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Innovative Learners

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I thought I would start this post off first by explaining what exactly innovation is. Innovation is defined as a new method,idea, product, etc. So what it means to be innovative is introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.

 

As a learner during this class I think I have been very innovative. This class fosters innovation and really gets those ideas flowing! I have thought about every day things in a new light, gotten new ideas for the classroom, and expressed myself in ways that I would not have thought about prior to this class.

 

I am made a better student and educator through discovering new innovative ways to do things.

 

Innovation can be found all over the place. George, from the Mindset of Innovation, stated that, “…we are dropping the word “digital” off of many terms (digital leadership, digital citizenships, etc.) because it is becoming invisible and just implied…” People are always creating new things or rethinking old ideas into a new light.

 

For instance, something I see all of the time in the elementary classroom is the use of classic stories retold from someone elses perspective. The Three Little Pigs has been retold from the wolfs perspective or Goldie Locks and the Three Bears have been told from the bears perspective and has even been reworked with different characters.

 

Technology is also something else that relies on innovation. Without innovative people we would never progress in technology. We would always be stuck in the same rut with the same old stuff.

 

Before reading the “Unlearning Curve” I had not realized things that I have unlearned during my education to become an educator. I have unlearned that the teacher is the only educator in the room. I am constantly amazed by the amount of knowledge that the students bring into the classroom.

 

I learn just as much if not more from students than they do from me. I have unlearned that school is an 8-4 job. Teaching and learning should be constant parts of a persons life, not something that they do in a brief window of time.

 

As I am sitting here trying to think of all of the things I have unlearned, I am finding it difficult to think of things. I have become so accustomed in the way I was taught to teach that it is hard to pick out the things that I have been untaught.

 

Something that is very easy for me to name off is the things that I still have to learn about both teaching and learning. I could stand to learn so much more! I want to know all I can about teaching and learning in order to make me the best educator I can be.

 

I have learned a bunch of really neat tech tools that I will continue to use in the classroom. There are some such as the comic strips that we were taught that I think would be really great in the classroom.

 

 

So from here I think that I just continue to keep learning all that I can. I will continue to find new innovative ways to teach and keep myself current on new practices and tools to use. You never stop learning and I plan to learn as much as I am teaching.

 

The Long Road of Learning

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As I was sitting here I was thinking about what type of metaphor reminded me of learning. I closed my eyes and decided to let my mind tell me. The picture that popped into my head was a road. I thought of a road because learning can take you in so many different directions.

 

At first you can not see the end and  it might be scary but no matter how hard it might be sometimes it is worth pushing through.

 

I also used the difference between a paved road and a dirt road because I like the difference in metaphors that each road brings.

 

I decided to use SmileBox as my digital storytelling tool because I have heard great things about it. When I was creating my story I thought it was pretty easy to use. I only had problems with how to get different words on each slide.

 

For some reason the dang thing was wanting the same exact words on every slide. Once I figured it out it was smooth sailing from there. My next issue came when I was trying to post my video.

 

The resort that we are staying at has horrible internet connection and SmileBox did not want to load for me. After about 30 min of trying to figure out how to get my video posted I finally figured it out! Once I got it uploaded I was very happy!

 

Other then the two problems I had when creating this video SmileBox was a pretty easy tool to use. I also think that it makes your creations look very fun and easy to watch.

 

I thought that this project was really fun and interesting! I have never really taken the time to think about the many metaphors that we use in our every day lives. This was a very interesting project that really made me think.

 

At first I thought this project was going to be tough. I wasn’t sure what metaphors I associated with learning! The second that I stopped over thinking and closed my eyes, the metaphor came right to me!

 

I think this video is something that I will want to keep forever. It is something I can share in my classroom to inspire students or something I can just look at to keep me motivated.

Toondoo.com

What i learned

The above toon that you see is my very first creation on Toondoo.com! I have to admit I was pretty excited about getting the opportunity to use a comic book making site. I love to see different comic creations made by people everywhere!

 

I chose to use Toondoo out of pure luck. I just clicked on a link and decided to start using it. At first I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of stuff the website opens when you clock on it. I got nervous that I would not be able to navigate around the sight and that I would not be able to figure it out.

 

I was almost instantly proven wrong! The website was so easy to use! Another thing I was surprised about was how the website makes the comics. I don’t exactly know what I was expecting the sight to look like because of the fact that I have never been on a website that makes comic strips before.

 

But I was very surprised that you had hundreds of options off to the side and your job was to flip through them and pick the ones you wanted to add to your story. They had so many options! You not only could choose between human avatars but also animals dressed as humans!

 

The sight also thought of every little thing such as giving the user tons of background images to choose from so the comic strips stay new and exciting the whole way through!

 

I decided to make my comic strip the way I did because it was the biggest take away I had from my learning project. I learned so many things that I would need to create a whole book to explain them all. At the end of my project I learned that God is good and if you believe in him you shall not perish.

 

I could definitely see myself using this in the classroom! You always hear how important picture walks are for developing readers. How awesome would it be to have the students create a story through pictures only! This would really emphasize the importance of voice in writing and would give students a chance to be completely creative without having to be gifted in drawing.

 

I could also see this as a form of informal assessment. Students could share what they have learned after a unit in a comic strip. It would make the assessment fun for the students and easier to get through for the teacher. While still allowing the teacher to see what each student knows.

 

I can see so many opportunities for these types of websites to be entered into the classroom!

There is so much value in graphics in the classroom. Some students learn through visual and all kids enjoy visual representations. You can connect so many different concepts by including visuals in your instruction and these comic strips are a great way to do just that!

Am I Digitally Mindful?

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You all know that one person who has to post about everything they are doing at any given moment.

“Just got out of the shower. Feeling Fresh!”

“#goingforarun”

These are the people who fill your feed with too much information. The people that you get tired of seeing their posts because you come across them every few minutes. These might even be the people that indirectly complain about things happening in their lives but tell you that “its personal” when you ask what is wrong.

 

This week as I was listening and reading about digital mindfulness I asked myself: am I digitally mindful?

 

Am I “that person”? Do people dread seeing posts from me because they are tired of my oversharing?

 

After asking myself this question I decided to take a look back on my social media usage. I wanted to see how often I posted. When I got on my Facebook I went back to my last post. The date was July 11th. I then went a searched for the post before that and I found that one on July 5th.

 

This was good news. I was not over feeding my friends with multiple posts through out the days. I had a good buffer time between posts.

 

My next job was to analyze the content that I am posting. Was it pointless information that no one cares about? Was I complaining about every little aspect of my life? The search was on.

 

I looked at multiple different posts and found that I mostly am a “picture poster”. I had to go back years to find a post that was words only. The pictures I posted were mostly of my boyfriend and I or my niece.

 

Because those are two people that I love very much and that make up a great portion of my life, I consider these good posts. If Facebook is meant to keep connected these are the types of things that I want my friends to see.

 

After searching Facebook, I have decided that even though I might not be digitally mindful all of the time. My posts are full of pictures that my long distance family and friends would enjoy viewing. I know that I have a lot of work to do before being completely digitally mindful, but hey at least I’, working on it!

What am I trusting in… Really?

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This week I want you to get real with yourself. I want you to take a minute and really ask yourself, “what am I trusting in… really?” Is it yourself? Are you trusting in you and no one else? Is it another person? Do you trust in another person for your own happiness? Is it money? Do you think, “I could be completely happy if I just had a few extra hundred dollars.” I know most of us want to say that we are trusting in God, but are we being honest with ourselves?

 

Believing is different then trusting. Are you just believing in God, or are you really trusting in him?

Psalms 91:1-4 says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”

 

I have been going through the Bible searching in different areas and as you may have noticed, I am enjoying the book of Psalms right now. There are so many different interesting things that the chapter talks about. Right now I am learning how to trust in the Lord completely.

 

I don’t know about you but I worry all of the time. I worry about due dates, grades, money, and how the heck I am going to find the time to do everything! I will admit that I do not give my entire trust to the Lord like I should.

 

I am aware that the Lord will take care of me and will never give me more than I can handle but I am only human and I still let the worry get to me. I find myself putting more trust in my bank account then I do in the Lord.

 

Psalms 90: 4-6 says, “For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings . His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night; nor the arrow that flies during the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.”

 

Trusting is giving something valuable to someone that we find trustworthy.

 

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you where ever you go.” Psalms 90: 9-11.

 

So ask yourself: Are you trusting in the Lord.. really?

A new type of Activism

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This week we have been focusing on digital activism. What is it? Digital Activism is defined as  the use of electronic communication technologies such as social media, especially Twitter, Facebook,YouTube,E-mail, and pocasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communication by citizens movements and the delivery of local information to a large audience.

 

Millennials are using technology to reach people that they couldn’t have without the use of technology. They are using technology to gather the world in a cause. Technology is allowing millions of people to fight for a cause instead of a few hundred or thousand (depending on where you live).

 

From the different Activism projects that I looked at teens are helping people who struggle with depression, anxiety, anorexia, rape victims, bullying, suicide and much more. I, personally, find this very cool that we have the ability to bring people together as a united front to fight for the things we believe in.

 

50 years ago people could not even dream about what it would be like to be connected with people across the ocean. I was talking with my grand mother today and we were talking about how much we have grown with technology and as a society as a whole from when she was a little girl. She then begins to chuckle and says, “I didn’t even have a toilet until I was in high school! And when I got into college I thought the indoor hot water was such a luxury!”

 

I laughed and began to think how crazy it is that I can not even imagine life without hot showers and indoor plumbing and here my grandma is who lived through both of those things until she was in her teens.

 

The same is true with technology. When my grandma was a girl you would hear of riots, strikes, a picket signs when people would get together to fight for what they believe in. Today you can barely go on Facebook without seeing some type of digital activism. How cool is that?! It is amazing the different things that technology can bring to the society.

 

When I was searching different types of teen activism I thought it was amazing the types of things that teens are doing for the world and the things that they believe in! Suicide, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders are all very serious and should be looked at in that type of light.

 

It is amazing that digital activism gives the opportunity to reach so many people and gives people the opportunity to educate the world on a serious topic.

Daily Create 9: How Ape and Dog became best friends

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Photo CC SvitUP

DCC: Create an unexpected story that ends with an ape, a dog, and a banana 

 

One bright sunny day in the middle of June Jane was taking her pet dog Max to the zoo.

“I am so excited for the zoo Max! Are you ready to go?” Asked Jane excitedly.

“woooffff,” Max replied with his tail wagging.

 

And out the door they went. Together, they went walking down the street on the short walk to the zoo. Max was pulling Jane the entire way.

 

“You are such a silly puppy,” giggled Jane.

 

The two finally made it to the zoo. There were people everywhere! Jane’s smile grew and grew and she looked around and saw all of the animals. They began to walk down the isle looking all around at all of the zoo animals.

 

 

Jane and Max visited the lions, the elephants, and the giraffes but Jane was most excited to see the apes. They ventured into the building labeled “Monkeys and Apes”.

 

Jane and Max walked up to a railing and looked out on all of the monkeys and apes that filled the room. Jane was in awe! Apes are her favorite animal and she was so excited to get to see them.

 

In all of the excitement Jane didn’t even realize Max and wiggled out of his collar. As Jane was admiring the apes she saw a strange sight roaming around the Ape and Monkey room. It was Max!

 

“OH NO MAX! Come here buddy”, screamed Jane nervously. Max did not listen to Jane and continued to make his way to the littlest ape in the enclosure. Jane then began to run around the building looking for help to save Max.

 

Jane ran up to a man dressed in jeans and a black shirt labeled “Johnson County Zoo”.

 

“Please help me! My dog has ran into the ape enclosure and I can’t get him out!” Pleaded Jane. The two ran back to the ape enclosure to rescue the curious Max. As soon as they reached the room both broke out into contagious laughter.

 

Max was being fed a banana by the littlest ape! He was not in any danger at all! After a good laugh, the zoo worker went into the enclosure, scooped up Max, and returned him to Jane.

 

“Oh you silly puppy! I was worried about you,” she laughed while hugging his next tight.

 

Now every Saturday, Max and Jane take a trip to the zoo so max can see his other best friend Jean the ape.

Daily Create 6: A letter to my 13 year old self

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Dear Caitlan,

First of all let me start this letter of by reminding you that you are amazing just the way you are. Never let anyone tell you that you need to change. 13 is a tender age and you will be tested with many different obstacles. No matter what life throws our way we will get through it and it will make us stronger.

 

Always remember that you are loved. No matter how mean they might seem at the time mom and dad do love you and would do anything for you. Visit the grandparents as much as you can, they wont be around forever and they love visits from the kids.

 

Hold on tight to your siblings because one day they will have lives of their own and they will move away. And another thing, take too many pictures! Once they have moved away to continue their lives the pictures will hold on to the memories. You will appreciate them later.

 

Never forget that life goes on and a boy will not be your defining attribute. There are plenty of boys out there, don’t waste your time with ones that don’t treat you right. Hold on to friendship and never take it for granted. You will find that some of your best friends now will still be there when you get to be my age.

 

Turn the TV off and get outside! Technology will always be there but today, this moment, only happens once. Always make sure that you treasure each and every moment. Eat as much cake as you can! When we get older our body does not handle the junk as well as it used too! Of course we will always have a sweet tooth but we have to start monitoring it so take advantage of it while you have it.

 

Always leave your heart open for love. Never let it get so hard that you find it hard to feel the warmth. Find love in unexpected places. Look toward the mountains, your family, animals, even school to find the love. You have a heart with enough room for a mountain of love, let others see that.

 

Probably the most important of all, always accept and love the Lord with your entire heart. He is the reason we are so blessed.

 

And because I know myself you are probably wondering where we are now…

We are living a great life. We have a wonderful family and a niece that stole our heart. We have a boyfriend who loves us (and we love him) and a few dogs that light up the room. We have a second family who came along with that boyfriend who love us like we are their own daughter. We (almost) have a degree in teaching and continue to have a growing love for children. Great friends surround us and show us support in everything we do.

 

Overall, our life is pretty great. You have so much to look forward to and always remember to do your best and know that you have a great life to look forward to.

 

With all the love in our heart,

You at 21 years old.

My Digital Footprint

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I am going to start off this blog post completely 100% honest. This is not the first time I have Googled myself (and I am pretty sure I am not the only one). I find it very intriguing the things that shows up on Google when I put in my name.

So often we forget that the things we post are out there for everyone to see.

 

The first thing that popped up when I searched my own name was a “did you mean” text telling me that I probably spelt my first name wrong (one of the perks of having a strange spelt name).

 

I then decided to start by searching the images to see what would pop up. The very first image in the search is this one. What exactly are you looking at? This is a Prezi that I made a few months back on Teamwork. I laughed a little when this was the first thing I saw.

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The next cluster of pictures were of people that I do not know and do not recognize. After about 10-15 pictures of strangers I finally saw some that I recognized.

me You probably recognize this picture. It’s my profile picture for Facebook and my Blog!

 

70x70 This tiny little picture is me around 13 years old and was my Myspace profile.

 

These were literally the only two pictures of me that showed up in my entire search.

 

The next thing I noticed was pictures of my friends. All of the friends that showed up are friends that I have known since middle school. I was not completely surprised by seeing their pictures because I am sure that our digital paths have crossed multiple times.

 

The next thing that I found really surprised me.

 

It’s you all! I was very surprised that it brought pictures of my classmates on here because we have only been digital friends for the last few short weeks. I suppose I should not be completely surprised because most of us do not know each other outside of the digital world.

 

I also saw different pictures of the college which creeped me out a little. I was not expecting Google to know where I attend college.

 

After deciding that I have seen all of the images that relate to me, I went back to my search and took a look at all of the links that Google shows for me.

 

I saw Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Youtube, Instagram, Soundtrap, and many other sites that I am apart of. It even showed the books that I marked on Goodreads. It brought up the middle school I attended, the college I attend, my church, my dads information, and different lesson plans that I have created.

 

There were about 2 pages of information that was completely about me. Honestly, even though I have Googled myself before (mostly for the pictures) I was not expecting that much information to be out there for anyone to see.

 

I will definitely be thinking twice before I let any information out about me on the internet!

 

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