Old culture meets the new culture.

In our May 25th ECMP 355 class we had a guest speaker, Alec Couros.  Alec spoke about our children and tech.  He brought up some great points that we as teachers need to think about, such as do we allow smartphones in class, how young is too young for tech, do we allow tech to be the teacher or should it just be another tool we use.  This techy new culture is sometimes very difficult for an old tech person like me to wrap my mind around.

I come from an era when film and filmstrip projectors, overheads and chalkboards were still the tools of choice in schools.  There was never any issue of whether phones would

Image result for filmstrip projector imageSource

Image result for filmstrip projector imagesource





be used in class, they were attached to the wall at home or in the school office.  Participation in school was raising your hand if you knew the answer or desperately trying to either hide behind a book or look like you knew enough so the teacher wouldn’t call on you if you didn’t.  Connected to your friends you either called them from your phone that everyone in the house used or you walked to their house and rang the door bell.  You hung out face to face.  In some ways I think that was better.  However tech is changing the world.  Tech has its good, bad and ugly sides especially for our teens .

The good part of tech is that it allows us to access so much more information on all levels.  We can share things to Youtube and maybe get our 15 minutes of fame if that is what we want or simply share our lives with family and friends.  In some cases people get their big break, as did the creators of the wacky wacky song or whatever its called.  We can be connected and participate in each others lives more than ever before but…

Are we losing our connection to the people in front of us because we are so caught up in checking to see what our hundreds or even thousands of friends think about what we said or posted online. I came across this article about Instagram likes and why they don’t matter, it is very interesting. We see many pictures of groups of people out together supposedly having a good time but they are all on their phone, interacting with someone else.  What does that say to the people you are with.  There seems to be an increase in mental health issues as this nurse shares, among young people, and it makes me wonder is it connected to the positive or negative feedback they get from their thousands of” friends”. Or is it through technology we have more awareness or is it a combination.  I personally think there is a connection.  Teens mostly but even adults want approval from their peers and if they don’t get it its hard. It makes it even harder when you think you have all these friends and you don’t get the approval level you think you should.  The school peer groups had power to make someone’s day or make their life miserable but it was usually left at school.  The good and bad now go on incessantly.  This form of peer pressure and bullying comes with bigger consequences.

As teacher’s how to we manage this culture of participation, when we want everyone to see and approve of what we are doing.  I think we need to create awareness of the consequences of what we post on line and create understanding of how once its online it maybe there forever.  We can also create positive and safe spaces to connect with and participate online.  Most of all we need to teach our students that online empathy and standing up for the bullied has the same effects as it does in real life.



The Journey is complete

Hi everyone here is my learning summary for ECMP 355 Spring 2017.  There is one point when I was speaking about Amanda Todd and I said years to come.  I meant to say in years past.  It was the only glaring error to me and after the videoscribe disaster and about 6 recordings of the screencastify video I decided it wasn’t a big enough issue to record again.  I hope you understand. Thanks for a great semester.

Coding, so fun.

(for June 15 class)

During class we were introduced to coding.  I always thought coding was boring, a whole bunch of written script that I didn’t understand, nor did I need or want to.  Coding was some other persons job to make sure everything worked just right so non-techies like me could just open the page and do what we needed or wanted to do.  Well I learned a whole other side to coding today.  There is a super fun way to do it.  I chose Code.org to play around on.  It has a section called an hour of code and that is where I focused my attention.

In this section it had a variety of settings you could make codes for.  This would be very appealing to young children as it had popular games and movie characters to choose from.  There was also a classic maze, which I choose, or an artist tab as well.  The idea is to code to make the characters move to a certain point or do accomplish a certain task.  The coding starts out really simple with 2 or 3 moves to code and gradually works up.  I got to 9 moves before I stopped and I wasn’t half way through.

I also discovered on this site that they have activities that are for as young as for up to adult.  There is more too it than the just code for an hour portion.  They have lab sections as well.  I know the code for an hour portion is free but I am not sure if there are fees for the other sections.  I do know that I had a lot of fun with this. I will be introducing it to my boys for some constructive screen time over summer holidays, when the weather isn’t cooperating for them being outside.

Here is my  screencast.  I am so sorry about the length of the video.  I didn’t realize screencastify let you go for a whole ten minutes.  I guess I should read the directions first.

Kaytlyn Placatka thanks for the directions on how to include the video without youtube.







Super cyber sleuth

My mission was to cyber spy on (with her permission of course)Lila Gaertner.  The best place to begin any web search is Google so that is where I started.  When I googled Lila’s name her Facebook profile was the first thing that popped up, followed by other social media accounts.  On the first page of the Google search it was all about Lila and her various social media accounts.    The images row on the Google search page had three pictures of Lila and then some pictures of her crochet projects.

I first checked out Lila’s Facebook page and discovered that she does not post very often there.  Her last post was on March 10 about Valentine’s day.  I also found from Facebook that she likes Boston pizza and that is where her and her partner Tyler went for supper on Valentine’s day. I also discovered she is from Tisdale and studied at CLBI in Biblical studies. She has a decent friend list on Facebook.

Her next links are for Twitter and Pinterest.  On Twitter I discovered Lila, is a new user, likely signed up just for this class, much like I did.  I also noticed she is a 4th year Middle Years student, almost done yay! She has a link to her blog as well.  Her birthday is in February.  On Pinterest I discovered some of her interests, crochet(probably has to do with her learning project), she is a fan of Dr. Who, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Lila also has boards for writing and math resources, crafts and quotes.  She has many other interests too.

As I continued down the google search I found that she was on Google +, a video she created for one of her ECS classes, Instagram and her blog were also on the first page and she is a Student Peer Chaplain at Luther College.  As I browsed around there was nothing I came across that would send red flags for future employment as a teacher. I think Lila a very positive online identity.