Signing Along

When pondering what to include in this weeks learning project post, I found myself falling back on the plain old embedded YouTube videos I have been doing each week. So I decided to STEP MY POSTS UP! This week I made a video outlining my learnings using Canva. I have used Canva before but never to make videos and, I must say, it turned out very well. There are so many aesthetically pleasing templates provided that make it easy to create a beautiful presentation! Ironically it is actually another embedded Youtube video because it is free to include them in a post, but I promise it is next level. Haha.

I mentioned in the video and last week’s post, I was previously learning everyday words in ASL and found it really difficult. I was hard to memorize the words because there was no pattern or context. With that being said, I found learning common phrases in ASL a lot easier. This is likely because I already knew many components of the phrases when I challenged myself to learn 35 common words last week. I also noticed that I dedicated a lot of time learning ASL phrases because I really enjoyed it. I found that the phrases seemed genuinely useful to me and therefore I wanted to learn them more than previous lessons I have taught myself. With all that being said, while the basics of ASL were important for me to learn, I am glad to be moving towards a more conversational ASL.

As you heard in the video, I followed a new resource this week in order to learn these phrases. It was called, “20+ Basic Sign Language Phrases for Beginners | ASL” by TakeLessons. Take lessons has a whole playlist dedicated to ASL for beginners which can be found here. I will likely use TakeLessons’ channel again going forward as it is easy to follow and, most importantly, free!

Next week, I am going to use TikTok to teach myself more common ASL phrases and signs. I found some great instructional videos while scrolling through my For You page late at night and I cannot wait to learn from them!

Interact with Me!

How could you step up your blog posts going forward?

Quizizz-ing My ASL Skills

Exploring Quizizz

This week I discovered Quizizz, an online learning platform that I eventually used to test my ASL skills. Quizizz is a place to “Find and create gamified quizzes, lessons, presentations, and flashcards for students, employees, and everyone else“!

I see Quizizz as a next level, and more educationally based, version of Kahoot. Their website gives you access to a wide variety of quizzes and interactive lessons that can be used in the classroom. It also allows you to create your own lessons and quizzes catered to your specific needs.

In this video, I walk you through the basics of Quizizz. This includes how to make your own lessons/quizzes, how to access the plethora of pre-made quizzes, and how to use it within a remote or in person classroom.

Review of Quizizz

Benefits

As I began exploring the Quizizz website, I instantly noticed how user friendly and easy to follow it was. Icons are clear and well labeled and most features include a description of what they do/what their purpose is. This made the learning and navigation of the website extremely simple.

When putting together my own quiz, I appreciated how many options there were and how much you could personalize it. Quizizz allows you to include multiple choice, check box, fill in the blank, open ended, and polls when creating your quiz. They also give the option to add slides to give the quiz more of a lesson feel. You can add images and equations to your question and, if you invest in the pro version, you can add audio and video in as well. While creating your questions, you are also shown a preview of what it will look like on the students’ device. All of these personalizations make it much easier to create meaningful assessment through distance learning.

I greatly appreciated how educationally accessible Quizizz is. It allows you to connect/synchronize your content with Google Classroom which is an online learning platform that many educators use. You can track students’ progress and see their accuracy percentages on all assigned content which is an indicator as to which students grasped certain concepts and what needs to be reviewed or re-taught. It can be so hard to meaningfully judge students’ understandings through online and distance learning so this feature is especially useful. Quizizz also allows you to instantly share progress reports with parents and keep them involved in their child’s learning. In addition, there are so many great pre-made quizzes and lessons available instantly for your use.

Downfalls

I will mention that the creation process is very time consuming, especially if you have a large number of questions you want to include. For each question you have to click create, then which type of question you want, then type in the question itself, then type in the possible answers, then indicate which one is correct. Doing this process for the 26 questions I created for my ASL quiz took an extensive amount of time.

Another downfall that stood out to me was the fact that some of the more useful features are not included in the basic/free package. This includes things such as including video and audio clips in your questions and providing students with explanations after they answer a question, both of which would enrich online learning substantially. The “Super” subscription costs $79.19 CAD annually. In my opinion, if you are doing remote learning it would be worth the price but if you are face to face, the basic package would be suffice.

Would I use Quizizz in my Classroom?

I am 100% going to use Quizizz in my classroom, distance or face-to-face. I imagine within the classroom I will predominately use the lesson feature consisting of slides, quizzes, and polls. This is a great way to engage students and keep them on their toes throughout lessons as well as gauge their understanding of the content! As for distance learning, the extremely customizable format of Quizizz makes it well suited for this mode of content delivery. The personalization aspect allows for more meaningful learning and evaluation experiences when face-to-face is not an option.

Using Quizizz to Develop my ASL skills

This week I used all my new found Quizizz knowledge to test my abilities to sign common ASL words. I used Sign Language 101‘s video that goes through everyday phrases in ASL. I was focussing on learning about 26 words this week which proved to be more difficult than expected! I found words much harder to learn because there is no constant pattern like the alphabet or number. Also, lots of words use similar gestures so I found it difficult to differentiate between them at times.

I started the week with absolutely no idea how to sign any words. I followed the video that went through everyday phrases mentioned above and struggled to manipulate my hands to make some of the signs. There is no way that at this point in time I could have signed any words without referencing the video!

Whenever I had free time/down time in my day, I would pull out my phone and go to the Sign Language 101 video and go through the signs. After 5 days of practice I made a lot of progress! I now know about 20 out of the 26 words and can sign them without assistance. Some signs came to me very quickly while others I had to work at a lot more, which somewhat explains my less than flawless current abilities. I used a quiz I made on Quizizz to evaluate where I am at in terms of signing common words. This was a great way to test my learning because previously, I have just had the instructional video playing and done the signs as it moved through them. This method didn’t really push me to progress because I could always reference the video if I was stuck.

What I love is that the quiz told me which words I either knew, kinda knew, and didn’t know. This helped me decipher which words I needed to practice more. For example, my results told me that I need to work on the words “must” and “need” more because I responded that I didn’t know them on the quiz.

I also know that I need to practice my words more in general! I still have to concentrate very hard in order to sign the correct words so I want to work on my fluency going forward. Next week I am going to practice the 26 signs I learned this week and add in a few more if I can master the original ones!

Interact with Me!

What Ed Tech tool did you explore this week? Would you use it in your own classroom?

Just Keep Signing 🎵

Week 2 Endeavours

Week 2 of my ASL journey was another exciting one! While I still struggle to manipulate my hands into certain signs, I am making a lot of progress. This week I decided to further develop my abilities to sign the alphabet and also dove into numbers from 1 – 100. I have become, fairly, proficient at the ASL alphabet over the last 2 weeks and that is displayed in my final video! I can tell that my confidence has grown and I am able to form the letters without as much intense concentration. Going forward, I am going to practice my D and F sign more because those are the two I still slightly struggle to form.

Progress

As far as numbers go, I came a long way this week. In my first session (linked below), it is clear to see that I have no idea where to begin and I am relying heavily on the ASL App. I had never seen numbers in ASL so it was all very new to me.

By my second recorded session, I was able to more confidently sign my numbers from 1 – 10 and my signing of the numbers 11 – 20 was pretty smooth. I easily keep up with the ASL App for both sets of numbers and, while I had to concentrate pretty closely on my instructor, I didn’t have many slip ups!

My third recorded session showed so much growth! I can now fluently sign the entire ASL App without any assistance. I actually signed the alphabet for a class I was substituting in yesterday to show them my skills. They were impressed. Lol. As far as numbers go, I am now able to smoothly sign numbers 1 – 22 without any assistance. As for the numbers 23 – 100, I can do these with assistance and with minimal slip ups. I am hoping that by next week I will be able to do numbers 1 – 100 without any help from the ASL App. While attempting to perfect my abilities at signing numbers, I am going to start exploring how to sign common words.

Interact with me!

Would you every teach yourself a new language? Which one?

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

#Thebachelor

Before taking EDTC 300, my Twitter account was used strictly to peruse #thebachelor every Monday night. Twitter has THE BEST commentary on the drama and added to the bachelor viewing experience. Besides the occasional liking or retweeting of a relatable bachelor tweet, my account was pretty dormant. I had no idea how useful Twitter had the potential to be.

#Saskedchat

With that being said, it is safe to say that the interactions I experienced on #Saskedchat shook me to the core. When I tweeted my thank you to our moderator and realized it was over, I was in awe. I felt like I was coming off an adrenaline rush. Everything moved so fast and there were so many tweets to read, each of which was valuable in their own respect. It was so enriching to hear the advice from teachers who have been in the field for a number of years and learning the perspectives of my peers. Not only did I gain a lot from the responses of other educators and my fellow classmates, but I had fun! That was the fastest a class has felt in my entire degree. I felt like I was part of community of educators, I felt safe and welcomed. With the current state of our world, I think I valued this sense of connection even more.

#Educationtwitter

The education community on Twitter is so much larger than I could have ever imagined. It seems like there is literally an endless amount of educators on Twitter, all interacting and helping each other out. Whether that means sharing resources, encouraging each other, or simply showing their support by liking and commenting on tweets. I have found SO MANY useful resources and articles through Twitter over the last month that I would have never discovered otherwise. I also cannot believe how much more interactive Twitter is than other social media platforms. For example, I have been sharing resources from my favourite blog and podcast, Cult of Pedagogy and the author commented on my posts! She has 149,000 followers! Like what?! With all that being said, I think Twitter is an extremely valuable resource for educators and I cannot wait to see where it takes me!

#Interactwithme

What are your thoughts on Twitter?

Kicking off the ASL Journey

Week 1

January 27th marks the day I began my sign language journey! I was, to put it lightly, pretty rusty. I decided to conquer the alphabet this week. I looked through all of the potential resources I could use and decided to rely on The ASL app this week. It had easy to follow videos and was very beginner friendly. It was also easy to access so I ended up practicing on the go a lot.

Here is my first attempt at learning the ASL alphabet. I can see in this video, that I heavily relied on the app and had no idea what the next sign was going to be. But, I did not let that discourage me! After this video was filmed, I practiced a lot and have also begun running-through the ASL alphabet every night before bed.

I can see that my practice is starting to pay off in my second attempt. I had practiced for a day at this point but I still needed to use the ASL app for guidance. Two of the signs I struggle with are D and F because it is hard for me to manipulate my hands to make those signs.

After practising for two more days straight, I am finally able to sign the ASL alphabet without using the ASL app! I am not fluent yet and still need to concentrate very hard in order to do the correct signs, but I have made a lot of progress. I still struggle with D and F but with more daily practice, I will be able to sign more smoothly!

Moving forward

Overall, I am pretty proud of how much progress I made this week! Next week, I am going to continue working on the ASL alphabet and becoming more fluent in that area and hopefully begin learning ASL numbers.

Interact with Me!

How did week one of your learning project go?

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Feedly Findings

How I Found Blogs to Follow

As I perused the Feedly universe, I came to the conclusion that the first thing I needed to do was find some educational blogs to follow. So, I quite simply typed “education” into the search bar and hit the enter key. Quite a few blogs came up, but I wasn’t going to follow just anyone. They had to be blogging about things I was interested to read. So, before I hit that follow button, I first checked out their followers, did they have at least 1K? Then I checked out their most recent articles to see if I found them engaging. If they answered yes to both the following questions, I hit follow. All of my followings at this time are in a feed titled “education”.

My Feedly page

Which Blogs am I Most Excited About?

One of the blogs I am most excited to interact with is called Educational Technology. This blog is filled with various posts about how to get the full benefits of technology in the classroom and in the teaching profession. What I love about this blog is how succinct and interactive their posts are. There is always links to the sources they mention as well as photos that are related to the post.

Some of the most interesting articles include:

1. “A New Tool to Create Short Animated Videos to Share with Students“,

2. “Here Is a Good Tool to Enhance Students Writing Style“,

3. “Top 5 Educational Podcasts for Teachers in 2021“.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Another blog that I am excited to explore is Cult of Pedagogy. This blog is an educators dream. It’s categories consist of titles such as; Instruction, Classroom Management, and Technology. All of which are areas I am trying to improve upon. It also has more theory based categories including, Learning Theory, Leadership, and Career & PD among other things. This blog is also organized flawlessly with an easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Interact with Me!

What blogs have you started following on Feedly that you think I might enjoy?

Sign Language is Pretty Handy!

Humble Beginnings

My knowledge of ASL as of January 2021 is limited to say the very least. All that I know at this point is that ASL stands for American Sign Language. With that being said, I am determined to change this throughout the course of EDTC 300!

When I read through the EDTC syllabus and saw that we were getting the opportunity to teach myself something, my mind went in a few directions. Yoga?! Painting?! Maybe a new language…I already know French…ASL!

Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com

Why ASL?

Knowing more than one language is such an asset and if I have a student who is deaf in my class, knowing ASL would help make them feel included and loved by me. I learned a bit about ASL in ELNG 200 and found it fascinating. Recently, I have been seeing a lot of ASL in the media because every COVID-19 announcement features an ASL translator. I am always so fascinated by their swift hand movements and signs as well as their body actions and facial expressions.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Game Plan

As far as learning ASL online goes, I will be taking advantage of a variety of resources. I plan on breaking my learning journey up into a few sections. These include:

1. Alphabet and numbers

2. Words

3. Phrases

3.5. Facial expressions and body language

4.Conversations


I plan on using alphabet and number charts that can be found on google and Pinterest. I am going to use the Sign Language 101 website which features a free beginners sign language course delivered through a number of Youtube videos. I love how easy to follow their videos are and how they are laid out!

In addition to these resources, I plan to use YouTube to fill any other gaps that the course and the charts do not reach. I have also downloaded the ASL app from the App Store which is an app made by people who are deaf for us to learn ASL. I think this app will be great because I can use it on the go and whenever I have free time I can just pop on and learn.

I am very excited to begin my learning project and grow my knowledge of ASL and I hope you enjoy following me on my journey of learning this new language!

Interact with Me!

If you were given the opportunity to learn a new skill, what would it be?

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Introducing Me!

Photo by Maria Tyutina on Pexels.com

Hello everyone and welcome to the beginning of my EDTC 300 journey. I am 21 years old and I am in my fourth year of the Middle Years Education program. I enjoy hiking, watching movies, and eating good food!

I have had this blog since 2018 and have been developing it for the past 3 years. That is about as far as my educational technology knowledge stretches. I am very active on social media including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter but I have never ventured into the educational communities on these platforms.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My thoughts on blogging are very positive! I found so much information throughout my internship on various educational blogs. I feel as though there is so much value in educational blogs not only because of the knowledge they share but also the community they create. When you read other educators blogs, it makes you realize that you are not the only one facing challenges within your classroom. You also discover that coming up with 100% original content for every lesson is unrealistic and that part of being a teacher is working together and sharing our resources. In addition, being vulnerable and talking about our triumphs and shortcomings is what forces us to evolve as educators and this online platform allows this to happen consistently.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

You can find me on twitter @MissLfiddler where, after and throughout this semester, I will be posting and interacting with various educational accounts as well as sharing valuable educational opinions and resources.

Do you have any social media handles you would like to share with me? I would love to interact!