TT No. 7: Infographic Resume

An infographic is a visual representation of statistics or information. There are many sites available in which to create one. A few worth mentioning are: Piktochart, Visual.ly, and Venngage.

As a former Graphic Designer, I always consider audience first. As part of my class responsibilities, I was looking forward to creating an infographic that would explain to my classmates who say “Hey, self-deprecating old-guy…why are you here? Aren’t you already a teacher?”

I inevitably reply (with a deep breath), “Yes, I am a certified Vocational Instructor, but due to a complicated mix of seniority/administration/certification issues, I was forced to embark on a journey of self-discovery, traversing through the region of Mordor…”.

Seriously, it takes a novel to explain the last seven years of my professional and academic life. Eventually, people start to nod off. I’m pretty sure a few people were somnambulant as they shuffled away.

Now, when the cool kids ask me about my reasons for being in a B.Ed, I will happily refer them to my infographic resume.

I also chose Visualize as an infographic creator because it speaks to the audience of resume readers, e.g.: employers. People respond to graphics quicker than they do to long, boring passages of text (like this blog post).

A few limitations of Visualize that I’ve noticed (the service is in its Beta state):

  • Not many themes available
  • Not easy to insert snippets of info (like Thinglink does)
  • If you choose fonts, then switch to a different theme, you lose that font choice
  • Viewing the link on an iOS device does not allow for the text-box to appear, explaining the nuances of the graphics.

Basically, if you wish to know my complete story, view my infographic resume on an actual laptop or desktop computer.

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#I4Ed Class: One-to-One

This week in my #I4Ed class, the guest speakers were Martin Ingenmay and Bryce Ridgen from the Rolling River School Division (RRSD). They both spoke to our class about the 1:1 initiative occuring in the RRSD schools. What “one-to-one” means, is that the division issues enrolled students with devices that are capable of accessing the internet.

What a sweet idea.

Of course, acknowledgements were made about growing pains such as: What would happen if a student “sold” a device that was not legally theirs, no internet access from homes, etc. However, if one considers all the positives that would result from proactive use of technology…

There’s simply too much to list for one blog post. Our 2-hour class went by in a heartbeat, as Ridgen kept showing potential applications of tech use in a classroom. However, one idea stood out to me right at the beginning of the presentation: The concept of SAMR. SAMR is an acronym for: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redfinition. These are four areas of technology use. Each level increases a level of critical thinking. If technology is to transform learning, it has to be interactive

In my opinion, this means that the first two levels of SAMR, aren’t even worth explaining—these levels represent when a teacher uses technology to adapt previous pedagogical practices *yawn*. Rubber only hits the road in the third and fourth areas of SAMR. I only focussed on the M & R definitions Ridgen provided, and I see it like this:

     Substitution *lower level*
     Augmentation *lower level*
——————————-
     Modification—tech allows for significant task redesign
     Redefinition—tech allows for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable

As Ridgen pointed out, Blooms has a lot of connections to SAMR, and the critical thinking in the higher levels of Blooms corresponds with the “Modification” and “Redefinition” areas of SAMR.

I agree.

So much so, that I now have to re-visit my thesis and include the comments made during that presentation into my Thesis. In addition, I hope my Thesis research reveals some interesting facts in that area of focus.

TT No. 6: Personal Learning Network

Ah, Popplet, what would I ever do without you?

I blame the TV series “Pop-Up Videos” that aired in the late 90’s for my preference of this format. The little round boxes provide what is known as “Information Nuggets”. On a video, they literally “pop up” on the screen, explaining an aspect of a video.

Popplet, however is a site that offers a static mind-map service. I’ve used it for everything that I work on, from establishing my Master’s Thesis questions, to creation of links for a website.

For this BU assignment, class was asked to generate a mind-map of their Personal Learning Network (PLN), also referred to as a Personal Learning Environment (PLE). By creating this, I discovered that my online identity of 289CID was more extensive than I thought. The actual, stated visual of the Map made me realize where my interests spread online. Kind of the like the “You Are Here” arrow of the triple dub.

I had to develop categories that made sense to me, in order to create the appropriate links. As such, I can envision myself showing this to an future class to develop their online awareness of self, and ask the students why their personal preferences use different sites. All in the name of literacy.

Here’s my PLN

PLE

 

Update 11/02/2015: Heres a Popplet about my thoughts on what a 21st Century Learner’s PLN may look like. Now with 25% more conjecture!

My PDF File

 

TT No. 5: Digital Footprints

My online life is no different than my personal life. I share what I want, and keep the personal items to myself. As a teacher, I also have to acknowledge my online persona in a professional manner.

Most academically certified teachers come out of their courses, acknowledging that they are in the process of developing their professional behaviour. These are the people who have managed their emotional and intellectual aspects in tandem, under the auspices of potential employment. However, because I started teaching with a Vocational background, I should acknowledge my preference for a pseudonym. My first year in teaching, a voice from the past e-mailed me at my work address, the message was, “Ha! Someone told me you disappeared from Winnipeg, but I found you!”. Perhaps not a terrible way to say hello, but I ask you to consider the context.

For 13 years of my life, I was a Graphic Artist, and as such did not have to adhere to a code of professional practice. It was a wonderfully free, uninhibited time. I have NO wish for any associates from that timeframe to connect with me online. As such, I chose my professional pseudonym as 289CID. I curate anything educational related under that. Well, except for my Instagram account; the subject is personal, but it can interpreted as an example of Constructionism learning.

So, I start off with my online identity. From that, any social media site I sign up for with a public, professional mindset. I then connect these, as I see fit. My WordPress account is linked to my Twitter account. Pearltrees, About.me are linked to my WordPress account, etc. Pinterest is my grey area. I could go either personal (boards about fitness, cars, or comics) or professional (boards about education, or art) yet I am mindful of not following or posting questionable material.

My Facebook is non-existent. When I was using FB, I even had a pseudonym for that, different from 289CID and nothing was linked to it. Personal thoughts and opinions where issued. A lot of them political in nature. Eventually, I decided to eliminate and delete all activity on FB, and  deactivate the account. A wonderful side-effect? So much less stress now.

Finally, at the risk of sounding morbid, I like to think of my Digital Footprint like this: When I die, (if people are still curious enough to check up on me) what is it I want people to see that I left behind online?

when I di

TT No. 4: Follow an EduBlogger

For Tech Task #4, I decided to follow an Edublogger named Matt Miller. His Blog domain is ditchthattextbook.com. He hails from Marshall, Indiana.  He’s a Google certified teacher. His Blog is easy to navigate.

I could go on, and on, with information about Matt. Quite simply, I like his site because he knows how to market his efforts honestly and openly, and the tips and tricks he shares are a good resource. Heck, I’ve even added his site to my Pearltrees account. However, I think the biggest reason I like his blog is that he writes his information in short snippets. It is not rare for Matt to leave a single line of text, out on its own, in the middle, between two paragraphs, for emphasis.

Not rare in the slightest.

Nor, is it rare for Matt to randomly bold text to regain a reader’s attention. These formatting choices all assist Matt’s efforts to write in a friendly, colloquial manner. These are just my personal observations, yes, but they’re also  why I keep re-visiting ditchthattextbook.com from time to time. It’s free and easy to read, and the ideas and insights are practical.

MattMiller

TT No. 3: Thoughts About Twitter

I joined Twitter in March 2010. At that time, someone on Facebook noticed my reduced activity and stated “I think he’s a Twitter user now”. They said this, erroneously assuming that I substituted one for the other. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Apples and oranges, I suppose.

Indeed, I rarely use Facebook, but that’s only because I do not find it that informative. Perhaps I’m not social enough, I suppose. As for Twitter, I use it a few times a week, to 1) browse the interests I follow, and to 2) supplement news occurring, game playing or live broadcast upon TV. This is where I find Twitter’s true strength—in it’s immediacy.

The hashtag function allows me to read the interpretations of events from fellow Twitter users, quickly, and unedited. Plus, as an added bonus, it confirms my confusion as to why the general public worships celebrities…some of the things celebrities post are unintentionally comical.

In any case, I did reply to that Facebook comment. I simply told them something I previously heard about Twitter’s purpose in comparison to Facebook: “Facebook is for who you already know, Twitter is for people [and events] that you want to know” (changes mine).

TT No.2: Digital Curation

Alrighty then. Part of my responsibilities for my current BU BEd I4ED course is to complete twelve”Tech Tasks (TT)”. Eleven of them are requested in the format of Blog Posts. With that in mind, I’ve decided to title my efforts accordingly.

Today’s post concerns itself with the concept of Digital Curation.

Wikipedia defines Digital Curation as  “the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets. Digital curation establishes, maintains and adds value to repositories of digital data for present and future use”. (Digital Curation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

I organize my professional social media sites, as follows: My WordPress account is linked to my Twitter account. Pearltrees, About.me are linked to my WordPress account. Pinterest, could go either personal (boards about fitness, cars, or comics) or professional (boards about education, or art) yet I am mindful of not following or posting questionable material. RSS feeds was something I was introduced to this year, I find that I refer to it frequently, in order to keep track of the blogs I am expected to follow in class. I will admit my curiosity to linking MB Ed Distance course offerings to the class blog I am building. I wish to implement this in my next Practicum.

Overall, I consider Digital Curation as a necessity, especially with the myriad of online resources available to assist the educational efforts of teachers.