Beyond the Glass

Reflections on education in a connected world. Jackie Sakatch

I am a Networked Professional

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When it came to write this last blog post for the first time this term I felt stuck. It is not the first time in my Graduate program that I have felt like I do not know how to put the words on the page to explain my thinking but it was the first time that when I had felt that way before writing a blog post. I turned to Facebook to help me clarify my thoughts. As I started to comment back and forth I realized that I was living as a networked professional. I was using my network to help me move forward.

How have I become a more networked professional?

Blog Posts that document my development as a Networked Professional

Blog post that demonstrate Getting Help to Connect

I asked Sue Waters to look at my blog and provide me with feedback.

Hi Jackie

Always happy to help!

I’m thinking it is probably worth moving the Subscribe by email option and options to how you can connect (with you) higher on the sidebar.

I feel conflicted about the theme.  This is a very good theme and I like it.  It’s also a popular theme.  But it is hiding your tagline. If you are happy with the theme I would keep it as it is clean and easy to read.

Those are the main things I can spot!  Hope that helps?

On Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 1:27 AM, Jackie Sakatch <jackie.sakatch@rbe.sk.ca> wrote:

Hi Sue,

If you have a moment I was wondering if you could look over my blog and make any suggestions for improvement.  I would appreciate any advice that you have.  I am looking forward to connecting with you again on Monday.

https://jackiesakatch.wordpress.com/

Thank you

Jackie Sakatch

Blog Posts that demonstrate my connection with others through comments

Blog posts where I explore Open Access and Open Education

Blog post that reflect on course content and explore new ideas and tools.

Examples of my Professional Learning Network

My class partnered with a grade 11 class from Johnson Collegiate this term. My class and I sent a tweet out about our reading buddies experience. The following is what happened on Twitter once I shared our story.

I used the #eci831 hasttag and shared interesting articles and my blog posts on Twitter.  I used the #eci831 tagboard to help me keep track of tweets from my peers.   I asked questions and commented on posts of my peers on the Google + community.

The blog has had views from a variety of countries around the world including Spain, Australia and the United States.  I currently have twenty people following my blog.  My blog stats tell me that my blog has been viewed 629 times and 149 comments have been made.

Over the last few days I have had a conversation with my administrator about starting a school Twitter account. I have used Google Earth to take a virtual field trip. At the beginning of the term I felt that the filing cabinet was closed but now I feel that I have started to integrate technology into my teaching practice. I also feel that I have found supportive connections to help me when I am stuck.  I am proud of my accomplishments and I am excited to see how my teaching practice will continue to transform.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Karl Koenen

 

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Final Reflections on Creating a Digital Identity with Children


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Tim & Selena Middleton

A final reflection is a bit of a misnomer because the work of creating and supporting young learners in digital spaces will be part of my teaching practice from this day forward. My learning journey has begun but by no means have I reached the end of the road.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by daveynin

I am proud and comfortable with the steps that I have taken to become more aware of resources available to support young people online and the actions that I have taken so far to make their learning activities a success. Highlights of these step and blog posts that reflect and document the growth are below:

Updated classroom blog that includes a Twitter account

Teach children to Tweet and comment on blog post.

We made a beautiful painting on canvas. We are proud of our painting. We painted the picture using team work. pic.twitter.com/jgLG1zY20Z

— Jackie Sakatch (@MrsSakatch) November 13, 2013

Develop and maintain a YouTube channel with my son.

Curate Digital Citizenship Resources for parents and teachers


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by David Goehring

Next Steps

I plan to continue to use Twitter in my classroom.  I want to expand the number of blogs that my students comment on and work with them to create entries for our classroom blog.  Eventually I would like to connect with other classrooms through Skype.  I am hoping to visit Kathy Cassidy’s classroom in the new year to see first hand how she supports her learners with technology and individual student blogs.    Cory Antonini, our consultant stopped me in the hallway last week and mentioned that he had another teacher who would like to start to connecting their  classrooms through Twitter and that he had another idea for me to try.  I am excited to explore other learning opportunities.  In the future I would like to explore creating individual student blogs or learning portfolios.

My son has numerous plans and ideas for his YouTube channel.  I feel it is my job to support him but to also stay out of his way and allow him to create his own learning path.  He has mentioned that he would like to create a playlist for his videos and wanting to create more videos where he interviews people.  Perhaps he will create his own blog.

The Digital Citizen Resources LiveBinder that I have created is easy to use and I plan to continue to add content.

Final Thought


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Bart Everson

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Summary of Learning

My goal for this term was to develop an understanding of how to use social media and open education with children in grade one and two  and to begin to use the material I was using in my classroom and at home with my son.  When I thought about creating my Summary of Learning, I felt that it was important to stay with the theme of working with children online so I decided to have my son interview me about my experiences in #eci831.   Below is the interview outline that I created.

Today we are going to about my mom’s social media and open education university class. 

What did you learn about social media? 

What did you learn in your class that you can use in your classroom? 

  • Updated the classroom blog, added Twitter, and have started tweeting with my class.
  • I am thinking about how I can experiment with the Makey Makey in my classroom.
  • I talk to kids about Mindcraft and other games that are important to them and try to include the things that kids learn from games in my teaching.

How do you help your kids stay safe online? 

  • Model how to be safe
  • Talk about being a good citizen – on and offline – you need to be the same on and offline.  Both interactions are real.
  • Monitor students activities
  • It is important not just to create content but also to comment on other people’s content.
  • Computer equipment stays in an open place in our house.
  • Monitoring and posting Ben’s videos on YouTube

What is open education?

  • Sharing and using materials that have been licensed to be used.  You need to look at the license that a picture or song is put online and be respectful of the person that posted it.  You need to be aware of copyright.  Creative Commons Search
  • Do you know when you brainstorm – and one person has an idea and then the next person adds to that idea – being an open educator means you are part of a community where you add to the ideas of others, you might reuse their materials in a different way and you let others use your materials.  You use pingbacks in your blog to build on and support ideas in your blog.  You are generous with your ideas and materials.
  • MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – Two types – One that focuses on teaching you content from a prescribe course outline and the other where you work as a community to generate and support each other.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Mary St George

My Commitment to Further Learning

  1. Continue to use Twitter in the classroom.  Develop a 140 square grid to help my children create tweets.  Add a Twitter job to our classroom jobs so that tweeting becomes an embedded part of my instructional practice.
  2. In my classroom follow and comment on other classroom blogs and learning.
  3. Continue to work with my son to develop his digital identity and YouTube channel.  When he is ready, I would like to help him develop his own blog.
  4. Be respectful and mindful of copyright.  Search for and use materials that are licensed through Creative Commons.
  5. When I upload material, I will use a Creative Commons license so that I communicate my intentions for that material.
  6. Continue to be an active community member on Twitter by adding members to my Professional Learning Network, contributing materials and ideas, and participating in chats.
  7. Explore and experiment with new online tools and ideas using my PLN for support if I require help.
  8. Continue to follow and read blogs created by other educators.
  9. Continue to blog.
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The Strength of a Professional Learning Network.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Colleen McMahon
Throughout this term I have discovered the power of a Professional Learning Network (PLN) and Twitter. This weekend I have experience the benefits of having a strong PLN. I twitted out my last blog post The Gift of Openness and Alec Couros commented on my tweet

The next thing that happened is that the number of favorites and retweets that I received in a short period of time was phenomenal.

Blog explosion

I decided to check my blog stats and this is what I found.

Blog_stats

Thanks to Alec’s retweet more people viewed and decided to follow my blog. The process of developing your PLN may take some time to establish but the more effect that your invest the more opportunities you will have to share and influence.

My classroom twitter account is slowly being used by families. After report cards went home on Friday this was the response I received from one of my families:

My classroom Twitter following is small but for the families that use it powerful. Just like an ant.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by AnnaNakami

Hopefully it goes to many

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Charles Lam

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The Gift of Openness

Open_Education

Slide from: https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/playback.jnlp?psid=2013-11-19.1657.M.E1C6971D0015BD348DBD143FC183D6.vcr&sid=2008350

David Wiley will be presenting to our #eci831 class on November 26, 2013.  In his Ted talk, he speaks about openness, generosity, and sharing in education.  David Wiley concludes that the more open we are in education the greater the improvements will be to education.

In the #eci831 class, we have experienced and benefited from the generosity of openness from these presenters:

Each of these presenters has exemplified their understanding and commitment to open education by sharing of their time and talents with us.

I believe another example of openness occurs on Twitter during a chat.  This Saturday morning I participated in #satchat I was looking through the overnight tweets, saw the hashtag and thought it was a great opportunity to follow the conversation.  The topic of the day was how to engage your staff in free professional development.   A few things that I thought during the chat was how consistent the message of the importance of educators being connected.  I was impressed with how open and giving the people participating were.  People shared strategies and blog article freely, and how it was easy to participate.  I think many of the people participating in the chat understood the concept of openness in the advancement of education.

Robert Munch  shares a humorous look at how we encourage sharing in the Kindergarten classroom in the book We Share Everything.  Occasionally I have worked with teachers who view sharing as a negative and wish to keep materials and ideas to themselves. I wonder what happens as we move through educational institutions and potentially become less willing to share resources, time, and energy than we expect a five year old in Kindergarten to share.    During his presentation on Open Education Alec Couros mentioned the website Teachers Pay Teachers a website where teachers can purchase materials created by other teachers.  Alec also shared the Open Educational Resources (OER) organization where content is  Creative Commons licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial-ShareAlikes unless otherwise noted that teachers may access  instructional materials.  I plan to spend more time exploring the resources available on the OER website.

At the beginning of the course Alec Couros asked us to consider how are you contributing to the learning of others?  At first, I thought this meant commenting on other students’ blogs and being active on Twitter.  I think it is broader than that now.  I think what needs consideration is how you will be open and generous as you educate.  What will you be willing to share to advance the education of others?

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Gideon Burton

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Blog Renovations and Improvements

tools of the trade

This weekend I started to make this blog my blog instead of a blog that I am creating for a University course.  I started by adding a tag cloud and a widget that shows the blog I follow.  I also personalized the blog by adding a Professional Development page.  All teachers in Regina Public Schools are required to document their Professional Learning and Development.  In the past, I have completed a goal form that I have shared with my administrator and colleague.  I wanted to show my learning in a digital format.  I have added the University classes I have taken and the Provincial Math Learning Community that I am a member.  I am thinking about the format that I want to use to add my Professional Development goals to the page.

Another decision I made was to add a digital citizenship resources page.  I thought it was important to compile some resources for teachers and parents to help them feel comfortable having their children become members of the connected world. While I am helping my son develop his digital identity through his YouTube channel and I work with my students to send out Tweets and comment on blog posts I often thought about what I needed to say to make sure that the children and I had the necessary skills to be good digital citizens.   I created a blog page for this and started to embed videos and links but I found the list complicated and hard to scroll through so I decided to try livebinders. I have had a livebinders  binder posted on my literacy links page of my classroom blog for the last number of year.  I had never created my own livebinders binder.  As I was reading blogs, I noticed that Greg, Lyane, and Rochelle  all mention using it to organize resources.   I liked the tutorial livebinders provides when you first create your account.  I found them helpful but not too complicated.  I embedded the binder into my digital citizenship page and deleted all my other links that I had added earlier.

I would love to hear any comments you have about my blog improvements.
Children at school

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The First Tweets from my Classroom.

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This week I started to send out tweets with my class.  We are learning about bats and we received a tweet about bats in Saskatchewan that we viewed as a class.  I found the children to be more engaged and excited about connecting  on the internet.  We decided on a background and a theme as a class.  We added our class blog to our twitter profile.  I look forward to exploring Twitter more with my class.

Cory Antonini emailed me an article about establishing a twitter routine in my classroom.  The poster in the article is a great visual reminder of the skills that I need to teach my class.

I added literacy and numeracy links to my classroom blog which I was able to share with parents during our open house.

Work in Progress

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Frustrated and Inefficient

I retweeted this link this morning. I thought that 100 Twitter accounts for Teachers would be a wonderful way to build my Professional Learning Network.  I did find a few people that I was already following like Sue Waters  , Alec Couros, and George Couros.  I found a number of interesting people to follow on twitter including Angela Maiers and Chris Wejr.  As I was going through the list of suggested Twitter accounts I must admit I became frustrated by the process of clicking on a Twitter account listed on the website, following them on Twitter and then returning to the Tweet to get back to the website to click on the next account to see if I was interested.  I wished a subscribe to all accounts option was available and then I could have looked through the new followers and unfollowed accounts I did not want to connect to.

Today I started to work with my son to develop his digital identity.  He wants to create a YouTube channel so that he can post videos and share them with the world.  I decided to create this channel through my Google account so that I would have control over the comments and the content that he is able to post.  Before doing this we discussed the possibilities that someone might leave a mean comment and what we would do about it and how it would make him feel.  We talked about the possibility that if the comments made him uncomfortable we might have to change the settings on the account so that he felt safe.

Once I felt he was prepared we started to create the YouTube channel.  He had specific ideas about what he wanted to call the channel he has been talking about this for the last two months.  I went into my Google account to create a channel for him.  Then I started to upload the first  video from dropbox to  YouTube.  It uploaded but it was not full screen.  I then tried editing the video in iMovie and then sharing them on YouTube.  That did not work.  So I saved it to my Camera Roll on my phone and tried uploading from there to YouTube.  That got the video to my account on YouTube but not into the Awesome Tube 2 channel.  After some searching I tried downloading the video from my channel to my computer and then uploading it from my computer to Awesome Tube 2.  The video is still processing.

I imagine there is an easier way.  I hate this feeling of having a bunch of steps to follow but in the end I still don’t end up with the information where I wanted it.  Why is it so difficult to move a movie from my phone to YouTube?

138/365 Frustrated.

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Moving Forward by Starting to Make Connections in Grade 1/2.

Blue Glow
This week I met with Cory Antonini a consultant on our school team to discuss connecting my classroom.  I wanted to make sure I had a clear understanding of what the polices were for Regina Public School regarding individual students blogs and the use of twitter.   I described to Cory the experiences that I had last week when I tried to have my classroom connect and comment on other classroom blogs.  Cory and I viewed my current classroom blog and created a classroom Twitter account.  When we tried to add a Twitter feed to my current blog we were unable to.  After some discussion about wanting to eventually add individual student blogs and have a variety of security options available I decided to use Blogger because it is linked to the Regina Public Schools Google account.  Cory also showed my the Kidblog website and suggested that I explore it for when I want to add individual student blogs.  I want to find a tool that is easy for young children to use and is easy to manage.  Cory encouraged me to continue  teaching my children how to comment on other classroom blogs.  He also suggested that we start creating content as a classroom through shared writing experiences and posting them on Twitter and our class blog.  Learning another blog format is a bit of a challenge but experience is the best teacher!   If you are using Blogger or Kidblog I would love to hear about your experiences.

I am currently in the process of creating content for the new classroom blog.  I was excited to be able to add a translate function to the blog.  I teach a large number of children who are new to Canada and English is an additional language in their homes.  I hope that this tool allows families to receive information from the school in the language that they are the most comfortable.

ipad

Another step forward that our school took this week was to have a technician come to our school to set up our iPads.  We now have a way to add apps to our iPads and have ordered cases to keep them safe.   I welcome any app suggestions that you might have.

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The Power of the Retweet – Building my PLN

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On this Thanksgiving weekend I find myself thankful for many things: my family, friends, health,coworkers and the opportunity to be a student.  One of the greatest gifts I have taken away from #eci831 is the power of Twitter.  I am not sure about anyone else but I feel empowered when someone I respect retweets a tweet that I thought was important.  Being a teacher can be a lonely and isolating profession. Twitter provides an opportunity to have your voice heard by people near and far.  When I get a retweet from Todd Parr or other people I respect I feel validated.    I am thankful for this validation.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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