‘Twas The End of The Semester…

thank you

Photo Credit: lauren.kiedaisch via Compfight cc


Wow!  Where did this semester go??  This moment is bitter sweet as I am looking forward to a short little break to recharge my brain, but sad that this class is now finished.  I have learned so much once again from Alec and Katia!  I want to thank both of them as am so grateful for all the learning experiences they provided for myself and my classmates.  My brain has once again been filled with so much knowledge from the readings and viewings they have shared.  I also want to thank my #eci832 classmates as I have learned a great wealth of knowledge from reading your blog posts on the blog hub and the resources everyone shared each week.  As I began to create my Summary of Learning I realized just how much we accomplished and learned in just a couple of months!

For my Summary of Learning project I went on quite the little journey at first…My initial idea was to use Prezi again for my assignment as I enjoyed learning and using that tool last year when I created my EC&I831 Summary of Learning. I was at first leaning towards using that tool because I already had an understanding of what I needed to do and I also know that I would not have as much of time since I have been busy with my Major Digital Project, coaching curling, and directing drama.  But, I like a challenge so I decided to try first Video Scribe.  I really liked this tool and I can see myself using it in the future; however, since I was very new to using it I was getting worried about the time.  I have been really excited about Christmas this year so  decided to use it as inspiration!  I created my own version of the book A Visit from St. Nicholas or better known as ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.  I created ‘Twas The End of The Semester!  It was a lot of fun to use the rhyme and rhythm of many of the lines from the story.  Recreating this story forced me not to babble on and on as I am known to be very long winded.  I chose to do a hard copy instead of creating the book online so I could explore using different mediums.  (I am hoping in the future to do a project using video scribe.)  In the New Year I am going to have my students create their own story to showcase their learning so I thought this would be a good model for them.  Today I read ‘Twas The End of The Semester to my grade two students and they were very excited to see work that I created for class.  My grade two students think it is pretty cool that their teacher is going to school. To stick with the Christmas theme I also recreated a song using the music from Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer!  For the music I used music from a karaoke version so I did not have to sing by myself as that would have been scary.  Then I used Screencast so I could tie my pictures and lyrics together to create the video.  I had a lot of fun putting this assignment together minus a few technical sound glitches that I ran into along the way.  I also can not believe that this is my 50th post that I have created on my Word Press blog! 🙂

Here Are My Summary of Learning Project Credits:

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer karaoke – modern Christmas karaoke videos   Music Credit: Parenting Extra

A Visit from St. Nicholas (`Twas the Night Before Christmas) Story Credit: Clement Clark Moore

Light Bulb Picture Photo Credit: Kapitall Screenshots via Compfight cc

Sand foot print Photo Credit: Marisjuh via Compfight cc

Lady Wearing Sun Glasses Photo Credit: Pia_C via Compfight cc

Dog Wearing Glasses Photo Credit: NatiLady via Compfight cc ;

Three Students Photo Credit: YWAM Orlando via Compfight cc

Online Games  Photo Credit: vickyjohn via Compfight cc

Numeral 9 Photo Credit: chrisinplymouth via Compfight cc

Thought Bubble  Photo Credit: polphin764 via Compfight cc

Important Picture Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

Class on Computers Photo Credit: Stanley High School Online via Compfight cc

Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship Photo Credit: Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools

I am a digital citizen Photo Credit: Venspired

Ready to Learn Photo Credit: Memegenerator

21st Century Photo Credit: Frau Susi

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my story and song!

Thanks for another great semester everyone!  I look forward to continuing to learn and connect with everyone online!

Feliz Navead




Photo Credit: Elgrunch via Compfight cc



Wishing you a merry christmas



 Photo Credit: Asif A. Ali via Compfight cc



One Last Thought:

*Late last night I realized that my `Twas The End of the Semester video was not full screen when you view it on YouTube.  When I watched it back on my iPad before I posted onto YouTube it was full screen, but I did not realize that it would not be when I posted it.  Since I am a perfectionist I created another video so my story would appear full screen on YouTube.  Here it is!


Reflecting On My Learning Journey In EC&I832..What Is My Role Now?

New media literacy

Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc

These last few months I have been on a wonderful learning journey while completing my EC&I832 Media Literacy class.  If someone could look into my brain right now they would be able to see that it has a large amount of tabs open at this moment!!!  Where do I even begin??  How can I showcase all the knowledge that I have gained over this past semester while being a part of an amazing network learning community?  First of all Katia and Alec helped set up a fantastic environment for myself and my classmates to learn in.  Reflecting on the structure of our class I can make a lot of connections to the readings and videos I have watched while learning about Rhizomatic Learning.  Rhizomatic Learning allows for students to decide on the goal instead of the instructor or teacher giving the students the learning goals or outcomes.  Dave Cormier also suggests that “Rhizomatic Learning is a means by which learners develop problem-solving skills for complex domains” and that “the community is the curriculum.”  For all of our assignments we were given choices so we could decide on the project that we were interested in and what we wanted to continue to learn more about.  Our class did drive a lot of the curriculum as we shared resources, articles, and videos through blogging, tweeting, and sharing on our Google Plus community that went along with topics that we were learning about.

In my previous post I explored similarities between Rhizomatic Learning and the Reggio Emilia Approach as well.  Both approaches to learning allows for students to explore their interests, understand the world around them, and it allows each student to take control of his or her learning.  My classmates and I were able to create our own personal learning environments just like the girl did in the My PLE video we watched in class.  I was able to interact with my classmates using tools like Google+, Zoom, Twitter, and blogging platforms.  During this journey I began to wonder…How can I structure my own classroom so my grade two student’s are able to connect and learn from their classmates and people outside of our classroom?  What is my role now as an educator after learning about media literacy and digital citizenship?  How will I teach my students about digital citizenship and how does it fit into the grade two curriculum?

 I sat staring at my computer wondering how to begin to answer my questions so I decided to explore my classmates blog posts to spark my direction.  Branelle’s latest blog post Initiate, Inform, Inspire…ignited the spark that I needed.  She wrote a very thoughtful piece and I really liked the way she formatted her reflection.  Branelle’s piece inspired me to organize my thoughts using headings and at the end I am going to make connections to the Reggio Emilia fundamental principles.  Many aspects of those principles go along with my teaching philosophy and I believe those principles connect to teaching my students about digital identity, digital citizenship while modeling to my students on how to be good digital citizens. First I need to educate!

I need to educate my colleagues:

I believe teachers need to start planning differently for our 21st century learners in our classroom.  But, first teachers need to begin to understand how technology is shaping and changing the way our students learn and communicate with other.  I have come across many teachers who say all of the texting, tweeting, and participating on devices in the different spaces is effecting their students literacy skills in a negative way. Now I can direct those teachers to listen David Crystal’s message in Texts and Tweets: myths and realties’ as  he made valid points in showcasing that technology is not causing a decline in our student’s literacy.  Students need to be literate to text people and to create Tweets or create posts on other forms of social media.  Many adults are fast to criticize how youth are constantly texting or posting on different forms of social media, but with all the daily practice their reading and writing skills are improving as they interact with each other by using the different tools. It can also lead our students to become more creative!  Students become motivated when they are able to use their devices to interact with others.  Educators could implement bring your own device to school (BYOD) to provide new learning opportunities for students.  But, they must have some prior knowledge about technology and how to effectively use technology in the classroom to promote learning opportunities.

digital footprint with words

Photo Credit: Chris Swift via Compfight cc

It is important for educators to get to know their students!  Some people think our students are “digital natives” as they are a group of people who were born and are growing up along side technology.  They have an familiarity of the technology and can speak the digital language where as many adults are “digital immigrants” as they were not born into the digital world.  But, later in life many “digital immigrants” have become fascinated by and adopted many aspects of technology.  However, do “digital natives” exist?  Educators need to understand that our students may have grown up with technology and can navigate around the different devices better than many adults, but do they understand all of messages and media that they are exposed to daily?  Do students know how to be critical of what they are viewing messages and advertisements or when they are interacting with others online in the different spaces?  Are students interacting with others online in a positive way?  I prefer David White’s continuum of people being visitors and residents online instead of classifying people as “digital native” and “digital immigrants”.  I have encouraged fellow colleagues to explore this continuum and understand the difference between people being digital visitors and digital residents.  Digital visitors may go online and search for a specific topic, book a holiday or pay bills and then goes back offline again.  Visitors are invisible as they do not leave any social traces online when interacting on the web in those spaces.  While a resident leaves their mark and identity through blogging, commenting, posting videos, posting pictures, and/or posting other forms of written work in a series of places or spaces online.  Residents live a portion of their lives out online.  They choose to go online to be present with others and will leave a social trace and footprint.  Teachers need to understand how footprints can effect people’s identity in a positive or negative way.  Therefore, teacher’s need to become educated about how to be a good digital citizen and what that means so they can be a good model to their students.  Teachers also need to learn what digital citizenship is and why it is important to teach it in the classroom so they can help raise students to be good digital citizens.


Photo Credit: dallas_isd via Compfight cc

I see one of my roles is spreading the message that digital citizenship shares many of the same “values we teach students to observe in the offline world: obey the law, have respect for others, act civilly and sensibly.”  I think teachers need to understand how concepts from digital citizenship lessons are very similar to many of the other social skills and outcomes that we are already teaching in our classrooms.  In my classroom we talk about responsibility, respect, and safety throughout the whole year so it opens to door to teach all the different aspects of digital citizenship so I can model and teach my students how to be good citizens.  Mary Beth Hertz wrote a fantastic article called Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Elementary Classroom.  I have had discussions with people and many told me that they believe digital citizenship should be introduced when students are preteens or teenagers, but I think that too late.  I believe students in the early elementary grades need to learn the importance of being a good citizen because they are using technology and interacting with others online.  I have also already had some colleagues say that they do not know where to begin to teach digital citizenship while others say they do not have time to teach it because they have other curriculum documents and outcomes to cover.  I have already shown some of my colleagues websites and documents such as Digital Citizenship Education in Schools, Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence, the Government of Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve to help give them direction and knowledge in how to teach digital citizenship in the classroom.

I know I will also share other resources, articles, and videos that I have found and what my EC&I classmates and my PLN (Professional Learning Network) have shared with me so I can continue to spread awareness of teaching digital citizenship to all of our students from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve.  I have also been telling personal stories about my journey and how I have been able to cover many other grade two outcomes while I have been teaching digital citizenship lessons.  For example, when I wanted to teach my students a lesson about Digital Literacy I used a lesson from the Commons Sense first unit.  While my students learned about digital literacy I was also able to cover outcomes from ELA, Arts Education, health, and science when my students went on an online field trip!  I will also share my integrated unit plans that I have been creating for my major digital project. (I will be posting my final project soon!)  I think once educators begin to gain knowledge and more people begin to teach digital identity and citizenship that they will be able to use each other as support and spring board ideas off of each other.  I believe collaboration is essential to education!

“Alone we are smart but together we are brilliant.  We can use the collective wisdom to do great things when we are connected.” -Steven W. Anderson


I need to educate my student’s parents:

As Jenn discussed in her post and reflection “it takes a village to raise a child.”  Parents, guardians, and teachers need to work together to insure children and youth are being educated in how to stay safe online, leave a positive footprint online, and be a good citizen off and online.  I think many parents do not realize that they have created their child’s digital footprint from posting pictures and sharing messages about their pregnancy and the birth of their child.   Parents need to be mindful of what information they share about their child as every post begins to create their child’s digital identity.  Many children have personal information shared about them when they are born in the different social media spaces.  Often after the birth of their child parents and family members share the new born baby’s name, birthdate, and measurements along with a photo creating a digital footprint.

Parents need to also be positive influences for their children and model how to be a good citizen.  They need to model how to have proper etiquette and how to live a healthy life style while using technology.  Below is the results of a survey where families with children and youth from ages eight to thirteen took part in that had “a particular focus on the way that smartphones are changing the relationship between parents and their kids.” In the survey they asked, “how smartphones are shaping the habits of parents and kids, alike—and how those habits make the rest of the family feel.”  Below is a picture of the results from the survey:

Image Taken from the Article: Welcome to the AVG Digital Diaries 2015

 I believe the results would change a lot if parents, guardians, and trusted adults modeled to children on proper etiquette when using devices.  It is important to be present with the people you are spending time with and appreciating each others company.  They can also be good role models by having an open dialogue with their children and conversations about going online safely when they are using all the different devices.  However, I know many parents want to but are not sure what to say or how to approach the conversation.  I see my role as an educator to share resources with my student’s parents so they are more knowledgeable about digital identity, online safety, and digital citizenship.  I have come across some awesome story books that parents can read online together with their child  and books that they can order or purchase to read on an iPad or tablet.  I also want to start sharing the family tip sheets that go along with the Common Sense online lessons and sharing with them some helpful websites that they can go on.

Another goal is to work along with parents promoting positive body image and the importance of having positive self-esteem.  After watching the Sext Up KIDS documentary I believe more than ever we need to me more mindful of all the media and messages that our children and youth are exposed to.  We need to teach our children and youth to be critical of what they are viewing just as Dove demonstrates in a video that with some images, all is not what it seems.  As I mentioned earlier children look up to their parents as role models and this short video showcases that:

The Common Media website is another fantastic resource to share as it has some great articles and videos for parents view and read about topics that are relevant today.  In an short article How can media affect kids’ body image, reminds us that “It’s also important to remember that kids today not only are consumers of media but also are active creators.”  Children and youth have a lot of fun uploading pictures of themselves and their friends on all the different social media spaces, but they need to be reminded how to stay safe.  It is scary to hear that some youth are sending sexual pictures of themselves and how those pictures are being shared with others without their consent.  In the Sext Up Kids documentary the girls discussed how that one mistake of sharing their photo has led them to have to face peers and other people calling them names, being humiliated online and in person as well as being publicly shamed.  I hope by having open conversations that maybe children and youth with think before they post or share pictures online!

Children and youth matter!  Let’s model and promote a positive body image and digital identity!


Most importantly I need to educate my students:

Sherry Turkle studies technology and people’s plugged in lives. In the Connected, but alone TEDTalk she discussed and found that the devices being used are so powerful “that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are.”  In Media Literacy James Potter wrote how “our culture is saturated with media messages” (p. 3).  Even though my students are young they need to begin to learn how to view all the different media messages that they are exposed on a daily basis and learn how to think critically about the messages.  I want to have open conversations with my students so they can understand the differences between what is real and what is fantasy.  Now when I plan lessons I want to remember the articles I have read that Mike Ribble wrote and make sure I covering all the nine elements of digital citizenship.

When exploring for resources I came across an article where Mary Beth Hertz discussed “each year I spend at least a month reviewing digital citizenship and internet safety with all my classes.”  That think that is it wonderful that she teaches digital citizenship to her students, but I believe that digital citizenship lessons should taught throughout the entire year.  It should not just consist of teaching students a few lessons about digital citizenship, safety, identity, and then checking it off of the to do list of concepts to teach.  Digital citizenship is complex as there are so many different areas and elements that can be and need to be focused on.  I am able educate my students by using fantastic resources such as Digital Citizenship Education in Schools, Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence, the Government of Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve.  All of these resources have helped given me direction in what I need to cover when teaching my students how to be good citizens.

blog image

Photo Credit: preciouskidsgreatparents via Compfight cc

For my major digital project I have been following and using the lessons that Common Sense have created.  I have been sharing my journey on my blog while I have been busy creating integrated lesson plans to showcase what grade two outcomes I can cover while teaching digital citizenship.  I encourage you to read my reflections and let me know what you think!  (Soon my lessons will be posted on my blog too!!) My students have also been blogging about their experiences on our classroom blog and on their individual blogs.  Through blogging they get the opportunity to put many of the concepts we learn about digital citizenship to practice.  It gives them a platform for their voices to be heard and be proud of all their learning  they have accomplished.  I like how we can build a positive community and learn how to communicate safely online with others.  Through blogging by using the blog I am beginning to instill values and have students understand that their online life is permanent as a tattoo.  I am hoping that I can teach powerful life lessons to my students when they are young so they do not have to go through the online shaming that Justine Sacco has inquired from one Tweet she posted on Twitter.  I know that by teaching digital citizenship lessons and following the Reggio Emilia principles that I can promote my grade two students to become positive citizens:

“Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others” and “children are communicators.”

In my grade two classroom I teach my students social skills while students are learning and exploring the topics that are in the Saskatchewan Curriculum.  In Hertz’s article she discusses how teachers educate their students not to talk to strangers, what to do if someone is hurting your feelings or when you feel threatened and the golden rule “treat people the way you want to be treated.”  She points out, “when was the last time you talked to your students about how to use good manners when leaving a comment on a blog post? When was the last time you and your students discussed what to do if someone is harassing you online or wants to meet you in person?”  Through my lessons my students are learning how to become thoughtful when communicating with others and learning what to do when they are uncomfortable during any situation.

“The adult is a mentor and guide.”

Bandura, says that “behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning” (McLeod, 2011).  In my classroom I will mentor and guide my students in how to be good citizens when interacting with people face to face and when they are online everyday.  I will provide learning opportunities for my students so they can explore, play, expand on their knowledge and grow as individuals!

“An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts.”

Through blogging my students are able to share their learning with their classmates and people who read our blog online.  They can make their work visible, share their thoughts, and showcase their learning in a variety of ways.  It also provides them with an opportunity to reflect on their learning and they can see their growth.  The blogs can become digital portfolios showcasing their learning journey!

Most importantly-“Children are capable of constructing their own learning.”

There are some people who overlook what a child in the early years is capable of.  All children are competent learners! Just because they are young does not mean they can not learn and comprehend important lessons.  My students everyday surprise me with how knowledgeable they are and I learn a lot from each of my students every day.

I am looking forward to this next chapter in my career and continuing to learn more about digital citizenship!  I am excited to begin my journey promoting and educating my colleagues, my students, and their parents.


I believe together…



Photo Credit: weconomy book via Compfight cc

Can Make A Difference!


So Many Questions….

playing football

Photo Credit: /\/\ichael Patric|{ via Compfight cc

I have been working on this post for a while because my mind has been jumping in many different directions so it was hard to stay focused.  The readings and viewings gave me a lot to think about over these last few weeks. In the 1960’s, Albert Bandura developed the theory of social learning (Social Learning Theory).  Bandura, says that “behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning” (McLeod, 2011).  I agree that children learn a lot through observing others and how they act.  Adults need to be mindful of their actions and what they say around children and youth because they are their role models and often many will look up to them.  Very young children will often imitate sounds, words, or phrases that they have heard and copy actions that they have seen.  As the article states, “Children will have a number of models with whom they identify” (McLeod, 2011).  Children and youth are not just influenced by their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or trusted adults.  But, children and youth can be influenced by older siblings, older peers, friends, television or movie characters, video games, actors, music artists, and athletes just to name a few.  Children and youth need to have guidance as they are growing up.  When thinking about a child’s behavior Bandura also makes a good point about how, “the people around the child will respond to the behavior it imitates with either reinforcement or punishment” (McLeod, 2011).  Starting at a very young age babies are praised for the sounds or words they say or for their actions that they have imitated.  When babies get older they get told no for pulling hair, putting something in their mouths that they are not suppose to, or touching something that could harm them.

In the article it also links to a famous experiment called the “Bobo Doll Experiment”.  In this video explores if, “social behaviors (i.e. aggression) can be acquired by observation and imitation” (McLeod, 2014).  I agree one hundred percent that “This study has important implications for the effects of media violence on children” (McLeod, 2014).  While I watched the video I thought about my colleague who teaches grade three and her experience with teaching a particular outcome in health.  That outcome that she was teaching was:

USC3.6- Distinguish between examples of real violence (e.g., schoolyard fights, shaking a baby, bullying) and fictional violence (e.g., cartoons, world wrestling entertainment, video games) and determine the influence of both on health and well-being.

The particular indicators for that outcome are:

a) Develop common and respectful language often used to talk about violence and abuse.

b) Reflect on what is known/believed about violence in communities.

c)Determine that violence can by physical, emotional, and/or sexual.

d) Describe types of violence and abuse including physical (e.g., punching, kicking), sexual (e.g., inappropriate touching), and emotional (e.g., name-calling, exclusion, cyber-bullying).

e) Recognize that physical, sexual, and emotional violence are behaviours that hurt or destroy people, places, or things.

f) Discuss examples of fictional violence (e.g., movies, video games, cartoons, world wrestling entertainment).

g) Investigate the influence of mass media on perceptions of violence (e.g., difficult to distinguish fiction from non-fiction, what is ‘normal’).

h) Distinguish the effects of violence on the mind, body, and spirit (e.g., fear, bruises, self-doubt, hopelessness).

i) Recognize violent and non-violent and/or harmful and non-harmful behaviours and the impact on self and others.

child playing video games

 Photo Credit: vak10 via Compfight cc

I can recall my colleague telling me about a parent who was concerned because her child was learning about the differences between real violence and fictional violence at such a young age.  My colleague discussed with the parent that she was covering a topic right from the grade three Saskatchewan Health Curriculum that teachers are required to follow when planning units and lessons.  She explained to the parent the importance of teaching students in grade three about the differences between real and fictional violence.  After the discussion that parent felt much better about the unit that was planned and listening to my colleagues thoughts.  I do understand why that parent would be concerned, but with all the media that young children are exposed to they need to learn skills in understanding the differences between what is real and what is fictional or fantasy.  I have had grade two students write in their journals about playing grand theft auto and other games that are full of violence and adult material.  Do students in early elementary years understand that people do not have multiple lives like they do in video games and in the other games they can play online?  Do they understand the consequences of violence or how harmful violence is? I am happy that children are discussing and learning about those differences in grade three. Those types of lessons are very important because children are exposed to violence from television, movies, games, and other forms of media now at a early age compared to many years ago.

What do you think?  Should the outcome USC3.6 be taught in grade three or do you feel it is too mature of content for children to learn about at that age?  Do you think violence in media effecting our children and youth?


Changing gears I was also introduced to readings and viewings that had me reflect on the way children are taught in school!  What do you think 21st century classrooms should look like today?  I think technology has opened the doors for teachers to be more inventive and can begin to think more outside of the box in terms of teaching strategies and how they set up their classroom for learning.  Take a look at this following video!  In the video a grade seven student is giving a tour of how she has been learning in her science class.  This video showcases a student participating in networked learning and creating her own learning environment using different tools and media.

From listening to the student I can see that a lot of learning has taken place.  She has not only learned science concepts, but has learned how to use tools such as: Google Docs, blogging, bookmarking, and Evernote to help with her researching skills and documenting her learning journey. While I was watching the video I was curious how the teacher set up his/her classroom? Many other questions began to race through my head…What does the teacher’s day plans/lesson plans look like?  Would teachers be able to teach using this style with students who are younger than grade seven?  Did the student in the video need to do complete some of her work outside of the classroom or was she provided time to complete all the tasks during class time?  If she was required to complete work outside of class time did she and her peers in her class have access to a computer, device, or the Internet?  I would want to make sure all of my students learning opportunities are the same.  I would love to talk to a teacher using network learning in their classroom.  I began to reflect about…What could network learning look like for my grade two classroom or in the early learning years?

For my class I also read an article by Dave Cormier called Understanding the Basics of Rhizomatic Learning.  I was fortunate to learn about Rhizomatic Learning from Dave Cormier when I took EC&I831 Social Media and Open Education Class from Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt.  Rhizomatic Learning allows for students to decide on the goal instead of the instructor or teacher giving students the learning goals or outcomes.  Students begin to take responsibility for their own learning!  I see this style of teaching more focused on the process instead of the product.  It is refreshing because learning should not just be knowing the answers to given questions.  When students get the opportunity to make their own learning goals I believe learning opportunities are endless.  Instead of the teacher being the person “who knows all of the answers” the students are given the opportunity to research and learn skills to find the answers to questions they are curious about.  If you want to learn more about Rhizomatic Learning and Cormier’s thoughts I encourage you to watch to a video of Cormier – Embracing Uncertainty of Rhizomatic Learning.  In this video he even briefly discusses MOOCs (Masssive Open Online Course).   For class we were to watch Corimer give short presentation in how to have Success in a MOOC.  I have never participated in a MOOC before, but many classmates in EC&I831 took part in one of their choice for their major project.  I enjoyed reading their posts about the courses that they took.  Right now I am too busy with teaching, coaching, and taking graduate classes; however, I think once I am finished with my degree I am going to miss learning and taking classes so I can see myself finding a MOOC that interests me.  I agree with Ashley Murray that I do not feel that our students should be left learning through MOOCs, especially students younger than high school.  I think students do need to still be learning along side their peers and the teacher needs to help facilitate learning and help guide students. I could see students participating in a MOOCs to get more knowledge and to network with other people if they were provided to opportunity to participate in Genius Hour.   Have you ever participated in a MOOC before? What are your thoughts about students participating in MOOCs?

In another article I read Cormier “suggests that Rhizomatic Learning is a means by which learners develop problem-solving skills for complex domains” and that “the community is the curriculum.”  What could Rhizomatic Learning look like in the early year classrooms?  When I took EC&I831 I wrote a blog post (you can see how my blog posts have evolved over the last year) reflecting on my thoughts about Rhizomatic Learning.  It reminds me a lot of the Reggio Emilia Approach which “values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. This approach believes a “child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.”  Some of the fundamental principles for the Reggio Emilia Approach are:

  • “Children are capable of constructing their own learning.”
  • “Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others.”
  • “Children are communicators.”
  • “The environment is the third teacher.”
  • “The adult is a mentor and guide.”
  • “An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts.”
  • “The Hundred Languages of Children.”

I see a lot of connections and similarities between the Reggio Emilia Approach compared to Rhizomatic Learning and Network Learning.  Students are the center of the learning and not the teacher or educator.  Students can learn through the environments and through communicating with peers or from other people outside of the classroom.  Students document their thoughts about the learning journey and begin to form their own understandings about the world.  I could also relate to Ashley’s post when she discussed the teacher’s role and later on explained, “that there is a lot of information that students MUST learn such as reading, writing and math skills.”  I agree that there are skills that students must learn, but I am finding more ways to teach my grade two students those skills through play based learning.  However, I still have guided reading, writing, and math lessons that are at my students individual levels.  I have found students have continued to develop their reading, writing, representing and math skills through centers, play based learning and projects that they participate in.  These last few weeks of articles and viewing have had me reflect on education and what classrooms look like today more than ever before.  While I was doing some exploring I came across a video that was “adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson.”

I encourage you to watch his lecture entire called Changing Paradigms.  It is fifty-five minutes long, but he raises many great points about education, how people learn, and how they think.  His lecture connects with some of the viewings and readings that I have been learning in my EC&I832 class.  Near the end of his lecture and near the end of the video above he talks about divergent thinking and gave an example of a study.  The question was “how many uses can you think of for a paper clip?”  This study showed that children in Kindergarten scored higher than older students and adults.  Why were the children in Kindergarten able to think of more uses for a paper clip compared to older students and adults?  What does this study show about our education system?  I find that I am left with more questions…what do you think?


Photo Credit: pretoriaseo via Compfight cc

What should education look like today in the 21st century?  Do we need to change the way we approach and view education? 

The Good, The Bad, and Just Plain Scary Side of the Technology and Media

 What messages are we sending our children and youth??

body image

Photo Credit: jaimelondonboy via Compfight cc

This past week for class for my EC&I832 Media Literacy class we had the choice of a few videos to view for this weeks assignment.  A few weeks ago on television I watched a documentary along with my husband called Sext Up KIDS.  This documentary happened to be one of the choices for this weeks assignment.  During the documentary it discusses and “reveals how our hyper-sexualized culture has hijacked childhood and what parents and educators are doing to fight back.”  (*Warning: I encourage you to watch it alone without young children as this documentary is geared for a mature audience as it has profanity and highly sexualized images.) My husband Damon and I do not have children yet, but we hope to soon start a family.  This video led to a lot of good conversations about social media and rules that we would want to see in our family in terms of cell phones, computers, tablets, etc. My heart dropped as I watched this video and I started to think about my nieces, nephews, younger cousins, and my students.  This documentary introduced me to a new acronym that I have never seen or heard before called KAGOY:






Our children and youth are exposed to so much media through television, music, movies, magazines, advertisements, Youtube, Internet, and all the different forms of social media.  In  this video it discussed sexualization and how outfits for young girls designed for the tween age group look more like outfits designed for older females.  Children are only young once and should not have to pressures to grow up faster because childhood seems to go by too fast already.  Toys have also become more sexualized as it discussed Barbie dolls, the Bratz dolls, and the Monster High Dolls.  The toy market is growing and more children are viewing advisements of the different products while they watching television or YouTube videos, playing games, or searching the Internet.  Later on in the documentary it went on to discuss young girls playing princess and how many girls grow up wanting to be one of the Disney Princesses.  I can remember playing princess with my friends and how I loved Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  I never really thought and reflected on that form of play before.  A lady in the documentary commented how for many children that this is their one form of play that children take part in for a long time and how as they got older it went from wanting “to be the prettiest girl to being the sexiest girl.” During the documentary it talked about a workshop in British Columbia called iGirl empowerment.  It is great to hear that there are fabulous workshops and programs for students.  At our elementary school we have a program called girls circle that grade five and six students get to join.  They talk about a lot of important topics and some high school girls also attend as well.  The high school girls are positive mentors and role models for our students for the elementary students.  Our school is hoping to start a boys circle soon to allow for male students in our school to have a place for positive conversations and  to be able to interact with male high school mentors as well. 

Does your school or community have any programs or workshops that your students can take part in?

This documentary gave a powerful message how youth are not just consuming images online, but producing images now as well.  Taking photographs and videos is so easy now through using all the new technologies that have been invented.  When I was young pictures had to be first developed before we could even view them.  Now with a touch of a button photos and videos can be shared for the whole world to see if a person wanted to share them.  It is scary to hear that some youth are sending sexual pictures of themselves and how those pictures are being shared with others without their consent.  In the documentary the girls discussed how that one mistake of sharing their photo has led them to face peers and other people calling them names, being humiliated online and in person and being publicly shamed.  Have you lately critically looked at media lately?  There are a lot of music videos that showcases women in a very sexualized way by the clothes they are wearing, the style of dancing, or how they are interacting with others in the video.  Also sit back and listen to the lyrics in many of the popular songs.  A lot of those songs discuss drinking, drugs, sex, name calling, and many songs contain a lot of profanity.  A few weeks ago at our school dance I had many students who requested songs that I could not play in school because one or many of the reasons mentioned above.  During the documentary it discussed Miley Cyrus growing up and wanting to move away from being her Disney Hannah Montana image.  What are the pressures that our children and youth are going through growing up in the 21st century?  We need to make sure we teach our children and youth to be more critical than ever when viewing media and what it means to be in a healthy relationship.  Children and youth are exposed to more offensive websites, video games, videos, and pressures I believe than ever before.  A lot of youth now have mixed messages of what a person should do when trying to pursue a relationship and what a good boyfriend or girlfriend does when they are in a relationship.  Parents need to have conversations with children about what a healthy relationship looks like and begin to discuss pressures that they may in counter like sexting.  These kinds of conversations are never easy, but it will allow you know what message your child has heard.

teen on cellphone

Photo Credit: SherreeD via Compfight cc

Ashley Murray also discussed the Sext Up KIDS documentary in her recent blog post.  In her post she shared an article by CBC that discussed and outlined information and issues involving sexting.  It is a newer term that may people probably have heard, but I wonder how much they know about the topic.  Do people know the laws involving sexting and sharing sexual images? I appreciated that Ashley shared her findings involving sexting laws in Canada.  I think it is important for parents to not only be educated about the laws, but youth as well.  I wonder how many youth understand that sharing sexual images of people who are young than eighteen is child pornography? 

I encourage you to watch another documentary about a young girl named Amanda Todd.  The Fifth Estate’s documentary was entitled The Sextortion of Amanda Todd and during the documentary it discusses Amanda’s life.  Amanda had a beautiful voice and often posted videos of her singing on YouTube using her webcam.  One day she made one mistake in front of her webcam that led to her being bullied at the schools she attended, online, and also being blackmailed online.  Now a days so many children and teenagers have access to webcams or other devices that can take photographs or videos just like Amanda and her story could happen to so many teenagers.  Throughout the documentary her parents were interviewed and shared Amanda’s story.  I will never forget Amanda Todd’s mother words when she said, “we are in a decade of technology that doesn’t go away.”  Nothing can be permanently deleted online so more than ever people need to be careful with what they share online using different devices, apps, and what they comment on all the different spaces as well.  Genna’s blog post entitled Amanda Todd: Was There Even MORE to the Story?  I Believe So… allowed me to look at this story through a different lens. I thought she made some excellent points about how the documentary did “lack of attention to her Attention Deficit Disorder and the magnitude of the impact this carries both offline and online.” I appreciated reading Genna’s post from her perceptive as a special education teacher and all of her thoughtful questions she presented at the end of her post.  One of the questions that Genna asked that stood out to me was:

  • “What can we do to support our more vulnerable children (those with disabilities and mental health conditions) to ensure they develop positive digital citizenship skills and feel confident about their online presence?

 A lot of people may remember watching Amanda’s video that she posted on YouTube that was published on September 7th, 2012 entitled My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm. In the video she shares her story by holding index cards that she wrote on with black marker.  Card by card she unveiled her thoughts, feelings, and what she enquired in her life.  Sadly on October 12th, 2012 Amanda committed suicide.  I had to quit reading the comments left because even after Amanda’s death many people felt it was necessary to post negative comments and public shame her.    After I watched Amanda’s video I noticed along the side another video called Teens React to Bullying (Amanda Todd).  This video filmed teens who are a variety of ages reactions to watching Amanda’s video and then share their thoughts of the video and about online bullying.  Listening to Amanda’s story confirms that parents and educators need to start talking and educating our youth.  Again they will not be easy conversations, but they need to happen!

Photo Credit: Laura Scharschu via Compfight cc

I also believe we need to also teach our students and children about self esteem and positive body image! 
Do you remember Dove’s Campaign that explored how women see themselves and how they see others? It was called Real Beauty Sketches You’re more beautiful than you think.


This video showcases how we are our own worst critique and how we often find so many flaws about our self that other people do not see.  This video highlights that we do not see our true beauty.  We need to begin to remove all of the labels and start spending time appreciating every part of us.  We need to start to love ourselves for who we are because we all are special and unique.  Media and technology makes is more difficult for youth, men, and women to have a positive body image when so many of the images in magazines, on billboards, and advertisements have been digitally enhanced.  Just take a look at the Dove Evolution With some images, all is not what it seems video.  It is a short yet powerful video showcasing how images can be transformed and edited so the person appears to look flawless.  Near the end of the video these words appear on the screen, “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted.”  I could not agree more! I was excited to see that dove also did a campaign looking at the male version of real beauty. 

The pressures of having a perfect body is not just a problem for females, but for males as well.  Media portrays men to look a certain way and to have a certain type of build.  So many times people dream of looking like the people that they see in the media, but if take away the professional stylists or all the digital changes those people would not look the same.  How do we teach our students to think critically when viewing media?  How do we teach our children and students to have a positive body image?
Well it needs to begin with adults first.  Adults need to model having a healthy body image and self esteem to our children and youth.  Parents, teachers, coaches, etc. are role models and children are always watching.  They care what you think and will often model your behavior and what you say.  We need to be role models to our children instead of media as it can send negative messages.  We need people to start thinking more critically about what we say and how our words effect others positively and negatively.  As adults, especially parents need to model how to interact with all the different forms of media and model positive digital citizenship to their children.  For example, Always created a powerful video with an excellent message called #LikeAGirl.  The creators asked teenagers, women, and boys to “run like a girl” and “fight like a girl.”   Later the creators asked the young girls the same questions and the movements that the first group of participates looked a lot different compared to the young girls.  Have you heard people or media use “like a girl” statements before?   Parents need to remember A girl`s beauty confidence starts with you.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, educators, etc. are influencing children everyday.  This is another Dove video and this one focuses on mothers and their daughters. The creators compare the mothers and the daughters answers about their likes and dislikes in regards to their body.  The daughters shared many of the same likes and dislikes about their body as their mother.  Daughter’s look up to their mothers and the same goes for fathers and their sons.  Boys need to have role models showing self esteem and having a positive body image.  I think if this video was created for fathers and their sons that the results would be similar.

Lets send positive messages to children and begin to be role models for our children and youth!

like symbol

Photo Credit: Goin Postal Packaging Supply Store Wesley Chapel via Compfight cc

Last year during EC&I831 I wrote a post called Will You Be The One To Speak Out.  It discussed an episode of Glee that I watched that has the character Rachel contemplating on getting plastic surgery on her nose so it looks like her friend Quinn’s nose.  In that episode they sing I Feel Pretty/Unpretty.  The band TLC wrote the song Unpretty and it is also a very powerful music video.  As an educator I believe we need to be teaching our students starting at a young age to have positive body image and teach them to love themselves for being unique.  It needs to be ongoing and not just a lesson or a unit.  It needs to be a topic and a conversation that is ongoing for the whole year.  How do you as educator promote positive body image and self esteem in classroom and school

What Should Education Look Like Today?

It has been a crazy busy week and a half, but I am excited to report that I am officially done my grade two student’s term one report cards!  It is a great feeling knowing that they are all finished and that they will be in my student’s and their families hands on Friday.  Now my students and I just have to put final touches to the portfolios then my student’s will be able to show them to their parents and guardians on Tuesday and Wednesday during student led conferences.  During the conferences I will be setting up show what you know centers so students can showcase their learning to their parents.   What do you do for student led conferences?? I am so proud of each and every one of my students so I am looking forward to conferences!

meme victory baby about finishing report cards

Picture Created By Using Meme Generator

These last few weeks I have been busy finishing units and having students complete different assessments so I could decide on a summative mark for the outcomes covered in this term.  While I have been busy when marking, grading, and reflecting on my student’s progress I have also been busy exploring the assigned readings and viewings for my EC&I832 Emerging Media Literacies class exploring new and emerging literacies.  One of the articles was a framework that outlined different literacies and then went on to ask some critical questions that had my mind racing.  The NCTE’s 21st Century Framework outlined that, “active, successful participates in this 21st century global society must be able to:

  • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology;
  • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes;
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information;
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts;
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.”

I think teachers should read this document because it had me reflect on what I believe is important to teach my students.  It does not matter what grade or age level of students you teach, it is vital for educators to think about their student’s future.   All of the questions in the document made me reflect on my own teaching practices and beliefs.  I also began to think about the Future Work Skills 2020 document that explores preparing students for the future.   While reading both of those readings I began to make connections and reflect on my teaching philosophy.  I remembered the inventories that I had completed in my EC&I 804 Curriculum Development class.  I can recall two inventories that we completed for the class that had us reflect on our teaching beliefs.  For the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) I scored the highest in nurturing followed by apprenticeship and for the Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI) I scored the highest in humanistic followed by behaviorist.  I was not surprised by the results because I believe in forming positive relationships with my class so I can get to know each of my students.  By getting to know my students I am able to plan around their interests and build their self-confidence so each child can begin to take responsibility in his or her own learning. I also believe it is important for students to take an active role in their learning, but there also needs to be a balance so I see myself connecting to many of the other philosophies.  It is vital to differentiate and reach all of my student’s needs.  But, what knowledge or skills will students need to have to be successful in life? How will educators help shape and create positive citizens?  How do we teach students to become creative and critical thinkers?  What do educators need to do to help students become successful when they get older? 

I encourage you to read Ashley Dew’s blog post, The Future of Education.  She brings up many valid points about using technology in the classroom, 21st Century learners, curriculum, and preparing students.  Ashley asks many good questions at the end of her post that I have started to wonder about myself.  All of the graduate classes that I have taken over the past few semesters has been challenging me to think more critically about our curriculum documents.  What skills and concepts are imperative to teach our students to help better prepare them for tomorrow?  It is so hard for people to answer that because we all have our own teaching philosophy and philosophies about education.

Does education need to start focusing on the skills and framework that was discussed in the two documents?  What should education look like in the 21st Century?  Do our curriculum documents need to be formatted differently?  Are the curriculum documents missing key components that would help prepare students for the future?

During this weeks readings I also watched a video entitled Texts and Tweets: myths and realties’.  During this video David Crystal discusses the myths and realties of texting, tweeting, and literacy.  Crystal points out five myths that many people have about texting and other forms of media such as Twitter and how it has effected the English language. The five myths that he discussed are:

  • Texting is full of abbreviations.
  • Abbreviations is something newly developed.
  • That people do not know how to spell because they leave out letters.
  • That young people are putting these abbreviations into their homework and exams.
  • That texting shows the decline of the English language.

Throughout the entire video he made valid points in showcasing that technology is not causing a decline in the English language.  People need to be literate to text people and to create Tweets  or create posts on other forms of social media.  Many people are fast to criticize how youth are constantly texting or posting on different forms of social media.  Crystal points out that they are improving their reading and writing skills by interacting with other people using the different tools.  Using these tools is more motivational for students as they want to interact with others.  It can also lead people to be creative.  Have you have heard of people creating 140 character novels on Twitter?  I never thought of an author being able to create a story using only 140 characters.  Technology can open the doors for so many people! 

girl sending an sms

(Photo Credit: Nextel2011 via Compfight cc)

In the video David explores how texting is also improving literacy scores.  Though texting students are learning how to spell while practicing their reading skills.  For people to be able to text someone they need to be able to understand the message that the person is sending them in order to reply back to the person.  I could relate to Branelle’s blog post English Language: Ever-Evolving as I have also experienced my students spelling similar phrases that she mentioned in her post. My grade two students are young and learn from their environment.  I find that many people speak using those similar phrases and my students do not understand yet the difference between informal and formal language, but as they get older they will begin to understand those differences.  Crystal discuses that students know not to use abbreviations on their homework or exams despite the myths.  As  Branelle points out in her post that we all use a different forms of language when communicating to others.  People shift from formal to informal language depending on the audience, what they are writing about, and what tool they are using to write their message.  My favourite part of her post is how proves that she is a capable speller even when using abbreviations!


There is a lot to think about when exploring the topic of media literacy.  I  appreciated the video that Gloria shared on her blog post “Greater Appreciation for Integrating Technology.” The short video she posted was called “What is Media Literacy?” and it pointed out the changes in media literacy, what it means to be media literate, and that we are living in a participatory culture. During the video it asks: “What new media skills does a “participatory culture” require?”  Later it was discussed some skills that needs to be taught.  They are not technical skills, but are social and behavioral skills that are learned best through collaboration.  At the end it suggested that digital citizenship needs to be the new approach and those skills needs to be taught as soon as students have a device in their hands.  The Government of Saskatchewan has created a Digital Citizenship Continuum document that helps support teachers from Kindergarten to Grade 12 integrating digital citizenship concepts and skills into their classrooms. I think it is important to teach the concepts and skills outlined in the document because we need to teach students how to be safe, understand the digital laws, and how to interact positively in all the different digital spaces. But, I know this would overwhelm many other educators for many reasons.  I know many teachers  who already feel the pressure and are becoming more stressed because they feel they have so much on their plate.  There are also many other teachers that would not be comfortable teaching digital citizenship lessons because they do not interact in the different social media spaces and do not understand digital literacy. 

So what do you think education look like today?  How do educators help prepare their students for the 21st Century?  What skills and concepts do you think students need to learn in order to be successful?

Do You Have A Digital Tattoo? What Story Does It Tell?

“Tattoos tell you a lot of stories.” ~Juan Enriquez

This week I have been busy reading and viewing different articles and videos that have explored the topics digital identity and digital citizenship. During my search I came across Juan Enriquez‘s TED Talk.  This video had me reflect on many of the assigned readings, viewings, and my classmates blog posts that I have read for my ECI 832 class over the last few weeks.

At the beginning of the TED Talk Juan caught my attention when he started off by saying “lets take four subjects that go together big data, tattoos, immortality, and the Greeks.”  I was curious how he was going to link those four subjects together and how those subjects all were going to relate to his TED Talk called Your Online Life, Permanent As A Tattoo.  He went on to say that tattoos can shout and tell stories.  Juan asked the audience if they had any tattoos.  I began to think of my friends and family members that have a tattoo or have many tattoos.  Almost all of them have a tattoo that has a story or a reason behind why they got their tattoo.  Some people I know have birthdates or footprints/handprints of their children and grandchildren while others have a tattoo to symbolize the memory of a loved one that past away or it tells a story of a passion or a interest they have.  Over the past few years I have been contemplating on getting a tattoo on my left shoulder or somewhere of my back.  I picture my tattoo looking like a young girl with angel wings praying.  When or if I ever get the tattoo it will symbolize and tell my story of a memory or image that I had in my head when I was seven years old and sick in the hospital battling Necrotizing Fasciitis (Flesh Eating Disease).  When I was in the University Hospital in Saskatoon I remember seeing a little brunette girl with beautiful angel wings .  I felt that I had a guardian angel watching over me.  Even though it was twenty-one years ago I still have that vivid picture in my mind.

Do you have a tattoo? Does your tattoo tell a story?  Would people be able to tell your version of your story just by viewing your tattoo without you getting the opportunity to share with them and explain what your tattoo represents?

bar code tattoo

Photo Credit: absentreality via Compfight cc

Later on Juan  mentioned all the things that many people interact with such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedln, cell phones, GPS, Travel Advisor, etc. and how they turn out to be electronic tattoos.  He went onto state, “what if they provide as much information as who and what you are as any tattoo ever would?”  So what does this mean for you?  Now people can follow you and view your profiles through the use of technology and all of the different social media, apps, and cameras.  More than ever people need to be mindful of what they post and share online using the different forms of social media.  Every app downloaded, post, tweet, or picture shared begins to build and form your digital tattoo.  Everything that you share online becomes apart of your digital identity or your digital footprint.  When people view your posts, tweets, or pictures what story does it tell the viewers?  Everyone needs to be mindful of what they share or post because one decision can change their life.  I encourage you to watch Jon Ronson’s TED Talk How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life.  In that video the viewers learn about Justine Sacco and her how a tweet has not changed just her digital identity, but the way people view Justine due to the online shaming.  In the end that one tweet led to Justine losing her job.  I know if I could not be a teacher anymore that it would change my identity completely and I would feel very lost.  Justine Sacco’s digital tattoo and footprint changed in an instant from just that one tweet.  I encourage you to read Kristina Boutilier’s post called Has your identity changed over the years?  I thought Jeffrey Rosen’s article on “The Web Means the End of Forgetting” that she discussed was very interesting.  I have had the same struggles as Kristina.  I also find is hard at times creating blog posts and putting your thoughts and feelings out there for the world to not only read, but critique as well.



“What if Andy Warhol had it wrong, and instead of being famous for 15 minutes, we’re only anonymous for that long?” ~Juan Enriquez


question mark picture

Photo Credit: nootriment via Compfight cc

During a exhibition Andy Warhol stated that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”  Over the years Andy’s phrase has been tweaked and altered.  Through doing some reading I found an article that discussed how an artist named Banksy created a piece of art and on the piece it stated “In the future, everybody will be anonymous for 15 minutes.”  I agree with that quote more than ever as technology and social media has given people a format to post on and share to not only their friends and family, but to the entire world.  You do not have to be a celebrity or a professional athlete to have an audience or followers online now.  Just on Thursday night on Twitter I participated on the Fountas & Pinnell chat that explored Text Levels and if they are a tool or trouble.  During that chat Fountas & Pinnell @fountaspinnell quoted one of my tweets that I shared with the other people that were participating in the chat.  Fountas & Pinnell currently have 21.9K followers on Twitter.  That same evening on Twitter The 2 Sisters @gailandjoan retweeted three of my tweets from that very same chat.  They have 14.2K followers on Twitter.  One of those three tweets now has had 30 engagements so far and 1139 people have seen my Tweet.  Someone does not need to be famous to have a voice and to have their voice heard my hundreds and even thousands of people.  Since I engage online and social media I am no longer anonymous anymore.  As Juan mentions in his TED Talk it is not just your electronic tattoo, but facial recognition now.  I learned about a company called Face.com and how “the company had “discovered” 18 billion faces across its API and Facebook applications” and in 2012 this company sold to Facebook.

I wonder how many of the faces that Face.com have discovered are children’s faces?  What does facial recognition mean for child who are growing up in the digital age?

Last week I read two articles called Welcome to the online world and Digital diaries.  Both of the articles discussed children growing up in the digital world.  With many parents participating in different forms of social media their children are no longer anonymous at birth and some children are not even anonymous before they were born as many parents post ultra sound pictures.  Parents and other family members are the first people to start adding to their child’s digital identity as their posts start creating a digital tattoo or digital footprint for their child.  I am curious to see these children’s reactions when they get older and what their options will be on what pictures, posts, or tweets were shared about them.  So many children get embarrassed from that one picture that their parent points out in a family album, but now many family albums are digital and shared online so those embarrassing pictures maybe already shared with all their friends, family, and maybe even the world.  I enjoyed reading Jeannine Whitehouse’s blog post called What will you leave behind?  She brought forward many valid points about digital footprints and people’s digital identity.  I could relate to when Jeannine discussed how she has friends who share a lot online about their family and their children while others friends are more private.  I have friends that share daily about their family while I have some who do not feel comfortable sharing pictures of their children on social media.  I believe it is a personal choice for each family!

What are your beliefs about sharing pictures and information about children online?


At the end of Juan’s TED Talk he leaves the audience to ponder when he stated “because of electronic tattoos maybe all of you and all of us are very close to immortality as these tattoos will live far longer than our bodies will.”   Near the end of the TED Talk be begins discussing the different Greek lessons.  He  discusses with the audience about imagining being threatened by immortality as we are all threatened by immortality today because of digital tattoos.    After listening to the end of his presentation I began to make the connection with Maeve Duggan’s article called Proposed law would clarify who gets access to a deceased person’s digital accounts that I read for class.  When adults get older they often have a written document that outlines a beneficiary or have a written will that allows that person to chose who gets their money, valuables, and most importantly who will raise their child if both parents pass away.  Will people need to add in a component discussing their digital accounts in their wills as well?

As I was just finishing this blog post I came across a post called Two ways of thinking about social media: digital tattoos and virtual shadows from the TED Talk blog.  In the beginning of the post the person discussed being at a concert  and how many people were recording the show so they could view it later.  In the post it was questioned if people truly experienced the show in the first place because they were so busy recording it.  This reminded me of the conversations about being present in the moment and when Amy Scuka @AmyScuka shared a few weeks ago a great article that had a  photo of a crowd of people taking pictures while one lady had a smile on her the face enjoying the moment instead of seeing witnessing it through a phone or lens.  The article that Amy shared led to a great conversation! The TED Talk posts also took a closer look at two concepts: digital tattoos from Enriquez`s TED Talk and virtual shadow from Damon Brown`s TED Book, Our Virtual Shadow: Why We Are Obsessed with Documenting Our Lives Online.

Have you heard of the concept virtual shadow before???

There is always so much to explore and learn!  I am looking forward to creating a new blog post after I discover and learn more about virtual shadows. Please leave me a comment if you know of any good articles or videos that can provide me with more information about virtual shadows. 🙂

Do You Think Before You Post or Share Online?

jays game (1)     jays game (2)

My husband Damon and I were very lucky and had a fantastic opportunity to go to Toronto and watch games three, four, and five of the ALCS!  I love watching baseball and I grew up cheering for the Jays with my family.  My husband grew up not only watching, but playing baseball all his life.  He still is playing baseball for a senior team in Kenosee and has been a Jays fan since he was a little boy.  We had a blast cheering on the Toronto Blue Jays and watching the games live in the stadium as the atmosphere was electric!  It was fun getting a chance to sit in the stands together and getting a chance to spend time together since we both have been busy with work.

Before I left for Toronto last Sunday I was trying to piece all of my thoughts together from the readings and viewings.  I wanted to finish my blog post before I left, but it did not feel finished so I decided to wait and put the finishing touches on it when I returned home from Toronto. I also do not like feeling rushed and I wanted to have time to look over my thoughts to make sure my ideas were clear.  While I was in Toronto I was thinking about my unfinished post.  I was focusing my post a lot around the topic of online shaming especially after watching Monica Lewinsky’s video The Price of Shame.  I was talking with my husband about this topic on the plane.  Since we had baseball was on our mind we talked about the young women that were at an MLB game in Arizona and how the sports announcers were talking about the young women taking photos of themselves during the game.  I was surprised by how long the announcers talked about the ladies and how unprofessional their comments were.  Soon after there were people posting and tweeting on Facebook and Twitter about the young women taking selfies at the baseball game.  I still can not understand why people would post negative comments about other people!  My parents always told me if you do not have nothing nice to say then keep the negative comments to yourself.  I do give people credit who stood up for the young women in a positive way online.  It was discussed in an CBC News article online that “Many others, however, took up issue with the commentators themselves, calling their remarks inappropriate — especially in light of the fact that fans had actually been encouraged to take selfies in the stadium as part of a T-Mobile promotion right before the sorority girls appeared on camera” (Lauren O’Neill CBC News).  I have found many times that people begin to post comments online without knowing the other side of the story or the whole story.  I often wonder if people think about other people’s feelings before they post comments??

Since arriving home from Toronto this post has evolved a lot over the last couple of days.  On Friday evening I was multitasking by tweaking my blog post while watching game six of the ALCS with my husband and later couple of friends stopped by to watch the end of the game.  At the bottom of the second inning a Kansas City Royals fan caught a homerun ball that was hit by Mike Moustakas.  As a Toronto Blue Jays fan I thought it was important for the umpires to relook at the play incase the fan, Caleb Humphreys, did interfere with the play.

The umpire ruled that there was no interference so the homerun still counted. There were so many Blue Jay fans that were outraged and began to lash out with negative comments all over social media.  Later in the game my friend received a text with the following picture:


I could see that he was excited to catch a home run at a Major League Baseball game from watching the game and an interview that I saw.  It would be pretty awesome to catch a homerun ball during an important game of your favourite team.  Throughout this weekend I have been reading a variety of articles from USA Today,  The Kansas City Star, and CBS Sports.  The CBS Sports article written by David Brown was called Reaching Royals fan: I didn’t want to be Jeffrey Mier or Steve Bartman.  I could not recall the stories of the names that were mentioned in the title so I searched for articles about each of them.  I found an interesting article about Jeffrey Maier that he wrote himself.  The column was called How Catching a Derek Jeter ‘Home Run’ Changed My Life.  I appreciated reading Maier’s thoughts about that day and how that moment has changed his life.  Reading  Mier’s words reminded me of what Brittany commented in her blog post.  She discussed “How long can we hold youth accountable for decisions they make when they are young?” and that “The internet will remember for ever- the change needs to be in what we, as consumers of the information, do with it. ”  We need to be teaching our students about how to be good digital citizens.  We need to educate students on what to do or how to respond when they view and read articles from different sources of media.  Our decisions can impact us and stay with us for the rest of our lives in a positive or negative way.  We need to choose wisely when making choices.

I found an article on the Chicago Tribune about Steve just a few days ago and another article written a few years ago.  After reading the articles I started to reflect about how it would feel to be in Caleb’s or in his families shoes.  What will be written about him and about game six in the years to come?  People need to remember that you never know what curve ball may come your way in life! Many times people think that it they are invincible and nothing would happen to them, but you just never know.  While I was reading all the different articles it made me think of my husband Damon.  In August during our honeymoon in New York we went to watch the New York Yankees play against the Minnesota Twins.  We decided not to wear our Toronto Blue Jays jerseys and hats to the game because we wanted to enjoy the game instead of being heckled throughout the whole game.  We made that decision because when we were wearing our Blue Jay hats downtown in Time Square we were often approached by many Yankee fans since both teams were so close in the standings.  Most of the comments were made in a fun rivalry spirit, but we had a people say some off side comments.  During the game in the 7th inning Sano from the Twins hits a homerun and my husband caught the homerun ball!

It was pretty exciting to watch my husband’s eyes light up!  Here we did not wear our Jays gear so we would not get heckled, but boy did Damon and I get heckled for not throwing the ball game back since it was an opposing teams home run.  I read an article on ESPN about fans throwing the opponents home runs back onto the field and where that tradition came from.  The Yankees were screaming and chatting “throw it back” and “you’re not Yankee fans!”  I was going to take Damon’s picture with the home run ball after the game was over, but we did not want to be bugged more about not throwing the ball back so I took his picture in a different area in the stadium.  What would have been said about him if he interfered with the play?  Since Damon is a huge ball fan and player I do not think I would ever have to worry about him interfering with a player because he would not want a fan to interfere when he makes a catch in center field.  But, if the adrenaline is high and it is close to being on the fans side you never know if raw emotion will take over and a person might possibly jump in sooner than what you would have normally.


We were lucky because once we left that section no one knew who we were and we were able to walk away from people heckling us.  Damon and I did not have to worry about reading negative comments about his catch, videos online, tweets, Facebook posts.   There are no rude memes created about him and that moment will not become apart of his digital footprint in a negative way.  When we returned home we did see some posts about Damon’s catch.  Our families and friends posted and shared the video of Damon’s catch and we had people even texting us that they were excited to see his catch on TV.  I could not imagine if Damon was in the same shoes as the people I talked about in this post.  People need to stop being cruel and they need to think before they post!  Remember that when you post something negative and make inappropriate comments about others that person is someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, grandchild, or friend.  We are human beings with feelings!  I think sometimes people need to breathe and remember it is fun to cheer on sports, but not to let it get so heated in a negative way.  It is also exciting to have some rivalry if it is all in good fun and remains positive.  Mistakes will happen during a game because we all are human and are not perfect.  All of the articles and videos that I have read reminded me of a scene from Fever Pitch.  The main character Ben has an obsession with the Boston Red Sox and after the Red Sox lost a big game Ben and his friends are very upset.  Then they noticed players from the team at the same place eating while they could not eat because the Red Sox lost the game.  I know some fans who take longer to get over a lose than I bet some of the players.  Although it maybe tough, but people need to remember that it is just a game and there is always next year!

So…Do You Think Before You Post or Share Online? I know I sure do!  Not only because of I want to protect my online identity as a teacher, but I want to be a good role model and do the right thing.  The Globe and Mail Wency Leung wrote an article called Why do some people take delight in online shaming?  This article even discusses Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk that I mentioned at the beginning of my post.  I also encourage you to read Danielle’s blog post A Digital Citizenship Lesson At It’s Finest; Watch Out For Online Shaming.  She reminded me about Jimmy Kimmel’s segment that had celebrity’s read mean tweets that people wrote about them.  At the end of her post she talks about the YouTube comments that people left on her grade one and two’s students video that they created for school.  I was appalled that people would ever say horrible comments about Danielle as a teacher and her young six and seven year old students!  The people who leave nasty comments and pollute the online world with negativity are the reasons why so many teachers and so many other people are afraid to give social media a chance, to try having a classroom blog, creating a classroom Twitter account, or creating their first video to share with others.  I believe that we need to teach our students to be mindful of what they post and be critical of what they read and view.  Students do not need to be scared of social media!  Online spaces can be an excellent place to promote learning, share opinions in a constructive way, you can meet new people, make connections, get help from others, and you can help support others in return.  What can be done to stop people from shaming others online?