Sunday, 17 November 2013

Getting Things Done

Where did November go?  I can't believe it has been two and a half weeks since Halloween.  November is always busy: my daughter's birthday is November 1st.  This weekend we celebrated her third (and final) birthday party.  Ringette also gets going full-tilt in November, complete with practices, games, tournaments, and bottle drives.  We also start in on basketball (me, my daughter, and my son); piano; drums; and flu season.  And in a two teacher household, November is synonymous with report cards.  Yet through all of this chaos, I somehow managed to achieve a number of things this week, and managed to watch the football game too - Go Riders!  Here is a quick look back at what I have accomplished this week:
  • Updated my blog, read through Blog Hub blogs, and made some comments on Google+
  • Learned how to do some basic photo editing in Photoshop and learned how to animate objects using Flash
  • Provided Mimio training for a number of elementary and high school teachers
  • Participated in an Education Technology Advisory Working Group meeting to determine potential deployment models for the new tech plan
  • Provided Gr 8 students with a 1/2 day robotics workshop using LEGO Mindstorms kits
  • Began planning a "Growing Your PLN Using Twitter" workshop for teachers in early December

Photo Credit: Luke P. Woods via Compfight cc
A couple of highlights for me from this week involved my work in classrooms.  Over the past 5 years I have provided the 1/2 day robotics session for about 50 different classrooms.  It is always a great time, with students begging to stay in at recess to keep working on their creations.  Having read "Invent to Learn", by Sylvia Martinez, I now feel that I have some of the theory to back the practice of project based learning. 

A second highlight occurred today as I was leaving church.  I have been helping a group of Gr 8 students prepare book trailers based on Willow Award books.  The next step involves uploading the trailers to YouTube and then creating QR codes for each book trailer so that students can easily access the book trailers by scanning the QR code with their smartphone.  On my way out the door a student from the class approached me and asked when I would be coming back to help him to get started with the upload and QR code creation process. When I told him I wouldn't be out until Thursday he was a bit disappointed because he is excited to get going on this part of the project.  It is always encouraging to see that students are engaged in learning.

For EC&I 831 I have made some great headway on all three assignments.  I remain an active participant on Google+, Twitter, and the Blog Hub.  I continue to slowly grow my PLN.  This week I created a couple of posts for my Major Digital Project and also tried to include a couple of more personal posts.  I have begun putting together an infographic as part of my final explanation of how I have become a more connected educator.  I am using new (to me) tools like ThingLink, Voki, and Wideo to explain my growth in this area.

I have begun organizing my thoughts for my Summary of Learning assignment.  In order to make my learning visible, I am in the process of creating a LiveBinder as a way to summarize many of the key concepts I have learned through this course.

My Major Digital Project is also coming along nicely.  Over the next two weeks I plan to outline two final components of the project and identify some of the modifications and adaptations I will make to future PD sessions.

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