All posts by Katie Kohuch

Twitter: ‘tweet-tweedilly-tweet’

Thinking of Twitter and tweeting automatically makes my brain start singing the song Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day, specifically the lyrics ‘tweet-tweedilly-tweet’!

Now that I got that out of the way, here is what my current relationship with Twitter is like and what I think about it as a professional development tool.

Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano Flickr via Compfight cc

Twitter and I

Twitter and I have really only started our relationship recently. I have a personal Twitter account that I created in 2011 but I had not accessed or used it in years. Since having a professional Twitter account is a requirement of my EDTC 300 course, I have now become an active participant in regards to this social media platform. Give me a follow @MissKohuch.

I have now learned how to effectively utilize Twitter as a tool to broaden my Professional/Personal Learning Network. Through my EDTC 300 class, I have been educated about what Twitter has to offer, what its different functions do and how to use them. Some of these functions are; tweeting, following others, commenting on tweets, re-tweeting, liking tweets, using hashtags (#), linking material from other sites, etc.

Twitter Beginner? Not sure how it works? Check out this awesome resource by David Truss – Twitter EUD: Your One-Stop-All-You-Need-To-Know-Guide to Twitter

Now that I am armed with all of this Twitter knowledge, I have started to become a more frequent participant. This past week, along with my EDTC 300 professor and classmates, I took part in my very first EdChat, #saskedchat. Participating in it was a great way to drive into the world of Twitter and get to hear from others in the education profession. This particular #saskedchat was lead by my classmate Raegyn Fulmek and fellow Education student, Erin Zinger and it was about the paperless classroom, a topic that I had not truly given much thought to before. An additional tool we were introduced to was TweetDeck, which made following and keeping up with the #saskedchat mush easier. Overall, the EdChat was a great professional development experience and I look forward to participating in more in the near future!

A screenshot of my TweetDeck with a column for the hashtag #saskedchat and a column for one of the chat’s moderators, @raegynfulmek.

A Professional Development Tool

  • connecting with others and expanding one’s PLN (Professional Learning Network)
    • members of the local, national and international education community
  • access to resources by following others via @________
    • other university students, educators, schools, school divisions, education platforms, news & media organizations, blogs, websites, apps, etc.
  • hashtags to access specific content and narrow field of search
    • #edtech, #education, #edtc300, etc.
  • participation in Twitter Chats
    • ability to have live discussions and answer questions with other tweeters  about similar topics of interest
      • EdChats
I will end with this great resource about using Twitter effectively in education, by our very own University of Regina Education Professor, Dr. Alec Couros.
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step two / segundo paso

buenas tardes

It has been a week since I began my EDTC 300 learning project and like my fellow blogger and classmate Miss Savannah stated in her blog post Spanish Update: Week One, learning a language online is a little overwhelming.

There are a lot of resources out there and within those resources, there are many options. For example, I began searching for a podcast that I could listen on my commute to and from work, but there were so  many to choose from. It took a bit of trial and error to find a podcast that would be good for me to start with. I settled on Learning Spanish for Beginners Podcast via iTunes as the each episode is specific and to the point. 

 

Next, I did some exploring on YouTube to see what learning videos were available to target some specifics areas of the language. Again, there were many to choose from and I ended up starting with some videos that are aimed at children. One in particular I used this past week was, Spanish for Kids / Learn Spanish by Learning Time Fun, these videos were a good starting point and easy to follow along with.

I also began using the app Duolingo on my phone to learn and practice the language. Over the week I completed 2 Intro & Phrases levels and 1 Travel, Restaurant & Family level. This app is a great resource and allows me to focus on specific areas of the Spanish language. In order to learn the language, Duolingo uses multiple ways of teaching; images, matching, sentence translation (English< >Spanish), fill in the blank, audio, and speech recording.  This app also makes the learner do over and re-practice the questions/learning that you get incorrect.

Follow them on Twitter @duolingo

My other fellow classmate and blogger Shaelyn Knudson is also learning Spanish for her EDTC 300 learning project. In her blog post Spanish, Week One, she created a fantastic voice-over video outlining the features of Duolingo and how to navigate through the lessons.

A second app I began using, as it was recommended/advertised through the Duolingo app, was Tinycards. Tinycards is a free flash card app that helps you learn and memorize topics via bite-size lessons. This app is another great tool and allows me to continue to practice and memorize the Spanish language.

Follow them on Twitter @tinycardsapp

Going forward I will continue to use the above resources, as well I will practice my NEW learned Spanish on my boyfriend. (That will be a true test of my skills as he is very honest when it come to my pronunciation). I will also listen to Spanish music and try watching a TV show is Spanish with Spanish subtitles!

adios por ahora

Feedly: RSS reader a.k.a. news aggregator

The world wide web is busting at the seams with information for us to access on every topic our heart’s can imagine. Navigating through all of this information can be very daunting and at times overwhelming. Lucky there are tools to aid us in the task of sifting out the unwanted information and providing us with direct access to what we desire.

These tools are known as RSS readers, RSS feeds, new aggregators, etc. and their purpose is to streamline the way we search for content to read online.

Feedly.com is the RSS reader I have chosen to use in order to subscribe to various education and edtech related sources and blogs. I found content about these topics by searching Feedly’s publications and blogs. I used search words like; edtech, education, teaching, classroom, school, educator, etc. From those searches, I chose which sources and blos I wanted to follow based on the description provided and the number of followers the source had.  I have so far created two feeds on my Feedly account, edtech and education in order to group the news that will be made available to me.

One source in particular I chose to follow is Education Technology and Mobile Learning. This source is relevant because its posts are all about education technology, which is one of the main feeds I have created on my Feedly account. It is also relevant because this source posts are in fact just that, relevant! Their posts are about the current and popular tech tools and media resources that are available for educators and students. I found that their posts are well organized, clear and concise. The titles for each post tell you exactly what is contained within the post as well, which made looking for specific information or tech tools very easy. When I went directly to their web page, I was further impressed with how simple it was to navigate and how I was able to find content quickly and efficiently. I can’t wait to use many of the technology and media tools they recommend in my future classrooms!

 

in the beginning/al principio

¡Hola!

For my EDTC 300 learning project assignment, I have decided to learn Spanish.

Learning this language is very important to me because it is the first language of my boyfriend. My boyfriend, Jose Miguel and I have been together for almost four years and I have been fortunate that he is fluent in English. Over our time together he has taught me some basic words and phrases in Spanish, but I do not use them nor do I practice very often. My understanding of Spanish has increased a but more than my ability to speak the language by listening to him converse with others. But when him and I talk and text, we default to English.

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This summer however, we are traveling to Spain and will be spending three weeks  with his family, all of whom speak Spanish. This will be the first time I will be meeting them in person and I would love to be able to communicate with them in their native language!

Baseline: 

  • a few greetings
  • the alphabet
  • counting from 1-20
  • some household objects/furniture
  • some food
  • a few verbs (to sit, to pass, to go, etc.)

Plan:

  • daily use of the language app Duolingo
  • YouTube videos to target specific goals (ie. colours)
  • download and listen to podcasts while in the car
  • Twitter to network and connect to others about learning a new language
  • my boyfriend as a face-to-face resource
  • weekly blogging about my progress

Adios until next post!

Ed Tech & Me

Well Hello Everyone!

I am Katie Kohuch, a current University of Regina BEAD student in the Pre K-5 Elementary Program. BEAD stands for Bachelor of Education After Degree, which means I am old (haha), wise (maybe) and already have an undergraduate degree. I obtained my first two degrees from the U of R right out of high school; Bachelor of Human Justice in 2008 and Bachelor of Arts – Psychology (Honours) in 2010.

After completed them, I was still not sure what I wanted to do for a “career”, so  I spent the next few years primarily working as an Early Childhood Educator. It was through this work experience that I realized I should have listened to my five year old self:

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: “I am want to be a teacher like my mom!”

The process of going back to University has been a bit challenging for me but I know I am in the right place and that being an educator is what I am meant to be.

In regards to my experiences with educational technology, I have some from a few of the ED courses I have taken thus far. In my ESST 310 class, I had to create and use a blog via WordPress.com. Other classes have exposed me to different tech and media recourses that I will be able to use as an educator in the classroom with my future students.

That being said, I would classify myself as a reluctant blogger/social media user. One of my character flaws is that I am a perfectionist, so I find it difficult to just let my thoughts and ideas follow without over analyzing and over editing them to death. Therefore, I typically use technology and media to gain information and to ‘lurk’. I rarely use it to post about myself. I am however very motivated by this course’s hands-on approach to learning about various technological tools and emerging social media platforms. I feel that the weekly tasks and assignments are going to give me the push and practice I need to be more comfortable with creating and expressing my digital identity.

If you would like to join me on my Ed Tech journey, please give me a follow on Twitter @misskohuch.

November 16, 2015 – Cancelled Class

Our regularly scheduled class was cancelled this evening as there was a UR Pride Professional Development Presentation taking place at the same time. I chose to use the evening to work on my lesson plan for my pre-internship that coming Wednesday. I happen to be planning a Social Studies Lesson were I was going to be incorporating technology. I immediately thought how convenient my blog would be to have all of my information and links in the same place! That way I would not have to worry about bringing a memory stick or having to waste time looking up the website links manually. I posted my lesson under my ‘Lesson/Unit Plans’ tab on my tool bar under the subject – Social Studies. I even used the video Sarah R and Kaitlyn showed during their Exploring Teaching Strategies Presentation as the SET of my lesson.

Class Reflection – Exploring Teaching Strategies Presentations – November 2, 2015

The presentations on exploring teaching strategies were awesome! It was great to learn from our peers and see firsthand how we can bring creativity, excitement and variety into our social studies classrooms. Everyone did a great job at engaging and entertaining us, and surprisingly enough, no one had the same SET.

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This is a photo of me during my exploring teaching strategies presentation. The outcome I had chosen was RW 2.1 – Describe ways in which the local community meets needs and wants of its members. My creative SET was all about getting to know the “people in your neighborhood”!

Class Reflection – Guest Speakers – October 26, 2015

During this class we were fortunate enough to have a few guest speakers present on First Nations inclusive teaching practices. Alison Kimbley, a M.Ed student and Grade 8 teacher at Seven Stones Community School lead the discussion. Through a variety of mediums and activities we looked deeper into the issue of stereotyping. I found the poison box (a collection of items that can be seen as racist) quite shocking. It was alarming by the amount of everyday items that promote a specific stereotype. I think this would be a very effective tool to use in the classroom with older elementary grades when examining the issues and negative effects of stereotyping. Alison invited Lani Elliot to speak about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the intergenerational effects of violence. Lani story was very moving, as she spoke about her personal experience with violence. She is a courageous and empowering woman, it was just too that she did not open the floor up to questions from us. Vic Starr was the third speaker of the evening and he educated us on the protocol around tobacco. The information he provided was a great extension of the teachings we received during our Treaty Training at the beginning of the semester. This class was very insightful and full of practical knowledge!

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Here Vic Starr and his cousin explain the protocol around giving tobacco to an Elder.

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Here Alison Kimbley assists some of us with making our tobacco pouches.

Class Reflection – Understanding Outcomes Presentations – October 19, 2015

The second class of our understanding outcome presentations was equally as interactive and engaging as the first. The groups that presented had a good balance of explanation of their chosen outcome(s) and active participation for us the learners. Two of the groups used the concept of puzzle pieces to bring their outcome(s) to life and to demonstrate how we are all a part of a larger community and somehow we all fit together. This would be a great activity to do with a younger grade at the beginning of the school year. The third group had us work through a situation where both sides needed to be satisfied in the end. This activity might be a bit too challenging for their outcome(s) grade level, which was grade 2. All in all, these presentations were a nice way to gain a further understanding of the various social studies outcomes we will be teaching in the immediate/near future.

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Class Reflection – Understanding Outcomes Presentations – October 5, 2015

The interactive aspects of each presentation were great as they kept us, the audience, engaged. I felt I gained the most knowledge from the presentations that had me participating throughout. By participating I made deeper connections to the outcome(s) the presenters were attempting to educate us on. All of the groups really brought their outcomes to life but I felt that some presenters could have focused a little more on helping us understand their selected outcome(s), and less time on leading us through a student focused activity. Further breakdown and explanation of the outcome(s) would have been more effective in meeting the goal of this particular assignment.

These are photos of the local community food map our table group created based on the activity presented by Sarah R. and Kaitlyn. Their Understanding Outcomes Presentation was on Grade 2 – Dynamic Relationships.