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

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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.






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.

Face to Face with Facebook

This week, Maple and I collaborated together to learn more about the pros and cons of using Facebook in the classroom. As you’ll see from this Google Document, we wrote on behalf of a teacher and a principal. The teacher is interested in being progressive, as she is a new teacher, and she wants to try to teach digital citizenship through using Facebook to connect with students and parents. She feels that her personal Facebook is professional, and she’d like to create a page to add students and parents to in order to keep everyone up to date.


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The principal seems reserved about the idea of social media in general and offers many compelling arguments against using Facebook as the new teacher’s primary way of contacting parents and students. The principal is mostly concerned with privacy and sharing, as she should be. As well, the principal is aware the community is involved with the school and feels that the newsletter and email system already in place is much more suited for the school’s culture.

They compromise using the school newsletter and email system, BUT they allow parents and students to connect with the teacher on Twitter. Twitter is where the teacher keeps her professional information. On Twitter she would like to give reminders and due dates to keep everyone up to date. This pleases both parties. The compromise eases the community into educational uses for technology and social media. Lastly, it’s also a great way to teach digital citizenship to the students.

Please read our dialogue on the Google Documents link or continue reading below.

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Teacher: Hi Ms.Chinook, I’m wondering if you have moment…?

Principal: Yes, Ms.Terrific, come into my office. What can I do for you?

Teacher: Well, as you know this is my first year teaching. How do you think I should communicate with my 5th Grade parents this year?

Principal: As you already know, you have a school email account where you can communicate with parents. If you want, you can send weekly updates of upcoming events via email  just to remind everyone of what you’re doing. For those families without internet access you can print hard copies. The school newsletter is published once a month, and I would like you to contribute to that, in this way parents have an overview of what the school is doing. Grandparents, and other family members love to see our monthly newsletters.

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Teacher: I would really like to contribute to the newsletter too, thank you so much! I know that some teachers at other schools have used platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and teacher-specific resources. However, I like the idea of using Facebook. This resource I found explains many ways and benefits to using Facebook in schools… What do you think?

Principal: I have many reservations about using Facebook and social media in the classroom.

My major concern about Facebook is the privacy issue. The Facebook scandal is a huge issue especially when you want to set up an account for our students. According to the article “Facebook privacy scandal explained” “Cambridge Analytica ….. Lifted the Facebook profiles of tens of millions of users without their permission”. This brings about “renewed questions about Facebook’s ability to protect the privacy of its users”. I know that Facebook has updated it’s privacy guidelines, but I don’t trust them with our students information. Nothing is private on the internet.

The “Facebook privacy scandal explained” article also suggests that “Facebook ….. Believes most of its 2.2 billion users have had their public profile information scraped by “malicious actors””. Those “malicious actors” are the bad guys; they are identity thieves and scam artists. I don’t want to put our students at risk.

Facebook also tries to target marketing to it’s users. The article “Facebook Marketing” states “the business is able to raise brand awareness deploy and track advertising, [and] collect detailed audience insights”, I don’t want to promote Facebook products, and I don’t want our student responses tracked. Student privacy needs to be protected.

We also have students whose parents don’t want their children’s photos online. When posting photos into Facebook you’ll have to take this into consideration. There’s also the inclusion, exclusion factor. If students see their friends on the class Facebook page and they aren’t; they may feel less important  and inferior to other members of your class. All students need to feel included and they belong.

The article “5 pro’s and con’s of social media in the classroom” explains that Facebook is a social media platform and students affiliate it with fun. If we bring it into the classroom they will be easily distracted. It will be difficult for students to stay on task as their Facebook friends are just a few clicks away. Plus, it’ll be difficult for you to notice if they are completing their assignments, or socializing. In the article “Facebook in classroom, bad idea?” John Bowman quotes Pychyl saying, “Facebook is like taking a person with a gambling problem to Vegas. It’s just too easy to get doing other things rather than the hard work of intellectual work”.

Facebook and social media has become as popular as it has because of its instant feedback and reward system of ‘likes’. The article “The Secret Social Media Lives of Teenagers” explains that “teens can quickly get caught up in the feedback loop, posting, and sharing images and videos that they believe will gain the largest reaction”. When students aim for the biggest reaction they are doing something outside social norms, which can have devastating ramifications for themselves, their families, and our community. “ Teens seeking external validation become intoxicated by sensationalist engagement sometimes sending compromising photos or comments”. We need to teach and protect our students.

The article “The Case Against Social Media In Education” explains that School Board’s don’t want to accept liability risks of students who misuse social media. It also states that “technical infrastructure is still lacking in most locations”, and our infrastructure in Saskatchewan is poor. For us to use social media in the classroom we, “need devices for all students and adequate reliable bandwidth to connect them”. Now, as you know, not all parents at our school are from an affluent socio-economic backgrounds. Asking students to use tablets or iPad’s to complete homework could cause financial hardships for some families. I understand these students can check their Facebook profiles at the library, but these students may face bullying because they don’t have internet access. Also, their parents won’t get the information you were originally wanting to share. On the website “Digital Citizenship” Mike Ribble suggests “Digital exclusion makes it difficult to grow as a society increasingly using these tools”. We need to make all our students and families feel included at our school.

On the website “Digital Citizenship” Ribble says “learners must be taught how to learn in a digital society, and I agree with him. I don’t think Facebook is the right platform for teaching digital citizenship though. Ms. Brown is starting an online blog with her Grade 8 class, which I think is much more appropriate. I think your Grade 5 class would also do well having their own online blog. I know you will do an excellent job teaching all areas of digital citizenship. Ribble says “digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible, technology use” and I know you are more than capable of this.

Teacher: I’ve also found this resource for sending emails to parents about alerts and reminders… I could always use something like SmartSend instead of Facebook but I really want to be more personal. I mean, maybe I could even be friends with the parents since my Facebook page is so professional? I really want to make a good impression on them.

Principal: To be professional you aren’t friends with the parents, you can’t be.  As soon as you friend someone in Facebook, they have access to all your private information, friends, family, and other aspects of your life. These aspects are yours and yours alone.

Teacher: Ok, that makes sense to me. I guess why I’d want to make a page on Facebook for the parents is because the students could practice doing positive digital citizenship… It’s a good way for both me and the parents to watch what they’re posting on the page and for us to see them using the platform appropriately. Also, to make a page you don’t have to be friends with the students or the parents on Facebook, so I think we could keep it professional.

However, I respect your opinion and I think I will use my Twitter to remind parents and students about events and assignments, but email to be more in-depth and to communicate more broadly. My Twitter is already public, and I use it to teach about digital citizenship. Since it is my professional network I wouldn’t have to change anything anyways, or become “friends” with students or parents. I could simply just share the link with them in an email, and if they choose to follow they will. I found this article on using Twitter in school and I think you and I can both agree that it brings up four reasons that it’s a better social platform to use than Facebook for connecting with students and parents:

1. Enhances student engagement in the classroom
2. Engages the community
3. Connects parents about the good news
4. Broaden our school’s reach

How would you feel about this compromise, Ms. Chinook?

Principal: I really like this idea, I think if you’re adamant about using a social platform in the classroom and to communicate with parents, Twitter is a much better option. I appreciate you using the school email system and newsletter to talk with parents as they respond well to these methods. Let me know if there’s anything else you need from me, maybe I’ll even get a Twitter page!

What Goes On the Internet Stays On the Internet

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What goes on the internet stays on the internet.

The permeance of words and pictures on the internet is a concept students have difficulty comprehending.

Once, bad words, and bad photos are on the internet they stay there forever; unfortunately, the words and photos exist for cyber sleuths to find and future dreams will be smashed.

Students need to know the consequences of there actions.

Our society has changed since the internet and the introduction of social media. Social media has given us power and a voice which we’ve never had before, it can be used for good or evil. According to Jon Ronson in his TedTalk video “One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life” “The great thing about social media is how it gave a voice to the voiceless people”, but it also has the power to “dehumanize and destroy people without feeling guilty about it”. One misconstrued comment on the internet can have a backlash of astronomical proportions. Peoples lives can be devastated mentally and spiritually. Without dignity, who are we? Without compassion who are we?

Compassion wasn’t shown to Monica Lewinsky when her relationship with the then President, Bill Clinton, became public. She lived through pain, loss of reputation and loss of dignity; she knows first hand about humiliation. In her TedTalk “The Price of Shame” Lewinsky says “humiliation is a more intense emotion than happiness and anger”. With social media at everyone’s fingertips, negative words have the power to hurt deeply. Lewinsky says “millions of people can stab you with their words. That’s a lot of pain”. Lewinsky does have a positive message and she emphasizes we need to give compassion and have empathy as, “we have an empathy crisis”. Here is her empowering video.

Most teens think they are invincible, they aren’t concerned with the dangers of the internet. They willingly share personal information and post messages without thought or consideration of potential ramifications. In the article “10 Things Your Students Should Know About Their Digital Footprints” it explains students mistakes are now easily Googleable. Students are held accountable for what they put on the internet and fall prey to shaming and guilt. The digital footprint we leave on the internet will always remain. As Lauren Sauser says in her article “Developing Positive Digital Identities Through Education” “The internet NEVER forgets”. Infinity is a concept that’s difficult for adults to grasp let alone teenagers. Once information is on the internet it’s in the public domain, and traceable.

The article “10 Things Your Students Should Know About Their Digital Footprints”, emphasizes employers make decisions on what they find on the internet, and past indiscretions have repercussions. There is nothing completely private on the internet, even if you’ve got the strictest security; hackers love a challenge, and mistakes are made. Instagram still maintains and keeps records of all posts, they don’t disappear into thin air, contrary to popular belief.

We as teachers need to step in, guide, model, and explain the full dangers of the internet. We need to help students take charge of their digital identities, and ensure they have a positive digital footprint. Each student is responsible for their own digital reputation and as the article states, “build [their] own positive image and brand [themselves] in a great way”.

The article “How to teach students to build a positive online identity” by Tammi Sisk and Richard Stegman, explains the importance of students building their own digital portfolios. The portfolios showcase students learning, and “highlights strengths and personality”. Taking control of your digital footprint is essential. With every post whether it be in a blog or on Instagram, students should consider the following points from this article: “What information am I sharing? How secure is it? Who am I sharing it with? What am I leaving behind? What are my rights?” Students shouldn’t be afraid to express themselves on the internet just “represent themselves authentically, but also …. safely”. We as teachers need to guide our students on the digital pathway, and ensure positive impressions are left behind.

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If a transgression is made, the best way to off set the negative feedback is to post a vast amount of positive material. We can try to bury it under a mountain of good articles, tweets, blogs, and posts. We also need to teach our students compassion, empathy, and caring. Therefore, if a negative post is made public, students have the strength of character to stand up for their friends show compassion and empathy, reducing the pain and shame of the mistake. As Monica Lewinsky says “shame cannot survive empathy”.



Digital Digging

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It’s interesting how our digital identity is just as important as our real identity. We can learn so much about someone just by their posts on Facebook, pictures on Instagram, tweets on Twitter, and ideas from their blogs. We piece these snippets of information together to make a picture of who they are.

Savannah and I teamed up in our Google Community, and I was more than pleased to have her as my partner. I started my digital investigation on who she is with typing her name into Google. Initially finding information about Savannah was difficult as she didn’t have a Facebook profile, and her LinkedIn profile was blocked to me. I don’t have a LinkedIn account.

I did find Savannah in Instagram and realized she uses this website as a digital scrapbook. Family and friends are obviously important to her. She enjoys the outdoors, the Roughriders, and dotes on her son who loves hockey.

I did find articles in the Regina Leader Post, Ottawa Citizen, and Vancouver Sun that highlighted a business venture she had with her mom as a Concierge. They helped community members with grocery shopping and other errands, which shows a business spirit and connection to community. Here is my original digital diagnosis of Savannah.

When I looked for Savannah on Twitter I realized she also has another name. At first, I was confused.  When I talked to Savannah she explained she has chosen to use her mother’s  maiden name, as her mom reverted to this after a divorce. Savannah wanted to be supportive of her mom, and I respect that. Savannah has her birth name identity above, and her chosen family name identity which follows.

Apparently, it’s quite normal to have several different accounts and identities on the internet as the article “Having Multiple online Identities is More Normal Than You Think” by Nicole Lee she explains, “In reality, having multiple social media accounts is pretty common.” Most people have many social media accounts. I understand people compartmentalize themselves with different social media accounts for different activities; I too have two Facebook accounts, one for family, the other for friends. Savannah is following this trend.

Savannah’s Facebook is full of positive information. She is an EA for Regina Public Schools and was previously an EA at Montessori School of Regina. She enjoys yoga, running, and beach volleyball. She has a brother and sister, as well as a 10-year-old son. All of her photos on Facebook are pleasant and professional.

When looking at Savannah’s Twitter account I found that she has a positive Twitter feed.  Savannah @SavannahBenko share’s and retweets within the class community in a professional way. Savannah has joined three chat groups #whatisschool, #tlap, and #saskedchat, and gained many followers from these experiences. She has a good mixture of shares and tweets, within her twitter feed, which reinforces her positive digital identity.

Savannah’s blog also portrays a positive, professional identity. Her posts are informative, easy to read, and interesting. As Crystal Keshane says in her blog post “Identity of Jade Sleuthing the Pfeifer” “These posts allow us sleuths to follow [Savannah] on her educational journey and learning.” It’s exciting to watch Savannah learn and grow. Here is my digital analysis for Savannah’s chosen name.

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All of this digging for digital identity has made me realize that Paul Gordon Brown has a point in his article “Digital Identity is not about Separate Identity at all”, when he says “we are a collection of connections and enmeshed in networks and webs” he demonstrates through a beautiful metaphor how we and the internet are interconnected and evolving.

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We Have a New Culture of Participation

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The Walkman, now that brings back memories of my teenage years. In our EDTEC 300 class lecture, Alec Couros, explains how in the 1980’s the Walkman was thought to end socialization as teenagers like myself, tuned the world out and listened to music. As we know society didn’t fall apart, but it did start to change.

Twenty-five years later YouTube was created, and again just like the Walkman teenagers were captivated. Only instead of passively listening to music they could actively participate; this time teenagers could be part of the music and show themselves to the world. YouTube made uploading easier and as Michael Wesch says in his An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube  YouTube helped create a “new cultural order”. Anyone with a webcam and connection to the internet could make movies the world can see. YouTube helped connect everyone globally and created a communication network. It doesn’t matter where you live we are linked together through YouTube in new and different ways.

Wesch points out that our society has changed and the communities our grandparents were part of don’t exist in the same way any more. We are social creatures and still need to feel connected with friends, family, and community. YouTube and the internet has replaced our sense of disconnect by creating an electrical community. We long for stronger relationships and can now have them due to the internet and YouTube.

We have a new culture of participation.

According to Alec Couros in our EDTEC 300 class, “92% of toddlers in the US have a digital footprint, and 34% of children have a digital footprint before they are even born. On average there are 1500 images of children before their 5th birthday. The world has changed. Children on average spend 6 hours a day having screen time, and that doesn’t include the time using computers at school. Children are active participants in our new digital world.”

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In Alec’s video Identity in a Digital World, he explains that students don’t see their private lives separately from their digital lives, and we as educators have a role in guiding our students. Our classrooms need to change.

In Alec Couros’ video Using Social Media in Education, he explains that our classrooms do need to change. The main focus of this change is the teacher; the teacher needs to model the use of technology in a positive way. Students learn positive social cues, and how technology should be used. Students need to have a positive digital identity, and it should be school’s responsibility to teach these skills. Google Drive, allows students to show what they have learned, as do ePortfolios and Instagram. Twitter is an excellent tool for finding information and connecting knowledge with student’s websites. The future classroom will have more technology and easier access for students to use a computer.

The internet provides vast amounts of information and allows students to participate in their education in new and innovative ways which is great. But, there is a downside. In Amber Barwell’s article Couros and Wesch – An Internet Education she paraphrase’s Alec Couros’s negative aspects of the internet discussed in our EDTEC 300 class lecture. is an anonymous sharing site, that was originally created to allow people to express themselves anonymously, but “it’s turned into the perfect environment for cyber-bullying” (Barwell). Cyber-bullying can become so extreme; the pressure and stress of hurtful words can push young adults beyond despair and see suicide as their only option.

Alec Couros’ presentation in our EDTEC 300 class was informative, fun, and yet gut wrenching. The thoughts of students using today’s technology to hurt someone so deeply, the victim sees suicide as their only way out is terribly disturbing. I’m glad I now know this information as I didn’t before. The internet is a great tool, but it can have deadly consequences. Now I know the ramifications of this tool, I can prepare myself and my students to have a positive digital identity, and not fall into the pitfalls.

Michael Wesch’s video, demonstrates that I’ve been living in my own world since the internet was created. All of his fun antics, and humor were directed at an audience who knew the videos that had gone viral on YouTube, which I didn’t. The internet has morphed as have we, it’s become more important in our lives and become part of our human psyche. How interesting!

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I need to learn, understand, and start participating in this new reality.

Excellent Extension Tricks


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I’m continually surprised and amazed with the world of technology. Exploring extensions sounded really nerve-wracking, but I’m realizing they are tricks to make life easier. The extensions are small icons placed next to the Google Search Bar, therefore the icons are extensions for on-line searching.

The first extension I added to my computer was the Ad blocker called uBlock Origin. I use Chrome as my web browser, and clicked the Added to Chrome button when on the uBlock Origin web site. A little black shield icon instantly materialized next to the search box. Now all kinds of adds are blocked including the adds that play before YouTube video’s, as well as on line adds. This extension is incredibly easy to add to a computer, it also tells how many adds are being blocked once the icon is clicked. Excellent!

uBlock Origin takes out unnecessary advertising which makes watching YouTube video’s more time efficient in the classroom. Students attention is not diverted by the adverts, and their focus is directed to the subject being taught. This simple extension has great potential in the classroom to keep student’s attention and save time.

Screencastify is also an easy extension to add to the computer. Again, as this extension is compatible with Chrome, I clicked the Added to Chrome button and a small pink arrow icon with a movie camera is added to the extension list. The Screencastify main page also has a video that teaches you how to use the extension, which is a nice touch. Here is the video demonstrating how to use this technology.

Screencastify, allows you to show and demonstrate your computer screen with others. You also have the option to have your webcammed self included in the demonstration, which is a nice personalized touch. The video can then be uploaded to YouTube. This is an excellent teaching tool. Teachers can give step by step instructions on the computer to guide students with particular computer programs. If students have difficulty they can stop the instructions and review areas as necessary. Allowing students to follow the instructions in their own time gives all students the opportunity to learn at their own pace, and gain confidence with the material taught.

I want to demonstrate using Screencastify and teach you how to use  Evernote Web Clipper.

As you can see Evernote  Web Clipper, is a great extension for taking screenshots and customizing them.  This is an excellent tool for teachers as they can highlight, and use various editing tools to emphasize  important material.

The SAMR model shows how technology can be integrated into the classroom. The SAMR acronym stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.

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The uBlock Origin extension would fall into the  Augmentation category as it helps students to understand and apply materials from the internet by removing  distracting advertising.

The Screencastify extension, and the Evernote Web Clipper, both fall into the Redefinition category; these technological extensions allow students to apply their skills, analyse what they are doing, and evaluate their successes, which would have been inconceivable even 10 years ago.

Thoughts on Twitter

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Twitter is a whole new world for me. Twitter is something I’ve heard about but didn’t understand; even when I googled it I still felt left in the dark. All I knew was Donald Trump uses Twitter, therefore, it must be scary.

I’ve only been on Twitter for a few days, but it’s not as scary as I initially thought. I’m still overwhelmed, but I can see how it would be a useful tool for gathering and sharing information. I’m just learning how to post comments on people’s tweets, like, and retweet relevant information. It’s remarkably easy to do, but time seems to disappear when I start looking for articles. I find so many different and fascinating blogs, time zooms past; I’ve learned something new, but my day has vanished!

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I can see how using Twitter in the classroom is an excellent tool for student’s inquiry-based learning as they can research topics that interest them. Students can find information and share it quickly and easily with others in their group, or with friends which is great.  Samantha Miller has written an article “50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom“, that gives more than enough ideas of how Twitter can be used. But, there is so much information on Twitter and as it continually moves and changes I can see students becoming easily distracted, loose focus, and investigate other topics that aren’t academically relevant. Also, I find Twitter time consuming, and I’m sure students will too. Using Twitter in the classroom has it’s merits but students will have to have clear parameters stating what information they should be looking for to keep them on task.


#Saskedchat was quiet the experience. Trying to watch, and listen, to my online class, and participate in the group chat was overwhelming. There was so much information thrown at me all at once, I didn’t know where to look, or what I was looking at. I was confused. The group chat was fast paced, and full of like minded individuals, which was good. I can see the value of this type of professional development and will want to participate in another group chat once I feel more comfortable with Twitter.

Feeding my Feedly Account

Feedly was overwhelming at first. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I typed in key words into the search box and lists of blog groupings came up. I reviewed each group by looking at their summary and decided if their material was relevant. It didn’t take me long to realize that the number of followers and the numbers of new blogs posted a week are important in the twitter-verse. Therefore, choosing my Feedly groups was done according to relevancy, numbers of followers and numbers of blogs published a week.

Two Sources

Free Technology for Teachers blog grouping has 80K followers and 22 articles published a week. The content is relevant as it covers technology within a learning environment for teachers to access. There are 10 articles within this grouping  all of which are interesting. I like the fact that blogs are easy to read, content is relevant, and supported with YouTube video’s. The video’s give a hands-on step by step guide demonstrating how to implement the suggested technology tips.

Three Ways to Collect Video Reflections from Students” by Richard Byrne, describes three different ways students can record their thoughts and opinions in video reflections. Byrne’s first examined Flipgrid; you the teacher, post a video question to your students, they in-turn record a video response. He also posts a video demonstrating how to use Flipgrid, and walks you through the program as he sets up an account. See a Flipgrid tutorial below.

The second program Byrne discusses is SeaSaw. If teachers are already using this technology they can use the video function to encourage students to make video reflections. Thirdly, Byrne looks at Padlet. This program allows students to add audio, video, drawings, and picture notes to a Padlet wall that can be looked at by the class.  The Padlet program allows students to use their creative skills to their fullest. He demonstrates how to set this up and shows how students can use a variety of notes to express themselves. This blog is interactive and very informative, making new technology easy and accessible for teachers.

In the blog “Great Journeys and Explorations – Stories Told with Interactive Maps and Timelines” by Richard Byrnes, he explains that StoryMap Js allows time lines and maps to create ‘mapped stories’. It creates slides that show maps, images, and text in a creative way to make a story. The software uses Google Drive and uses current student content to help make a mapped story; everything is then saved within Google Drive. This sounds like an easy software application for all students to use without difficulty.

Although both blogs were written by Richard Byrnes they discussed different educational technological tools for the classroom, which are relevant, easy, and fun for students to use.

Feedly is an awesome publication and blog tool. Below is a screenshot of my account.