Peer Mentoring

This semester, I was tasked with mentoring a group of students in the previous educational technology class. This was relatively difficult because we aren’t able to see each other in person, so helping others has to be done remotely. I didn’t really develop a connection with my peers because I wasn’t able to actually talk to them and discuss school. I hate posting on Twitter, so communication with the other class was harder than it should’ve been. I have anxiety posting anything on social media and I tend to stay away. It’s also extremely difficult to connect with people via blogs because all I see is what they decide to show me. I don’t actually get to know about who they are. I only get to see a small portion of who they are. I can comment on their blog posts, but I typically only asked questions based about what they posted to their blog. That means that I only really got to know them through their learning project.

On a lighter note, I actually did enjoy messaging the students and talking to them. Most of the students from the other class didn’t reply to my comments, but a few did and I got to know them as best as I could. I enjoyed talking with about the work they were doing with their learning projects and giving them words of encouragement. I learned a lot about how difficult it can be to truly connect with your students in an online setting. It can be so challenging to help students and see them understanding while being online. I understand the extra work that goes into planning around a class that’s not in person and I have more respect for teachers right now. I hope I can reach my students when I become a teacher because we will likely still be online and I’ll be forced to teach students online. This activity taught me a lot about myself and teaching and I can’t wait to become a full time teacher.

Debates 6 and 7

The first debate that we had for the day was based on whether or not we think phones should be banned in the classroom or not. I don’t believe they should because students are going to find a way around the phone ban regardless of if we tell them not to go on them or not. If we take the phones away, students will still find ways to get off topic. If students are going to be off topic, I’d rather them be off topic and not disrupt others. That being said, phones can also be extremely beneficial to students because they can get extra help with their work or research videos to help. I’ve used my phone to do all of that in my classes and it’s helped me tremendously. That’s why I don’t think phone’s should be banned.

The second debate that we did on this day was whether or not we should be responsible to use social media to fight social justice issues. I believe we shouldn’t fight social justice issues online, but rather take a stand with students in person and with groups in schools. We need to be welcoming to students and we have to make the classroom an inclusive and judgment free zone. We need to focus on the audience that we do have, the students, and we need to make an impact with them. Students brains are malleable and we can help them be better for the future instead of posting to older people who are more likely to be stuck in their ways. We can make a huge impact for these students and instead of posting about it, make a change and join a group or be a part of a rally. There are so many other ways to be inclusive and help students learn about themselves. Education is the key to making an impact.

Debate 5

This debate was actually my favorite debate that we’ve had up to this point. We discussed whether or not teachers should share their resources online with one another for free or if charging other teachers is ethical or not. I’m on the side where we should be sharing online resources for free because it can help a lot of teachers new to the profession. Teachers don’t have to work much harder than normal to release their work to others. Taking a lesson plan that I create and posting it isn’t more work at all. Finding a place to post them and posting them is the only extra work and it’s not much. I think we should be allowing teachers access to our own resources.

“Teacher” by ben110 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I also believe it is unethical to sell your lesson plans to other teachers. Teachers don’t make a lot of money and making other teachers pay for your lesson isn’t helping that wage war. Teachers should be helping one another and not bringing each other down. One point that got brought up in the debate was that teachers are often times taken advantage of because they are kind. I do agree with that point, but teachers helping one another out doesn’t feel like someone’s taking advantage of someone else. It feels like we want to educate our students the best we can and sharing lessons and teaching strategies is the way to do that. I think we should freely share materials with one another online to help each other out.

Debates 3 and 4

The third and fourth debate were a lot of fun. I was one of the debaters for this week, and I had a lot of fun researching and discussing this topic. The topic that I debated was whether or not I believe we should be surveying student data while they are in school. I disagreed with this and had some research to back up my statement. I found that we are actually monitoring them on a much larger scale than we think. We can actually see what they post and even their text messages depending on what we deem acceptable to watch. There were counter points saying that we are preventing things like suicide and violent crimes. This was a good argument and I debated it by saying that violent crime is down from 2001 to 2017, stating schools are safer than they’ve ever been. This was really fun and I enjoy debating these topics with people.

The third debate was about whether social media is ruining childhood. I don’t have a particular stance on this topic because social media can help students out, but it can also hinder students as well. Both parties brought up great points about why they are on their respective sides. One of the points being about health and why we need to help students go outside and be healthy. I completely agree with this point because we need to ensure that students are remaining healthy and happy in their vulnerable years. On the other hand, social media can help students with research and other means of working on school assignments. There are a lot of pros and cons to both sides of the argument and I had a great time watching this debate unfold.

Debate’s 1 and 2

The first debate was a lot of fun and I had a blast participating. The first topic was based on if we need to use more or less technology in classrooms. I found both sides very compelling and the arguments would sway me every time someone brought up a different point. One of the points that stands out to me was when someone mentioned controlling what the students can use their phones for. I found this to be a breach of privacy and control over the students. The reason I believe this is because students still deserve a choice in what they can search and do online without us being present. There were also a lot of arguments that aided in the discussion about incorporating technology in classes. I am on the fence with this topic because there are benefits to both, as well as cons. There are also a lot of factors that effect if technology will be effective in a certain class or not. This was a fun debate with great points from both ends.

“Burbank Elementary Students Using Mobile Phones” by MACSD is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The second debate was also a ton of fun. This debate was whether or not we should be teaching googleable fact or not. I’m actually on the fence with this debate as well. On one hand, like we talked about in the debate, everything is technically a googleable fact. However, when we aren’t teaching facts that can be found on Google, we can teach more about creativity and let students explore themselves. This debate just left me more confused about which side I’m on and I believe that means the debate was good. The second debate was really well structured as well and I had a great time in both. I love debating, especially debating topics that are relevant in my life and my current situations in life.

Mini-Lesson Reflection

I was extremely nervous going into this project and I’m not too sure why. The lesson went great and we got some amazing feedback and participation. One thing that we could have done if we had more time or if we were presenting this lesson to an actual grade 9 class was go through an ad and critique it all together so we all understood what the we were looking for when we split them into groups. Another thing that we should keep in mind if we were to present this is to prepare more questions for students to think about because this lesson relies heavily on student participation. However, this lesson went great and we had a lot of participation and the class seemed to enjoy it. The only difficult portion of setting this lesson up was meeting with my partner. If we didn’t need to be in an online space, we could have just met up at the university and completed it there, but we had to schedule times to meet and discuss. Other than that, there wasn’t any difficulties with planning or completing this assignment. I had a lot of fun teaching this lesson and I think the rest of the class found it to be important and interactive.

Technological Reality

The new age of technology is a very steep slope and schools are put in a difficult situation about what they need to do about it. When looking at phones for example, they can either be an extremely useful tool or they can be a hinderance to students. We can take phones from students, but that may only push students to act up more and be less tentative. However, if we don’t act on students phones, they may use it for something that doesn’t help in class and takes away from their learning. This is such a predicament because whatever we do, we are in the wrong and someone will be upset.

“4 Students 4 Phones” by cogdogblog is marked with CC0 1.0

We are also responsible for teaching students internet and technological safety. The internet is a scary place and there are a lot of dangers associated with this place. I think we should definitely be incorporating this sort of safety in our health classes because students are impressionable and it is our responsibility to keep them safe. We need to express the dangers to students, but also teach them about the possibilities and how they can benefit from using technology. We need to incorporate technology in classes to ensure students see the possibilities and help them advance their personal and professional careers.

Internet Identity

My online identity is fairly private and a quick google search shows that. When I google my name, there are a few news articles and a Facebook page that has different profiles with the same name. My profile is the first one that shows up in that search, which is fine because I don’t post much, and when I do, it’s just pictures of my girlfriend and I. My Twitter is fairly inactive because I don’t enjoy posting, and if I do post, it’s related to my education. This is nice because if students were to find my profiles, they wouldn’t have much of an insight into my life. I no longer have an Instagram, so people won’t find an account for me on that social media. I don’t have much of a social media presence because I try not to let my life revolve around it, so I don’t post very much. This will be nice when I become a teacher because I don’t have a social media presence, so students won’t be trying to find my accounts. Before I look for a job, I will be applying security measures, such as changing my last name on my Facebook account and privatizing any account that I can. This exercise just showed me that I’m fairly hidden online and it has also shown me that I need to make some of my accounts private.

About Me

Hello everyone! My name is Jesse Ducharme and I’m an education student with a math major and physical education minor. I enjoy travelling the world and meeting new people. I also love animals and my girlfriend and I just recently got a new puppy. Three goals that I have for this class are to learn how to effectively use technology in the classroom, implement different programs to aid in my teaching, and how to use phones as an advantage.

My friends and I at a hotel in Calgary (I’m on the far right).