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Spheres of Influence

Just listened to a session by Sharon Peters which was very informative. Sharon encouraged us to consider who makes up the company we keep and to branch out (or continue to branch out) to include the internet, its users, and its tools as an extension of who you are . . . to be digital learners. As educators, she also encouraged us to be an influence on our learners and provide them opportunities to be digital learners.

Through this presentation, Sharon focussed on literacy and how their continues to be an emphasis on reading and writing. In the Saskatchewan ELA curriculum, there are 6 strands of learning. They include reading and writing (and there was agreement from session participants) that the ‘other four’ (listening, speaking, representing, and viewing) take a back seat to the ‘big two’. Let me speak a bit about my ELA experience. Throughout the presentation I considered the ‘what if’ factor!!

I am not an English teacher but had the opportunity to teach a grade 8 English class a few years ago. As I reviewed the curriculum, I knew it was very important to provide learning opportunities in all of the strands. It was easy to have the students read and write . . . it was more difficult (for me) to develop opportunities in the other strands, but I made a conscious effort. These activities were the ones most receptive and enjoyed by my students. I constantly heard them commenting about how much they enjoyed the class(es) where they didn’t have to just sit and read or write. They were also the ones that the student showed their ‘true colours’. Their work was remarkable. Their effort was tremendous and their was a sense of pride and ownership in their work. If only I was technologically savvy!!

I could only envision the potential of my English class and the learning that could have occurred . . . ‘IF ONLY’ . . . with the use of the Web tools available. My class was excited to draw a picture to represent a stanza from a poem. What could have they accomplished if provided the chance to use the current Web Tools!! They loved recording a radio show with a hand held tape recorder! How much better might these have been? How much more creative could have the students been? Imagine the possibilities?!

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3 Responses to “Spheres of Influence”

  1. That’s awesome that Sharon had you reflecting on your past teaching experiences and thinking how technology could have enhanced them. Isn’t it amazing what doing something a little outside of the box (drawing pictures in ELA) does to motivate students? And with all of these tools we are learning about in EC&I, there is a new world of possibilities.

  2. […] in the past and how they could be improved with the use of the technology now available to us as Travis Kelln said: “If Only”. Posted by ccossar Filed in EC&I Reflections Tagged: education, […]

  3. Hey Travis,
    I couldn’t agree with you more…kids relish the opportunities to speak, listen, represent and view – and why wouldn’t they?? It’s what they spend 99% of their time doing!!
    I was a big fan of the camcorder, but the things we can do today with media is amazing…again – it’s convincing people that it’s worth while stuff.

    What I’ve really come to appreciate about our six strands is that it provides for our students who struggle with reading and writing an opportunity to show their skill sets in other avenues…it’s empowering…


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