Author Archives: hensz

Teaching Technology to Teachers; Totally Tubular!!!!!

For this multimedia reflection, we were able to explore the use of technology within a classroom as well as ways to make technological lessons easier to access for all learners.  This was done through a module presented by eCampus Ontario with the help of Extend; they were able to clearly explain how easily this can be achieved in a classroom.  This is very beneficial in the classroom and can aid in your development of technology pedagogy.  A lot of teachers may lack knowledge in the technology department.
With an easy to follow module like the one that was presented to us, it allows for teachers to gain a better understanding of how to incorporate technology into their classroom in the most effective way for their students.  The module exhibits different steps or pathways to achieve the best
possible outcome for the students and to help teachers identify challenges they may come across with solutions to how to best solve them.


It is important to approach every lesson you prepare with openness; finding ways to share information on top of ways to allow your information to be accessible to a wide range of people.  As a future educator, incorporating differentiation into my pedagogy is key. Once the target audience is known (finding out the students in your class on the first day of school for example) you are able to make specific adjustments based on their needs.  Having particular needs should not penalize a student or make them any less.

Differentiation looks at the variety of differences and allows for adaptability where it is necessary.  Looking back on my first practicum experience, I know that this idea was something I failed to achieve.  Incorporating digital media into my lessons was something I found hard to do but thinking of all of the different exceptionalities that my students may have had at the same time was very hard for me.  I now can apply this module into my next practicum, ensuring that I make the different technologies I use accessible for all students as well as figure out any of the challenges I come across before presentation.  I will most definitely refer back to this module in a couple of weeks.  It is critical to have students reach goals in their own way that is best for them and I want to implement this idea in my next practicum.


When it comes to technology, I personally felt like I would have considered myself “technologically savvy”.  However, after going through the module, I realized I am just savvy in the social media field.  This is not a beneficial tool for me in the classroom or to my pedagogy.  There is a lot more to explore in the technology world, and I feel as though that not only this model, but this class in this entirety has improved my knowledge on this topic.  I will utilize everything I have learned to become a better teacher, but also to better my students and their needs in regards to technology.


The platform that I have chosen for this multimedia reflection was Canva.  (Click here for a better visual of it!) It was my first time using it, but I had heard many good things.  I however found it not user friendly.  This could have been due to my lack of experience with the website; identifying a learning curve that I was unable to meet.  I should have explored the website more before jumping right into the multimedia.  As well, I found that the lack of colour schemes was not beneficial. Most of the graphics I had searched for in the side tool bar were ones that you needed to pay for.  For a free website, having users pay $1 for a photo/graphic is absurd to me.  I found that adjusting certain objects and text boxes was difficult as it changed the font size itself as well as the positioning of certain graphics.  As well, italicizing font want not an option.  For my second multimedia I used Piktochart, which compared to Canva, I found to be more accessible to my needs.


Tagged , , , ,

But I’m Ready to Learn of the POWER of Technology! (Yes, it’s a Celine Dion Reference)

For the second multimedia reflection, I chose to analyze the perspectives of Henry Jenkins, who created this notion of participatory learning (you can view his video here) as well as Dr. Michele Jacobsen who looks at all the possibilities that technology brings to teachers/people (you can view her article here).  They both view technology as a very important resource in the teaching world in today’s society.

Technology is beneficial in more ways than one, as it is such a powerful resource.  It is a useful tool in order to collaborate ideas with people. This can be student/student collaboration, teacher/teacher collaboration, or just sharing ideas for others to utilize.  Social media and technology allow for this to occur on a global scale.  As well, using technology helps students to become more engaged in classroom activity.  Students are glued to their phone (this was seen during placement), and any lesson that incorporates the use of their phone/computers of any sort becomes so much more interesting to students.  They can use it in a positive way, which in turn makes them feel like they are contributing so much into the classroom.  Teachers need to integrate more things that students can connect with on a personal level, and what better way to start than with technology.

Technology allows for the support of autonomous learners.  Students have the ability to become more creative and individualize their work.  It allows them to learn in a way that best suits them; they can utilize information given to them and form it into a learning model that works best for them.

However, there are some problems that can come up when dealing with technology.  One problem is most teachers are uneducated in how to use specific platforms.  Jenkins quotes “don’t build something like YouTube, use YouTube”.  It is very true in the sense that don’t build something to be used, use the tools that you have in front of you, but use them properly. There are many resources that can aid teachers, but some aren’t willing to adapt their teaching methods to best suit these students.  Also, most students have some access to technology, whether it be through a phone, computer or even iPad.  A problem that we are faced with is that students aren’t using it properly; in inappropriate ways.  We as educators (in training) need to teach students how to use technology in the best way for them.

My blog post (which you can view here) shows how useful technology can be, how teachers need to be willing to adapt and it looks at the tools that digital media bring to the table.

A lot of things came into my mind while absorbing all of this information.  In my opinion, it’s crazy that some teachers were defiant to the idea of incorporating technology into their pedagogical methods.  Why not use a resource to make your life easier?  I understand that in 2014 technology and the internet were still relatively foreign concepts, but it is an easy tool to learn.  If my teachers in high school incorporated more technology, I think school would be a lot more enjoyable and allow more connections to be made.  As well, I personally think that being able to connect with people all over the world and share ideas is such a cool concept.  Why not help each other out with becoming better teachers?  Why not share ideas, or lesson plans?  I know I will be reaching out to see what I am able to utilize for my teaching.  I can also show students what other schools/teachers are doing in their classrooms on the other side of the world and compare learning strategies between them.

Also, while reading the article/watching the videos, I was trying to envision how I was going to incorporate more technology-based platforms into my teaching methods when I go back on practicum at the end of November.  Standing at the front of the room and seeing all of the students on their phones is disheartening, but if I come up with ways to positively utilize them, then the students will be more engaged.  This is where platforms like Kahoot will come into play, especially in a science-based classroom.  As a student, I enjoyed activities that allowed me to be engaged and get involved. Now, with the big technology epidemic, what better way to involve students.  I know that if I was a student, I would have been able to get a better understanding of certain topics with all of these platforms at my fingertips. Even the addition of Edsby in the classroom is such a valuable, useful resource.

For this multimedia assignment, I decided to try a new platform.  I chose to utilize Piktochart.  It was an overall positive experience, that I was not expecting.  It was easy to use and right at my fingertips. They have different graphics, icons, shapes and pictures that can be added right to your piece.  Changing fonts, sizing, and backgrounds was also user friendly. However, the only downside that I came across was colour schemes; you need to upgrade (pay) for the version to be able to pick your own colours.  This meant that I had the option of choosing between dirty brown or unpleasant green as my default (I went with the green!).  I would definitely recommend this platform for anyone who is doubting using technology, as I was hesitant during the first Multimedia assignment.  I am definitely more open to using technology!

P.S. The Piktochart itself is a little blurry… I tried to add close up shots of it in different frames, but they seem to be blurry too.  I inserted a link into the post above, but here’s another link if you want to view in better quality!





Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Critically Critiquing the Core Concepts of Critical Pedagogy (Say that 7 times fast!)

This mind map serves to illustrate the significance of Amy Collier’s Hybrid pedagogy (which you can view here). As discussed in this podcast, critical pedagogy refers to the constant analysis, review and critique of our own individual practice. As future educators there is no “best practice.” Technology helps us develop, build and innovate our own educational pedagogy. As an educator studying in the field, I wish to incorporate the use of many technologies through roles of substitution, modification and perhaps redefinition in order to evaluate, engage and enrich the learning styles of my students. This “not-yetness” to learn is important in understanding how educators must strive for uncertainty and risk in their practices. We must never stop learning, growing and implementing new and effective practices into our own teaching modes. Be willing to feel uncomfortable, fail and implement the impossible. The future generations of our educational system depend on our uncertainty now to lead them to better things. I believe I am willing and open to new technologies and will do my best to critique my own practices for the sake of my development and my future students. I am not afraid to immerse myself into this new world of media, reflection and ambiguity. My “not yetness” is my key to braving a world full of media and new advances. I am ready to begin… I hope you are too!

Please enjoy this illustration.

The platform I chose to use to summarize the article was a sketchnote. I personally did not feel comfortable using online technology that was new to me. As well, as I was listening to the podcast, more and more ideas popped into my head about what to draw/create in my sketchnote. In my sketchnote, the different ideas/topics that are touched upon in the podcast are connected by links.  I incorporated illustrations, with the least amount of writing. If you can see the second idea is eyes, an at symbol and a light bulb. This is to represent us “looking at her thoughts and feelings” on the topic of not-yetness. I also threw in the SAMR model (literally, the letters SAMR modelling on the runway…). Amy touches upon this in a way during the podcast and how to use this to better our pedagogy. I enjoyed making this sketchnote as I found it relaxing to colour and draw things while working on an assignment.


Here are more zoomed in photos of my sketchnote! Just want everyone to be able to see it! (I didn’t realize there was not a zoom in feature of the blog!)

Tagged , , , , ,