top. I never got this far because after I butter creamed the cakes and applied the fondant they looked awful! They were really lumpy. After turning to online sources I discovered that a crumb layer of butter cream was applied first, cooled and then a second smoothing layer was applied. Also I watched various videos on how to create cakes that were stacked. I had no idea how much more work this was. Every cake layer needed to be stabilized with wooden poles and they also needed something underneath them. I was far from being ready for this stage.
A few more cakes didn’t turn out as I wanted so I began to get frustrated. My Aunt gave me some icing decorating tips to use and several pans when she heard I was learning how to decorate cakes. I began learning about using different decorating tips and took decorating my cakes down a different pathway. I really enjoyed using decorating tips over fondant icing, I found my cakes looked better and tasted better too! If I hadn’t of tried using decorating tips I probably would have ended my cake decorating career but now I actually want to continue learning and decorating cakes this way. Check out my progress throughout semester and the various online sources that helped through my learning project.
One of the required assignments in ECMP 355 was for us to produce using any tool (narration, slide deck, audio, video, concept map…) a summary of what we learned throughout the semester. We were encouraged to reference particular course experiences from readings, presentations, networking, and experimenting.
I used Screencast-O-Matic as my tool for presenting my summary of learning. I really liked this tool and found the free version very basic. I had never done anything like this before and I appreciated this tool for it’s user friendliness. If I was to use this tool again I would pay the $12.00 to upgrade to pro because many more editing options become available this way.
Here is my summary and yet again this assignment is another thing I can add to the long list of things I learned in this class. Enjoy!
This Ted Conversation really interested me because as I come to the end of the semester and my ECMP 355 class I have discovered how valuable technology can be in classrooms. I used Facebook as a social networking tool for staying in touch with high school friends or family, I never realized that it could be used for so much more. As far as I knew Facebook was a banned tool from education settings. I have discovered however, that this tool could assist me in engaging my students in the future. We need to teach students how to responsibly use technology and that it is a great way to learn through.
One concern like many others is if all my students will have access to technology (laptops, iPads, cellphones). I’m not sure where my teaching career will begin and many students may not own these gadgets. Maybe I’ll teach where quality internet doesn’t exist making using technology challenging. Another concern is whether parents will support incorporating tools such as Facebook and Twitter into their child’s learning environment. Many parents need to become educated because some fixate on the “bad” that happens online without gaining awareness of the good. Will I have these parents in my classroom?
Do you have any concerns?
This semester I was required to take ESCI 302. When registering I was trying to make a connection of why we needed this class in obtaining our education degree. It is quite clear now and the awareness it has given me about our environment is huge. If society continues to live this way there will be no safe place for our children to live. An assignment that was given in my class was to investigate an environmental issue of choice. Every classmate chose an issue and designed a poster presentation to present to the class. This assignment enabled me to learn and discover issues within our environment I was unaware of and/or point out to me how serious this issue really was here on earth. Some issues that I was unaware of was the reality of the two garbage patches in the ocean, the amount of habitat that is being destroyed that is essential to life on earth, and that bio fuel really isn’t a great alternative to fuel. When browsing through TED I watched this video. ESCI has made me a concerned citizen about our environment and has pushed me to do my part in helping the environment. James Hansen stresses the harm the environment is in and his desire to bring awareness to this topic. I also want to bring awareness to this topic and hope by posting this on my blog people will watch this video.
Environmental Science Education is included in school curriculum now but was not when I went to school. Do you feel Environmental Science was an important subject to implement into the curriculum?
For my KHS 232 dance presentation my group decided to use the tool Prezi to present to the class. I was excited because I had never used Prezi before and I wanted to try something different than using just the plain old PowerPoint. I was really confused at first but once a group member pointed out some key things it helped me to see how it worked. I really liked that each group member could add their info to the Prezi from home and that it was instantly available for the group members to see. There was no emailing PowerPoint slides back and forth compiling information from group members. Another feature I liked was how Prezi could insert YouTube videos without the hassle of linking. I’ve seen so many Powerpoint presentations that the links didn’t work! Instead Prezi inserts the actual video and all you have to do is click play. I also found Prezi added to the presentations organization. By creating paths it allows presenters visual organization while discussing their part. Zooming in on certain parts of the presentation help to catch the audience’s attention. The only downfall I have experienced from Prezi is that sometimes the zooming in and out is too much and can make the presentation very hard to focus on. Click here to view my Prezi from KHS.
This morning I took part in Classroom 2.0. They had special guest Chris Smith speak about ‘Screencasting 101′. Much to my surprise I thought I didn’t know what synchronous learning was. But I soon realized that this was the exact format that I had used to learn ECS 100 &110. I took my first year of university at the Swift Current campus and our ECS classes were not offered in face to face lecturing. Instead we enrolled in an online class taught out of Prince Albert. Personally I would not have chosen to take an online class but it was something I had to do if I wanted to stay in Swift Current. I can still remember the first class… I was so confused and worried. I realized I needed a microphone and a camera; things I had never even tried to use before. A teacher I worked with pointed out that they were already built into my laptop but I still went out and purchase a head set. Classes went on and almost everyone was afraid to speak. A component of this class was doing a presentation much like how Chris presented. Everyone made power points and were broadcasted live. I lost many hours of sleep over that assignment and had reason too! I was working at the Gravelbourg Elementary School at the time and my ECS class started at 4:00 pm so depending on the day I would often just stay at the school and participate in class from there. On the day I was to present I went to sign in and found out the school’s internet was down and now had 10 mins to get home in time to present but I lived 30 mins away. Lets just say I made it but soon realized that the internet connection at my home (Xplornet) was not good enough. Everyone had my voice delayed and my chat was so far behind I didn’t even know what was going on in the class. A complete disaster! Needless to say at the end of that first semester of my online class my mark suffered from lack of quality internet at my farm home.
In my second semester I moved to Swift Current. This made a world of difference for the quality of internet I had access too. My second semester of ECS was much more enjoyable and my mark improved greatly! There were still many kinks in the class but at least I had easier access to the class. I found that this type of learning requires students to take on more responsibility for their learning and keeping on track. It also requires a teacher with patients for technical difficulties as those take a large amount of class time to iron out. Even in the presentation today Chris’s Prezi froze and he had to sign out and come back in. Almost every online class in ECS had some sort of technical difficulty and time was wasted ironing it out.
Experiencing this style of learning has given me awareness to the limits of it and the ongoing possibilities of it. I often think what I am going to do when ECMP 355 is over and how I am going to remember all the things I have learned? I think I have found part of the answer…finding places like Classroom 2.0.
What a great story of utilizing technology to help bring the voice of an autistic girl alive. Carly Fleischmann, a 14-year-old child who has a severe form of autism and is unable to speak found her voice with the help of many others by using a laptop. Not only can she communicate with her family now but she is giving details to why she reacts to things the way she does. Carly has a very strong support wheel and their consistent style when working with her helped to make the break through Carly acquired when she began typing on the laptop. Carly is now writing her own book, blogs, and chatting with others across the globe. Imagine the possibilities technology has given Carly and as teachers what we can take from this video.
Not every child with a disability is supported in this way. How as a teacher can we over come these challenges and create opportunities for students to achieve success like Carly?
Christian David Borges is a Special Education Teacher and wrote this article on technology and integrating it into the classroom. I enjoyed this article because it pin points the reality of technology. Youth are usually the first to use technology/tools and fully understand them. Instead of ranting about controlling and applying rules to the use of technology in the classroom he outlines the importance that teachers need use technology as a connection with their students. If youth are already using and understanding certain tools why no teach them using these tools?
Christian continues in his article and gives advice on how to begin integrating technology into classrooms. I found this very helpful because I know when it comes time for me to intern or in my first job it is likely that I may be working with a teacher(s) who do not use technology in their teaching. It will be up to me to demonstrate the value of incorporating certain tools into teaching and that the lesson plan doesn’t necessarily need changing but that by adding a YouTube video for example could enhance the lesson, not change it.
I had never thought of the layout of classroom in terms of where to place specific technology tools (computers, smart boards, e-readers). He touches on this in his article and his thoughts are to place pieces where they seen as part of the classroom, not to stand out. My only thoughts on this are to make sure they are accessible for all students to use…
I’m glad I came across this article because it encourages me to think about how I can go about using technology in my teaching. The article is positive and uplifting. He outlines some really good strategies for beginning to introduce technology into your teaching and classroom settings. Sometimes we get so caught up in the negative outcomes or the “overwhelming” work of changing that we miss the point of what benefits would be achieved if we just try.
This video has been circulating my facebook page so I decided to watch it…my initial reaction was finally a parent who is actually doing something about their teenagers inappropriate facebook actions and was glad that he actually monitored his teenagers use of facebook. I do strongly feel that children today aren’t thankful for all the devices their parents purchase for them and that when they are to help around the house they act as if they work too hard or its against the law for parents to make them pull their weight. My generation is guilty of it also. You used to have to earn the things parents bought for you or you had to buy them yourself and children today don’t experience this as much (different in every household). Also most parents don’t even know what their kids are doing on the internet. I gave this dad credit for actually even caring.
I took some time to think about this video and watched it again. My second reaction was is this really the right approach to educating your teenager on appropriate facebook use? Shooting your girl’s laptop and posting the video online for millions to see… I am not a parent but I can’t help but think of other ways he could have delt with this whole situation. She will never learn from her mistakes if you just stop providing her with a laptop. It isn’t the laptop’s fault for the way she feels about her home life, obvisouly she is not happy and feels she can’t talk to her parents. I don’t know what the right punishment or parenting strategy is for the teenager’s actions but those are some of my thoughts. What are your thoughts after watching this video?
A hockey friend of mine created a family blog after the birth of her daughter Madison. Her daughter has spina bifida and she has used this blog to connect with other families, families who are affected by spina bifida, and better yet to keep everyone up to date on how her family works together and faces the challenges that come their way. This blog is truly inspirational and Madison is lucky to have such wonderful parents who’s positiveness inspires everyone. This is just another way social media is used to connect, inspire, and help people share their stories.