Hello EC&I 832

Hello,

This is my second class with Alec. Experiencing 831 in the fall, I excitedly signed up for this class, only to be waitlisted. Thankfully I am in! Coming from the Education Leadership world where things are paper focused, I appreciate the way Alec does things. He allows you to guide your own learning and explore areas that are useful and of interest to you. The world of technology is uncomfortable to me. We have a love-hate relationship – maybe more days of the latter! 831 pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to learn some new tricks. I look forward to more of the same in 832, particularly with my major project which will focus on some mental health initiatives. More to come on that…

I am in my 13th year of teaching and third full year of a vice-principalship. Covid has been a learning experience, to say it politely. At this point, I feel like I have learned enough haha. Throw in some beautiful weather, some cockroaches, and 2022 can only get better from here lol.

Virus is still here and it's still snowing - Imgflip

I am taking my 9th and 10th classes this semester. This is the first time I have taken two classes at once. I know it is going to be a busy few months, but it will be worth it. Bring on April 11th!! It is kind of surreal to be so close to being finished.

I can identify with many of you who are figuring out the blogging world for the first time. Trust me, it gets easier. Once you get everything set up, it is actually fairly easy. I look forward to learning about the projects everyone is doing. As we did in 831, I am confident we will all learn a lot from each other this semester.

Great To See You Here!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog space for this course, Digital Citizenship and Media Literacies. I am excited to share this learning journey with you as I further my development in digital media and authentically utilizing technology in the classroom.

My name is Katherine Mihial!

I currently teach grade 6 students in Regina, Saskatchewan. This is my fifth class in my masters program and I am definitely looking forward to gaining more knowledge from Alec. If you haven’t had him as a professor yet, you are in for a treat! I have previously taken ECI 831 and 833 which are both educational technology classes and I hope to take the other available ed. tech classes in the future as well. I really enjoy the format of the classes and I take away so much from the class community.

Welcome to ECI 832!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog space for this course, Digital Citizenship and Media Literacies. I am excited to share this learning journey with you as I further my development in digital media and authentically utilizing technology in the classroom.

My name is Katherine Mihial!

I currently teach grade 6 students in Regina, Saskatchewan. This is my fifth class in my masters program and I am definitely looking forward to gaining more knowledge from Alec. If you haven’t had him as a professor yet, you are in for a treat! I have previously taken ECI 831 and 833 which are both educational technology classes and I hope to take the other available ed. tech classes in the future as well. I really enjoy the format of the classes and I take away so much from the class community.

Here We Go Again!

Hey EC&I 834,

Here we go again with another masters course!  I am excited to learn more about online and blended teaching and learning, as it is currently super relevant and applicable!  This will be my 7th masters course and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Who Is This Guy?!

My name is Bret McMann and I grew up in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan – best place in the world to live!   I completed all my K-12 education there and then went on the University of Saskatchewan where I attained my Kinesiology and Education degrees, while also playing 3 years of CIS football for the Huskies on the defensive line.  Since finishing playing football, I have become very active in coaching.  I have spent time coaching minor football, high school, provincial teams and most recently coaching for the Regina Thunder of the CJFL!  My wife and I have called Regina home since 2016.

https://foamlake.com/ 

I currently work for Regina Public Schools.  I am in my 7th year of teaching and I teach grade ⅞ at Harbour Landing School in the south end of Regina.  Grade ⅞ is a new grade placement for me this year.  The majority of my career has been spent teaching in the grade 4/5/6 areas previous to this school year.

Over the Christmas break, my wife and I  recently became parents!  We welcomed 0ur son Jenyr, was born on December 18, 2021 at 6:29pm at Regina General Hospital.  He was 6lbs 11 oz and was 51cm long.  It is crazy that he is already a month old (today) and is growing like a weed!

Last semester, EC&I 831 (Social Media Education) required us to undertake a major digital project and I chose to focus on learning more about parenting and pregnancy so I was able to connect with my wife and understand what she was going through, understand what was happening to our baby as he grew and developed over the nine months and to help with some initial parenting tips and tricks!

Goals for EC&I 834

  • Online course design.  Now that I am teaching grade ⅞ I feel these students are much more capable of self-directed study online.  I have tried (and failed) to implement some sort of online course in previous years, but that was hindered due to grade level as well as my uncertainty on how to design and implement an online course or a component of an in person class effectively.
  • Become accustom with Blended Learning and what it ecompasses.  I really have no idea what a blended learning/classroom looks like.  As the pandemic continues, this may be an area that would be beneficial to have in my teacher toolbox.  
  • Apps/Online resources.  As the technology boom continues and more apps/resources become available to education, I would like to become more accustomed to implementing and using these in my online or blended classroom.  I would also like to become more aware of the privacy/confidentiality that goes along with using these apps/resources as this remains to be one of the biggest hurdles keeping me from using these in my classroom.

Cheers, 

Bret

All about me – but not really ALL!

I am very excited to begin learning about Blended and Online Learning in EC&I834 with Katia Hildebrandt

My name is Chris Weber and I have been Teaching for almost 15 years. The first 9 years were spent teaching in New Westminster, B.C. and included everything from grade 3 to grade 8 including teaching in a public Montessori school and two middle schools. For the last 6 years I have been teaching in Regina at École Dr. A.E. Perry School where I have been the Vice Principal for the last 2 years. GOOOOOO Panthers!

As a side hustle, I help out my husband when I have time doing deliveries or working the front counter for his business: Queen City Cakes (insert shameless business plug here, what can I say?). When I am not busy helping him out I spend a lot of time with our dog Murphy and shoveling the endless amount of snow we are getting this winter.

I am usually pretty active on Twitter – I just recently won a signed copy of a graphic novel by Hiromi Goto, and I am very excited to read it.  If you would like to follow me on Twitter – and I will definitely follow you back – you can find my account right HERE!

Three Goals For Learning in EC&I 834

  1. First and foremost I am really interested in learning about the different ways in which I can incorporate blended learning into my teaching. Being that I am not teaching online, at all, I see it as an opportunity to run a Flipped classroom model style of teaching that incorporates more digital content.
  2. I want to do a better job this term in staying up to date with classmates blogs and to make sure I make contributions to them by commenting on the blogs.
  3. My last goal is to make a conscious effort to try out what we are learning week-to-week in the classroom. I am hoping to make this learning relevant for me and my students.

Brenda’s Learning Project -Final post – December 8, 2021 -EC & I 831

Pathway to lifelong learning

For EC & I 831, my digital learning project’s goal was creating Spoken Word poetry. My desire to learn to write poetry was enmeshed with my desire to communicate ideas with the potential to transform or make people stop, think, and feel. My poetry writing project focused on Spoken Word poems intended for performance and typically about community, issues, and social justice.

Coming from a place where I really had very little knowledge about poetry’s construction, I chose to enroll in Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop. I felt that the structure and schedule of the Coursera program would keep me focused on poetry in a concrete, linear fashion.  I could complete this structured course while cruising the wide variety of more informal online sources of information about poetry. Sharpened Visions is a beginner level class which I believed that I could use as a springboard to the more complex task of writing profound, meaningful poetry.

What did I learn about poetry?

Through Sharpened Visions, I learned about poetry.  I now can better appreciate poetry and how rhyme, imagery, and rhythm support mood and meaning. I know that assonance, alliteration, and consonance create patterns of sound to provide aural pleasure.

Rhythm results in combining stressed and unstressed syllables. Iamb meter is a line where an unstressed syllable follows and stressed syllable in a rising rhythm. Trochee meter is a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable creating a falling rhythm as in a chant: ” Double, double, toil and trouble.”

Although I did not achieve my goal of writing and performing Spoken Word poetry. I wrote 10 poems over the six-week course, genuinely applying the literary devices. Even after this course, I will continue to read and listen to poetry,  appreciate the poet’s clever use of language to paint a beautiful word picture.  I will keep writing poetry and experimenting with imagery, rhyme, and meter. 

What did I learn about MOOCs?

Participating in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was a first for me. There were 68,000 students enrolled in the course from around the world. The peer-review portion allowed me to interact with 12 of those students, albeit very briefly – a novel experience. Coursera was the OER that I reviewed for the blog and shared what I learned about the Coursera and how it might be applied to others.  I was able to take a closer look at the wide range of courses offered. Before taking EC & I 831 – I knew very little about MOOCs and how they worked; now, I would confidently recommend Coursera and will be revisiting this OER as a lifelong learner.

What did I learn about learning online?

Strong technical skills are necessary for a seamless digital demonstration of learning and knowledge translation. The learning activities of EC & I 831 let me practice my technical skills and become more comfortable interacting through social media.  My virtual communication skills also got a great workout through the major learning project. I learned the power and pleasure of learning through blogs, videos, audible podcasts, and YouTube. I accessed poetry apps and sorted through a plethora of  online resource materials.  Although I have completed 80% of Masters-level courses by distance, each class challenged me differently. This last year, and in EC & I 831 in particular, I have had an opportunity to blog,  compose through Padlet, record with Loom, and voice over a PowerPoint. I participated in a professional learning network using Discord, Twitter, and WordPress blogs.  I discovered poetry through YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram and used an editing program to create a YouTube presentation. Indeed, I have expanded my repertoire of technical skills.

What did I learn that I may apply to education?

Because of my experience completing the major learning project, I now would strongly encourage learners to try the OER Coursera.  Asking students to demonstrate understanding through the application of digital media such as Flipgrid, Padlet  seems to be logical in the era of Web 2.0.In addition,  educators should consider the power of a self-directed online learning project to enhance digital communication, bolster critical and creative thinking, and practice habits of life-long learning.

A teacher cannot assume all learners have the same access to the internet or the same technical skill. I have worked in adult education for the last four years. Not all adult students have mastered the digital literacy technical skills. Teachers must provide challenging opportunities for students at various levels and in a safe, non-judgmental environment with student growth as the objective, building on their strengths and developing transferable technical skills. 

Teachers must also continue to build personal technical skills and seek sharing opportunities through professional learning networks. School divisions needed to support ongoing professional development  targeted to enhance the application of digital media to curriculum.

A unique learning experience

I am thankful for the challenging opportunity  EC & I 831 Social Media and Open Education presented.  This immersive experience was both theoretical and practical. The major learning project was a chance for me to reflect on my learning style, step out of my comfort zone, and explore the world of digital media. I plan to apply the skills and knowledge to my personal learning journey.  For my students, I vow to intentionally integrate social media and open educational resources to enhance their learning experience.

Thanks Alec. Thanks to the students of EC & I 831 Fall 2021. Best wishes. 

Brenda Ives

The Dragon

Three months ago, when I looked at “Realistifying” a student’s drawing, I had some high expectations for myself. As a fairly tech-savvy person, I thought I would be able to do 4 or 5 drawings and that it would look like a movie poster… Well, was I wrong!

Although the overall Dragon did not turn out movie quality, I have gained an enormous respect for people who use Photoshop seamlessly. I attempted to make several videos of myself working on the Dragon. However, after a few hours and only a tiny portion of progress, I didn’t think they would be delightful to watch. Not only was I having to pause and watch a 30-40 minute Youtube video, but I was also having to slow it down and re-watch small portions several times to try and mimic their movement or see what tool they had selected.

A massive takeaway from attempting this is how frustrating it can be for a student to put hours into something to only come up with what many would mark as “approaching.” Every day in the classroom, I see students put in extra effort, seek additional support, and are still frustrated at the outcome. As a professional development tactic, I think this is the only way to put yourself in the shoes of a student. To try, struggle, try again, and in the end, know that other people have better outcomes and make it look way easier!

Back to my Dragon. I was very fortunate that I had a young man in grade 7 lend me the picture of his Dragon and allow me to post it all over my blog. There is a piece of me that feels like I have failed him because I thought it would be movie quality, and I believe that is what he expected.

This is the original drawing I had to work from

As I was going through, I had ideas on how to texture things based on what I think a dragon would look like. I will admit that my ability did get in the way of my overall vision; I was still able to learn along the way. Below is an early picture of the progress I was making.

Scales added

At this point, I had been working on this Dragon for a long while. I was several hours of Youtube videos in. I was able to make the general shape. I had a scale texture I used and masked into the shape. Also, with several frustrating attempts, I changed the colour! These were all small successes for me!

Although my overall goal was to “Realistify” this Dragon, I was very curious about many parts of what photoshop had to offer. Learning the layers in themselves was a challenge. The basic premise of if it is on top of the list, it is the top thing. However, when dealing even with this Dragon, there were hundreds of layers to work with. I found myself following Youtube tutorials and working through different projects to learn the tools, which can be found in my Give the People What They Want blog post. There I was able to create some different ones of which I use as my computer background for the time being. I would suggest that new Photoshop users follow tutorials to learn some of the complex tools.

Desktop Background

As I felt more comfortable with these tools, I would go back to work on the Dragon and found myself getting more frustrated because I just felt success in many of the tutorials I followed along with. Patients were a definite need when learning Photoshop. I knew just because I did it 5 minutes ago does not mean I could replicate it again. The Dragon did not turn out exactly how I envisioned when I began this journey three months ago, but here is the grand reveal!

The final product

Things I wish I could have done better would have been the shading on the scales. I messed around with the upper neck for hours trying to blend. I could not figure it out. The spikes are something that looks good but took many, many, many hours. Each one was pasted, sized, and shaded to give an effect. The back spikes are the things I am most excited about. I wish they could have been attached to a cooler-looking Dragon, which was my fault. You will also be able to tell I had to omit some things from the original design because I did not know how to incorporate it with a texture. Looking back, I may have done feathers.

As you can guess, I am no pro when it comes to photoshop. I tried to add a little flair with the castle and moonlighting. Perhaps it was a flop, but I did have fun in the process, although I was testing my patients at times. I can say in the end. I learned more than just Photoshop through my learning project!

I appreciate if you took the time to read my blog throughout this process. Have a great holiday and hopefully you’ll catch me in the next class!

Durston McKenna

The Final Post!!

I have come to the end of my maiden voyage into a social media/technology focused class. Way (well, maybe not that far) back in September, I expressed my ambivalence and some of my grievances and hesitancies towards social media and tech. While those still exist, I think it is fair to say my thinking and openness to these platforms is evolving and expanding. I must give props to both my classmates and to our professor, Alec Couros. This was my eighth Masters course, and I really appreciated Alec’s approach to the class. He allowed us to embark on our own journeys, allowing us to make our learning meaningful and engaging. I am hoping to get into Alec’s class in the Winter semester of 2022. I am currently stuck at #3 on the waitlist. Here’s hoping I move up and secure a spot in the next few weeks.

I Hope Please GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I began the course thinking I was going to do a joint learning project with Lynnette Farris. We had planned to do some connecting with our classrooms using Flipgrid. Unfortunately, we struggled to get our feet underneath us and get the project off the ground. This turned out for the best, as Lynnette was awarded a Vice-principalship and moved schools only a few weeks later. While I shifted the focus of my major project, I have continued to explore using Flipgrid in my classroom. It is very easy to use and the kids seem to really like it. I know I have barely scratched the surface of what Flipgrid can do. I look forward to checking out some of the more specialized features and incorporating them into my teaching.

The focus of my project switched to a more personal goal. For some time I have been thinking about losing a little bit of weight. As I am very active, eat fairly healthy, and wouldn’t be considered overweight, I never made this a serious priority in my life. This project gave me the opportunity and motivation to finally set a goal and work towards it. With the inclusion of social media and technology, I developed a solid plan for my journey.

The main tool I used for my plan was the myfitnesspal app. I used this app to track caloric intake and expenditure. I must say, this app is well set-up and very easy to use and navigate.

The dashboard is set-up with the important menu items. The Food and Exercise menus are the two most used. Once in them, it is easy to add food and exercise. The food library has a huge selection of foods, with very accurate nutritional information. If I had one major criticism, it would be having to make conversions of measurement units. Most entries are in American terms that do not apply to Canadian food labels. Small issue in the grand scheme of things, but an issue nonetheless. More strengths and weaknesses can be found here.

As you enter food throughout the day, the app gives you a snapshot of your daily numbers. This allows you to see how many more calories you can consume in a day to meet your targets to achieve your goal. You can also go in-depth looking at different nutrients.

To help with the exercise portion of my plan, I used a number of Youtube channels. Jordan Yeoh Fitness was my favorite channel. He offers a variety of body weight workouts. I enjoyed them because he works in 30-40sec:10-15sec rest intervals. He also includes a wide variety of exercises in each workout. These workouts helped to stave off my boredom over time. While these workouts focused on strength and body composition, I continued to run and cycle to include a cardio component. I would recommend GCN Training if you are interested in spin. Towards the end of my plan I also began doing some kettle bell workouts. I mainly used the following video because it was short and at a beginners level: 10 Minute Kettlebell Workout for an efficient Total Body Workout.

Using these apps and tools, I was able to experience great success with my project. I met my initial goal well ahead of schedule and was able to set and work towards a new goal. While my progress has slowed, I have shifted to a more maintenance based plan. I also tried some weeks without using the apps to see if I had formed some good habits and lifestyle changes. Positively, I was able to continue losing weight (although slower) without tracking my caloric intake and expenditure. I consider this huge success as it shows I have a good understanding of what and how much I need to eat to maintain my current weight. This should set me up for continued success in the future.

I consider my time in EC&I 831 to be a success. I appreciated the opportunity to work toward a personal goal that was meaningful to me. I also appreciated the community aspect of the course. Receiving feedback and seeing others ideas inspired and motivated me. There are so many things I can move forward with personally and professionally because of what I learned from my peers. My thinking has been challenged, my mind has been opened, and I have experienced personal growth. What more could you ask for from a Masters course?

On Air!!!

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My digital project is complete. I had so much fun creating a podcast with my students. They loved getting to be a part of it and incorporate their own ideas. I struggled at first giving up control to the students but It turned out better than I could have even imagined!

The Start

I explained to students the intention of this project was to produce a class podcast. Before this could be possible we had to know and understand the mechanics of creating one. To begin my project I had my students listen to a variety of fictional and non-fiction podcasts. During listening times students completed worksheets to analyze the podcasts they were listening to. We would discuss what was good, what was not good, and ideas of what they would do differently. This brought good discussion and engagement into the class.

Getting Ready to Record

When we got to the stage of creating the podcast I gave students the creative rights. The first thing was coming up with a name for our podcast. They had lots of good choices and we created a list and then students did a “blind” vote on the one they liked. The name picked was Once Upon a Grade 6 Classroom. Now that the name was set they then were given an opportunity to create an image for our podcast cover. Students had a week to submit their pictures. Once again we did a vote as students preferred picking this way. This is the picture they choose:

Next was our intro and outro music for our podcast. I showed students Google Chrome Music Lab. I got this idea from Kat. She also created a podcast and used it for her podcast music. The kids loved working and playing around with different music sounds. One student created a rendition of Blinding Lights by The Weekend. He however copied it from youtube. They had to submit their song to me and once again we voted on the song we would use. Here it is if you want to take a quick listen!

Next students used their podcast planning sheets to come up with an idea and put their podcast scripts together. I gave them a few class periods to work on this. Then it came time to record. Students practiced their scripts and then I sent them off to a small side room in my classroom to record.

Recording with We Video

I choose to use Wevideo based on advice given to me by Amanda Brace. It turned out to be a pretty easy process for this. Students were able to navigate it easily, sound effects were easy to find and lots were available, and voices were fairly clear for recording without a microphone. The only issue was some classroom background noise but I realize that is inevitable.

I decided not to stream on the podcast platform so technically not really on air. I simply uploaded it to youtube. Therefore you will find it is not set in different episodes. These are the titles of the student’s work in order in the podcast. Unfortunately, I did not get all students recorded due to class interruptions and time but will continue even after this

  1. Top 5 Theme Parks
  2. Animals
  3. Teaching Ms. Weinrauch how to play minecraft
  4. How to tame your loud and wild students?

Hope you enjoy your listening experience!

EC&I 831 – Major Learning Project Summary

An Overview

My Major Digital Project for this Semester of EC&I 831 was to learn more of the Michif Language than what I already knew in order to teach my Kindergarten students. For the most part – it was a success! I can certainly speak to my students in short (3-5 word) sentences, and they can respond in 3-word sentences to some of our daily routines! I have also learned how to introduce myself in Michif – and even had the chance to practice this at parent-teacher conferences this November. That being said, I greatly underestimated what I would need to do to make those goals a reality.

In my first few blog posts, I shared the resources that I was able to create in order to try and make language a more authentic and intentional part of my classroom. Ways to use language in spontaneous moments, and as a response to student learning. These labels and cheat sheets changed my everyday practice. I am so grateful that thanks to this course I took a closer look at what was standing in my way to making the classroom atmosphere I envisioned a reality. I am equally grateful that I was pushed to try and look for resource people and resource sources outside of where I would normally search. I set out on this journey of language learning thinking there would not be a lot of sources for me to turn to when it came to my Heritage Dialect of Michif. As it turns out I learned that social media, with its casual nature, was actually a place where a lot of language work was being done, and honestly shared. I was once again reminded of the power of networked learning.

Final Thoughts

Social Media and Open Education. Two terms I did not realize would turn out to be completely integral to the reclamation of a language so rarely spoken, and so closely cherished by those who still do. I am admittedly, an extremely fortunate person. As a Michif person, I grew up in a family of Michif speakers and spent a part of my childhood listening to the language before I was even aware that Michif language was – or what it would mean to me as an adult learner. Although I was not provided with the chance to learn from language carriers in my own family – today I work in a Pilot Program with The Metis Nation of Saskatchewan and Regina Catholic schools – aimed at the reclamation and promotion of the Michif language. I have cupboards full of resources on Metis Culture and history – I have a shared drive and a network of other Michif Teachers and learners.

Most importantly – I have access to not one, but two Heritage Michif Speakers to guide my learning. I would be lost without Noohkoom Jeanne and Noohkoom Erma. Like I said, I am very fortunate.

I also acknowledge that in all of this learning I have realized something – not every prospective language speaker is nearly so fortunate.

It is with that thought, I decided on how to wrap up my Major Digital Project.

Taking all that I have learned and transferring it to a webpage, licensed with Creative Commons so that others can view resources, download and edit my work, share it with others, and complete language “lessons” I created from my learning this semester.

Visit my webpage and explore it for yourself here.

Kiishchii Maarsii for following along with me as my journey continues!

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