Incorporating digital tools in the classroom

Today in class I was surprised to see that a few groups during their presents  using media devices during. Both groups used a website questionnaire to ask the class about what they knew about the topics. One group used Kahoots before a presentation to ask the class about their prior knowledge the topic. The second group used a site called  “Poll Everywhere”, where you text a phrase to a number and then are able to text our choice of answer and the results would be automatically be transferred into a poll.

I especially liked the “Poll Everywhere” site. I found it to be a good way to collect information in class  and find out what the students think about any concept by choosing yes, no, maybe or A, B, C. Then have the Poll website tally up the scores and it shows you the results right away. It allows you to interact in call discussions, debates, voting etc. Attached bellow are some screen shots of the how to guide from the site instructing you on how to use it. There is also an informative and instructional video on the site to help facilitate the learning.

Instructional video:

Screen shots:

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Smartphones in the Classroom… A Teaching Tool or a Distraction??

It’s no surprise that the majority of students in high school today have mobile devices and/or tablets or laptops – that’s just the way things are now in this technology filled world of ours.  With all of the technology use in our daily lives, how much is too much?  In the years since cell phones and smart phones alike came to the market, more and more students are bringing these devices into their schools and into their classrooms.

When it comes to smart phone use in the classroom, a lot of teachers will say that they do not support it and their reasons are understandable – they can be distracting not only to the student using it but to their peers around them as well as to the teacher, and take away from student learning.  A survey was done involving more than 5,400 Canadian students and some of the results were surprising to me.  According to this study, about 25% of children in grade 4 had their own cellphone.  What?! This just goes to show how much of an impact technology has on the lives of everyone around us.

This being said, the amount of kids bringing devices to school is great and how exactly are teachers to accommodate that?  Some schools have a no cellphone policy in place, which only works if the students follow the rules.  The same study said that schools with a no cellphone policy showed a 6.41 percent advantage on test scores as opposed to schools that did not have this policy in place.

Other teachers fully support the use of technology in the classroom and actively use it to help students learn and engage in their classes.  When teachers properly manage and make the best use of technological devices possible, powerful learning is also a possibility.  The way that teachers use technology in the classroom may vary; some may use Twitter, some YouTube or a different technology but it all comes down to how the teachers manage and present these ideas to the class; the students can use these technologies in their own way to adapt to their own learning.  The possibilities are really endless in terms of what students and teachers can do together when bringing technology into the classroom.

Some examples of ways that students and teachers can use technology in the classroom:

  1. Using Twitter to communicate with the class and/or parents
  2. Using YouTube to demonstrate ideas and support the curriculum/help teach particular ideas
  3. Personal devices support apps like TopHat and websites like Kahoot, which teachers may find beneficial and students find fun and engaging

Overall, I would say that it depends on the teacher and the class whether or not to say that technology is useful in the classroom.  Everyone is different and everyone has different preferences and learns in different ways.  As a future educator, I believe that it is important to try my best to incorporate various types of technology into learning because as it is becoming more prominent in society, the way education works is definitely changing.

Technologically Unavailable?

I was exploring some of the interesting blog prompts that my professor left and allowed the class to use, and came to one that really sparked my interest: How can you plan for the day(s) when the Internet is turned off, the technology is unavailable, and your learning environment is radically un-empowered? How might your learners choose to cope?

This topic really intrigued me, because gone seem to be the days where children were seen outside playing and finding other ways to occupy their time instead of using technology to keep them busy.  The world is different now, technology is everywhere and in everything – with the world at your fingertips, what can’t you do with technology?  While technology is a huge advancement as well as a benefit to us all in more ways than one, I still think that it is important for people, especially children, to explore the world without technology and live life out of the fast lane sometimes.  The environment around us is so important, and is not only healthy to engage in but the beauty in the outdoors is something that no one should want to pass up!

As a future educator, how could I plan for the day (or plan to have a day) where there is no internet or technology?  This makes me think back to a particular day when I was in grade two – it was called “Pioneer Day”.  On this day, we were not allowed to use the computers, the lights, or any technology at all; it really was a cool experience.  Some of the teachers dressed up in pioneer clothing and attempted to make the day about the things that we could do without technology and it was really cool for seven year old me to experience!  We used kerosene lanterns for light and we wrote only with pencil – it wasn’t very hard to get used to because it was only for one day but it was still an experience that I remember, as it impacted me.  I feel that as a teacher and as a student, I would see this type of experience to be very worthwhile and it would be interesting to see it implemented now – in a day and age where technology in the classroom is very depended upon, with all the smart boards, computers and online activities that educators use to help their students learn.  I am absolutely not against technology in the classroom, I believe that if we can use something to better the education of the children in this world, that we should use it.  I just think that having a different experience like this would be beneficial and help everyone realize and appreciate how much we rely on technological advancements today!

Students would either think that not having the use of technology and doing things “the old way” is super cool or they would absolutely hate it.  Some children depend on technology so much that they don’t know how to do things like play outside or socialize with their peers in a way that doesn’t involve those things and that really needs to change.



More to come

Next week my little brothers class is getting their own bibles at their liturgy during school and they are all to bring some sort of treat for the class for the occasion. Because he asked so nicely and it will give me an opportunity to try something new I have decided to make cupcakes for his class!

Trying to increase the difficulty of my decorating skills and also because how else do you make a bible on a cupcake I have decided to try my hand at fondant decorating on my cupcakes this week. After doing some research I have realized that fondant is not really hard to make so I may make my own.

Looking at pinterest for ideas I found a few to go off of, here is a sneak peek at what you might see next week.

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Hope you enjoy and cannot wait to attempt fondant for the first time! Hopefully things go well on try number one and cannot wait to show you all next week how it went.

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Digital Identity

What is digital identity?

When I googled digital identity it essentially made the point that digital identity is the online equal to the real identity of a person or entity.

My digital identity?

Based on our lecture in #ECMP355 today my digital identity is virtually invisible. I have not thought much about my digital identity until this class but it is a very important thing to be aware of. For example by privacy settings are set on most if not all of my social networking accounts to be private. No one is able to look at my photos, posts or other material unless I have accepted them as a ‘friend’. Saying that I googled myself to see what would happen and there was photos from my facebook and twitter profile in the images, there were pins from my pinterest that popped up and many other social networking sights such as instagram. I was surprised how much google knew about me and how easy it is to find out so much about a person in a matter of seconds.

Looking into my future as an educator I am hoping to continue my blog as well as my educational twitter account into the future so that I can keep on top of current issues and keep my digital identity from going “extinct”.

Are you an over sharer, or an under-sharer on social media? What would I find if i googled you?

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Digital Citizenship- What it means to me

There are nine elements of digital citizenship; access, commerce, communication, literacy, etiquette, law, rights and responsibilities, health and wellness, and digital security. According to digiteen, “…digital citizenship can be described as knowing how to behave appropriately and responsibly with regard to technology use.” How to behave appropriately within the web and technology is a very important skill for everyone to have. I feel like issues will arise for younger generations that was never an issue for mine, everyone will need to have a clear idea what is right and wrong.

I found digital health and wellness to be extremely interesting and important part of edtech. Digital health and wellness is the physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world; this includes eye safety, repetitive stress syndrome, ergonomic hazards, and/or internet addiction. I can see how any of these can easily happen with me, or others. If a person has a job that requires a lot of screen time, or if someone chooses to play video games could clearly lead to some sort of strain on their eyes, or other ergonomic hazards like tennis elbow or carpel tunnel syndrome. Teaching students the skills they need to protect themselves is extremely important.

Last semester when I was studying for German, which I found very hard and did not enjoy, I had to cancel my Netflix account because I was easily distracted with series of TV shows. I am not sure if that qualifies as an internet addiction, but I knew I had completely separate myself or I would fail my exam. I did not reactivate my account for 5 months and did not have a problem.

There definitely is a need for education in this culture we live in where the internet and technology surround us; we need to learn how to protect ourselves and use technology safely and appropriately. I look forward to learning about how to teach kids the skills they need to help protect their health and wellness while still enjoying all of the benefits technology has to offer!


A Little Confident Boost

So this week I took the challenge that every beginner guitar player tries… Smoke On The Water. I jave only been working on it for about four days now and finally built up the courage to post a video of it. I know it doesn’t sound like the actual song but I hope to begin playing along with the song in the next two weeks.

Im thinking of taking a break on the song Country Boy Can Survive because I have neve rplayed before and am not aware of the proper hand movememnts from chords to chord yet. So this is why I decided to change tides for awhile…to gain some confience back.



Systems formalities

So Here some  software qualities for my software system (Educational Hub)
Use of JavaScript and Drupal validation methods will help in making this software system correct. System will be tested in details to make sure that it is working accordingly. System will be developed by following coding standards.
The combination of Drupal, PHP 5.1, MySql and Apache server will make this software system efficient for the users. All these technologies are easily updateable. User interface will be simple, elegant and user friendly. The software systems will not only be user friendly for the users but also for the website administrator. Drupal provides very strong and simple administrator UI. Exceptional handling will be implemented in the software using Drupal validation methods to make the software robust.

Like every other system my system will certainly have some constraints like , PHP and JavaScript will be used to develop this software system. Most of the development will be done in PHP and JavaScript will be used for effects in menus. This software system will be operated on Windows operating system regardless of version of the windows. It will work fine on windows XP and Windows 7. This software system will work fine even on the weakest hardware of the present time. This software system will use the MySql database engine to perform the database related tasks. This software system will use the WAMP. WAMP server has Apache, PHP, MySql and Microsoft Windows support all together in one place. Drupal 6.13 will be used in the development of this software system. Drupal is a powerful content management system. Other tools are NetBeans, Star UML, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Visio.

So my website architect will look like




In presentation layer the design of website, blog and administration side will be implemented using the Drupal theme structure. Template of website and blog is presented in this layer which will interact with the user of the product. Similarly the theme of administration will also be developed in this layer which will be more convenient for the administrator of the website. Blocks and menus of the website will be for administrator for management to control their position and order in the website.In Application layer logical code of the website will be implemented. Which will include the custom modules and contributed modules as Drupal is an open source tool for development. Drupal core implementation is in this layer. All the business logic and logical constraints will be implemented in this layer and Drupal engine will control the entire modules coronation in performing the tasks. In Data Access Layer database queries will be implemented to communicate with the MySql database to get the desired results from the database. In Database layer all the data of website will be managed in MySql database engine. Data will be saved in tables. The structure of database tables is managed through Drupal.