Learning Project (2) Update #1: How to Uke

Good day to you all, and thanks for joining.  Today I am going to show you my very early progress in learning how to play the Ukulele.  I want to give a big shout out to Justin Guitar without whom I would not have had such great instruction.  Here’s a link to is YouTube page, and here’s the first video that I used to begin learning.

I hope you enjoy:

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Spirals and Statistics and Math! Oh my…

Have you every thought about learning, just for the sake of learning?  It’s a pretty cool idea: that knowledge has worth in and of itself.  Though I love the idea of it, that was not what I was planning on doing today when I began.

So, here I am, looking through some of my ECMP 455 colleagues blogs, and I happen upon Sarah’s blog, specifically reading her blog post about Khan Academy.  Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard about Khan Academy before, but it originated as a guy tutoring his cousin which has since then grown into a massive organization with the goal of providing content for students, parents and teachers alike.  It’s pretty cool.  Anyways, through reading Sarah’s blog I started thinking that I should check this place out too.  I had previously seen a couple videos and had heard about it many times through many people, so I thought it worth taking a look.

khan-academy-subject-page

So I get there, and I’m looking through the subjects available.  I noticed the different categories in Science and Engineering… I saw the lack of information under Arts and Humanities which is sad, but I understand that it was originally meant for Mathematics help.  I think look to the left to see what subjects are offered… I’m scrolling down… wait, does that say… Yes!  I’ve found it!  At the very bottom is a subject titled Math for fun and glory.  Yes please.  So I click the link, and this is what I see:

khan-academy-fun-math

As I scroll down, I see various topics pop up, so I click the first one on Doodling in Math and more.  And from there the first group is on Spirals, Fibonacci, and being a plant.  Pretty cool, so I keep going, and am delighted to find that these are in fact videos.  I’ll let you watch them to find out what’s inside (if the title wasn’t enough for you).  Needless to say, I enjoyed them and learned a lot more about Fibonacci sequences and the real world.  Again, really cool.

Overall, I thought that the way in which I was able to delve into these topics and videos was very easy, and from there I could go back and look at further unknown things that are cool to learn about (like the Problem of Points, perhaps).  The one thing that I was not totally sure about was that as I continued to watch videos the website informed me that I had won certain numbers of points, and that to keep them I needed to sign up.  From just accessing the website, I was not sure what signing up entails or even what the purpose of the points are, so it was more of a bother than anything else.  Besides that, I would recommend that you go to Khan Academy to find hitherto untold secrets that are not actually secrets, you just don’t know them yet.  It’s also great to get brief and uncomplicated explanations of various mathematical topics, too.

Well, that’s that.  Thanks for reading!

 

Using OneNote in the classroom

Hey everyone, this past week in our ECMP 455 online meeting we discussed Learning Management Systems (LMS), which are systems that allows for teachers to give notes, assignments, tests, etc. online via these systems.

In my Internship, I was in the Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD) which uses an LMS called HomeLogic for the purposes of giving assignments, but mainly for keeping students and parents up-to-date on the grades of the students’. This was interesting, as I had only seen a system like this once before, in my Pre-Internship, and so was still very unfamiliar with it, as I had not used anything of the sort to see my grades when I was in school.  Overall it was really interesting, and I found it a good tool, but that it definitely added a lot more responsibility on the teachers to be more timely in sharing their students’ marks.

Another tool that we (my cooperating teacher and I) had the opportunity to use was Microsoft OneNote, a cloud-based application.  As stated before, I had the unique opportunity to be paired with one of the few Connected Educators in the RCSD, and so had a class set of computers to use every day  This allowed me to use, or at least begin to learn how to use OneNote. A teacher can use OneNote by first creating a Classroom Notebook for each of their classes, so that whatever resources or assignments they put into OneNote would be specific to the class that said resources and assignments are for. Within this Classroom Notebook, there are a few main sections where the teacher places resources; the Content Library, the Student Notebooks, and the Collaboration Space. There are other sections, such as the Teacher Only section, but they function similarly to the ones listed.

The Content Library serves like a giant filing cabinet that can be accessed by everyone within the Class Notebook but can only be edited by the Admin (Teacher). This is a great place to put resources and assignments that students can find. The Teacher Only functions like this but with only the Teacher being able to access it.

The Student Notebooks are where OneNote begins to differ from just a website or wiki. There, the teacher can place items for students and a student can only access his/her individual notebook, but can also edit the items within. This is a great place for digital assignments as students can work freely on assignments within their notebooks and only the Teacher can observe their progress. I personally used this a lot in my own teaching because instead of handing out notes every other day I would send the students notes through OneNote, saving a lot of paper if nothing else. Another perk of OneNote is that students would then be able to access these Notebooks wherever there was an internet connection, getting rid of the excuse that they forgot their notes at home or school, because they could access them wherever.

Lastly there was the Collaboration Space, a section wherein all participants can see and all participants can edit. Ideally, this is a great place for group projects that everyone can then see, but personally I had issues with OneNote being unable to support 30-some devices at a time, making the app useless, so I used this section significantly less than others.

Overall, I found that OneNote was a very useful application to have in the classroom, though I would also say that it can only successfully work if there is ratio of 1:1 for students:devices, which is not always an option within the classroom. It worked well in my classroom because the RCSD was already using Office 365, which gave each student the account and each teacher the ability to add students to the Classroom Notebooks. If you have the opportunity to use it I would say that you should try it, as there is a lot that can be done with it in a classroom.