Inquiry Project Part 5: Reflection of Inquiry
During my Inquiry project I was able to expand my knowledge on how to incorporate meaning making into the primary grades through digital media content. One of my major findings was that students are able to create meaning in digital media without the use of written word. Students are able to make inferences about any form of media where they are able to understand and interpret the information with a critical eye. Students are able to do this in the primary grades through the use of interactive computer activities as well as watch videos. Looking back at my Inquiry project I was able to see the growth in my understanding of what and how to create this meaning in students. I found that I have grown to expand my knowledge not only for the primary grades but also for the juniors. Much of what I learned involves the teacher creating inquiry questions during whole group meetings in order to create meaning in the information that is being provided. Having different options for students to create this meaning in the classroom is also one of the major findings that helped expand my digital understanding.
The Critical Digital Literacy assignment has helped influence my teaching practice through creating a greater understanding of how to create meaning in digital space. I found that before this assignment I had little knowledge on how to create meaning in any grade, but I was focused on creating meaning in students of the primary grades. With the growth throughout the assignment I have found that my inquiry now involves students in the primary grade as well. I will be completing my second placement in a grade 5 class and have found that much of the information that I have gathered connects well to the junior class students as well. I would like to incorporate many of the tools that I had outlined in Assignment 2, Part 3. For example, the use of Google classroom, slack, and use of videos and pictures in the classroom could prove to activate prior knowledge in students understanding of the subject at hand. I found that the use of slack throughout this semester has been extremely helpful as we were able to connect with peers on another level. Such as discussion that took place and information that was shared. I think that this has helped develop my teaching practice, as I am eager to try new programs in the classroom to create deeper understandings of what is being discussed. I will be completing a unit on First Nations and Europeans during my second placement and hope to include programs such as Google classroom, as well as Mindomo for a mind mapping activity to see how much students know about the subject already. I think that these tools have helped me create a better understanding of digital literacy’s in the classroom because, before the assignment I had a little knowledge base on how to incorporate activities such as these into the classroom. Now I have a knowledge base that I am able to look over to incorporate into my lesson plans.
Throughout this course much of my research has been critically developed through the weekly discoveries. During week one we discussed my ‘self’ in digital space, I found this a very interesting way to start the course, as I had never thought of myself in digital space. Through this self-discovery I realized that I am focused on family members and people important in my life, taking little into solely myself in pictures alone. I found that this could be adapted for students in the classroom as we live in such a high demanding electronic era that most students will already have a database of pictures that they consider to be their self in digital space. I would think that this assignment could be adapted to students in meaning making and connect to social studies and how they are apart of a community. The second point that connects to my inquiry project and how I have grown as a digital user is that of code breaking. I found that at the beginning of the course I did not know what this meant but with inquiry and discovery I discovered that I complete this action on a daily basis. This is another interesting mode that I would like to discuss within my next placement to see how many students have the knowledge of how digital spaces are accessed and used. As well as how they can create meaning making to understand different concepts from the world. I think completing a digital space scavenger hunt could fit nicely in code breaking, as students would have to experience accessing different forms of media and create a greater meaning of what is being found of these sites.
During week five I was able to engage in what my inquiry project represented, meaning making in digital literacy’s. This involves creating meaning in a capacity to create purpose, intention, feelings and ideas in digital space. The one point that I struggled with and was the center of my inquiry project was how can students who have a small reading capacity create this meaning in digital space if there are words that must be overcome? I found that there are many great tools to helps students in the primary and junior grades create this understanding in digital space through the use of videos, pictures, and spoken word. I found that since we, as educators know how to create meaning in written word on digital spaces in students with proficient reading levels, that creating meaning without the written word could pose a bigger problem. I think that through this inquiry one of the most important parts to creating meaning with students is to ask as many inquiry questions while watching a video or reading a passage to them off digital spaces. Furthermore, to add-on to creating meaning making was the topic on use and understand this was a topic that followed meaning making and helped highlight that creating solutions that are effective in the class to create that meaning making is important. Use and Understand involves creating an understanding in the different types of digital spaces that can contribute to students meaning making. There are many different factors that are taken into consideration when using different forms of media. Taking a look at the mind map that was produced by HJ. Dewaard on the class website created a better understanding of the different requirements that must be met with each digital space. Such as the use of creative commons, one aspect that I think could be missed in the creation of multimedia lessons. I think that during inquiry projects in schools a lesson based solely on use and understand focusing on referencing and creative commons could be beneficial. Since social media such as pictures are at the click of a button on the Internet this is an important task that should be established before completing an assignment in the junior grades. Overall, creating meaning in the context of the digital space that students are exploring.
Lastly this assignment has overall had an impact on my persona as a developing teacher. I have grown to learn the different methods of applying specific skills to create a safe and secure reputation in digital spaces through participating safely with an understanding of ethics to create a great resource. Connecting on a professional level on different social media sites in order to connect to other professionals such as twitter. Before this assignment I had not thought of the creation of a blog to be a professional resource to connect to colleagues but now I see that they implications are that there are many resources that are located on these blogs, from individual experiences, to help with creation of lesson plans. I hope to create a twitter account to follow different education professionals in order to build my professional digital identity in the teaching field. I hope through the completion of this assignment to create an understanding in future students how to stay safe and create meaning in digital spaces.