Category Archives: Weekly Blog

Have a Little Faith, Hold Out, “Open Education” Shall Be Free But For Who?

With the help and support of my colleagues willingness to share resources of things they have made with me, my life as a teacher has been made slightly simpler, enjoyable, more manageable, allows for more work/family life balance and I am a whole lot more appreciative of what it means to work together. Although these teachers who have made an impact on my teaching will never see this blog I want to shout from the rooftops THANK YOU!

When I first began teaching before I made any connections with my colleagues I was putting in significant time in the classroom; I felt like I never left the school and I was a young mom who was then giving up time with my baby. Then one day a teacher walked into my classroom and commented on how much time I was putting in; she said something along the lines of what unit are you doing, I probably have something you could use. She walked out and came back with a unit to share with me; I cried. 

I vowed after that day that I would be a teacher who shared whatever I could to help others. Fast forward to this month when we got our new grade placements and then to specifically today, my across the hall teacher came to me and said “here I put all my grade 5 files on this USB, take a look, use what you want, or don’t” I never asked for this, he just gave. What a great feeling this was. Is this what open education could be like? Just sharing of products without having to put a denomination behind it?

I then go back to COVID and creating my own videos to share with students; usually had to do with math lessons that matched our Jump Math student books; the amount of time and work that went into creating these “semi professional videos” was extremely time consuming but I wanted my students

YouTube open on an Android phone
Image credit: Shutterstock

to have access to the information they needed. It was hard to video myself, my work, purley for fear of judgement in how I teach, my words, my voice, my background, my everything… I am a very self conscious person. I did appreciate having access to other peoples videos on Youtube that I could include about the outcome. Again is this what open education could be like? Free access to learning videos to help supplement teaching?

I am left wondering what if YouTube created a supplemental space for open education. A space for educators to go that has a great search engine for finding material based around teaching and videos to support in class & out of class education. Videos that are screened for appropriateness, education based learning, ad free, etc. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful space? I wish I could type in Saskatchewan outcome 4.1 number sense place value and I could get supplemental & engaging videos to show a concept being learned. A teacher can only dream right?

Why Open Education Matters video brings up some interesting points that education is not fair for everyone; which is definitely not a new topic at all, what I am wondering about though in regards to open education is how fair is this idea anyways? In the video it states that “Tundo”, who had big dreams and the education he is getting is based off of old information; his school cannot afford new books or the latest learning materials. Now stay with me here, what are the chances that Tundo will even have access to technology and the internet/band width that it will require to even access open education? There is a major disconnect here that will need to be addressed before Tundo can even get a better education, if I am speaking truthfully I am also really struggling with what may appear to be a white heroism perspective at the moment or that only the privileged will be able to access open education but I am hoping I am wrong and reading far to into it. The right intention is there but who will truly benefit?


I leave you with this thought, and I cannot wait to read your responses…

Do you think open education could replace teachers? If quality education can be provided to students anywhere for free and constantly updated with relevant information could it be a possibility? If Covid lasted years and years, could we have seen a significant change in teaching, and needing less teachers to provide instruction especially if content was made easily accessible on the internet and one teacher could provide lessons to many, many children at once?  Could teaching become a self checkout situation? Why or why not?

Social Media & Activism Can They Hold Hands?

I am left with more questions than answers when it comes to effectiveness and then I also feel very anxious regarding sharing of radical activism.

I think it’s fair to say that social media can take any issue and ignite it in positive and/or negative way

s. Platform such as Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook have the ability to share information very quickly across the globe to generate awareness but I still question if reposting/retweeting without reading or understanding what the issue is, isn’t doing as much justice as intended. I also am left questioning myself prior to reposting is, is this information correct or is it filled with misinformation; am I getting the right information to share?

Some other issues I see is how is the intention of the post being changed to fit a different narrative? Prime example was given in class with the ALS ice bucket challenge and how the narrative changed so quickly and the actual cause was diluted.

I read a few articles this week to help me understand how social media activism could be seen as a good thing:

Social Media Activism in 2023: How to Go Beyond the Hashtag

I really liked that this article stated that “Social media activism must be accompanied by real world action.” which spoke to how I am feeling about this topic this week. To share a post may make a difference but it needs more; there has to be an action to follow along with it, otherwise I struggle to see the point beyond awareness.

This article also provided some authentic tips on how to use social media to support a cause:

  1. Pause and Review your social calendar- take a moment to decide if you can really commit to the cause you are engaging with
  2. Listen- emotions will be running high, using social listening to understand the audience will allow for more empathy & solidarity
  3. Be honest and transparent- before posting take a inward look at yourself to reflect of your history and your culture
  4. Be human- just be authentic
  5. Make your stance clear and consistent-
  6. Share how you are taking action- show what you are doing beyond sharing a post
  7. Plan for good and bad responses- not everyone will agree and with social activism you are trying to break a status quo
  8. Diversify and represent- Do not use social media activism as a way to just check off a box once. Your should represent it on a continuous basis
  9. Keep going- The work doesn’t stop after the hashtags stop being popular. Commit to long term goals.

A Guide to Activism in the Digital Age

This article showed how social media could promote social justice

  • Coordinating community responses
  • Platforming lived experiences
  • Promoting & planning events
  • Sharing pictures & videos
  • Signal boosting
  • Utilize the college population


This video shares both my reservations about social media activism and the great opportunities it can offer to causes:

  • Everyday people who care about an issue can get together and make change
  • Every post you make shows who you are and what you stand for
  • Social media has been at the forefront in many movements around the world
  • Social media has revolutionized activism
  • It is now cool to go to marches and then post pictures of it
  • Many people will tweet a hashtag, share a video, and then continue with their lives without actually engaging in real change but hashtags are not truly helping. If it doesn’t create awareness that leads to action off the internet then it is useless.

Sophie Eadgar suggestions for tying the 2 together:

  1.  identify an issue
  2.  inform yourself about it (look at both sides)
  3.  vote- see what politicians support the same issues
  4. set ambitious and realistic goals about what you really want to see
  5. volunteer your time- it is not a weekend plan it requires long term commitment

So now what does this mean for me and modeling for my students?

After class I decided I would take a dive into social media activism that is a topic near and dear to my heart and this happens to be based around social media itself and its effects on teens specifically teenage girls. So this week I have been primarily retweeting and researching the connection between the two. My daughter currently struggles with her mental health and she has shared with me on more then one occasion why can’t she look like girls that she sees on her social media apps; I have found her trying to pose, trying to dress, do her make up & hair, to match these unrealistic pictures and there is so, so, so much more; it is heartbreaking. Now if my daughter is going through something like this and it is already an issue, I can foresee it being something my students may struggle with and this is why I do believe policy change will be necessary.

Common Sense shared this article:

Teens and Mental Health: How Girls Really Feel About Social Media

and this is one of the fact sheets about TikTok howdogirlsreallyfeelabouttiktok_v2-_0

So at this point I will focus on the sharing & researching pieces of the activism on this particular topic to generate awareness. My hope is that one day there will be policy changes made to social media that is supportive of teens mental health and not detrimental.


I want to send you away with an intriguing task. I want you to research TikTok (which is made in China) and how it is different then in the U.S. & Canada. Then ask yourself why & share with me your thoughts . See this article below:,a%20sister%20app%20called%20Douyin.


Twitter Friend or Foe?

To be honest it isn’t a friend or a foe I just don’t like to use it; so I guess you can say I am a reluctant user. I find myself forcing myself to use it and I see it as another social media app that just takes my time away from my life; something else that requires my attention and effort to keep up and maintain. I can appreciate the opportunities Twitter has to offer and the professional connections that could be made but at this point in my life I cannot give it the time I feel like it requires.

I did spend some time researching how Twitter could be used in the class for anyone who is interested I found this site:

How Can Twitter Be Used in the Classroom?

This academic article looks at using Twitter K-12: Using Twitter for education: Beneficial or simply a waste of time?   There are some great reasons as to why using Twitter in the classroom would be beneficial but do the cons outway the benefits? I will let you make your own decision.

I found this academic article using Twitter across educational settings but I felt it was more geared towards University levels  International Journal of Educational Technology of Higher Education 


It’s Me, Hi, I am the new Social Media Tool, It’s Me

Last class there were many new extensions and tools that were shown to us and I shared those in my
twitter post part 1 and twitter post part 2. During class I never really gave and onetab much consideration given that I am not a person to have many tabs open and I thought was maybe to “high tech” for my grade 4 students, that I would not need to ever share a link with them that they couldn’t easy put into google…. BUT…. here is the thing…. we are beginning to learn how to write informational reports and for this go around I am holding their hands through the process. I thought what an absolute perfect opportunity for me to share websites with them that are “teacher approved” and “kid friendly” by using the extension OneTab and then using to shorten the URL link so the students have access to these great websites I found; super easy and quite painless right? Yep it sure was! I think my first thoughts about the extension and the tool were totally wrong; this made my job easier today, it made the students researching easier, I felt like it was more controlled, and the students didn’t have nearly as many questions.

I would highly recommend using OneTab for this purpose, it may not be what it was intended for but wow did it make a difference and made it so easy for students to put in a URL that wasn’t too complicated for them.



It’s Hot and It’s Cold, I’m In Then I’m Out, It’s Black and It’s White, We Fight, We Break Up, We Kiss, We Make Up

My Relationship with social media is the same as most relationships, there are things that I love about it and then there are things about it that I wish were different. There are moments were I think

social media is supportive, enjoyable, knowledgeable but then it can be insincere, co-dependant, addictive, tiresome, or just plain old judgy.

Social Media & Me

Personal Pros:

  • I can see all the opportunities other people are experiencing through their posts
  • I can showcase  experiences I am having
  •  It keeps my pictures! This is huge for me, I no longer need to print them out I can just have them easily accessible, and organized. No clutter in my house
  • Can see memories
  • Can communicate with others

Personal Cons:

  • Time consuming
  • Mindless- takes me away from the things that I need to be doing
  • I compare my life to others; I see what others are experiencing or doing and think “Ah I wish I could do that” or ” I should do that with my family”, it always leaves me feeling worse about myself if I am being honest
  • Creates anxiety
  • Addictive

Professional Pros:

  • Communicate easily with parents/colleagues
  • Use less paper (online agenda)
  • Access to enrichment activities
  • Able to send/share multiple documents
  • View professional material
  • PD opportunities
  • Access to responding to emails anywhere is helpful

Professional Cons:

  • Parents ignore the boundaries set out for our online agenda
  • I feel obligated to reply to emails, parent messages on Remind right away
  • Added pressure we I see other teachers posting about their awesome lessons
  • Not as fluent as other teachers in technology so I feel less than in that area
  • Anxiety

There you have it folks, thanks for stopping in!