Category Archives: Posts

My Contribution to EDTC300

Well, Katia was 100% right (as always). She had warned the class our first day that this post was coming, she also predicted that we would likely forget about it and have to scramble at the last minute to put it all together! Consider me scrambled. This class blew by in the blink of an eye and I can honestly say that I am not prepared for it to end. I have learned so much but it feels like there is still so much to be explored!

Overall, I feel like I gently contributed to the learning of my fellow classmates throughout the last 8 weeks. I try to remain active on Twitter by commenting on and sharing posts that I believe could only benefit my fellow educators. I try to comment on my fellow student’s blogs to help provide encouragement and knowledge when I can volunteer it. I tried to answer questions in the Google community as quickly as possible but I found that more difficult because I often was working when the questions were being asked and when I finally got to see them one of my fellow classmates were already on it! I also tried to remain active in the chat during our Zoom sessions to provide information where I could and voice my opinions and views in or mini-breakout sessions.

Here are a few of my contributions on twitter:

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I tried to take part in twitter chats like the #saskedchat and most recently the #edtc300sum chat which was hosted by two of our very own classmates Aurora and Sydney. I went from zero tweets and one follower to 197 tweets and 79 followers at the time this post was written. I am very proud of the contributions I have put forth on Twitter.

Next are a few examples from Blogs!

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Most of the input I gave was on learning project, particularly the baking and cooking ones. They are always something fun to look at. I felt that
I was able to give advice in this area because I have quite a bit of training in them and I wished I had thought to do something this fun for my learning project! Everyone’s recipes turned out so amazing and it was so cool to see their progression from the first post to now!

My community contributions!

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Unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to save the chats from our zoom room sessions and they are now lost forever. So instead I will end this post sending best wishes out to all of my EDTC 300 classmates. I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to my learning this semester. I hope to continue to maintain my twitter profile and continue posting as I do now to help broaden my network of future and current educators!

 

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Hello Coding!

Well wasn’t this an interesting week! If you can’t tell by the title, this week in My EDTC 300 class we were introduced to coding and for an assignment, we were supposed to dedicate some time with either Scratch or Hour of Code to get ourselves familiar with the topic. initially, I was super excited because when I opened up Hour of Code you were able to personalize a Google logo!

I decided I wanted to attempt to make my own logo (I have been obsessed with designing one ever since I knew that it was an actual job). When I looked into it I thought it would be perfect for the assignment because you used a combination of scratch and Hour of Code to complete the logo! However, once I got set up to do so, the introductory video very quickly crushed my dreams. After watching a 5-minute video it informed me that it would not allow me to share or document my finished product. The exercise was for educational purposes and was the property of Google. Well since I fully intended to do all of these things I had to revisit that project on my own time.

For this assignment, I decided to create my own Flappy Fish game. Honestly, it was mostly because the fish kind of looked like Nemo, and I haven’t been able to get Finding Dory out of my head lately. Also, who didn’t jump on the Flappy Bird bandwagon at some point!

Here is my journey from start to finish!

 

I even got a certificate!

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Overall, I think that the program was really great. I enjoyed that it gradually picked up in difficulty and gave gentle reminders so that I was able to pick up on it. I also enjoyed that even though it was in block code you could see the Javascript text version as well once you completed a level. I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment.

I think that it would be great to use in the classroom because there are varying levels that can be used for different grade levels. As well you can select the teachers comfort level. With the way that technology is becoming a part of our day to day life, I think that it is very important that our students learn to understand and write basic code. And if they are going to be doing it anyway, then they might as well enjoy themselves by creating different characters and games!

If you want to give the game a try you can play it here!

Not really learning…

This is not going to be my typical learning project post. This past week has been very difficult for me and because of this, I feel as though my learning project has suffered. Something that many people don’t know about me is that I have anxiety and depression. While on a normal day I can function exceptionally well I have triggers just like everyone else that gets me into a state where I have to take a step back and re-evaluate what I am doing and see the change that needs to be made to make the situation better.

This week I had an incident that took place that made it necessary to take a step back from school this week and I am slowly clawing my way back out of the homework pile that I have built for myself. While I love working on my learning project I found that last week I could not bring myself to get motivated. I was overwhelmed and I think this may have been a result of trying to learn online.

While I enjoy being a creator and being able to teach myself there comes a time where you need a little structure and guidance and that is where I was at last week. I was watching tons of different youtube videos about scrapbooking and a number of different blogs. What I found was that they were all providing inspiration and starting points but never really explained what to do once you reached the point of how to tie it all together or how to create a cohesive theme. This is the point I am at in my learning project.

I have tons of ideas and I have attempted to start putting them together but I am getting frustrated with how difficult it is to be satisfied with the overall look and feel of the project. I have been fighting with it now for a while and I have already restarted a few times but one thing I did not really take into consideration was the overall cost of the project.

I knew that there would be a startup cost. My first shopping trip to get the basics like a book, paper, and protective pages was $70. Then I realized that I don’t live in an area where I have easy access to art supplies so I had to make a trip to Regina and order the rest online. My online order got left out on the step in the rain and everything was damaged so I had to wait twice as long to get my materials. Shoutout to Amazon customer service for being awesome and trying their best to help me out in a crummy situation. Boo to FedEx who claimed someone signed for a package when it was left outside in a storm.

To make a long story short I will be posting an actual learning post this week after I have some time to make some actual progress.

For anyone else who is also struggling to balance work, school and life here are some awesome online resources:

Mental Health Wellness Week (Good Mental Health Strategies)

Crisis Center (Coping Skills)

Positive Psychology Program (Stress Management)

 

 

An Argument for and Against Youtube in the Classroom

For:

Youtube is an amazing platform where you can create and share content with people all over the world. It can be a great resource for educators in and out of the classroom. Through this assignment, I actually discovered a few channels that were dedicated to education.

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 11.51.12 AMScreen Shot 2018-06-18 at 11.52.00 AM I then found an article explaining how it can be used in the classroom. They suggested:

-it allows the teacher to bring in and show videos that incorporates a fun element into a lesson

-the teacher can use youtube to set up playlists for assignments or extra resources for extended learning

-you can record and share lessons to reaffirm learning and use for studying

The blog the Educational App Store had a few other suggestions for how Youtube could be used in the classroom:

-trigger interesting and unique discussion

-use videos to inspire themed reflections

-access free high-quality educational instruction videos

-have videos of poets/ authors reading their work

-using clips from documentaries to provide context to a topic

-provide alternate forms of a lesson for visual learners

-a good student research tool

-demonstrate experiments

-help hone listening skills

I think that there are a number of ways to use Youtube positively in the classroom as long as you monitor the content being covered is approved and accurate. It allows parents at home to stay connected to what their children are learning in class and can provide them with the resources to assist them with their homework assignments. There should be steps put in place to help prevent wandering and distractions.

Against:

There are a number of reasons to be wary of using Youtube as a platform in the classroom. Alec Hale’s blog highlighted a few very common concerns with Youtube in the Classroom.

Issues with music and language filters: there can be some issues with using certain music videos and covers in the classroom. Classic youtube filters will not always catch when there is an inappropriate use of language used in a recreation in a song and may be flagged as safe when in actuality it is not appropriate for the classroom.\

Issues with embedded videos: embedded videos make it easier for educators to share content however, the filters can get overexcited and will block all embedded content whether it is appropriate or not. Because of this, it can make some resources unreliable.

The pesky comment section: The comment section is a very dangerous place, especially for young and impressional students. Even on some of the most lighthearted content, it is not very hard to find some terrible comments. Cyberbullying can become commonplace and it is best not to subject the students to this if at all possible.

A few other reasons why Youtube may not always be the best in the classroom:

-It can replace meaningful discussion

-Students could easily get off topic by selecting suggested videos

-students could be watching “educational” videos that are giving them false information

-while there are privacy settings it is all or nothing, either hardly anyone sees it or everyone does, this can open you up for criticism.

While youtube can be dangerous for students I think that there are also ways to get around it. Using Distraction free youtube can help with keeping the students on task and hide the comments.

A Cautionary Tale of Digital Identity

This week in class we were asked to watch Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk titled “and Jon Ronson’s TED Talk titled, “How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life”.

When I watched these video’s I was reminded of another video that I had sent to me in high school that really resonated with me.

Amanda Todd lived only 35 minutes away from my grandma’s home. I was living in Yorkton, Saskatchewan at the time that time video was originally posted and it was being sent around all over the internet. The unfortunate thing about the video that many people failed to realize was that the video was intended to raise awareness of bullying, however, for Amanda Todd, it had the opposite effect. In fact, the cyberbullying had become too much and she, unfortunately, took her own life on October 10, 2012. She was only 15 years old.

I personally avoided all forms of social media in high school, with the exception of Facebook (to stay connected with family on the coasts). I was heavily bullied through elementary school and I was able to overcome that. I made the decision to avoid a platform that could be used for negative purposes. Seeing the Amanda Todd video being shared by everyone I knew reaffirmed that decision. Amanda had made a simple mistake that many teenagers have, but her mistake was broadcasted across the internet and in turn across the globe. I waited until I had left high school to join other social media platforms.

When I was in school digital identity was not discussed or dealt with. Many of the educators were unfamiliar with or did not care enough to learn about it. In today’s education system they are a lot more conscious of what is going on in the classroom online. Unfortunately, there is no way to control what goes on outside of the classroom. What educators can do is educate their students about the impact of their words and the permanence of their online presence.

We live in a world where everything is instant. There is no thought or effort that has to go into posting anymore. Without that time to process what it is that you are sharing with the world, it becomes very easy to post something that you will regret later on. Even if it doesn’t get spread around it can still have an impact later on in life. While that picture of you and your friends having a few too many drinks may be funny now, it won’t be as funny when you are looking for a job down the road and it’s the first thing that pops up when they search your name.

 

Cyberstalking I mean…sleuthing?

This was a very interesting experience. I have never been someone who really enjoyed cyberstalking… or in this case sleuthing. I don’t like my own personal space being invaded and this feels like a big invasion of privacy. But hey! If you put it out on the internet you have to be prepared for the world to find it. Now, mind you this was not the most intense deep dive but there comes a time where you have to stop looking through the 1000+ photos on someones Instagram.

 

At first, I didn’t really see the value in this exercise then I really thought about everything that we have been learning the last few weeks and realized just how important our online presence is in today’s world. We have to consider the fact that our future employers will likely look at our online footprint before they even consider us as candidates for a job position. Natalie Severt wrote a really interesting article that helps you determine if your social media platforms and online presence needs a little dusting or a deep clean before you start applying for jobs. Feel free to give that a read.

For this sleuthing exercise, I was given permission from Ms. Maple Jane Baxter to creep up on her online presence. I must say she was a little disappointed when I showed her my findings, she wanted a little more dirt. I guess I don’t have a career as a P.I. in my future if education doesn’t work out. I went through several of her profiles and I have a complete collection here. Last names were kept private for friends and family because we don’t all need to go to their pages later.

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The first thing I looked through was Facebook. You couldn’t tell if she had the privacy settings on or if she just didn’t bother to include certain information. There were no inappropriate pictures or posts. For the most part, the posts that could be seen were just looking for information or notifying others of news or events.

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 7.59.23 PMNext, I looked through Instagram. This is where I found most of her friends/family. Her pictures were all very appropriate and definitely Instagram worthy! One thing I found was that she often tagged friends in her photos. This is innocent enough but one thing I considered when thinking of my own accounts was how far people would be willing to look into things. While we may have very professional photos on our account, it is very possible that our friends may have less flattering photos on their accounts.

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 7.59.03 PMI then looked through Pinterest. I didn’t expect to find anything wild and crazy here it is just one of my favorite platforms and I like to see what other people like. I think that it is a really good platform for educators to share resources and ideas. Maple had a very interesting account full of recipes and ideas. I even gave her a follow because I am interested to see how her education board grows as she progresses through her education career.

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 7.58.42 PMAfter I got lost on Pinterest I decided to move on to her Twitter. Be sure to give her a follow! She shares some really awesome content that ranges from articles and resources all the way to personal experiences. The overall layout is very warm and inviting and makes you want to know what she is going to do next. As she moves forward I hope she continues to engage more with fellow educators and professionals.

Last but certainly not least looked at her blog. Overall it is very well laid out and as she continues on I’m certain that it will get better and better. She has used this blog for a number of classes and her posts are very well written and give a really good perspective.

Overall, this was a very valuable lesson, I gained a lot of insight into my own accounts and online presence and hope to build a more enriched and positive footprint moving forward!

Scrapping the Scrapbook…

Well, I had a bit of a breakthrough this week. This post is a bit later than I would have wanted but I decided this weekend that I was going to completely overhaul my color schemes and designs. When I initially started I was using more muted and dark patterned paper that I got from Amazon.

patterned paper

But as I got started I didn’t like the vibe of the pages as I continued to put them together. I realized that I wanted the scrapbook to have a more uplifting tone so I went to my local Walmart for some cardstock. I settled on two separate books. One is marbled colors where the other is more patterned.

 

I felt reinspired when I saw these books. I began to organize the photos according to the type of page that I wanted to create for it.

I then started putting the pages together. I started by painting on borders and cutting up the patterned paper.

And once I started that I began to add some pictures in.

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I still have a ton of work to do. Starting over was a big set back but I feel that it will benefit the overall project in the long run. I was able to partially finish several pages but I still have what seems like thousands of photos to sift through. I also still have to determine what kind of layouts and writing style that I want to use throughout. But I am relying on my Pinterest boards and Google searches to guide me. If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to leave advice!

There is so much paper!

Considering we just took part in the #saskedchat that discusses the #paperless classrooms I feel like I am doing the complete opposite of everything discussed. This week for my learning project I had planned to have all of the themes laid out so that all I would have to do is put in the pictures and embellishments and complete the cover and I would be closer to done but boy was I wrong. My Amazon order got delayed even though it was supposed to be here Friday so I had to make due with what I had on hand for this weekend. I managed to find enough to keep me busy!

The first thing I did was finish up the cover of the scrapbook. I personalized it using the most recent picture I took of my grandparents on their farm and then I included their last name on the cover.

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Once I finished that I took apart the inside of the book so that I could customize it with the color scheme I had chosen. Inside the base color of each page is going to range from white to black with several shades of gray in between.

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All of the white pages were going to be hand painted using watercolor paints. For the inside cover, I decided to do a tree to symbolize the family.

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I then embellished the sides with a burlap style tape to border it.

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I plan to use the black paper as a blackboard style theme, where the greys are going to be accented with different patterned papers. Unfortunately, the supplies needed won’t be here until Tuesday but I will be using our regularly scheduled class time to catch up.

The patterned paper I chose is more muted tones I want the photos to be able to pop off the pages and speak for themselves. The white pages that are intermittently placed throughout will help brighten up the rest of the book.pattern paper.jpg

For anyone wondering about the watercolor tree I drew my inspiration from two separate artists:

Youtube Channel: Watercolor by Shibasaki (Highly recommend this channel)

Youtube Channel: Paint Academy

I wanted my tree to be more full, like the second video but I wanted the texture of the first video. I am pleased with the overall outcome, I haven’t explored much with watercolors and they are not exactly the highest quality so considering these factors it had turned out better than expected.

Stay tuned for next week!

Couros and Wesch- An Internet Education

This week our class was given the opportunity to watch a presentation by Dr. Alec Couros on Educating the Selfie Generation. We also watched a Youtube video created by Michael Wesch titled An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube. 

The idea of participation in a classroom traditionally was thought of as students who would raise their hand, answers questions and takes part in discussions. Now we must also consider online participation as was discussed in both the video and the presentation. Everyone and their grandmother have some form of interaction with the internet. Because of this, we as teachers have to be aware of what kind of content our students are being exposed to in the classroom setting and be able to incorporate technology into our teaching. As technology updates and advances we have to continue to adapt this to our lessons.

Wesch’s video discusses the evolution of Youtube and how it eventually became a more accepted and widely used platform. Dr. Alec Couros covered multiple platforms and how the platforms and the demographics have evolved over the last few decades. We discussed both the positives and negatives that come with using technology in the classroom and how these platforms can influence our teaching. Apps and websites like Whisper and Ask.fm are anonymous sharing sites that were originally created to allow people to share thoughts and questions anonymously but turned into the perfect environment for cyberbullying. Dr. Couros even mentioned that children would send themselves anonymous hateful messages to help them justify self-harm or even suicide. This was the case with Hannah Smith. who had taken her life and it was later discovered that the majority of her bullying was self-inflicted. As educators, we have to be aware of these possibilities and have safeguards in place to help prevent cyberbullying, but we must also have resources and supports available if it does.

The great part about being able to use the internet and other platforms is that we are able to expand our own knowledge and access resources that will help enrich our teachings. We are able to connect with other educators on Twitter, get new ideas from Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers, and get video reinforcements from Youtube. Keeping all of these resources in mind and exploring different educators teaching styles and methods we can help provide an enriched learning environment for our students.

 

Youtube Video Response Blog Post

Hello everyone, today I will be discussing my thoughts on April Charlo’s Ted Talk on the topic of Indigenous language revitalization and more specifically my thoughts about ownership. For those who have not seen the Ted talk feel free to watch:

I have never really thought of ownership much before this video. I always assumed that ownership was something that you gained through purchase or relations but I never considered the impact of living and non-living things. I like the way that she put into perspective the idea of “owning” a living thing. The most obvious living things in my life being “my” two cats. When I actually thought about owning them, it would suggest that I have power over them when in actuality that is never truly possible… especially with cats. More often than not they are just putting up with me, I was just given the opportunity to help them live their best lives outside of a shelter and prevent a premature end to their lives.

Her story about ownership of land was also very powerful. When you think about it, how is ownership over land possible? When the first settlers came who gave them permission to own the land? I don’t see how a person can go onto a random piece of land and declare that it was somehow now theirs. Today that would not be possible because even if there was undiscovered land it would “belong” to a country or landmass nearby. As April said in the video, before land ownership there was no ownership over water or other resources on the land and the first people had to adapt to this idea to survive.