Relationships and Technology

Our EDTC 300 class was jam packed with information. I’ve learned a lot.

What resonated most with me, is the relationships that technology can create; I’ve found this compelling. Until now, I’ve seen technology as a tool that isolated people but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Now, I view technology quiet differently. Technology has the power to create relationships that were never possible before.

Please enjoy my video of my learning journey this semester.

Class Contributions

Photo Credit: City of Seattle Community Tech Flickr via Compfight cc

In reflection, this course was designed in a very clever way. Our professor has guided us through the course and encouraged each of us to help one another on our EDTEC 300 journey. The outcomes are quiet astounding; we’ve learned far more, than we would have if she’d taught us alone. This learning journey hasn’t been just mine, it’s been our whole class, and the online community. I’ve grown from the richness of it and will use this teaching style once I’m in the classroom. Helping each other has been a powerful learning tool, and has built a strong community. I have tried to be supportive, caring, positive, and thought provoking, while using Google Plus, Twitter, Twitter chats, and commenting on blogs. Here is how I’ve contributed to others learning in our Spring EDTEC 300 class.

Google Plus

Google Plus was a place I posted things that I thought the class would benefit from and enjoy. The most powerful post was the one about online bullying, which was sent to me via Facebook. I think this video should be seen by all teachers so everyone can fully comprehend the devastating nature of online bullying.

I also answered questions and had meaningful conversations within the Google Plus community. Please follow this link to see all of my Google Plus contributions.


Twitter has been a unique experience, and I’ve come to realize that everything I put onto Twitter aides my learning and also that of the Twitter community. I made it my goal to tweet at least four times a day.

In TweetDeck, all class posts are displayed under the #edtc300 heading, and I  comment on a couple of posts daily. All class members have interesting things to share, and it is quite difficult to stop at two. I also look for interesting articles that I think useful or insightful and share within the Twitter community. I must admit I find this a time-consuming activity as there is so much information on the internet but, this activity has broadened my learning and in turn helped others on their learning journey too.

7 other people found this article interesting and retweeted it while Amber made a comment which was great. This article really helped others, as well as myself, please click here to view the comments in detail.

Here is an example of reading material another student found and I retweeted it. In this way, great information and knowledge is shared through Twitter.

Knowledge is shared within the Twitter community and we all benefit from it. Twitter is a platform where information is found and shared with like minded people, it’s also a place where conversations can happen. I have tweeted many times and always encouraged those around me, please find just a few links of my support within the tweet community.

My Twitter home page shows that I’ve Tweeted over 280  times, I am following almost 100 people, and 70 people are following me. I’m working on building a positive digital identity and connecting with others on the internet.


TweetChat’s were terrifying, at first. So much information is shared, from people all around the world, at lightening speed. I’ve joined 5 Twitter Chat’s and learned so much from each experience. Teachers want to help and share their knowledge, which is wonderful. It’s taken me a while but I realize that side conversations occur, it’s these conversations I find most rewarding, please click on the link as this is one of my first conversations.

Commenting on blogs

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing blogs, and I’ve also enjoyed reading other student’s blogs. For me, this was the best part of the course. Seeing others creativity and ingenuity has been inspiring. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being supportive to my fellow students as we are all learning and helping each other. Here are a few other comments I’ve made, but keeping track of them all has been difficult.

I’ve also enjoyed reading others articles and quoting them in my work. I’ve given pingbacks to several students, here is my mention of Miss. Bregg in my “Aikido Adventure” article.


Helping others with kindness, support, compassion and empathy has been rewarding. We have all learned about technology and how to use it, but we’ve also learned a sense of belonging can occur through technology when we all support each other.






Grade 4: Phys Ed

Grade 4: Phys Ed

Powwow or not to Powwow

Stage 1: Identify Desired Results

Outcome(s)/Indicator(s)/Treaty Outcomes and Indicators: TPP4: Examine the objects of the First Nations and British Crown’s representatives in negotiating treaty. Analyze the challenges and opportunities (e.g., communication among groups, transportation, participation, preservation of language, and cultural practices).

IN4.1 Analyze how First Nations and Metis people have shaped and continue to shape Saskatchewan. (c) Explain the significance of dance and music to First Nations and Metis peoples and its contribution to Saskatchewan intercultural development.

PE4.7 Select and apply performance cues to combine and refine manipulative (sending, receiving, and accompanying objects) skills in increasingly complex movement activities such as lead-up games, including: throwing, catching, (gathering, collecting), kicking. (b) Throw and catch small soft balls using extensions (e.g., soft lacrosse sticks) from both stationary and moving positions.

Modified indicator:

Powwow is a cultural practice, which is full of ceremony. Respect for culture and spiritual activities needs to be understood, this is a challenge of treaty. The opportunity this challenge provides us is that we cannot copy Powwow dances, as it’s appropriation, but with an Aboriginal expert’s guidance we can learn respectfully.

Although we cannot dance sacred dances of Powwow we can understand them with the guidance of an Elder or First Nations expert, this contributes to Saskatchewan’s cultural development.

This lesson introduces the game of lacrosse from an Indigenous perspective. Future classes will develop skills necessary to play lacrosse, learn the rules of the game, and eventually play the game.

Key Understandings: (‘I Can’ statements)

I can explain what appropriation is. I can explain why I cannot copy Powwow dances. The only time I can do First Nations dancing is when I have been invited to do so, or with the guidance of an Elder or First Nations expert.

I can say who First Nations people dance for at Powwows.

I can say what Canada’s National Sport is. I can explain why lacrosse is important to First Nation’s people, and non-indigenous people.

Essential Questions:

Why can’t we copy Powwow dances from YouTube?

Why do we need a First Nations expert to guide our Powwow learning?

Who do the dancers at Powwow dance for?

 What is Canada’s National Sport?

Where did lacrosse come from?

Why is lacrosse important to First Nation’s people and non-indigenous people?

Stage 2: Determine Evidence for

Assessing Learning

Students will be able to explain verbally what appropriation is. They will be able to explain why they cannot copy Powwow dancing from YouTube. They will be able to explain why it is necessary to have a First Nations expert or an Elder to guide learning about Powwow’s.

Students will be able to express the history of lacrosse and why it is important to First Nations people. They will be able to explain that Aboriginal people don’t compartmentalize sports but see it from a holistic perspective; they see lacrosse as a game that is “alive and has the ability to heal” (Downey, 2018). For First Nations people lacrosse touches all aspects: mentally, physically, health, and connection to land. Students will be able to express that Canada and First Nations people have a passion for the game of lacrosse, and it helps to keep us to all be interconnected.

Stage 3: Build Learning Plan

Set (Warm-up, Focusing the Learning):    Time:10 mins


Stretching up to the Creator, Solid base of support to Mother Earth, arms out stretched to sides and turn body to acknowledge the 4 directions.

Sitting on the grass in a circle ask what students know about Powwows. Explain about appropriation, and why we cannot copy dances from YouTube. If we are learning about Powwow’s we need an Elder or First Nations expert to guide us. Explain about respect, for different cultures, and how this interrelates with Treaty.

Development:                                              Time:20 mins

Introduction to lacrosse.

Ask what students know about lacrosse? Explain we need to treat lacrosse with honor and respect. Lacrosse is a First Nation’s game that was shared with us by the Mohawks in the 1840’s. We were given the gift of Lacrosse. Settlers changed the rules, to make it Canadian, but it’s still a sacred sport to Aboriginal people. Lacrosse was used to increase immigration, as an Aboriginal team and non-aboriginal team played in Europe. The team members even went to visit Queen Victoria, which helped to reinforce the sovereign relationship with the crown. Canada’s National game was the biggest sport in the world before WWI. Lacrosse was even used in Residential Schools to try to assimilate students, but for some it reinforced their ancestral connections. For First Nation’s people lacrosse is “alive and has the ability to heal” (Downey 2018). It touches all aspects of them: mentally, physically, their health, and connection to land. Lacrosse is part of who First Nations people are, and it makes them strong.

 Learning Closure:         Time:5 minutes

Review respect of Treaty and Powwows. Review the importance of lacrosse to First Nations people and the impact the game has had on the world, and how popular it is becoming again. The Blades, are very popular.



 Management Strategies:

To be outside. Sitting on grass.

 Safety Considerations:

Do not to sit on ant hills and be aware of wasp nests.

Possible Adaptations/Differentiation:

If it’s raining we’ll have the class in the gym.






Stage 4: Reflection
Did students understand about appropriation? Do they understand the need to be respectful with ceremony? Do they fully understand the gift of lacrosse? Do students realize the game of lacrosse can connect non-indigenous people and First Nations people? Do students realize we all have a common passion for the game of lacrosse and it can help to keep us all interconnected?

Annotations for Lacrosse Introduction – Powwow or Not to Powwow

Reclaiming the Indigenous roots of lacrosse – CBC Radio

This radio broadcast of Tapestry is hosted by Mary Hines. She interviews Allan Downey an assistant professor of history at McGill University, who has recently published a book called “The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood’. Downey is Dakelh, from Nak’azdli Whaut’en, and born in central B.C. He explains that lacrosse is the ‘Creator’s Game’ and has the ability to heal. The game for Indigenous people is deeply tied to spirituality and touches all aspects of life: mental, physical, health, and connection to land. Lacrosse is an Indigenous game that supports growth of Indigenous peoples’ identity. The Mohawk people shared lacrosse with non-indigenous people in the 1840’s, who appropriated lacrosse to make it uniquely Canadian.

Interviewed Kaleigh Starblanket from the Star Blanket Cree Nation (14th March 2018)

Kaleigh is a Powwow dancer and explained the importance of drums and dancing in First Nations culture. Drums are the heartbeat of Mother Earth and symbolizes when we were first brought into the world. The Powwow demonstrates respect for life, and the connection to each other. All Tribes come together with a mutual reverence for one another and the connection to everything and everyone is reinforced. When Kaleigh dances she dances for herself, her family, where she is from, those who are sick, and those who cannot dance any more.

Chelsea Vowel

The do’s, don’ts, maybes, and I-don’t-knows of cultural appropriation.This website discusses sacred symbols from many cultures and how they shouldn’t be used by other cultures: appropriation. Appropriation lessons the importance and value of the symbols and takes meaning out of context.


Coding Conflict

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Coding. I know coding is complex, difficult, and technical. In his article “This is why kids need to code” Doug Belhshaw explains “coding means the ability to read and write a machine language …. [and] to think computationally”. We are all smart and have our gifts, but coding isn’t one of mine.

In our EDTEC 300 class our professor Katia Hilderbrandt gave us the challenge of learning how to code. With all lessons, there’s learning to be done. She introduced the class to the website and demonstrated the ease of coding. I had reservations, but knew I had to face this challenge head on.

I’ve spent an hour on the Starwars game on the Do One Hour of Code website and it’s been a very frustrating experience. It wasn’t until level 7, I stumbled and never managed to progress. I did everything I could think of. The helpful information wasn’t helpful, as I struggled and the same instructions kept coming up. I followed the instructions but I couldn’t get successful results. As the instructions were never modified, my frustrations grew.

When all else fails, I decided to watch the instructional video, which was at the bottom of the screen. Salvation I thought! But no! Even when I followed the instructions click by click, I still couldn’t get R2-D2 to move in multiple directions. I repeated this several times to no avail.

This has left me feeling inadequate, frustrated, and demoralized. Many students in the class have already completed this activity successfully which adds to my humiliation. I don’t want my students to feel like this.

I’ve learned failing is horrible, especially when all other students around me are thrilled to learn this. This is an area of weakness I need to work on. I need to have someone teach and guide me though coding rather than relying on the computer. However, I understand the importance of coding in the classroom and need to be better equipped to teach it.

In his article “This is why kids need to code” Doug Belshaw explains that students learn problem solving skills, confidence, and gain a greater understanding of our world. Although I don’t feel that way right now, once I’ve gained coding skills I will feel more confident with this subject. Problem solving skills is probably the best skill acquired as Belshaw explains “often this problem-solving involves working with other people – either in real-time or following tutorials, blog posts and howtos (and then sharing back)”. Students become creative, analytical, and communicate with each other to solve coding problems, which is excellent.

In the article “10 Reasons Kids Should Learn to Code” it goes into greater detail the skills students learn, these include: visualizing abstract concepts, precise planning, creativity, organization, perseverance, resilience, tolerance, kindness, and problem solving. These are all skills we want our students to gain, and coding can teach these lessons.

Coding has a place in the classroom, as it teaches more skills than coding alone.

Learning Project Journey

I’ve always been fascinated with martial arts even from a young age. As a little girl my favorite show was Kung Fu, and watching  Kwai Chang Caine use his staff effortlessly to protect himself always fascinated me. Learning to use this simple weapon, has always been at the back of my mind as something I wanted to learn, but never had the opportunity. I thought that I had to acquire black belt status before weapons training could begin; as I never achieved that goal, I felt I couldn’t learn the skills necessary to use this weapon. It wasn’t until I was volunteering with Regina Outdoor Education that everything changed. One of the parents on a field trip was an Aikido professional with his Dan Level 2. He told me about his studio and invited me to try out classes. This is where my Aikido journey began.

But first, this is how my Learning Journey began.

Introduction to My Learning Project

As I’ve studied various different martial arts, I’ve always enjoyed the physical challenges, the spiritual aspect, and comradery martial arts brings. I wanted all of those aspects back in my life and saw learning the staff as my way of finding this from an online perspective. I planned on watching YouTube video’s, reading articles, using Twitter, and to see if there were classes in Regina I could join.

Technology Trails: While Starting Staff Training

Photo Credit: aliceheiman Flickr via Compfight

This week was very frustrating as I had modem issues and my computer was offline for days. I realized I needed to learn how to download YouTube video’s, then I’d have them on my computer. If I’d had the video’s downloaded, studying offline would have been easy. I had to learn how to make a video of myself, edit it, and upload the finished product to YouTube, which had its moments of frustration and anxiety, but I figured it out in the end.

Grips, Kicks, and Footwork

Photo Credit: Flavio~ Flickr via Compfight

I realized this week that I was learning a martial art, and thoroughly enjoyed the physical aspect of practicing kicks, learning different grips on the staff, and working on my footwork. There’s lots to remember all at the same time, which is overwhelming but also fun. Feedly didn’t have any articles on bow staff training which was frustrating, and Twitter only had articles on martial arts. I realized that my chosen topic is a specialized field and it will be difficult to find information about it. But, the highlight of the week was learning how to download YouTube videos and I used Screencastify to do this.

Kata Confusion

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This week I studied a learning Kata and was quite confused at the beginning of the week. I lack coordination, and this Kata made me focus and try really hard. I made two videos of myself to see if there was any improvement as the week progressed.

It was during this week I met an Aikido instructor on a school field trip while volunteering with Regina Outdoor Education. He invited me to join his class, and I found a focus for my staff training. I really enjoyed how using the Jo (staff) in his class made me feel; I felt as if all my previous martial arts backgrounds came together and I had found harmony.

Aikido Community


Photo Credit: Dimmerswitch Flickr via Compfight

With a shift in Jo (staff) styles, I found new videos to watch in YouTube. Finding a teacher, I liked was more difficult than anticipated as most Aikido videos demonstrate rather than teach weapons skills. But, I did manage to find a whole new Aikido community which was exciting. I found an online Aikido Journal, which had articles ranging back to 2002.  Aiki Message Board: The Source for Aikido Information Is an Aikido forum that has over 22,000 practitioners who contribute to the site. After hunting through Twitter, I found several Aikido sites, but my favorite was one dedicated to women, #aikidowomen. Plus, I went to class.

Aikido Adventure

Photo Credit: BYTEzel Flickr via Compfight

This week I researched the philosophy of Aikido, as the spiritual aspect of a martial art is equally if not more important than the physical. I found many articles on the subject and was gladdened to learn that my philosophy matches with Aikido. “O’Sensei’s Lectures On the Philosophy of Aikido” “Aikido is the realization of love”. Not only is this a beautiful sentiment, it lines with my personal view of the world.

I also learned how to slow down Aikido videos so I can truly see how the Master moves his body and made a screencastify video to demonstrate this.


This has been an extraordinary adventure.

I’ve learned many new technological skills, that have helped me learn, express myself, and teach others.

Learning to use the Jo (staff) has always been a dream, somewhat whimsical, but now it’s a reality. I’m not alone on this journey as the internet is full of like minded people. There is a community I can reach out and talk with. I can discuss and share my frustrations and triumphs which is comforting. I’ve already had someone reach out to me, through Twitter and the martial arts community, and comment about my techniques which completely surprised me.

My EDTEC 300 class has also been a supportive community, where fellow students have commented on my blog posts giving me support and encouragement.

I now have also joined the Aikido community here in Regina.

Three different communities all providing compassion and support; how wonderful! I never realized that this kind of support on so many different levels was possible until now. This learning journey has taught me the comradery, compassion, and caring of people on the internet and how it can enrich lives.






Aikido Adventure

Photo Credit: BYTEzel Flickr via Compfight cc

My philosophy as a teacher is important, so too is the philosophy of a martial art. There are many different martial arts in the world and it’s their individual philosophies that make each one unique. Learning the spirituality and philosophy of Aikido is important. If I pursue this martial art further, I need to know if it resonates with my beliefs.

I believe that the strongest force in the universe is love and according to “O’Sensei’s Lectures On the Philosophy of Aikido” “Aikido is the realization of love”. Not only is this a beautiful sentiment, it lines with my personal view of the world. According to O’Sensei “The secret of Aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.” These are powerful words. We need to find our balance and harmony within ourselves, and only then can we properly discover the world around us.

Photo Credit: Homedust Flickr via Compfight cc

In Hal Gall’s article “Aikido Principles and Philosophy” “Aikido signifies “The Way of Harmony with the spirit” and is rightfully recognized as a peaceful and non-aggressive form of martial arts.” Aikido is not an aggressive martial art, in fact the article “About the Art of Aikido” explains “Aikido is a 100% defensive martial art”. I like this.

The article “About the Art of Aikido” explains “the basic movements of Aikido are circular in nature. Most attacks are linear. An Aikido student harmonizes with, rather than confronts the linear attack and converts the energy of that linear attack into a circular energy that ultimately, renders the attacker or attackers helpless.” I have felt this circular energy flow in my Aikido classes and discussed how I felt in my “Kata Confusion” article. To feel this spiraling energy is amazing, and I can see how all the movements in Aikido are circles that interlink. It’s just trying to get my body, mind, and spirit connected which is problematic.

As you watch the video below can you see the circular actions of the teacher? Look really carefully, at hips, wrists, and shoulders. The teacher makes it look effortless, but it’s the spiraling action that gives his movements power.

A class member, Miss Bregg, showed me how to slow down YouTube videos so I can watch them with greater scrutiny; I really appreciate her help. Below is my short demonstration of how to slow down the video. Once you’ve learned this trick you may want to rewatch the first video to look for the spirals and circles.

The video of my new movements is below. You’ll see I’m lacking in spirals, but they will come with practice and confidence. What do you think? How am I doing?

According to the article “About the art of Aikido” “the uniqueness of Aikido makes it possible to experience deep levels of mental relaxation, emotional calmness, acute concentration and peak physical fitness in our daily lives.”

I am looking forward to this Aikido Adventure continuing.