Summary of Learning…Channel 831 News!

Upon entering this course, I knew I would learn about Social Media and Open Education, as that was the name of the course. Through our modules, we  learned about how Web 2.0 tools and free & open source software have changed the way we teach and learn, the changing views of knowledge, emerging literacies, and the development of personal learning networks.

BUT, we didn’t stop there!

We didn’t just look at how social media and open education can enhance and transform education, we also explored much deeper societal, ethical, political, cultural and administrative issues that are associated with technology and media in education and society. Take a look at the EC&I 831 News (co-created with Genna Rodriguez) to see a summary of what we learned this term!


Is it more than good-bad, clean-dirty, acceptable-taboo?

After the course readings and videos this week, I was left disappointed and upset with our social culture. I began this post writing about why trolls were the whole problem, why white-middle-aged men were causing this, and how we should just ignore people who revel in creating emotional distress by turning of comments or not responding. However, I think this issue is beyond complicated, it is not only about trolls and white-middle-aged men, and how if we ignore these issues, they will go away. These issues of trolling, online harassment, and scammers are complex issues that deal with more than just a problem our society is facing on the internet, it is impacting our social culture and society as whole.

Why is harassment, especially targeted at women, in the online space so common? Why is sexist, racist, and hateful language seen as a norm? Why are we encouraged to not feed the trolls and simply ignore them, allowing this issue to continue? How do we make change?

Trolling, online harassment, and scammers are complex issues that need to be compared to real life crime. In some cases it is more than harassment and online abuse, the terms online harassment and online abuse are too easy to disregard and not see as complex issues, often telling people to ignore it or get off the internet if you don’t like it. Is this how we would treat people with offline issues of the same complexity? No. As John Oliver compares online issues to real life, it would be like saying, if you don’t want to get burgled, then don’t live in a house.

There’s no quick technological fix to end hate speech online, for it’s a deeply rooted societal ill which needs greater tackling offline – not a one-day Twitter boycott or a report abuse button” —Marta Cooper via The Telegraph

What can we do as a society to end hate speech, stop sexism, end racism, work towards social justice, and tackle complex issues online? To begin we should start the conversation and continue to speak out about controversial issues. Technology is not the problem here, it is a bigger societal issue.


Welcome Transliterate Librarians!

Welcome Transliterate Librarians! 

I am finally feeling the excitement shared by other members in EC&I 832  in the past few weeks with the completion of my final project! This has been a long process and I may have set out to accomplish a bigger task than anticipated, but I am extremely happy with the product!

I believe my website for transliterate librarians is a great resource that is user-friendly and allows teachers to integrate digital citizenship lessons through cross-curricular lessons. These lessons are not meant to add more work load to teachers, nor are they to be disconnected from the curriculum. They are created the enhance and transform lessons to help create and inspire digital leaders within in the classroom and to promote digital citizenship and media literacy.

The final product contains an opening page describing the websites purpose, four landing pages (inquiry and research, evaluating resources, creating and sharing, and digital citizenship), and 12 lessons to support transliteracy.

Although this project is completed at this stage in the game, it is far from over. It is my hope that with collaboration from fellow teacher librarians we will be able to add lessons to the database. If you would like to collaborate with me on it, please fill out the contact page on the weebly site and I will get in touch!

A special thanks for Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell and Genna Rodriguez for allowing me to use the Digital Citizenship Lesson plan page as found on my lessons. And a huge thank you to Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones  for inspiring this project! Lastly, thank you to Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt for giving me guidance and introducing me to new and emerging ideas surrounding digital citizenship and media literacy, but also the freedom to make this project meaningful and authentic to me.



Enhancing vs. Transforming

I have been doing a lot of thinking about integrating technology into the classroom and how important it is to ensure that it is authentic and purposeful. When thinking of the constructivist theory, technology can greatly impact students learning and can transform learning when used in the proper way. The SAMR model describes how technology can enhance or transform teaching and learning based on its integration. The two lowest levels of the model are substitution and augmentation. When in the lowest levels of the model, you are enhancing learning. When using substitution, technology is merely a substitute and has no functional change on the outcome. Augmentation enhances learning and teaching through using tools to perform tasks. The two highest level of the model, include modification and redefinition. In these two levels, you are transforming teaching and learning and in essence, there is a functional change in the classroom. Students may be asked to create a documentary which will then be played in front of an authentic audience or work cooperatively to achieve a task which cannot be done without technology.

Dr. Tim Clark has created an excellent graphic showing the different between the two levels as digital vs. digitized learning.

Photo Credit: Dr. Tim Clark via BYOT Network

Photo Credit: Dr. Tim Clark via BYOT Network

Although I try to use “digital assignments” the majority of the time when I am integrating technology, sometimes there is a need for a “digitized assignment”.

Sun Associates (2013) describes technology integration best practice as “matching the most effective tool with the most effective pedagogy to achieve the learning goals of a particular lesson.” This is extremely important when integrating technology in the classroom. It is important to actively think of the instructional theories and pedagogy first, then select technology as a tool to enhance learning.

SIDE NOTE: As I was searching for images on the SAMR model, I came across the image below, which added a category of equitable participation. I was very excited when I found this image because I think the idea of including social justice through technology is a big part of teaching digital citizenship and media literacy… I have talked about this in a few of my previous posts. EC&I832 has reminded me of the importance of sourcing images and when I went to source this image, I was surprised it was created by none other than the Katia Hildebrandt!

Photo Credit: katiahildebrandt via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: katiahildebrandt via Compfight cc

“Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally. The technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions — as accessible as all other classroom tools.”


Integrating technology effectively and efficiently into the classroom allows you to teach to the 21st century learner. When thinking of teaching to the 21st century learner and integrating technology, it is about facilitating multiple literacies, cultural competence, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and innovated thinkers.

A final thought… even if you are new to using technology in the classroom, start with the lower levels of integration and build up your comfort zone, you are still enhancing teaching and learning, then take baby steps to use technology to transform teaching and learning. But more importantly, keep strong pedagogy at the forefront.

Summary of ECMP 455

journeyWhat a journey! Wow – it is hard to believe the semester is coming to an end and that it is the last semester in my University career. I found ECMP 455 one of the most engaging, informative, and inquiry based classes I have taken in my entire university career.

The major concepts I have learned through ECMP 445 are:

1. Develop a PLN – Twitter and my PLN has taken away the ‘4 walls’ and has allowed me to use open education to the best of my ability. Twitter allows me to grow and learn with many other educators around the world. My network has constantly grown, every day, which means my bank of knowledge and resources are growing every day. Twitter is such a valuable resource! Once you have your PLN you have a variety of resources at your fingertips. These resources will guide you in your professional development. Here is a documentation of my PLN from this course.

2. Capitalize on Open Source Education – There are so many valuable resources out there. These resources can help you as a professional and your students. Through our synchronous sessions I have learned about digital story telling tools, google docs, delicious, second life, smartboards, visual design, digital video, podcasting, and much more! We have had so many experts visit our class and I think you can do this in your classrooms too.

3. Focus on the process, not the product – Through my blog, twitter, and mentorship project I have been able to focus on the process. Learning is not a linear process, it is a cyclical process. By focusing on the process in my own learning I have grown and developed a great deal, so this would play true with my students as well.

Along with my colleague, Sarah Hill, I was able to create a teacher resources for using Twitter in the Classroom. This is a comprehensive resource that explains what twitter is, how to set up a twitter account, how it benefits your PLN, how to use it in the classroom, FAQ, and testimonials. As an undergraduate, I have found Twitter to be such a beneficial resource and I think it can be used to enhance learning in your classroom. One of the barriers I had when making this project was using Jing. I think Jing is an awesome resource, but without Jing Pro, there are some restrictions when trying to upload your file onto the internet.

Overall, this class has been an amazing journey. My philosophy of education has developed a great deal since the beginning of the semester. I have grown so much as an educator and I am looking forward to my continual growth with the help of my PLN.

IT Summit 2009

Formatting didn’t work as I planned, but here it is:

IT Summit 2009


I am so thankful that my prof Alec Couros invited me to help present and attend the IT Summit on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24. This experience has helped me develop more as a professional. I only hope that one day I can possible measure up to some of the presenters. I was in awe at some of their presentations and keynotes. Their knowledge, dedication to their students, and innovative ideas were beyond what I expected.

Here is a wordle summary of what I learned from the IT Summit:


Continue reading

Online Learning

We were having a discussion in our ECMP 455 class last week regarding online learning. Some of the questions brought up and discussed were:

  1. Does the fact that one student sees the nature of online learning less social than the other simply a personality issue or is there something about the experience?
  2. How do we get support? How do you get help in other course?
  3. How do we balance the guided, structure nature of our current schools with the potential need and desire to create life long, independent learners?

I found this conversation very interesting as I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this online class. Before taking this class I was a bit weary because I had never taken an online class before. I am a very personable person and enjoy F2F interaction. Thus, I thought I wouldn’t like this class because this interaction would be missing. However, this was totally opposite. I have developed some of my best professional relationships through this course. Plus it is not restricted to just the 20 people taking my class. I have been able to gain relationships with many other professionals through the world.

1. Does the fact that one student sees the nature of online learning less social than the other simply a personality issue or is there something about the experience?

I don’t think this is just a personality issue because at the beginning of this course I would have considered my personality to not match the format of the course. However, I engaged in the class thoroughly. I took any opportunity that I could as a learning experience. These experiences have helped me develop a great deal as a professional as I have gained further insight about topics, I have built a network of professionals who are available and willing ready to help me, and I have been able to explore topics on my own and use critical thinking skills instead of the ‘stuffing model’ of other classes.

“Teachers and learners become information artisans, mining for information raw materials, remixing and re-networking what they find, and then communicating their new and valuable information products for re-mining.” — Warlick

2. How do we get support? How do you get help in other course?

I have found that with this course I have had the most access to support. The best thing about my support team is that it comes from experts of the topic. I was able to build this ‘network of experts’ through Twitter. I think Twitter is a great application that has helped me build my PLN, but it is not about the application that makes my PLN, it is the people! I have found with other courses I have to wait for answers, but with this course I am able to connect with people when I need help and I am able to help others when they need help.

3. How do we balance the guided, structure nature of our current schools with the potential need and desire to create life long, independent learners?

I think inquiry based learning is the way to go. It will feel uncomfortable for learners, educators, parents, etc for a while; however, the benefits of it are much more than a traditional based classroom. We need to facilitate and guide our students in their learning. I have encountered this model a few times through this semester and I have felt the most growth from those classes. I have actually for the first time in a while been able to truthfully  focus on the process, not the product. I had always said that this is important, as in education it was drilled into our heads (in a traditional classroom), but I never knew what it meant or felt like. This semester and this class has helped me a great deal to focus on the process and in the end the product does turn out much better. I do think it is important to have structure in our classrooms; however, the use of a dynamic curriculum is so important. We need to capitalize on those serendipitous moments our students encounter.

Tech in the Classroom

What does it mean to use technology in the classroom?

I think a lot of times in the classroom students are just watching technology and not engaged in actually using the technology. We need to allow them to explore with technology and integrate it into their everyday work so that they become life long learners with technology. We don’t know what is going to be created 30 years from now. This means that we as teachers have to continually be learning. We need to keep up-to-date with technology and not be afraid of taking risks. We should be open to learning alongside students and allow our students to take risks and take risks with them!

We should integrate technology into our class that will help benefit our students in the future. We should use technology within curriculum areas to improve learning in whatever way is appropriate.

How can we do this? I think I am learning a starting point through my ECMP 455 class!

Digital Videos

The professional language of the future!

During our last ECMP 455 class we had a quick workshop on using digital videos. We were taught what a digital video was and how to use it to the best of your ability, thanks to Dean Shareski. We then were given the opportunity to use flip video to create a video.  Using this video was an extremely valuable experience that I will take into my future classrooms.

We were given a task for our video creations and were asked to create, “The Door Scene.”

Myself along with Sarah and Krystal were off on a journey as we completed the following steps:

(Thanks Sherri!)

Step One

The first step was our introduction to visual storytelling. We were in a group and had to create a scene with the following scripted scenario:

“A person is about to open a door. The person hears a sound and becomes mildly concerned. The person finds the door locked and searches for his or her keys. The person hears the sound again and becomes visibly apprehensive. As the filmmaker, you goal is to build tension and growing panic, using any visual element or device that you can think of.”

Step Two:

The second step was to create a storyboard script scenario for the Door Scene in a manner that we thought that would be most visually effective. At this time we also had to create a new or exciting ending for our video. We had to use different shots while filming the scene and include every detail in our storyboard.

Step Three:

The third step was rather exciting. We had to exchange our storyboard for another groups storyboard. Once we had another groups storyboard, we had to film their storyboard. (Hopefully they included enough detail for us to follow along!)

This is what we came up with for Step One:

At my high school I was able to take Film classes. This experience was amazing as I was able to express my thoughts, ideas, and creativity through a different media other than writing. I found this extremely important because I often have trouble expressing myself through written word.

I am looking forward to exploring digital video more and using it in my future classroom. If you have any valuable websites or ideas, I would love to hear!

Twitter in the Classroom

Twitter is: The people I connect with on a daily basis to get ideas and give ideas. I never thought I would come so attached to Twitter at the beginning of my ECMP class and did it just because of the assignment. However, now I find it such a valuable resource that I have learned so much extra on! I have been able to find sites that are relevant to me and it has helped me develop as a professional.

Thanks to everyone who posted their resources for Twitter in the Classroom on my other post. As some of you know, I am completing my final project, with Sarah, on Twitter in the Classroom. We are creating a wikipage that will provide you with a step-by-step guide on using Twitter in the classroom. I would appreciate any input you may have regarding how you might use it in the classroom, the advantages of twitter in the classroom, the limitations of twitter, and any ‘testimonials’ you might have.

As Sarah has mentioned in her post:

When this wikipage is complete, you will find:

– an explanation of what Twitter is
– the steps of how to set up a Twitter account
– an introduction to using Tweet Deck
– the benefits of using Twitter in your classroom
– some ideas on how to use Twitter in the classroom
– commonly asked questions about Twitter
– a list of resources that we used to complete our project
– and much more!

Some of the pages will have a video that matched the text instructions/steps as a visual for you to follow along.  We will be making these videos using Jing to record our computer screens while using Twitter.  Since we had never used Jing before, we decided to make a trial video to test it out.  So far, we have found it rather easy to use; however, we have struggled uploading the video to our blog since we are using the ‘free’ version and are not able to upload our screen casts to You Tube.  We have been able to post it as a link though, so click here to see our very first Jing creation!

Special thanks to Alec and Dean for helping us out after class tonight to teach us how to upload a Jing video to our wikipage. :)