Reflection #3

As I recall my online learning experiences, I realize that I have a lot of them. Some of my online experiences have ranged from good, bad, funny to frustrating. Yet, as I reflect on one of my most memorable experiences, I am taken back to only a few weeks ago when my grade 6/7 class used the online social media platform of skype to connect with a NASA scientist.

Image result for nasa

About 4 weeks ago, my class had just been wrapping up their Solar System unit and one of my students had asked if she could do a project on NASA. I of course agreed, and off my student went, doing her own research and ending up creating a really cool video of a day in the life of a NASA scientist. After presenting I was able to surprise my class with a skype session with my friend Jenni who has worked for the past 4 years at NASA. Through skyping, Jenni was able to show my students her office, the tools and technology that she has been working with as well as answering all my student’s questions. The skype call lasted only 30 minutes, but it sent waves of excitement through the classroom. All my students could talk about for the rest of the week was the call with the NASA scientist they had. I even had several of my students come up to me to express how they want to become materials engineers when they grow up!


What I love so much about online platforms such as skype is that it provides people from all around the world to connect with each other. Through using skype, my students were able to engage with real life problems and talk with a professional who they otherwise never would have met.

Upon reflecting on the past few weeks of learning, I found myself drawn to reading, and then rereading the theories of communication, more specifically that of dramaturgical communicative actions from the Learning and Teaching as Communicative Actions theory. This type of communication, in my opinion, is freeing for students as it allows for more student creativity and freedom. Although I can sometimes stray towards the strategic communicative actions, I like to put the “teaching” back on my students and get them to come up with a question that they are passionate about and provide them with the tools they need to find the answer. I love this method of teaching because I am always pleasantly surprised at the work and artifacts that my students produce. Without placing limits on students, I believe that they will soar and actually teach us something.

In connection with communication, I believe that it is extremely important to pre-teach my students which digital tools/resources are valid and how to filter through information. A key aspect in one of our readings from last week is the importance of understanding that “media is not neutral or objective in how they convey knowledge”. I find that this message is one of the most important things that I need to teach my students, especially since they are growing up in the age of digital technology and they are surrounded by people trying to influence them.

Within my class we recently have had a talk about the media’s perception of the COVID 19 and how some media outlets are spreading false information. We took a look at some accurate article about the virus, found on the OER currents4kids as well as some articles that were untrue. We had a talk about how media can influence your perspectives, so it is important to know where the information your reading is coming from.

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