Placement Blog Prompt

Ms. Gourley’s Placement:

I enjoyed this placement, mainly because I really like Ms. Gourley, and she was my teacher previously so we work well together. It was a relatively simple project, so it wasn’t very exciting, but it was fun to explore new areas of the platforms. The main difficulty was finding ways to implement platforms like Kahn Academy into a civics course because they are all US based.  I do consider the placement a success, because even if Ms. Gourley can’t personally use the platforms, she is now aware of them and how they can help students. I don’t think this project was entirely useful because I didn’t have to learn any new skills, but it was definitely helpful for thinking about new ways to use the platforms. In the future, I would make this a placement for a teacher in any department except for humanities, because there are not a lot of educational online platforms to use in those classes.

Ms. Kerr’s Placement:

I also  enjoyed this placement, once again mainly do to the teacher, and that I like organizing so making a form was fun. It was a fast project that went very smoothly. The only difficulty was that me and Koral are not very familiar with Google Slides, so we didn’t know a lot about extra features. I do think this project was useful, because we were challenged to learn new things about Slides. In the future I would make the setup of the form more complicated, or at least have the students figure out an efficient way to get the form to teachers.

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Blog Prompt #3

How successful were you at implementing the strategy or technique? What helped or impeded your success?

I was decently successful at implementing the Pomodoro technique. Although I did miss some days where I could’ve at least completed one round, on the days that I used the technique I got through a lot more work then I normally would. In a normal work session I would work for about 10 minutes, then a 30 minute break, and repeat. With this technique I am working for 25 minutes and then a 5 minute break, at least twice, which obviously adds up to a lot more work time. As well, it really helps to know exactly how much time I am going to be working for in a round, because instead of wondering how much longer there is I know that I will be told when to finish.

One thing that majorly helped me was the use of an app called Forest. One of the presentations in class was on this app. It is useful because you add a tree to your garden if you complete the time, which is only completed if you don’t open any app’s that are decided to be unproductive like Snapchat. If these apps are opened for more than a few seconds, or you end the round early, you add a dead tree to the garden, which makes me feel unaccomplished so it pushes me to finish the session. It also timed my breaks so I could actually relax until my phone buzzed instead of constantly checking the time.

One thing that impeded my success is my job schedule. I work after school on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I don’t get home until around 9. On those days, I didn’t want to go through 25 minutes of work, and because I didn’t want to have an incomplete session, I didn’t work at all. The real problem there is my procrastination and laziness, but at least my goal wasn’t to procrastinate less (I actually have been procrastinating less with this).

Did the strategy improve your learning or reduce your procrastination? What evidence do you have to support this claim?

This technique greatly improved my learning and even helped with my procrastination a little. I was spending more time doing my work, so I actually absorbed the information I was learning because I wasn’t taking breaks right away. Over the past 2 weeks, my marks on assignments have gone up quite a bit, and I have also been much better at handing in projects on time. It also helped me reduce procrastination because I want to have at least one tree everyday.

Will you continue with the strategy?  Why or why not?

Yes, I am going to continue with the technique. I have actually had the app on my phone for a long time, but wasn’t using it consistently. Now that I am, I fell a lot less stressed because I am not leaving homework to the last minute as much. I also know how important it is to make good habits, and I think this is a very healthy change to be adding to my life.

Blog Prompt #2

The Pomodoro Technique

The pomodoro technique is pretty simple. I will spend 25 minutes studying/working, and once completed I get a 5 minute break. After completing 4 rounds of this, I can take a 20 minute break. After each round is completed, I mark down an X, in order to encourage completing the round. I would like to try this technique because I tend to take longer breaks then the amount of time I work, which is not very efficient. It is important to manage my time properly, and even if I don’t continue to use this method, I think it will help me learn to complete work in better time.

Implementation

By the time I get home it is usually around 4, and I am not in the mood to start working right away. In order to make sure I am ready to start working, I am going to start the first round right after dinner, at around 5:30. I will make sure not to have my phone near me during the work time, and try and get through at least 2 rounds every day.

End Goal

My end goal is to get into the habit of getting my homework done before relaxing and doing what I want to do. I don’t know that this strategy will work for me, but I do know that I need frequent breaks, so I am hoping this will just encourage me to take shorter breaks.

Critical Moves

  1. No phone while working
  2. Take the break even if I don’t want to
  3. Use willpower to not push off the practice

Shrinking the Change

For the first week I am only going to do one round of the pomodoro technique, and each week after that I will add one more until I have completed 4 rounds. This will help ease into a new habit, as it won’t take up as much time right away.

Tweaking the Environment

I usually sit in my bed when I am doing homework, so I am going to work at my desk when using this method. It will encourage proper work as I won’t be lounging. As well, I will only have my computer by me if I need it for homework, so I am not tempted to watch Netflix.

Blog Prompt #1

Do you feel school is preparing you adequately for your future? Why or why not? 

I do not think that school is preparing me adequately. My schooling gives me the skills I need to prepare myself, in my opinion at least. For instance I am much more capable of doing my own research into how to pay taxes, put they don’t teach it to me directly. As well, the subjects we have are very specific to certain careers. For instance, I am going into animal bio, and while understanding basic numbers in order to work with medication is important, I am never going to have to use my “understanding” of vectors in that career.

How do you personally use technology to learn?

I actually rarely use technology to learn, as I am a kinesthetic learner so I tend to hand write my notes and such. However, I do use google docs and word for homework and writing notes if I need to get them down quickly, before hand writing them later on. I do you music on my phone in order to help me concentrate when doing homework and/or studying, as I get distracted really easily so blocking out random noises helps a lot.

Do classes that use more technology appeal to you? Is it easier for you to learn the content?

I think it depends how the class is using the technology. In classes where we are actually learning to use said technology I am very interested (e.g. ICS, comm tech). However, I find that integrating tech into classrooms tends to make the class move slower, as everyone is trying to learn a new platform, and often, unless the tech has been perfected, there are complications. I find it a lot easier to study off a sheet of paper then off of an Ipad, as I can’t switch to a game when using a piece of paper.

Does it matter to you if a teacher uses technology in class? Why or why not?

I like when teachers have websites in order to access power points and homework, because that makes life a lot easier, but I really don’t find adding the technology to class is very useful unless it is something new and interesting. Interactive games like kahoot can be really fun, but teachers don’t use it often enough to get annoying.

What technology would you like to see teachers use that is not currently being used? Why did you choose that technology?

I think it would be cool to explore more AI content, or even just being introduced to online homework helpers. Especially for subjects like math, a lot of people struggle with knowing how to solve a question right on their own. I found an app that takes a picture of my math question and shows me how to answer it step by step, but I had to find it on my own. Even though it is not a replacement for a teacher, it could make all of our lives a lot easier because we wouldn’t always have to come in at lunch to answer questions.