Author Archives: Gillian Crocker

This is the end . . . of EC&I 831 . . . but definitely not puppy training!

About two and a half months ago, I decided to take on a project to teach myself how to train my dogs in order to improve their behaviour. At the time, Duke (6 years) and Gryff (5 months, now approaching 8 months), were frequently demonstrating that they were in need of some manners. They were awful at jumping all over everyone that came in the door, while simultaneously attacking each other (mostly Gryff) and horrible for pulling on a leash and making walks so unenjoyable. I set out with the goal of improving these two behaviours! The result … well let’s talk about that!

Looking Back

September 20th, 2021 ~ I began by outlining their annoying behaviours, the reasons for choosing this as my major learning project and the opportunity that this project would create for my family to be involved.

September 28th, 2021 ~ I explored an app I did not have – TikTok – and discovered the learning potential that exists within it, despite it’s many flaws. While I set out to learn more about it with no intention of getting it, TikTok would become a big part of my major learning project from this point forward.

October 3rd, 2021 ~ During the first few weeks of this project, I spent most of my time looking for and exploring resources on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. I had intended to check Pinterest but never actually got there. I began organizing the resources I was finding on my Wakelet. As I was enjoying the approach of the TikTok videos, I started searching for some of the dog trainers I was following in other locations such as Instagram and YouTube to see if they had TikTok accounts. By this point I was starting to identify some who I like more than others and even unfollowing a few I had started out with. Following this post, Brittany mentioned Zak George and how useful she found his YouTube channel.

We also began trying clicker training and walking in the house during the first two weeks of October.

October 18th, 2021 ~ It is at this point that I started to realize a need for a more sequential approach to dog training. While I started out with the goal of improving their leash walking and how they react when people come to the door, more and more skills needed work. A big piece was realizing how essential it was for the dogs to attend to each of us. “Look at me” became an integral part of training at this point.

This is also the point I realized we may need to try some different leash and harness options. Duke demonstrated instant improvement with a front clip harness. Gryff has been much more resistant to the various harness styles and continues to try to pull. Colton shared the ‘half hitch harness’ hack as a solution for when you find yourself without a harness. This has turned out to be a useful way to maintain more control with Gryff as it gives him a slight squeeze around his core when he pulls too hard.

November 1st, 2021 ~ A few new challenges popped up in the week leading up to this. Gryff started marking in the house which had not previously been a problem. In addition, the barking was increasing, especially with the little one. At this point we had settled on the Halti leash and Canadian Pooch Harness. Soon after this, I also bought a 30 ft. lead to use specifically for training purposes.

At this time, we became much more consistent about expecting ‘four paws on the floor’ before providing the pups with any attention on entry. This is something we have to work hard on with company around while also encouraging the company to ignore them until they are ready.

This week I came across the Zak George 30 Day Perfect Pup Program. As soon as I saw the skills it was progressing through, I knew this was the more focussed and progressive approach I was in need of!

November 16th, 2021 ~ The main focus of the first few weeks of November were on trying to watch and keep up with all the resources from the free 30 Day Perfect Pup Program. I was finding Zak George’s approach to be both gentle and effective. At this point, both dogs were demonstrating ‘sit, look at me, lie down’ and beginning to leave it and stay. Throughout the program I was finding the message of consistency to be loud and clear.

I shared my Wakelet and Flipgrid this week, the hunt for low calorie treats and that I had signed up for a Bowzer Box. Progress was definitely taking place and we were beginning to feel some increments of success.

Where we are today!

In the weeks since the November 16th post, there have been numerous gains, challenges and changes.

I soon realized that Flipgrid was not going to allow the open sharing I was hoping for. In the classroom, this tool is very handy and its security features are wonderful. When trying to share with a broader network, they were very limiting. At this point I felt I had no choice but to transfer all the puppy training videos to TikTok and make my account public. This was tough for me as I had never intended on doing that. That said, I find it fairly simple to remove followers and keep the profile somewhat limited. I also had fun editing and improving the videos with the TikTok features. It is pretty cool how you are provided with music options and it is so easy to add them! I found myself playing around more and more with these tools. Initially I said I would be removing this profile as soon as I completed this class, but I think I may keep it up for a bit in order to keep me accountable to the puppy training that must go on!

During the last few weeks we have been working hard on adding ‘leave it’ and ‘stay’ to the dogs repertoire of commands. Gryff is responsive to hand signals and continues to need clear signals for “down” (lie down), “leave it”, “stay” and “come.” Duke has his moments and definitely struggles to focus when excited but that is to be expected. We have started to use the commands ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ when people come to the door including when I come home (this is always a big trigger). The boys have been doing very well with this. They still look like they may explode with excitement, but they are trying to follow the commands. We have been trying to allow one dog to come say “Hello” and then go before the other dog comes to greet me, but this part is continually tricky. We will keep working at it! I think I need to have treats by the door!

We are definitely not done the 30 day program from Zac George, but I think that’s okay. The next couple skills are really getting to what we set out to improve from the beginning. I knew they still needed more time on the skills we had introduced this month before we started. I also knew we needed to try taking our training to a new setting. Most dog trainers emphasize the need to learn inside and then move to new settings. They also recommend that the dogs have a chance to blow off some steam and acclimate to the environment before trying. We set out last Sunday with a plan to take the dogs for a walk and then head to the park and let them sniff around for a bit. Duke NEVER pays attention to me outside the house. It is beyond difficult to gain his eye contact or regain his attention once we head out the door. I often saying I could hold an entire drumstick in his face and I still could not get him to follow a command.

Well, these are just some of the reasons I was so extremely excited with the success we experienced at the park. We utilized the 30ft lead for the first time, looping Gryff’s leash around it so he could run freely with Duke. Once they seemed settled, I decided to try all the things we had been working on. I was completely shocked when Duke stopped and actually focussed on me! I was able to get them to “sit”, “look at me”, “stay” and “come” in the park!! Not only that, my youngest daughter was also able to gain their attention and give commands that they followed! In my mind, this is huge! There may not have been any other dogs around and the park was fairly quiet, but this was a new environment and we were able to carry over some of our learning!

Check out my TikTok to see all the videos including this one!

Challenges

A few key challenges have come to light in the last couple months, but particularly over the last few weeks. First, as Duke’s leash walking behaviour has improved, it has also become more clear how anxious he is. Once I really started attending to how his behaviour changed from inside to outside, it made it easier to understand why he struggles to give us any attention or follow commands when outside the house. This is something we need to continue to look into.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Gryff started marking in the house, beginning with my youngest daughters bed! After having so much success with his ‘potty training’ up to that point, this has continued to be a frustrating challenge. With some other odd behaviours appearing at this point in his growth (let’s call it puberty), it has been very clear that Gryff NEEDS to get fixed – bad! I started to wonder if marking might be another sign of this and sure enough, it is. Unfortunately, Gryff’s appointment is not until December 28th so we have a bit of a wait for this almost 8 month old pup. I cannot tell you how many times I have said “this is going to be a long month” in recent weeks! I am certainly hoping that we see some improvement in a few behaviours after he is fixed.

Last but not least, Gryff may be allergic to something! He has started to scratch obsessively and it is not just targeted at an area. With all the different treats we have been utilizing in the hunt for low calorie tasty treats, I have clearly introduced something that does not agree with him. We have tried eliminating a few of them to pinpoint what it is but the scratching continues and thus so does the investigation.

Tips

  • There are some really good resources out there. I have found Zac George to be especially helpful. However, @rachelfusaro, @leaderofthepacklv, @southenddogtraining1, @sayitoncedogtraining and @pupscoutsdogtraining have all provided me with useful tips and training tricks! In addition, I have started listening to select episodes of the Perfect Pup Podcast for additional tips and reminders of how to be a good pup parent and trainer.
  • As much as I keep hearing from people that I should take the dogs to obedience classes, I am not sure that I agree that this is actually the best thing for our dogs. One of the clearest messages about dog training is C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y. I don’t think once a week classes are the type of consistency they are referring to. Most trainers say a training session everyday is the way to go. My tip: 10-15 minutes a day of focussed and fun training is more meaningful then a short block of once a week classes.
  • Find the right leash and harness for your dog. I never put much thought into this before but there really is a reason that there are so many varieties out there. You may have to spend a bit of money to find what will work for you, but it will be worth it.
  • The clicker is not necessary. It may be handy later on if we try to teach them more complex tricks, but at this time, it just isn’t something I am always going to have on me to reinforce the behaviour. My excited, positive reinforcement, and of course treats, hold way more value!
  • Finally, make training fun! This is good for their brains and their bodies. It is a form of playtime and they should love the attention they get from you during this time. I can tell how much my dogs are enjoying it and that truly makes it worthwhile!

Where to next?

We may not have achieved the two goals we set out to improve, but we are making progress. The fact that I was able to get their attention and see carry over of skills in the park brings me such hope! That neither of them has bolted when I have told them to sit and stay because someone is at the door, is also a big marker of success. The fact that walking with them does not make me insane right now is also evidence of some improvement, even if it is a result of changes we have made. I am thankful for all of it!

We are not done! The process has not been perfect but it is working! Our puppy training absolutely must go on and I am totally okay with that. From this, I have realized that I absolutely can learn what I need to improve my dogs behaviour utilizing online tools, and if I continue on this progressive path with consistent training and reinforcement, we will achieve our two initial goals and much more!

Thank you for following our journey!!

Summary of Learning

Our class is coming to a wrap but the learning has just begun. I am definitely leaving this course feeling like there is so much to learn and wanting more!

Here is a sketch of how I generally felt about technology and social media prior to taking this class. I am hoping you are able to view it a little more clearly here then in my poster presentation.

Representing my conflicting feelings about social media and technology!

I chose to summarize my learning in EC&I 831 using glogster. This is basically a digital poster that allows you to include audio and video. It turned out to be not very user friendly with tons of hiccups in terms of when it would accept audio and video. On the plus side, I learned a few things about converting videos this week!

I also could not embed the glog here so I am definitely not recommending this tool. I am sharing a screenshot with the link! Fingers crossed that you are able to access it and all it’s parts without a hitch!

P.S. Be patient with it as it loads!

Check out my Glog here!

Thank you in advance for taking the time to view and listen! I have appreciated all of you that have taken the time to read my thoughts over the last few months!

Evaluating OERs!

Found here

In my last blog post around this topic, I was working on constructing an understanding of what OER is and how it applies to me. Within this, I did shed light on some concerns I had such as how to actually make this more of a norm around the world and ensure that OERs actually do lead to equitable education opportunities globally. I definitely see the value in open education resources along with the potential. I see a lack of digital access as a huge barrier to OER, but this does not make it less valuable. It just means we have some serious work to do world wide to ensure that the digital divide does not continue to be a factor in why so many are not receiving education. This is a huge oversimplification, as we know this is much more to do with power, but it is a factor.

Quality or Junk?

I want to focus in on one component of open education resources today. That is the varied quality of the resources that are available. Yes, the OER movement is rooted in the human right to access ‘high-quality’ education. The truth is that this is all very subjective though. We could be getting textbooks for thousands of dollars (which many of us are) that are complete junk (which some are). Having a cost associated with the resources simply does not make them better. Furthermore, the principal of openly licensed materials and resources means that we can use them, change them and improve upon them. This is something we technically cannot do with the copyrighted textbooks (though we do find our ways).

Yes, there are going to be materials out there that are absolute junk. Whether we are paying for resources on Teachers Pay Teachers or using division purchased textbooks, this is going to be an issue. I have utilized Khan academy many times for their instructional math videos. Some of these are better than others. Will they always hit the target the exact way you need them to at your grade level, with your kids? No! Will they sometimes though? Absolutely! I have also utilized some of the Crash Course videos that both Jenny and Katherine mention. Katherine points out that these are actually an Open Education Resource available through Complexly on YouTube. I had no idea how many videos they had out there covering such a wide range of topics until Katherine mentioned this in her post. As Jenny points out, many of these have American content, however, there are many great videos that apply to content we cover here as well.

Similar to the Info. shared by @TeacherTremblay on Twitter. This image found here.

Our school division attempted to develop a resource bank to cover every grade and subject during June of 2020. This was meant to be a collaborative project carried out over two weeks that would leave us with all the resources we needed to teach if we were to go online in the 2020/2021 school year. The truth is, there was a ton of junk in this bank. Some literally put no effort into it and make it obvious they don’t have a creative bone in their body. However, there is also some very useful content that I see as being an excellent resource for new teachers or teachers looking to change up a unit. The better quality tools met the criteria of the 5Rs of Using OER that Leigh shared on Twitter. I am actually not sure if this is an open resource or only open to our school division so my apologies if the link does not work for you.

Black Gold School Division in Alberta had a similar resource bank which I was able to access last year, but can now not find any evidence of on their website. I would have given that resource bank the same rating based on the fact that more than half of it was not great. The stuff that was well done, definitely met the 5Rs. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be available anymore so it no longer meets any of the criteria. I believe that the poor quality of some of these resources might have had a lot to do with the fact, particularly in our school division, that this was mandated but not promoted nearly enough for the potential value it could hold.

Exploring Further Resources

Having very limited experience with OERs, I decided to check out OER Commons and OpenLearn.

I thought OER offered a wide variety of resources. The concept of ‘Groups’ is useful in searching for content on specific subject matter including lessons, faculty resources and textbooks. There are hundreds of topics within this section! When scrolling through the ‘Collection’, I thought it would be very helpful if every resource specified what grades(s) it would be appropriate for. Searching requires more work if you have to click on every resource and read thoroughly to know if it’s even geared to you, let alone a quality resource. It does however provide you with the opportunity to narrow your search by subject and level. This is not specific enough though as I found that what came up was not necessarily what I specified.

OpenLearn is clear that they are geared to the university level right in their title. They also indicate the amount of hours each course is. While the search engine allows you to narrow things down a bit, many loosely related concepts are available within a search. While OER specifies subjects within the blurb that gives you a hint as to whether or not it might be meant for a higher grade level, OpenLearn does not provide anything more than the title and a line of text. I attempted to search the topic ‘Media Literacy’ on both OER and OpenLearn. I found that a great deal of what came up on OpenLearn was articles. There were many unrelated pieces on OER as well as a ton of American history content within that search. A few, didn’t look too bad, but the amount of American content within most of the resources I checked out was quite high. A quick search for content specific to place value turned up many results with lessons I would be more likely to use.

Wrapping it up!

While I think there is lots of value to the resources available through any of the OER sites, navigating the sites in order to find what you are looking for can be a bit of a challenge. Unlike TPT which gives you a quick preview with enough specifics to help you decide if in fact the resource might work for you, most of the resources I checked out this week required more digging to determine their value. Sites like TedED, Khan and even Crash Course, make it easier for you to decide if the resource might be of value to you. Of course, you should watch it completely to be sure and they certainly will not give you everything you need to teach a unit.

I think all of these resources are a starting point in Open Ed. Rarely will we find a resource that has everything we need all in one place. We need to be able to pick and choose and the options are great! If something is not very easily navigated, then we just move on! The big thing is, we really need some more Canadian topic. Of even greater importance though, is the fact that we still need to get the idea of Open Education Resources out there for all to use! Only then will we have enough people using them, providing feedback and sharing to really see the quantity and quality of educational resources we need available worldwide.

Before you go, OpenLearning got me wondering about whether there are OER courses available at the College or University level that can be used for credit? The concept of using OER in post secondary is grade, but what if the only way for someone to access course is through free sources such as OpenLearning? Are these resources recognized? I’d love to hear if you have any insight on this!

Gillian 🙂

Puppy Progress

Growth! That is the simplest way to describe the last couple weeks. Don’t get me wrong, the ups and downs continue. Gryff has learned to sit, look at me, lie down and stay in the last few weeks. At the same time, we have continued to see a regression in his ‘potty’ training and I definitely need to look into what has led to his desire to ‘mark’ everything when he did not do this before. Regardless, I celebrate the growth I am seeing!

I mentioned in my last post that Zak George offers a free 30 day training program. I went for it and signed up! It has been a bit of a struggle to keep up with it, however, it has been very useful content. There are daily emails with instructional videos as well as an additional daily email with varied tips. The fact that it comes right to my inbox is handy in keeping me accountable and committed. Everything, and I mean everything he has gone over so far has worked and worked quickly! It will definitely take a little more than 30 days for me to get through but I think that’s okay!

Zak is so reassuring. He makes it clear that everything we work on will take far longer for mastery and will need continuous practice and reinforcement. The message of consistency is repetitive and clear, but also makes it okay that we may not achieve exactly the goals I was aiming for by the end of this ‘project’. Regardless, I am feeling like a much better puppy parent these days!

In addition, these boys are more spoiled than ever! I have never spent so much money on my dogs as I have in the last two months. Between new leashes and harnesses, searching for low calorie treats (Zak George was using 1 cal treats and I realized mine were 5.5 per treat – YIKES), new toys meant to tire them out more quickly and a new subscription Bowzer box, these boys are currently living the life!

I have shared some of the videos and individuals I have been following on TikTok. There isn’t too much to share regarding my TikTok though as I am not posting anything! However, I may do a screen record and share some of my resources on my FlipGrid. Today I would like to share my Wakelet and my Flipgrid with you! Wakelet has given me a way to keep some of the content I am finding in one place. I have found that despite following trainers on Instagram and Facebook, my main sources have been TikTok and other resources I have checked out as result of recommendations of others (or TikTok). Wakelet has been helpful to keep this organized.

My Flipgrid has been a work in progress! I appreciate how it is showing the progression of things however I wish it captured all the learning that has been taking place behind the scene. I do struggle to get videos, particularly of the two things I set out to improve at the start – the leash walking and how they react when people come in. However, this whole project has led to so much more than a focus on these two skills! I will definitely try to capture some film in the final two weeks of this major project, but for now, please enjoy a look at how things began as well as some of the awesome gains we have made!

Thanks for reading and for checking out our puppy progress!!

~ Gillian

Open Education: A Developing Understanding Wrapped in Questions

I have spent time exploring the topic of Open Educational Resources (OERs) this week. My current understanding is very much ‘developing’. Today, I aim to summarize the key understandings I have gained through a handful of sources.

Image found here

Summarizing Key Concepts

I began with some of the videos available on Vimeo shared by Alec in class. The first, Why Open Education Matters, does an excellent job of bringing light to the fact that education is not created equally around the world, or even from school to school. Issues of the availability of resources and the continued battle to keep up with changing information means that many schools never have enough resources. This impacts a teacher’s ability to do their best work and limits the full potential of students. This video describes open education as “A global movement that aims to bring quality education to teachers and students everywhere!” What a beautiful concept!!

The idea is that schools will no longer be limited by where they are or how much money they have through OERs. The benefits of this include:

  • Availability of top notch learning materials on the web for all to use,
  • Resources available for anyone to add to, revise or improve,
  • Up to date information and resources, and;
  • Free licensing to adapt and improve.

Another video titled Why Open Education Matters by ilka, further emphasizes that the internet shifts the balance of power by making copying and distributing both free and possible. The authors of this video argue that copyright in fact limits the ability to make education truly free. They finish by emphasizing the potential of OER to “democratize education.” Education Without Limits: Why Open Education Matters by Rhythm Refuge Productions, extends on the ideas presented by focussing on the potential of learning with today’s tools. The goal is to put the tools in the hands of upcoming professionals who are willing to make it their own. The speaker, Mitchell Levy, brings up the idea that open education does not necessarily mean free, though leaving me wondering if it is truly open. He also addresses the digital divide and the fact that many do not have access to any technology, an issue that has become very clear in North America over the last twenty months since Covid changed the world. Levy points out that we must get technology in the hands of those who can’t afford it. My first question though is, how? My second is with regards to whether this is referring to all the children of the world or only those in developed countries?

Found here.

In my search for resources to expand my understanding, I found a few podcasts with a focus on OERs. The first was an interview with Carolee Clyne of the BCcampus by Loui Lord Nelson. Carolee talked about her work at BCcampus and her efforts to reduce the barriers for students. She emphasized that open education policies go beyond reducing barriers. In order to gain further understanding of what she meant, I checked out the BCcampus OpenEd resources. Here I found a journal article demonstrating a correlation between student achievement and OER as well as a list of what OER can really do. This included such things as accelerate learning, reduce faculty preparation time, generate cost savings and enhance quality, among other things.

The podcast, Teaching in Higher Ed showcased Canadian Terry Greene in episode 364 titled Creating and Extending Open Education. Terry has his own podcast, Gettin’ Air with Terry Greene, containing 141 episodes focussed on technology enabled open learning practices. Greene is a strong believer in the need to increase joy and openness in education. He sees open education as one way to do this but is critical of the sometimes rigid view of what OER actually is. For him, it is all about the benefits of sharing!

The Impacts of Open Educational Resources written by Oliver Dreon, Ph.D. (2018), is an interesting summary of the ongoing struggle of trying to get faculties to adopt an OER approach. Dreon admitted to primarily promoting OER resources to faculty because they are free and will help more students to be able to access what they need to learn. He has found that efforts to get staff buy in have not had the impact he’s been hoping for though. In his experience, many faculty members continue to resist their use, arguing that OER resources are lower quality and actually have a negative impact on students. While he continues to point out to faculty that many students go without any resources because of the burden of a pricey textbook, the resistance continues. However, the power of his argument shifted when he discovered this journal article explaining the results of a large scale study involving 21 822 students. The research compared the use of OERs to traditional resources, scattered over 8 different courses, spanning 13 semesters. Each of the 8 courses were offered both with and without open resources throughout this time period. The results clearly indicated that across the board, students performed better in courses that used open educational resources, decreasing the number of failing grades and increasing their final marks!

I am certainly able to see the potential of OERs in creating a world in which educational opportunities are more equitable across the globe. However, throughout this learning journey, I have continually found myself wondering about how open the resources really are when we know that the ability to access technology is not equal. This has been the only big con in my eyes. Felician University Libraries provides a clear summary of the pros and cons of Open Education Resources, bringing light to some other issues that I had yet to consider. The benefits include the ability to access for free, the potential to reach far audiences quickly and efficiently, the ability to modify, personalize and adapt, and the potential for collaboration among staff. The negatives include issues with the quality of resources and the potential for them to become quickly updated. Technology issues aside, something I admit had not crossed my mind is the cultural and/or language barriers which may in fact make it difficult to consider these resources accessible by all. Are we in fact pushing our own cultural beliefs and bias on others by naïvely expecting that students all over the world could benefit from the sharing of our resources? Is something better than the nothing that so many are receiving? Can these resources really reach all when we know there is no technology available in many of the most undereducated countries?

Graphic found here.

As I sat down to write this, I realized I still really wanted to watch Dean Shareski’s work, Sharing the Moral Imperative. This was made in 2010 yet continues to be very relevant. Many of the resources I came across, like this one, are quite old by the standards of technology, yet the messages continue to be not only relevant, but under utilized and scarcely implemented. Dean shares some really powerful messages in this video including. . .

“Sharing is the work of teaching.”

“It’s okay that I can’t take credit for anything. That is the antithesis of a teacher.”

We should all be “Sharing online and sharing regularly. You need to be helping others to do likewise…because you owe it to others to teach students beyond your classroom.”

Final Thoughts

I am inspired by the potential of OERs and full of questions about why this is not a universally understood concept yet! Dean’s message about our responsibility to reach beyond the walls of our own classroom is so powerful. Ultimately, it is the reason I have made the choice to go into administration despite my deep love for the classroom. I have never been able to keep my focus within my four walls and have continually wanted to make greater change than I can make with my students alone. While I see their potential to change the world as well, I want to see MORE happening for kids within my school, my community and across the world!

The intent behind Open Education Resources is so important. After synthesizing the information from various readings, videos and podcasts, I feel that the desire to share resources far and wide, collaborate, create and reach more students and educators, is at the core of the work that advocates of OER are doing. Yes, there will be some resources of poor quality that come along, and not every resource will be suited to every teacher or classroom, but the idea that we could be sharing so much more is spot on!! It frustrates me to see teachers not sharing within a school. It angers me to see great things happening within a division that no one is even aware of!

We did become teachers because we wanted to teach and make a difference. Was it ever really about impacting only a certain group of students? I am thinking your answer was probably “NO!” So why the heck is sharing not a core component of teaching for every-single-teacher?! I agree with Dean! It is my moral imperative to share and teach others! I also want to learn from other adults and classrooms! I love helping another teacher to improve their instruction with a new idea or resource, or just making the extremely complex job of teaching a tiny bit easier by eliminating the need to create everything. I have done some of my best work because of what I have learned or was inspired to do by the actions of another. I really do think there needs to be more effort put into breaking down the invisible and unnecessary borders that exist between classes, schools and communities. We can do better together!

I could honestly go on! I am full of questions and I am having a hard time getting my head around why this idea has been so slow to take root in Education. I am still shocked that the concept of open education has been around for as long as it has, yet with so little progress! There is a time and a place for copyright, but I don’t think Education is it.

I am left pondering how we address the issue of technology inequity in order to be able to remove barriers to education. Are there movements with a focus on bringing technology and internet access to schools across the globe? Even if it seems nearly impossible, I still want to hope with all my heart that ideas like the power of open education to reach all corners of the world is a possibility. For now, I want to see this idea become more of a standard for education right here in Saskatchewan and Canada! How do we make that a reality??

Thanks so much for sticking with me today,

Gillian 🙂

Halloween Howls!

Don’t be fooled by these cute faces! As I sit here listening to Gryff bark incessantly in the backyard, I cannot not help but think one of my family members will soon be howling out the back door. This week there have been a few ‘howls’. The first came when Gryff decided to hop on Kenzie’s bed and pee. Seriously?! Not an accident in weeks and then he does this? There were definitely howls coming from her room after that. Following this extreme reaction, pretty typical of my youngest, Gryff went on a bit of a rampage and I would definitely say it has been targeted at Kenzie.

Following the bed incident, I caught Gryff lifting his leg to pee on Kenzie’s backpack one morning. Luckily I startled him and he missed completely (as her lunch was already inside). Then he went into her room and peed on her talking Hogwarts Sorting Hat (again with the howling). Later the same day, I catch him sneaking into her room and trying to pee on a bag on the floor. It doesn’t take a dog specialist to tell me this is behavioural!! In addition to this, he is suddenly a barking maniac. Some days I can’t help but want to rip my own hair out!

Things were definitely getting a little horrifying around here with all these ‘incidents’ taking place. However, the progress in other areas has continued. The Halti training leash has turned out to be amazing for a couple reasons. We like the option to take both dogs on one leash, wear it around the waist, and use it long or short. The Halti training harness was not for us though. It was too limiting in that it does not provide the option to only use the front clip. You must be clipped to the back clip at all times with the front clip being for additional control. However, we also purchased the Canada Pooch Everything Harness (as seen below). This harness is waterproof, offers front or back clip attachments which can be used on their own and has a seatbelt loop in the back.

The truth is that this harness has provided a huge change in how Duke walks. Duke automatically started pulling to the point of gasping for breath with the back clip harness. We resorted to a choke chain and he continued to cut off his own circulation. I am not prepared to call this a transformation quite yet, but the change is significant. When Duke is connected to the front clip he barely tries to pull. I even tried it with Gryff there, and with Duke’s major “Me First” attitude, I was shocked that he did not start pulling ahead as he always has.

We did not see the same improvement with Gryff though. He does not stop pulling with it in the front and seems to get frustrated by it. In the comments of my last post, Colton shared the idea of the “half hitch harness” with me. While he suggested it could be helpful when you do not have a harness, after watching Gryff walk, I wondered if this might make a difference with him. He has a tendency to lean his entire body to the right. The use of this leash wrapping method provides control to his mid-section, making it more difficult for him to do this. The Halti leash again came in handy here as it’s length makes it easier to be able to wrap and still adjust the length of his lead. I am also finding I have to walk on the road with him because if he is anywhere near grass or bushes, he will not stop trying to tug. With these two adjustments, I am seeing some slight improvements.

Aside from walking, we continue to work on improving how they are expected to greet people. The boys are doing better if WE are prepared. This TikTok from @leaderofthepacklv was a helpful reminder that it is okay to ask our company to respond to our dogs in certain ways. If they let them jump, immediately start talking and petting them without really paying attention to their behaviour, they continue to think it is okay to react that way.

While jumping is not their worst behaviour trait and is not always present, it does happen at odd times. They often do this because they are looking for attention and I find it hard to be mad at them for that. However, at the same time, they need to learn that they get attention when they have four paws on the floor and that people do not want to be jumped on. Gryff also jumps all over Duke at times and I think the proximity method shown in this TikTok may also be helpful. If they feel trapped into a corner, he is more likely to stop.

Next Steps

Brittany shared with me in a previous conversation and blog post, that she found Zak George’s YouTube channel to be very useful in training her dog. I started to look into it and watched one video on teaching a difficult dog to walk without pulling. Today I came across an advertisement on Instagram for a free 30 day digital course. The course is called 30 Day Perfect Pup and includes daily emails to keep you on track. Heading into the last month of this project, I feel like this is a great way to keep myself motivated and on track.

In addition to this, I continue to watch videos and look for tips on how to improve their behaviour. I am frustrated with how little attention I am able to maintain when outside the house, especially from Duke. I think I could have a whole steak in my hand and he would still not give me eye contact. He is clearly too overstimulated by his surroundings to care about ANY treats! I may have to look into how anxiety in dogs plays into all of this. I wonder sometimes if his age will in fact making training him too difficult. However, this TikTok was a nice reminder that it is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!

As for the final project, I am beginning to worry that I will not have enough video footage or photos to put it together! I am struggling with the idea of how best to represent the learning that is taking place. I cannot manage to take video, maintain my attention on the dogs and ensure they are getting the reinforcement that is needed. We are all busy and I find we are together very little in the evenings making it hard to engage my family in this as much as I’d like. I began a flipgrid with the hope of compiling videos on there throughout this project, but I am not gathering nearly enough.

Do you have any suggestions on how I could approach this final piece of the project? What can I do now, looking forward that will help me document this? What might be the best way to share this in my final project piece? Any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Digital Activism: Is it Effective?

https://wpmu.mah.se/nmict192group4/2019/10/07/collective-action-and-digital-activism/

This is a topic I find difficult to summarize my thoughts on. I have considered using social media as a tool for increasing positive messaging to our youth. Recently I have been giving TikTok more consideration as a medium that I could use to reach kids and parents with information and tips regarding digital citizenship. After our class discussion, reading a few articles and listening to a podcast, I feel even more uncertain whether the positive potential of digital activism can in fact outweigh the various negative or harmful outcomes.

Considering Existing Opinions

I read a few articles highlighting and dissecting some of the biggest concerns related to issues of ‘clicktivism’ and ‘slackticism’. The subtle ways that ‘clicktivism’ shapes the world written by Richard Fisher, talks about the negative perception of online activism and states that it may in fact be more effective than people assume. Within this article, Fisher looks at both sides of the coin. He quotes Barack Obama who criticized people for being “as judgmental as possible about other people.” In fact, he states, “That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.” However, while many agree with this view, and the idea that those who are ‘click’ happy are not in fact creating any change, Fisher says that studies suggest that “Sharing and tweeting politics on social media correlates with attending political meetings, donating to campaigns and other forms of civic engagement.” Of course, he does not allude to what studies.

Scott Gilmore wrote an article, The problem with #slactivism, for Maclean’s magazine in 2014. This article was written in response to a number of social media campaigns with high following and plenty of sharing but little impact. Gilmore argues that this approach to activism is lazy, stating that “Even the most indolent can support six causes before getting out of bed, just with the flick of a thumb.” He goes on to describe the results of a study from the University of British Columbia which found that the act of liking a cause is in fact correlated with less actual donating or action. Gilmore states, “Because of Twitter and YouTube, the habit of doing nothing, and doing it often, has become a defining element of our culture.” He even argues that we may in fact make some situations worse.

Some believe that the Summer of 2020 kickstarted an activist movement. According to Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC news, the combination of the Pandemic crisis, the death of George Floyd and the US presidential election, called people into action. Rosenblatt’s article, A summer of digital protest: How 2020 became the summer of activism online and offline, discusses how Covid-19 not only drew attention to areas requiring serious change, it also brought about the need to approach activism differently. While online is activism is not new, the NBC article highlighted how online formats increased participation for people around the country and world. Real time access to public rallies and riots, brought the fight to the living rooms of people everywhere, increased awareness and raised substantial money for things like the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund. Of course, the flip side of this is the meaningless contributions of individuals who did no more than change their profile picture. While there were many forms of meaningful activism, Duncombe, as cited in Rosenblatt’s article, argues that “the ease of participating in online activism can sometimes be its Achilles’ heel” contributing instead to a slacktivist approach.

Amid Coronavirus, Online Activism Confronts Digital Authoritarianism written by Jonathan Pinckney, Ph.D., brings light to the fact that activism in an online format can in fact provide creative means for individuals and groups within countries with strict regulations and censorship, to get their messages out. While Covid-19 has cast the typical street rally aside, hundreds of different forms of nonviolent action have provided alternate means to engage in protests. Unfortunately, the increase in online activism and the organization of activist movements has in fact made it easier for repressive governments to track activists. In some circumstances, this has led to more targeted violent oppression on the part of the governments. The other big issue is that these governments can also use media to spread false messages which work against the actions of activist organizations. Essentially, while there is potential in the digital activist approach, there is also many negatives that must be considered and navigated. Pinckney suggests that it may be most effective to utilize social media to organize locally based fundraising, build local relationships and to spread accurate information to contradict government misinformation.

I still wanted to find a little more information on this topic and turned to Podcasts. I found the Half Hour of Heterodoxy, Episode 18: Jennifer Earl, Internet Activism and Fake News, which was recorded in 2018. Jennifer’s work as a professor of sociology and a professor of government and public policy at the University of Arizona, focusses on Internet and social movements, social movement repression, and the sociology of law.  Through her research, she has found that both online and offline activism have their fails. Whether it be a protest, a petition or an effort to spread information, both forms of activism have the potential to sink or swim. However, the use of social media can increase awareness and reduce the cost of organization. Furthermore, she argues that these movements are not as malicious as we think they might be. The key however, is to check your facts, research anything that you are unsure about, and make informed decisions. The internet can be an amazing tool in activism, but it is not perfect!

Final Thoughts

Many argue that online activism has become far too much of a self-righteous form of attention seeking. I see this side of it and I absolutely agree that there are many out there clicking like and sharing, for their own benefit. However, that does not apply to everyone. Online activism makes it easier for people to get involved. Before you criticize someone for their passive approach, consider that this ‘clictivist’ style of activism, may actually be all that they have to give. Use your own critical thinking skills and take the time to consider where the information is coming from, who it might be benefiting and of course, check your facts.

https://www.macleans.ca/society/the-real-problem-with-slacktivism/

The truth is, like most things, this is not a black and white issue. There is no one answer to the question of whether digital activism is effective. Freelon, as quoted in the BBC article by Richard Fisher, reminds us that “Most truly effective activist movements in the 21st Century are multi-pronged.” Social Media and the internet provide a means through which information can be spread quickly. We all know this can be both good and bad. However, if a cause is really worth fighting for, it makes sense to use all the means that you have available to you. Use social media to spread the word, to organize events and to fundraise, but make sure to show up and walk the walk beyond the click of the keyboard!

Trying to get focussed. . .

Why could I not pick something like baking or crocheting?? This certainly would have helped me to see more concrete progress. No. I had to pick dog training! This is not a simple task, and I may not see the results I want, but I am trying to find the signs of progress.

Thanksgiving weekend was tough! With so much going on and two nights of the dogs being left home alone and locked up later than we’d like, we saw a few ‘behaviours’. More whining, more jumping and more stealing items from around the house. Over the last week, Gryff and Duke have had a few opportunities to greet people in our home. I twice tried having them greet people while on leash. While this was still completely chaotic, I found they settled more quickly. The last two days they have greeted people while not on a leash and it was TERRIBLE! Unless the person is willing to be firm, they just keep excitedly jumping around like maniacs …. jump on the person – jump on each other – spin in a circle – bite at brother’s ear – jump on the person again … (see the GIF below and multiply that energy by two) … Chaos!! Add the fact that my mom ALWAYS brings them a milkbone, and you have this energy now multiplied by ten!


https://media.giphy.com/media/11tLJ4XVXqWHSg/giphy.gif

However, my family members have been consistently putting their knee out and saying OFF or SIT when the pups do this. I don’t think I am dreaming when I say I am actually seeing improvement here. They are sitting more quickly, especially my older dog Duke, and happy to receive a “Good Boy” and a pet. When guests are willing to do this as well, it works. How though, do I get the pups to stop doing this altogether? I swear they know who they can take advantage of!

Through all of this, I find I have to remind myself to come back to the two areas I most wanted to improve. I wanted my dogs to greet people, including myself, without jumping all over them. I also wanted them to become better walkers who do not pull all over the place. As I have been doing my research, a big piece of this appears to be improving the dogs ability to attend to their human. This has meant walking around the house with them on a leash (separately) while carrying treats. Everytime I stop and they sit and look at me – CLICK – treat! Somedays I ask myself why I am doing this! Obviously I am looking for more than just their attention!

Well then I tried doing this in the yard rather than the house. The yard went fairly well so I moved to the front of the house. My youngest pup, Gryff, is so attentive to me and happily looks up. Six year old Duke on the other hand, seems almost unable to attend to me when we are on a walk or there are any distractions present. This is a bit frustrating. Even treats do not work to gain his attention in these situations. There are numerous resources out there reminding me that gaining the dog’s full attention is an important skill, and something I will need to continue to work on while simultaneously working on the two goal areas.

After watching numerous videos on how to get your dog to stop pulling, I realized that we may not have the right kind of leash or harness for our dogs. In using a harness, we have been using a top click which in fact kicks the pulling instinct in to play. When using a neck collar, I have resorted to a choke collar with Duke and still, he will NOT stop pulling! I decided it was time to look for a better option.

This weekend I purchased a Halti double ended lead and no pull training harness. The lead is pretty cool because it has so many options. You can use it with the no pull training harness to give more control by attaching to the dog in two places (chest and back). You can also wear it as a hands free leash or walk both dogs on the same lead. I was not 100% sure about the harness so I also purchased the Canada Pooch Everything Harness that has the chest clip as well. I actually really like both but am thinking I might return the Halti harness and get a second one of the Canada Pooch version. I like this one because there is an option to only attach to the chest ring. The Halti version requires that you be attached to the back, or the back and the chest together, however it will not work with the chest only, making it a bit high maintenance. At the same time, I love how easy the Halti one is to put on. They both have their pros and cons, making it a tough choice, but after using the Canada Pooch one, I really like the chest only connection.

Here is one of many reviews out there on the Halti No-Pull Harness and Training Lead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msEa4hlWEjY&t=288s

So, I took both dogs for a walk on their own in the Canada Pooch harness, using the Halti lead. I found that Gryff struggled with the front clip and still wanted to pull. If I crossed this over him so the lead went across his chest then over his shoulder and back to the opposite side, he did better. However, they do say you should only try training with pups when they are tired so we will have to keep working on that one.

My walk with Duke was A-MA-ZING though! In fact, it may have been one of our best walks ever. I attached the lead to the chest clip and started off the walk with him close by my side. Whenever he tried to pull ahead of me, I would do a 90 degree turn. (I am certain I must look like a crazy person out there walking them right now). On this walk, he barely tried to pull at all! We encountered two dogs, a rabbit and a cat, and he did so well!! I put myself between him and the first dog as he was getting a bit worked up after just seeing the rabbit. When he would not settle and would not give me eye contact, I took him in the opposite direction. He did great! I still struggled to get any eye contact out of him but I also noticed just how jumpy he is to every sound. He seems very overstimulated on a walk and, as he is an anxious dog at times, I guess this makes sense. The truth is, if he is in sensory overload, I may never get the attention I am hoping for out of him. However, I must celebrate this small success. I actually enjoyed my walk with him and I think he did too! It has to feel better to not be constantly choking!!

@rachelfusaro

Healthy expectations = healthy relationship with your 🐶! YOU GOT THIS MY FRIEND ❤ #dogmomstruggles #newpuppycheck #dogsarethebest

♬ Current joys Blondie – uHhH

So, progress is slow and certainly a bit up and down, but I think that is okay! My puppies are getting positive attention that they definitely love, and slowly learning what it is we want from them. This is not going to be perfect, but we are all learning!

Puppy Steps!!

This is the first of many updates to come on how the dog training efforts are going. I set out on this journey with the desire to learn something that benefits my family and that they can be involved in. While it would be beneficial to all of us to improve the dogs behaviour, the truth is that much like with parenting, consistency is key. If parents are not on the same page, this can become very evident in the child’s behaviour. If parents work together to implement and reinforce expectations, the child is typically more responsive. Many say children thrive on clear boundaries and consistent expectations. I tend to believe this and feel this same methodology can be applied to dog training. If we work together, we are more likely to see the long term benefits of the time we put in.

In looking for good online sources of information, I began by searching Instagram and Twitter. From there I identified some accounts that seemed worth following because of the number of people following them and the type of content being posted. What I was most interested in was trainers putting out short instructional videos. I find that with following many things in each place, I am not getting a steady stream of content without searching for it though. I created a Wakelet to organize this information in hopes of having a place where the only thing I see is pet training related content. I don’t find myself going back to this as much as I should be though or adding everything I find. I have been making a conscious effort to store helpful articles here for quick reference though.

After my exploration of TikTok and the realization that it has such a potential for learning when the content is focussed, I gave in and got an account. The purpose of this was specifically to see if I could gather the information I need to train my dogs in one virtual location. I was and still am really sold on the idea of short informational videos. This week I dedicated about 5-10 minutes a night to specifically checking out dog training content on my TikTok account.

At this point, I am finding quite a bit of helpful content from a few particular sources. I have started looking back at who I followed on Instagram and Twitter to see if these people or organizations have TikTok accounts in order to increase the number of sources I have to draw from. I have started to like videos that I find particularly helpful in order to make it easier to find them again. I have also followed and unfollowed a few people that I found to lack meaningful content or have a personal approach that I did not appreciate.

I have been finding quite a bit from these particular sources. While I don’t always love the ‘in your face’ approach of @southenddogtraining1, I have found some of the instructional videos very helpful. It was this particular video that inspired me to look further into the use of the clicker in training. I am also finding useful content and helpful tips from @leaderofthepacklv. After seeing the first video on the clicker from @southenddogtraining1, I then found one from @leaderofthepacklv which convinced me to get one. Check it out here.

I have also appreciated the content from @rachelfusaro and @sayitoncedogtraining.

This week, we decided to start back at what I would call the basics. We need to get our dogs to be more attentive to us and what we want from them. Of course this means lots of reinforcement (food) and making training part of our daily ‘fun’ routine. One thing I picked up from the videos I have watched so far is the idea that dog walking should begin with training in the house proceeding to the yard and then the real deal. This is not something I ever considered before. In fact, I used to think my youngest was teasing them when she would leash them up in the house. Well, she was actually on the right track!

This week we began with a focus on learning to heel, walk and sit in the house. This included a bunch of treats of course. We also made sure to start by separating the pups for this. Our first day of in house training focused on walking a few steps and then sitting while on leash. Any time they would move ahead of me, I did a a hundred and eighty degree turn and continued the other way. This method is meant to get them back to walking by your side or just behind you (heeling). Everytime I would stop and they stopped, sat and looked up at me, they got a little treat.

Our second day focused more on heeling using the methods pictured here from @southenddotraining1. Knowing treats were coming during this time, I found they both tried hard to follow along with what we were doing. The biggest challenge was keeping them from jumping and trying to take off our hands to get the treat. If you go too quickly, they are likely to run, while if you go too slowly, they either start trying to take it or lose interest fast.

So far, I think we are off to a great start. I am looking forward to exploring more with the clicker, continuing leash training and moving it outside. I am feeling like we are learning some good habits that will carry over to our dogs. This week I could already see that they were likely to listen and sit more quickly when excited then they were a week ago. Don’t get me wrong, they are still crazy, but it’s a start! Puppy steps!!

TikTok’ll make ya… smart, smart??

Where to begin? I am more than slightly embarrassed to say that this class has forced me into a world I had absolutely no desire to enter. I have found myself struggling each week of this course with the quantity of social media I am trying to manage on top of life. I continue to find it very difficult to keep on top of it all. I have made such an effort to limit time wasters and keep my social media use to a minimum over the last few years. Now I feel the weight of it constantly. To be honest, I am kind of drowning in it!

Found here

So, you can imagine how excited I was to take on another app this week. I also knew, as much as I hoped to avoid it like the plague, that TikTok was going to be it! I did consider exploring Triller, but truth is, no one I mentioned it to had even heard of it. I found this infographic comparing the two and thought I would include it here. However, TikTok definitely seems to have the votes.

Much like Megan and Chris, I really did not want to go here. I downloaded the app and chose to ‘borrow’ a friend’s account information. I know this is terrible digital citizenship right here but I really did not want to commit to this app. I also had a friend share their child’s account information with me so I could have a look at this from a different perspective.

TikTok: The Mature Adult Version

My first venture into the TikTok world included a dive into a very trusted friend’s account. I shared my intentions with her and also asked for her perspective and insight on the app. She shared that she loves TikTok because it provides her with mindless entertainment and is funny while at the same time offering her so many learning opportunities. She appreciates that she can get news, current events and information from doctors (which she noted she could also get from Instagram) in short 30 second to one minute snippets containing practical ideas. She loves that instead of watching a six minute YouTube video or reading an article, she can get relevant information and strategies demonstrated quickly. Overall, she feels that TikTok is very real, with little hate and contains less of people posting their ‘perfect’ lives, as found on overly filtered Instagram and Facebook.

When I explored her account, I found that there was very little of the ‘dancing’ and ‘mindless challenges’ that I have heard about. Honestly, I expected to see a bunch of versions of the Renegade (which I learned how to do without ever going on TikTok) but instead I found so much curated to her interests in teaching, as Megan also mentioned, especially reading, plants and practical life hacks. I also found some really excellent content geared toward her own personal journey. I was actually pretty impressed. Even the ‘For You’ page seemed to include some great stuff for parents, teachers and people wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. On the more mindless side of things, I quickly found myself enjoying Blue Cardigan Guy and this humorous but informative (and very lovable) Muslim couple.

The truth is, her account was very ‘clean’ and full of interesting content. While she did not identify TikTok as a time waster, she was very clear that this is her ‘bedtime reading.’

TikTok: The Child’s Version

I have not allowed my youngest daughter (who is ten) to get TikTok, purely for the reason that I have been very educated by multiple groups of grade five through eights who tend to be very honest with me. I learned the hard way with my older daughter, that I need to know how these apps work, makes sure to set them up correctly, monitor their usage and keep the conversation open. I was not yet ready to do this with TikTok and despite the fact that all her friends have it including peers much younger than her (we are talking grade one and two), I would not cave. She accepted that and I have to say that after exploring this eight year old’s TikTok account, I feel very good about my decision.

I started with the permissions section. I could not find any real restrictions set, nor how to change them once it was set up. Some of the options in the article I discuss later were not even visible. I noticed that this could be done on account set up, but how to go back and change that is another question. It is possible that her parent has to log in through their account to do this, but I am not sure that is the case in this situation.

While this child has only a small number of followers and her account is set as private, she is following 215 other accounts. In exploring her feeds, I began with those she is following. For the most part, these were kids dancing and doing silly videos. However, knowing many of these children, I can confidently say that most of the kids she was following were two to six years older than her. Obviously the content, and their choice of dance moves, is not always going to be appropriate. Just because you know them does not mean they will post quality content, right?

My real concern was with the ‘For You’ section. The majority of what was in her feed was absolute junk. In this eight year old child’s feed I saw content about smoking pot, taking shots, crazy stunts such as those Chris mentioned, swears and content that was just too old for her including bras and tampons. All of this was within three minutes of scrolling.

My Thoughts

So why? What is the big difference here?? Why is it that I explored an adults account and found it to be completely appropriate and a child’s but found it to be not at all age appropriate?

I infer that this has so much to do with the quality of content kids are seeking out. We know they are not seeing the best stuff because they are attracted to the fads, the most ridiculous and hilarious things or the most popular. I think this is a natural part of growing up but it doesn’t mean we want them seeing everything that is out there! Whether we like it or not, and regardless of it’s potential for learning, social media opens worlds we don’t always want to expose our children to.

Leigh mentioned that her students have told her that their parents follow them in order to make sure they are using the media appropriately. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that is enough. Parents are not getting a full picture of the world their kids are entering by just watching to see what they are posting!! I found this article on TikTok Parent controls in hope it may help me as well as some of you. Within this article they mention that one of the most important features is parent pairing which allows the parent to see and control from afar. I have to agree, from my own experience, that the full ability to see what they are up to is essential to keeping our children safe and keeping the conversations open. Despite this, this article also points out that even with every control on, the suggestive and explicit content will still make it through to our children. The point . . . this is not something we should be allowing our children to dive into blindly or without the appropriate supervision.

Now I am REALLY Embarrassed!

After everything I have just told you, you are going to be shocked to hear this. The truth is that my friend’s account opened my eyes to the potential of TikTok as a learning tool. I see that creatively there is much potential and applaud those willing to give that side of things a try (like Leigh with her Kiss your pets head video). However, I am leaning much more towards the side of what I can learn using TikTok. She really sold me on the idea of being able to learn from short videos. So guess what I did?? I signed up for TikTok! I created an incognito account, as I really do not want my students to find me, and I have zero intention of creating at this time. However, I wanted to use this to search for content specific to my Major Learning Project theme of training my dogs. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could learn valuable tips in short and efficient videos that would actually help me on this journey? Well that is what I am hoping for!! In fact, my new goal is to learn as much as I possibly can about Dog Training from TikTok.

As you can see from this quick search, I am most definitely not the first to think of this. However, this is a big BIG step for this TikTok sceptic. I am actually somewhat looking forward to exploring this side of TikTok more and where it will take me on this journey. At the same time, I feel I have acquired some valuable knowledge about the parenting side of TikTok that I will be certain to share.