Posted in EDTC 300

Digitally Disconnected – Should I Log On Or Off?

wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

Today we live in a world that is focused on whether or not people are online or offline. I read the article, “The IRL Fetish”, which gave me a new perspective on being online or offline. This article states the obsession society has with being offline and “living in the moment.” The article stresses how without this obsession of being online we would not be able to value the solitude of being offline such as camping trips, long walks, and face-to-face conversations. I agree with this view of being obsessed with being offline. We live in a society where majority of people have a device within their pocket at all times. Being conscious of this is important, but even when we are offline our online presence follows us. For example, although we may not be online at times we often make Facebook posts about moments while we were offline. I think that it is important for educators to understand this and try to work with digital citizenship rather than work against it.

What do you see as the major challenges around teaching digital citizenship in the classroom?

Digital citizenship is important for educators to know and to teach to students. Mike Ribbles explains, “[Digital] Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool, it is a way to prepare student for a society full of technology.” As educators this is important to understand! We do not need to scare students by telling them the horror stories of cyberbullying or sexting. As educators we need to lay out the information to students and tell them what is “acceptable” and what is not. Yes, students need to know that bad things can happen if they are not careful or safe online but I think there is an effective way to do it and a less effective way. Often this is the challenge that most educators face in their own classrooms when it comes to teaching digital citizenship. Pertaining to the Saskatchewan Curriculum there are Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. I think this is a great place to start to first educate yourself on what digital citizenship is and how to go about teaching it within your classroom. Using the “Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship” will help to eliminate the challenge of knowing how to teach digital citizenship within a classroom.


I think that it is important to educate students on what is out there and how to go about obtaining a positive online presence. Students are constantly online whether they are on some sort of social media platform or texting. When we are online we are able to communicate in ways that we are not able to in real life. Asking students to disconnect and go offline while in class isn’t the best solution. I think that as educators we need to incorporate their online interacting into the classroom, while using digital etiquette. If we have taught our students the “Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship” then we should be able to move beyond face-to-face interactions and connect on a different level using online platforms to do so. We need to put ourselves into the shoes of a student and connect with them rather than being bogged down with this obsession with being offline.

Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project

“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten” – Update on my #LearningProject

Good afternoon!

I am officially half way through my #LearningProject and I couldn’t be anymore thrilled with how far I have come! Having the opportunity to learn such a diverse language has been exciting. I hope to continue to learn ASL and become fluent.

This past week I have been learning different family signs. I started by watching the video, “American Sign Language (ASL) Lesson: Family & PQRST.” This video is a mother making videos for her family members because her son is autistic and is not able to communicate through speech very well. She wanted her family members to be able to learn sign language along side her so they are able to communicate with her son. Throughout the video there are video clips of her son signing the words for family members such as mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, etc. This video made me happy and even more excited to be learning this beautiful language. Often exceptionalities are forgotten about or people forget the struggles of people with autism and not being able to communicate. ASL can be used for more than just the deaf community to communicate, but other people too. Although this video gave me another inspiring view-point it did not teach me all that I wanted to know. I found the video, “ASL Family Signs,” which taught me a lot. This video begins by explaining how male signs are from the bridge of your nose up and female signs are from the bridge of your nose down. Please see the video below to view my progress.

During this week I also had a colleague comment on one of my learning blogs and suggested a website for me to use called, “Sign Language 101.” this website consists of numerous videos teaching ASL gestures, phrases, and so much more! I did not use it for this weeks #LearningProject but I want to use it for next weeks. I strongly suggest for anyone that wants to learn ASL to check out this website it looks to be good.

NEXT WEEK: exploring “Sign Language 101.”

Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project

Learning so Much More Than Colours and Clothes – Update on My #LearningProject

This past week I decided to learn my colours and articles of clothing. Although this was my intention I happened to learn a lot more.

Learning the colours and articles of clothing was a pretty basic task. I found a video on YouTube called, “ASL Colors and Clothes.” The video explained which way your signing hand should be positioned and broke down the reasoning behind each sign. Please see the video below to see my progress.

If you have been following my #LearningProject you will notice how there is no audio in any of my videos, which I have done for a reason. Since I am learning ASL I wanted my videos to be available for people who are hearing impaired. I think that an inclusive environment is important for all and this is one way that I am trying to take my beliefs and put them into practice. Learning ASL has given me a new insight on the world and the many different needs that individuals have.

Last week I said that I wanted to find new ways to learn ASL online. My roommate suggested I started watching Switched at Birth and see if I would be able to pick up unfamiliar words and phrases from the TV series. After watching the first episode I was hooked! This TV series has taught me so much about signing and the deaf community. I am now able to sign more words and phrases, which has built my confidence. Sydney Wall, my friend and classmate, is also learning ASL for her #LearningProject. On the weekend her, my roommate, and I did an unintentional social experiment. While out at a social gathering Sydney and I got to talking about how our ASL was coming along. We started to share what we both have learned so far and what we still wanted to learn. Both her and I expressed the frustration of just wanting to be able to sign fluidly and constantly. I explained how while I binge watched episodes of Switched at Birth I would become frustrated that I was not fully bilingual in ASL. Sydney, my roommate, and I then began to sign as much of our conversation as we could. The other friends that we were with started to become frustrated and a little annoyed. This experience gave me an insight on what it actually means to be deaf and how people who are hearing don’t always understand what it means to be deaf. I think that it is very important to learn how to sign ASL and am excited to continue on my journey.

NEXT WEEK: I will learn how to sign family members.


Posted in EDTC 300

Technology: A Blast in the Past – An Insight on the Future

marcoverch Flickr via Compfight cc

A Blast in the Past:

I grew up in a generation where technology was a part of my life. Although, when it was popular to be on MSN and Facebook I was not. I grew up on an acreage where WiFi was unavailable and dial up was not an option for my parents. My family had a desk top computer that was not hooked up to the internet; it was just used for school work. It wasn’t until I moved to Regina to go to school that my parents finally ‘bit the bullet’ and finally upgraded and got WiFi. Although, I was one of the first in my class in middle school to get a cellphone. When I was in grade seven I put all of the money I had saved up and purchased my very first LG flip phone. Since then I have gone through about twenty different phones currently owning a Iphone SE.

The summer before heading off to university my parents bought me a used Asus computer for my graduation gift. It was heavy, and it was very slow. I only used it to write papers and the battery life didn’t last very long. That computer crashed twice before I bought the computer I have now, which is a HP Stream Laptop.

I watched the video, “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” and it made me think of the type of world that we live in today. The world is constantly changing and there are constantly modern technologies being invented.

What Does This Mean for Me as a Future Educator?

As an educator, it is important for me to model what students should be doing while online. Having a positive online presence, showing students what that looks like, and how to obtain a positive online presence, is important for students to understand.

Students are growing up in a world where everything is right at their finger tips. Majority of students have a cellphone with they everywhere they go. We as educators need to teach students how to obtain information they are searching for and how to decipher if it is valuable information. Just because students can Google anything and get an answer it doesn’t mean that the answer that they are going to get is correct.

We also need to teach students how they should act while online. Cyberbullying has increased in the past couple of years. The reason why cyberbullying has increased is because majority of teenagers are online. It is easy to bully someone from behind a screen rather than saying something rude face to face. As educators, we need to teach students that what they say or do online effects their future and other people online as well.

What Does This Mean for My Future Classroom?

I think that technology needs to be brought into the classroom as an educational tool. Like I said before students have access to everything right at their finger tips. Technology can be used to help differentiate for students. Allowing students to type out their rough drafts in English instead of hand writing is one-way teachers can use technology in the classroom to differentiate. Also, using things such as Rewordify –  for students with reading disabilities – puts words into simpler terms; Kahoot  – allows for review for tests; Flipgrid – for students with difficulties with written expression – allows for students to record themselves and post their responses; and Plickers – for students who are not confident in their answer – allows for students to have their own Plickers card to answer questions teacher then scan the class with their phone to reveal right and wrong answers instantly. This are just a few ways to differentiate for students.

Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project

“Every Day is a New Day” – Update on my #Learning Project

Another week has gone by and I have officially learned the days of the week and the months of the year. I started off by learning how to sign my name, then the alphabet, and then number 1-20. Last week I decided that it was time to learn the days of the week and the months of the year.

I found that once I wanted to become more advanced the apps that I was previously using to learn the basics (the alphabet and numbers 1-20) just weren’t helpful anymore. I needed to switch to more useful resources such as YouTube. When searching how to sign the days of the week I came across the video, “ASL Days of the Week and Song.” The nice thing about this video is that it is easy to understand and there is a clear explanation of which way your hand is to be positioned and what position your hand should be in.

Learning the days of the week I found easy. I have already mastered the alphabet so the days of the week wasn’t hard for me. See video below for my progress. Although, learning the months of the year was very difficult for me. On YouTube I found the video, “How to Sign Months & January-December – Learn American Sign Language ASL.”  The lady in this video knows how to sign and very well. I chose this video because the first run through shows how fluid you should be able to sign and the second run through slows it down so I am able to get the signing down. See the video below for my progress.

This week has been a battle learning the months of the year, but practice will make perfect. Next week I am going to learn my colours and articles of clothing. I want to find other resources to use online rather than just YouTube videos. I want to do some searching and see what I come up with.

I’ll see you all next week!

Posted in EDTC 300

My First Experience with #EdChat

My experience: 

When I first heard I had to do a twitter chat I was overwhelmed with anxiety. During our #edtc300 class we did a test trial of a twitter chat and just that alone brought me anxiety since it was something new to me. A twitter chat is just one of those things you have to do to get the hang of it.

I decided to do a #EdChat. I notified my followers that I would be taking part in an #EdChat to give them a heads up that I would be tweeting quite frequently for the next hour.

Almost instantly I got a reply from someone also involved in the #EdChat. This made me feel welcomed into the #EdChat although I still was worried how it was going to go.

Mark E. Weston Ph. D. posted the topic for that nights #EdChat conversations. The topic was: How do we go from teacher centered teaching to student centered learning. I waited for a question to be posted. I saw everyone answer some questions and I was very confused and started to get frustrated. So, after a little bit of a freak out I decided that the best thing to do was to answer the topic, which it seemed that everyone else was doing.

I put “A1” in front of my tweet to show that I was answering the first questions, but I noted that no one else was doing it. I felt even more lost and confused. Then someone replied to my tweet. I then realized that I was doing the right thing. I answered peoples replies and I started to reply to other people’s tweets. I started to get a hang of it. I looked down at the time and I couldn’t believe that I was already half an hour in. Once you get started you get caught up in it and catch the hang of it.

I tweeted for an hour and I’m not going to lie my head hurt after. The experience was an emotional roller-coaster but after I got a hang of it I felt pretty good about myself. I got into an in-depth conversation with others follow me on twitter to see the conversations.

I ended the night by thanking everyone in the #EdChat for making my experience a rememberable one. Although it did not start out as planned I did what I could and by the end I learned a lot from others in the teaching profession.

What value might there be in Twitter chats?

Twitter chats may seem very daunting at times but what you are able to learn from them is absolutely worth your time. I did the Twitter chat because I had to for this class, but I am glad I did. I learned so much about how to change your classroom from a teacher centered environment to a student centered learning environment. There are so many things that others can teach you, you just have to be willing to learn.