Robin's Blog

My journey from student to teacher…

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Social Media in Today’s Classrooms – Tech Task #10

Social media is a way to connect with others online. Students are using social media more and more these days and I feel it the responsiblity of teachers to also use social media in their lives and classrooms. A recent Pew Research Center report shows that 73 percent of online teens between the ages of 12 and 17 use social networking sites, up from 55 percent just four years ago. As the NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies states, twenty-first century readers and writers need to

  • Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
  • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Using social media with students can provide an opportunity for students to gain media literacy. I think it is important to teach students about smart digital citizenship when it comes to identity, safety and healthy online behavior. Media Awareness Network (MNet) is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy and digital literacy programs since 1996. They provide many practical classroom resources for teacher when educating students about media education. They offer many educational programs and online games that can help teach students about online safety and positive online experiences.

Using Google Docs in a classroom setting with students rather than a paper and pencil assignment is a creative way to use social media with students. This type of social media allows for and fosters collaboration between students and  extends the learning experience beyond the classroom. Students can revisit what they have learned in the classroom and add to it at a later date on their own time.

Another creative way to use social media with students, is to connect them with students from around the world. The Global Virtual Classroom‘s vision is to empower, enable and connect students around the world using Internet technology.  This experience provides with the opportunity to develop skills that are essential in the 21st century:  cross-cultural communication, collaboration through teamwork, information technology and website design.

What other creative ways teachers can use social media in their classrooms to fully engage students? I would like some feedback and ideas on this topic and would love to hear from you!


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I Dream of Doors – Tech Task #6

Here is a short video a few classmates and I created. For the project, we were asked to create a short 1-3 min. video which centered around creating suspense using a scene that included a door with only one actress/actor. The four of us first started to think about how we could create suspense… what camera angles we should use, different audio effects,  etc. We then considered what experiences we have encountered with a door that could offer a good storyline to base this project on, such as someone stalking you and you can’t find the right key, being on the other side of a locked door with no key, someone chasing you and not being able to open the door properly, etc.

We used a Flip video camera to record the video and iMovie for the video editing.

Here is what we came up with. Hope you like it. Let me know what you thought about it and if we were successful in creating suspense.


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A Slide and a Message… Tech Task #4

I am so proud of all the Egyptian people who stood up for what they believed in and for doing so in such a positive non violent way. I think we can all learn a little bit about team work and collaboration when looking at the Egyptian Revolution and what the people of Egypt overcame. Congratulations to every Egyptian and I hope all is well for you and your families in the coming years!

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Should teachers be friends with their students on Facebook? Tech Task #2

Personally, I would never befriend a student on Facebook. I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends and have strict privacy settings. I would like to keep my private life private.  Most students are using Facebook to gossip with friends and share photos… all of which I am not interested in seeing.

However, my university instructor Dr. Alec Couros has suggested… why not have a personal Facebook page and a professional Facebook page… an idea I had never considered before. I started looking into this idea and asked myself… in what ways could teachers use Facebook as an educational tool in the classroom?

Well, I have discovered many new ideas

Teachers could create a “public” Facebook page where students and parents alike can be added as friends. It could be used in lieu of  a Blog and update students and parents on assignments, what’s going on in the classroom, upcoming events, discussion pages,  if a student will be absent… all of which can keep students accountable and parents informed. Also, pictures and videos could be added to the Facebook page, instead of publishing them on the web.

Although these new ideas have opened my eyes, I think there are equally  meaningful and beneficial ways to connect with students rather than using Facebook. I am currently learning about the “Blogging world” and am realizing this may be a more suitable online communication tool to use with students and parents rather than resorting to Facebook.

So to answer the question: Should teachers be friends with their students on Facebook?

I don’t think so!


A little about myself… Tech Task # 1

I am currently enrolled in the K-5 Elementary Education After Degree Program at the University of Regina and am completing my last year of studies. I recently finished my Internship at St. Matthew School in a Grade 1 classroom. I am originally from McLean, SK, a small rural town located 20 min. east of Regina. I graduated from Indian Head High School in 2003. Upon finishing high school, I studied at Mount Royal College in Calgary, AB where I completed my first degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership. Once I had my Bachelor’s Degree, I traveled to Cairo, Egypt where I taught kindergarten for 2 years, and P.E. for one year. This experience overseas lead to my interest in teaching children which brought me back to Canada, where I am currently studying.

Technology in my Life…

I do have some experience with technology which mainly includes my personal computer, digital camera, and video recording. On my computer I am most familiar with Microsoft Office and the Internet. I have also created videos for past projects in university, all of which I used different programs when editing these videos. I enjoy exploring on the Internet and spend most of my time when on the computer “Googling” different interests or topics of research. I enjoy learning about and exploring new programs and how they can be implemented and used in a classroom when educating young children.

Computing Technology in the K-12 Classroom

I feel technology can be used in the classroom to enhance student learning in many different ways. Technology can be used to provide many different perspectives when learning about a new topic of interest and could potentially spark interest in those students who were not interested in such topics before. There are of course many things to consider and be aware of when introducing certain technologies before they are brought into the classroom.

Computers in Education – My Expectations for ECMP 355

Throughout this course, ECMP 355 – Computers in Education, I hope to learn about new innovative ways to enhance student learning through the use of technologies in the classroom. Things such as exploring different ways to involve students in their own learning through the use of technologies and also gain experience with unique ways students can show learning through different media rather than the traditional print assignments.