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EDTC 300 Project

Schools in the age of technology

The lecture this week left me in Awe, about how much the world has changed and how little I know about it. I always felt very disconnected from modern apps and technology and thought that it’s only for the younger generation. But the lecture cleared many confusions in my mind about the uses of these games and apps and put things into perspective. Now I know why kids passing across me are talking about “the imposter” and why those girls are doing the same dance steps around the corner. I understand now how pictures are sent from Snapchat and how Instagram shows your personality.

This video by Wesch was an insight for me too as I never realized the reach and extent of internet content fully before. I wanted to say “Chaaarlie “ and make a video to upload to the community of “Chaaaarlie”. I felt so happy to see that boy enjoying the song the way that nobody sees him and then the whole world embracing his joy.

I now truly understand the need to change our ways to connect with our students in the age of technology. Times are gone when teachers could get hold of a class by delivering lectures in person only and using pen and paper or simple word documents. Technology has gone way too far from simple typing and reading. We have to synchronize our lessons with new technology. Students these days are attracted to fast pace, interactive, motion objects. Most of them don’t even enjoy normal movies anymore if they are too slow in the plot. Nowadays, any piece of information moves around in seconds by Snapchat, Instagram and other popular social media.
We also have to be ready for this world which is so fast-paced and interesting that it has made kids’ attention span very limited. It means that our lessons need to be very interesting and quick. now teachers are not only fighting against shortened attention spans but also we have to compete with the temptation of their cellphones. As soon as a lesson gets boring or long, students will go on their phones in their fast-paced world. They also only want to show their participation quickly and spontaneously as we saw in the videos coming in response to youtube videos. They don’t want to put effort and time into long thoughtful assignments. We have to shift most of our lessons online to add value to them. Raz Kids (the reading software), Matheletics (Math prep), Knowledgehook (Maths), text editing software etc are already in place in schools .these are more enticing to students as they are attention grabbing and provide instant feedback.

The biggest Challenge to using that technology in classrooms will be the accommodation of devices. There are still many households (including mine) that can not afford a separate device for each member of the family. If all assignments for all students are online many students will be disadvantaged because they do not get as much time to work on their assignments. Even libraries have an hour limit on the use of public computers. So, to accommodate a more technology-based school system we have to address this disparity.

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EDTC 300 Project

Appy Time

One of my class fellows #Erin Zinger, being very kind, searched an app Quran.com for me to look at. I was really touched by her gesture. Thank you so much Erin. I planned to check that out this week. 

 I was pretty amazed to look at the app. I had been thinking about what a Quran App would do, but just did not get time to check out one yet. It was beautiful to have  a single screen showing names of all surahs of the Quran (these are like chapters of a book) . When we click on a surah, It shows its translation line by line. 

You also have the option of going on any line number you want by writing the line number. 

There is another option to hear the audio of ayahs (lines) in a beautiful voice . The big surprise is that this app also shows the  tafseer ( meaning not word by word translation only ,its explanation in detail using different examples) from different books and you can pick a specific book which tafseer you want to read. 

We can also read the background of any surah if we want . It has a very detailed background of every surah about how and when it was revealed, why it got its name, and topics covered in that surah.

There are copy and share options available so we can share any ayah we like on any where we like . I have been sending the ayahs I like to my sister who lives in chicago, who is also interested in studying the Quran . It’s like having a support system with you . Both of us have been sharing ayahs with each other and helping each other understand them weIl. I am thrilled to explore this app more as it’s very convenient to study any surah now having only to open the app and reach any surah you want to read ,and you don’t have to look for separate videos or only to rely on words which are taught in videos. I have already studied 3 surahs and am excited to do more . 

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EDTC 300 Project Uncategorized

Using Adobe Spark for the Learning project

Using spark post to help in my project of learning the Quran was a bit ambiguous at the start as I was not 100% sure about how I wanted to use it in my project. I just loved the idea of making and sharing posters that I learned from the app, that I thought of learning it. After thinking about it for a bit. thought that why don’t I make a poster of my words for this week and print it. I decided to create a poster of the words I wanted to learn this week to make it more engaging for me to learn the vocabulary instead of just reading it out of a book or a website.

This is the poster I designed using the spark post app on my phone.

After making that poster I decided to post it on my bedroom wall. As I already shared, life is very busy in my household and I was struggling to find time to sit and learn the words. The spark poster solved my problem and I found myself multi-tasking quite a few times while folding laundry, setting my closet, and helping my son in his work. It helped me a lot and I learned my words way faster than I did last week.
I also set the poster as my wallpaper on my phone so It Was in front of me every time I picked up my phone so I quickly glanced and revised all of the words. It went well and I am so glad that I picked this app for my learning project. It will be way easier to learn words by using the sparks poster. Thank you Katia for starting this project and also asking to come out of my comfort zone and looking for some new things. It really worked !!!

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EDTC 300 Project

New technologies – Adobe Spark

For this week’s assignment, we were asked to use a new technology resource and incorporate it into our learning project. For my new technology, I decided to use Adobe Spark. It is a multimedia app I have heard about but have never used before. After a few google searches, I quickly found that it was much easier to use and manage as an app on a phone as opposed to on the web browser. So, I decided to use it on my phone. While Adobe spark as a whole is a suite that includes apps to create videos, animations, and posters. Each of them requires a separate app on the phone. I decided to use the one for posters and downloaded Spark Post on my phone. It was quite difficult at first because I had to figure out a lot of its features which were overwhelming at first, but I slowly got the hang of it. After learning about a few features. I made a screen recording of my phone, with me explaining how adobe spark works. 

It is interesting to see how this app could be used not only for my learning projects. I can also see many uses of it within a classroom. Infographics or fact sheets can often be boring and hard to read, using this app can make them into animations that are attention-grabbing and informative. This app can also be used by students to accompany written projects, as many students do not enjoy drawing as a visual aid for projects. This could be an easy to use and fun alternative to drawing for students who choose it. I see the potential of this technology in this classroom and cannot wait to explore it more. 

We can further analyze its uses through the SAMR model.

SUBSTITUTION

This is when a traditional way of learning is replaced with an electronic version. Spark posts can be used to make posters, infographics, facts sheets instead of physical copies of these graphics. 

AUGMENTATION

Normal ways of presenting facts and information can get boring. The Adobe suite allows different ways of presenting this information. The animations make poster more appealing to look at, the videos can be used to explain concepts more in detail and the posters app can make access to the posters more frequent as they can be printed, shared on apps, the web etc. 

MODIFICATION

The video tool and the poster tool can provide options for students. Many students don’t enjoy drawing or making posters but this makes it easier for them to make them and make them just as visually appealing even if they are not artistically inclined. 

REDEFINITION

Adobe spark can be used to create presentations and videos as assignments in class. The posters can be shared to any group or specific audience , in seconds, without any hurdle which could never be possible in the hand made posters.

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EDTC 300 Project

My first video…..😊

This site I found recently says that it is a trial program to teach us words by repetition. So it’s a step ahead teaching two words together which are used in the Quran. I went through it and found it was a decent resource to learn. I found it going pretty fast and it did not provide any reference of words where they are used in Quran. I think I will try to finish the set of videos of Dr Abdul aziz which I found last week. I will also look for more videos like the 2nd week video.

After working on these videos It gives me pleasure when I open the Quran and see so many words I know the meaning of. I also tried to recall the words of the surah fatiha I learnt last week and asked my daughter to test me as I have been practicing it, Here is a video of how it went.

I also realized that I did not upload a picture of The Quran yet . So here is The Quran I have been using to check myself after learning these words.

I think I will spend two more weeks learning more words so I can make better sense of ayas (lines of quran) and then switch to a different approach to learn. I will compile the words I learnt and will start going through The Quran line by line which will help me check my understanding and will give me a sense of accomplishment. After that I am planning to find a group of Quran learners so we can ask for information and share our knowledge.

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EDTC 300 Project

Week 3

I found and started on a full set of videos made by a scholar Dr Abdul Aziz Abdul raheem. They are all 26 minutes long . I watched two of them yet. 

So far he has introduced 13 words which are used 4479 times in the Quran. He started by  teaching surah fatiha which is the first surah of the Quran and taught it word by word . He also added detailed meaning of the ayahs he was teaching. It filled my heart with pleasure as it is the surah very sacredly  used and knowing it well seemed great honor. I also invited my kids to come sit with me and study that beautiful and mesmerizing surah. It speaks about our gratitude to the God of the universe  and asks for help from God. 

 This part went very well  and we got it easily also but the second part of the video consisted of teaching grammar rules. That part hit me hard as it was quite difficult to follow. Besides that I am actually not planning to learn Arabic language but I want to study the Quran, So I think I will listen to the grammar part but will not try very hard to retain this information. 

I loved the explanation in the end where the scholar said that a picture speaks thousand words conveying context, emotions and physical attributes as well .For example,  if he says 1000 words we won’t be able to visualize an Elephant, but if we see a picture then we won’t forget it ever. Same is the case when he is teaching us words with meaning , but written on flash cards  will create flashes on the brain and we  will always be able to bring them back to mind. 

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EDTC 300 Project

Word by Word…

This is the second week of my learning project. I started to look online to get some help in my learning project to study my holy book Quran. To my astonishment, the web is full of resources teaching Quran and it was a very pleasant surprise. I was thinking that reading the book is the only way to study. The first youtube video I found is actually an intro to a website designed for kids to teach them Quran.

 I liked the way the words were being taught but I found that I almost knew all of the words already. Anyhow, the site is declared to be for kids. I started searching for something similar but a little bit advanced as I knew a little bit but not a lot at all.

Second I found another video that is around 10 mins long and it’s literally the way I was looking for. The teacher has taught 10 words in the video. He is teaching every word separately, its meaning in English and the most beautiful thing is that he is teaching the word embedded with other words and the meaning of the whole line together.

He also has selected the most frequent words used in the Quran so If we know them then we can understand quite a few lines. The number of times words are repeated is also told in the video which makes it interesting to know the frequency of words and gives happiness knowing the meaning of frequent words. I learnt both video words and asked my daughter to test me. She asked words from both videos and I knew all of them. I am thinking that I might make flashcards of words so Its easier to test me and I could revise whenever needed. For example, he chose the word “Kitab” and told us the meaning is “book”

I am very happy with the outcome and can not wait to watch and learn the 2nd episode of the second video.

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EDTC 300

Let’s learn Feedly………

Soooo…….My EDTC class wants me to start a Feedly account. So many new words I am going through in this class. I admit that besides being very scared of technology, I took this course to be able to remove my reluctance for this new world. Anyhow, this is being very tricky for me. I made an account on Feedly today, but I did not get a stronghold of it. I chose the Edtech magazine k-1, The nerdy teacher, Accidental creative and free technology for teachers. I envy my peers posting everyday and me still trying to float. Lol, I hope I will get feeds and then I will start getting hang of it. Here is a picture of my FEEDLY account.

I feel that free technology for teachers will help me get hold of Feedly too. So far I noticed that I can see feeds from the topics I followed and I can read in detail the ones I want to. I tried adding it to twitter but I think it is asking for a subscription to do that. Well, I am new for twitter too. Can anyone tell me how can I see my RSS feed in my twitter account?

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EDTC 300

About Me

My name is Iram Usmani and I am a proud mom of four beautiful children. My family is my everything, my elder two girls are in university as well and I have a girl in grade 10 and boy in grade 7 .

My brief bio is that I have a Master in Computer science and a bachelor in Education from back home (Pakistan). I received Gold Medals in both degrees there but  when I tried getting my documents assessed on reaching Canada 9 years ago, I got to know that they did not even hold equivalent to high school here. However, I did not give up and here I am today, only 3 courses far from getting a teaching license. It was a long and hard journey but I am happy I did not stop trying.

Currently, I am working as an EA in the Regina public school board as well and trying to manage home, school and work together. Technology is very tricky for me since things have changed entirely from when I learnt computer science. We started from basic language, cobol and ended at c++, oracle, networking but there was no blogging and twitter at that time. I feel quite stuck right now but I will get over it (hopefully) as I took this course to overcome my reluctance in new technology. 

“If We Can Dream It…” by Sam Howzit is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
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EDTC 300 Project

CAN READ IT BUT CAN NOT UNDERSTAND IT……..

I am not sure about other students in class but life in my household is very busy. Even corona did not bring a dull moment in my life . This is because asian households usually consist of a joint family system and involve lots of cooking every day. Other responsibilities also go hand in hand with that. It gets hectic sometimes but I love every single bit of it. 

That being said, I have been wanting to study my holy book, Quran, for a long time but never got to do it due to the shortage of time . It’s funny but true that I  am able to read it but can not understand the meaning. When Katia said to learn a new skill and document it, my mind started thinking about all the possibilities. I did not like any other option but my mind got stuck at this option to utilize my time in a skill I have been wanting to learn so much. I also want to learn it because I know that I will utilize this my whole life and It will benefit me everyday. 

Right now I only know the meaning of few very small parts.The Quran  consists of 30 equal portions called “paras “ and is very long. My target will be to study at least 1-2 paras. It is actually a book and I already have the book but I will look for some online resources to make my journey faster. I will start with the book and will switch to online as soon as I find them . I have heard that there are few apps available which are quite helpful. I  am super pumped and can not wait to start it  in the coming week after next class.