Blog, EDTC300, Learning Project

A Mash Up of an EdChat, a Learning Project and Grief…

What a week. All the regular busy stuff that makes up my life with extra helpings of horrible grief on top. But, I’ll get into that later…

I attended an EdChat! For those of you who are asking, “What the heck is an EdChat!?!”, it’s a twitter conversation around some topic in education. I sat in on #saskedchat last week and in spite of my initial nervousness, I really enjoyed it and completely see the value of participating as a way to continue develop professionally.

What a friendly and welcoming group they were! The moderator was great and you could sense the camaraderie among the participants.  Trying to keep up with all the comments and formulate my own thoughts to contribute to the conversation was somewhat impossible as a first timer, but I can see how, with practice, it could be a fun way to network and glean and share ideas.

It’s interesting to me that many of the provinces have their version of #saskedchat (I’d like to participate in #bcedchat next) but it doesn’t look like we have one here in the Yukon. I joked around with my #EDTC300 class and prof about hosting one, and as intimidating as it is, I think I might do it before the end of my course simply because there’s so many amazing educators here that I’d love to connect with in a new way. I’ll keep you posted!

Okay, as the title of this post alludes to, this is a mash up post.

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So, onto my learning project report. So far? I suck. I’m not getting ‘r done. I’m not yogaing to my full potential. Shoot, I’m not even yogaing to my half-assed potential! I have a wagon full of excuses but what I want to focus on are solutions, therefore, I need to make a better plan. Next post? My new plan.

Mash up item #3. Grief. Puffy face, crying your heart out, snot everywhere, grief. I’ve had great gobs of loss in my life over the last two months and I’m the equivalent of a wrung out, old dish rag. I’d throw in the towel, but I wouldn’t know where to throw it. Besides, I need it to wipe up all the snot… And why do I feel the need to share this? Because it’s real. It’s my truth. And newsy, fun posts are great in a blog, but for me? The blogs I most connect with are the ones that explore the good AND the bad, the fun AND the sad. What works, what doesn’t. The triumphs and the dismal failures.

Because at the end of the day, whether I’m talking about my life in general or as an educator, grief is unavoidable and I have a choice about how I walk through it. And I choose transparency. I choose to grieve in such a way that models that it’s a normal part of life. That grieving doesn’t equal weakness, it equals strength. I choose to honour the grief process and what I will learn through it, as painful as it is.

And this week, as our little village reels with grief with the loss of one of our dear young men in a dreadful accident, I have been struck by the experience of walking through a season of grief in the midst of my high school students. Don’t get me wrong, we laugh long and hard everyday, but occasionally, a student will see a tear in my eye. And hand me a kleenex. Or reach out and hug me. When I see these young people ooze empathy in the midst of their own not-so-easy lives (they are teens after all!) something in me busts open and hope floods in. Hope for today and hope for the future. The “hot-air balloon” kind of hope that lifts me up and convinces me that the hard times and the ache of loss won’t always fill my view. I’m so grateful for my students and all they teach me.

So there it is. A mash up. Hug someone today. Impart hope.

Keep learning,

Dianna

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Blog, EDTC300, Learning Project

Well, that wasn’t so bad…

Well. I did it. My first yoga session. It was ridiculously short, but then I’m ridiculously out of shape, so that makes sense. I’m also at working late at the school this evening (yes, on a Friday) so I did my session right here in the staffroom. And yes, I think I probably looked ridiculous.

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I’ve been avoiding getting started. I sleep past my alarm in the morning and lack motivation after school BUT a learning project is a learning project and so I bit the yoga bullet and GOT IT DONE. I’m in the process of collecting mantras for this new phase of my life and one of them is

GET ‘R DONE!

So my mantra may not sound very “peace, love, joy”. Sue me. “Get ‘r done” is what I need to tell myself to get through some of the new challenges I’m navigating. I’ll give you a few examples…

Write a Persuasive Essay for your English course 

No Mantra Me says – “but I’m intimidated and haven’t written a paper for a prof for 20+ years and what if I completely suck!?!”

Do Yoga for your learning project

No Mantra Me says – “but I’m really out of shape and I have stupid arthritis and I’m tired and I don’t want to”

Pursue your teaching degree

No Mantra Me says – “you can’t possibly do your B.Ed at fifty years old, what are you thinking!”

but MANTRA ME says

GET ‘R DONE!

It actually works. It’s the antidote to the fear and self doubt that can try to sneak in and trip me up.

So I got my first yoga session done and I feel pretty good about that. Yah me!

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Now that I feel all cheered on, I need to move on to my next challenge – a research paper. Ugh. Totally intimidated, but I’m committed and I’m going to go now and GET ‘R DONE!

Cheers!

Dianna

 

 

Blog, EDTC300

I have entered an alternate universe… please send help!

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This universe I speak of? I don’t know the official name yet but it reminds me of Wonderland (of Alice fame). Maybe I’ll call it the “Rabbit Hole”. It’s this crazy and amazing maze of tunnels burrowing through a massive warren of information in regards to educational technology! I’m finding myself all turned upside down and inside out trying to navigate through all that is out there so I was happy to hear that there are some tools out there to help me orient myself. Whew.

Enter the app, “Feedly“. We learned about it in class this week and basically it’s like that place in your living room where all the dust bunnies meet and hang out. It’s an app that gathers all the posts and articles I want to be reading, from the sites I follow and BAM! Instead of having to open tab after tab on my computer screen, I OPEN ONE! and then I’m off to races, reading all this great info without getting lost in the Rabbit Hole. It’s pretty great.

I’ve added a bunch of sources to my “Feedly” by googling ed-tech blogs, adding what I could from who I follow on Twitter and sites/blogs recommendations from colleagues. This is what it’s looking like so far…

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Yup, I’m getting more techie everyday! I have to laugh because this is all so revolutionary for me, but I have some friends (@toderash comes to mind) who’ve been doing this stuff for 10-15+ years and it’s like breathing to them. Oh well. Better late than never.

Two of the blogs I’ll be following with the help of Feedly is Free Technology for Teachers and Cult of Pedagogy. The reason I choose to follow this first blog is kinda obvious. Although one of my colleagues told me about the author, Richard Byrne, and made me follow him on Twitter, honestly, I was hooked right away by the word FREE! Who wouldn’t be! I’m not in love with how the blog is set up but I LOVE what a great job it does at hooking teachers up to great technology that is accessible and current.

Now, Cult of Pedagogy with the talented and self-proclaimed nerd, Jennifer Gonzalez, is another story! If you haven’t already, CHECK THIS BLOG OUT! It is a fabulous site with layers of awesomeness. Even the way it is set up makes me just want to camp on the site for hours, absorbing all it’s tasty yumminess. EVERYDAY I learn from this site, so it’s a must for my Feedly. The site conveys a warm, personal, fun, and inviting tone and offers a selection of ways to feast on the info, through posts, podcasts and videos. Yup, I have a crush on Cult of Pedagogy. There’s no denying it.

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So, go check it out! Go, it’s okay, I’m done here! Have fun and..

Keep learning!

Dianna

EDTC300, Learning Project

Going to learn yoga, I am

I think there’s been a mistake. I know you all heard me say that I was going to learn “yoga” for my learning project but what I really meant is that I’m going to learn “Yoda”. Frankly, I think I’ll be more successful this way and I found a great website that will help me!

But no. I kid. Yoga, my learning project, it will be, and my mantra, it will be, “Do or do not, there is no try”, courtesy of our wise friend, Yoda.

I started yesterday in fact. I started by looking for the resources out there that will teach and encourage me on this quest and THERE IS A LOT! So far I have decided on a two prong approach.

1. I will use the app Daily Yoga, to help me get started. I like the way it is set up and it will give me reminders to do my workout. I need that!

2. I will also be taught by the lovely folks at Curvy Yoga on YouTube. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to find some big, beautiful people out there I can look at while I try to contort my body in crazy poses that they are showing me. I love all you skinny minnies in my life, but watching you exercise and tell me I can do it, well, I’m not always convinced. Put on a fat suit and do it, and I’d buy in more consistently! And boy, would I laugh!

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In addition to finding my starting point in my new “yoga life” last night, I actually started doing some yoga! It’s going to be my favourite part, I know it already! It’s called “breathing”. You should try it, it’s sooo great!

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Maybe, this learning project won’t be as hard as I thought! I’ll keep you posted!

Keep learning,

Dianna

 

Blog, EDTC300

Hey you! Technology! I’m not afraid of you!

(Post warning – for those of you who are joining my blog from my non-education world, I will be writing some of my posts in response to prompts given by my prof in EDTC300. I promise I’ll attempt to write about other topics as well!)

I’ve shared a bunch about who I am here but I didn’t really talk about me and my experience with educational technology. So here’s goes…

Technology in education doesn’t really scare me. In fact, I love how much we get to use it in our little K-12 school in rural Yukon. Our students are growing up using technology to enhance their learning, and at times, deliver their learning. And now I’m back in school and I’m so grateful that I get to do the first two years of my B.Ed primarily online, here in my home community, raising my kids, working at the school. Of course, doing anything new online implies a learning curve, however, with Google and YouTube, I feel like I can learn almost anything. Except how to make haggis.

Photo Credit: 70023venus2009 Flickr via Compfight cc

But that’s because I simply don’t want to!

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I’m familiar with lots of different social apps (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and different programs that we use to help students learn (Moodle, MathIXL, Cool Math Games, Kahoot, GameOn, etc.) There is sooo much out there available to enhance learning! Personally I’ve had a blog before and I’m kinda excited about having a new one. I like to write and it forces me to exercise that muscle.

The biggest challenges this semester in regards to technology is in managing all the platforms we’re asked to use regularly  (Google+, Twitter, my classmates blogs, my blog, and so on) and to not get freaked out at the sheer volume of resources I’m discovering. The first challenge isn’t a technology problem, it’s a management problem. And I’m sure there’s an app for that! And the second challenge is an anxiety problem and I know there’s an app for that! So, overall, I’m feeling stretched but I’m up for the challenge!

What about you? What’s your relationship with technology like?

 

 

Blog, EDTC300, Learning Project

Yoga!?!

So I’m taking this really great online course and am becoming wise in the ways of technology in education. I get to learn Twitter and learn to use Google+, develop a blog/e-portfolio and LEARN A NEW SKILL! I need to spend 30 – 40 hours over the span of this course to learn something new, predominately from online sources. Super idea!
In my quest to pursue my education, I am very aware that as I mentioned, I wear many hats and juggle many balls in my life. One of the hats I forget to wear and balls I drop the most is the one labelled “Dianna – the person who needs to physically take care of her body” (awkward label, I know). Soooo…. I’m going to learn yoga!
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Photo Credit: szlavid Flickr via Compfightcc

 

And as much as I’d like to look like the serene, fit, lithe individual above, I will look more like this…

 

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I love this woman with all my heart and we’ve never met!

I, too, am a big beautiful woman who is (thank God!) well over being crazily self-conscious. I can laugh ridiculously hard at myself so learning yoga and sharing it with my new learning community, should be a scream!