Tag Archives: @PamelaRampley

@PamelaRampley

To be completely honest, even the thought of creating AND keeping up with a Professional Learning Network (PLN) gives me cause for anxiety. I use my laptop mostly for work and COETAIL and not much else. When I am not at work or not working, I prefer to keep my laptop lid closed. Even when I am working, my 2-year old daughter reminds me of this by closing my laptop for me 😉  Sometimes, it’s even difficult for others to get a hold of me because I usually don’t have my phone with me. I am definitely NOT one of those people who just can’t seem to put down their device. And I do take a bit of pride in being this way, so needless to say, building an online PLN has been quite the challenge for me, to say the least.

Like all other COETAILers, I am involved in the COETAIL community through blog posts, comments, and discussions, but aside from that, I have also ventured out into the world of Twitter. As is evidenced in one of my previous blog posts from Course 1, before COETAIL, I tweeted all of two times. This is a true story, but now, I am starting to get it. Before COETAIL, I really had no idea what Twitter was and what you were supposed to do with it. Now, all of that has changed, or it is at least starting to!

Communication

Since that fourth COETAIL blog post where I tried “tweeting” again, I have tweeted many times for a variety of reasons – personal, COETAIL, AIS-R professional learning, etc. This NEVER would have happened if it wasn’t for COETAIL. I was inspired to give it a go once again as I was starting to realize how important online PLNs can be, especially for teachers.

Of course, I have engaged in one-sided interactions or have attempted to start conversations that didn’t really go anywhere with Twitter and other social media platforms. COETAIL blogs and commenting have been such a great way for me to start practicing HOW to actually include myself in such conversations. On the lookout to find a meaningful, more conversation-oriented online group, I found #nesachat. NESA stands for the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools. This Twitter chat runs every other week on Tuesdays. I recently became involved and started participating in these chats, and I have found them to be fun, practical, and useful in my everyday teaching 🙂

Participating in these NESA chats has allowed me to have a conversation about a specified topic, connect with other educators in our region, and it’s become an excellent way for us to share ideas and resources on a regular basis. Although the educators that participate in these chats are not always the same people, many are from the same schools, and we are all from the same area of the world. Through this medium, I have been able to ask questions,

answer questions,

— Pamela Rampley (@PamelaRampley) March 7, 2017

connect,

and reflect about my practice, all of which was inspired by concepts and ideas shared within the COETAIL community.

As evidenced in the Storify slideshows that follow, I have been able to engage in back-and-forth conversations via Twitter. #nesachat has allowed me to actively build a PLN in an appropriate digital space beyond just commenting on COETAIL blogs.

Consistency

I have participated in the last three NESA chats. The first one I participated in was on February 7, 2017, and I have been engaging in these discussions each time they have occurred, which is every two weeks. The next NESA chat is scheduled for this Tuesday, April 4, and I plan to continue engaging in these discussions even after my COETAIL courses have finished.

February 7, 2017 #nesachat – Professional Development That Works

 March 7, 2017 #nesachat – Visualizing the “Ideal” High School Graduate
March 21, 2017 #nesachat – Crisscrossing Curriculums

Reflection

Like I said in the beginning of this blog post, I am not that person who is constantly tweeting or posting on Facebook and Instagram, but since the start of COETAIL, I have definitely upped my technological use for educational and professional purposes. Although I don’t consider myself a true techie (yet), I do see the benefits and importance of immersing myself (to some extent) into technology. I have found a new, exciting, and meaningful way to engage in continuous and sustainable conversations with colleagues from near and far thanks to COETAIL and Twitter! I warmly welcome your comments below 🙂

Course 3 Final Project: About Me!

Here it is! The final product – for now, at least. I have been super excited about this final project since I read the final project options during week 1 of course 3. I knew IMMEDIATELY that I wanted to create an infographic resume for my About Me page on my COETAIL blog. I was SO inspired by Sonya Terborg’s infographic resume, and I thought about what I would include in my infographic resume for weeks leading up to its creation.

I have said it before, and I will say it again:

I am the LEAST creative person that I know!

So, now that that’s out of the way, I would like to say that I am actually very proud of my infographic resume despite the fact that it may not look like the most aesthetically appealing resume you have ever seen 😉 I put a lot of effort and a lot of time into thinking about it and creating it. It may not be something that I send off to potential employers just yet, but I have some thoughts on what I need to do to get it to that point.

FIRST, I would like to describe some of the choices that I’ve made and how the learning in this course has impacted the design and outcome of my project. I separated my infographic into 3 distinct blocks – education, experience, and certification. Experience is in the middle because it is the most important, and it had the most information. Education is up top because that is also very important. I used the same font and text size for each heading, sub-heading, etc, so that there was continuity throughout the infographic. I still resorted to a good amount of text because I thought it was important (and sometimes, it’s hard to let go of the text!). I am still working out the color scheme, but I knew I didn’t want to keep it all white. I used color to segregate the 3 different blocks of the infographic. I think the icons say a lot, and less text makes it a bit lighter on the eyes as opposed to reading a bunch of boring text as in a traditional resume.

NEXT, I would like to describe how I plan to use this page and infographic. For COETAIL, on my “About Me” page, the infographic gives my readers a bit of insight into who I am. After reading many COETAIL blogs, I wish everyone had an About Me page right from the beginning of course 1. I also plan to use this infographic (or an altered version of it) as my visual resume for potential employers. As the COETAIL courses progress, I would like to further develop what I have already created in my current infographic resume.

LASTLY, like I said above, I am not entirely satisfied with my final project. I have already spent hours trying to perfect it, and I am sure that there are many more hours I will spend on perfecting it! I tend to be a perfectionist with things like this. Everything has to be perfect 🙂 I really LOVE the idea of an infographic resume, and I do like the one that I have created. I am satisfied with it to some extent, but I know it doesn’t look EXACTLY like I would want it to look like if I was passing it along to recruiters. I think the color scheme is a bit off (and I am not sure how to go about correcting that), AND I am not sure that it really depicts me as a person, which I think is really important. I need to weave my personality into this infographic a bit more and in some clever way.

I used Piktochart to create this infographic, and after many hours of use 😉 I did end up liking the program, so I think I am going to stick with it. If anyone has any other program or template suggestions or other ideas for improvement, it would be very, very much appreciated. I warmly welcome your comments below 🙂

A Global Killer

Infographics are more than just a visual. They are interesting. Who doesn’t love a good infographic? They have cool pictures and neat statistics, and best of all, they make sense.

“Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends” (from Wikipedia).

Why not use infographics in our teaching? Well…we can…and maybe we should. But they are not as abundant and applicable as one might hope. For this blog post, we were asked to, “Find an infographic that you can use in your teaching, embed it into a blog post, and reflect on how you plan to use it.” Simple enough, right? Well…not really, at least that wasn’t the case for me!

I used the Creative Commons Search for Google Images and Flickr, and there were only a few infographics that were really relevant to what I am currently teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I think there are a TON of great inforgraphics out there, but they aren’t really entirely directed towards being used in the classroom, at least not yet. For example, when I Google Image search just “infographic,” the first images that come up are: “How we pay for things,” “The geosocial universe,” and “Ideal engines.” When I searched for “infographic science,” more of what I was looking for appeared, but it wasn’t directly related to my scientific discipline – “Aussie eyes on Mars,” The 10-B pork scam,” and “Soils.” After a good bit of searching, I did find this infographic:

Some rights reserved: DES Daughter

I REALLY like this infographic. One of the units in my grade 9 integrated science course is cells, so this visual can easily fit into that unit. I think it would best be used as a unit opener to get students thinking about something that has affected or could affect so many of us. A discussion about this infographic could easily make my unit on cells more “real.” I could ask the students questions like:

  • Which piece of information is the most surprising? Why?
  • Why is cancer the leading cause of death worldwide?
  • What do you think is the overall message of this infographic?

Infographics are informative and usually make me think, “Oh, wow! Really? I didn’t know that.” This can be both engaging and thought provoking. This particular infographic could help my students make connections about what their learning to the real world. Students oftentimes wonder, “Why do we have to learn this?” And for our cell unit, this infographic could be my answer.

I have also thought about the possibility of challenging my students to create their own infographic about what we are learning. It would allow them to make their own deeper connections between what we are learning and their world. How have you used infographics in your classroom or in your life? I warmly welcome your comments below 🙂