Hello! Welcome to the blog of an absolutely passionate math-geek of a teacher! This is my journey through EC&I 834 and the world of creating online and blended learning courses.
My name is Kara Taylor and I am a teacher at Kipling School in Kipling, Saskatchewan. I grew up primarily in rural Saskatchewan and am happy to be able to work in a small town although, working in a Pre-K to Grade 12 school, that often means that my course load changes drastically year to year. I primarily teach senior math and history courses but I have taught a variety of other courses including science, accounting, and physical education (to name a few) ranging from grades 5-12. I am also the Career Counsellor for my school so I get to work with students who are choosing their future career pathways and help them to achieve their goals! Within the school I also coach Sr. Boys Volleyball and Track and Field.
I live with my wonderful husband, our fur-baby Isabella (Bella for short) and our slightly spikier-baby Felix. Some of my hobbies include volleyball, reading, hunting, fishing, outdoor adventures, playing cards and board games, and travelling. Travelling is especially important to me as my niece and nephew live in Mildenhall, UK and we do not get to see them very often during the school year so we try to visit during the summer!
My three goals for learning in this class:
- Become a better blogger. I have tried blogging in the past and took a course with Alec in my undergrad where I was in the habit of blogging regularly but have been unable to continue this while working as a teacher. I would love to get back into the swing of things and use blogging as a platform for my personal reflections and growth through my teaching career.
- Learn about various tools that can be used to create, deliver, and generally house online and/or blended learning courses. In one of my roles in my division, I have helped to develop an online Workplace and Apprenticeship 10 course and our group is now working on the 20-level course. This is being done using Moodle however I feel there are other platforms that may be more conducive to a mathematics course and I am excited to explore and evaluate these tools so that I may be able to bring my knowledge back to our “Moodle team” and make our courses better.
- Create a module/course that is appealing to students and that I can build on in the future. Teaching in a rural setting, my school is limited in the options that our students are given in terms of courses offered and I feel that this is where online courses can really benefit our students. I want to become comfortable in creating courses in a variety of disciplines and knowing which tools are better suited to which disciplines as what may work for mathematics may not be a good platform for social studies. I want my module/course to be something that I can grow and develop further to give my students more options and be comfortable with the tools so that I can make online courses for the various different courses that I teach. Most importantly, I want to create something that my students would actually WANT to use and be happy to learn through. I am lucky to have students that will give me honest suggestions about what they like and not like and I look forward to integrating the tools we learn about and what students want to see in an online course into one!
An “about me” post would not truly describe me without some form of math-based video SOOO…. in honour of the fact I will start trigonometry with my Workplace and Apprenticeship 10 course on Friday, one of my favourite videos on the subject can be found here: https://youtu.be/t2uPYYLH4Zo. This group of teachers makes awesome math videos and students enjoy watching them as well!