Tech Task #6: About Me

I have started building my about.me page… check it out!

Taylor Stepan

I love the idea of creating a one-page intro to who you are. It is a great way for students to introduce themselves and get connected. I imagine using something like this near the beginning of a semester to get to know students and also to teach them a bit about their digital footprint… using the web wisely.

Watch your Words

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 10.42.33 AM Click on the image to view the video.

This video is extremely powerful and should be shared with students. Shows the power of our words and reminds us that we should use them to help those around us… not take them down.

Virtual Mentorship

On Monday, I Skyped into the classroom in Kelowna to teach the students how to create an Infographic. Regardless of technical difficulties (to be expected I suppose), it was an awesome experience. Below I have included a short clip of the lesson. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to share my screen (needed a premium version) so I had to direct the lesson through the classroom teacher. I created the video by using screencast-o-matic to record when I Skyped in. It seemed to work well other than it only records for 15 minutes, unfortunately.

The following is a link to the google doc that we used to set up the assignment: Infographic google doc

The plan is that students will post their finished Infographics onto their blogs later next week which I am very excited for!

Slippery Slopes

For reading week, my boyfriend and I went out to Calgary to visit family. We took a day trip to Kananaskis with a friend to go for a hike. Unprepared to go hiking, I didn’t bring proper foot ware! With little to no traction on my shoes, the way up was a struggle… but the way down was a breeze! No skis required I just slid down the mountain:)

Tech Task #5: Storytelling and Creation 3

For my last task, I was to create an “on this day in history” post about by finding something that happened on my birthday some time in history. I was to make this look like a google home page using my own name. I found that Albert Einstein was born on the same day as me… only 112 years earlier.  Check it out!

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 12.15.50 PMThe assignment: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/on-this-day/

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46735786@N00/140455110/”>wokka</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Tech Task #5: Storytelling and Creation 1

For this task, the assignment was to explore assignments on ds106 and complete 3 of them. This is the first of 3. I was to take a “daytime” photo and make it into a “nighttime” photo using a photo editor. By altering the saturation, temperature, and exposure on PicMonkey I was able to make this picture look like it was night  (I think). Let me know how you think I did!

nighttime lakeIMG00123

Link to the assignment: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/make-a-daytime-picture-look-like-night-time/

Standardized Testing in Saskatchewan

Standardizing Sask. Assessment

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 8.50.40 AM

We knew this was coming… still, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

How will this benefit our students or our teaching? Good teaching practice is (or should) already based on an overall assessment of our students, rather than a snapshot as provided by standardized tests (as mentioned in the article). Are we not trusting teachers (as professionals) to be able to do their jobs? I’m interested to see the format of these tests.. multiple choice or are they testing for higher learning? How will one test assess all skills our students have without discouraging them? Are these tests just turning our students into data and statistics? They are individuals! How will the standardized tests accommodate for that?

The Future Will Not Be Multiple Choice

 “The classroom of the future will not teach our kids how to memorize, it’s going to teach them how to think creatively, critically and playfully.”

YES! What a fantastic summary of what I have been thinking education should look like. This video summarizes education that takes place in the form of “design projects”. Much like passion projects, project based learning, authentic opportunities… etc.

The following is part of my educational philosophy: “By encouraging my students to take more ownership for what and how they learn at school, they will develop leadership, responsibility, work ethic, time management skills, and many other essentials skills that will help them find success throughout their lives. This can be implemented through passion-based learning opportunities that stimulate authentic tasks carried out by professionals in various fields. In these instances, students must be given space to make mistakes and build understanding on their own. Critical thinking skills will be nurtured through tasks in my classroom that push students to their limits. My goal is to have students be comfortable facing new tasks and being able to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills to navigate.”

Essentially these design projects help students to find meaning in their education and in the process they are developing key skills necessary for their success in whatever they choose to do.