Since beginning this class, my daily online routine has changed considerably.  Mostly in length.  I used to check both of my personal email accounts, check Facebook and then check my University account.  Then I would maybe check my online banking, but that was about it.  Now, I check both of my personal email accounts mostly looking for blog comment notifications, check my Google Reader and post feedback as necessary, check Facebook, check twitter casually note any mentions or retweets, check Google Analytics someone from Brisbane stopped by for like 3 seconds - no big deal, and then tweet/like/share my blog post from the night before.  I go through this cycle, minus the blog share and Analytics, several times a day.  I find all kinds of inspiration through my connections that I come back to throughout my day.

Tonight I was patrolling my twitter feed and came across a tweet by @davecormier, Manager of Web Communications and Innovations at the University of Prince Edward Island and Principal of Edactive Technologies.  Dean had invited Dave to drop by one of our live sessions a few weeks back, with the hopes of connecting our class with Dave's because he teaches a similarly themed course in PEI.  That is how I came to know of Dave and his tweets.  Tonight he posted a link to his son's blog who was wanting to know how people use their computers.  So I moseyed on over and discovered that Dave's blogging son is six.  And that he creates podcasts about dinosaurs because that is something he is really into.  I gave his show a listen and was totally blown away.  Just give episode three of Charlottetownosaurus a watch and you'll see why:
Oscar's enthusiasm about Mesozoic times makes my heart smile.  He is using words I don't even know and is spouting off facts like they are common knowledge.  To me, this is proof that when we teach to student interests and strengths, powerful and meaningful learning experiences will ensue.  And how about providing him the opportunity to share his expertise in an exciting way?  Who wouldn't want to host their very own show to be broadcasted on their very own blog?  Children never cease to inspire me with their capabilities! This makes me so excited to begin my internship, so I can find out what interests my little learners and plan meaningful ways to engage them in digging deeper to find out more.  So thank you, Dave, for being such an awesome dad and encouraging your son to pursue his interests.  And a big thank you to Oscar for teaching me a thing or twelve about dinosaurs!

You can check out more of Oscar's work here.
 
 
This weekend I delved into the world of podcasting and I will admit it was challenging for me to sit and listen to them.  I am obviously a person who needs visuals because I found my eyeballs wandering around the room inadvertently causing my mind to follow suit.  However, I was able to rustle up some good shares for you and create a bit of magic myself.

Ever since I created and taught a unit on science in my pre-internship, I have fancied myself a scientist.  I have recently introduced experiments to the kids at work and they love it.  I think part of it is the natural inquiry process that occurs in scientific exploration.  So I was naturally curious when I found a podcast dedicated to simple science explanations because the one thing I struggled with was putting the scientific reasoning into kid friendly language.  While this podcast is too advanced for littles, it is easily understood by adults and could be translated for younger students.

Another podcast I liked was from TeacherCast.  The website hasn't been updated in a while so the particular episode I listened to about how to begin teaching with technology isn't up there but is available on iTunes.  One of the guests said something that really stuck with me because it reminded me almost exactly of something Dean said during one of our live sessions this week.  The gentleman stated that "we have to make sure we show our students we are not afraid to make mistakes" and Dean had said something similar when he was trying something out for us on the spot.  I appreciate when he does stuff like that because then he makes it safe for us to try new things and to take risks in a public space, like on our blogs.

A third podcast that caught my eye, I picked up off the favourites page on iTunes.  It is actually a series of video podcasts from Scam School.  The host is a little bit over the top for my liking, but he does teach you some neat tricks you can dazzle your friends with next time you're out and about.  Maybe you could become the next David Copperfield
Speaking of magic, I created a little of my own here in this little podcast. I much preferred this week's tech task of over the video blog we had to create a couple of weeks ago.  Mostly because I didn't have to get dressed.  The cat you see in the middle there, lounging on the stairs, is my girl Charlie Bear. She is also the one you can hear meowing in the background at about 3:04.  She's so needy
sometimes!  During my pod (is that short for podcast, or would you just say cast?) I mentioned a couple of articles: one on HubPages and the other on canada.com.  If you're pressed for time and can't listen to the whole thing, answer me this: What would you do if recess was eliminated in your school?  
 
 
I have finally found a routine that works for my schedule this semester.  I have specific times of the day set aside for certain tasks that need to be completed.  This is the best way I know how to keep myself organized.  For example, I have chosen to blog every night after class/before bed.  I tried a couple of different times of day and found that this one worked best for me in terms of consistency.  I also had the opportunity tonight to listen to the ECMP 355 live session from this week which happened to tie in nicely to what I was thinking about for my post.  I love when that happens.  I feel like there should be fireworks or something.  Anyway, I paused the session to type this post so I wouldn't forget.  You never know when ideas will strike, so I am always prepared with a pen and paper to jot them down, or in this case, a blog and a keyboard.

This week we were asked to follow the #comments4kids hashtag on twitter and find a few classes to follow and comment on.  I went on twitter this afternoon and found a three that I wanted to post comments on.  The first was a news podcast created by 3rd graders in Oklahoma.  My comment hasn't been approved yet, but I tried to give the children specific feedback about what I liked so they knew I had actually taken the time to listen.  The second blog I found was a blog dedicated to book reviews written by the students.  I found a book I had actually read and posted a comment to that student, which you can read here.  I think peer book reviews are an excellent strategy for promoting literacy in the classroom and teaming them up with blogging is magic!  Lastly I visited another 3rd grade blog and commented on a couple of posts that I really enjoyed reading.  One of the posts has since disappeared, but the other one can be found here, along with my comment.

During the live session this week, Dean mentioned the power behind a comment from a stranger who had happened on your blog, and cared enough about what you were writing to leave some feedback.  This is so true!  I have had a couple of strangers comment on my posts and I was so excited that I immediately told my partner about them.  It made my work feel important and made me want to write more.  I guess in a way I payed that forward this afternoon and I hope my comments inspired some youngsters to keep blogging.