Technology surrounds us in each and every thing we do and this is an important idea to consider when thinking about your future career in a digital world. I would have said before COVID-19 that technology has come a long way but now I have a better idea of the just how much we are able to do because of technology. Whether it is work related, school related or for pure entertainment, technology is there to be used.
I thought Michael Wesch’s “An anthropological introduction to YouTube” video was interesting as he talked about the idea of our technology (specifically YouTube) shaping us as a population. He brought up the idea of one person creating a video which travelled all over the globe and became a much larger internet sensation. YouTube was a massive source for entertainment for many years and continues to be very large however, there have been other apps that have also shaped our population in similar ways.
I remember quite well when vine became an internet sensation as everyone could find pleasure in a six second video and if they got bored within those six seconds they could swipe to the next video. This idea along with some other forms of technology and social media have shaped who we are today as I believe we are now built to believe that we should be satisfied within a few seconds and if we are not satisfied, we move on. Now instead of Vine, it is TikTok. Although these apps have the ability to satisfy us within only a few seconds, I truly believe it has changed how we live our lives. If we are not satisfied with a conversation within the first minute do we walk away? Are we more easily distracted?
I think as future educators it is important to be aware of the apps that are being used today and just what those apps may be doing to our population. Sometimes it is easier to reach people with less writing, more pictures, or an explanation that is short and sweet. That way the students do not get bored. I have heard many teachers say that you simply cannot hold a student’s attention for a whole class but rather only a few minutes which is something to be applied within your classroom.
This week was a huge success for me personally, I was finally able to make my first dishcloth without referring back to my video!
Now that I feel a lot more comfortable with what I am doing for my stitches I have decided I am going to attempt to make slippers for my next project. I have realized that this is going to take some serious time and effort! I have also learned that I am much better at following videos rather than just written instructions for a pattern. I am a visual learner and can understand much easier when I can follow along on a video.
These slippers require a different type of yarn than the dishcloths do but they use the same needle size which I thought would be good because I have finally gotten use to holding the needles.
Although I have found that I personally like watching/following along with videos to complete my projects, I am still trying to work towards understanding the knitting terms and abbreviations in order to hopefully understand the written directions sometime soon. There are sites that us “pat” which means pattern, “Sl st” meaning slip stitch and many other abbreviations in order to make the directions quicker to read and understand for knitters.
Although this is not my first time using Twitter, this is my first time using it as a professional resource. I know how to use a lot of the areas on Twitter which has made it easier to use it in an educational/professional way. I believe it is a fantastic way to reach out to others especially other teachers and love the idea of using it as a social platform in my educational career. I also believe that twitter could be used as a great resource in the classroom by connecting with students and their guardians.
Something I had never used before surrounding Twitter was “TweetDeck” which I found to be very interesting. While attending my fist Sask Ed chat I found myself to be fairly overwhelmed at the beginning as everyone was answering so quickly and it was harder to follow however, once I got the hang of it, I thought it was great! I plan on following along on another Sask Ed chat in the future, whether it be while I am still in school or in the position as an actual teacher.
This week started off slightly rough as I accidently pulled my dishcloth off of the knitting needles and struggled to get them back on to complete my dishcloth. You can tell from this picture where the stings came off of the needles because it got slightly more loose and patchy. Trying to get the sting back on to the needles was slightly frustrating and I tried to redo it a couple of times to fill in the holes however, I think I may have restrung a couple of the strings wrong and I could not get it to get any tighter.
The second dishcloth looks much better and took me only about two hours to make which means I have cut my time in half. I only required the video to remined myself how to start and end the ties which shows I have remembered a lot already! My plan as of right now is to make the dishcloths slightly larger as they are quite small and then hopefully move onto another project.
Education is going to look very different come fall as we most likely will not be going back to universities and instead doing it all from home. Although this is the tough reality for universities, I am really hoping that k-12 schools are back to normal come September. I feel as though the students are lacking so much development when it comes to their social skills and even mental health. I also know that the work that gets done at home is not near the work that gets done when those kids are in school. Although this may be how I am feeling towards opening up schools come fall, I feel like this may not happen which means teachers and divisions are going to have to step up big time to think of other ways to deliver material to the students in order for them to actually learn without being able to physically be in a classroom.
When considering what teaching and learning will look like in 2025, I heard a lot of discussion about the online resources while pushing to keep the students in schools. Not only is it important for their social development, and mental health, but also keeps those kids in a schedule which I believe is important for many individuals in order to be successful.
As the current Covid-19 pandemic is occurring we are facing the very high chance that we may not be returning back to classrooms in the fall. This projection means that all students will be continuing distant learning.
Distant learning comes with many new challenges that the teachers have never had to experience before. Although this is most likely going to be the way it is for part of the next school year I do not think that distance learning is something that we should be striving towards unless we absolutely need to.
I believe that this is not the ideal situation especially for grades kindergarten through twelve. I believe that a huge portion of children’s experiences in school come from the social aspect of the school environments. Building social skills (specifically at a young age) is extremely crucial for development and the rest of the kids’ life and distant learning lacks these social skills.
Due to the lack of social skill building that is found in distance learning I think that we should be striving to get back into classrooms sooner than later.
Even though distance learning does have its positives I think that it should be something that is used along side our physical classrooms in case kids are missing or need extra help that they may not be able to receive throughout the regular school day. Zoom rooms, Facetime, and other Skype like sources are great for distance learning and being able to connect with each other from a far however, they do not give people physical interaction but merely interactions through a screen which can be very different. This link talks about why children require social interactions and how these interactions can develop a sense of personal space, body language, and listening skills.
When considering distant learning for future school years, we also need to consider children that may not have access to computers, smart phones or internet as well as students that may not get support from their families. There are some children that consider their school and classroom to be their only safe place where they are supported by staff and peers and by taking this place away from them may result in much larger mental health issues, and abuse numbers in our future. Technology can be a wonderful thing but humans are social creatures and do still require physical interactions with each other. “school” is licensed under CC0 1.0
For my learning project I have chosen to teach myself how to knit using online sources. I started off by following along with this video as it is fairly straight forward and easy to follow. The video outlines the preferred needle sizes and yarn to use. She suggested using 4.5 needles however I used 5 as they were something that we happened to have in our house which meant I did not have to go and buy new needles.
Disclaimer: this video appears to be only fifteen minutes long however, to complete my first dishcloth it took my four hours and did not turn out even close to the dishcloth in the video. My first attempt at a dishcloth looked like this…
My first attempt had many learning curves. Halfway through I realized that I was putting too much tension on my yarn which made my stitches too tight resulting in the shape of the cloth. you can also see a couple of spots in the middle where there are larger holes that are not supposed to be there because I missed a stich.
My second attempt has been going much better as I have learned to not make yarn so tight. I have been working at this dishcloth for about two and a half hours which is considerably faster than my first attempt. I am excited to see how much further I can take my skills