What is innovation and unlearning?



As a lot of our topics have been, this week’s topic was very interesting to learn about. The articles were very good and it left me thinking about a lot of things. Do I have the mindset of an innovator, how can I be an innovator in my classroom, what do I need to unlearn?

In the article by George Couros, I found a lot of things that he said about innovation that I agreed with. There were three that really stuck out to me.

  1. “I recognize that there are obstacles in education, but as an innovator, I will focus on what is possible today and where I can push to lead towards tomorrow.”
  2. “I believe that isolation is the enemy of innovation and I will learn from others to create better learning opportunities for others and myself.”
  3. “I listen and learn from different perspectives, because I know we are much better together than we could ever be alone. I can learn from anyone and any situation.”

As a future teacher these are the three that stuck out to me the most. No matter how hard I try there are always going to be obstacles in my way, but I can’t give up because of those obstacles. I also need to remember that I need to focus on what is at hand and not get so worried about the future. I really like the second one because I need to remember that collaboration is really useful as a teacher and that I won’t be able to do it on my own. The third one kind of incorporates all that I talked about already.

I believe that this class really does help me to be more innovative in my learning and helps me to see how I can be innovative in my teaching. I believe that innovation looks like a teacher that is always changing what they do to make it better. I also believe that innovation looks like a teacher that is willing to make a mistake and to learn from it.

When it comes to unlearning, I believe that unlearning and innovation kind of go hand in hand. In the article by Will Richardson I found a few quotes that really stood out to me in this one too.

  1. “In a world where literally any place can be a classroom, we have to unlearn the comforts of four walls that we’ve become accustomed to.”
  2. “We need to unlearn the practice that teaches all students at the same pace…”
  3. “We need to unlearn the premise that real change can happen just by rethinking what happens inside the school walls and understand that education is now a community undertaking on many different levels.”

I have never heard the term unlearning before, but like I said unlearning and innovation go hand in hand. As a future teacher I can never be afraid to try something new and go beyond what I already know. I have to be innovative and try new things with my students. I cannot stay within the usual teaching model, I need to unlearn how to be a teacher and be more of a facilitator of learning. Our students are going to know a lot and they can teach us a lot, but we have to be willing to learn from them. A teacher should be an innovator and unlearn the things that they think they already know, and be willing to try new things for the better of the students.




My Digital Story


When we did storytelling earlier this semester (just a few weeks ago) I did not know that we would have to make a digital story of our own. I had a lot of fun creating my digital story, but I will get to that later on in my blog post.

The article that we were supposed to read was very interesting. As I was reading the article I sat and thought about how much we really do use metaphors in our life. I was looking through Facebook shortly after I read that article and I saw a lot of people post metaphors on their Facebook that day. It was crazy to me, but I also see why we talk in metaphors.

When I started working on my digital story, it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do for my metaphor. I did a little research about metaphors for teachers and I found a few that were really good. However, once I found these three metaphors I realized that my work was not even close to done. It took me an even longer time to find what I wanted to focus on for each of these metaphors.

I decided that I wanted to have four analogies for each of my teaching metaphors. I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas and creating my digital story. This assignment kind of reminded me of doing the daily creates. It really allowed me to be creative and put my own twist on everything. I loved getting to come up with the slides and I really like how it all turned out. I hope that everyone else had fun creating their digital stories and I look forward to seeing all of them!

Here is my video, take a look!!!!



Last 9 Days of Daily Create


This will be my last post with Daily Creates. I decided that instead of doing 7 days and then 2 days I would just wait and post the last 9 days together. I will share my daily creates and then I will reflect on the past 30 days.

Day 22- Draw something you bought today- TDC1360

day 22.jpg

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

I chose to do this one because I thought it was pretty easy and it helped me get out of my comfort zone of just taking pictures. I drew an iced coffee and a donut because that is something that I bought that day. I am a sucker for iced coffee from Daylight Donuts here in Chadron. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should because it is fantastic.

Day 23- Design your own road sign-TDC1358

day 23

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

I chose to do this one because it challenged me a little bit. I decided to do something that related to teaching. Here in Chadron, I work at the after school program for 3rd and 4th graders. Sometimes the kids tell me that I am the mean one because I don’t let them get away with doing whatever they want. Don’t get me wrong the kids still love me, but I have the rap for the one that enforces rules.

Day 24- Your mood today- TDC1373

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This seems to be my mood lately. The end of the semester is drawing near and it is crunch time for professors to get everything in, and I am just about ready for this semester to be over so I can relax.

Day 25- The happy place challenge- TDC1388

 day 25

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

I took a little bit of a different spin on this daily create. I have a four year old little brother and it is hard to be at college and not get to see him grow up. When I go home I try to spend as much time with him as I can because he is only going to be little for so long and then I won’t get the chance to play with him anymore. So, my happy place is getting to spend time with my family.

Day 26- Tongue twister- TDC1386

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I thought this was a cute daily create to do. As a kid I always found tongue twisters interesting.

Day 27- Bridge over troubled water- TDC1402

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This one was kind of interesting. I didn’t take this picture, I found it but I thought it was really pretty and it truly does show a bridge over troubled waters.

Day 28- Your DS106 winter hat- TDC1399

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Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

I chose to do this one so I could get out of my comfort zone and draw some more because I know that drawing is not my favorite thing to do.

Day 29- Filter selfie- TDC1395

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This is one of my senior pictures. It was hard for me to find a picture of myself because I don’t take a lot of photos of just me.

Day 30- Sidewalk crack art- TDC1394

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Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

I chose to do this one because it looked like a lot of fun. The examples that were on the site were interesting and I wanted to do it also. I was doing this at night so I had to use my flash.


Since this is my last set of daily creates, I decided to do a reflection. As I look back I see that I definitely used photography a lot for my daily creates. I am comfortable with photography and it was easy to slip back into taking pictures. So, I had to really keep myself accountable and do other medias than just taking pictures. I still do not really enjoy drawing. It has never been my strong suit, and it wasn’t the gene that I inherited. I did try to push myself and draw.

I had a lot of fun with the daily creates and it did allow me to be a little bit more creative every day. This is something that I believe everyone should do, especially if they feel like they are stuck in a rut. I look forward to seeing everyone else’s daily creates and seeing how creative everyone is.


What have I learned about my ILP?



It is crazy to think that we are almost done with this semester. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that we started our semester and our Independent Learning Projects, but then sometimes it seems like this semester has been creeping along. When we were first presented with the idea that we would pick something to do our Independent Learning Project over, I had no idea what I wanted to do. It took me quite some time to brainstorm ideas of what I could do, and then to finally pick one. I decided at the beginning of the semester to do learning American Sign Language as my Independent Learning Project.

I have had a lot of fun trying to learn American Sign Language. When I first started I did not know how complicated it was to learn ASL. There is so much that goes into the language than just moving your hands. Each word has a different sign and when you are making phrases there are different signs that sometimes combine words. One thing that I have learned about myself while doing my Independent Learning Project is that I can catch onto some things quickly. When I first started learning my signs, I started with simple words and learned about 10 at a time. The more I practiced them the better I could remember them later on when I wasn’t around my computer. However, I also learned that I am not a fast learner. I decided about halfway through the semester that I wanted to start learning phrases and that was difficult. Somedays the more that I tired the more frustrated I got.

When it came to motivating myself, there were ups and downs. Some weeks I was super excited to review what I had already learned and excited to learn more. It was something that I looked forward to doing every week. I think that when I started trying to learn the phrases is when it became harder for me to be motivated to do it. When it is frustrating it is hard to motivate yourself, but this is really when the motivation should be the highest. I have never been one to give up and when I got frustrated should have been the time when I was most motivated.

Overall, I have had a lot of fun with my ILP and I have learned so much about myself and about deaf culture in general. I have never had a class where I was given free rein to do something and it was a lot of fun and like I said I learned a lot about myself in the process. One thing is for sure, I will do my best to keep up on my ASL and I want to keep learning more words and signs so someday, maybe, I can become fluent in ASL. It will take some time, but I hope to get there someday.

I am going to be a teacher and when I sit and think about whether or not I would do an Independent Learning Project in my classroom, I think I would. However, I think I would need to do it in an upper elementary classroom. I had a lot of fun with my ILP and I think that 4th and 5th graders, maybe 3rd graders, would have a blast. Students know how they learn best, and by doing an ILP they will get to pick something that they like to learn about and that will help motivate them to want to do it. ILP’s could be done as research projects in the classroom. The students could choose what they want to research and how they want to present their information. It would still meet the standards I would need to teach, but it would give them free rein to come up with their own ideas and present in a way that they are comfortable with.

I had a lot of fun with my ILP and I hope everyone else did too. Like I have mentioned above, I learned a lot about myself, and I think that is the biggest thing here, to learn about what we can do personally and relate it back to our future careers. Good luck to all as we finish up this semester!!!

Graphics with Canva


This is kind of an easy week. I read through the two articles and after reading them I was super excited to start playing with the online creation tools. When I first read through the articles, the tool that stood out to me was Canva. I decided this was the tool that I wanted to try out the most.

I looked at some of the other websites that were mentioned in both articles, but when I got to messing with them, I didn’t like them and I decided to just go to Canva since I knew this is the one that I wanted to use.

The assignment for this was to create a graphic or visual to help me share something that I have learned about my Independent Learning Project. Just in case you don’t know, my Independent Learning Project has been to learn American Sign Language. Early on in the semester I figured out that it was going to take a lot longer than a semester to become fluent in American Sign Language. However, one thing that I did not expect to learn was that American Sign Language is much more than just a language. The deaf culture is completely different than our hearing culture. It would take me a very long time to learn everything there is to learn about the deaf culture, but one thing I have learned is that sign language is part of that culture.

Every culture has their own traditions and language, and that is no different in the deaf culture. Doing my Independent Learning Project has really opened my eyes and helped me see the deaf culture in a different light. The graphic that I created is below and it shows just that, that American Sign Language is not just a language, but it is a culture also.

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When I was creating this project, I had a lot of fun at first. It was cool to go through all of the templates that Canva has available to use, and see which one I wanted to use for my project. It did take me awhile to figure out what pictures I wanted to include but it was very easy to upload the pictures and put them in the template that I picked. I didn’t really have any difficulties in figuring out how to use Canva, but I did have a hard time figuring out what text I wanted to put in my graphic. I wanted to overlay the text over the pictures so the text didn’t blend into the background. It took me a very long time to figure out what text option to use.

I think I could use this tool in the classroom a lot. I could use it for myself to create posters and other graphics to hang around the classroom. However, I can also have the students use it. Depending on the age of the student I could have them create a graphic to include with a story or a poem, or with any project. There are a lot of possibilities with this online creation tool and many other online creation tools. It just takes a little imagination to see all of the ways it can be used.

I had a lot of fun with this module and I look forward to looking at everyone else’s graphics that they created.


Next 7 days of Daily Create….Again


This week I had a lot of fun creating my daily creates. I have found that I am a lot more creative than I thought I was and each day when I do my new daily create I find out something new about myself every time. Here is a summary of this week’s daily creates. (P.S. Sorry if the pictures are sideways).

Day 15- 25 seconds of life- TDC1532

For this day I chose to create a video. The daily create page said to create a video about life in 25 seconds. I chose to take the spin on it about how fast life goes by and if we blink we miss the whole thing.

Day 16- An old photo- TDC1347

day 16

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

For this one I chose to find a photo and make it look like it is an old photo. I had a lot of fun with this one because I finally got to use the photo editing software that is on my computer.

Day 17- Handwritten- TDC1364

day 17

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

For this one it said to write a poem out on anything. When I was doing this daily create I just so happened to have my planner by me so I wrote a poem in my planner and it served a little bit of inspiration all week.

Day 18- What can you see through the window?- TDC1363

day 18

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

This one was pretty simple and it was kind of interesting. I was doing my daily create in my dorm room and this is the view that I have from my window. It is not the greatest view but the sky was sure blue that day.

Day 19- Daylight Savings Time-TDC1362

day 19

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

I know that the time changed quite a while ago, but I just love this time of year when the time changes. The sun is gorgeous in the morning and it isn’t dark anymore when I leave work. I feel like I can get so much more done with my day when the sun stays up till 8. This is a picture of my view on the way to class every morning.

Day 20- Capture a moment of motion… in a tree-TDC1367

day 20

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

This daily create was kind of fun to try and capture. It was really windy the night that I took this picture and so it was just trying to catch the tree moving at the right moment to get the photo.

Day 21- Upside down day- TDC1361

day 21

Photo Credit: Morgan Hays

This daily create was right up my ally. I did photography when I was in 4-H. I loved it and I got really good at it. My favorite thing to do was get a different angle on an object, one that not all people think of looking at. I took a picture of the a lamp, but I took it upside down and I think it turned out pretty cool.

As I reflect on the daily creates for this week, I realize that I got back in the slump of just taking pictures. For the last 9 days of my daily create I am really going to work on trying not to just take pictures. Hope everyone is having a lot of fun with the daily creates!!!

Learning Through Listening and Making




I thought that this week’s articles and videos were super interesting. I have heard of podcasts before but I have never really listened to them before. However, I have not heard of digital storytelling, but the more I learned about it the more I realized that I have done it before without knowing I did. One of the coolest things about this class is that every week we get to learn and explore some new technology that teachers and students are using all around the world. This week is no exception that either.

I really liked reading the article by Linda Flanagan about what teens are learning through podcasts. I know how some of the students in my classes where in high school and they didn’t want to do anything that they didn’t want to do. It is so cool that this teacher was able to get his students so involved and excited about the podcasts. He even had kids that would skip class to come and listen to the podcasts that he would play again. The amount of excitement and motivation that he created in his classroom is astounding. Podcasts are a great tool for teachers, especially in the upper grades, to use to motivate their students.

Besides motivation there are a lot of educational benefits to using podcasts. It helps them develop analytical skills, critical thinking skills, improve their speaking skills, and it also helps them improve their listening skills. There are so many other benefits than the ones that I just listed, but podcasts don’t just inspire students they also inspire teachers.


I thought digital storytelling was pretty cool to learn about too. Like I said above I have never hear of digital storytelling, but I know that I have done it in high school and for some other classes as well. The article by Leah Levy said that digital storytelling is the act of using computer based tools to tell a story. It also talked about how it lets students use a medium that they are comfortable using to be creative and think critically. It is so amazing to me how much there is out there that teachers can use in the classroom.

With that being said, as teachers we still need to balance the use of technology in our classroom with the use of non-technological tools. Yes, students get more excited when we let them use technology, but there are some things that need to be done without technology.

When I look at these two tools, I think it would be hard to use them in an elementary classroom. A lot of the podcasts are probably not going to be age appropriate for students that are in 2nd or 3rd grade. However, I still believe that there are ways to incorporate digital storytelling into elementary classrooms. From the videos and ideas for digital storytelling that we were supposed to look at, digital storytelling can be done in so many ways. Students that are in the 2nd or 3rd grade can use a computer to digitally tell a story.

There is so much that we can do as teachers to help our students learn and grow. These two tools are just a couple ways that we can do that. I look forward to the day that I can use these in my future classroom.