Blog Post #4: Placement Wrap Up

I really did enjoy this experience of working for someone and executing their ideas. I really enjoyed how we were left to work all on our own with very little direction from our teacher. It allowed us to explore many skills which us, students can’t put to use daily because of all the instruction we ARE given. Now, because of the little instruction, my partner and I were more proud of our end website because we had completed it all by ourselves, with communication from our placement teacher.

Our first placement with Mrs. Levy went fairly smooth. She allowed us to communicate with her during her 3rd period class when we had IDC ICT. She was not very particular when it came to specifics to  her website which allowed Mary Anne and I to get our creative juices flowing and really step out of the box to impress her. The website turned out amazing. The only difficulty with this placement was towards the end of the placement during parent teacher interviews when meeting with Mrs. Levy became difficult due to her busy schedule which conflicted with ours. At the end of the day, the website turned out fabulous and Mrs. Levy was excited to us it with her students.

Our second placement with Ms. Indirian ended up falling through because she had already sent the poster to a printing company. This was not a success.

Our last placement went quite smooth as well. Communication between Mrs. Batras was direct because my partner Mary Anne was in her 3rd period Biology where Mary Anne could follow up with our progress on the wesbite as well as specifics, then she would relay all the information back to in class regarding changes or anything else Mrs. Btras wanted to add. The only difficulties that we faced was that Mrs. Batras was using a website that had been coded as a reference to how she wanted her website to look. This was hard because Mary Anne and I both do not know how to code, therefore causing us to use Google sites, which has preset themes, and customizing options are VERY limited. But with all that said we made it work, and created a home site as well as 3 other course sites that she will be able to use with her students to display power points and all else she would like.

Yes, I do think that the project has value for IDC students because of the level of independence that comes along with the project. As I stated earlier, projects assigned in school have strict guidelines which do not promote creativity. Creativity and designing your own blue print works on many skills that grade 12 students should have, especially when moving on post secondary schooling. Making a schedule and working within it is also very important. This involves precise planning and can not be done without thorough communication between the teachers and the students. This experience gave us a taste of how it is in the world outside of school, not always being spoon fed instructions, and help not always being available. It also touched on improving our problem solving techniques. For instance, In the making of Mrs. Batras’s website, she wanted a slide show of comments from rate my teacher. At first Mary Anne and I had no idea on how to insert a slide show on Google Slides but with some trouble shooting and fittleing with the website, we finally figured it out. This taught us, that with persistence and determination anything is possible.

This IDC placement is also very useful to teachers. It will give the teachers to explore a new piece of technology that could enhance the quality of learning for the students. There are some pieces of technology at school like the probes which the teachers do not know how to use which means that they are not being used. It also allows teachers to take on new projects like creating a new website which the could not do own their own due to lack of time or the lack of technology knowledge.

I honesty really enjoyed the freedom of this project and having to work on our own with little instruction, thus I would not change anything.


Blog Post #3: Procrastination Check Up


This whole experience was quite surprising for me to be honest. Going into this I had fixed mindset,”Pfttt and agenda is NOT going to help with my horrible time management skills”. But surprisingly it did. In every class, after the teacher wrote down the home work, Id take out my agenda and start writing away. All the home work I had to do after school was now organized. My agenda provided me with essentially a blue plan of what I had to complete after school. One thing that I noticed that really helped was since the people I sat around with used their agenda , it reminded me that I had to utilize mine. The only down side was that sometimes Id chat with my friends at the end of class and forget to write down everything I had to do.

Using my agenda has definitely improved my learning. When I got home I knew everything I needed to complete. No more scatter brain Sarah! Id rank the tasks from most important to least important depending on when it was due, and its difficulty level. Sometimes I’d even plan according to the time. For example, Id do my biology homework from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm then a 15 min break, then IDC from 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm. Since I knew that I had another task to do after after the first completed, for some reason i never got off track. As well after I had completed a task, id tic it off in my agenda which provided me with such satisfaction. That feeling of satisfaction was addictive which lead me to completing all my work all time. Due to this feeling of satisfaction that I am receiving I continue to use my agenda.



Blog Post #2: Procrastination

Procrastination is like that awkward conversation at the Christmas dinner table about school, boys and life after high-school. Its something that you try and avoid but always somehow nips you in the butt. I’m that procrastinator that actually procrastinates unlike Julia who claims that she is a professional procrastinator, even though right when she gets home she finishes all of her homework before dinner. Now… lets not get to carried away, this is about me and my stalling tactics.

I’m going to explain a typical day in my life during after school hours. As I’m walking home from a long tiring day at school, during which I practically dyed because it was 40 degrees Celsius, Im thinking about all the snacks Im about to eat to replenish my body for all the homework i have to do later on because as they say “Healthy body, healthy mind”, Right? Right. i make my way into the pantry and grab some cookies and a bag of chips, plop my self on the couch to watch some YouTube videos. by this time its probably around 4:00pm. I set a time limit for myself and that at 5:00 I will complete my homework until dinner then continue after dinner is done. Then 5:02 pm roles around and whoops, looks like I wont be doing any work until after dinner because pfttt who can finish their math in 58 min, that is not enough time, we both know I needed an hour. after dinner my mom usually goes for walks which means I go with her, so then I push my homework till I get back. Then when i get back its late and I have to shower, then bed time roles around and homework gets pushed to the next day. Oh well, that what I tell myself. I really wish I could just go home not have any distractions. That would make my life soooo much easier but no, life doesn’t want to be nice to me.

I need to start putting a way my phone right when I get home so that it will be out of sight out of mind. Another bad habit of  mine is that if I do not understand the task at hand I give up and think that I am too stupid to accomplish it. Instead of putting myself down, I should just give it a chance and really put my focus towards trying to solve it.

One of my most haunting problems is time management. I will get home and start my home work at a time when my parents usually go to bed as i said in my opening paragraph. I am going to try and use my agenda and write down all the assignment that I have due. For example if its Monday and I have a project due on Friday, I will complete a small section of it everyday so that when Thursday nigh comes around im not drowning in work and stress. Lets see how this works out!

Blog #1: Technology and 21st Century Learning

I am a grade 12 student and my 4 years of high school have taught me everything I need to get into the university of my dreams… but has it taught me necessary life lessons and eve
rything else I need to live in a hustling city in 2017? I’m not quite sure about that. I’ve learned how to calculate the equation of a line but not how to do my taxes and how to manage my finances. I understand that it is not my teachers job to parent me, but the school board has to understand that there may be gaps in parenting and some students know more life skills than other. I think that the technology used in schools has prepared me for my future. I was using my laptop in class when I was in grade 11. When I was in grade 7, I knew how to manage all Microsoft applications; Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. From a young age, teachers we’re assigning projects and assignments that needed to be completed with technology in order to be completed successfully. Especially now, that teachers are more open to using technology in class, it enhances the learning experience for the student. I personally turn to Khan Academy for math and science help. A virtual teacher to help fill in the gaps my teacher may have missed… 10 years ago they wouldn’t have believed it. Another super handy technology tool that I use to enhance my education is an application called Quizlet. Quizlet allows you to make your own que-cards on your smart phone instead of wasting paper and polluting the environment. Instead Quizlet enables you to carry 50 cue cards without the bulk right at your fingertips. I really do like the fact that some teachers do try and put in the effort to try and enhance the lesson by using technology to present and teach information. Some teachers use smart boards for graphs others use PowerPoint. I feel like teachers may have gotten too comfortable with the fact that they can just put up a power point that the textbook company made for them and read right from it. Technology is suppose to give teachers a creative edge that the students will enjoy to engage them. Maybe Microsoft needs too invent something new to help teachers branch out and stop relying on power point because it does get very boring and repetitive. I’m not bashing all teachers out there, I do have to give a hand to some teachers who do use smart boards in involve students. In math, my peers are able to go up to the board and move around parabolas to see the transformation again at the touch of a couple fingers. I also believe that if a teacher does not know how to use a piece of technology, don’t spend the whole class trying to set it up. I believe that teachers should only use technology if they have good knowledge on how to navigate it in front of the class. Something that I personally have never experienced in a classroom is the use of i Pads. A piece of technology for everyone in that class. I believe that if a student has their own piece of technology it will attract them to the new information being taught.