Lauren Bisset

Ed. etc.

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EdTech inquiry: Minecraft in the Language Classroom

Today I began my inquiry project by exploring Minecraft’s Education Resources page. I started their introduction to Minecraft for Educators. I was amazed by how many different ways Minecraft can be used for almost any subject. Having no experience with Minecraft previously, I was relieved to read that this shouldn’t be an issue. The introduction they provide for educators emphasizes the value in learning from your students while using Minecraft, because they will almost inevitably know more than you do. Among the many benefits that Minecraft provides as a learning tool, I appreciated how the collaborative and fun nature of the game contributes to classroom culture, especially while playing in groups or as a whole class. Especially in a language classroom, classroom culture is so important. Students have to feel comfortable and confident in language classrooms in order to fully open themselves up to learning, as speaking a language you do not know well can be an intimidating experience.

I am so excited to continue learning about how Minecraft can be used in the language classroom, particularly the lesson plans that other educators have made!

“Minecraft” by John Baichtal is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Jesse Miller: Privacy and Digital Identity as Educators

Today in EdTech, we had the privilege of having Jesse Miller come to speak to us about privacy and professional responsibility as an educator.

I was so interested in the parts of the presentation that focused on our digital identity and how it intersects with our professional identity as educators. While I thought I was pretty well-versed in internet safety, Miller gave us a new perspective on how we need to think about everything that we are putting online. It seems clichéd, but I had not thought before about how much more students are going to be online and how much more eager they are now to catch us out as educators doing something they consider inappropriate online. When I was a high school student, we would try to find out teachers on Facebook and laugh when we found them and could see their profile pictures, but it stopped there. Now there are a myriad of different platforms that we as teachers are on and can therefore be surveyed by students. 

In addition, I enjoyed the Miller’s discussion of our three audiences: public/parents, staff, and students. Of course, I wouldn’t be one of those teachers we looked at that hashtagged #teacherproblems, but things such as informing the school if you are sharing your cell phone number during a field trip with students are things that I would have not had considered before as something innocent that could be perceived as problematic without it being disclosed. 

Although using technology as a teacher considering privacy and ethos of care can be daunting, I now feel more confident that there are ways to use social media and technology as an educator, as long as we are aware of school expectations and policies of the employer, when and how you should disclose things.

 

Jambalaya!

For this week’s recipe, I have decided to make jambalaya! I had a recipe for jambalaya in a book I had as a kid, and I made it every once and awhile to help my mum out, and I remember everyone loving it so much.

I have adapted this recipe from The Forked Spoon, but I took out some of the garnish and spices it calls for, for budgetary reasons and because I know I can’t handle much spice!

The jambalaya turned out as delicious as I remembered, however I would not call it a very student-friendly dish. It takes a long time to make, considering you have to prep vegetables and THREE kinds of meat! As the rice cooks as well, you have to stir it every 5 minutes unfortunately, so you can’t really ever walk away from it. While it was delicious, I probably wouldn’t make it again unless I knew I had a lot of time on my hands. Also, make sure you use the biggest pot you own!!! This makes a LOT of food, and a big pot would definitely make this recipe easier.

This week I made a video to document my cooking. It has most of the steps in it, however I made a mistake putting the shrimp in too early so don’t copy me! If you want a really informative step-by-step of how to make this recipe, click on the link above. Next time I will definitely ensure to read the entire recipe before I start any cooking. Thanks for watching!

 

Comic Life

In my multiliteracies class, we had the chance to learn about Comic Life and how it can be a multimodal way of teaching almost any subject. It was extremely interesting, and I can see myself using this app in the classroom for sure.

Here is my first attempt: Comic Life

TikTok in the Classroom

Please enjoy another post I did for my multiliteracies class considering the uses of TikTok in the secondary classroom: tiktok blog

Music in the Classroom

Here is a blog post I did for my multiliteracies class, discussing the uses and effects of music in the classroom: Music in the Classroom!

Who Am I?

Global Climate Strike

This Friday, I participated in the Global Climate Strike at the Legislature Buildings in Victoria. I am extremely passionate about protecting our planet from those in power who continue to destroy it, as I think everyone should be. I was proud to join the thousands of people, young and old, skipping school, university, and their jobs to strike that day.

One of the most powerful moments of the day for me was realizing the amount of elementary and middle-school aged children were there, chanting and holding up signs without any prompting from adults. People were applauding them and taking up their chants, these young people being the true initiators of this revolt. They are so much more informed than I was at their age, and they are so adamant because they are forced to be in order to have an Earth to live on when they reach my age.

Part of the peaceful protest involved a communal mural painting. My friends and I watched the entirety of its creation. It was really moving to watch the artists hand paintbrushes to people in the crowd and involve them in the painting, making it such a moment of community and togetherness. At the end, we were able to see the sea and mountains that they created, and read the the words: “ELEVEN YEARS TO CHANGE EVERYTHING”. I am so glad to have participated in this strike, and look forward to continuing to be a part of this amazing, and crucial movement.

First teaching reflection

The other day, I was observing an English 11 Prep class that had just been given a poem to analyse and a worksheet to fill out with their analysis. While walking around trying to help, I noticed a table comprised of mostly international students that hadn’t written anything on their sheets yet. I asked if they had read the poem yet and one girl said she was trying but it was difficult to understand the English. She seemed really distressed that they were supposed to be looking deeper into a relatively long poem when she couldn’t even really get a grasp on what the language was saying. So, we started to read the poem together, line by line, and I helped her break it up so she could understand the poem more. Two other girls listened in, and we were able to make some sense of the poem together, get them more comfortable with it and start to think about the worksheet. They thanked me when the bell went, and seemed calmer.

It was a really rewarding moment for me, as it was one of the first times I felt I could be truly helpful to a student. The experience also really opened my eyes to how diverse the needs can be in the classroom as well. Although the class is meant for learners that may need a little more time learning English, these girls were struggling so much more than the other students. Tasks that we take for granted as being relatively straightforward can be so much more difficult and sometimes anxiety-inducing for ELL students. Moving forward from this experience, I will definitely give more thought about how lessons may be difficult for ELL students and how I can alleviate some of that difficulty.

Pumpkin Spice Sweet Potato Muffins

For my next cooking/baking venture, I wanted to attempt some relatively healthy baking. I found this recipe for Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins on Pinterest, and thought that it looked perfect!

My roommate Tina really enjoyed the leftover sweet potato.

It doesn’t call for a crazy amount of ingredients, but you do have to cook and mash a sweet potato which I’m not used to doing while making muffins. I didn’t use pecans like the recipe calls for, which I think would be really yummy in this, I just don’t really like pecans! Also, I couldn’t find any old-fashioned oats at Walmart so I bought the “Super Grains” Quakers that comes with flax and quinoa in it, so there’s a little bit more health “oomph”! I put a little extra of the pumpkin pie spice in the mixture than the recipe calls as well, and it wasn’t crazy spicy, so feel free to go to town with the cinnamon and spice!

They turned out amazing! My only complaint is that the recipe instructs that you set half of the brown sugar aside to put on top of the mixture once its in the muffin tin, but a lot of it falls off when its done cooking. Next time I would definitely put a little bit more of the sugar inside the mixture and just do a little sprinkle on top.

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