Well I am proud to say that I have successfully created an urban garden! Happy days! I wouldn’t call myself a garden master but I can at least say that I have earned a green thumb! Let me sum up my networked learning project.
Learning Objective: I will learn to successfully grow and maintain an urban garden.
- YouTube: I found this resource to be the most beneficial, as I often use YouTube to solve a problem or create something. I am a very visual learner so using videos was easy for me to learn and retain information as I watched. I also like its feature of automatically playing a new video about the same topic after you are finished watching the one you chose. It’s also easy to navigate between videos if one wasn’t useful so you aren’t wasting time.
- Expat Woman: Living in Dubai is interesting and entertaining at times, especially when it comes to westernized things. Apparently growing a garden in the desert isn’t very popular, so I had to go on a hunt for seeds. Once I found them only find certain seeds in packets were available and the rest of the vegetables you want have to be bought in a do it yourself kit. Luckily Expat Woman helped me figure out the stores where I could find seeds, which soil to use, and what vegetables could survive on a balcony in extreme heat. Thank you expat help forums!
What I learned:
- I can garden! Woot!
- Plants grow well using the hydroponics system. To recap, a hydroponics system uses recycled 2-liter bottles and a wicking system to supply water to the soil and roots. With this system in place you still need to water the plants because the top gets dry but, in case you forget, it’s a good back up for busy days or forgetful mornings.
- Vinegar is a great home remedy for bugs that are munching on your plants. Just add a bit of water to dilute it and spritz it on the plants every morning.
For another assignment this week we had to browse through a ton of educational websites that could be implemented in the classroom. There were so many that I didn’t even know where to start but it was exciting to find new resources that I can utilize in my teaching. There are endless possibilities! In this day and age I think it is very important to be a networked learner and this project made me realize that even more. Why not use all of these great resources if they are available? If you recall the saying “two heads are better than one,” just think about all the people (heads) out there that are providing us with new information on a daily basis. It’s amazing to think that 20 years ago the only resource was to reference books or articles and now we can use the internet to search and even access books and articles as well. We have come a long way since I was a child way back in the 80s. J So yes, I will continue to be a networked learner and I am going to encourage my students to do the same. They already are in a way. 7 year olds can Google search something, save pictures and add them to documents, use iPad tons of iPad apps, or even research topics. So my next step is to make sure that they continue to be networked learners but understand which resources are legitimate. As an educator I need to teach them the skills to decipher good websites compared to bad. (i.e. Wikipedia vs. National Geographic for Kids). Digital citizenship is something that should be taught from the start of elementary and revisited each year until a student graduates. If you tech it, they will learn.