Ahh Twitter… My Old Arch Nemesis

Hey everyone!

So I learnt how to use Twitter on Thursday’s class (when I was thrown right into the deep end during saskedchat) and I have to say it’s not that bad.

I participated in the Sask Ed Chat on Thursday with the rest of my EDTC 300 class and it was a really cool experience! I was terrified going into the class because I thought that the Twitter chat was starting right at 7:30 pm when the class started and there would be little direction, other than go have fun kids.  Thankfully, Katie taught us how to use Twitter before we dove into the Twitter chat. I had the basics going into the Twitter chat, but by the end of the chat (which was only from 8:00 to 9:00 pm thankfully) I felt extremely confident in using Twitter and tweeting. I liked the learning on the fly through the Sask Ed Chat as it forced me to learn how to tweet quickly. I really enjoy tweeting, except for when I kept forgetting a hashtag and having to delete and redo my tweets, and after taking part in the Sask Ed Chat, I see the benefit of using Twitter in the classroom.

Twitter is a great way to connect with fellow classmates, teachers, and other professionals that are part of the education and teaching community. Twitter can also be a huge help in the classroom. Through using Twitter and being connected with other educators, I will be able to share and borrow resources and ideas that others tweet about. Twitter is not only a great platform to learn about new educational technologies, but it is also a perfect tool to use to find articles that other educators find helpful. Twitter can connect teachers across the globe and creates a really great learning community.

Twitter used to be my worst nightmare, but after a bit of practice and a lot of tweets (in my mind it’s a lot of tweets, it’s probably only 20-30 tweets actually) it has become a website that I really enjoy using. I know that I like Twitter, but I know that not everyone likes it as much as I do. What are your thoughts on Twitter? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or tweet me at @MsOsachoff on Twitter!

Thanks for reading my post!

Ashley Osachoff

Learning ASL – ABC’s

I wanted to make this post much earlier, but due to an unexpected medical emergency with a family member I was unable to post until now. I had a bit of family that was from out of town over at my house and I was travelling to and from the hospital with them and sadly I was unable to focus on my learning project. Thankfully, everyone is okay and back home safe and sound. My house has been quiet for the past few days, so I was finally able to focus on my learning project!

Hello everyone!

After a week of craziness, I have finally been able to focus on my learning project! I wanted to learn both the ASL alphabet and some basic words by this week, but unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I was only able to learn the ASL alphabet.

The ASL alphabet with five numbers

Photo Credit: anathea Flickr via Compfight cc

To learn the alphabet, I went to my most trusted learning tool: YouTube. I searched in Google “ASL alphabet” and I chose a video that looked simple enough for me to learn from. It was also the shortest and the first video that popped up on the Google search. I watched the video a few times and tried to follow along. I had to pause the video a couple of times and rewind it to try to figure out how to get my fingers to make the D (I kept putting my pinky up instead of my index finger), K, and P, but eventually I was able to memorize the alphabet.

After initially learning the alphabet on Sunday night, I kept practicing it from memory when I had the time (while watching TV, on my way to the gym and while sitting in bed). I practiced a lot on Sunday and I thought I still had memorized all the letters perfectly, so I thought I would put what I had learnt to the test. I decided that since I was watching my boyfriend’s younger sibling, that I would teach him the alphabet.  Thankfully he was totally game to learn how to sign the alphabet and then later learn how to sign his name. He even agreed to help me with my video and show everyone else what we learnt.

He’s only eleven and had a long day when we took the video so he’s kinda sleepy at some points. Also keep in mind that he only learnt the alphabet an hour before we made the video.

I was insanely impressed with how quickly he was able to pick up on the signs! He did such an amazing job and was really patient with me, even when I had to really think about what some letters were.

So, I may have forgotten what the sign was for F and I had to Google it after I went through the alphabet with him the first time and totally blanked on what F was.

Here’s a video of him and I doing the alphabet together!

I want to send out a special thanks to my boyfriend’s little brother for being a great sport and learning the alphabet with me and to my boyfriend for recording the video of us!

Thank you for taking the time to watch my video and read through my blog post. I’m hoping that by next week (as long as there’s no more unexpected family visits) that I will master the alphabet and learn ASL numbers, colours and some other basic signs such as yes, no, maybe, etc.

See you next week!

Ashley Osachoff

A Website that Changed My Life

Hello everyone!

(I’m surprised people are coming back to a second blog post)

So it’s Thursday today, one day before Friday and my last day of the work week before May long, and it’s the day that I can sit down and focus on working, while drinking  a few cups of coffee of course.

My coffee that I was definitely not drinking while I was writing this blog.

For my EDTC 300 course, we have to post in twitter and tweet about articles that we are reading. When I saw that we would be tweeting out articles, I once again freaked out. At the beginning of the course, I was stressed out to the max because I knew I would not have time to scour the internet looking for articles about education and technology. But, fear not my readers, Katie Hildebrandt (my EDTC 300 instructor) comes in on Tuesday and saves the day. She showed us Feedly, the time saving website that finds blogs and articles for you.

I got a Feedly account (it’s free, so even broke university students can afford it) and it saved me from spending hours and hours searching through the internet for education blogs (and scrolling through Facebook when I got bored from searching without any luck). To find the articles that I needed for EDTC 300, all I had to do was type in hashtags into Feedly’s search area (i.e. #edtech, #education, etc.) and BOOM a whole bunch of blogs pop up that relate to the hashtags I searched. All I had to do was follow the ones that I liked, the ones that sounded interesting and had lots of other followers, and all of the articles that the blogs that I follow showed up in my feed.

What my feed on Feedly currently looks like

So far I have chosen five blogs to follow for my Edtech/Education board and I chose them for the most basic reasons (and because I’m lazy and did not want to spend time searching for blogs); they were at the top of the search and they all had a lot of followers. I decided to follow TED Education, Education : NPR, Education Technology, Free Technology for Teachers and Mind Shift. So far, my favourite blog is Free Technology for Teachers because they wrote two articles that really spoke to me. The first article is “The Science of Cookies” and the second one is “How Coffee Effects the Brain” because (me being a cookie lover and a coffee addict,) these articles really caught my eye. I found them really interesting because they both had videos (which means way less words for me to read) which really explained the topic.

mmmm…coffee

Way more science in cookies than I thought!

 

 

 

 

Feedly is now my new best friend, especially for the EDTC 300 course, and I will definitely continue to use it in the future. I will be tweeting out more articles that I find on Feedly on my twitter, @MsOsachoff, so check me out and let me know if you try Feedly and find some interesting articles!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Ashley Osachoff

Educational Technology – The Longest Relationship I’ve Ever Had

Disclaimer

This is my first crack at a blog and I am very nervous as I do not know much about blogging or making my own website. I created this blog as a project for my EDTC 300 class, but I have a feeling that I will continue to add and use it in the future. So bear with me as I learn more about blogging and technology through the next few months. Hopefully by the end of June I will be more confident in blogging and my ability to use technology both in and out of the classroom.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

To start off this post, I should tell you a bit about myself. I currently attend the University of Regina, enrolled in Education. I am just finishing my first year in Secondary Education with a major in Math and a minor in Inclusive Education. I really enjoy math (I know, I’m odd) and I love working with students in an inclusive classroom. I currently work with Saskatchewan Health Authority as an Autism Interventionist and I love my job. I currently have three clients that keep me on my toes and teach me new ways to look at the world, communicate, and problem solve. Work takes up a big chunk of my days, especially in the summer, but when I’m not at work I like to go camping, take road trips, spend time with friends, watch movies, and go to the gym. Now enough about me, let’s get to the most important piece of this post, my relationship with technology.

Thank goodness… the boring stuff is done!

Technology and I have a love hate relationship. I love to use technology such as the internet, apps on my phone, and my computer. I love technology, but technology doesn’t always love me back. Typically if anything goes wrong, or there is a pop up on my computer or phone that I need to change or update, I just ignore it because normally I mess up the updates somehow. Then when things go wrong, I try the best trick in the book: turn it off and then back on again. When that does not work I call for tech support (1-800 Dad) and if that still doesn’t fix the problem, I call in the big guns (1-800 Little Brother). I don’t call for mom with technology help, that’s not really her forte. If neither of these options work, I search google and try countless different things in hopes that one will solve my problem. Up to now, these tricks have worked well for me (many times) and typically it’s just a simple fix that I could not figure out.

Technology and I in general aren’t great friends, but educational technology and I seem to have a much better relationship (unless I “push” the wrong button). However, our relationship wasn’t always this great. It all started out in high school in grade ten when I took my first online class; math. I did not like taking the course because I slacked off due to the lack of structure with due dates. After the first rough patch, educational technology and I took a break until I went to university. In my second semester, I rekindled my relationship with educational technology by taking ECS 110 online. We really hit it off during this time together. Being older and slightly more disciplined with my time, I was able to stay on track with due dates and I really enjoyed the freedom of being able to work on the class around my busy schedule. My relationship with educational technology continues to evolve and grow stronger as I learn more about what it has to offer. Educational technology does not exclusively influence my life; through my work I have seen technology, such as apps, YouTube videos, and online games teach my clients numbers, letters, and math.

You’ve almost made it all the way through, just a bit more until you’re done!

When I think of blogging, I think of famous people that have thousands of followers that almost religiously read their blog every time they add a new post. When I read that we would be required to blog for this class, I was extremely freaked out because I had no experience when it came to blogging. Thankfully, blogging doesn’t seem as scary as I made it out to be. I think I will enjoy telling people about my thoughts on educational technology and anything else that I will be learning in EDTC 300 through blogging.

Congratulations you made it to the end of my post! Gold star just for you for power through this post! (Are you bored yet?)

A gold star outline made from lights on a black background
Photo Credit: Lisa Zins Flickr via Compfight cc

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn a bit about me and my thoughts about educational technology. Follow me on twitter @MsOsachoff to hear more from me about educational technology (I know there’s not much there yet, but I promise I will be more active soon… after I learn how to tweet on Tuesday).

Ashley Osachoff