Tag Archives: 21st century learning

Tips and Tricks of Using Seesaw From Our #SeesawChat

#SeesawChat: 12th May 2016

“There are so many new things out there about what technology and how to use it in the classroom. I am not really comfortable using it.” This is a common statement among educators who are not comfortable infusing technology into the classroom. Very true. It can really be overwhelming. If I ask a couple of teachers, they will come up with at least 5 different apps they use in class.

This is what I tell them, “I am quite comfortable using technology in the classroom but will never catch up with every new tool out there. I remind myself, use one as it fits.”

Here’s one that caught my attention last summer and was able to delve into it more a few days ago by taking the training to be a Seesaw Ambassador.

My first #SeesawChat with fellow educators brought saw many ideas that I would like to share in this post. Both teachers and students are capturing and documenting the learning that takes place in school.

Spelling via Mrs. St. John’s Class

Capturing progress on IEP Goals via Heather Gauck

Genius Hour via Miss Zeisler

Reader’s Response via Jess Ische

Math via Miss Elikwu

Assessment via Traci Piltz

Text Features via Joni Quintavalle

Math via myself courtesy of Mrs. S MathTechLearnCentre class

Health via Traci Wood

Oral Reporting via Jennifer Sanders

Interactive QR Code via Emily Corrigan

Retelling via Miss Knutson’s Class

Word Connections via Mrs. Gadtke

Science via Ryan Wiggins

Expect more collections on how to enhance students learning through the use of Seesaw and other apps as I continue to explore this digital road.

At one point, I read a line that somehow goes like this, “If you’re doing something great that no one knows, then, there’s not much greatness in what you’re doing.” Share the love. Feel free to add to this list below.









Summer is Over! Now, What?

A new school year has started. This post may be a bit late but better get it done than saying, “I should have written about it,” later on in my blogging life. Push. Push. Push. I told myself that I need to get back on track. The world doesn’t stop spinning. I should not stop from moving forward.

This summer, I did a lot of professional/personal learning through Twitter and it made me to connect more globally without leaving the comfort of my own home office for the most part. It didn’t come easy to disconnect as I continue to grow my #PLN. At some instances, even when I was camping.

Who would have thought that participating in some #educhats during the summer nights would lead to a great experience in co-hosting a global Twitter chat?

Craig Kemp offered Jason Wigmore and I to co-host #asiaED slow chat in August. Because of this, we’d met so many wonderful educators along the way. Even though the connection was made virtually, it felt like a great relationship was built. Jason and I looked forward at any given time of the day to check responses. Each and everyone shared great experiences and challenged each other’s thinking.

It was also a challenge on my part to manage and monitor two Twitter accounts: my own and @asiaEDchat especially when I wanted the views to come from one of the accounts in particular. A few times, I had to delete my tweet to change the source. Ugh! That’s when Tweetdeck came handy. When I need it, I will learn it.

More can be said about it but OUR SUCCESS wouldn’t be possible without the PEOPLE who dedicated part of their time to pop in to share their two cents, retweet, promote or favourite our Q-a-Day tweet whether on summer break, sipping a cup of coffee, on a tour or from a long day at school. We are VERY GRATEFUL of your participation! Most importantly, we VALUE the CONNECTION we’d made.

As we are all back in school, I still look forward to continue to share the learning, the collaboration and the fun with my #PLN.

If I put my learning experience in a student’s perspective, each student in our class will look forward to spend each day in our classroom because they’re engaged, interested and having fun. I learned so much because I opened myself to learning through global connection. How do we see this fit with our students? With the curriculum? How would the students benefit if we let them learn beyond the walls of the school, out of our comfort zones as teachers?

In this age, WE BUILD BRIDGES, NOT WALLS for educators and students alike. When would you start to break the wall as a teacher? When would you start to build the bridge for your students?

What Keep You Connected?

How long have you had your Twitter account? How many tweets have you done? 200+ tweets? 2000+ tweets? 20k tweets?

I’ve had mine since March of 2012 and yet, it was only last year that I actually discovered the #powerofatweet. It was hit and miss for me before then.

In everything we do, we need to find reasons to justify our willingness to take risks. We need to get inspired. We need to understand the power this change is going to bring. It’s never easy to leave our comfort zones. We need to find people to inspire us to begin a new journey or continue what we have started. I was only aiming for one tweet a day but for the past few months, I am well beyond that number.

My well beyond one-tweet-a-day was inspired by Aviva Dunsiger and Jonathan So because of what they do in the classroom. I saw them every day on my feed. That pushed me to share what we were doing in school as well. Whenever I could, I tried to tweet it during the instructional time as opposed to after a few days or so. This way, it gives people a virtual window on what is happening in our classroom, in real time.

The bar is raised high. I’ve also joined different chats before the crack of dawn or after the sun sets that I came across with as I scroll down my feed or encouragement by Jason Wigmore. Chats such as #peel21st, #aussieED, #asiaED, #nt2T, #txeduchat, #satchat#sunchat, and #tptchat are the ones that I made a lot of or started contact, learning and collaboration with.

This time, I am not only sharing what is happening in the classroom or at school, but also, tweeting personal interests that one or some people may be interested as well.

Interacting with my PLN (Personal Learning Network) hasn’t only led me to professional learning but also some good laughs shared with Aviva Dunsiger and Brian Woodland with his tools and cooking.

The web is an infinite source of information. Twitter has led me to good reads that I would never knew existed. Because of the limited characters that it allows me to use for every post, I become more conscious on how I am going to send the message across.

With 1000+ tweets, I am still a beginner. Steadily, I am finding my way. Yes, I do get frustrated when things do not work the way they should be. But they bring out the better in me because of my willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn and this is a work in progress.

 “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” -Alvin Toffler

Truly, it can be very overwhelming. As educators, our plate becomes full of apps, websites and devices before we know it. When this happens, it is time for us to sift it through. Personally choose what will work as a start. Begin with one or two. Get yourself familiarized and make yourself comfortable using it. Learn as you go along. Unlearn what doesn’t work. Relearn new things.

Now, I am taking the next step, blogging (with a clear purpose), as I am getting myself at ease with tweeting. This is my 5th. If we find real meaning in what we do, we will find a way to educate ourselves with the changes happening around us. This time, I find more meaning to be a connected educator.

For me to continue to take this path, I need to know and understand why I am doing it. Having a great list of PLN will keep me going because I know myself, without encouragement and a little nudge every now and then, I may stay where I am rather than continue to move forward.

One of the many words of encouragement from Brian Aspinall is a great reminder for me to keep on going.

You may be on a summer or school break like me or starting a new school year, and with our own busy lives professionally and personally that we have to attend to, what get you started and keeping you connected?

Revisiting My Pedagogy Through the Eyes of Technology

Another school year has ended and as I do my reflection on what I did differently this school year, I would give it to the progress that I made with the integration of technology into my teaching.

My Grade 2 students were able to get a taste of a handful tech tools for fun, creativity and to extend their learning during the last few months of school but I am going to focus on two that we used quite extensively.

This is a common comment from teachers, “There’s so much things to do, so little time.” I can certainly relate to this. Doing a 50/50 time table, my instructional time with my two classes was very limited. My Gr. 2 morning class was with me for Math, Language and part of Science half the day and would go to their French class after lunch. With  2.5 hours with them everyday, that was, when they didn’t have Music, Drama or Physical Education, I knew I needed to find a way to change my pedagogy to maximize student learning. One educator would say, “To get the most bang for your buck, using _______ would help!” I was stressed in finding the missing piece for months.

Just like any other skill, practice makes perfect. How is this possible with time constraint? How can I extend the meaningful learning outside our classroom? How can I motivate my students to own their learning? Reading, writing and math take time to learn, understand and master in depth. Sending them homework over the weekend on paper didn’t provide me value of the learning I was looking for.

Through the support and genius contributions of my #PLN, our class blog, http://kidblog.org/class/miss-manahans-class/ was born! With the pedagogy in mind, technology has helped me to bring out, if not the best, the better of my students in their own pace and space. These were Grade 2’s blogging, entering the virtual world of connectivity and expressing their opinion to the world. They’d learned URLs, how to attach links on their posts, add image header, change font colours while I sit on the sidelines giving feedback on how they can improve on their reading and writing in the form of blogs.

But even when we discussed internet safety and digital citizenship in class, I was still worried about it when they’re at home. Brian Aspinall’s blog on Pedagogy Before Technology was very timely to give me a piece of reassurance that it will be okay. Number 10…We can’t police the internet. We can’t “protect” students from inappropriate ads. What we can do is have conversations. Have discussions about appropriateness and how to handle uncomfortable situations. Let’s educate these young people with the necessary skills to react accordingly to difficult situations, both online and in person and stop hiding behind firewalls. Knowledge is power. Besides, our students see much more outside of school than we realize or like to admit via the interweb or hanging with friends.

No two students are the same in any classroom. They have their own personalities. One student can be very vocal and one can be very strong in writing. I am the latter. Read alouds, shared and guided reading, and read with a partner were some ways that I used to help this student of mine to talk. One day, I asked the class to record their individual reading using Raz-Kids. The student that seldom talks in class recorded and read stories after stories beautifully! 

Pedagogy before technology. With this in mind, I am not using technology in the classroom to produce printed worksheets in a digital format. I love this visual from Zeina Chalich.

As I always say, “Build on the skills first. Then, infuse tech to enhance the learning.”

Embedding technology is like getting out of your comfort zone. It’s not an easy path. As I keep moving forward, I am beginning to see a different perspective. As an educator, are you ready to take the plunge and open yourself to a whole new world of edutech-ing, instead of the word, educating?