Wednesday, April 15, 2009
An email I received from the Education Faculty last week:
Here is what we want you to pass along to anyone you think may be
interested in becoming a teacher:As of Thursday 2 April 2009, The Faculty of Education has openingsPost Secondary Transfer & After Degree Applicants
for admission for Fall 2009 in the following undergraduate Bachelor
of Education and After Degree program* Arts Education
* Baccalauréate en éducation (français)
* Secondary Education with a major in:
o Business Education
o Core French
o Health Education
o Music Education
o Science EducationHigh School Applicants Deadline extensionSeparate quotas are in place for all programs. The above
* Arts Education
* Baccalauréat en éducation (français)
* Secondary Education:
o Business Education
o Core French
o Health Education
o Music Education
programs have extended the annual application deadline until
quotas are filled; this includes applications from current high
school students, high school graduates with no applicable post-
secondary, and post-secondary transfer and after degree (BEAD)
The Teacher Education Application & Profile 2009 is available at
Monday, April 13, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
- Podcasting using Audacity – I did a podcast on easy, achieveable ways to prevent global warming. It was great hearing people’s personalities come out through podcasting as editing.
- iGoogle was a tool I had already been using before this class, but the blog posts the class did taught me about some cool widgets that I have since added to my own iGoogle.
- Delicious is also a tool that I have been using for the past year, but it wasn’t until our lesson online that I realized the importance of tagging. Once I realized I could also subscribe to a tag via RSS feed, I really began to understand the power of delicious bookmarking.
- I haven’t quite become the addicts of Twitter that Dionne and Tessa have, but I have established a small Personal Learning Network that was a great help to me when I was looking for resources for my final project. If someone couldn’t help me, they knew who to direct me to.
- Flickr has been a wonderful tool to upload my Daily Pictures to, but it’s the Creative Commons that really make Flickr stand out. I can use images in Creative Commons and not have to worry about copyright infringement.
Blogging has also been an eye-opening experience. It was through blogs that I communicated with all of my ECMP classmates and both my mentorship classrooms. Blogs are wonderful tools of communication and with the addition of RSS feeds to Google Reader, it was easy to keep track of everything going on, even if it wasn’t easy to keep up.
I made a world cloud using Wordle and added every single one of my blog posts to it. As you can see, the words that appear most prominently are class, student, blog, mentorship, students, new, learning, classroom and think. What amazing words.
I have Skyped.
I have Tweeted.
I’ve made Personal Learning Network.
I have learned.
I have taught.
I am connected.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
"We appreciated all the effort you put into working with the class. I wish you could be in the room when we check our blogs so you could hear the children say with enthusiasm -"Oh - It's a comment from Robin!" They will miss having you be a part of the class. I think you did well reaching every student. You were always thoughtful and often gave them something to think about. Our pigeon drawing come from books we read and the children wish that you knew about the books. They were so funny - saying - "I don't think Robin knows about the Pigeon books." I had to explain that most University students wouldn't know about the Mo Willems books since he hasn't been writing books for very long.
Would you mind posting one "goodbye" message on the main page of our blog? If you can find the time, this would be easier than writing to each child. They each have a new drawing/story on their blog. It is hard for me to keep up with their individual blogs and post their work. It is as difficult to keep up with the main page. We have a video posted and by the end of the week, I hope to have another new post…
…Thank you so much for being involved with the KinderKids. You cannot know the impact it has made. They know that there is someone reading their blog and therefore they want to do good work so someone enjoys their work.
Please keep in touch. If there is anything i can do for you, please ask. I am still in touch with my first student from Dean. She just contacted me with a question for a project she is doing."
Thanks Maria for your feedback! I will definitely be posting a farewell message in the next few days, but it's not truly a farewell. I have really enjoyed following their class blogs and plan to continue following them until at least the end of the school year. Thanks for the great mentorship experience!
After several hours of gathering resources, I spent another few days registering, experimenting, and choosing the top six programs/websites. I tried to choose a variety as there are many aspects of music. Here's what I chose:
1) Audacity/Garageband - for composing, recording and editing sound
2) Skype in Schools - a wikispace where you can add your classroom to a directory and receive contacts to Skype with. Can be used to Skype with composers and musicians from around the world.
3) sfskids.org - an amazing interactive website for your students to use. Includes lessons on orchestra, instrumental sections, individual instruments and all the elements of music including notes, tempo, dynamics, and more.
4) MusTech.net - a list of 100 music educator's blog URLs
5) MusicTechTeacher.com - a new way of teaching music with technology, complete with lessons plans, worksheets, and examples of student work
6) Mark Hammon's slideshow - on the importance of arts education in today's schools
My original plan was to make a video, but you can't really film your computer screen moving... unless you have Jing! I downloaded this program to get screenshots and screenvideos. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to import those videos from Jing's weird file format; I think you have to pay for it to do that. Anyway, to compromise, I filmed my computer screen using my camera. It's not nearly as good of quality, but at least it's there.
After securing my screenshots from Jing, video clips from my camera, and a couple neat pictures from Flickr's Creative Commons (attributions here and here), I decided to use VoiceThread for the first time to record my presentation. It is very easy to use, but it takes a strong computer. Mine froze twice, and I lost my progress the first time. The second time caused a glitch in the slide about musictechteacher.com. You will have to manually skip to the next slide because of this. I probably spent a good three or four hours on this step.
Overall, this project was very beneficial to me as an education student. I can use these resources as lesson plan ideas for future projects and lesson plans. Remember, this only highlights six of the thousands of music education sites I discovered were out there on the fabulous Web 2.o. Hope you learn something!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Speaking of which, that camera could be useful for Daily Pictures. Anyone know how to get a pic off a phone and onto the computer?
Dani is absolutely right when she says "I knew I needed to work extra hard in this class if I wanted to gain anything from it" I think that the people who put the most effort into this class also got the most out of it. I also agree that the students in this class taught each other. Dean was kind of the guide, but we got to chose what topics we focused on. I also checked out some tech tasks before doing mine, like the two story-telling ones, as I'm sure others looked at mine before doing theirs. It's a learning circle!
I did spend hours on end in front of my computer for this class, but most of that was simply reading/commenting on blogs for this class and my mentorship - it does take time. I have become quite proficient and reading and commenting, and by some spur of luck, technology comes pretty easily to me so the tech tasks didn't take long. Hopefully this class helped to encourage your technological skills too.
I have enjoyed reading blogs like Dani's where tech tasks did not come as easily - honestly! I think it's great that you are okay saying that you aren't doing well in this class. That is teaching the rest of us a valuable skill; not everyone is going to 'get it' unless you teach for multiple learning styles. You are visual and face-to-face, while others are more independent, and that's totally fine!
This class taught me about technology, about social networking, and about different learning styles. I could see my classmates journey through ECMP as clearly as my own and observing all the success, failure, and half-ways stories was beneficial for all of us. Thanks to everyone in ECMP355 for their work during the semester! It was fun.
1. Blogging and 2. Commenting: I felt that these should be separate yet connected topics. Not only did I expand my learning throughout the semester by taking the time to post about various things happening in my school and social life, but I realized the power of commenting! It is extremely motivational to receive comments on your blog posts. There were a few periods where I did not receive any comments and wondered why I was posting at all, but there were other times when I did receive a few comments and that inspired me to write even more. I tried my best throughout the semester to comment on every blog post that I could. You can see this in my mentorship where I commented on over 250 blog posts, but I also tried to comment on my classmates' blogs to give them the motivation that they give me through their comments. I wish I had kept track of all the learning I've done through commenting, but here are a few:
- Teaching Dionne how to align images in blog posts
- Collaborating via comments to create a poem/rap song
- Learning about political and mental issues by reading comments
- Learning how to embed YouTube videos
- How to prevent computers from getting viruses
- Feedback for other class projects
- Learning about the U-Pass
- Passing on cool stuff learned from other's blogs
3. Delicious is another form of social learning that I maximized during this class. I had a delicious account before ECMP355 started, but our lesson in Elluminate taught me about the importance of tagging, adding friends, and using RSS feeds in delicious to gather reliable URLs on any tag. I was able to pass on my knowledge of delicious through a Skype session with my mentorship, and talking to my friends about it.
4. Elluminate/Instant Messaging. Elluminate was a great tool to host our weekly online class. Yes, it had it's occasional faults in chipmunking sound and 'kicking people out', but overall each online class was very smooth. I am also glad that Dean recommended purchasing a microphone, as I have used it more than I ever thought I would through Elluminate, Skype, and podcasting. Nicole and I also spent a few minutes after class a couple weeks ago chatting and talking through the microphone about how to change the Look and Feel of her final project wikispace:
5. Google Reader. What an immense tool. There is no way that I would be able to keep up with all my classmates' blogs, teacher blogs, and mentorship blogs without my lurvely Google Reader. Subscribing to RSS feeds is super-easy and saves hours and hours of searching through blogs and websites. THANK YOU Dean, for introducing us to this tool. Other tools, such as spreadsheets and documents are things that I would like to explore more indepth in the future - I just chose to focus on other topics this semester.
6. Email might seem too obvious, but it is definitely a prominent form of social learning. Whenever an Elluminate link didn't work, what saved us? Email. Sure, a few people got the link from Twitter or Skype, but the majority of us went to our email accounts first. I also exchanged a couple emails with Dionne(? I think!) about using wikispaces.
7. Face to Face. Several Thursdays as we sat waiting for KHS to start, several of us ECMP355ers would talk about the Elluminate session we had attended the previous night. Some days the discussions were "That's so cool! I'm so going to use that in my classroom!", some days it was "I fell asleep and don't want to listen to the recording. What happened?", others consisted of ":S!!?!?! Help!" and me calming re-explaining some concepts to panicked faces. Other dicussions weren't directly related to Elluminate sessions, such as the convo I had with Marcy about saving her podcast:
8. Skype is also a new tool that I hadn't even heard about until this class. An online phone call seems pretty basic, but wait. You can call anywhere in the world, FREE? Whoa. As if that wasn't enough, there is an instant messaging feature, webcam options, and a program called Pamela that records Skype calls!
9. Twitter. Calm down Dionne, I mentioned it ;) The main reason I use Twitter is for resources. I twittered asking about ways to incorporate technology in a music classroom for my final project, and almost all of my ideas came from help on Twitter. Instead of writing a lengthy paragraph, I'll just direct you to Dionne's lengthy blog posts about other benefits of Twitter here, here, here, here and here!
I think that overall, I did a ton of teaching and learning in this class. I catch on to this technology deal pretty easily, but my learning was really maximized when I could teach others to use the tools or read neat things that other people discovered about tools that I did not.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
In Jennifer Clark Evan's two junior English classes in Virgina, I read seven blogs posts from each of the 40ish students about the novel A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. Here are links to some blog posts I've made about this mentorship in the past:
The Beginning: my initial thoughts and ideas about this mentorship
Teaching delicious Through Skype: complete with two audio files
Reading Through Student's Eyes: how I learned about the novel through blog posts
Student Values; blog posts about the student's top five values
Besides all this, I also had to provide feedback on the posts that the student's made at six checkpoints within the novel. Here are some examples of my feedback to Jennifer's students:
Spelling: Matt and Ian
Originality: Ian and Chelsea
Connecting with Hemingway: Derrik
Learning about a different time and culture: Emily
Working on personal reflection: Rachel
Passionate posts: Emma, Jessica and Matt
Last post - near perfection! Brian and Hillary
I also saw that Jennifer posted about the blogging experience in her blog. It was nice to hear her perspective. I emailed her because I wanted some feedback on the work I'd been doing with her class: comments, compliments and most importantly, criticism. Here's what she said:
"You really tried to jump in and do anything that you could learn for yourself. Some of the students even commented on this-your strong work ethic. You were diligent in your commenting and did a great Skype presentation. That was not easy talking to a room of strangers two time zones away. You were flexible and well organized. I enjoyed working with you and wish you luck in the rest of your studies."
I think I experienced the most in Jennifer's mentorship class and spent a TON of time keeping up with all the their blog posts, but I'm now proud to say that I commented on every single blog post: that's over 250 comments! *high-fives myself* That doesn't go to say that my second mentorship, with Maria Knee's kindergarten class in Deerfield, New Hampshire, wasn't a great experience as well. Maria's class only made two blog posts during my mentorship, but they were great! Here are some links to previous blog posts about Maria's class:
The Beginning / Spiders
Skyping with Maria Knee's Class
Pigeons Like to Drive and Stay Up Late
It didn't take long to read and post on their artistic blogs, but it was very fun and I actually did learn quite a bit about what kids can accomplish at that age. As I mention in my previous posts, Maria had the students operating the computer for the Skype call - wow! I will keep their blogs in my Google Reader and hope to continue commenting on their blogs posts in the future. I also asked Maria for some feedback on my work with her students, but she has yet to reply.
Overall, I am glad that I participated in these mentorship opportunities, despite the huge amount of time that they took to do well. I have learned more than I originally expected from these classrooms, and definitely see the benefits in using blogs in a classroom to hand-in assignments rather than written work: the other students can see and comment on your homework! This can be scary, but that probably makes the students work harder! Enough rambling; hope you enjoyed reading about my mentorship experiences.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
I had quite the time uploading this darn thing to the web. It automatically saved as a .aup, but it didn't upload to archive.org. I finally figured out how to dowload LAME to convert it to an .mp3, but then I had to 'find' the LAME file. I found it easily enough, but then had to figure out how to get there from the stupid window in Audacity. It's an hour after I finished recording my podcast, I finally have a way to embed it here. *sigh* You better enjoy it -evil glare-
Stephanie: being an Arts Education student, I was delighted when she mentioned Imagination and Creativity as two of her top five values.
Emmy: wait, a high school student recognizes that etiquette and manners are important? Whoa.
Chelsea: family, friends, freedom and faith.
Jessica: an outstanding job on explaining why some traditional values are so important.
Lucy: "I can't imag[in]e being any shade of a good person without [my family]".
Rachel: a true recognition of the importance of education, freedom and opportunity.
Samantha: honesty, truth, and respect.
I don't know if I've posted about this before, but my sister is participating in a Japanese Exchange Program. Two students will be living in our house for two weeks starting April 11, then my sister gets to go to their homes for a couple weeks in July.
I am considering kidnapping them one afternoon and taking them through the car wash. :D
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Most importantly, PASS IT ON!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Vivian had a blue pigeon with a detailed background. Patrick's pigeon wanted to stay up late. The pigeon that Matthew drew wanted a yppup (puppy)! Grace's pigeon was a bus driver. Plus, Katie drew a whole family of pigeons.
These are just a few of the student's blogs, but I wanted to show you some of the work that we have been doing. I found it interesting that Matthew spelled puppy correctly, just backwards. I showed my mom and she informed me that lots of kids do that when they learn to write - including me! Who knew?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
*Warning: this post contains spoilers on the novel! Do not read if you want the end to be a surprise
**The links go to specific blog posts of some of Jennifer's students
I have never read this novel before, so I was afraid that I would not be able to help them with their blog posts. As I read them, I realized that I could get a pretty decent idea of the novel just by reading their posts. The novel follows an ambulance driver of World War I named Henry. He seems invincible and unemotional to the war until he injuries his knee and is pulled from the front for a few months where he meets a nurse named Catherine, who has just lost her fiance to the war. They begin a relationship, based not on love but on desperation, and eventually Catherine becomes pregnant. Henry has to leave to her get back to the war front. As he is there he continues thinking about Catherine as a distraction from the war. He realized that he has fallen in love with her after all, and escapes the war to be with her. They run to Switzerland, a country neutral in the war, to be together. Unfortunately, Catherine drank mercilessly during her pregnancy while Henry was away. The baby is strangled by the umbilical cord, and Catherine dies from hemorrages. Henry is left alone, wanted from his country, and back to his original emotional state of numbness.
I find it amazing that I know this story so well without ever reading it. I can quote lines of foreshadowing, write another paragraph just about Henry's character development, write about secondary characters and their place in the war, all from reading student blogs. I will write more about my comments and their progress another time. Great job students!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
I love delicious. Not quite as passionately as Dionne loves Twitter, but oh well. I used Pamela to record the two Skype calls, then uploaded the mp3 files to archive.org. I also used the delicious page of my now-abandoned wikispace as a basis for my lesson. You don't have to listen to the whole file(s) as they are approximately fifteen minutes in length each. Enjoy!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I stayed online after class on Wednesday to talk to Dean. I'd hoped he would be able to give me some ideas and help pull me out of the ditch I was hopelessly stuck in... and he did! The new plan is to pick a grade level and subject, then make a video (possibly Flowgram), on five or six ways to incorporate technology in that classroom. I'm planning to get started on this as soon as I finish my report for my Personal Arts Project for EAES201.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Here are some additional pictures of my charcoal pieces. Since I learned this art form on my own, I would really appreciate some constructive criticism - that's actually part of my project - so if you could comment at least on the charcoal works that would be great. Enjoy the slideshow!
|Make a Smilebox photobook|
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
It seems you need to zoom in a lot in this embedding file. If you click on the link above, it automatically focuses on Regina.
View Larger Map
iTunes URL: file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Robin/LOCALS~1/Temp/In%20The%20Groove,%20Jazz%20and%20Beyond.url
Website URL: http://www.jazzandbeyond.com/
My second pick is Learn French with Coffee Break French by Radio Lingua Network. They also have a Spanish version. The reason I chose this podcast is because I've always wanted to learn French or Spanish, and maybe these podcasts will give me a head start! It's a very convienient way to get started on learning a language.
iTunes URL: file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Robin/LOCALS~1/Temp/Learn%20French%20with%20Coffee%20Break%20French%203.url
Website URL: http://www.coffeebreakfrench.com/
One of the students introduced me to their turtle, as Maria had read on my blog that I liked turtles. Another student showed me the projects they had been working on previous to my Skype call. They also asked me questions, like if I was in high school or college; I explained that university was like college for them. The only other province in Canada they had Skyped with was Quebec, so they wondered if I knew French, and Maria was also very eager to hear how Saskatchewan was pronounced. I was also impressed by the way that Maria had one student click the buttons required to call me, and another student end the call so that they were actually using Skype themelves.
Here are two files that I managed to save through Pamela (a program used to record Skype to mp3 files). Then I uploaded the mp3 filea to archive.org so I could post it here! It's just the very beginning and very end of our Skype call, we got cut off for some reason... I think my voice sounds weird, but oh well. At least John was very eager to meet me!
I feel like I'm constantly behind on their blogs, but I think it's just because they've been posting much more regularly the past couple weeks - which is good, but I'm struggling to keep up sometimes. I also feel like I'm spending way more time commenting on their blogs then doing the several final projects that need finishing. I am also feeling stuck on my final project for this class and am even looking into some new ideas... grr!
My cold also same back this weekend, though I thought it had disappeared. I barely had a voice on Saturday at Future Shop, so I got stuck at front cash rather than customer service. It has been better Sunday and today, but singing in the car is still out of the question for a few more days I think.
... so, as negative as this post is so far, I'm actually in a pretty good mood. Weird haha :) My family watched Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman on Saturday, and I found it quite revolutionary in the way the story was told and filmed - highly recommended. Then Sunday night my work friends got together for a Twlight movie night, and I went even though I'd already seen it. Several of my friends are obsessed with Twlight, so it was hilarious hearing their critics on the movies versus the books.
Well, I hope you didn't waste too much time reading my little rant that turned out a little less happy than I originally intended. I guess I needed to get my thoughts out of my head!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Find more videos like this on TeacherLibrarianNetwork