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Me, Myself and I

Hi everyone,

My name is Jayme-Lee Lazorko.  I am a physical education specialist at Elsie Mironuck School.  This really has been my dream job, I have been in this position for the past five years and have enjoyed growing personally and professionally.  This technology stuff is all new to me.  I can say I am nervous and excited to learn ways in which I can incorporate my learning from this class into my everyday life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher. I am very excited to start the blogging process professionally and hopefully once I get the hang of it I can continue to use it for personal adventures as well. I look forward to working and learning with all of you!

If There Is A Will There Is A Way!

Last week we talked about the con’s of technology in our classrooms, today we are going to take a glimpse of some preventative measures to these cons.  If you need to refresh your memory in regards to the con’s we talked about last class please refer to my post from last week.

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According to this blog https://blog.cengage.com/technology-classroom-distraction-asset/

“60% claimed that texting is a major cause for distraction.”

“59% said that students are busy checking out their favorite social-media sites.”

“45% noted that students are distracted by games.”

“25% revealed that some students use the search functionality of their tech tools to search for answers (that is, cheat) during class.”

My colleague Elizabeth was doing some reading this week and came across an article that provided some great ideas.  One idea that I took away from Elizabeth’s blog post this week that I absolutely loved was the idea of a tech check in.  With a tech check in I believe that we don’t eliminate tech as a whole, we simply provide less opportunities for student’s devices to be a distraction.  With a tech check in we begin by setting an alarm every 15 min, when the alarm goes off students have one min to to check their device.

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As time goes on we begin to increase the amount of time between check ins, hopefully by providing this opportunity to check in our students will learn to check social media, texts, snap chat etc. during this one minute that is available to them rather than during important instruction time.  As an educator I do believe that we also need to find ways of incorporating their devices into our classrooms and encouraging our students to use their devices in appropriate ways.  We need to encourage our students to stay focused on the task at hand and provide positive feedback when the devices are being used appropriately.  If we continue to do this then students will be able to continue using their devices to benefit their learning in our classrooms.  It is essential that we promote good digital citizenship, that we discuss/provide opportunities and model our expectations.  Lastly, rather than eliminating as a whole we need to manage these distractions; in order to manage we need to provide resources, apps, and tools for our students to self regulate.

Another way to avoid distraction would be to draw our students in.

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With tech we can provide opportunities for discovery, discussion and learning.  Some ways of doing this could be through a facebook page, students are able to post, discuss, share via our class page.  Students could use an app called Dipity (Dipity.com), with this app they would be able to create a timeline that focuses on their learning in the course at that particular moment in time.  Finding different apps and resources to encourage the use of tech in a positive manner is sure to be a game changer in our classrooms.

Research has proven that many educators use video resources within their classroom to support the curricular material already being taught.

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According to a survey 94% of teachers have effectively incorporated some type of video in their classrooms within the past year.  Most teachers admitted to using video frequently, perhaps even once a week… why is this?

“As educators, our aim is to get students energized and engaged in the hands-on learning process, and video is clearly an instructional medium that is compelling and generates a much greater amount of interest and enjoyment than the more traditional printed material. Using sight and sound, video is the perfect medium for students who are auditory or visual learners. With the added use of subtitles each child then has the choice to watch, listen to, or read each presentation. Video stimulates and engages students creating interest and maintaining that interest for longer periods of time, and it provides an innovative and effective means for educators to address and deliver the required curriculum content”. As educators it is our job to ensure that we are incorporating the video’s because we feel it will enhance the learning experience for our students, not just because we feel like incorporating a different means of teaching.  Once we have established that we are incorporating the use of videos in our teaching for the right reasons then we need to ensure that the video we selected is appropriate and meaningful to the lesson being taught.  Videos provide authentic learning opportunities for our students and can be useful in engaging our students, possibilities for deeper level of understanding and increased motivation.

How does technology affect the socialization of our children??

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Although many people think technology is taking over and our children are spending too much time on their phones, gaming etc. it hasn’t taken away all opportunities for socialization.  First and foremost we need to ensure that our students learn appropriate manners in face to face interactions before we throw them into online interactions with their peers.  We can ensure our students are good digital citizens by promoting positive socialization skills.  We can provide opportunities for our students to work on their socialization on the playground, in the hallway, in group activities etc.  Students are able to learn how to socialize appropriately through interactions with their teachers and classmates on a daily basis.  They are able to learn by doing, encourage them to ask questions, discuss… we need to model what we expect.

Funding also becomes a huge problem when talking about involving tech into our classrooms.  Many classrooms, school divisions etc. simply do not have the necessary funding to be able to successfully incorporate technology into their classrooms.  I’m sure there are some rules in regards to the types of funding and technology that we are able to access however I was able to find a best buy school tech grant which seemed like a great way of accessing the funds necessary to incorporate tech into our classrooms.  Grants for Elementary schools should: help introduce or improve the technology available to all students in the school from Kindergarten to Grade 8”  If we are able to prove to our school divisions how beneficial technology can be for our teaching and learning perhaps funding could be a possibility.

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We could use Kyle’s idea of bring your own device, students continue bringing their own devices to class to be used for learning purposes.  Possible donations may also be a good idea, if people have different devices at home that aren’t being used then our schools could make use of them!

Coach’s Eye App in response to cons: Plan lessons where you have the opportunity to pull students aside and have that one on one time where you can analyze and discuss the students movement together.  Some students noted that they felt embarrassed when critiqued by the app in front of peers, so finding time and critiquing individually rather than in front of peers is essential in ensuring this app has a positive outcome.

Camtasia in response to cons:  If students do not have access to technology at home to complete assigned homework, encourage them to use the technology available to them at school.  As the teacher make yourself available at times outside of class time to ensure the students can come complete assignments using the technology within school hours.

Xbox in response to cons: Again, maybe by donation if someone had a system not being used.  Have alternate things planned for students not engaged in the xbox Kinect activity.  Allow transition between xbox Kinect activities and other activities so that others can play as well.

Heart rate monitor in response to cons: Leave devices at school, only to be used during class time.

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Overall, I think there is a lot to consider when incorporating tech into our classrooms, all of which will not be solved immediately.  It is essential that we plan and come up with solutions to these con’s as it is a positive way of showing others how important incorporating tech into our teaching and learning can be.  If we work together this is definitely a possibility, I look forward to working with my colleagues this semester to come up with solutions to our con’s/problems and move forward in a positive direction.

Con’s To Technology In A Physical Education Classroom

 

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Pro’s and Con’s of technology are something to be considered when deciding to use technology in our classrooms and in our lessons.  Today’s blog will focus on the con’s of technology in a physical education setting and at a later date we will take a look at the pro’s.  Huffington Post published an article in 2012 looking at whether technology would be beneficial in our classrooms or if it would hinder the success of our students.  Some of the arguments presented in this article that were noted are as follows:

This article also mentioned that how we view technology in the classroom will depend on how we prioritize funding.  With all the recent budget cuts in our school is technology really what we should be spending our money on?

After reading through many different articles, blogs etc. I came across a blog that had some con’s that were worth discussing.  Technology can be a distraction, if students are taught how to use it in an appropriate manner and have access to it all the time it can become essential that they check their Facebook, twitter, snap chat, text messages etc. rather than focusing on the work that they are supposed to be doing using the technology as a tool.  Are we using technology for the right reasons or purpose?  Are we simply incorporating technology for the sake of incorporating it or are we doing this with purpose? Something worth looking into and thinking about when planning our own lessons that revolve around or involve technology.  Again as mentioned before students miss out on that social interaction, which in turn could hinder their verbal communication and their social skills with peers/others.  Technology has the possibility of fostering more cheating.  Students have access to a variety of resources/tools that may be tempting to use.  Not all students in the classroom will have equal access to technological resources.

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Students that do not have access will be unable to complete assignments and will be at a disadvantage.  When introducing technology in the beginning students may not have the ability do differentiate between quality research and resources therefore are their assignments going to be up to par?  Technology in our classrooms and our lessons can prove to make things a little more challenging, booking out the computer cart, making sure everyone has access to a tech tool, logging on, do we have internet connection etc.

Some apps that can be used in a physical education classroom and the con’s that come along with using those apps are as follows:

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Coach’s Eye– An app that has the ability to record the students and provide immediate feedback on their performance.  Con to using this app is it only analyzes one student at a time, so unless you are working one on one with the students and have other activities planned for the rest of the class it makes using this app impossible.  Some students have also noted feelings of embarrassment when critiqued by the app in front of their peers.

Camtasia–  A tool that allows instructors to record their computer screen and add in voice overs and other effects so students are able to absorb information and lessons virtually.  Con: Traditionally students don’t have homework in physical education class so assigning using this tool may add to their workload at home.  Not all students will have access to internet making it difficult for everyone to complete the assignments.  If students aren’t completing assignments then the teacher has to repeat the instructions in class, this resources has the potential however, allows for many opportunities for students and teachers to be left on different pages.

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Xbox Kinect– A gaming system that is used worldwide that promotes full body movement that is tracked by sensors. Con: Not all schools will have the finances required to purchase one of these systems.  If a system is available it limits the number of students that can be participating at one time, therefore the teacher would still need to have alternate activities planned for the other class members.

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Heart Rate Monitor– A tracking device that is worn by the students that has the ability to display their heart rate electronically.  Many of these devices also have the ability to calculate optimal heart rate based on the students age, weight and activity level.  Con: If purchased for each individual within the classroom this can become very costly, so unless the finances are available then this tool wouldn’t be an option.

Fitness Tracker– There are a variety of fitness trackers out there, from pedometers to fitbits.  These fitness trackers have the ability to track steps and some of the higher end trackers can track different modes of physical activity.  Con: If purchased for every student in the classroom it can become very costly.  If students have been granted permission to wear their fitness trackers at home there is the possibility that some may go missing or students may forget to wear it to school which gives inaccurate results when trying to log an individuals fitness levels/hours.

Overall, like anything there are challenges that come along with using technology in our classroom.  As educators we need to take a step back and value the pro’s and con’s and make decisions that will be best suited for our students.  Although there are many con’s associated with using technology in the classroom there are many pro’s that may potentially outweigh the con’s.  I look forward to looking at the pro’s with you guys in a few weeks and hopefully coming out with some great ideas to use in my own classroom.

Feel Free to read more at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-rosenberg/technology-in-the-classro_2_b_2018558.html

https://blog.tophat.com/6-pros-cons-using-technology-classroom/

http://www.edudemic.com/lets-get-digitally-physical-technology-gym-class/

Last One Best One!

Last one best one is what they always say.  I am really looking forward to the last leg of my journey in the master’s program and even more excited to be finishing off with an ED Tech class.  I am very fortunate that Alec has so willingly taken a group of us under his wing,

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with his expertise in ED Tech I see this semester being fun, challenging, informational and eye opening to the possibilities that technology can bring to our teaching and learning.  As Liz mentioned she was disappointed when she realized there were no ED Tech classes being offered in the spring/summer sessions as she wanted to finish her master’s degree with with one of these classes.  I can totally relate, waiting up… oh wait don’t kid yourself I didn’t wait up until 12 to register, I went to bed.. set my alarm…. Woke up at 12:55 p.m. and logged on to realize there were no classes that were of interest to me…. Disappointment quickly set in.  It was then that I was discussing with Jen about how I need one more class and was hoping to finish my journey in this program with an ED Tech class.  She had mentioned that there was a possibility of taking a directed reading or independent study and we should look into it.  As we began looking into this possibility it became evident how much I have learned from these ED Tech classes in previous semesters and wanted to continue learning more.  I am very excited to be on this journey with such wonderful colleagues, Liz, Andres, Jen, and Kyle.

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I look forward to learning with and from them throughout the semester and hope that we can all walk away with ideas, resources, etc. to aid in our tech journeys.

I am very excited to be taking this directed reading course as we are all able to look at specific areas involving ED Tech.  I have been at an elementary school since I graduated from the education program at the University.  I was hired as a physical education specialist and have taught that for the past 7 years.. well with a half time French kindergarten in there at one point too!

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I am very passionate about physical education and finding ways for our students to be physically active in and out of school.  To be honest my undergrad didn’t really focus or even discuss the possibility of incorporating technology into a physical education classroom.

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Perhaps society has taken such a turn where many things we do and rely on somehow involve technology.  I am all about using things to our advantage, there are certain battles I am not willing to pick and the use of phones/tech in my classroom definitely wouldn’t be considered a battle as I think that we can be using these tools in a manner where they will benefit our learners and encourage them to use their technology in appropriate ways.  As educators it is obviously essential that we take baby steps and ensure our students have proper background knowledge in regards to technology in our classrooms, like anything we cannot throw it at them without teaching them first, we need to focus on teaching good digital citizenship in our classrooms in order for our students to be successful.

It is my hope that throughout this course I will be able to find a variety of tools, resources, suggestions, tried experiences etc. that will aid me in finding ways of incorporating technology into my physical education classroom.

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Like everything there are always challenges and pro’s and con’s that come along with technology and I hope to be able to touch upon these things as I do some research in the weeks to come.  It is my hope that with my findings throughout this course that I will be able to successfully implement technology into my physical education classrooms with ease for myself and for my students.  I want to be able to encourage my students to be physically active in and out of school and technology might be one way of encouraging our students to maintain their physically active healthy lifestyles outside of school as well.

Another goal for this semester is to find a way using technology that I can maintain communication with parents/students.

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I teach close to 400 different students which poses as a challenge in communicating with both parents and students.  I would love to find a way of communicating and keeping parents up to date on their child’s progress throughout the year.

Overall, I think this course offers so many possibilities and options and I am really looking forward to exploring my topic in depth. Finding fun ways of incorporating tech. With the help of research and feedback from my colleagues through our weekly meetings I see this course being a stepping stone to many great things to come in my future teaching and learning.

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I look forward to working with all of you this semester and am hopeful that we all walk away with what we were looking for.  Cheers to one last class together!!!

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EC&I 834 Summary of Learning

Once again this semester I had the privilege or working on my summary of learning with a great friend and colleague, Roxanne Leung.  We decided to create our summary of learning using GoAnimate.  A few weeks back we were asked to explore a digital tool, both of us decided to test out GoAnimate.  We both walked away with a positive experience and felt comfortable and confident in using GoAnimate to represent our learning.  We had a great semester, it was fun, engaging and was often challenging us in our tech savvy ways….. or lack there of.  If you’d like to check out what we learned this semester, check out our summary of learning below.  Have a great Spring/Summer and I look forward to seeing many of you in classes, in the halls and online!

#EC&I834Alumni

Wow!!  I cannot believe this semester is coming to an end.  I have enjoyed the past few months meeting up in the Zoom Room every Tuesday night.  It’s always nice to see what people are up to, from vacations to hanging with their cats, to trying to soothe a crying baby.  I’m very fortunate that I was able to take this online class with you all this semester and continue my journey in the Master’s program.  Having a new baby at home and a 2 year old to keep me on my toes makes going to the university to take classes almost impossible, so thank goodness for online options and a great online community!

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This is our last and final post in regards to our prototype, it has been quite the journey.  Our prototype began with three people conversing over text message and Facebook messenger about what we were going to do and how we were going to do it.  After a long of talk back and forth we decided the best way to set things in stone was to meet up face to face and begin to finalize some of our ideas.  Upon meeting we realized we had some really great ideas, however we needed to expand upon them.  The process of our prototype and where we started to where we are now can be found in the following blog posts:

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Striving For Redefinition!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!=Google Classroom!

The 3 Musketeers Are In Action!

It’s Been a Slice

We created a unit using google classroom.

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Originally this was a no brainer for us as we use a variety of google apps, resources, etc. in our classrooms, however as we worked our way through our prototype we did notice that there were some challenges that come along with this LMS as well.  If you are interested in viewing our prototype online the log in information is found below:

student-login-information-to-our-course-prototype

We are thankful to have been given the opportunity to view others prototypes and provide feedback, this gave us ideas for our own.

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We are appreciative of the feedback that was given by our colleagues as the constructive criticisms will help us in perfecting our prototype. Some of the changes that we would make to our prototype can be found below:

Changes to Course Prototype

Overall, this semester has been challenging, fun and engaging.  Although at times I felt overwhelmed by the course prototype I’m glad we had the opportunity to work with colleagues in creating our own online/blended classrooms.  This experience has enabled me to reevaluate  my own teaching practice and find ways of ensuring all my student needs are met and they are provided with opportunities to be successful.  Thank you for a wonderful semester Alec, Katia and colleagues! I look forward to staying in touch with all of you!

It’s Been A Slice!

Done is Done!! The course prototype I must say was a very time consuming, in depth assignment.

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I appreciated the openness of it, however, at times felt somewhat confused or hesitant as to whether or not we were on the right track.  I was very fortunate to be working with two wonderful people who were open to ideas, loved a challenge and were very creative.  As Katherine mentioned she felt like she bombarded Alec and Katia with questions and concerns in regards to the course prototype project throughout the semester, however, I am thankful that she did as many questions and concerns that others had in regards to the project were similar to our concerns as well.

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As we made our way through the course it was evident that the project could be completed in steps as we were learning important information on a weekly basis that could be directly applied to our projects.  Katherine also mentioned that she was a little bit of a procrastinator, I must admit that I used to be however, with two children at home I need to plan my time wisely and having such great group members also kept me on track with what needed to get done.

Andres spoke to our prototype in his blog this week and did a wonderful job in describing our experience using Google classroom.  As he mentioned we didn’t really shop around or test out other LMS platforms.  We were all pretty set on using Google Classroom as we have all used a variety of google apps, resources, technology etc.

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I was very happy with the end result of our platform.  Andres is more of a visual person so for him he thought this platform could have been more visually appealing in how the information and modules were presented.  For my personality I thought it was great.  I am the kind of person that makes lists just so I can cross things off, so the set up for Google Classroom was great for me.

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Dre also mentioned that there was little room for customization.  Being that this was my first time using Google classroom not having too many options to do things was perfect as I tend to get overwhelmed easily, especially with new technologies, apps, etc.  One downfall of the program that I think all of our group members found was the editing.  Dre was the first to enter information into our Google Classroom and pre warned us about editing.  He said don’t spend a lot of time editing and making it look pretty prior to pasting into Google Classroom as it has its own formatting and will adjust and change your work anyways.  Was he ever right, and it was frustrating as there are things that I wanted to be bolded etc. but was unable to do so.  A lot of time was spent editing already written information.  Perhaps the intent of Google Classroom is not to create your work in another document and to create the assignments, modules etc. right in Google Classroom, that way this would avoid the tedious task of editing all your work.  Overall, I found Google Classroom to be a pretty straightforward LMS, easy to use and user friendly.  This assignment was fun in the sense that we were able to create things that were applicable to us in our teaching and made me realize that creating content can be fun.  Creating all units from scratch and everything on your own would be a very time consuming task and could be next to impossible if one was expected to work a full time job teaching, living their personal life and creating online classes.  Oh Wait!! I’m assuming this is what Alec and Katia were expected to do for this course this semester as it is a new course… hmm.. how did you guys do it!?

Stephanie mentioned this week that she was having mixed emotions as the end is coming to a near.  Like Stephanie, I also enjoyed our weekly meetings in the zoom room.  The zoom room was my escape from everything else in my life, somewhere I was able to feel comfortable, confident and continue my learning journey.  This semester has been a learning curve in many ways and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful online community.

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This class has enabled me to feel confident in my technology abilities (aka the use of technology and incorporating technology into my classrooms).  I look forward to seeing everyone’s prototypes, summary of learnings and hope that although our zoom room meetings have come to an end that we can still support one another and stay in touch!

It’s been a slice!

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Challenge Accepted!!

This week’s blog is an interesting topic with much debate.  Some people would say that a closed forum is more beneficial than an open forum and to be honest I don’t know which side of the fence I would be on.  I have thought about different pro’s and con’s that come with both types of forums, however, I think it all depends on the type of students you have, the material being taught, the kinds of resources etc. that you are using.  Have you done pre-teaching in terms of being good digital citizens prior to introducing them to the world of forums?? So many things to think about when it comes to the online world!!

Chalyn discussed in her blog this week about her experiences with different types of forums.  To be honest I am in a similar position as her and in my own learning the only forums that I have been introduced to have been the ones through the online classes I have taken.  I do agree with Chalyn that the google plus community is very informational, supportive and could have been an asset is all grad courses not necessarily just the online classes.

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Google plus also allows everyone to take responsibility for their own learning, you are able to post, view, read other posts etc. which can expand your knowledge and introduce you to new areas of learning.  Chalyn and Ashley both talked about the age of your students being a deciding factor on whether you have an open or closed forum.  I do agree with this statement and I also feel that it is dependent on the personalities of your students as well.  Many teachers wouldn’t introduce a forum on the first day of class generally because you haven’t had an opportunity to get to know your students and perhaps do some pre-teaching in regards to appropriateness, online etiquette etc. in those types of spaces.  As an educator it is our job to determine what type of space best suits the needs of our students and we need to incorporate these spaces appropriately and for a purpose rather than simply incorporating to say we did.

Aimee also brought up some valid points this week that are worth touching base on.  One main, very important point she discussed was the safety of our students.

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When working with open and closed forums we need to keep in mind their safety, what types of things are others going to know about them, what information are we showing to others, their name, location etc.  If this type of information is visible for others to see are we doing our due diligence and keeping our students safe?? We are trying to help our students in creating their digital footprint, however we need to ensure that they are safe and that they are creating and leaving positive footprints online.

I was really able to relate to Aimee when she was discussing being an itinerant teacher and the challenges that may be faced with incorporating forums into our classrooms.  Once challenge that is faced is we teach many or almost all students in the school and without the support of our colleagues and administration it would be nearly impossible to even attempt to incorporate forums with all classes into our classroom.  Media release forms is another challenge, it would take a lot of effort on the part of the classroom teacher and myself to figure out who all had media release forms and had permission to participate in the forums etc.

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One way I see forums working in our position is if the classroom teachers already had some type of forum created for their own classroom and added us on as admin so we could add/edit/change things that are relevant to the material we are teaching.  I think collaboration between colleagues is essential if any itinerant teachers would be interested in incorporating forums into their classrooms.

Natalie brought up a really good point that is worth touching upon.  She mentioned how audience can play a key part in the learning of our students.  Often times if students know that there is a larger audience, ex. That their work may be displayed on YouTube they are more likely to put in a better effort and the end result may be greater than if they knew their audience was simply going to be their classmates and the teacher.  The novelty of others viewing and being able to comment on your work is pretty amazing…. so we need to make sure our work is amazing too!

Lastly, Jessica talked about the different roles that she takes on (mother, teacher, student) and how a closed space seems more safe, comfortable and authentic.  As a mother, teacher, and student myself I would have to agree, I feel that a closed space is more fitting for my learning style and my comfort level.

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I do see the benefits of an open space and how many people would enjoy and appreciate those spaces, however for my own learning purpose and my personality I do feel that the closed space allows me to feel more comfortable and confident.

Many thoughts and ideas were running through my head as we have been discussing this in class.  One thought was how do I even incorporate any type of forum into a physical education classroom setting?? In our group discussion last week seesaw was mentioned.  I have never used seesaw, however as they began to describe the program and gave me ideas of how I could incorporate a forum using seesaw into my phys ed classrooms the idea really grew on me.  A goal of mine upon returning back to work from mat leave will be to touch base with my teachers and see what types of forums they are using in their classes and if there is a possibility that I could be involved as well!! I am excited to try new things in my teaching and I think my students will be just as excited!:)

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