What a year it has been. Lots of ups and downs but overall it was a fun time. But through all that what are the things that really stuck out to me? Well looking back over everything was fun, looking into the past and see just that I was looking at and what I thought about it all. There were so many things we looked at that I remember but I also looked back and saw words within the words, memories of what I was doing and feeling while writing this, things that you cannot read without bring part of the story. Life lessons about myself while working on my Individual Learning Project and so much more, but mostly the knowledge of what was on the screen. We covered a lot and now I will share with you what I learned by looking through the past of this semester.
First we learned about Bud and some of the things that he taught us to do, he It talks about how looking though a lens can make things clears or make you see the good that may have been over shadowed by a bad before hand, the good out weighed the bad but regardless you only saw what could go wrong before you looked through the lens. We also learned about playing and how you should always make time to play so that you can relieve stress from your life because when you are enjoying life you do better at what you are doing in your job and elsewhere. We also looked at how life hacks could really help us to make life easier and more effective. The teacher that really enjoy what they do can really help kids in fulfilling their dreams and goals in life and therefore you are fulfilling something that makes teachers so special, helping the youth of today to strive to do great things tomorrow which is really one of the biggest reasons to get into teaching.
The Nine Tenets of Passion-Based Learning were really interesting. I thought that one that said the “Passion is Infectious.” I thought that this was really one more of most important things that we read about overall in this course because as future teachers it really helps to motivate knowing that such a thing is true.
Next we learned about personal learning networks. A personal learning network is something that I really did not know anything about heading into this semester. But they are something that I have really found that will be not only important in the line if work as a teacher but will also make life a lot easier in the long run. A personal learning network is all about staying connected and finding people and ideas that all link back to your work and your interests. since this is something that is a web wide thing you can use it to connect with people around you and in my case most importantly, my students.
We also learned about RRS feeds and how they can take all the confusing and spread out information that you are looking for into one simple place that can help you to manage and broaden what you look at by having it all in one spot together. We also learned about DS106, which is an online course that you can take throughout many different times of the year. It is offered through UMW, and it is a free course that really all you need is a great attitude and yourself. Digital Story telling when you use digital tools to document or allow others to explore your life. This is really that DS106 is all about, sharing your life, sharing your story and letting the people around you in on the journey that you are experiencing in your life.
We learned not only how to use technology in our lives to help us learn but also to use it the right way we watched a video about 140 characters of kindness and learned how we can use social media to spread kindness and not be caught up in being stuck on ourselves and being mean. When we use social media for good we can really work to make the world a better place. We talked about cyber bullying and I used the term “keyboard warrior” to describe people that will post things that would not be things they would say in person. They can be some of the nicest people you think you know face to face but when they are online and can hide behind a screen they can be ruthless. This is a huge problem that needs to be addressed.
I would like to talk about is the 6 activist functions of technology. This was a really interesting website of the 6 steps to victory as I would like to call them, it is like an action plan that we can use to our advantage and help us to gain the support that we want whether it is about a political item or something as small are promoting something that we feel needs to get out and be experienced by everyone. This was something that was important when we picked our teen hero project. The person that I looked at for the teen hero project was called Buddy Project that was founded by a 15 old girl that say the kind of things that her friends were going through like eating disorders and bullying. It works by pairing together people by their age group and their likes so that they can communicate and really help each other out in times of need. It is something that I think is a good project because like it says in their slogan, “no one deserves to be alone.”
We also learned about educational podcasts in this class and I was really interested by this subject. I remember in high school when the teacher said we were watching a video all we thought was “yes, easy day” but it is so cool that teachers have found something that not only students pay attention to but cannot wait to see more. It is something that they can relate to and it can really help them. It also really inspired teachers by having students so ready to work and eager to learn. I liked the history pod that I looked at and actually have still been watching it during the weeks since we explored them. We learned how to make visual helpers in this class and used them to work to make our final for the Individual Learning Project and I am not a very artistic person but I did enjoy using this tool to make this.
We have learned a lot this semester and it was a great ride that I had with all of you, good luck to everyone in the future and I hope your finals are going great. Have a great summer.
Ben W. Shelbourn