Hello! My name is Christina Thiel and I am in the final semester of my elementary education degree at the University of Regina. I just finished my internship in a grade two classroom, which was a great experience. I am an after-degree student with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Calgary. In my spare time, I enjoy speed skating, running, cycling, spending time outdoors, cooking, and baking.
I have not had a lot of experience with educational technology, however do believe it is important as society is becoming more digitalized. During my internship, I primarily used the Mimeo for technology, which was very hands-on for the students. Specifically, during math, they were able to manipulate manipulatives on the Mimeo to better understand the concepts. Aside from the Mimeo, there was little technology used, except for Accelerated Readings tests and tablet time during centres. Personally, I used Pinterest to gain ideas and resources during internship. Many times, I would get redirected to the creator’s blog, which I would then read the comments about how that particular activity fit in others’ classroom. This way, I could anticipate the challenges associated with the activities and make modifications as needed.
In terms of blogging, I have never blogged, however, recently discovered how some teachers are using blogging as a method of communicating with parents in the classroom and believe that it is a great switch that all teacher should embrace. Rather than sending home notes, they are able to post on their blog. In the article Five Reasons Teachers Should Start a Blog, I definitely think it is a way to share knowledge. In fact, I think not only blogging shares knowledge, but using platforms like Twitter and Facebook are great ways to share knowledge when used appropriately. Blogging allows for connections to be made with people who do not live in the same city, or province. This could allow for a classroom to experience new cultures, by examining another schools blog (who is in a different country). Further, as a teacher, it allows you to see new ideas and gain new knowledge. Others communicate on your blog and give you invaluable feedback- feedback that you might have otherwise not received. Further, you have so many more collaboration partners with blogging because you are not restricted by your location. Although I was a reluctant blogger, I believe I am being drawn into the many benefits of blogging and can see myself using a classroom blog.
If you would like follow in my journey of learning about educational technology, you can follow me on Twitter: @christina_thiel5