This semester has completely flown by and I cannot believe that it is already the end of EDTC 400! I am struggling to remember that finals are already starting next week and that I do not have to go to class on Monday! Even though EDTC 400 is over, I know that I will be taking many of the things that I learnt with me. The debates introduced me to many new perspectives on topics such as “cellphones in the classroom”, “social media’s influence on childhood”, and “openness and sharing in schools”. I also was introduced to teaching online, with my mini-lesson project, during EDTC 400.
Along with taking away many things from the class meetings themselves, I have also learnt a lot outside of the class. A big part of EDTC 300 and EDTC 400 is learning how to develop our own PLN (Personal Learning Network). In EDTC 300, I was introduced to Twitter, blogging and Feedly as a way to begin to grow my PLN. In EDTC 400, we were tasked with going beyond the basic uses of Twitter and blogging. In EDTC 400, we were tasked with mentoring three students from the EDTC 300 class. Part of the task of being a mentor was commenting on the mentees’ blogs and encourage them on their blogs and on Twitter. We were asked to stay in touch with our mentees and comment on their blogs each week.
I’m not going to lie and say this was an easy task for me. I found being a mentor quite challenging because I did not think that I was an expert in educational technology, Twitter, or blogging after taking EDTC 300. I was excited to try mentoring, but I was worried that I would not know the answers to questions that my mentees might ask me.
Once I got into the mentoring, I did not find it as difficult as I initially thought. Once I introduced myself to my mentees and told them that I was available whenever they needed and contacting me over Twitter would be the best way possible. I found it very easy at the beginning to stay on top of reading my mentee’s blogs. I was able to comment on at least one or two blogs each week and I was able to juggle school and being a good mentee.
As the semester went on and an unexpected death in the family occurred, I found it more difficult to continue to stay on top of my other classes and their weekly assignments and commenting on my mentee’s blogs. Even though I did not always comment on my mentee’s blog every week, when I did have the time to sit down and read through my mentee’s blogs I ensured that I started reading right from where I left off. I always liked to go back to where I left off when I read through my mentee’s post because I wanted to see their journey as they progressed through EDTC 300.
I enjoyed being a mentor to my mentees and watching them progress through their EDTC 300 journey. I think it was very rewarding to watch some of my mentees start off not knowing much about educational technology to knowing even more than I do about educational technology. I enjoyed reading my mentee’s blogs as well because they mentioned some helpful hints and tricks about technology that either I have never heard about before or I forgot about from EDTC 300. I also found it very rewarding to give little helpful hints and tricks to my mentees when I thought they would need them.
This process of being a mentee was quite rewarding and challenging at the same time. I think this process really taught me about the importance of keeping on top of my schedule and assignments, even when I am having a difficult time juggling life and school.
This process also taught me that teaching an online class can be very difficult. It is very difficult to try to communicate with people online sometimes. It can also be very difficult to communicate and teach through typed words. Teaching in person (and speaking) can convey emotion and topics a lot better than getting students to read off a typed out document. Teaching in person also gives immediate feedback and responses, where teaching online does not.
This experience really taught me a lot of things, but most importantly, it taught me that teachers have a lot to juggle. High school teachers teach at least four to five classes a day, which means they have four to five classes to prepare for and grade assignments for. I think this semester as a whole, and especially EDTC 400, has taught me that teachers really have a lot to juggle. I think that once I become a teacher, I need to focus solely on teaching, not trying to juggle being a teacher and having a part time job on top of that.
I think moving forward, I learnt a lot from this experience of being a mentor. I have learnt that finding the time to juggle things is very important, but I also learnt that it can be quite rewarding to see someone learn and grow. Being a mentor was quite fun and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was only taking EDTC 400 so that I could put my full effort into being a good mentor and staying on top of the required assignments for EDTC 300. Overall, this was a great learning experience and I hope my mentees continue to grow as educators and are successful in their future endeavors.
Here are my mentee’s blog go check them out! Their learning projects are amazing!
Garrett Bates learnt how to speak Japanese and his blog is here.
Mackenzie Stamm learnt how to dance and her blog is here.
Jocelyn McGillvray learnt how to knit and her blog is here.
Here is a log of all the comments that I made on my mentees’ posts if you are curious.
Thanks for reading my blog post! I had an amazing semester with my fellow EDTC 400 classmates and I hope everyone has a great summer!