Tag Archives: eci831

EC&I 831: Experimenting with Evernote

After last week’s session on Remixing Education with  Brian Lamb and Scott Leslie, Alec encouraged us to experiment with one or two of the tools  that were discussed during class. Having signed up for an Evernote account (on advice from Alec) a couple of weeks earlier I thought this would be a worthwhile tool to look at. For those of you that haven’t heard about this tool, it essentially allows you to take “notes” on anything you see online by clipping text, grabbing screenshots, etc. It also can be set up to organize these “notes” for you, though you can also choose to do this yourself. I’m no expert with this tool and I’m sure that it does a lot more than this too, but this video also provides a decent overview.

I’m sure I have only scratched the surface of what can be done with Evernote, but it looks like a potentially powerful tool. My main issue with it is figuring out exactly how to make it a part of my web 2.0 “routine”.  I have found other tools such as Delicious easy to make a part of my routine, but my first impression of Evernote is that it seems like it might be more time consuming to use, especially on a regular basis. This impression might be inaccurate, but it almost seems like it has too many possible uses for me to figure out how to use it best.

I am interested in learning more about Evernote, particularly its uses for educators. I have a long way to go in terms of wrapping my head around all of its capabilities,  so if anyone out there can give me a place to start or has any tips it would be appreciated.

EC&I 831: Belatedly addressing new media literacies

NOTE: I apologize in advance to my three faithful readers, you will have to excuse my disjointed writing in this post. This blog was written in four separate chunks over four separate evenings during the past two weeks. Having a seven month old recovering from hernia surgery kind of throws the late evening productivity out of whack…

As I sat down tonight to attempt to find time to view this week’s EC&I 831 elluminate session on Remixing Education I realized that I still hadn’t responded to last week’s session on Understanding Social Media. I really enjoyed this session; it reminded me of the UBC Okanagan Summer Institute class that Alec put on. It was that course that really got me rolling on my masters project and got me into EC&I 831 in the first place.

Alec’s big question for us to consider after this session was “What are the new media literacies, and how should teachers and/or schools address these?”  After considering this question and watching this video I found myself reassessing some of my views on this topic. Perhaps the most important idea I latched onto was the idea that people, and students in particular, are now playing important roles as producers of media, rather than simply acting as consumers of media. As a Social Studies teacher, I have always taught students skills to analyze various forms of media for bias, accuracy, etc. These skills will continue to be important to students as they continue to learn how to derive meaning from all forms of media, be it media created by multinational corporations or their Facebook friends. However, I now feel that it is equally as important that students learn more about their roles as media producers.

Students need to be aware of both the new powers and responsibilities that they have as producers of media.  I say powers because evidence of the impact that individual media producers can have arrives almost daily, be it in the form of an athlete breaking news or in the form of mass political protest. And I say responsibilities because students, and Canadian politicians apparently, need to be fully aware of the impact that media of their own creation can have on themselves and others.  We cannot expect students to learn the about the dangers of “sexting” or posting unauthorized videos on Youtube or Facebook by simply banning these mediums in schools. These new media literacies need to be taught in schools, the question now is whether or not the powers that be will agree.

An overdue update – A teacher’s role in non-formal education

I was finally able to get caught up on viewing the Elluminate recording of this week’s EC&I 831 session that I had to miss due to previous commitments. Yes, another wild and woolly Saturday night, but it was good to get one more item checked off the ever expanding to-do list. The fact that I have come to view learning opportunities such as this as items on my to-do list is disconcerting, but I guess that is a topic to address at another time…

Alec presented us with a key question based on this week’s session: what is our role in non-formal learning? This is an interesting question for me to attempt to address. I am gainfully employed in the world of formal education and I am provided with professional development and other learning opportunities as a result. I am investing a lot of money in the world of formal education as I struggle to keep my head above water in year two of my graduate studies.  Yet I learn more about teaching through the people I follow on Twitter than I have in ten years of pro-d workshops and a year of graduate courses. I think this is largely due to the fact that I can pick and choose who I want to learn from and what I want to learn about. I can’t say for sure, but I would imagine many of my students feel the same way about non-formal vs. formal learning. If students are able to expand their knowledge by following their true interests through non-formal learning they should be encouraged to do so. While I am not aware of sites such as this in my subject areas, I would be thrilled with my students using resources such as the Khan Academy if I was a science or math teacher. I know many teachers would feel threatened by seeing their students rely on non-formal learning opportunities such as this, but I would feel like a hypocrite to not encourage my students to learn in a way that has served me so well.