Category Archives: EC&I 831

Journey to Home Organization: Learning Summary

In EC&I 831, Social Media and Open Education, we were asked to embark on a major learning project that would entail acquiring new skills. We were encouraged to find online resources, as well as personal and in print, to help us along the way. I had thought of many different skills I could learn including sewing, yoga, and meditation. However, there was another important skill that I needed to develop and hone. I needed to organize my home with the view to living a more purposeful and mindful life in a very materialistic culture. My reading on the subject of disorganization and overabundance of stuff confirmed my suspicion that it can affect decision making, increase stress, and negatively impact the environment.

As I explain in my first post, I set out to create sustainable organizational systems and processes to create an efficient and healthy household while involving my toddler and preschooler and doing so with the least environmental impact.

In my second post, I share how overwhelmed I was with the plethora of resources online, and in print, to help a person become more organized. After some study, I was able to take away what I found to be most helpful in my journey. Including the questions to help decide what to keep, toss, donate, or sell.

Here are my top five takeaways I have learned throughout my journey:

Takeaway #1: Get connected!

My success this semester in getting more organized was connecting with like-minded Youtubers to keep me motivated and accountable. I loved Cassandra from Clutterbug and Kathryn from Do it on a Dime. What was especially helpful was Clutterbug’s Facebook page specifically for her followers to swap advice by posting photos of their own hot messes or reorganized spaces. This group was closed, which means posts are not shared on a member’s main social media feed. I appreciated this separation.

Takeaway #2: Declutter

I quickly learned that before you can become organized, you must let go of the things in your home that no longer serve a purpose. Items that no longer serve you will only take up valuable real estate. I followed Clutterbug’s 30-day declutter challenge on her Facebook page in October as described in my third post. It was only 15 minutes per day in various areas of my home. The best part of following along was posting photos of my progress. Also, I was able to get some great tips on how I could upcycle or repurpose some of my items. When decluttering a space, I found categorizing the items into bins labeled keep, donate, toss, sell and relocate. It is amazing how many items you will find in your bedroom closet that belong in the kitchen. Especially if you have kids who like to wander off with things.

At this point, I also started working on my do it yourself (DIY) skills by installing a garbage can under my kitchen sink. Youtube was helpful in navigating the features of my cordless drill. The old school illustrated instructions that came with the garbage can were very helpful in this DIY project. Although the instructions said it would only take 15 minutes, I believe it took me over an hour!

Takeaway #3: Recruit household members in organizing efforts

When I was organizing my clothes closet I didn’t expect my husband to tackle his clothes as well, but he was bitten by the decluttering bug. He was even motivated to reorganize his office space!

My little ones were excited when I moved their dishes to a cupboard they can reach and therefore help to set the table or put away when clean. In my fourth post, I learned the value of involving my little ones in helping unload the dishwasher. My son was able to work on his problem-solving and fine motor skills while trying to get the utensils out of the top rack. Recognizing the need to encourage my children to become more self-sufficient I also implemented a system in our front entryway they could use to store their outerwear.

In my fifth post, I take you on a tour of how I organized this space, including hanging a shelf for the first time. The tutorial I viewed on Youtube was helpful – to a point. I learned that context matters. This is also where I discovered that math is an integral part of placing a shelf on a wall correctly.

Takeaway #4: Designate a space for everything

This has been my biggest challenge in getting organized. With four people living in my household there seems to be many things that do not have a designated space – otherwise known as homeless! These items left in the open, or placed haphazardly, can suddenly sprout legs, or with the help of your little ones, even your furbabies, be transported to obscure places.

I realized early in my learning journey that items needed a designated space to not only prevent them from walking off but to make sure that they could be found easily. It was in my sixth post I share how disorganized my master bedroom closet had become. It was time to tackle it! In this space, I installed an ironing board hanger, created designated bins, and paired down my wardrobe. I found it overwhelming at first, but I had an opportunity to reflect on our culture of thinness and the impact on a mother’s body image. I also realized it takes courage to be vulnerable and share our imperfect lives on social media, but at the end of the day, this vulnerability leads to a connection with others.

I video documented my learning adventure demonstrating my ability to install the install the ironing board hanger. It wasn’t as easy as I first thought! I also give a video tour of my reorganized closet here.

Tip #5: Labels, Labels, Labels

Since my new mantra is “a place for everything and everything in its place,” I have found the suggestion of Clutterbug to label bins or baskets a key element in getting and staying organized. Before labels, a bin could house anything I wanted….. and anything anyone else wanted as well. This created chaos and the bins just contained random stuff. With a label, it is can only house one thing….. whatever the bin says is in it!

In my eighth post, I share how I reorganized my daughter’s closet. I allocated labeled bins for her clothes, toys, and accessories and placed them on the Rubbermaid FastTrack system I installed. I am becoming more and more comfortable sharing my projects on social media as I demonstrate in the closet video tour here:

With the development of my DIY skills, I am also starting to become more comfortable with the math involved to install shelves. However, I am still not the best at finding studs, which I thought would be the easiest part. Balancing the tools, the vertical standards, and a level is very tricky when doing a DIY project like this alone. Interestingly, putting the brackets in the verticals was also tricky!

These are the top five takeaways that have assisted me in becoming more organized. Decluttering really set me on my path to efficiently organize what was left. The major areas that I tackled this semester were the kitchen, entryway, my and my daughter’s closets. These areas are so easy to keep organized now!

Thoughts Regarding Online Learning Resources

I have come to appreciate the value of learning online even more as a result of this learning project. So many tutorials on Youtube and mommy bloggers were instrumental in my learning journey. However, the topics we spoke about in class helped me to take a critical view of the sources I used. In my seventh post,  I contemplated whether the home organization tips and tricks offered by the mommy bloggers I followed was less valuable if their messages were sponsored by corporations. I concluded that being aware of this possibility was enough to allow me to be a critical consumer of the advice given.

In my fifth post, I also talked about the dark side of sharing on social media. During Clutterbug’s declutter challenge she encouraged us to post on her Facebook page before and after photos of what we accomplished. Unfortunately, not all of her followers were encouraging. In fact, I witnessed the negative effects of trolls.  One post, in particular, was met by a very negative comment. My dismay of this shadow cast on our community was quickly lifted when 300+ positive comments were posted to counteract the negative one.

Although my official major learning project has come to end, my learning journey has not. With my newfound DIY and organizational skills, I am ready to tackle the other closets in my house and start labeling more bins!

Thank you all for your encouraging comments and support! Have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy your break.


I would like to share that I have finished my 5th class

I’m sure that everyone is giddy with the news!

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Ok, possibly no one really cares where about I am in my grad studies journey, but hopefully some of what I share here will leave others with wonderings or thinking how they can use some of the information and insight I have and combine it with their own to end up with something infinitely better than either of us would have come up with on our own.

We take ideas from other people, from-2

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I actually love this quote, and the picture was awesome, as it aligns with my major learning project of learning how to crochet.  Of course I just googled the image, and it ended up taking me to a blog from a student who is working on an open scholarship course from the Virginia Commonwealth University, which I thought was pretty coincidental.

Throughout the class, we have looked at many interesting videos, and written numerous posts about the importance of sharing. We have explored our privileged positions being educators, and why it’s so important for us to have a voice for those who may not through social media.  We have investigated learning through open texts, and through free online sources, such as videos posted to YouTube, and other’s blogs.

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For me, the most important learning of the course, is the power of Twitter for connecting to educators around the globe.  I started using Twitter when I took EC&I 834 in the spring semester.  I liked it, but didn’t use it to its full potential, (if I’m honest, I still don’t- but I’m getting better).  The 834 course was more about creating.  It’s interesting to me how when we change the focus and view similar material through different lenses, how different our learnings.

I spent the bulk of 834 learning new apps and learning how to create video/audio, etc, and make my classroom more interactive.  I didn’t clue in at all about the importance of sharing the resources that I created online, though I shared them with the class, and with other teachers in my building.  I loved learning how to use Google Classroom, at that point it wasn’t available in our division, but I started a couple other teachers on Edmodo.  My priority was more about keeping kids safe while at the same time exposing them to wider networks of learning.  I focused on student engagement, and not a lot on me sharing. I learned for the purpose of engaging students.

With ECI 831, the focus is on sharing.  I wasn’t concerned so much about learning how to use new apps to teach students, but rather with teaching myself some of the ways that I can learn online, and how to share my thoughts and ideas. This brought me back to Twitter, and I started using it differently than I did last class.  My focus has turned from engaging my class, to engaging myself.  Thinking bigger than my own class, and to the ways that technology is changing the world, not just my classroom.  I have been able to connect with some amazing educators, and found many professional resources, (although I still don’t share them online as much as I do with my colleagues at work.)

I have not had as much time to focus on learning additional apps or a new LMS as I did last semester.  I was however able to focus much time on learning what was important to me right now- which is leadership and school culture.  I have been able to find so many experts to follow in Canada and the US.  It is fascinating to read about the innovative things that happening in education.  With local PD, I am stuck to the people and resources provided by my division, and although they are great, they cannot offer near the depth that I have found through Twitter.  In addition, I am able to find and spend more time on the areas that I currently need to focus on as a new administrator, and the areas that I think are most important: school culture and student engagement.

For my summary of learning, I chose not to spend my time on a new app or other online creation tool.  As I mentioned in my major project, a major issue I have with learning online is that everything is so flashy I struggle to maintain focus.  I am the kind of student who does well with a lecture.  Give me a plain old TedTalk any day over some animated video.

 

Is my summary flashy and particularly engaging?  No, and for me as a learner- that is just fine. In addition, creating my summary of learning in this format is also about not spending a bunch of time on the flash.  I spent a great deal of time on my ideas.  In reality, for me to share as an educator, if it takes me forever, I won’t do it.  I flipped back and forth on that many times.  On the one hand, in this scenario- I am the learner, I should be spending considerable time on creativity showing my ideas.  On the other hand, should the creative side of showing my ideas overshadow the actual ideas?  In the end, I decided that it was my learning, so it should be showcased in the way that I learn best, and so that is what I did.

Does it summarize what I learned this class? I would say it does to a great degree.

Am I where I want to be when it comes to technology and technology integration?  No for sure not.

But thankfully for all the millions of people sharing ideas through Twitter, and the like, I can find resources with just a click of a button.  When I have the time, I can create flashy video and animations, if and when I have a classroom and believe that is the best use of my time.  For now, I’m happy following leaders that are innovative, and sharing their ideas with my staff, who are in turn, handing much of the creativity over to the students to show their learning.

Allowing students to share in the learning in our classrooms is the destination that I want to get to. Me being familiar with apps and up to date on what is available is only half the journey.  It is great that a teacher has the ability to create multimedia educational resources to help students learn, and it’s great that we have access to online resources that are free.

To me, the most important thing is that we recognize as teachers, that our students have access to the exact same information- the job for us as educators is to help our students learn how to access it, and use it, and in turn share their learning with broader audiences.  We need to stop the idea that when we hand in an assignment our learning is done, when in fact, the product or idea we shared, is actually the start of our learning.


The Learning Project: Lessons Learned

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Well, the final results are in. Not bad. 18.4 lbs down over the course of the semester ( I started at 226). I wanted to get to 205, but I am well on my way.

Well this is it. It has been a wild ride. When I first started this project, I thought it would be a linear sequence of events. 1) Follow a diet 2) Select a workout regimen 3) Track results. Simple right? As it turns out, this learning project was not quite  as straightforward as I originally thought

My earlier blog post focused on learning I had acquired reading a some blogs I found online ( most notably Tim Ferriss). It was this foray into the world of blogging that I learned the tenants of the Slow Carb Diet (SCD).  This was a good start because it got me thinking about my diet and caused me to explore options for a resistance training regime.There were two problems with my approach to this project in the early going, 1) My posts were quite focused on what I was doing as opposed to what I was learning and 2) Upon reflection, my goals could have been more specific. More on that later.

My second blog post was my first attempt a “vlogging.” I must admit that there was a steep learning curve here. Unfortunately it had little to do with health and fitness and more to do with how to actually produce a YouTube video. I learned to set up an account and how to record a video on my ancient laptop.

More importantly I learned that the process of blogging (or in this case vlogging) was a very intimidating process for me. It really did take me out of my comfort zone. It was a good learning experience. I’m a fairly introverted person. I learned that in the early going, this tenancy I got the idea to try a video of myself after watching An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube. I really identified with Dr. Wesch’s quote ” It feels like everybody is watching and yet nobody is there.” It was a bit of a surreal knowing that I would be inviting other people into this learning experience with me. An even stranger experience is watching these videos a second time. I’m watching myself reflect on my learning experience, which caused me to re-reflect on that experience. I hope that this makes sense. What I have learned from this experience is that perhaps YouTube could be a powerful  tool for engaging in self-reflection.

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Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/YouTube

My next post outlined the initial resistance training program that I began at the gym in my workplace. It didn’t take me long to realize that consulting the internet on resistance training was like drinking water from a fire hose.

 

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I decided to consult a trainer that works in the gym. He met with me and helped me develop a resistance training program that was based on compound lifts involving major muscle groups divided into a upper and lower body split routine. This was valuable because is showed me how to incorporate training into my life. I was able to train in the weight room four days a week on my lunch break. This was not as simple as it sounds as the gym is not located in the same building as my office. What I learned was in order to successfully incorporate this regimen into my work life, I had to manage my time more effectively and become far more organized (for example ensuring I had a change of clothes handy and a few easy lunch choices ready to go).

It also taught me the importance of going to the gym with intention. Knowing that I had a time limit of 45 minutes caused me to focus and get in and out within my time limit. This was a big change because in my 20’s going to the gym was much more of a social experience for me. There was no time for socializing this time around. It was a bit of an adjustment but eventually learned to enjoy the solitude of putting in my ear buds, shutting off my brain and moving heavy things.

This post also marked my first foray with using my fitness pal. At first I found it helpful. It acted as a hub for solid health and fitness information and it caused me to be more mindful about what I was eating. However, there came a point where I realized that I could get too focused on tracking my intake. The lesson I learned here was that technology can be helpful to a point. I actually found I had more success with weight loss when I focused less on tracking and more eating foods that promoted weight loss in a way that worked for me. I hope this makes sense.

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Source: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.myfitnesspal.android

My next post served as more of an update than anything. It was marked with some frustration for me because at this time I was not seeing sustained success in terms of weight loss despite having a training plan and diet. As the semester progressed, the demands on my time increased. I needed to alter my approach. The truth was what I was doing wasn’t working.

In the post Every Little Bit Counts, I started to experiment with body weight exercises (push ups to be precise). I learned about the concept of greasing the groove . I didn’t know it at the time but this was going to be a major step forward in helping me to successfully incorporate physical training into my work day in a way that was meaningful and did not place extra demands on my shrinking reserves of time. This protocol allowed me to look at strength as a skill . That is something you get better at by practicing it. Learning this caused a major shift in what I was thinking. It sounds dumb but I started to look at training as a way to practice being strong as opposed to something I was doing to lose weight. This actually ended up being a major shift in how I was viewing the physical training component of this learning project. In retrospect, I hadn’t started to really put it all together. That would come soon enough.

My next post (Intensity, Interval Training, Body weight Exercises: What I have Learned) marked the point in this project where the lights really turned on. Here is the Cole’s Notes version of what I learned:

1) Intensity is a key factor in physical activity for weight loss.

2) Interval training is a great way to bump up intensity and shorten workout times

3) ” Intense” is different for everyone.

I was going about this all wrong. Here I was slugging it out in the gym lifting weights at a moderate level of intensity when I could have been cutting my training time down and boosting my ability to burn fat. I learned that I needed to get clear on what I wanted out of this process. I initially started out wanting to lose fat and gain lean mass . That was too much. I was going to have to pick one goal here. I chose to go with losing fat. This was another valuable lesson. Get specific with your goals to help you guide your behavior! It is embarrassing typing that. I’m a nurse, I help client’s come up with goals all the time. Yet here I was doing a weight training program to promote muscle growth and wondering why I wasn’t losing weight! My behavior didn’t match my goal. This was when things started to come together for me.

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The Bodyweight Training app was an example of how technology could help me engage in more effective and meaningful training for the purpose of fat loss. It allowed  me to develop a personalized interval training program that I could do anywhere with no equipment.

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I had mentioned interval training in my earlier posts the cold hard truth is, I obviously wasn’t doing it right. This app changed that. Using it allowed me to increase my intensity and decrease my workout time significantly ( I was training in the gym 45 minutes 4 times a week. This changed to 20 minutes of effective interval training 2 to 3 times a week). This small change got me back on track towards losing weight again.

My post Nutritional Additional helped me to demonstrate a deeper level of learning regarding using the SCD for fat loss, learning how to make cheat days work for me and allowed me to reflect on my experience of using a Facebook support group dedicated to people using the SCD for fat loss. Here is a summary of what I learned :

1. The SCD does offer a variety of whole protein rich foods that can promote fat loss. However, I found the amount of beans and legumes prescribed to be a bit much.

2. Once a week cheat days were not my cup of tea. I learned that I would be better off planning one cheat meal a week. This would allow the benefits of the cheat day in a much more controlled fashion, without the wheels completely falling off.

3. Swapping out starches and simple carbohydrates is an easy way to manage overall carbohydrate intake and increase dietary fiber.

4. Not all social media learning communities are created equal. I gained appreciation for the supportive nature of our Google Plus community as a result of my foray into the world of Facebook groups dedicated to the SCD.

Now for the secret weapon. In my post Protein a Great Whey to Lose Fat? I learned how effective whey protein can be as a supplement to help me lose fat. I was able to learn the difference between 3 common protein supplements ( whey concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate) Here is a summary of points that I learned from the post:

1. Whey is an excellent means of supplementing your diet with extra protein.

2. If your goal is fat loss, the type of protein you select doesn’t really matter. So pick one that is cost-effective and has little side effects.

3. A shaker bottle is portable and means you can have snack or meal pretty much anywhere. I usually mix mine with coconut milk.

Protein helps rev up your metabolism, fills you up and can help curb sugar cravings it also helps to build lean muscle . If your goal is reduction in body fat whey protein can help.

Finally I shared an easy way to prepare chicken that I picked up from a Buzzfeed video. Although I did touch on food preparation in my first post , I felt this was a good example of how social media ( I should mention this showed up on my Facebook feed) helped me to learn an effective method for preparing chicken ( which is was key to my diet).

So there you have it. A summary of the learning I underwent as a result of this project. I apologize for the length. It took longer than expected. I have enjoyed this journey. It really came together in the last 5 weeks or so. I went from being stuck at the 214 to 216 mark to 207.6 lbs as of Monday. I wanted to get to 205, but I’ll take this!  All the best!

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The Beginning of My New Sewing Career

It all started with an idea, and a need to be able to sew.  I knew this skill would serve me later in life and come in handy, then I remembered a pin I made back in my early university days to make a t-shirt quilt and there it was: my brilliant idea for a learning project and I couldn’t have been more excited!!

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I started off by testing out my hand-sewing skills and after a few trial and errors and re-watching a couple of videos, I felt like I had the hang of it.  To begin, I know I was reliant on my mother for reassurance because as noted in other blogs, I am a slight perfectionist…I crave perfection and the idea that I can learn from making mistakes is absurd.  If I make mistakes often enough, I will quit.  It’s been my nature from a young age, and this project really challenged me to be okay with making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes.  Beginning with hand-sewing was a slow and confidence building technique I needed to start this massive project!  The great thing about hand-sewing was it was easy to fix mistakes and redo stitches.  I was able to do this quite a few times until I felt like I had gained a comfortable understanding of threading a needle, making a stitch, and sewing buttons.

IMG_2034Then came the real test.  I began my quilting process.  I did not expect there to be as many steps as there were and beginning on the sewing machine was terrifying and infuriating.  I know when I get frustrated, I need to step away.  The sewing machine was frustrating and annoying to figure out, but with some help from Youtube and my mother, I got the hang of the ancient machine.  What I don’t think I mentioned in my blogging was that I tapped into my school resources and borrowed a sewing machine from the school.  SO MUCH EASIER!!!  I am so grateful l did this, as I am confident my quilt would not have turned out as nicely and I would have ran into a lot more problems and would have needed to troubleshoot a lot more.

I had to select my shirts, and then cut them all, which was again super time-consuming.  It was at this point in the project that I was questioning my idea and questioning whether I would have enough time to finish.  I used my grandma’s tools and advice for cutting and interfacing the t-shirts.  In this, I also learned that I like to take a lot of different ideas for how to accomplish a task, and work it into something that makes sense to me.  I received advice from my grandma, ladies at the quilt shop, and the internet.  From these sources, I combined methods to complete my quilt in a way that made the most sense to me.  Having advice from so many sources could get confusing, but I also enjoyed having different options and ideas for how to complete this quilt successfully.

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GIF via Mashable

When I was cutting the t-shirts, I struggled at first with being perfect once again.  Knowing what I know now, the edges DO NOT MATTER!  I could have saved a lot of time as most of the edges end up as ruffles in my quilt.  I also would have sewed the interfacing on first and then cut!! Even when I did make mistakes cutting, I kept going and convinced myself that it would all work out in the end.  By the time I started cutting the flannel, I was set!  I persevered, and this is not something that I would normally do, but this project pushed me to just keep going and figure out how to fix the mistakes I made. 

IMG_2161Once the cutting was finished, I feared making mistakes on the sewing.  I pinned my flannel to my t-shirts, and I began sewing.  It wasn’t even that bad!  Again, I needed reassurance that I was doing okay and my mother was a great support to answer every call or she was there just to make sure.  This support and reassurance was key to my success because I probably would have struggled more or even questioned my methods has she not been there.  I found having a person to directly talk to, bounce ideas off of, and reassure my work an incredible resource and helpful for the success of the project.  It wasn’t a constant, “Am I doing this right?” but a gentle “good work” which is what everyone needs on occasion.

Once the individual squares were cut, the quilt flew together and I couldn’t have been happier with the way it turned out!  It was difficult to sew together because it was so thick but I now I have the coziest quilt to curl up with at night!

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I learned a lot about my learning style in this process.  I found out that this is not relaxing at all, and until I gain more experience, I will not find it relaxing.  The most stressful part of the project was thinking I would screw up and upon thinking more

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Lily’s Quilts

about it, I figured out why.  I was working with t-shirts, but not just any t-shirts.  These shirts hold a lot of meaning, and memories for me.  If I screwed up, the shirt and the memory was gone.  This was a high pressure project because it was SO meaningful for me.  I’m grateful I took the risk, but I feel that if I was using regular material, I would have been more relaxed with making mistakes and not as rigid.  I learned that I am an independent learner, and I enjoy things I can do on my own that give my brain a break from a stressful day of teaching, as well as challenge me in other ways.  It was nice to break routine, and make time to learn a new skill.  Overall, I really enjoyed this project and I learned a lot about sewing and about myself as a learner!

If you’d like to see the whole thing unfold, here is the link to my project! Until next time!  Thanks for stopping by!


Final Coding Adventure

Well, I did it.

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I finished my calculator! I am so proud. It actually works and actually calculates what I asked it to.

This is a link to all of my videos I posted along my journey, or you can check out the list through my blog. (I’ve learned all kinds of ways to collect my information into one accessible place!)

If you don’t get a chance to watch all the videos (it’s ok, honest.), essentially what I’m trying to say is:

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In the playlist is a quick overview of some of the social media I used when learning to code:

I just barely scratch (ha! Scratch Jr!) the surface of the amount of information that exists about coding on social media platforms. I didn’t even look at Reddit or explore any forums on the video.

But, speaking of Reddit, this is what I found when I searched “python”:

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The top Python community has existed on Reddit for nine years! That’s ancient in terms of the internet!

Coding is everywhere. It’s hard to escape and seems to find me if I try and hide. As I mention in the above video, even the Google Doodle is trying to get me to code more often.

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Source (I made this gif!)

I cover a lot of my struggles in my Summary of Learning. It was really challenging because coding is so overwhelming. In the Social Media and Coding (brief) Overview, I called up over 4 BILLION results from looking up simply “how to code”. There are SO many resources out there about how to code and what the best language is for coding and what the best product is and how many jobs there are.

I’ve developed a whole new appreciation for the effort that goes into coding an app such as Instagram. Making a simple, barely there code calculator like I did was a monumental effort on my part. To code something which boasts 800 million users is frankly a wee bit mind-boggling.

Coding to me is like one of my favourite analogies: ducks on ponds:

Sure they look really cute and calm from the top. Dive below the surface and you’ll see their little feet just paddling like crazy to stay afloat.

This is how I feel about coding: it seems all pretty and calm on top, but underneath there’s a mess of code and programmers just trying to stay on top of their syntax errors.

Wait.

That sounds an awful lot like teaching, too. Hm. Maybe I have more in common with a programmer than I originally thought…

Till next time, keep on paddling!


Digital Project Summary

Wow! I can’t believe how fast the time has went by! I’ve learned so much in the last few months and have definitely utilized social media in the classroom more than ever before.

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My original project was implementing a classroom Twitter account and involve students in sharing their learning. However my project quickly began to evolve after I realized how little my class knew about digital citizenship and responsible online use – and yet nearly every student was using social media platforms, whether it be Snap-chat or Facebook, in some way or another. I was shocked and knew that before I just hop into using Twitter, we needed to have some important discussions and lesson around responsible internet use. What seemed to work well was using Twitter in authentic moments, while having regular lessons each week that evolved around …

  • Twitter etiquette – The language, the hashtags and all that jazz
  • The use of private and personal information
  • The power of words online
  • Keywords to give you the best search results
  • Plagiarism, it’s consequences, and when it’ acceptable to use people’s work – including citations

This wasn’t the initial direction of my project, but I quickly learned teaching about digital citizenship was going to be essential and almost more important than simply using social media in the classroom. Having conversations around appropriate internet use is going to be where most of the learning takes place this semester for my students. How could I expect them to jump in and know how to use social media without preparing them with background on responsible internet use.

As I look at our use of Twitter in the classroom I was happy about the growth I made and the lessons learned. I do believe this will become a staple within my classroom as it is a quick, easy way to share what we are doing in the classroom and connect with others in our community and around the world. There was a learning curve associated with transitioning the Twitter account from me onto the students and some difficulties associated with not having a classroom iPad. Instead students used my phone for the photo and then we drafted the tweets together from my computer projected onto the whiteboard.

Drafting Tweets:
Students learned Twitter etiquette though modelling and practice on our “Twitter Board” which involved students writing their Tweets, editing mistakes, and creating hashtags before they actually tweet it out online. This also helped us to THINK before we TWEET – something we discussed many times this year.

twitterboardpic

Here is how I see our progression of learning based on our Twitter history. At the start of this project, I set up our Twitter account, it was very little used and I was doing most of the Tweets. I was using Twitter to share our learning to parents and the community but not really giving students any ownership until my project really got started.

twitter pic 2

Slowly but surely students began taking ownership of the Tweets, at other times it was a combined class Tweet. We talked and decided as a class to use “Quotation Marks” to capture what the student said about their picture and “signed” the Tweet using first names only. I think this process of taking baby steps and working together to compile tweets, in unison of the digital citizenship curriculum made an impression on students and hopefully how they will use social media independently moving forward.

I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility within this course to learn about something I’ve always wanted to do, but have never had time to explore and try. I’m confident that this project has helped me lay the foundation for making Twitter a staple in my classroom for future years.

Check out my summary of learning here!

 

Thanks for an rewarding and enjoyable learning experience!
Tayler


EC&I 831 Summary of Learning

Hello Everyone,

Below is my summary of learning for EC&I 831!  After seeing some of my colleagues’ work and summaries, I realize that I still have a long way to go in the area of creating engaging presentations but I know that I am well on my way!  Great work to all of my fellow EC&I 831 colleagues and good luck with the rest of your programs!!!

-ashley


EC&I 831 – Summary of Learning

This video is the final assignment for the course on Social Media and Open Education. Enjoy it!

Since I will be taking one more course with Dr. Couros, stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts in January 2018.

In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter. :)

Happy Holidays!


Filed under: EC&I 831, Learning Project, Weekly Reflections

ECI 831: Summary of Learning

Where did the semester go? It went by so fast, but it was certainly busy. I have really enjoyed the topics we explored in this class and the tech tools and apps we were encouraged to try out! I am looking forward to continuing using them and incorporating them into my teaching practice.

Here is my summary of learning using Powtoon.

When I sat down to create my summary of learning, I spent 2+ hours on VideoScribe.  As Steffany mentioned in her review of this animation software, it was a steep learning curve. I also did some screencasting of a live Poll Everywhere word cloud, but I decided to switch to Powtoon. I am sure glad I did! Although it took many hours to create my six-minute video, I am happy with what I accomplished. I would love to use Powtoon again. There are Christmas themes that would be perfect to send as holiday greetings!

Thank you all for an excellent semester of learning and engagement!

 


My Summary of Learning

Here is my finished Summary of Learning Project!  It was a lot more work than anticipated, but I only ran into a couple of hiccups in the process! I used Adobe Spark, and I really liked the simplistic layout and the ease to record. My laptop mic wasn’t working the greatest, which causes a lot of re-records so it was nice to be able to do it over and over again until I was satisfied with the slide! The only thing I didn’t like was that I couldn’t place a lot of imagery on the slides unless I created the images myself. The download speed took awhile but that could have easily been my connection.  Anyways, here it is!
Enjoy my video and I’ll see you all on Tuesday! 🙂