Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project

“ABC it’s Easy as 1-2-3” – First Update for My #LearningProject

Good afternoon everyone!

Well, here we are! Last week I decided on what I was going to do for my #LearningProject, which lead me to begin learning ASL (American Sign Language). I had already made progress last week by learning basic phrases such as how to introduce myself, and communicate how I was doing. This week I wanted to become fluid with my alphabet gestures and attempt to tackle numbers from 1-20. I must say, practice makes perfect and its not as easy as it seems.

To learn the alphabet, and numbers 1-10 I have been using apps  from the App Store such as “ASL”, “SignSchool”, but mostly “The ASL App.” These apps give me pictures and videos to help me see what each letter or number looks like. On the app “The ASL App” I am able to slow down each gesture by clicking on the turtle. This helps me grasp the concept then be able to become more fluid by following the instructor. In order to learn numbers 11-20 I looked to other resources such as YouTube and found a video called, “ASL Numbers 11-20 in Sign Language – Learn how to Sign Numbers.” This video gives you the gestures in which your hand is supposed to be placed then gives you the chance to repeat to make sure you have the gesture down.

This video shows my progress..

As you can see I am still working on becoming faster and being able to transition between each letter and number. I have realized that signing takes time and there are a lot of things to be conscious of while signing. For example, the hand that you are not signing with has to be in a certain position and the way your hand you are signing with has to be facing, either palm out or back of hand out. This can change the context in which you are speaking. I want to continue learning the basics, so next week I plan to learn the days of the week, and the months of the year.

Wish me luck! (:

Posted in EDTC 300

A Blessing in Disguise: Educational Resources #feedly

After briefly being introduced to #Feedly last #EDTC300 class, I have been navigating the online blogging world. At first, I will admit that I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin. I knew that I had to start some where, so I started with what I was shown during our last session, searching “#edtech.” As shown, multiple resources came up and I began reading through the brief description of each to see if any of them peaked my interest, which several did. I then decided to search my #LearningProject topic #ASL (American Sign Language). I was surprised to find that there were minimal resources for ASL. I followed the two resources that were available but that brought me to a dead end. I felt that I had several resources to help further my #EDTC300 journey, but I wanted to be able to use Feedly for other resources.

I want to be able to use the resources that I learn during my #EDTC300 course for the remainder of my career to keep myself up to date with social issues within the class. What better way than to use Feedly to help me stay onto of issues and find resources to help solve issues within my future classrooms. I searched “#education” first to find overarching resources that will work for things such as classroom management. Learning new strategies and techniques help to eliminate issues in the future. After following a few resources such as Smart Classroom Management, Classroom Freebies, and many more (refer to pictures below), I came across the article “Why Detachment Is A Powerful Classroom Management Strategy.” Once I read this article I immediately wish I would have known this before I began internship. I faced the challenge of focusing on student’s behaviour and classroom management skills rather than focusing on whether or not they were learning the material. I became so caught up in the behavioural issues and disciplining students that I forgot why I was put there. Yes, I agree classroom management is an important component of the classroom, but at some point, you need to remember that you are there to help students learn and become respectable citizens of their community. It is not necessary to constantly calling students out for their behaviour but rather create an environment that is safe and respectable.

After exploring “#education” and finding multiple resources I felt that it was time to search my passion “#English.” I want to be able to use technology within my future English classrooms. After searching I found several resources such as English, baby! Free English Lessons, Daily Writing Tips, and many more (refer to pictures below). I came cross the article “Secondary English Apps and Websites for ELA Teachers,” which gives multiple apps and websites that ELA teachers can use within their classroom. During internship I was able to use things such as Kahoot, Google Classroom, and several others that helped me bring technology into my English classrooms. Articles such as this one has given me more resources and ideas on how to bring new and resourceful technologies into my future English classrooms.

I am excited to continue my #FeedlyJourney please refer to the pictures below to see what my Feedly looks like.

Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project

“My Eye is My Ear. My Hand is My Mouth” – Day One of #Learning Project

For my semester long #LearningProject I have decided to learn American Sign Language (ASL). This semester is about learning and building toward a growth mindset. I wanted to be able to put myself into someone else’s shoes and learn the challenges that arise through learning sign language. I have wanted to learn ASL for quit some time now but coming near the end of my degree I decided what better time than now. I understand there is often a gap between the several different dialects when it comes to teaching in an English Languages Arts (ELA) classroom. I wanted to begin closing that gap and help give students who are deaf the chance to have a voice.

Throughout this past week I began learning the alphabet through several apps that I have downloaded on my mobile phone. After I felt comfortable with the alphabet I moved on to learning a few basic gestures such as “Hello”, “What’s your name?”, “My name is…”, “How are you?”, and “I’m fine.” Although, I still struggle for the gestures to seem fluid.

In the video above, I have signed, “Hello, my name is Rebecca. What’s your name?” I felt like this was a great way to introduce my #LearningProject journey and allow everyone to see the skills I have obtained so far. By the end of the semester I want to be able to have a full, in-depth conversation with another person who signs. I will use mobile apps, YouTube, online articles, and websites to achieve this goal.

I’m excited to see my #LearningProject journey unfold!

Posted in EDTC 300

The Journey Begins: A Little About Me!

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Photo Credit: Erminig Gwenn Flickr via Compfight cc

Hello and welcome to my blog!

For anyone who does not know, my name is Rebecca Hitchens. I am a fourth-year education student at the University of Regina. I am working towards a Bachelor of Education degree specializing in secondary education. My major is English Language Arts and my minor is Social Studies. I have just finished internship and couldn’t be more excited to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and implement it.

I grew up just outside of Melville, Saskatchewan, on an acreage, where my family couldn’t get any type of internet without trenching new lines. My family finally got a desktop computer when I was well into high school, but it was not connected to the internet. It wasn’t until I moved to university that the demand of society caused my parents to finally get internet hooked up. To begin, we would use my parent’s personal hotspot off their phones to connect to the internet. After the hassle of only being able to connect when they were at home, my parents decided to get internet for the home. Since my family lives in a rural area the internet can be compared to dial-up, but my family manages.

During middle school and high school, I began to use technology more often. I started using social media platforms such as Facebook, and Twitter. Although, I never did get a hang of Twitter and stopped using it. When I moved to university I continued to use Facebook but began using Instagram as well. During university I began blogging for education classes but once the classes ended I would stop blogging. I didn’t learn everything I know until I began internship.

Internship was when technology was really introduced to me. I began using things such as Google Classroom, Twitter, Kahoot, Plickers, Smart Board, etc. The demand that technology has within the classroom forced me to learn as much as I could in a short amount of time. I was shocked to see how much technology influenced the classroom and how I needed to think about it, as the classroom teacher. Students are constantly on their phones: Listening to music, texting, on social media, etc. Having to take this into consideration was a new concept to me. I had to make classroom rules based on the technology students were using during the semester. I also had to be conscious of what students were doing while using technology. For instance, while drafting for an essay in my English Language Arts class I had to make sure students were using the technology correctly and weren’t abusing their privileges.

I am excited to see where this journey takes me.  I want to learn how to use different types of technologies within the classroom and how to implement them. Its been a long time coming but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Please feel free to follow me on twitter to keep up to with my ed. tech. journey!