Author Archives: jessicacrippsblog

Final Project: Musings

After having taken Alec’s class before, I’m always excited about the opportunity to embrace these projects. Do they place you in a state of vulnerability by having you showcase your growth (with its ample amount of mistakes and sprinkles of successes?) of course they do! But for the most part, I’ve been becoming a little bit more open to the state of vulnerability – Brene Brown anyone???? I feel like I’ll be referencing her a lot throughout these projects and posts.

You’ll have to forgive me for the ‘jumble outline’ as I’m still sorting it out in my head, but here goes:

As you all know, I love my dog. I’ve been working really hard at training her since I’ve owned her and we have quite the routine set up for the upcoming months including daily homework and tasks, one-on-one training sessions and puppy classes. The end goal is to have her trained as a therapy dog – it’s a way to see success in my own mental health, and a way I’d like to give back in the community with seniors, youth in need, etc.

You may be asking how this remotely relates to ECI831. I think it does! And here’s why: I’d like to record our training sessions and day-to-day training by using different apps and editing tools to post videos of progress! This will allow me to train my dog, and explore/maintain/make mistakes with/etc various Web 2.0/3/0 tools that I’d eventually like to use with my students!
I’ll also be recording my summaries of our sessions (I suppose I should use the proper term – VLOGGING) – no matter how successful or frustrating they were – so that the viewer can see my reactions, facial expressions, tears (yes, it’s that difficult to train them), and be honest with my approach instead of writing down the summary of the training – I find when people write (especially me) they edit out the bad stuff so that people don’t feel too bad for them, or so that they can show only the successes – I don’t want people thinking that any of this is a walk in the (dog) park. And I need to practice ‘being okay’ with showing that sometimes things are really hard, and that it doesn’t all come easy.

To Sum Up: 

Star of the Show: Nevis Scotia Cripps (yes, she has a full name, no, I am not ‘one of those people’, it just has a nice meaning. She is now in her 5th month of life!)
Purpose of Project: Practice using Web 2.0/3.0 tools to experiment with their potential in the classroom context by using them in the training project with Nevis.

Screencastify & Flipgrid: used to record the sessions & used as a means to Vlog my summaries of the sessions
iMovie: will be used to showcase the growth of Nevis from start to finish as a final ‘Voila!” of her skills learned and where our next goals will take us. I’d also like to explore a Mac-specific software in addition to these other apps
Snapchat: a quick use of recording videos while at different places to save easily to my phone (use friendly application)
Padlet: used as a platform for Nevis’ introduction of what will happen at today’s session. **I’m thinking kind of like the ‘baby announcement’ board style
Twitter: for all your Nevis updates and reaching out to other trainers for advice/tips & tricks, I’d also like to develop a bit of a clever ‘hashtag’ for Nevis’ training but this is currently under development.

If you have ANY ideas, advice, suggestions, Apps that I should check out, etc – PLEASE comment!! I’d love to take everything into consideration.

Ready or not, here we come!

If Social Media Could Talk…

I’ve never really considered my “relationship” with social media before this post. It began with the juvenile use of various apps as they came out when I was in high school, then progressed to the “Professional Learning Networks” that I contribute* to today (“contribute to” also means ‘vulture for resources’, right??). Today my social media use consists of following a variety of teacher pages, keeping in touch with family spread across the country and the world (my aunt, uncle, and two cousins are sailing for the next four years – check out their YouTube channel for videos of their adventures and homeschooling activities! I’ll be talking about them a lot I’m sure!), a way of communicating with friends, a way to create a ‘collage’ of my life through various posts and photos, and a definite element to my every-day life. Now, some people might be thinking – wait, social media is a part of your every day? But my answer would be, yes! I think that, regardless of how nostalgic one can be for the ‘good ol’ days’ of talking to each other, and despite the fact that I still really enjoy communicating in that fashion as well, social media is a part of my life that I choose not to ignore because not only do I invest in it, but I use it to help invest in myself as well. Further, social media allows an opportunity to communicate with others in ways that I would not have been able to before. 

Of course the argument will arise in regard to the abuse of devices and abuse of technology at times where, for example, students should be working on an assignment, or listening to a guest speaker. But, to this I say that what is needed is education in regard to the use of devices at appropriate times. 

In how social media impacts my life both personally and professionally, I believe that there really is an impact. However, I also look at it critically in a sense as well. For example, as a teacher, as we discussed in class this week, we are held to a standard in society that does not allow for frivolous posts, inappropriate comments, political opinions, or something that could in any way be attached to an unethical practice. So I question – if I weren’t a teacher, would I be posting things like that? Absolutely not! If anything, the scrutiny in which teachers are under makes me a more critical user of technology and participant in social media. It could be seen as both a blessing and a curse. However, everyone should be doing their best in creating a positive digital identity and if my profession pushes me to really consider all ramifications before hitting ‘post’, how could I see that as anything less than a blessing?

But let’s be real: I use snapchat filters like no one else, I try to maintain a ‘streak’ with friends (it’s usually met with failure around the 200 mark), I now tweet more pictures of my dog than I do random thoughts, my instagram automatically posts on my facebook (which I’ve been told is passe), and I could contribute to more “Pinterest Fail” pages than anyone I know. So for me, social media is fun. Social media is an outlet. But most of all, social media brings me a sense of connection to things that once felt so far removed from my world. And for that I’m grateful. 


Final Project

This is the link to my final project for EC&I 832: Screencastify & Peak – Final Project

Because I composed my Final Project on a Google Doc instead of publishing its progress on blog posts, I have copied the Table of Contents here with brief descriptions of what each section entails.
If there is a specific area of interest in the final project that you would like to get to, the pages on the Google Doc are bookmarked for your convenience.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
Here I introduce the project framework, discussion my rationale for choosing this option of the projects and explore its connection to Ribble’s Nine Elements. I also experimented with Picktochart to create an infographic introduction. I discuss through screencast “What is Digital Literacy” and further explore my content catalyst presentation in discussing “What is the role of schools in teaching digital literacy?”
2. What is Chrome?
When looking at using Chrome Extensions, I thought it would be appropriate to look further into Google Chrome, what makes it different from other elements, and look into their privacy policy for any potential privacy concerns regarding myself, students, or school division. This section also looks into what are Chrome Extensions, how they are installed, what they offer, and I explore some opportunities extensions provide students who are using Google Chromebooks (ie. my students).
3. Educational App Review: Screencastify
This is where I introduce the educational app I chose to review: Screencastify. I connect Digital Literacy of Ribble’s Nine Elements to Screencastify and go into detail on my exploration of the Chrome extension. I discuss how my students used the extension, assignment details, their feedback, the process, and I use Screencastify to go over the “before” and “after” feedback on Google Forms.
4. Social App Review: Peak
I chose to review the “brain game” app: Peak. I provide a description of what the app entails, the terms of use and service, and explore their privacy policy. Similarly, I have connected my exploration and use of Peak to Digital Literacy. I give a rundown of my progress with the games, the data collected, the potential within the app, social sharing, and explore the data that was collected based on my participation in the game.
5. Conclusion

Making Sense of the Digital World…Good Luck

Upon writing this post I’m reminded of the email chains of “send this to X number of your closest friends and you’ll be granted 17 wishes…but only if it’s done on a Wednesday” – ridiculous things. Didn’t take much to be critical of those, but if I think about what is shared around today in the world of news, it only makes me more thankful for the ability to be digitally critalet (not a word, I know, but combines critical and literate because I’m blanking on the real term).

On an average day most of my information comes from sources on social media apps. What does this allow me to do? Well, I know that I need to cross-reference. I try to follow numerous newspapers on things such as Twitter and Facebook because I know that these are the apps that I am using for information. If I find something in a Facebook feed or on Twitter, I will usually check in on another source to see either one of two things: 1) is this exact same story published on something that I trust or is deemed more reliable? or 2) Who wrote this story and what else have they contributed to?

Throughout this process of double-checking, it provides a couple obstacles for me. First, it takes a little longer because I want to be darn sure that what I’m reading is true, but it’s worth it overall. And second, it has also confronted me with the fact that things I read do indeed qualify as “Fake News”.

Narrator: Gasp! My dear readers! At first she thought, “
No, surely not me! I wouldn’t fall for it!” but oh ladies and gentlemen, even teachers make mistakes… (Any Jane the Virgin fans out there?) Alas…

I had always thought, “oh fake news, of course you’re going to know it’s fake – that stuff didn’t actually happen”. But my oh my, are there ever great writers in the world. It is much harder now to determine fake news, altered truths (if that can even be classified as a thing), and facts that are taken out of context.

I give my students a lot of credit because they are swarmed so much with media of all formats and their ability to process what they’re reading is admirable. That being said, I think that there can be many strategies implemented in the classroom that allow them to view things more critically and generate different discussions regarding the news – this is something that I am really looking forward to implementing into my classroom and I am excited for the conversations.

As much as a I want to say I’m a “read the newspaper” kind of person (nostalgia setting in for anyone else?), I also like to be well informed and kept up-to-date and so waiting for the next printed issue just doesn’t cut it. So, while some people may not trust the news given online, I think it’s all the more imperative that we embrace the ways in which we can read critically, deconstruct media, and better prepare ourselves for the conversations regarding our world and the many ways in which it influences our nature.

Get Your Copy: Literacy Today!

When posed with the question, “What does it mean to be literate today?” I thought, what doesn’t it mean? There are so many forms of literacy with their own skill sets and interconnections. It is important to recognize that the idea of what it means to be “fully literate” in regard to digital, media, physical, or even mathematical literacy is going to differ from person to person. It is therefore crucial that all of these forms of literacy are developed throughout our lives in different opportunities. As teachers we have a role and responsibility in ensuring that our students are prepared for the world once they leave our classrooms. 

I watched the Andrea Quijada’s Ted Talk Creating Critical Thinkers Through Media Literacy and I was immediately connecting to her message. First of all, when she discusses not having a TV, I made a connection to my childhood where we didn’t watch TV on school nights and when we did, my parents did the same thing as hers when it came to deconstructing commercials and TV shows. I find it very challenging to shut off the “analysis” that I want to do when I’m watching shows – very rarely am I able to just sit down and watch something without looking into the details provided or trying to make sense of any foreshadowing that might happen. Is this a good thing? Yeah, I’d say it’s an indicator of critical thinking.  I agree with Andrea when she states that much of our introductions to what media literacy is starts at home and then should continue to be fostered in other areas such as school.

Andrea mentions how student should know how to deconstruct forms of media because they are so involved and influenced by it. To be able to have the tools necessary to deconstruct what surrounds them is going to be a critical component of our students’ success. She states that students are not always the target audience but often they are the viewers – and because of this, they require the skills necessary to view something, deconstruct it, and figure out who the message was for.  I like her reference to that of teachers helping build their students tool boxes by allowing them opportunities to explore new avenues and increase their skills and competencies in something such as media literacy.

Image result for technology tool box

I was left with her statement of media literacy as the connection between school and real life. So I wonder, what are we doing to build our students’ Digital Literacy toolboxes to the best of our abilities?

Digital Identity: Past, Present, Future

I’ll admit I was nervous to Google myself – not because I’ve ever posted something that I’m not proud of, but because I’m not all too sure what “ownership” (ha! ownership online..) I have over something once I click “publish” or “post”. Also…what is out there that I don’t know about?

Turns out, no need to be worried! Everything that came up was something that I’m either currently involved in or have been involved in throughout my life. My search turned up results from dance competitions from way back, the results of my current students when my studio name is attached, cycling, some of my sister’s athletic accomplishments, family obituaries, and blog posts from undergrad.

I found that if I typed in my former city beside my name, there wasn’t much that showed up. But if I typed my current city then I was able to find more current information on myself. Which makes sense because most of what I found is work related in regard to sharing the successes of my school, students, and events! I also don’t often go by my full name so I typed in other versions thinking that maybe it would pull different results – not the case!
After looking into this, I wonder…what is the association between my name and the rest of the stuff that shows up online with my search?

We discussed in class that some of our students are no longer able to be “forgiven or forgotten” when it comes to online identity and I feel like I was on the cusp of that divide. I wish it was as easy as Wall-E makes it seem…

But we all know that’s not exactly the case. There can be some ramifications for what contributes to our online identities.

I remember when I was in high school and “scare tactics” were used to teach about digital citizenship but nothing was really mentioned in regard to the positives of posting. This is something that I didn’t always agree with and something that I’ve been mulling over especially while in this class. Why not post? Why not build a positive identity? Why not begin to build a multi-faceted platform online that encapsulates your growth from “this is where I started” to “here’s where I want to go”. And this is where that [digital] citizenship and [digital] literacy conversation becomes so crucial. If we can have students become even a little bit more critical about what they’re posting online, I think there is opportunity to embrace the potential of combining their personal and school-related online identities.
In order to do this, we have to ask of ourselves and our students:

  • What are you posting?
  • Where are you posting it?
  • Why are you posting this?
  • What do you hope this contributes to your digital identity?

David Buckingham’s article (Chapter Four in this book) discusses the relation of digital and media literacy in regard to what students are going to produce for school as being influenced heavily by their personal online use and interests. This article was also referenced in a catalyst presentation!



The Future of Education: Daunting

Any time that someone brings up “the future of education” I get this pit in my stomach – are we even prepared? For the most part, change doesn’t come quickly; it’s a slow process that has a tendency to feel like a “hurry up and wait” situation. However, once that lull period is over…yikes. Change gets implemented and if you aren’t ready…catch up is your only option. It’s a stressful feeling and as teachers, I think that most of us do our best to roll with what’s coming.
Most of the articles and topics presented during the week of February 8 had me thinking about the anticipation of great change in Education, and I’m reminded that it can only be done incrementally, with support, and step-by-step.

This elearningindustry article lists nine things that will shape the future of learning:

  1. Diverse time and space
  2. Personalized Learning
  3. Free Choice
  4. Project Based
  5. Field Experience
  6. Data Interpretation
  7. Exams are going to change
  8. Student Ownership
  9. Mentoring will become more important

This list is encouraging because I feel that education is definitely moving in the direction of supporting these nine components.

So in response to the question, “Do schools really need to change? If so, in what ways?”, just take a look at the list above. We are preparing students for an ever-evolving world in a digital age (or we’re doing everything we can to *think* we’re doing this).

I’ll be looking into how my major project will speak to some of the things on this list – especially when it comes to student ownership.


Oh right, my Project…

I don’t know why I seem to be already conflicted with my choice of project. Is it going to contribute enough? Is it challenging enough for me? Why do I want to do it this way? How can I see this fitting into my classroom? Is this something that I can see myself implementing right away? How is this going to be organized?

All of the questions are really both propelling my research forward as well as holding me back. But, that being said, I am still excited about the possibilities knowing that even if I don’t find the “answers” that I’m looking for, that this project will always be, in a sense…download (1)

I am still on track to be looking at both social and educational apps in order to see where some cross-over happens in terms of use both inside and outside of the classroom. For the social apps I have decided to look more at a combination of photo sharing apps and mindfulness apps. As for the educational apps, I’ve decided to look at more of the Google Chrome extensions (because the school I’m at is all Google Classroom and Chrome) as well as a couple that I’m exploring to help with citations, research writing, the writing process, etc.

I do not have it narrowed down yet as to which of the apps I’ll use for the purpose of the project.

I am interested in finding reports, reviews, and testimonials in regard to the positives and the downfalls that the apps might have in order to better frame my ideas in how they can be implemented into the classroom.

Throughout my project and in considering Ribbles Nine Elements, I will be focusing on Digital Literacy, Digital Etiquette, and Digital Communication.

To Connect or Not To Connect…

I have always felt torn between the value of being “connected” and the value of being “disconnected”. For the most part, I’ve been unsettled by the sometimes negative lens that the use of technology is viewed through, or that being “plugged in” is something “bad”.

The readings from this week helped me better sort out where I stand on the debate. My main takeaway as I was reading always came back to the idea of “potential”.

In watching Visitors and Residents, I connected (haha..) to the idea that being a digital resident means you are a know-er of a specific language. If we think about our own experiences in attempting a new language then we can become a little bit more empathetic towards those who may not be as proficient, those who are in the beginning stages of understanding technology, and those who need to reevaluate how they are using technology.

Secondly, Visitors and Residents, makes an interesting argument that leads me to believe there is little separation between being a “resident” or a “visitor” when it comes to digital competencies. I believe that most people are a combination of both categories. According to White, Visitors usually are not in it to have a social trace whereas Residents are making a choice to be present and live a portion of their lives online.
I appreciate the separation that the author makes between these two supposed categories, however I think it’s important to note the ways in which we engage online, whether socially or more professionally, formally or informally, may not be compatible with each other however they all connect through a developing digital identity. I liked how David White was able to illustrate this concept so well in his video.

The reading I most enjoyed this week was The IRL Fetish by Nathan Jurgenson. This essay discussed the concept of a “real connection” vs a “virtual connection”. I struggled to formulate an idea of what a connection could really be defined as then, or if one concept of connection is superior to another. It seems to be highly debated that being offline, or having the willpower to “not be on your phone” offers a source of pride.. but this article reevaluates that idea. And it’s refreshing. It has made me consider if I have ever been offline, unplugged, or gone a few minutes without wondering what is happening online while I’m not. Is this a bad thing? Or is this just a part of world that I have been exposed to nearly all of my life? Is it okay that my version of normal is different from someone who hasn’t been exposed to medias in this sense?

Therein lies the potential that I wrote about at the beginning of this post. There is a potential to be exposed to new ways of experiencing and sharing our lives – whether that be delving into more media-friendly ways, or finding possibilities that don’t require you to be plugged in.

I think the big take away from The IRL Fetish article is that there needs to be a balance.

Image result for quotes about potential