I have learned so much through my participation in this course and have loved the chance to explore the world of technology in education through a teacher-librarian’s viewpoint. I enjoyed the process of blogging and reading my group’s blogs. In fact, I kept a file of great ideas that I wanted to remember and follow up with at a later time.
With the increase of technology in schools and the incredible amount of resources available, I wanted to prepare a place for colleagues to access and to share helpful information that would improve their own teaching and would encourage student learning. I chose to use a website as my vision platform because it is fluid and can easily be added to. I envision using it as a medium for teachers to offer support in the quest to effectively integrate technology.
One of the most helpful learning outcomes from this course has been how to set up a website that is reader friendly and engaging. The process of setting up a website with multiple pages and quality posts was a larger challenge than I first anticipated. I must admit that I spent a considerable amount of time just learning how to navigate the WordPress site and how to customize it to fit my vision.
(image retrieved from www.google.ca/search?q=images&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjM75zBiaXJAhVK1mMKHfmNAuMQ_AUIBygB&biw=1239&bih=661#tbs=sur:fm&tbm=isch&q=roadblock+icon&imgrc=0cpQ73Yad3eBSM%3A)
I did encounter different roadblocks along the way. The first one that I struggled with was how to set up different pages. Because I wanted to deal with a few topics within one site, I wanted visitors to navigate easily to find relevant information. After hours of trial and error, I reached out to Aaron Mueller during a Google Hangout Session. I was then able to get back on track. My IT manager, Joel Wedemire, was also a great resource for me. I was stuck on how to create these pages. I emailed my questions and he guided me by creating a personalized video for me. Check it out!
“Here is a tutorial on how to setup categories as pages which will let you do what you want.
The second roadblock I encountered was how to change the ‘tagline’ on the header of my website. I was especially frustrated as I had no difficulty changing some of this infrastructure (tagline…) on the website I created to host my blog for LIBE477. I couldn’t understand why this new website was operating so differently. After considerable trials, I was finally able to edit the tagline on my new vision site. I was also trying to figure out how to ensure that my blog posts on a certain topic are posted on the appropriate page. I have three main pages and I wanted to organize the posts according to those main topics for easier ‘search-ability’ and viewing. As I watched Joel’s tutorial, I was able to fix my issues with the pages/categories until I was satisfied with the results.
Although I tried to edit my profile picture, I was still not able to. In mentioning this road block during a google hangout session, it seems that this may be only solved through connecting with my IT manager who helped put the website on the server. I will need to concede that my project is still a “work-in-progress”.
To post pictures of my students without requiring parent permission, Joel helped to set up a website on our school’s server. After the initial website set-up, Joel had to tweak the link to ensure it was completely operational.
Another source of frustration was trying to find images that I can use on my website without requiring that I purchase the image. After what seemed like hours of time-wasting and fruitless searching, I emailed a question to Aaron.
Aaron’s response: (Nov. 10, 2015)
Ahh, I so appreciated the help of colleagues!
At the beginning of the semester, I met with Joel, our IT manager. I was tasked with demonstrating how technology could be effectively implemented into a primary classroom. I was excited that this could lead into my final vision project. It was decided that I would receive six mini iPads for my grade two classroom. However, it has taken a long time to order them and then to get them set-up for student use. The availability of technology is another road block that I faced. I am still awaiting delivery! In the meantime, I decided to go ahead with a website that would eventually offer support for other teachers who are tasked with integrating technology into their classrooms. Because of the late arrival of the mini iPads, I increased the breadth of my website.
Despite many road blocks, I appreciated the experience of setting up a website that was informative and offered depth of insight to its users. Some of the successes through this journey of creating my vision project include:
- learning how to take a screen shot on my new Mac and then import it into my blog post (I learned this technique through “googling it”)
- learn ‘Explain Everything’ App so I can use it in the classroom and then teach it to my primary students
- become proficient at embedding videos and links and adding images
- create lessons and a demonstration video using Explain Everything App (it was so cute: when I showed this demonstration video to my grade two students, they noticed it was published on Youtube. They were in awe and shouted out, “you are famous!” See below for my Famous Video)
- begin to explore other creative apps on the iPad such as Sock Puppets and iBrainstorm
DeWith, Y. (Nov. 12, 2015) Made with Explain Everything. Retrieved from youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrSsXh3rsXo