Learning from Place

Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing is an article that discusses the importance of learning from place. This article is based on a research project dedicated to “Mushkegowuk Cree concepts of land, environment and life in Fort Albany First Nation”. There is a story of youth, adult, and elders going for a trip down the river. On this trip is where the people learn the meaning of traditional territory and everything that contains within.

From this reading, I can see the river trip as a whole being an example of reinhabitation and decolonization. As they go on this river trip, all the people are revisiting and reclaiming location that hold a traditional territory significance that they are learning about. During this process, the people are diving into reinhabitation. Reinhabitation aims to “identify, recovery and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments” (pg. 74). In the essay, the elders share that a river is more than just a body of water. The river holds emotional, physical, and spiritual meanings. The river is also used as a way to remember the people that one has lost for the river is used as a cemetery. This powerful moment in the article is a part of decolonization. Decolonization aims to “identify and change ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places” (pg. 74).

This article gave me a deeper understanding on how something as such as the environment can have a much more deeper meaning to some people. This article shares that there are some knowledgeable facts that are more important to other students. Knowing this, when I am a teacher I should keep in mind that knowledge just is not found within textbooks and the curriculum. Information can be found in within our community and environment. There is no limitation when it comes to knowledge and learning. This reading helped me understand that.

Advertisements

Openness in a Classroom… Wrong or Right??

This weeks debate topic was, “openness and sharing is unfair to our kids.” On the pro side is Ashley Osachoff and on the con side is Dryden Clark. During the prevote I voted for disagree, I never really thought about how openness could be so bad for students.

So during the prevote Ashley had 11.1% of the class on her side… ouch! Throughout the debate Ashley made some very good points that I didn’t think of. She changed the mind of some of my classmates, including mine. The post vote resulted in a 50/50 split!! Way to go debaters!!!

PRO SIDE

This picture above is from Ashley’s debate video that she created. There are a lot of eye opening points throughout this video. I never really realized that students themselves never get asked for their consent. I remember being a student and if the class was watching a movie that needed parental guidance, there would be a note going home to get my parent’s permission so I can watch the movie. But never was I asked if I myself wanted to watch the movie. It was always “ask your parents” not “is this okay with you”. For me personally, I was always okay with whatever had to be done, but I am sure there were students that didn’t want to participate in something but they didn’t have a say in it. Sure, a child could stand up and say they don’t want to participate but when we are continuously having to get our parent’s permission, it takes away the thought of us having a say as well.

In Kerry Gallagher‘s article, Teens speak: Should students publish their school work online?there are great reasons as to why student’s work shouldn’t be so open for everyone to see. Gallagher’s reasons are under two main points: Keeping work private & Publishing for the world to see. I don’t know about everyone else but when I post my work online, I take pride in it. For the most part, I put a lot of time and effort into my assignments that will be posted online. With technology being so handy now a days, it isn’t hard for people to just copy and paste someone else’s work. Posting assignments gives people more chances to plagiarize and then a student’s hard work is no longer their own. Educators also need to think of who can access these assignments. A stranger can figure out a students name, age, gender, location, etc. This can lead to something very scary and unsafe. Technology makes it so easy to access almost anything and everything. To prevent danger in our students lives, it would be best to leave them off social media.

CON SIDE

The photo above is from Dryden’s debate video and it states some benefits from sharing a student’s work online. In a way, students gain confidence when they see their work posted online. When a student’s work gets posted online, it is like the student is getting the teacher’s validation of their work. When I was in school the teachers wouldn’t post our work online but they would share a students work in front of the class. It would make students feel good, but I am sure if there was student where their work never got shared, they wouldn’t feel as good. Sharing assignments online also gives the parents of the students a chance to see what they are doing in school. If parents have access to their child’s work they will have a part of their child’s schooling. It will give a chance for their parents to help their child with homework when they have access to their notes, examples, assignments, etc.

Brian Gatens connects openness and trust in his article, Openness Yields Trust in the Classroom. Openness and trust are important components within a classroom. Openness invites the opportunity to strengthen relationships with students, teachers, and parents. To strengthen relationships you need the sense of trust. Trust in a classroom is a necessary gateway for learning development. Trust creates a safe and knowledgable environment for the students, teachers, and community. Openness and trust go hand in hand when it comes to the classroom. Students need to trust the teacher that they are creating an appropriate digital footprint for themselves. With the trust that is given, the teacher is able to create openness within the classroom.

CONCLUSION

Like stated above, the post vote results was an even 50/50 split. Just like the votes, that is where my mind is at with this debate topic. I see a lot of benefits to sharing a student’s work online but I also see cons to that as well. What another great debate this EDTC 400 class had. Again, another topic I cannot decide on.. hahah

Until next time,

Miss. Lorenz

 

Everything Can be Googled… Teach it Anyways!?

The topic of this weeks EDTC 400 debate is “schools should not focus on teaching things that can be Googled”. Supporting the “pro” side was Sydney McGrath and supporting the “con” side was Aurora Lay-Street. Entering this debate I right away disagreed. I just think it is impossible to make up a curriculum with things that cannot be found on Google. Everything can be Googled now, but that does not mean that teachers are not needed.

Prevote Results:

89.5% voted for disagree and 10.5% voted for agree! I was not shocked by these results and I am surprised there were votes for agree. EVERYTHING can be Googled now, and it is impossible to find something NOT on Google. If schools were to focus on teaching things that cannot be Googled, there would be nothing to teach.

Post Vote Results:

After the debate, 73.7% voted for disagree and 26.3% voted for agree. After seeing the prevote results, I had no idea how Sydney was going to pull this off. Although I, and a lot of the class, stayed with the option of disagree – a good portion of the class switched to agree. The “agree” side went up by 15.8% which is amazing. Looking at the difference of these results, it is no surprise that both sides made some amazing points!

A G R E E  S I D E

“Shouldn’t we make more time in class to focus on teaching students how to think critically and to come up with creative solutions?”. This quote was from Sydney’s video on YouTube, and I could not agree more on it. As a math major I think that thinking critically and coming up with creative solutions is extremely important for students. Doing so, students will gain confidence and knowledge on things like problem solving. Having all the answers at our finger tips introduces memorization (which has been a big flaw in the school system) and takes away our creative and critical thinking, just as Sydney said in her video!

The article, Why learn facts if you can Google? explains how information is just a click away for students. If students want to know any historical dates or learn poetry, they can just google it and memorize it through google. This article states “Learning facts and figures is a waste of time for most school pupils because such information is readily available just a mouse click away…”. Now, why would educators waste their time on such things that is a click away? I believe that teachers are here to introduce information to new topics to their students and give information on these topics. Google then comes handy to the students that may not understand. I always pictured teachers as the main source of information and Google as a backup. There are many times where I do my homework outside of school hours and I have a question for the teacher. As Sydney said during the debate, “Teachers aren’t around you 24/7”.

The video above was featured in the reading, Creating Innovators. This video talks about the importance of innovation. This video talks about students creating and building things and a lot of their creativity is how they learn. Not only do these students learn, they understand! Google can’t even develop creativity inside a student, only experiences can. At the end of the video a man says, “our success is measured more or less by the rate of innovation”. Innovation creates change, and in my class ECS 210 we talk a lot about how the school system needs some changes. How can we make such changes if humanity starts lacking innovation?

D I S A G R E E  S I D E

Aurora makes a lot of great of points in her debate video. Although everything can be Googled, we still need teachers because Google gives out misinformation. Although the internet is very quick and handy, you can never trust what you read on the internet. Aurora talked about a study on two groups of college students. One group looked up the information after class and the other group knew they would not be able to find the information online. What group remembered the information the best? The group who didn’t look the information up after class. This goes to show that teachers are key to understanding information. Aurora also points out that students who Google things will find the answer and not look into it afterwards. As the picture shows above, Aurora says “Students gained less information if they knew it was searchable afterwards”. This is an extremely good point because even I am guilty of finding something on the internet then just moving on without any further research. I think teachers feeding us information and us having Google as a backup is a great balance for learning and understanding.

In Terry Heicks’ article, How Google Impacts The Way Students Thinkhe makes a very interesting point that I never really thought of before. This society is raised around technology like iPads, iPhones, Androids, etc. Any app is just a tap of the finger away and it is becoming todays society’s norm to get our infromation through Google. As Heicks puts it, “the digital world and its habits can bend and shape not just how you access information, but how you conceptualize it entirely”. Although teachers are very important and useful, we should not be worried that things people learn are on Google. Finding information online is our normal and this generation knows how to retain the information that we read online.

This video above is a TedTalk lead by Andreas Ekstrom. Ekstrom starts off by saying how ever time he would go to a school he would ask the students, “Why do you Google? Why is Google the search engine for you?”.

  1. “It works”
  2. “I really don’t know of any alternatives”
  3. “I’m certain to always get the best, unbiased search result”

Ekstrom states that Google is reliable when we are looking for facts opposed to knowledge. An example from the video is when someone Googles the capital city of France, this person is searching for an isolated fact. Facts are something that we all agree on and 100% of the time you will find the correct answer through Google. But if you type in something longer and more complex, you are searching for knowledge. Knowledge is no longer built from one isolated fact but dozens and dozens of facts and because of this, the answer you will find is questionable. Ekstrom talks about how people can get distorted on Google and other individuals can distort those people. Through the examples he gives, he proves that an unbiased search result it a myth.

Conclusion

Not only did Sydney and Aurora make some very good points in the debate, but they always supplied us with some great readings and videos. After the debate I still chose disagree but was starting to lean to the agree side. After researching for this weeks’ blog I am now in the middle. Google is decreasing our critical thinking and also lowering the chances of students being able to problem solve. On the other hand, this society is built to retain information online equally as well as listening to an educator. Thank you Sydney and Aurora for the great debate and making this decision for me undecidable! That goes to show how great these ladies did!!

Until next time,

Miss. Lorenz

Who Writes The Curriculum? Who Should Write It?

BEFORE THE READING:

How do you think that school curricula are developed? 

I think the school curricula are developed by people that THINKS they know what is best for students and what they need for the “real world”. Sadly, I think the people that created the curriculum are people that have never taught a class before or have never experienced leadership in a classroom.

AFTER THE READING:

“Curriculum is defined as an official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do” (8). The curriculum is developed by the government and other authorities. There are also subject experts that take part in the creating process of the curriculum. Although there are people that are experts in their subject, the curricula people do not have the average day teacher on board. Due to the absence of teachers, the curricula people do not know what it is like to be in a classroom. They do not know the time it takes to learn something, and that is why teachers are always in a rush to get the material completed. The curriculum decides what is being taught in school and how far the subject gets taught. One thing that does comfort me is if the government does not think the curriculum is good enough, they will make sure it is edited or revised so it can be started all over. This comforts me because it shows they actually look at the curriculum and care about the quality of it. Another thing I learned through the reading is how deep the curriculum is in the political world. I never realized how big of a say the government has in the curriculum.

I am concerned with the fact that the curricula people do not have teachers come in for some tips and input. Yes, they have experts in subjects coming in but when it comes to the curriculum in grades k -12 schools, the teachers are the real experts. The teachers know exactly how much information can be taught in a hour, in a month, in a semester, and in a school year. Teachers know how a classroom is ran and they would be the best people to ask for help in the writing of the curriculum.

Reference

Levin, B. (2008). Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should be Learned in Schools. In F. Connelly, M. He & J. Phillion (Eds.), pp. 7-24. Found online from:

https://www.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/16905_Chapter_1.pdf

 

 

How Common-sense Shapes a “Good” Student

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to common-sense?

Common-sense shapes a “good” student as a student that everyone should try to be. These “good” students are people that show up for class and sit down at their desk and sit there quietly. A “good” student is someone who gets their work done quick, efficiently, and at their best of their abilities. A “good” student is someone that the teacher does not have to pay attention to because they behave in a way the teacher wants them to. A “good” student is a person that will raise their hand to speak. A “good” student is a person who portrays positivity throughout the classroom.

Which students are privileged  by this definition of the good student? 

The students that are able to sit quietly and still in their seats for long periods of time are privileged for this label of a “good” student. Students who are fidgety will struggle with this task. The students who are able to work fast and efficient are privileged for this label of a “good” student. Students who do not grasp the material quicker than the rest will have a hard time finishing assignments quickly and on time. The students that accept the fact that they think and learn based on the teachers are privileged.

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these common-sense ideas?

These traits that are created by the common-sense of a “good” student make it impossible for students to express themselves. Students sitting at their desk and being quiet stops them from sharing there opinions during class. Students getting their work done quickly and almost perfectly applies a lot of pressure to students and applies unnecessary stress. Theses common-sense ideas create robots for the world to control. When I become a teacher I want the exact opposite of this. I want all my students to express their opinions and strive for their individuality.

 

Breaking down Montessori

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is able to say ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'” – Maria Montessori

I chose this quote because this is what I want for my future classroom and my students. As a teacher I don’t want my students to just memorize the material I introduce to them, but to understand it and know how to use it. This quote represents growth and individuality which makes complete sense for someone like Maria to say this line. Maria believed in hands on learning and she would give her students activities to help them expand their knowledge. This shows that with Maria’s teaching method, students were able to know the   information, use the information, and completely understand why and how the information is used. With this, students are able to take their knowledge and use it on more complex questions.. and they will be able to do it on their own.

As a future math teacher, I believe that students should not just memorize information. I want to introduce Maria’s teaching method by creating activities for the kids to do. It adds fun to the classroom and at the same time students are communicating with one another and sharing their knowledge. They are able to look at a math question and see multiple ways of doing it and they are able to pick what method works best for them. I think it is great when students can learn from each other and work like the teacher is not there. This means the teacher did their job and the students understand it so well they can do the work themselves.

Technology is consuming our sense of reality….

This week in EDTC 400, Professor Hildebrandt introduced multiple ways of how technology is used and how it can be viewed. From such a broad topic I have decided to talk about how technology is starting to consume our sense of reality. Picture this: You are walking down a busy street, what do you see? Everyone on their phones? Yeah that’s what I see too. I watched Sherry Turkle’s TedTalk video on YouTube and I read Nathan Jurgenson’s IRL Fetish article which both contained information on how this society is relying on technology a little too much. I believe that technology is very important and I think today’s society would not be able to live without technology. That being said, I think we need to learn when to stop using technology and absorb the real life that we are living in.

Sherry Turkle:

Turkle mentions that the internet first coming out was a chance for individuals to explore aspects of themselves. This leads to her idea that us individuals would use the virtual world to find our best selves and apply those characteristics into the real world. I find this ironic because with my personal experience with the internet, I notice that bad things that happen around us are more so advertised than good things. It isn’t hard to find bad news, and we (or maybe just me) have a hard time finding/reading good things throughout social media. Therefore, how can we find our best selves when all that seems to pop up on the internet are more so bad situations that evolve in this world??  Perhaps I am overthinking this? What is your opinion!? Turkle says, “Cell phones change not only what we do but who we are”. I think this quote is stating the fact that us humans now live in our phones. “People text and shop” and students are on their phones during classes. Heck, people even text and drive !!!! (Not good). Our phones are starting to consume us and we are no longer acknowledging the life we already have. For example, people will hangout with their friends and they do not even acknowledge their presence because everyone is always looking at their phone screens. It has came to the point where people are starting to customize their life on apps like Instagram or Facebook. Individuals will post unrealistically perfect photos to paint the picture of a perfect life. Everyone gets to choose how others see themselves. People feed off the likes and comments and soon they invest their lives online which is simply unhealthy.

Nathan Jurgenson:

Jurgenson starts his article by saying how easy the access to get to apps are. They are literally just one tap away. There was a part in the article where Jurgenson says, “…logged-off real life“. I find this so relevant because everyone is so invested in technology and they are no longer living their lives in the real world. Technology has gotten so realistic, like virtual reality headsets. It makes me wonder if their will be a time where in-person communication will no longer be important to everyone. I mean… people are trading real life human experiences for a virtual life that they create themselves. Jurgenson states, “They have traded human friends for Facebook friends”. This line alone makes me think that us humans need some time to log  off and look and what the real world has to offer. Although technology is starting to consume our sense of reality, it has never been more helpful. For example, I have googled so many things about my car because I have no idea about vehicles. I do not think that technology is a bad thing but I think it is bad with how much time we spend staring at a screen.

On the Global News website I watched a video on how distracted driving is the leading cause of collisions in Saskatchewan. The numbers of injuries and deaths are sadly very high. Put the phone away!!!

Overall, I believe that technology has been extremely helpful and absolutely incredible for us. There as so many ways we can expand our knowledge with technology alone. However, we do need to figure out when too much is just simply too much. There needs to be a time where we shut the screen off and talk to one another.

Hi it’s Kylie, and Welcome Back to my Blog!!

Hey there EDTC 400 fam and hello to every other blogger that will perhaps (maybe one day) stumble upon this blog post! Grab a drink and a snack, sit back, relax, and enjoy this read about… ME!

I am Kylie Lorenz, I was born in Regina but I was raised in Raymore with my mom, dad, and little sister. Ever hear of Raymore? Probably not, it is very small! I actually laughed out loud when I saw Raymore was on Wikipedia. When I lived in Raymore I did what any small town kid would do, cruise with friends. I attended Raymore School throughout grades K-12. I graduated in the year of 2016 and I loved school so much I decided to go back and work as a teacher’s assistant. This job is what helped me decide that teaching is the career path that I want to go down. In 2017, I moved to Regina and attended the University of Regina under the Faculty of Education. I am studying under secondary education, majoring in math. Two years strong, almost halfway done!!!

Have any of you ever had to fill out you biggest fear, pet peeve, last words, etc in your yearbook? Well I have and I thought, why not do that for my blog!? But I will update my answers so it fits into my university lifestyle. This will make it more fun for me to type up this post and perhaps it will be a better read for you all(??).

Biggest Fear: Spiders and heights

Pet Peeve: When someone opens their bag of chips upside down

Last Words: “I’ll do it at 7:00”.. *At 7:05* “I’ll do it at 8:00”

Worst Happening: Math 221 (odd considering I’m a math major)

Best Memory: Passing Math 221

Future Ambitions: Becoming the best teacher I could be for myself and my future students

I blogged throughout EDTC 300 during my very first semester at the UofR and my experience in the class was amazing!! My prof, Katia Hildebrandt, did such an amazing job introducing the class to a fun and unique way of learning. As a math major I was skeptical of the class, I always thought of math as a paper and pencil subject. After taking EDTC 300 I learned how to build a professional reputation for myself online. I learned that anything is possible when it comes to learning. I am so happy I took EDTC 300 because as a future educator, knowing that there is no limitations when it comes to learning is such a great mindset to have.

Goals for EDTC 400:

  1. I would like to learn more about WordPress! More so I would like to know what else I can do for my blog page. I want to make sure my blog is at the best it can be and I am sure there is so much more to learn when it comes to creating a professional portfolio.
  2. In EDTC 300 I was introduced to so many fun apps, programs, websites, etc for my future classroom. I am very excited to learn even more throughout this semester in EDTC 400! I want my future students to have fun learning and have fun participating in my lessons that I provide them…. and what’s more fun than technology? Probably nothing!
  3. I want to build relationships with my EDTC 400 classmates. I want to know what they think is the best way of learning through technology. After all, the best way to grow is getting ideas and advice from others. I wish to expand my following on the internet and get introduced to even more educational pages on social media!

SELF PROMO TIME! If you are interested in following my blogs but you aren’t the biggest fan of WordPress, no worries!! As soon as I post my blogs it is automatically posted on my Twitter as well. You can find me @KylieLorenz_! Toss me a follow, I’ll catch it, and I will toss you one right back!!

Until next week,

-Kylie Lorenz

 

Teachers: They’re Always Learning Too

In the reading, “Teachers and the Teaching Profession”, there is a line that says teachers learn the most on the job. Although this may be the case, there is knowledge some individual holds throughout schooling that the field itself cannot give you. In “Exploring Teacher Identity”, I enjoyed how Yerks adds that she became a better teacher through her mistakes. I thought that teachers became better at teaching with experience, which I’m sure is also true. On the other hand, I am relieved that teachers really become their best teaching selves through the mistakes they make. Teachers have always had that “perfect” reputation. People say that teachers know everything, but that is from the truth. They will make mistakes and have bad days. Yerks wrote about how staying positive is the best thing a person could do. The positivity a teacher holds will rub off onto the students and they will be more eager to learn. It is good to think to yourself that there is no bad days, some days are just better than others!

I like that educators learn the most by making mistakes in their classrooms. I have always been nervous to make mistakes when I become an educator. When I become a teacher and make a mistake, I am going to be proud of that mistake. I will not get embarrassed or ashamed of myself. I am going to take that mistake and myself and my classroom better.

“Teachers and the Teaching Profession” talks about how teachers respect different races, religions, gender identity, and etc. I have always respected the fact that on the outside everyone is different and believe different things, but on the inside we all have the same feelings. As a future educator I want my students to be proud of their individuality and express who they are.

I understand that being a teacher is a professional job. As a teacher everyone is looking your way. I think it is unrealistic for the expectation of teachers to constantly live moral lives. There are moments when teachers want to live in their personal lives and have fun. This may even include going to a bar and having a drink. How do educators live a fun life outside of work without being judged?

The Obstacles Teachers Face

There is a huge amount of experienced teachers retiring and that is increasing the demand for beginning teachers. Not only are the demands for teachers high, the demands for teachers that can teach subjects like math and science are extremely high. Schools are controlled by provincial governments and board members. Teachers have little to no say in how their lessons should be ran. They don’t have much of a say as to what should be taught or how it should be taught. With the cuts that government makes is making it difficult for new educators to find a job that works best for their studies. There are more people with a teaching degree than there is teaching jobs.

The year I was a teacher’s assistant was a year that there was major cuts for the rest of the teacher’s assistants. I witnessed a lot of stress coming from individuals. There was an individual who just bought a home and she needed the job to keep up with the payments. It was hard to see these people go through these hard times. It’s time for the government to see the importance teachers and teacher’s assistant are to a child’s education and create more job opportunities.

In high school there was a time where a student made a suggestion to read a book that fit in very well with what we were learning in English. The teacher mentioned it was a great book and would be amazing for the lessons that were being provided. She said that it is not in the curriculum and we couldn’t use it in the class. This shows that teachers cannot lay out options for the class and there is very little control the teacher holds.

Lessons need to be taught in a certain time range and teachers need to go through the entire curriculum. How do teachers make sure every student understands the content well and take time to help the students understand and still get through everything?