Week two: Tools and factors

What tools might provide me insight into the learners in my classroom and how might I use this information?

 I must say the most important to tool for me is getting to know my students. I had a teacher in middle school that was not from Alaska and had only been in Alaska one week before moving to Ruby. This teacher made no effort to get to know his student or his community. He lasted until Christmas break, four months. How sad? When I first moved to Barrow I enrolled in a college class to learn all I could about the Inupiaq culture and Barrow. I shared my story with my students and asked them to do the same. I went to all the community events I could. I wanted to get to know my students and future students.

Tracie’s blog maps it out so clearly. She has a list of factors that we must look at when accessing our students. The quote from her colleague is so key to teaching now a days, “Look at your students, not your lesson plans!” As a teacher in the alternative school we access all of our students at least twice a week. Azhar also had some very good highlights and resources in his blog. I am going to try some of the things suggested in his blog. Since my students all have electronic and wish to be on them all the time, we have discussed using twitter and/or a blog site for our class and even our school as a whole. I believe having a blog page for my students to go with benefit them greatly when they miss for whatever reason high schoolers are not a school. I am going to try and make a survey using survey monkey for our school to see how the students feel about this. Thanks to my classmates for the idea.

I have joined a wiki group with a math focus since I am going for my Masters in Mathematics Education but I am also looking for a group with science. Science is my passion and as my introduction video showed I love bring the culture into my class. This tool has helped me get to know my students in a different light. Some students really shined in share their culture with me; I had one student talk to me so the first time and boy can he talk.

I still have a lot to learn and plan to read the information that my classmates have shared and I hope some of the information I bookmarked is helpful to them as well. For now I plan on starting with a survey and either a twitter and/or blog for Kiita Alternative School. Stay tuned!Image

 Picture: Sewing ugurk skins together for the covering of the umiak. Very educational and a skill I must learn 🙂


Overwhelmed and frustrated but trying to keep an open-mind

The ugly truth:

So far this class has been nothing but frustrating and overwhelming. If I were paying for this class I would have withdrawn already. But since I am not paying for it and I want my Masters in Mathematics Education here I am writing this blog.

I am not a computer/tech person and I do not like spending all my time on computer. I do not allow my children to spend a lot of time on them either. I have no electronic days at home. I feel like I am always on the computer now (this does not help my migraines). I do not want this class to take time away from my family and the other things I enjoy doing, which it has this past week.


The positive side: (I am trying to keep an open mind)

  • The steps I have taken to further my own learning:
    • I learned how to use iMovie 9 to make my introduction video. I spent the time and energy to share a little piece of my life because that is what is most important to me.
    • I learned about Diigo and have enjoyed bookmarking interesting articles. I love the highlighter feature. I still have to print off articles I want to read and highlight because I cannot read too much off the computer. I suffer from migraines.
    • I am working on my public writing skills, keyword working. I am not use to sharing blogs with a wide variety of people.


  • Ways that I have contributed to the learning of others in the class:
    • Posting my thoughts and feedback into the Google groups and on twitter.
    • Some classmates and I have used E-Live to talk and share our concerns and struggles.
    • I have “followed” and chosen people for my PLN.


Essential Question for Week One: What are the characteristics I will need to be successful in this MOOC?



Knowing that organization will be the key factor to my success and sanity in this class I have a few rules that I need to follow:

  • I am going to make my blog page my central location for this class.
  • I have all my user names/passwords saved into my binder for this class.
  • I have a folder on my Firefox toolbar labeled EDMA 658 with links to:                         
    • Twitter
    • Diigo
    • Wiki space
    • Google group
    • My blog
    • The #diffimooc page
  • I need to make a list of all the people in my PLN. I am having a hard time figuring out how to follow someone’s blog that is not in word press.
  • Make a calendar with allotted time for all the “stuff” going in my life. I need to keep sane and enjoy this class and the other one I am enrolled in. Stressing is not going to help me only make it worst. I need to balance my free time, work time, class time and family time. I enjoy sewing, reading, hanging out with my boyfriend and the kids, going to the gym, and I love our subsistence lifestyle.
  • Reminder to myself: I do not have to read everything.
  • Continue to learn from others and teach others as well.